Note: I don't own the characters, I just fool around with them.
Ranma-Cyclopean Structure Vol. 1-Destiny Lost
"Not more unutterable could have been the chaos of hellish sound if the pit itself had opened to release the agony of the damned, for in one inconceivable cacophony was centred all the supernatural terror and unnatural despair of animate nature. Human it could not have been-it is not in man to make such sounds"
(H.P. Lovecraft, 1922. Herbert West-Reanimator)
"W-who are you?" The girl, barely sixteen was brusquely shoved against the jagged walls of the inner caverns. She whimpered in fright as an immense shadow floated into view. Crushed against the stone, her amber wings were forced apart, spread around her.
"I am The One, the one that you most fear. And I've come for you, you my precious, only your blood can free me." Jet black claws scratched grooves in the stone floor as the attacker dragged them towards the ledge.
"No! I-I'm just a simple noble really! I have nothing to offer you! No! Don't-!" A short scream, drowning in fluid, then a sinister silence. All that remained of his quarry was a shredded sack of flesh smeared on the wall as his laughter echoed off the cavernous depths of Jusendo.
---Phoenix Mountain, China---
"What!? Another murder!?" Zentaro Choiler had been the librarian of Phoenix Mountain for many long decades, but never in his time had he seen such grisly work. He was seated at the soapstone table of death, where bodies of the recently deceased received beautification before being cremated. Lady Merac of the House of Saffron lay mangled in the center, her limbs bent at twisted angles, he paid careful attention to the rupture wound in her stomach; it was almost as if something had ripped her chest open from the inside. "And Lady Merac of all people, such a kind young girl." He covered the remains. "I will tell Lord Saffron myself, out of all living in this mountain I have known him the longestI must go now. Take good care of her." His speckled wings folded out from his tunic, their feathers turning a sallow gray with age. Yojo, the chief surgeon was given the task of making her body presentable to the nobles.
The flight across the wind rifts was rather calm today he thought as the updrafts pushed him forwards towards the foreboding chamber of their lord-god Saffron. Lady Merac, the sixth virgin maiden of the House of Saffron, the family granted the blood of the god himself; too many had died already and Saffron's depression grew. A fluttering of wings and Kima, Saffron's lieutenant, flew overhead. "Lady Kima, to what do I owe this pleasure?"
"Cut the crap Shaman Choiler, this isn't for my enjoyment. What did Yojo have to say?" Her snow-white tunic flittered in the air, her sword hung dangerously by her hip. "What was the cause of death?"
He alighted upon a cornice and folded his marble wings, Kima following suite. "Yojo told me that Merac was killed by an explosive weapon, one that entered her back and blew out the other side." He crinkled his nose. "A most distasteful way to perish."
"Indeed. Lord Saffron has already heard of his lady's death and wishes to mourn in private. I am charged with keeping all away from his mount." Her neck craned to follow a flock of birds across the orange horizon. "Truth be told, old man, I think something's wrong with our lordhe seems distracted."
"Distracted? In what way?" The Phoenix Tribe would suffer greatly if their leader was in poor mental health.
"He's become preoccupied with defeating that foreigner boy that killed him." She shuddered at the image of Ranma blowing the mountaintop off Jusendo. "He quickened his regeneration for this purpose."
"Could the increased regeneration have made him mentally imbalanced? Kima, this is very important! Can Saffron lead us?"
"What!?! Of course! Lord Saffron can crush gods with his bare hands, lay waste to the oceans making them deserts of salt, our lord is invincible!" She drew her blade. "Anyone who dares doubt our lord is susceptible to treason!"
"Wait. It was merely a question, quite stupid really. But then again I sense that you too are having doubtsaren't you my lady?" He withdrew a gimmer stick from his sleeve, sitting on a cliff-face while Kima stayed aloft. "I know that Saffron keeps the mountains warm and lit with his power, but he can't really be _all_ that powerful, can he? The boy, Ranma Saotome, he is barely of age and yet we see the evidence of Saffron's defeat at his hands," he gestured to the shattered rocks around them, "proof that he isn't as divine as he'd like us to believe. Here, just one last thing my lady, then I'll leave you to your duties. Perhaps Saffron was begotten to the Mountain as just a heat and light source, but over the thousands of years he perceived his role as far grander than it truly is. Just something to think on" The gimmer stick disappeared up his sleeve again.
