This one-shot is basically a spin-off from my Evangelion story "Going Another Way", where Ranma, Akane and Ukyo have a guest-appearance (actually Ranma two times, as he also appears in an earlier chapter as well). After writing it, I wondered, how exactly would they have witnessed Second Impact? And this story came into being.
I assume that the original Ranma comics take place in the mid-nineties around 1994-95, meaning that Ranma and Akane are 21 at the oldest during Second Impact (August 2000). And since we never had a detailed account of what exactly happened, be surprised of how I describe it.
But before the Impact, my version of what happened before it...
It was a normal morning in the Tendo-Saotome home in the Nerima ward of Tokyo. Compared to the weirdness which the ward had to live through some years ago, it was sedate. Most of the weirdness had simply died down when trouble magnet Ranma Saotome had decided to finally settle down with one (and only one) woman. Naturally that didn't mean that ALL of the weirdness would disappear.
Said Ranma Saotome sat at the table in the family room, letting the last years play through his head while watching his father Genma and Soun Tendo playing a game of Go (after the 'mysterious' disappearance of the Shogi board, they had started playing this game). He heard his wife Akane and his mother Nodoka, busy in the kitchen cleaning up what was left of breakfast.
Again, Ranma wondered how he had managed to get the turn in his life, which now was pretty much put into more controlled paths. It was something he would have thought of as impossible. After the failed wedding, at first everyone had tried to go on as if nothing had happened. But, of course, that was impossible. After this total disaster even Ranma, who admitted he wasn't the most preceptive person in the world, had felt the winds of change blowing straight through Nerima, and some felt it; that nothing would ever be the same as it was for almost two years.
It had actually started on their first school day after the wedding-disaster.
After the usual greeting by Kuno, who had obviously already erased the whole thing from his mind, with its usual results, namely him getting beat up, the first surprise came in the classroom. All the gossip about the bombed wedding had died when Ukyo came in, her battle spatula missing and her actually wearing a girl's school uniform. Ranma had been especially disappointed with Ukyo. Recently she had slowly started to get over the whole engagement thing and treat him as just a friend. She and Akane actually had started to get along quite well. Her regression at the wedding had hurt him deeply.
But to their surprise she had fallen on her knees before them, and then had begged them for forgiveness, bursting into tears, confessing that when she got the wedding invitation, she had freaked. Only afterwards she had become aware how much she had put a lot of people into danger and that what she had done could be considered betrayal against Ranma. She then had dissolved into tears, begging them again and again to forgive her. There were so many tears that it triggered his curse.
Ranma wasn't one to hold grudges. And seeing Ukyo so devastated after realizing what she had done, he knew she really meant it and needed her friend Ranma. And Akane this time didn't have a burst of jealously, seeing that this girl was scared by her own actions. On that day one thing had become clear: the shock of how she had ruined that special day had finally made her decide that she only wanted to be Ranma's friend, not wife.
Of course while Ukyo had realized her errors and became friends with them, others didn't.
Ryoga was in first place (not counting the Kunos, as they were all insane to begin with) for being a total bastard who denied any responsibility for his own actions. In fact, despite having an girlfriend with Akari, he continued to sneak into Akane's bedroom as P-Chan. Ranma being helpless as he didn't want to anger Akane by trying to sneak into her room to remove him, actually prayed for this to stop before he would break his vow of honor.
The wonder came. He actually hadn't been there when it had happened, being busy with buying some groceries for his mother, so he had needed to piece together what the others had told him. It seemed P-Chan had again turned up in the Tendo home, promptly getting hugged by Akane. To Ryoga's bad luck, Kasumi saw that he had been through a mud-bath (probably no other water source aside from a muddy puddle available) and told Akane to clean him up. Ryoga must have been totally oblivious to the fact that this involved warm water.
As far as he had gathered, what followed after a scream of shock and outrage had been a beating that was worse than every beating she had given him combined. In the end an ambulance had taken Ryoga away, the police, who had been called as the noise was too loud even for Nerima, and alerted the neighbors, writing into their report that the Tendo girl had barely escaped sexual assault (meaning Ryoga couldn't expect much pity). Ranma had gotten his share after returning, but it was tame compared to that, and Akane in the end had forgiven him after some really icy days. Ryoga hadn't been so fortunate, as she felt betrayed by him and disgusted at him misusing Ranma's vow of honor so shamelessly, and so had never spoken to him again after threating him with physical harm the first time he had turned up after this episode. This had made Ryoga blow every remaining fuse, tuning him into a constant pest for both of them.
