Galaxy Police Cadet Scramble

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Chapter 7

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Ranma sat across from Miz and Afura, scowling and crossing his arms. Both women looked the slightest bit taken aback by the young man's fierce look. With good reason, the pigtailed boy thought sourly. This was not anything good.

"So let me get this straight," Ranma muttered, placing his hands on the table and trying to keep his voice calm. "I went through with this body enhancement thing, right? However instead of boosting my strength and all that crap, the only noticeable thing it did was make me a little tougher."

"I wouldn't necessarily call a thirty percent increase in your overall durability 'a little tougher'," Afura offered a little nervously, though she leaned back a bit when Ranma turned his gaze on her.

"So on top of feeling a little tougher, you say I heal a tough faster, and I move a bit quicker," Ranma continued.

"A ten percent increase in your body's ability to recover from wounds, and maybe a three or four percent increase in your speed," Miz confirmed weakly. She didn't bother to mask her flinch when Ranma's eyes turned on her.

"And the result of all of this is that my body is now forever messed up so any doctor on Earth will think I'm an alien," Ranma muttered, to which both women nodded. He sighed. "Damn it."

He sat in silence, staring up at the ceiling. The two women from Muldoon exchanged a long look before Miz stood, gentle placing a hand on his shoulder.

"Are you all right?" Miz wondered, squeezing lightly. His eyes turned up to hers and he smirked.

"Yeah. Just another day in the life of Ranma Saotome," the boy muttered with a dark chuckle. He sighed. "I used to be fully male a couple years ago and now I'm not even fully human anymore. Ah well."

"Wait, what did you say?" Afura demanded.

"Uh, Just another day in the life of Ranma Saotome?" Ranma asked, confused. Afura waved one hand for him to continue. He thought back for a minute. "I used to be fully male a couple years ago?" Afura paused and stared at this, before waving her hand for him to continue once more. "Um, I can't believe I'm not fully human now?"

"You're human?" Miz asked sharply, and Ranma noticed that her hand had gone very still. In fact, it felt like it was trembling a bit. The boy nodded mutely. "As in, you are fully human? Your father is fully human, your mother is fully human, and your grandparents?"

"Yeah," the pigtailed boy confirmed.

"B-but, what about your strength? That shape-changing ability? You said that you got both from your father!" Miz said shakily. Her pale face had gone even more white, as had Afura's.

"My old man's martial arts style, and he dragged us to some cursed springs... So the strength is training, the shape-changing thing is some weird magic." Ranma informed her. He shrugged lightly, and Miz's limp hand fell from his shoulder. "Why?"

"We have a very serious problem," Afura informed him, her eyes meeting Miz's.

"Let's go see Airi," Miz told her fellow officer.

Confused, Ranma followed the duo.

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Until ten minutes ago, Airi had been having a wonderful day. Ten minutes ago she'd been reading a report about how one of the newest recruits, Ranma Saotome, had fought a fully enhanced Muldoonese wind user to a standstill for twenty minutes... Without being enhanced himself. Ten minutes ago, she'd known that the cadet was undergoing his own body enhancement and the Galaxy Police would be blessed with a cadet possessing potential not seen in years.

Ten minutes ago, Detective First Class Miz Mishtal and Detective Second Class Afura Mann had arrived in her office with Cadet Ranma Saotome in tow. Then Miz had spoken the eleven words words which promised to ruin her day.

"Lady Airi, there's a problem: Cadet Saotome is a full human," the Muldoonese water-user sounded miserable, and Airi felt her mood drop a bit. It was a shame that they'd be losing him, but...

Oh dear. He'd undergone the body enhancement. Miz continued to speak, without waiting for Airi's prompting.

"It's worse than you think. He's already undergone the body enhancement surgery. While it has irreversibly changed his body, the effects on his performance are negligible."

Airi frowned. And she'd been having such a good day. She thumbed the communications button on her desk. She wasn't about to be selfish. She'd happily share this bad day with a certain headmistress.

"Mikami, would you please come to my office as soon as possible? There's a problem."

"I've just learned something disturbing as well, Airi. I was just about to come see you anyway," Mikami's grim voice admitted.

Airi fought the urge to rest her head on the desk and cry. Her eyes glanced on a digital clock as the minute advanced. It had been such a good day until eleven minutes ago.

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"Well, this does present a problem... However, it's also a potential solution to the very problem I've received word of," Mikami admitted, turning her gaze on Ranma. The boy flinched back from her gaze, despite the small smile she now wore. "It's unfortunate what happened, cadet Saotome... but at this point, it might be viewed as a bit of providence. I'm sure you remember Saffron?"

