Author's notes

'Bout damn time I got to these, huh? Well, Ascension, where to start...

Ah, first, just to confirm many of your suspicions, yes, the concept did originate from the 'Infinity Guantlet' series. One of Marvel's greatest mass stories, what with my only gripe was how hokey it started to get when Nebula got the infinity guantlet. But we won't go into that here, go read it yourself if you're interested.

The story opens up with a little tale of the previous universe. It grew tired of its position as the surpreme existance, and chose to allow someone the chance to take over. A God of another realm took the challenge, and won. Instead of taking the reward, he chose to allow the power that was granted him to be up for grabs. When the old universe dispersed itself, the new universe formed, and with it, still existed the old universe with its powers still linked to the new universe.

The prologue starts at the end of the Ranma 1/2 series. Ranma was attempting to use Saffron's own intense heat in order to form a razor sharp Hiryuu Shoten Ha, but through the heat, he couldn't aim, with the air so distorted from the intense heat. Akane, in doll form, jostled loose from Ranma, and dove towards Saffron, her body plowing through the heat, and creating a small opening that Ranma could squeeze his attack through. In the original Manga, Akane went right by Saffron, with him barely giving her a passing notice. In this case, he was startled, and a bit shocked, thinking Ranma threw her at him. He caught her, just as Ranma's attack was bearing down on him. When Saffron was destroyed in the manga, he reformed into an egg, as he did it this time, he reformed into an egg while holding onto Akane. As explained earlier in the manga story arc, anything within Saffron's close proximity when the egg for his transformation was being created became food for the egg. The same could be presumed when he was being reborn.

Anyhow, the main story opens up with Ranma killing his parents. Why would he do such a thing? Answer; out of love. Out of everyone who would suffer, Ranma felt that he would do a grievous dishonor to his family, if he were to let them get caught in his true plan. He wanted them to at least die with the knowledge of the cause of their deaths. True, he could have just spared them, but then that wouldn't be impartial, as he was trying to be. He could have even taken his chances, and let them go through the 'lottery', as it were, but perhaps he felt that that too would be an even greater betrayal to them, if one of them were to 'lose'. A little difficult to comprehend someone doing such a thing, but quite frankly, we can't say what would happen if someone had completely 'snapped'.

The second little tale was about a concept, a concept we know as 'Death'. I choose to label it as a 'concept' to throw you off, and not make it seem extremely obvious, and because we only have an idea of what Death really is. It could be a transition, it could be a becoming of nothing, we don't know for sure, exept what is dictated to us through our faiths. I stuck with Marvel's theme of giving entities personification, because it makes them easier to manage in a story ;p (yeah, I cheated, so what? ^_^). When Death was granted life, she became who we know in Ranma 1/2 as Akane Tendou. She went through the experiences of a normal person (more or less) and when she died, she took with her those experiences and emotions. That is where the problem originated. She still loved Ranma, as much as an emotionless entity 'could' (perhaps she just desired him as property, it doesn't really matter), and Ranma truly did find love that had been apparently denied his soul since its creation, thus Ranma was willing to do anything for her.

Ranma's apparent suicide. Even Ranma couldn't survive the fall he made, that's why he took it. So why didn't he die? Simple, Akane didn't take him the first time. She allowed him to live, for him to heal and grow strong again, so that she could present him with a task that would allow them to be together, with perks in her favor (such as a greater stranglehold over everything, as what she wanted would tip balance to her favor; power that was desired because of the ambition she gained from her little tryst as a mortal). Ranma set out to task, gathering all the 'essences' that he needed to do what he intended to accomplish; become the surpreme being, and wipe out half the life in the universe.