Kima watched him ascend, her eyes wide as saucers, for someone, anyone, to doubt the word of Saffron? Impossible! His very word was law! "Tell me old man, why do you fill my head with this foolishness? To stir up revolution?"
"Heavens no! I've lived my life under his rule and prospered, I just wanted to insert a bit of independent thought into that mind of yours. I think that we should question everything and everybody, nothing excluded, because through that we become better creatures." Choiler took his leave then, leaving Kima in a stunned silence.
Ranma 1/2: Destiny Lost-Prologue
The Re-Animation of the Gods
A Ranma/Lovecraft crossover
By Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton
"Good evening Lady Kima, Lord Saffron wishes his privacy for today. No visitors." The guard took a moment to openly leer at her breasts then snapped back to attention.
"What? I just talked to him a few moments ago! He was accepting me then." Frowning she rolled the pommel of her sword. [I grow worried every day, our lord is just not right] "Alright. Just call me if something comes up." She clashed the silver carapaces enfolding her wings in salutation then departed. The walls in the mount were usually warm to the touch, especially in the main hall, but for the past few months the heat had dissipated. Her hand came away slightly cool. [What is happening to our lord?] Hauntingly, a story told by her mother came echoing back from the confines of her subconscious.
"Someday the Phoenix will be humbled, it's light giving path for darkness. It's heat a breeding for evil. The cornices in the mount will shatter and the blood of the god will spill unto a new life.
"Someday a warrior carrying the weight of legends will overcome our power and the Phoenix will be humbled. The guardian will fall, christened in the blood of love and he too will become like a god to us. When the summer gives way to winter the Phoenix will rise again for the final battle.
"Someday the gods and devils of legend will once more birth this earth in death, devouring those of ill blood. The Guardian and the Phoenix will raise up and walk between the worlds, spinning timeless tales of dream and reality."
Awakened by a sudden chill, Kima leapt out the window and set wing to wind for the forgotten library.
---Japan, Nerima Ward-six months later---
"You Jerk!!! I HATE you Ranma!!!!!!" Window panes snapped under the force of impact and rained out on the courtyard of Furinkan High School. Ranma Saotome pulled himself from the wreckage of an aluminum frame and gazed forlornly up at his fuming fiancée. "Stay out of my goddamn life already! I never want to see you again!" She turned away.
The wedding had been a failure to say the least, the effects of which were still felt to that day. Shampoo and Ukyo had apologized and taken full blame for the incident, their apologies had done nothing to lessen the strained relationship he and Akane now shared however. They had kept away for a maximum of ten days before starting the madness up all over again but this time Akane wouldn't stand for it.
The youngest Tendo had grown considerably short-tempered, she flew off the handle at the slightest glance, yet alone insult. It was time for Ranma to realize that things would never return to the way they had been before, that blitzed wedding served as a valid portent of things to come. Soun and Genma had eased off their backs thankfully, they considered the failure of the marriage as an ill omen. The union would not take place.
Ranma trudged home from school, an ordinary occurrence lately. Akane's destructive tendencies had begun to frighten her friends, something else Ranma couldn't hope to cope with. In his mind, Akane still remained that sad portrait of a sweet girl, and deep down inside he truly felt it was so. There was no hideous transmogrification on her part, it was merely a slow descent into madness. He greeted the old woman at the corner then shuffled into the homestead, closing the gates behind him.
"Is that you Ranma?" Kasumi's worried voice carried from the kitchen. Since the wedding she had begun to have doubt as to Akane's mental health a well, a sentiment shared by most people that knew her. Something was wrong. "Home so early again?"
"Yeah. Do you have anything to eat Kasumi-chan?" A stupid question, Kasumi always had something to eat. She motioned him in then set a plate of cookies and a porcelain cup filled with tea on the table. Indescribable, the gritty texture of the morsels of dough ground out to a thin sweet consistency as he chewed, almost as sweet as the dimples on her face when she smiled. [Whoa! Where did that come from?]