"Yeah?" The boy asked, sitting up straighter. "I heard he was some kind of well pirate, but he ain't so tough."

"I'm glad you think so," Mikami said with a bright smile. "You see, four Galaxy Police detectives were sent to capture him shortly after you left Earth. He destroyed their ships and escaped. We might need your help to capture him again."

"Me?" Ranma sputtered, flinching back. "I'm only a cadet here, right? There's gotta be dozens of people better suited to fighting him!"

"We sent four. Only one of them lived to report in," Mikami informed him grimly. She let her smile fade. "Certainly we have detectives who are technically stronger than you. However, one of our Muldoonese detectives tried to deflect Saffron's flames with her wind attack, as you did and was incinerated. We don't understand why it didn't work."

"My cousin Imfala?" Afura asked quietly, looking away, pained, at Mikami's confirming nod.

"It's not just a wind attack," Ranma said quietly, rubbing his jaw thoughtfully. At the interested looks three of the women were giving him, he slowly continued. "It's more than wind. It's a very advanced martial arts technique that turns an opponent's strength back against them."

"How advanced is this technique? Do you think you could teach it to anyone here at the academy?" Airi asked sharply. The boy considered it for a moment before shaking his head.

"No, I don't think so," Ranma finally said slowly. "There are only a handful of people on Earth who are good enough to use the technique, and they're all like me... People who've been training in martial arts all their lives. Everybody I've seen so far is pretty strong and fast, but they don't have the chi manipulation to make it work."

"Chi manipulation?" Mikami prompted, to which Ranma sighed.

"I'm guessing that's the reason your body upgrade thing didn't work too well on me," Ranma told the woman with a shrug. "I'm already naturally boosting my strength, speed, and toughness with chi. There wasn't anything your little machines could do that I'm not doing just as good, if not better, already. However I'm doing it subconsciously by manipulating the natural energy all around me."

"This energy is what you use to fuel your wind attack?" Airi asked, causing the pigtailed cadet to nod in reply.

"Even making yourself stronger and faster is beyond the average martial artist... and most don't have the potential to even manifest their battle aura, let alone employ techniques which project their chi as an attack," Ranma told the women with a helpless look. "It takes years and years of intense martial arts discipline to come close to using my techniques. It's not just a matter of being strong or fast or having gobs of power to throw around. It takes mental discipline and concentration on the most fundamental level."

"So you're our only hope, then," Mikami sighed. This wasn't good. The older Kuramitsu slowly turned to Airi. "Airi, how is Yosho doing these days?"

"My husband?" Airi asked with a blink. She smiled fondly. "He's doing fine."

"Would he have any problems training cadet Saotome? Washu would also be useful in seeing if there's any way to make the body enhancement work a little better," Mikami proposed, and Airi nodded slowly at the idea.

"I'm sure he'd be happy to help," Airi said finally.

"Wait, if this guy can teach me how to fight better, why not send him?" Ranma asked with a scowl. He shifted uncomfortably at the look all four women shot him. "Look, last time I fought Saffron, it was... different. I'm not exactly eager to do it again."

"My husband is quite skilled in battle. He can teach you quite a few things about having to fight Saffron," Airi informed him with a wistful smile. "However, he's not strong enough to fight Saffron directly. I'm afraid you're the best candidate we have, Ranma."

"Damn," Ranma groaned, heels of his palms smacking into his forehead. He raised his eyes to meet Airi's. "I suppose if I don't stop him, he's going to go on killing people or something too, huh..."

"I'm afraid so," Mikami told him with a small smile. The boy just groaned.

"Some days I swear the kami are against me," Ranma muttered, head returning to palms.

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Once the younger trio left her office, Airi smiled to herself. She noted the look her friend was giving her.

"So are we really going to pin all our hopes on that young man?" Mikami asked lightly. Airi smiled.

"In a worst case scenario, I'm sure we could ask Tenchi's help," Airi commented with a shrug. She tapped a key on her desk, and a report flashed on the screen. "However, Tenchi aside, he probably is our best hope. In all of his previous fights, Saffron has displayed the agility to dodge any Light Hawk Wings deployed by ship-sized craft. We can't be sure that Seina in Zinv would do any better."

"So in all of the Galaxy Police, a recruit we've trained for all of twenty minutes is our best hope," Mikami chuckled, ignoring the report in favour of meeting Airi's grin with one of her own. "We should really reconsider the ban on admitting Earthlings into the Galaxy Police. This is the third boy from that rock who's making a mockery of all of our 'superior' entrants."

"Well, to be fair, Tenchi is partially Juraian... and blessed by Tsunami herself," Airi retorted.