The Amazons were a mixed bag.
Colonge had been pretty easy, as she had said that her great-granddaughter had been stupid to do this after witnessing him blowing away a good portion of Phoenix Mountain. She had told him that she had learned that while it was real fun to be around him, she didn't really want to press the whole marriage-thing any longer. To say it bluntly, she didn't dare to do it any longer after that demonstration of raw power, although there was no way to annul the law. She wasn't in a rush to return to the village in any case, saying that she was tired of the endless infighting and backstabbing of the elders, finding the outside world much more to her liking.
Shampoo of course was the exact opposite. In a glaring example of ignorance, she had assumed that he would be grateful for what she had done. He wasn't known to be very easy to anger (that was Ryoga), but hearing this he had almost forgotten himself. The sheer restraint he needed not to do something rash had frozen the entire kitchen of the Nekohanten with the Soul of Ice. He knew that every thing would go over Shampoo's head, so he hadn't even bothered. It seemed Colonge also saw a face of her heir that almost made her turn away in disbelief. Needless to say that Shampoo later didn't accept that Akane was his wife, becoming a constant thorn in their side.
He remembered parts of a especially bad incident where she had tried to use her cat form in some kind of stupid plan. It had ended with him slipping into the neko-ken and the others had said that he must have seen her as a threat, since afterwards Shampoo had needed to stay quite some time at the vet, her injuries stopping her from changing back. Akane hadn't been amused by it, and when Shampoo tried her bicycle-attack some weeks later, she had literally wrapped the bicycle around Shampoo, and it took Mousse with a metal saw to get her free.
Mousse had been a surprise. While he had been at the wedding disaster as well, he hadn't thrown around any attacks, and instead had tried solely to get the water from the spring of the drowned man, he had even ignored his burning jealously for it. The last he had seen of him was sitting in a corner of the dojo, awake and pretty badly roughed up by Happosai. To his surprise, Mousse had been quite civil to him, and the reason was even more surprising. When Happosai had hit him with that fire blast and he had been thrown into the corner, something had happened. He couldn't explain it, but it was as if all of a sudden he could see things much clearer, not meaning his eyesight but his ability to interact with other people.
As surprising and sudden as it was, Mousse had finally seen that there wasn't much reason for jealously after seeing how Ranma had started to detest Shampoo, the latest stunt being too much for even Ranma's patience. That, and Shampoo giving him the cold shoulder all the time actually did have an effect on him after all. Mousse admitted that he felt by now more at home here than in the village, where her was a citizen second class. After a rocky beginning, old habits died hard, the male Amazon had slowly become a friend.
The Kunos were as he had expected: too far gone to care any longer. Tawetaki and Kodachi were so entrenched into their madness that it was far too late. The only thing he could do was to be on guard and deflect any possible trouble from these two. At least he and Akane were so good in the art, that it wasn't difficult to take care of these pests. And while Kuno senior was annoying, he didn't do anything outside the school. That, and he got back at him in the graduation ceremony by stuffing one of the man's own pineapple bombs into the front of his pants. Kuno senior was said to have spent considerable time in hospital to recover from the embarrassing injury.
Ranma winced when remembering Happosai.
Happosai had become even worse, terrorizing the woman of the house. The breaking point had been, when he started to molest Kasumi as well. The girl had been totally mortified and scared by this, and he had been so angry that he had challenged Happosai to an all-out fight with the school as the price.
The fight had been beyond brutal and Nerima park had become a barren wasteland during it. Apart from Saffron, this probably had been the worst fight in his life. Thankfully, this time he had used his brains to deny Happosai his usual advantages. There were no girls in the entire park for him to molest and recharge with (even if the fathers were cowards, they were good for doing grunt work), and he had used some of his waterproof soap (from Colonge who really wanted to see Happosai bleeding after a scene he had caused earlier that week in their restaurant, which had resulted in a furious Shampoo and a significant loss of face) to prevent Happosai from transforming him for a quick grope. He had been quite hurt during that battle, but in the end, Happosai had been forced to wave the white flag after half of his ki-paths had burnt out, severly crippling his ki-gathering techniques.
