Disclaimer: I still do not own Ranma ½ or Robotech, they are the property of Rumiko Takahashi and Harmony Gold, respectively.
A Ranma½ / Robotech crossover.
Author's Note: There are some ideas and names that I am going to use from the Macross series, rather than from the Robotech series. Since Robotech has some glaring continuity holes, I am going to try and fix them over the course of this story, by taking elements from Macross. Protoculture is still going to play a vital role as an energy source.
'Out of the Fire'
Putting on her best poker face, Nabiki strode through the doorway into the conference room. Inwardly she was relieved to see that the same people were at the table again this time. Although she did not show it externally, she had been worried that they would have sent a lower level functionary to meet with her this second time. That would have been disastrous, since she doubted that such a bureaucrat would have been willing to disturb their bosses for the ridiculous sounding explanation she was about to give.
Greeting them all, Nabiki sat down in her seat. "I believe I have figured out the source of the confusion."
Before she could continue, Dr. Wiget spoke up. "Mr. Saotome has revealed the location of the 'cell energizer?"
"That is not what I was going to say." Nabiki looked over and responded. "There is no mysterious alien technology involved here."
"Of course there is, what other explanation could there be, magic?" Dr. Jordache chuckled.
"Close, but not quite," Nabiki rejoined, with a small grin. "What is involved here is a practical application of spiritual energy. This energy can be tapped and controlled by only a very few of the premier masters in the world. I have personally known five such individuals who can manifest their ki in a controlled manner. Of them, Ranma is one of the best."
The table virtually erupted in laughing, interspersed with derisive statements. Wincing, Nabiki just waited until they settled down again. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed that even the guards were amused.
"Spiritual energy! You expect us to believe this load of bull?" Major Dietrich scoffed.
"If I may continue with my explanation, I think you will find it very interesting," Nabiki urged.
Dr. Lang had a strange look in his eyes as he looked at Dr. Jordache and nodded.
"Very well," The younger doctor stated, "I haven't had a good laugh in a while."
"Thank you. I think that by the time we are finished, you will all be much more receptive to my view of this as a misunderstanding," Nabiki proclaimed. "To begin this tale, I am going to have to give you a short history lesson of my life since Ranma Saotome entered into it."
The Tendo daughter launched into a brief history of the past several years. She briefly touched on most of the highlights, though she decided to leave out mentioning Ranma's curse until later, it would be a showstopper in person.
She talked about her first meeting with Ranma, how he was a young, rude, undereducated and yet amazingly talented teen. She mentioned his engagement to her sister Akane, as well as the other fiancées that his father had arranged. Nabiki dedicated several minutes describing Ranma rivals, then talked about the old ghoul and the pervert. She covered the various times Akane had been kidnapped and Ranma's repeated rescues of her little sister. Finally she mentioned how Akane had been killed by the Chinese and how in return Ranma and she had chased them to their rural village in China. Finally she mentioned how the two of them ended up on South Ataria Island, both striving to find peace and safety."
"My family has been involved in martial arts for several generations and I have had the opportunities to meet and watch some of the highly trained fighters coming out of Tokyo's best dojos. Ranma puts them all to shame. On his own, after seeing the ki attack that one of his rivals learned from someone else, Ranma developed his own ki attack to counter it," Nabiki continued.
"Before Ranma and his father arrived, I had never really believed in ki myself. Sure I had heard all about it growing up, how ancient masters could use their ki as a tool or weapon, but I didn't really believe. That all changed when Genma showed up at our doorstep with Ranma in tow."
"I have never heard of anyone with as much raw potential and talent as Ranma. The few times he has faced opponents that were more powerful than him, he always managed to develop ways to defeat them in the end. He could learn an opponent's moves just by watching, then practicing on his own later he would incorporate their skills into his own repertoire."
"I don't know how much you have heard about ki, so let me give you a short explanation. Ki is the internal energy running through every living thing. As you described protoculture earlier, think of ki as a bio-energy. For the vast majority of us, ki is simply there, it does it's job and we live and function as normal people."