"And Seina is the opposite end of the spectrum," Mikami told her with a chuckle. "Until Amane recruited him into our ranks, he was just some poor boy with extraordinarily bad luck."

"The question is, where does Ranma fit into all of that?" Airi asked.

Both women pondered the question in silence.

"How would you like to bet Ranma becomes the fourth heir to the Juraian throne?" Airi finally asked with a wry grin.

Mikami snorted. "No. I'm smart enough to recognize patterns, Airi."

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"They sending you running already, Saotome?" Asuma's voice chortled, and Ranma looked up with a scowl. Yuji stood beside the lecher, nervously smiling. "What gives, man?"

"Special training," Ranma replied tersely, shoving his spare uniforms into a duffel bag. He glanced at the two. "So, what's the deal with this Yosho guy, anyway. Is he any good in a fight?"

"Lord Yosho?" Yuji asked lightly. The older boy smiled at the way Asuma's jaw dropped before turning his attention to Ranma's question. "I guess you could say that. He's the crown prince of Jurai, and also a warrior without peer. He tracked down the notorious space pirate Ryouko and singlehandedly captured her."

"That's impressive?" Ranma wondered.

"Very," Yuji informed him. Asuma was now muttering incoherently. "So why are you getting special training from Lord Yosho? I'd heard he was living the quiet life on some backwoods planet somewhere."

"Oh, Saffron apparently escaped from the guys sent to capture him," Ranma muttered, zipping up the bag and shouldering it. "Now I get to fight him again. Damn it, the first time was bad enough."

"Take care then, Saotome," Yuji offered as the young martial artist strode by.

"You too, Godai," Ranma replied.

As the door slid shut, he heard Morobishi yell, "He did it again!" The pigtailed boy grinned, whistling a jaunty tune as he walked to the shuttle which would take him to the spaceport.

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"I'm just doing this to get the damned thing over with," Fatora growled to herself, walking through the dormitory halls of the academy. She paused before the pigtailed bastard's room, wondering how she would phrase her offer. She just wanted to get the date over with.

The sooner she got hold of the cute redhead, the better, she reasoned with a grin.

She firmly knocked on the door. After a moment, it slid open to reveal a rather plain young man. He brazenly swept his eyes up her body before grinning at her.

"Hello, beautiful!" He said loudly, offering his hand. "My name's Asuma Morobishi. How can I help you?"

"I'm looking for Ranma Saotome," Fatora told him frostily. The boy hardly seemed daunted.

"Aw, who cares about him. Why don't you and I go somewhere quiet so we can get to know one another better?" Moroboshi offered, still holding out his hand. So he didn't learn. Well, if he was going to offer...

"Graaah!" Both hands latched onto the brunette boy's wrists, and the princess spun in a quarter circle and torqued her body, executing a text-book throw which pitched the bastard across the hallway. He clipped the edge of the railing before tumbling across the ground beyond. Fatora dusted her hands and walked into the room. "Ranma Saotome, where the hell are you?"

The only one inside was a somewhat bishounen-looking boy, reading quietly at the low table to her left. She ignored the boy in favor of walklng to the bathroom and yanking the door open.

"I'm sorry miss, but Saotome left about ten minutes ago," the boy offered politely.

"Left?" Fatora demanded. The boy winced at the look on her face.

"Yeah. Special training with Lord Yosho. Who knows when he'll be back... I'm sorry to tell you this, miss," the cadet apologized. He stood. "I'm Yuji Godai. If you'd like, I think I know where he's going to be leaving from. Would you like me to take you there?"

"Yes!" Fatora snapped. Yuji nodded, and both of them left the room. Asuma clutched the railing weakly, watching the two go by.

"Why does that bastard Saotome have all the luck?" He moaned. Fatora ignored him, following the polite young man to her quarry.

Ranma Saotome would rue the day he tried to run out on Fatora Roshtaria!

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Appendix:

G.P. Entry Protocol: Normally a human being from Earth is not allowed to become a Galaxy Police officer. Seina Yamada was the first exception to this rule, based solely on his incredibly bad luck which was capable of attracting hundreds of pirates.

Saffron/Treeship Encounters: There were a number of times that Saffron was confronted by the royal tree, Tsunami, and other treeships capable of generating Light Hawk Wings. Although Saffron was heavily wounded due to Jurai's ultimate power during his first encounter, he subsequently learned that he simply needed to dodge the attacks and flee while blasting the ships with his flame. Thanks to his speed and diminutive size, ships capable of proving a threat to him were easily avoided.

Author's Notes:

Originally I wasn't going to have Ranma undergo the body enhancement at all, but then I realized it would be a quick and easy method of pinning the boy to the Galaxy Police. It's made quite clear in the GXP anime that the change is rather permanent.