"How was school today?" She sat with her elbows on the table, her arms crossed. The frills on her apron just barely brushed the glossy surface of the table, her ample bosom spilling over her slim wrists. "Did you and Akane have a fight again?"
"You can say that again." Her face dropped briefly. "I think something's seriously wrong, she's just not acting normal." He dropped his gaze. "I think she should get some real help. It's not that I don't like her, I mean I love her an'all but" The words he said sounded lacking,, "she'd just not the same girl now."
From the corner, Soun and Genma were listening, their faces serious, their thoughts grave. What Ranma was saying rang true, but Soun just couldn't seem to do it. He wouldn't do that to one of his daughters. Genma caught a watery glint off his son's eyes, saw Kasumi reach out and comfort him, felt the waves of negative ki waft off his boy. At that moment, the father's thoughts were synchronized. This did not bode well.
"It's gone now. There's nothing." Kima ran a smooth hand across the stone wall of her quarters. The walls had cooled, so much so that the Phoenix needed fires and blankets to keep the warmth in. Choiler sat on an aged stool in the corner of her room, an embroidered red cloak draped around his body.
"Kima, have you considered what I told you?" He leaned against his gnarled cane, the fragrant wood giving off a scent of jasmine near the fire. "The prophecy will ring true, it has been said since time immemorial and will be said until it is so. You know what I say do you not?"
"II understand. Saffron has refused any guards, he keeps himself looked in his main audience chamber. No one's seen him." She looked off the window, at the blue sky and bright sun whose warmth would never reach the mount. Saffron grieved piteously for his family, but slowly all twelve virgins of the House of Saffron were killed. No weapon was found, no trace of the victim's missing body parts. It sent chills up her spine thinking of the cold stare in all those faces.
"It will be coming, and you must be ready. Divus will not heed your commands, you will truly be on your own. Saffron must be stopped." Even now the thought of disobeying Saffron was alien to her, all her life she was taught to respect the wishes of the God and follow his orders unconditionally. Life had changed now. Lord Divus, the second lieutenant was an arrogant, spiteful creature. Remorseless, he hunted the warriors of the Musk and Amazons for sport, bringing their eviscerated carcasses as trophies of his prowess.
"I know. I am prepared."
"Are you really? Fighting against the teachings of life cannot be so easy. But I trust you. Now soon you will have to retrieve the Guardian from his land." Choiler rose with the creaking of aged bones. "Only he can save us now."
"How can you be so sure that he is the Guardian?" She helped him to the door, his talons scraping against the stone floor. Both pairs of eyes darted to the school identification card propped on her mantel. It was of a young man, one of Kima's age, with black hair and a short pigtail. He was wearing a red silk Chinese shirt instead of the typical school uniform. The card read: Saotome, Ranma. Class 22-E. Student # 001020.'
"He humbled the Phoenix.' There can be no doubt."
---Japan, Nerima Ward-two months later---
Ranma sprinted down the street with a cheerful smile, his spirits high for the first time in a very long while. The old widow on the corner waved to him as he passed on his way to the Tendo Dojo. Soun was outside pruning his bonsai as Genma sat lazily on the porch in panda-form with a paper fan. The elder Tendo waved as he came in, accidentally clipping a precious branch. Curses followed thereafter.
Akane had been quiet that day, a rare occurrence lately, which meant that she was making progress. He reminded himself to thank Nabiki for the money for a psychologist. Kasumi was humming to herself at the sink, cutting vegetables for dinner, a perfect target.
With the swiftness of the wind, and the grace of a dancer, Ranma rushed behind her and swept her off the floor. One hand supported her knees as the other turned her body towards him, with a cry she lurched in his arms before the shock wore off. As Ranma's face came into view she calmed quickly and giggled.
"Don't do that Ranma! You scared me!" She placed the knife in the sink before facing him.
"Far be it from me to place any undo stress upon the fair maiden of the kitchen!" He posed dramatically then came in close, wedging her between his body and the kitchen sink. "I hope a didn't," he reached around and gave a light squeeze to her shapely ass, "_startle_ you Kasumi." He smiled, showing bright teeth as he moved in for a kiss.