"For some though, the rare few who are both highly trained and dedicated to the art or to spiritual study, this is just the beginning. It is possible for a person to tap their ki and over time, mold it to run more efficiently through their body allowing them to live longer lives or to increase their rate of healing when injured. They can send additional amounts of it to different parts of the body to increase speed, strength or durability. Some spiritual experts can use their ki to contain and control evil spirits, or to see glimpses of the future. The normal limit for the top tier of martial artists is an increase to their speed, they can hit harder and absorb incredible amounts of punishment, and then heal much faster than a normal person."
"There is a level higher than that though, one that only a dedicated few have ever reached. These martial artist can do the unimaginable. I have personally seen Ranma form a coherent ball of ki in his hands, then send that ball of bio-energy flying through the air to attack an opponent. There is an old pervert who I know can create a ki form of himself that towers in the air and there are many other techniques out there. I believe that Ranma is capable of most of them." She emphatically asserted.
"So you see, the bio-energy readings that your sensitive sensors picked up were not the signs of a protoculture-cell energizer. Instead, it was Ranma attempting to develop a new technique to allow him to affect the ki flows around him, rather than being limited to using the energy inside of him." Nabiki settled back in her chair to see what would happen.
The others looked at her for a few moments then turned and looked at each other. There was a glimmer of a smile on several faces, but that was to be expected. The only response that confused her was Dr. Lang, he simply sat there with an odd half-smile on his face.
"Well Miss Tendo, that was a very entertaining story. I must say that I have not heard such a load of dung since the last time I went to a class reunion, but it was very entertaining." Lieutenant Colonel Mandrake didn't bother hiding the smile as he spoke up.
"Yes, it was a fascinating tale Miss Tendo, maybe you should write a book. However, we still must insist on hearing the truth and discovering the whereabouts of the device." Dr. Wiget also grinned.
The others at the table nodded in agreement.
"Well, I suppose I did not really expect you to believe me without any proof." Nabiki shrugged. "Why don't we just have Ranma give you a little demonstration? You can set up whatever sensors you want and watch him do the things that I told you about."
"Yeah right, and I suppose you'll just have to both go back to your apartment to prepare, won't you? Well we are not letting either of you out of our sight for one second." The Major responded.
Grinning, Nabiki shook her hear, "Why Major Dietrich, I almost believe you do not trust me. No matter, nothing from the apartment is needed. Ranma can perform his skills with just his own two hands. Well, his feet too, for some of them."
Dr. Lang stirred, "Dr. Wiget, would you and Robert prepare a room for the demonstration?"
"Sir, are you saying you actually believe this load of bull?" Dr. Jordache appeared shocked as he looked at his mentor.
"Robert, there are many things in this world that cannot be explained by science. Let me just say I have a feeling about this and leave it at that." Dr. Lang smiled fondly at the younger scientist. Turning to Nabiki, he continued. "Miss Tendo, are you sure there is nothing that Mr. Saotome will need for his demonstration?"
Nabiki thought for a second. "Well, I suppose a large open space would be best, and some targets for him to attack would probably be a good thing. Wooden boards or cement blocks will work, though if you have practice dummies, those would probably be perfect, maybe a thick wooden or steel beam. Also your own sensors and recording equipment, of course."
"Well then, I must say I am looking forward to this demonstration, shall we go prepare?" Dr. Lang stated as he stood up to leave the room.
Ranma wasn't too sure about what Nabiki had in mind, but when she told him that he had to put on a martial arts demonstration for the UN, he was willing and able.
She explained to him that his ki techniques were confusing the scientific equipment and that they wanted him to demonstrate his abilities before they would believe that he was telling the truth about not having alien equipment and that he was not a spy.
"Let them use their equipment to scan you while you are performing you ki abilities." Nabiki enthusiastically prodded him.
"So this was all just a big misunderstanding about my new ki techniques?" He inquired.
"Yes, so you need to show them your abilities, that way they can see that their sensors are picking up the same readings that confused them before. Fire off a ki ball, and do some of the old pervert's tricks. Maybe do that splitting-cat-hair thing that the ghoul used. I'll explain things to them as you perform."