It was "just a coincidence" that right after Happosai had before witnesses declared Ranma to be the new grandmaster after this defeat, Pantyhose Taro had snatched him away. He still had to snicker when remembering that since then Happosai had avoided him and everyone associated with him in sheer terror, meaning that the duel and whatever Taro had done with him afterwards had really scared him.
Ranma leaned back, of course during all this, life had went on for all of them as well.
Doctor Tofu had returned to Nerima after some months of absence, and to their big surprise he actually had come to the house and didn't freak out when meeting Kasumi. It turned out that he had finally found out that a chemical imbalance in his brain caused him to freak every time he would get excited; meaning, when Kasumi would be near. He had been through treatment and needless to say that Kasumi was happy that Tofu finally managed to talk properly with her.
Nabiki had graduated school and now was in Tokyo University, busy with getting her business degree. She had moved out of the house, too, and only visited during the breaks. That she had decided to get an even higher degree of course meant she had two additional years to master. Ranma fondly remembered how he and Akane had finally gotten back at her for all the shit she had pulled on them (Nabiki on the other hand still blushed when it was even only mentioned).
Ranma shook his head, trying to focus on the present. Nabiki was on summer break from university right now, still sitting half asleep at the table. She simply wasn't a morning person. Kasumi had already left, saying that her husband needed her in the clinic. It was good that Kasumi and Tofu had decided to do this step and he was a great help with her dream to become a nurse.
That his parents were here was thanks to the fact that Nodoka wanted to see her son more often to make up for her ten lost years. This somehow had turned into them staying permanently, the Saotome house now often empty. Not that he complained, the house really needed a "Lady of the House". That, and she was quite effective at getting Soun and Genma to get their asses into motion to get jobs to support them.
His thoughts wandered to Akane. During their last year of highschool, they had done quite a bit of growing up, it seemed that after Phoenix Mountain things wouldn't return to what they had been most of the time. And after three additional years of college to get degrees in physical education (as his mother had pointed out, a sensei without a degree wouldn't be taken serious), their lives had changed quite a lot. Since the wedding disaster there wasn't anymore meddling from their fathers, as Soun had been so shocked at how things had turned out, even seeing the almost-destruction of the family shrine through Kuno's katana, he didn't dare to interfere any longer, deciding that things needed to take their time. This also meant that Genma had no chance to pull anymore stunts without the risk of angering his friend.
Things had taken their time. Without pressure he and Akane, now that they were more mature, came slowly closer. Of course there were misunderstandings and setbacks, and they still had their share of growing up to do, like him learning proper speech patterns, but thankfully in the end it had worked out, and in their last college year, there had been another wedding, this time wanted by both of them.
Ranma smiled when thinking of his wife. Right now she was only weeks away from experiencing the wonder of life. Everyone in the house had been happy when they were told of her pregnancy, although Akane with pregnancy hormones had been hard on them at times.
Ranma sighed, then looked at the class roster in his hand. He had never thought that being a sensei would be so much work. Classes were about to start in two hours and without Akane to help him, it would be a lot work for him.
Looking out into the yard, Ranma again felt a slight headache coming up.
In the last days, he felt that something was in the air, something that wasn't the usual weirdness. But he couldn't pinpoint what exactly it was, only that it was putting him on alert and started to make him tired and frustrated. Why can't what ever it is get it over with and appear? I'm tired of this shit.
In the kitchen, Nodoka watched her son through the open door. "My son seems more tense than usual."
Akane put her hand on the big bulge of her belly, feeling the life growing in there. "I know, it is much worse than normal."
And that meant something. Since she had become pregnant, Ranma had become extremely protective of her. At least this time she accepted it because there was another life at stake. Some people were out to make their lives hell, and they had become even worse when hearing of the pregnancy. The worst was Tawetaki Kuno, who had attacked her with a steel sword several months ago, claiming to "cut out the demon spawn in her". Ranma had practically broken every one of Kuno's bones for trying this. The others held back after that with open hostility against her, but there had been some close calls.