One which was interrupted by Nabiki.
"*Cough! Cough!* Ranma? Kasumi? Daddy wants you in the livingroom." She smirked as Kasumi looked away with a bright blush, while Ranma looked like half the blood in his body rushed to his cheeks.
Ranma walked out briskly, Kasumi however, was stopped by her sister. "Having fun? Is he a good kisser?" She playfully teased.
She nodded. "The best!" She literally glowed at Nabiki, who facefaulted at her oblivious sister's response.
"Well then, I'll have to try him out." Kasumi's eyes narrowed threateningly.
Soun and Genma along with Nodoka and Akane were seated at the kotatsu, Nabiki, Kasumi and Ranma were seated opposite. The parents wore grim expressions.
"Son, when you first came here I was worried about the honor of the Tendo school, not about my own daughter's feelings. For awhile I resented you and your father and the tragedies that followed you. After you saved us from the Dojo Destroyer however, my attitude changed. A far cry from a nuisance, you have upheld the honor of the school beautifully and have resurrected the Saotome name." Soun sat sternly, he gave no hint of weakness. "I truly thought that someday a love would grow between you and one of my daughters, I was a bit pre-emptive in my ideas, and for that I apologize.
"I have forced you into numerous situations and denounced you many times, for that I apologize as well. We are here now to ask you whether you wish to carry out the agreement between our schools." He gestured to Genma.
"Ranma m'boy, you have far surpassed my own abilities in the Art, your defeat of Saffron in China was the proof. I say that you have more morals and moral courage than I ever had, I regret dragging you away for that trip for so long. I too must apologize." He nodded at his wife.
"My son, I have not been there for a good part of your life and I know I can never reclaim that lost time, but I wish for you to be happy. For all your shortcomings you are truly a man among men, a man worthy of carrying the Saotome name and our sword." She placed said weapon on the table. "If you wish to dissolve the agreement between the two schools I will make no qualm. I only wish for your happiness and your forgiveness." She bowed, tears in her eyes. "I love you Ranma my son."
The room lay silent, the scene ended, the act finished now the actors awaited the final curtain. Ranma sat with tears in his eyes, tears of joy for a destiny he never wished and a life he was thrown into, for the responsibilities left undone and the praise of those he respected. Akane was speechless, her face an unreadable mask. Nabiki sat as if she were waiting for this a long time in coming, she too cried. Finally, Kasumi gripped his hand and gave a reassuring smile hidden behind tears of joy. Soft skin brushed his heated own, their cool texture washing over him in a rush, and in that briefest of moments he understood that his life had built up to this moment, a moment of choice. He knew what had to be done.
He stood up, helping Kasumi as he did so. "Mr. Tendo, Pops, Mom, I can't thank you enough, your words have meant the world to me. I have been a victim of honor all my life and from it I have learned valuable lessons. I do not wish the agreement broken, although I thank you for risking family honor, I will marry Kasumi after I graduate. Through it all she has stood for the reason in my life and provided a safe motherly figure to confide in. I loved Akane for many months and probably still will for many years to come but it is Kasumi I wish to be with until I grown old and die. I hope you will understand my decision, Akane, Nabiki, Mother, Mr. Tendo." He gave her hand a light squeeze, just a silent reassurance of their bond.
A cry, a scream, and a fire. These three minor events threw the populace of Phoenix Mountain into an uproar as Saffron finally left his chamber. Kima was walking with Choiler in the underground library when they both were brought to their knees by a deafening scream that seemed a conglomerate of all things in the mount. For one excruciating moment all movement ceased as the Phoenix god exploded from his chambers, wiping the entire mountain off the face of the planet. As the ungodly sound died, the people panicked as debris rained down from the heavens. And through it all came Saffron's insane laughter.