Ranma looked pained for a moment at the thought of the callous old witch from the Joketsuzoku. "Sure Nabiki, piece of cake. I won't be able to perform my new techniques though, I'm still working on them and I need to be outside near the natural ki to try. There is something about this ship though, it almost seems to have it's own ki."
Ranma obeyed without a word when the guards insisted that he change his clothing for a set of utilitarian sweats that they provided. Then he waited patiently as they took him around and put him into or next to various machines. They told him it was to make sure he wasn't hiding some advanced technology on or even in his body. The only device that he recognized was the X-Ray machine, the rest he didn't have a clue about.
Finally they escorted him into a large gymnasium sized room. Nabiki was already present, standing near several scientists and military personnel.
"Ok Saotome, give them a show that'll knock their socks off." The Tendo daughter cheered.
Stopping in front of the small group, Ranma decided to see if there were any requests. "Nabiki told me that she informed you of my talents. Does anyone have a specific request they would like to see first?"
Dr. Lang nodded, "If you wouldn't mind making your aura visible, I feel that would be a wonderful place to start."
"Sure thing Doc." Ranma focused for an instant, suddenly a translucent blue aura surrounded the youth.
The reactions of the watching audience were everything that Nabiki had hoped for. Doctors Jordache and Wiget were frantically checking their instruments while the Marine officers were standing with dropped jaws. Still, the lack of reaction from Dr. Lang, except for maybe a slight widening of his smile, disturbed her a little.
"That's impossible! According to these readings, there actually is a faint bio-energy reading coming from him." Dr. Jordache waved his hands at the screen, then pointed towards Ranma. "But we checked for any signs of technology on him, or even in him. How is he doing that?"
"What you see before you is a practical application of ki, achievable by only a rare few of the best and most dedicated martial artists. The color of the aura actually represents the dominant emotion that the martial artist feels, in Ranma's case, it is his overwhelming confidence. Other colors I have witnessed include red for anger, and yellow for depression combined with hatred." Nabiki narrated for the awestruck audience.
Nabiki pointed to a nearby punching bag, with a high-speed camera set up next to it. "Ranma, please use your chestnut fist on that punching bag and make sure the camera has a clear shot of your hands."
They watched as Ranma strode over to the target and set himself near the camera. "Kachū Tenshin Amaguriken" The target was pummeled by over three hundred blows per second, after lasting for nearly five seconds, the punching bag disintegrated.
The technician monitoring the camera was quickly instructed to replay the action in slow-motion on a nearby monitor. As they watched his fists hit the target hundreds of times per second, the watching crowd was full of dazed whispers.
"As you can see, Ranma's chestnut fist is a rapid-punch technique; it delivers hundreds of punches to a target in the space of a few seconds. Ki is being used here to increase the speed of his blows as well as to reinforce the structure of his arms to withstand the forces involved with moving that velocity." Nabiki's narration was done in her most convincing and enthusiastic sales manner.
"Have your cameras focus on his head please, though you might want to have them zoom out a bit. Ranma, can you do daddy's demon-head technique?"
Ranma rolled his eyes, "Yeah, bit of a useless one, but I suppose it could be fun at parties or somethin'."
After making sure that the cameras were set, Ranma focused for a second, then suddenly his head was replaced by an image of a demon's head with a long forked tongue. The new head looked to be about five times too large for his body, but it moved like a normal head as he turned it side to side.
"How's this, Nabiki?" His voice was slightly deeper as well, with some unusual undertones. As he spoke, the forked tongue extended several feet and writhed sinuously through the air.
There was a sudden clatter to the side as one of the technicians fainted, knocking over a small pile of containers.
"Yes, that is very good, Saotome." Nabiki continued her clarifications. "The use of ki here is the manifestation of an illusion that is centered around the user's head. As you can see, the effect of the illusion is complete, the eyes are fooled as well as any visual recording equipment."
Picking up a screwdriver sitting on the table, Nabiki walked over and poked the demonic head, which promptly diappeared with a slight pop.
As Ranma's head returned to normal, the stunned group of scientists and soldiers just stood there gaping.
Chuckling, Nabiki gestured in the direction of the fallen technician. "Though this technique might be considered by some to be less than useful whilst in combat, there are obvious benefits to it in psychological warfare."