Nodoka knew of these incidents. She had been only moments away from declaring a blood feud on the Kuno clan for what she saw as an attempted murder on her daughter-in-law and her unborn child. "What is wrong with my son? Normally he is such an open and outgoing person," she asked in worry.
Akane shook her head. "For some while now he hasn't slept well and has been on edge. Something is disturbing him. I asked him what it it, but he didn't know either. He said that something felt gravely wrong, but had no idea, what exactly."
Finally being done with putting all the dishes into the dishwasher, they walked back into the family room, seeing Ranma standing near the koi pond, looking as if his thoughts were far away. "Ranma?" Akane asked careful, while approaching. "Ranma, what's wrong?"
"Something is amiss... I..." Suddenly Ranma gasped, falling to his knees.
"RANMA!" Scared, Akane ran to him. The others, alerted by Akane's scream, stormed into the garden.
"Akane... my ki-senses went haywire... An explosion of ki like I've never felt before!" he got out, while slowly getting back on his feet. He had no idea from where this lifeforce came from, but it had literally exploded.
Then all of a sudden the city went quiet. Alarmed, they wondered what had happened. Nodoka then noticed that the rumbling of the dishwasher had stopped. "Seems to be a power loss."
Ranma gasped again "Urgh...!" And all of a sudden the sky shed its usual blue, turning blood-red in mere seconds, the blue fading away as if washed out by immense powers.
"The sky has turned red!"
Ranma felt that the energies around him were in complete chaos. The price you had to pay for being so attuned to life-fores as he was, was that he felt it when the life energies around him went haywire. "I'll be back in a second!" That said, he jumped on the highest part of the roof to look around. What he saw made him freeze in terror for a second. In panic, he jumped off the roof.
"EVERYONE INTO THE HOUSE!" he screamed, while the ground started to rumble, as if in an earthquake.
They didn't know why, but the rumbling became stronger with each second, so they didn't ask questions and ran into the house. Ranma was the last to enter, and at once started to glow, concentrating on picturing the house in his mind. He had never tried it on something big, but it was the only way to protect them all. He hoped that his ki-shield would hold.
The rumbling became even stronger, everything shook and the howling of wind was as loud as a jackhammer beside their heads. Then it happened, and it was as if a sledgehammer had hit the house. Ranma was almost thrown to the ground, sweating heavily in his effort to keep the house from being torn to pieces.
"Help me!" Ranma shouted, feeling the shield weaken.
The fathers might be lazy asses, but they understood what Ranma needed. Jumping to his aid they used their own energy to help him. Windows bursted, the traditional doors of the family room were ripped away, revealing a scene that looked like it was borrowed from Dante's Inferno. It was as if a huge shockwave was waltzing through Nerima, throwing everthing in its path aside as if it were only toys. The sky was dark despite it being day. The whole house groaned despite the shield, the wooden walls taking a lot of punishment.
They all tried to hold on something, feeling that this was like a typhoon that had grown to monstrous proportions. They were horrified by the total chaos outside, mixed into the rumbling and the howling of the wind were sounds of destruction while masses of water poured down.
Then finally the rumbling lessened, the shockfront having passed them. Not a moment to early, as Ranma's energy had been totally spent.
Everything went dark around him.
"Hmmmmmm..." Ranma felt as if Taro had break danced on his head. The first thing he felt was, that he was still alive. The second, that right now he was in his female form, with a wet cloth on her forehead. Opening her eyes, she saw her wife looking at her in worry.
"Thank all kami, you're finally awake! You scared all of us when you fainted," Akane said in relief, hugging him (as best as it was possible with her pregnancy).
"You know me, tomboy. Nothing can take me down." She knew she wouldn't take offense with being called a tomboy. Not anymore. After him calling her 'tomboy' and her calling him 'baka' for so long, it had somehow mutated into sort of callnames.
"You and your stupid pride. You were out for almost half an hour." She knew Ranma was alright when her pride showed.
