Multiplicity

A Ranma fanfic by Mike Breslau

Disclaimer: You know the drill: better folks than I own the characters that appear in this scribbling.


Epilog


A small conference room located in neutral space - neither Heaven, Hell,
nor the mortal plane - was hosting a meeting of gods and demons to decide
what to do about Ranma. Time in this room ran one thousand times faster than
normal so that conferences would appear to be concluded swiftly. The essence of
Ranma Saotome was temporarily stored in a leakproof stasis field at the front of
the room - he should be safe there and would not experience anything.

"He would make a fine god," opined one of the gods, "He had a pure heart,
devoid of hate, and always tried to do good."

"Maybe so," responded a demon, "but he'd be an even better demon. Chaos
and mayhem were drawn to him like moths to a flame."

Another god replied, "Yes, he would fit right in with you higher-order
demons, but the many lower-order demons would repulse him because of their
destructive tendencies."

A sympathetic demon suggested, "After the life he's led, I think he would
welcome the peace of oblivion."

Suggestions were offered and rebutted for a few more minutes, and the
atmosphere in the luxurious marble room was growing testy.

"If I may offer a suggestion," said a new and wholly unexpected voice.

Shocked, the assembled immortals could only stare and respond, "You!"


As the somber Amazons were trudging on their way home they encountered
Ranma leaning against a large rock.

A delighted Shampoo came running up to him. "Airen! We feared you were
dead."

"Takes more than dying ta keep me down," replied Ranma dismissively.

"How?" asked Cologne.

"Who is very good at copying techniques, even if he's seen them only
once?"

"You are, Ranma."

"Who do you know who died and returned to life?"

"Saffron." In retrospect, it seemed obvious.

Ranma had been weakened by his ordeal, but he knew how to regenerate
his ki swiftly, and would soon be as good as new. It was uncomfortably
confining to be reduced to one earthly body, but he could fix that in a
few weeks.


Somewhat later...


Divine Ranma looked around his heavenly dojo in satisfaction. His latest
class of a dozen Valkyries was coming along nicely. After two centuries
the other gods had grown used to him and his unorthodox ways, and he had
found a measure of acceptance. Initially, they had distanced themselves
from him because he had another self in Hell and they weren't sure he
could be trusted. Now he was respected for his pure heart and his mastery
of ki, mana, and many disciplines.

There were rumors that Ranma was having an affair with a Valkyrie.
These rumors were true. He had also become an accomplished dancer
in his ample spare time.

Demonic Ranma frowned at the mid-level demon in front of him. He had
become the de facto disciplinarian of Hell, and woe to the imps who
disappointed him. Two centuries ago the other demons had been wary of him
because of his link to Heaven, but now they accepted and admired him -
after all, Ranma never lost. The demons also had an easier time than the
gods did in accepting his habits of switching genders or walking around
with a variable number of bodies.

Ranma had found a close friendship - not a romance - with a willowy blond
demoness. His 'hobby' consisted of gradually, subtly reforming the lesser
demons so they would be less destructive. After all, once you've killed
a main there's not much more you can do to him...

Chinese Ranma was teaching a class of Amazon warriors, both male and
female, in his fortress/castle/palace not far from where his climactic
battle had been fought. Many of his students had been his own descendants.
Merely to be accepted into his training was considered to be an honor.
Most of the Amazons considered Ranma to be a god - and he couldn't really
deny it even though this particular body was ageless but mortal flesh.
His hobbies included, strangely enough, poetry and philosophy.

Japanese Ranma came home from another day of 'work' at Tendo Industries,
calling out a pro-forma, "Tadaima." His wife Ranko already knew that he
was home, because he and she were the same person. He had married several
of his fiancees a long time ago, but none of those marriages had lasted
more than 140 years. Even with Ranma's mastery of ki and magic his mortal
brides could not live as long as he wanted them to - their minds filled up
with experiences, and they had lost the appetite for more. Ranma had
mourned, then accepted their loss, because he had known in advance that
they couldn't keep up with him. Ranma had become an exceptional musician
in his spare time.

Ranko had had a few lovers from time to time, but all of them didn't work
out well. For several decades she had a career as a singer - her nearly
four octave range and exceptional control made her equally at home in
classical, pop, and jazz singing.

American Ranma oversaw the international operations of the various Tendo
enterprises. He didn't actually manage anything, it wasn't his style, but
he kept those who did manage the companies on the right path. His 'advice'
was almost always taken seriously. His biggest problems were related to
government bureaucracy, particularly the IRS. Their agents could not
accept his age, his gender switching, or his ability to create valuable
objects out of thin air. Aggravating, but nothing he couldn't handle.

From time to time, at random places all around the world, some hospitals
experienced "miracles" - all their patients, even amputees, would be
mysteriously completely healed. Nobody ever associated these happenings
with Ranma.

All in all, it wasn't a bad life/lives for a "dumb jock" from Nerima...

Author's Notes

Just who was the "wholly unexpected voice"?

It might have been Kami-Sama, or other person of power, but I prefer to
think it was Ranma Saotome himself.

After that climactic battle, the events of the remainder of Ranma's lives
would seem tame in comparison. I saw no point in describing them in a
story of finite length.

I'm convinced that humans are not built to live very long lives. After the
first century or so your memory fills up, and after that you live in the
eternal present - without a past. Since Ranma is part mortal, part
immortal he is better able to manage this than you or I would be.

I hope you enjoyed this.
Mike