"MY LOYAL SUBJECTS!!!!! I AM NOW MORE THAN I WAS BEFORE AND TO THOSE THAT SERVE ME WITHOUT QUESTION I SHALL GRANT TO THEE IMMORTALITY!" His blazing specter fell across the valley of Jusenkyo, a dangerous sun that threatened to burn the region off the earth. Saffron had gone mad. He was laughing now as he destroyed three mountains of the Musk and two villages of the Amazons. "LET MY PEOPLE FEAR NO MORE!!!! I AM NOW INVINCIBLE!!!! LET RANMA SAOTOME FEAR MY WRATH!!!"
"Oh by the gods!" Choiler fell back to the floor. His eyes wide, his mouth agape. In all his wildest imaginings he never believed Saffron would have fallen so far from the sweet breath of sanity. "He's been doing it! We never suspected! It's always been him!"
"Lord Choiler, father, what can we do?!?" Kima helped the old man up, squinted as the rays of Saffron's aura singed her feathers. She saw it as well, the proof of his insanity, she cried as her loyalty for Saffron crumbled in an instant. Fire was now spreading through the civilian quarters, set ablaze by Lord Divus and the other sadistic bastards still loyal to the Phoenix god.
"Run girl! Get to Japan! Only the Guardian can save us." He readjusted his glasses. "Saffron will have to secure his power base here and take care of Musk and Amazon threats, that gives you about thirty days. Go! He'll kill you first!"
Kima looked at her father with tear stained eyes, she looked back at the multi-winged monstrosity Saffron now was and took to the sky. Choiler gave her a reassuring smile then turned away. By the time Divus realized she was gone, the tears had dried, leaving red stains on her white plumage. She cried blood. At the beach facing Taiwan she looked back and saw the hideous bloated form of a red sun cresting over the mountains.
She didn't look back again.
It seems like our boy has finally achieved what he wanted.
Yes. Saffron's power will draw out the guardian, when he is identified Nyralathotep will strike. It has been planned.
Good. The gods of Eld cannot be allowed to interfere again. We suffered grievously last time.
Are we agreed? The guardian must die.
Yes. The Haunter in the Darkness has awakened and will soon awaken the Wind Walker. The unspeakable one will soon arise.
The stars will come right again, after all they ruled this planet, they would have made sure that they could be reawakened.
It will begin with the Phoenix.
---Japan, Nerima Ward---
It began with a blast of heat, one that blew the shingles off the roof of the dojo. The heat felt like a wind of sulfuric acid that stung the flesh and sought the bones, to make them gleaming white, to make them dead. Somewhere halfway around the hemisphere a being called out to evils unimaginable in the times of man. Something that gazed out with foreign eyes through the dense forests, across the deep oceans, through the majestic mountains and right at Ranma. Targeting, analyzing, the thing screamed with a rage unbelievable to the ears of man, a cloak of blackest secrecy enveloping him in the powder white snow.
Akane had hid under the table as the onslaught began, the wood burning as wave after silent wave of heat blasted the ancestral home of the Tendos. Ranma shielded Kasumi and ducked the walls with Nabiki, a quick feel confirmed that the wind was blowing from an easterly direction. The winds whipped the pedestrians off the sidewalk and blew them against the surrounding walls, leaving imprinted ashes melted into the concrete. Some thought another atomic bomb, others knew the truth. Ranma knew what it was.
A ki storm.
The blasts faded after a moment, the shock of the attack settling into the minds of those present, leaving only the whispers of heat and the wisps of smoke to tell the tale. The floor still smoldered beneath their feet as the Tendo compound struggled to its feet.
---To be continued---
I know I didn't put much Lovecraft in yet, but I wanted to explain the situation first. Saffron's gone insane, Ranma's in love with Kasumi, Akane is mental and Kima is in love??? A bit weird huh? Next chapter is:
Ranma 1/2: Cyclopean Structure Vol. 1-Destiny Lost
Chapter One: The Hound
By the way, if anyone out there reading this happens to like my stories (big if') and maintains a fanfiction web site, I'm in dire need. I own a MAC, so I can't post on the RAAC, but I do have several interesting Ranma 1/2 stories. Many of these offer different beginnings or alternate fiancées, for instance Kima, Hinako, Nabiki, or Kasumi. If anyone is interested I'd really appreciate it!