Looking around, Ranma saw a picture of destruction. Sure, the house itself hadn't recieved too much damage, thanks to his shield. Still, the family room looked like a tornado had went through it, turning everything upside-down. The garden was a total chaos and the dojo... the dojo had mostly collapsed. She could see Soun and Genma inspecting the ruin, Soun looking as if his life had ended, especially when seeing that the family shrine had been badly damaged. Looking at the sky, she saw that the red had now again mostly disappeared, only shreds of it left in the deep blue, which was framed by some clouds. Otherwise it was deathly silent.
"This looks...really bad..."
"We hadn't dared to exit the property, but looking at it, it must look really bad." Akane wondered how bad the rest of the ward looked, and yet she also didn't want to picture it as she feared how bad it would look.
Looking to the other side, Ranma saw her mother being busy with heating up some water on his father's old camping cooker. Nodoka then noticed Ranma looking at her. Ranma noticed that her mother looked disheveled, her kimono ripped in several places. "Water is still working... But we have no power. And we had to turn off the gas." Her voice was barely concealing that what little she had seen of this destruction was already enough to disturb her greatly.
Accepting the warm water from her, Ranma returned to his natural form. And then he remembered something. "Damn!... Kasumi and the Doc!"
Everyone, even Nabiki, looked like they had been slapped. They had been so occupied with getting to terms with what had happened, that they had totally forgotten about the eldest Tendo sister and her husband. They had also forgotten about their other friends in the ward.
Running into the garden, Ranma yelled: "Pop, Mr. Tendo! Stop that and come!"
Genma didn't protest, and Soun was full of worry about his first child which prevented a crying fit. Running to the front gate, which now was resting only on one hinge, they tried to reach the Ono clinic as fast as possible. But the way turned out to be harder than first thought, and what they saw was much worse than what they had seen inside the Tendo property.
Nerima looked like a warzone.
The traditionally built houses had been literally torn apart, while modern ones were damaged, some more, some less, some now only ruins. Powerline poles had broken like toothpicks, ripping down the power lines thus contributing to the lasting power loss. Trees had been uprooted and fallen over, cars turned upside-down, the smell of fires caused by raptured gas pipes was in the air. The streets were littered with debris, broken glass and... a number of bodies.
The three men tried not to let this get to them, although some of the bodies looked horrible. They weren't alone on the streets. Injured tried to come to terms with what had happened, the first helpers tried desperately to get something done in the chaos, and in the distance they heard sirens of ambulances.
This picture of destruction made them hurry.
Finally reaching the clinic, they were greeted with a half-destroyed building. Alarmed, they ran through the debris and up the stairs. Storming into the half-destroyed clinic, they were greeted with Doctor Tofu being busy with wrapping a bandage around Kasumi's upper head, the white cloth bloody in several places.
Soun almost went up into tears when seeing this. Kasumi being hurt was one of the things that could make him fall apart. Worried, he ran to her side. "Kasumi!"
She didn't look like she was in pain, despite her obvious injury. "Don't worry... It looks worse than it is." Her usual cheerful voice was gone, no wonder in light of what had happened. "We ran into the cellar when everything started to break down, I got hit by something from the ceiling. Are the others all right?"
Soun held his daughter's hand. "We're all right, so you don't need to worry." Kasumi looked relieved when hearing this.
Tofu looked up from what he was doing right now. "I hadn't any chance to look around outside. Is it as bad as I fear?" he asked in his no-nonsense voice, which meant that he was in full 'doctor-mode'.
Ranma shook his head. "No... It is worse. We literally had to evade the bodies and we saw dozens of injured." Kasumi gasped when hearing this. "They need help now... Doc, better prepare for lots of work."
Doctor Tofu knew what this meant. During his university days, they had drilled what all doctors would have to do in case of of state of emergency after a natural disaster, such as now. "I will try to use whatever of my supplies has survived. And I need help."
Then Ranma remembered the other people who meant something to him. He looked to Soun. "You stay here and help getting the injured here! Pop, you come with me!" Soun couldn't protest as Ranma already dragged his father out of the clinic.
While sprinting through the ruins of Nerima, Genma asked what was wrong.