After everybody was recovered, Nabiki walked over to a pair of small tables with a short steel beam hanging between them. "Ranma, in a moment, I would like you to use the breaking point on this steel beam."
Turning back to the scientists, "You see, ki flows through everything that is alive, but in can also be used to affect non-living items. In this case, I will have Ranma demonstrate a technique that will destroy this steel beam with little visible effort. I recommend that everyone stands in a safe place through, as this technique can sometimes be dangerous to people standing too close."
"Go ahead, Ranma."
Pointing his finger, Ranma jabbed the beam in a specific point on one side. "Baku-sai-ten-ketsu" The explosion was not very loud, but the clanging on the pieces of metal as they showered the nearby floor and walls was very noticeable.
"Is everyone alright? Thank you Ranma, that was perfect."
Directing Ranma and the others over to a nearby row of practice dummies, Nabiki was ready to move on to the more impressive examples of ki. "The next demonstration will probably cause your sensors to react even more than his battle aura did. Ranma, please fire a ki blast at the target on the left."
"Sure Nabs, no problem." Ranma was getting more comfortable with the demonstration and it showed in his response. Nabiki frowned slightly, but decided she would deal with his referring to her in that manner at a more appropriate time.
Positioning himself where they had a good view of his hands, Ranma focused on his target and his absolute confidence that he could destroy it. A blue glow started to appear between his hands. "Moko Takabisha" Shooting from his hands, the shimmering ball of ki flew unerringly downrange to the specified target, blowing a foot wide hole clear through the torso.
"Holy Crap!" Dr. Wiget couldn't prevent her outburst. "What the heck was that?" Running over to the monitor screens, she quickly called up the sensor readouts. "Unbelievable, he actually generated a coherent energy beam. According to this, that was a charged particle beam. Extremely low power output, but it was definitely a charged particle beam. We haven't even been able to make a practical working one of those!"
Dr. Jordache meanwhile went down to take a look at the destroyed target. "It may have been extremely low power but it still went clean through the target. Fascinating though, the wall behind the target merely has some light scorch marks on it."
"Truly astounding talent Mr. Saotome, what else do you have in store for us?" Dr. Lang's enigmatic smile was really starting to irritate Nabiki's. It was if he already knew what Ranma was capable of and Nabiki preferred to control the flow of information when she was in the middle of a sales pitch.
"Well, as you saw, that was one of Ranma's direct ki attacks. If you are ready, I think that there is one other one that he can use in this enclosed space."
Nabiki walked closer to the martial artist. "I want you to use your father's vacuum blade attack on the other practice dummy. Before you argue that you sealed it, remember you already used your father's Umi-sen-ken, so you might as well use this one too. I want them even more impressed than they are right now."
Ranma looked at the target for a while, then at Nabiki. "Yeah, I suppose I can do that."
"Lady and gentlemen, this next ki maneuver is another distance attack, unlike the last one though, this may not register on your scanners, I am not sure. Frankly though, this is a far more dangerous attack than his last one."
The assembled audience looked eager to see what else the teen boy could do, so Nabiki simply nodded to Ranma. "Go ahead."
This time Ranma seemed to hesitate for a few seconds, finally he shrugged. Taking a step forward and swinging his arms out wide he shouted, "Kijin Raishu Dan!"
Nearly instantaneously, the target at the other end of the room fell in half.
"What just happened?"
"I didn't see anything."
"What did he do?"
"Did the instruments pick anything up?"
The group watching them split up, some of them walked down to look at the target, the rest rushed over to the monitoring equipment.
"According to these readings, there was a pair of very short-lived particle pulses that formed and then faded away. The pulses did not move down to the target though, they formed near Mr. Saotome and moved a few feet as he swung his arms out."
Carrying the top half of the target, Dr. Jordache and Major Dietrich walked up to the other group. "Look at this cut, it's as if it was made by a very sharp sword or maybe even a scalpel. There was also a deep gouge in the wall behind the target."
While they were all talking, Nabiki went over to one of the monitoring technicians. Pointing at an unopened bottle of water next to him, she smiled and asked, "May I please? I could really use some water right now, all this talking has made me very thirsty."