Why would such an atrocity allow Akane to love Ranma? She would paradoxally lose 'power', thus being downgraded from a fundamental constant of the universe, to a god, as the universe would seek to regain balance, and start limiting the amount of deaths allowed, until the initial balance was restored. She would gain power, but lose status. Will I ever get to 'The Ranma Quest'? Dunno, I could do a 'Thanos Quest' style story some day, when I finish up at least half of the fics I've started recently (and I do intend to finish all the non-ongoing ones at least by October)

The clues to the plot were intentionally kept muddy for the reader, with a lot of smoke and mirrors involved. The reason for this was to place the reader in the same position of the characters. No one truly knew what was going on, and though the reader was privy to more information, they would still be left confused by events. Everything finally came together eventually, allowing all to realize the true scope of Ranma's plan.

My sincere thanks to the authors that added their submissions for the sidestories; Midnight Sun, Carrotglace, and C-chan. There were many other authors that offered their support, such as Sgt. Ranma was to write a Gunsmith Kats in a Resident Evil scenario sidestory (something mentioned when Cologne was scanning through the news stories via Tofu's satilite subscription). But alas, due to constraints and such, they were not able to give their assistance. Still, their thanks for at least the consideration.

Back to explaining things. Ranma only intended to do what was *needed* to be done, in his opinion. The Intergalactic armada heading towards Earth would have presented the planet with such an extreme threat, that a battle by them would leave Earth completely destroyed. So Ranma decided to deterr any further plans of such, by quickly doing away with them. Incidentally, that served to alert everyone to Ranma's presence. That was something Ranma actually wanted, anyhow, and the blast he released inadvertantly provided him with the convenient way of doing so.

Ranma needed to move onto the next part of his plan, a part that even Akane wasn't aware of ( since she would have stopped him if she was); his own destruction. Ranma couldn't kill himself as a God, because of the nature of being the surpreme being. A potental explanation of what would happen if Ranma decided to do himself in was presented in Ukyo's premonision, as Ranma, in his anger with Akane, decided to render away existance. He couldn't just turn his God status 'off', just power down. He had to be destroyed by someone else's hand, just like the previous Universe insisted upon, for the same reasons.

Ranma's death would send the five essences to random places, making them impossible to find again. Thus, ensuring what he had done could not be undone by the same power. That also had the added bonus of making sure that he couldn't be convinced to 'fix' everything, even if he was inclined to. As he explained earlier, the killing was by all intents and purposes 'natural', while bringing everyone back to life, even time traveling to stop events from occuring was 'unnatural', since they went against the laws of the universe.

Ukyo's premonision was actually a warning. Dunno by who, but one given, nonetheless. It showed her what certain events would lead to, and the even greater trajedy that was presented at the end. Her placing the gem upon Ranma that split him into two forms (in which one would still have Ranma's sense of right, and hopefully be able to overcome the other Ranma), she noticed things happening just as she remembered from her premonision. Her stepping back in shock changed things, as her trajectory from the blast of Ranma and Ranma-chan's battle that sent her careening, into a different tree than before. A tree Konatsu was not in.

Ranma let Konatsu's arrow pierce him, because he knew that he had won already. Why did Ranma fight so hard? Because he still had his sense of honor. As Mousse pointed out, Ranma would never intentionally lose a fight, just as he recalled before. Also the reason Ranma would even go through a battle, was because he felt he owed it to his former friends. They demanded vengence, and he thought letting them have it would at least somewhat appease them, though he could never be forgiven. With Ranma's fate, his task was sealed.

To summarize the Epilogue; Nabiki killed herself from despair, Ukyo went insane, Ryoga became a shell of a human, Cologne has taken it upon herself to curb the anarchy that is going on through out the world by taking it over with her as dictator, and Akane is patiently waiting to find Ranma again. In the version posted on Strider's archive site (, the Gods and Goddesses of Heaven united with the Demons of Hell, as their general goals were the same, and placed Hild as God, since she was the only one apparently qualified for the position.

Any questions, I'm sure I missed a lot of crap, since I was too damn lazy to go back and read everything myself again ;p? Well, next, notes for 'Into Dreams' (O boy, am I dreading those...)