Ranma felt like smacking his father. "Damn, you're dense, pop! Ukyo, Konatsu, Mousse. We have to check on them!" Genma went silent, while they continued running. He didn't interact much with Ranma's friends, and actually avoided Ukyo because she still resented him.
Ranma was greatly worried for Ukyo. The girl had rebuilt her life from the train wreck it had become, finally looking for happiness elsewhere. In the end it meant to teach Konatsu, the male kunoichi working as her cross-dressing 'waitress', how to enjoy life. Konatsu had always liked Ukyo, although he had had trouble to express his feelings, especially as long as Ukyo had held on Ranma. But over several years, Ukyo and her friends had managed to make Konatsu open up and teach him what it meant to be male. And during that time, something else grew. In the end there was a wedding, and Konatsu without a last name became Konatsu Kounji. These two surely liked each other very much.
Finally they reached Ucchan's and Ranma felt his fear spike when seeing that the building was essentially wrecked, only the outside walls still standing. "Oh, no!" Considering the time they would have been busy with preparing for the opening. Running into the pile of debris that once was the dining area, he started to dig. Genma at first had no idea what to do, but then helped anyway.
Ranma started to get desperate, when he heard something from the place which he recognized as where the grill stood. Running to the spot, he started to throw away big chunks of debris. Digging deeper, he was finally greeted with Ukyo and Konatsu being squeezed into the space under the grill, having shielded themselves with her big battle spatula from flying debris.
"Ukyo! Konatsu! Oh, you're all right!" Ranma felt great relief pulsing through him when seeing that his friends weren't injured.
Ukyo was still shaking in fear, requiring her husband to steady her. "Ranchan... It was horrible, suddenly everything started to collapse..." Then she stared crying into Konatsu's shoulder. Ukyo had been hit really bad by what had happened.
Konatsu looked to Ranma thankful. "I doubt we could have dug our way out. When the ceiling came down, we jumped under the grill since that thing is massive..." He looked around the ruins of what had been his home and life. "Gone... all gone. What will we do now?"
Ranma could see how desperate Konatsu was. He understood, he too would be horrified with his home destroyed. "Our house is still standing. Bring her there, she needs rest and you are always welcome in our home."
"I can't thank you enough." He then didn't waste anymore time, carrying his wife, he left to get to the Tendo home. Konatsu clearly didn't want to waste any time with chit-chat while his wife felt really bad. Also he probably didn't want her to see too much of the destruction.
Seeing no further use at staying at the ruin of the restaurant, Ranma and Genma tried to reach their next destination. While they did so, they ran by Furikan High, which now looked totaled, thankfully it was summer break. But then they stopped sharply, when seeing a picture that was really bloody. Impaled into a brick wall was Happosai, a lose pole had rammed through him with brute force during the shockwave, before nailing him to the wall. His face was twisted in a mask of pure horror since he obviously had lived a little longer and knew what would await him, a pool of blood gathered below him.
They tried to look away from the disturbing sight while going on, although Genma felt that his old master dying was something good.
When they ran by Kuno mansion, they stopped when seeing Sasuke crying. And it became clear, why. First there was Kuno senior lying it a pool of blood, riddled with sharp fragments of garden pots. Next was Kodachi, who had smashed open her skull on one of the big stones surrounding the garden pond, blood and brains pooling around her head. And a last there was Tawetaki, who was almost completely beheaded by a thin wooden board that still stuck in his neck, having cleanly sliced through his throat. And judging by the state of Kuno mansion, the traditionally built house totally destroyed and now only a pile of debris, they had ran out in panic, only to meet their doom in the chaos that ranged outside.
Silent they decided to better leave Sasuke in peace, as he was bound not to react rationally at the moment.
Finally they reached the Nekohanten, or what was left of it. And again there was a picture of horror. They were greeted by Shampoo being impaled on a girder, her blood slowly running down the cold steel and her face showing that it had come too fast for her to understand what had happened. Colonge's body wasn't much further, half-buried under the debris, her lower body crushed by the sheer weight resting on it.
Ranma at first wondered why Shampoo, who was totally soaked, hadn't died as a cat. But then it made sense. When life stopped, when the heart wouldn't beat any longer, then the curse would let go, to return the true form in death. All these deaths of people who had caused him grief left him strangely empty, numb. As if he couldn't bring himself to feel anything. Hearing something, he spotted a duck with glasses looking at the destruction with tears in its eyes.