"Sure Miss, go ahead." The technician grinned, "Your friend is amazing, and I've never seen anything like it before."
"Thank you very much."
Taking a sip of water, Nabiki wandered back over to the others to wait for them to finish. After a few more minutes of talking amongst themselves, they seemed to remember what they were doing and turned to watch whatever else the pigtailed teen had in store.
Waving to get Ranma to come closer, she made sure that he was positioned in front of a nearby camera.
"Thank you for allowing us to put on this demonstration for you. It isn't often that Ranma gets a chance to perform in front of such august personages as yourselves. I am sure he would agree that it is much more pleasant to perform these techniques in a controlled environment like this, instead of in a fight against other martial artists."
Nabiki bowed to the scientists and officers, and then turned and gave a short bow to Ranma. "While Ranma has many more abilities, there is only one more thing I would like to show you all today. Dr. Jordache, didn't you say something earlier, about magic?"
The doctor gazed back at her with a chagrinned smile, "Yes and I am sorry for the comment. What your partner has shown us was incredible."
"Thank you doctor, but don't feel too badly, for Ranma can indeed perform a small bit of magic as well." Turning back to Ranma, she saw him eyeing the water bottle in her hand.
"Nabiki, do ya have to?"
"Yes, now stand still so the cameras can record everything, this is the big finale."
As she upended the bottle over Ranma's head, she looked over to the others. At first they seemed confused about why she would dump water on his head. Then his hair turned red as he shrunk by at least a foot, and he gained a pair of very obvious breasts in his now-damp shirt.
"Oh my goodness!" Dr. Jordache took a step closer.
Even Dr. Lang seemed surprised, if his open mouth was anything to go by.
The officers just stared at the unknown redhead, waiting for one of the scientists to come up with an explanation.
Dr. Wiget rushed over to Ranma-chan. "This isn't possible, it must be another illusion, right?" Reaching out, she passed her hand back and forth above Ranma-chan's head, then she poked the redhead in the chest several times. "But these are real. What? How? Who?"
"Relax Dr. Wiget and I will explain it all to you." Nabiki had a broad smile on her face, this was perfect. "Perhaps we could adjourn to someplace with more comfortable seating?"
Nodding, Dr. Lang gathered up the group and led them to a nearby conference room.
"What was that, who is this girl?"
"Ah yes, I would like to introduce you all to Ranma-chan. I know you haven't had the opportunity to meet her yet. As to what happened, I will try explain that in a little while. Suffice it to say, this is still Ranma, he has a magical curse that turns him into a girl when he comes into contact with cold water. As you might guess, hot water will turn him back into a male."
"I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. Is the change complete? I mean, does his.. her.. um." Lt. Colonel Mandrake trailed off at the end.
Nabiki laughed for a second before nodding. "Yes, our family doctor has performed several full physicals on Miss Saotome, in this form she is fully female."
Ranma scowled at Nabiki's choice of words, finally crossing her arms and turning her head away with a huff.
"Amazing" The general consensus of the room seemed to agree with the officer's opinion.
"Can you go into more detail about how young Ranma is capable of doing all of this?" Dr. Lang's enigmatic smile was back.
"Before we go any further with explanations, I would like to ask if you all still believe that Ranma has stolen alien technology or is involved in espionage. I would like to hope that our demonstration has been sufficient to convince you otherwise."
As the scientists and officers looked at one another, Nabiki could tell that they were hesitant to admit anything, but finally a couple of them reluctantly nodded their heads. "With the weight of evidence on his side, Mr. Saotome must be considered innocent."
Dr. Lang raised a hand, "I would like the opportunity to study Mr. Saotome, this is a unique opportunity to learn more about how protoculture might be used. If it can be controlled in a manner similar to how Mr. Saotome controls his ki, that could provide us with a tremendous breakthrough."
The other scientists enthusiastically agreed with their mentor. "Yes! I want to understand how he did all of that, we can't just let him go!" Dr. Jordache was the most vocal.
Straightening up in her chair, Nabiki put on her best business face. "We are Japanese citizens. I'm afraid that you can't just hold us prisoner, you can deport us from the island of course, but that is not in anyone's best interest. Ranma and I want to stay on the island and remain on the good side of the UN. Perhaps we come to a mutually beneficial business arrangement?"
"What sort of business arrangement?"
"I propose that you hire…" Pausing, Nabiki struggled to come up with a name, finally resorting to the easiest. "Hire the Tendo-Saotome Consulting Firm, specializing in Protoculture Manipulation & Control."
"We do employ many consultants, it is an elegant solution, young miss." Dr. Lang's agreement encouraged Nabiki.
"I think you will find our prices are very reasonable, whatever the standard contracting fees are for specialists." Nabiki then went for her true goal.
"We may need a few favors though. When we first came to the island, we intended to open a martial arts dojo. Unfortunately the paperwork to allow us to build and run the dojo has been held up somewhere. If you could arrange for our authorization to be completed, then we could finish our original plans."
"That sounds reasonable, I am sure that we can pay Mr. Saotome a sensible fee. As you are not a ki expert, I don't think we can pay you though, Miss Tendo. I understand you already have a job, and since you are also planning on running a dojo I am sure you will be plenty busy.."
I understand doctor, as Ranma's agent my fee will come out of his paycheck in any case."
Dr. Lang nodded, knowingly.
Warming back up to her subject, Nabiki continued with the negotiations. "Would it be possilble that the Tendo-Saotome Dojo could be made an official UN sanctioned civilian contractor for military training?"
"That is also a reasonable request."
"I know that Ranma has been forced to train on the beach and other locations, maybe he could be allowed access to the military training facilities?"
"I don't see any harm in that. He can use the Marine facilities, as long as he doesn't cause trouble or interrupt the training of my men."
Everything was going perfectly, Nabiki was pleased with her success so far.
"Unfortunately, after the very public arrest of us earlier, I don't believe either of us would be comfortable returning to our apartment. Our neighbors would not understand what happened and would look on us with suspicion. Perhaps we could get a new residence on base? That would allow you to have easier access to Ranma, in case there are questions or tests you would like him to perform outside of the normal business hours."
"Let me look into that, there may be a place you can stay."
"Wonderful. Finally I would like a government car for me to use to get to work."
Chuckling, Dr. Lang shook his head. "Not a chance of that happening, Miss Tendo."
"Oh well, it was worth a shot." Grinning, Nabiki was satisfied with the arrangements. "Perhaps we can get the contracts drawn up and signed?" Finally she could relax, their future was secure.
As the UN legal team handed her the documents to look over, Nabiki glanced at Ranma and wasn't surprised to find him half asleep. Shaking her head she continued reading.
When she finished, Nabiki nodded and turned to Dr. Wiget, the only member of the original group still present. The others had returned to their normal duties, leaving her to represent them.
"Well, this looks in order. By signing this, Tendo-Saotome Consulting will contract with the UN Robotech Development Team for the express purpose of furthering the understanding of Protoculture. Ranma will do everything he can to help you understand how ki is manipulated and controlled, submitting to whatever tests you guys deem necessary. In return, we will be provided with housing and access to base facilities, monetary compensation for Ranma, and finally the construction and opening of the dojo will be expedited and it will be named an official UN recommended training resource."
"That sounds correct. Shall we sign, Miss Tendo?"
After the two of them finished executing the contract and turned it back over to the legal team to take care of, Nabiki smiled at the other woman. "I think I am going to like working with your group Dr. Wiget, you are efficient professionals. That is heartbreakingly rare in today's world."
"Thank you, now that we are to be working together, my name is Gina."
Thank you Gina, please call me Nabiki." They both grinned and shook hands.
"If I can wake up sleeping beauty over there, do you think you could arrange for us to get home? Ranma and I should get some sleep, tomorrow is going to be a busy day."
If you have any questions comments or concerns, please post a review.
Thanks to my beta Demonlord87.
If anyone with strong knowledge of the Robotech or even the Macross universe would like to be a beta reader, I would appreciate it. I have some ideas that I want to use, but I would like someone to bounce them off of first.
Till next time,