Ranma felt bad for Mousse. First everything was taken from him, especially since he had started to get by better with the elder, and fate also had decided to mock him by activating his curse. Mousse didn't react at all when he was picked up by Ranma.
;p"I will get you somewhere warm." Then they left, wordless.
They made their way back in silence, until reaching the canal. Some emergency workers were busy with fishing a body out of it, and Ranma gasped when recognizing a nude Ryoga, his skin pale and bluish. Ranma knew what it meant. Ryoga had fallen into the raging canal, and since pigs couldn't swim well, he had drowned, returning to his true form in death. That his rival would end this way was really bizarre. It was a lonely end for the lost man.
Giving them Ryoga's identity, they then went on.
The Tendo home now looked more like an emergency shelter, with it being a mostly intact building and such. Emergency workers and paramedics were busy, and still the chaos had yet to be brought to order. The dusk sky by now had traces of gray in it from all the gas-fires in the neighborhood.
Akane wondered how everything could have changed so fast. The morning had been so much like every morning, and now Nerima looked like a war zone. All their lives had turned from getting through a normal day into hoping that it wouldn't get even worse. From a relatively normal life into a nightmare.
The crown prince of Japan had even spoken to the nation over a radio broadcast, it was mentioned that the Tenno probably had died and thus he was the new Emperor of Japan, announcing that this was a devastating day for the nation, and that everyone needed to stay together now. If he deemed it necessary to speak to the nation, Akane wondered how bad it really was. It was a cruel joke of fate that with all this destruction had come the death of all people who had made their lives hell. It was really as if fate had a perverse sense of humor.
Ranma also hadn't taken all this well, having fallen silent. She hadn't seen him in a while and started to get worried. She knew that with his strength, he was busy helping digging for survivors. But even he had limits and she feared that he could push himself too far.
As if called, he appeared, looking as if he had seen a nightmare and as if he had aged ten years. "Ranma?" He didn't react and her worry only grew. To see him like this meant that something must have really scared him. "Ranma, what is wrong?"
He then looked to her, his eyes showing that whatever he had seen it had shaken him to the core. "Akane... I need to show you what really happened." He didn't let her ask what he meant, scooping her up and roof jumping with her in his arms to the roof of the ruin of the tallest building in the neighborhood. "Sorry... but you have to see it yourself."
Akane wondered what he meant. She turned around, and froze.
Where normally she would be greeted with the city sprawl of greater Tokyo reaching to Tokyo Bay, there was now only a huge, flooded area with the ruins of several tall buildings reaching out of the water, the coastline itself having pushed inwards significantly. She couldn't make a sound while looking at this display of pure destruction. She looked to Minato ward, where the Saotome home was. There she saw the ruins of Tokyo Tower, broken in half by the sheer power of the disaster, looking like a broken tooth sitting in the rotting corpse that once had been the metropolis of Tokyo. They had been spared this fate only because Nerima was much further away from the coast, but the other three fourths of Tokyo hadn't this luxury.
The city of Tokyo had stopped existing, and with it millions of its inhabitants had found a wet grave there.
"Ranma..." she almost fell backwards, if not for Ranma holding her. So many dead... Then it hit her that if it looked so bad here, how bad did it look in other coastal cities? "It... it is all gone. Please... tell me this is a nightmare."
Ranma shook his head. "This isn't a dream..."
She held closer to Ranma, one hand hand resting on her pregnant belly. "What will happen to us now? I fear in what kind of future... we have to raise our children..."
Ranma wished he could give her a good answer, but then he would lie. He felt so helpless in the face of what had happened. The only thing he could do now was to hope that somehow they would make it. "I don't know what will come... Only that we will need to work hard to make it a good world for them to live in... However long it will take."
Akane needed his closeness to work through the shock of seeing the magnitude of all this. "To continue fighting for survival despite all losses..."
Together, Ranma and Akane watched the setting sun over the wasteland that once had been Tokyo.
Right at that moment they had no idea that in later history books this would be the first night after the horrible disaster that later would be called... Second Impact.