The Three Saotomes

Part 32

Moving on from Nerima.


Ranma Saotome frowned as he stood in the waiting room of
Tokyo General Hospital. His brother had not yet arrived, but
Genma and Nodoka were both present in the sterile and florescent
lit room with numerous plastic chairs that lined the walls. There
were magazines strewn about carelessly, and a television gave a
local news report.

He had grown to hate hospitals in the course of his life.
He'd been inside them only a handful of times over the course of
his training; most injuries were taken care of and tended on the
road. That was how he thought it should be. However, there were
times when places like them were necessary, and he accepted that

Genryu rushed into the room with Ukyo at his side. He looked
worried, but not too much. The Tendo family were friends, but not
family in his mind. "What happened?"

Ranma simply glared forward with a scowl on his face as he
watched the doors that led into the treatment area. "Midori."

"Damn," muttered the younger boy angrily.

"What?" said Ukyo in shock.

"Seems she's learned a bit since we've last seen her," said
Ranma as he frowned at the girl for a moment. He was quite
serious in his mannerisms.

"Is everyone all right?" asked Genryu quietly.

"No," was the simple reply.

Nodoka walked up to the boy and hugged her youngest son.
"Genryu I'm sorry."

"What's going on? What happened?" pleaded the boy as he
looked up at his mother in confusion.

"There was a bomb," said Ranma simply. "The Tendo house is

"What?" stammered the younger boy in shock.

Ranma shook his head and sighed. "It's worse than it sounds.
The dojo is still there, but the police are not finding any
evidence, I doubt if they ever will. I'm sure that's not an

"What does that mean?" asked Genryu in confusion.

"Nothing," replied Ranma simply. "If Nabiki saw the bomb, we
still have nothing. I suspect any evidence linking Midori to this
is already destroyed."

Soun Tendo, a man who had been sitting in silent tears until
that point, stood up and looked the boy up and down in the most
serious way. Genryu had never seen him like that before.

"We can't afford to repair the home," he stated simply. "The
dojo still stands, but we will lose it all. My home is gone; I
can barely afford to pay the bill for the hospital. Soon, the
government will take everything away. I can't afford to pay the
taxes on my home. There is nothing I can do to stop this. I have

Genryu stared at the man in shock. "What?"

Ranma stared the boy down hard. "It gets worse."

The younger boy looked at his elder sibling in horror.

"Akane and Kasumi were just coming home when the blast
happened, but Nabiki..."

The younger Saotome's eyes went wide as he stared at his
brother in complete shock.

"Genchan?" muttered Ukyo.


She opened her eyes slowly and groaned in pain. The world was
nothing more than a bright florescent light over her head as she
looked up from the hospital bed. It took a moment for her to get
her bearings straight as she simply stared upwards.

"Where am I?"

"At the hospital, there was an explosion."

She pulled her head up to stare at the one who had spoken too

Kasumi was standing with a weak smile on her face as she
looked at her sister. Her head was wrapped up in a large bandage
that covered the entire top of her head, and her right eye.


"Yes, we were very lucky."

"Where is everyone?" she asked in confusion.

"Here, waiting outside. They'll be along to see us in a
moment. I'm very sorry."

"Sorry?" confusion flooded her and then fear. "Sorry?" she
looked up at her elder sister and stared at her for a long
moment, hoping for an answer.

Kasumi turned her head away, unable to explain things.

"How long have I been here?" she asked calmly. Forcing
herself to be strong and conceal any possible hint of fear or

"About three hours," replied the elder girl simply. "They
weren't expecting you to wake up until sometime tomorrow."

"We've always been a hardy family," replied the girl with a
rough snort.

Kasumi smiled at this despite herself. "Yes, we are strong."

"What happened to me?"

The older girl's smile fell in an instant.

"I see," said the younger girl as she lowered her head. Her
entire body felt like it was nothing more than a bruise. Her hair
was matted and sweaty and hung down into her face messily. She
reached up to brush it aside with her right hand, only to find
nothing more than a white wrapping. A white wrapping that was
about six inches too short.

She pulled her stump away from her face and stared at it with
wide eyes. Horror was clear on her features as she slowly started
to gasp as she stared at it. There was no concealment any longer,
only horrified realization.

Kasumi Tendo rushed out of the room with tears in her eyes,
unable to take the scene in front of her.

Nabiki Tendo slowly lowered her stump and flexed her left
hand, if only to be sure it was still there. She tossed aside the
sheets that covered her body and looked down at herself. The
hospital gown hid most of her body from view, but it was pulled
off with little difficulty.

Her entire body was wrapped in bandages; she could see the
red markings of burn scars protruding out from behind the
bandages in the few places that remained uncovered. Her right
breast was mostly gone, along with a lot of the muscles on her
right leg. She could actually see where chunks were missing out
of her calf and thigh. Her torso was largely unmolested save the
superficial burns.

The memory came to life inside her mind in one crystal clear
revelation that would haunt her nightmares for years to come.

The bomb, she'd found it in the bathroom. Seconds ticking
away, with only about fifteen remaining.

Her first reaction had been to freeze in terror; the second
was to run. Unfortunately, she'd only just made it out the back
door when the device exploded.

"Who? Why?" she muttered in her silent morbid afterthought.

The answer came quite easily once she'd put her mind too it.
Who might have been a bit sketchy at first, but why was glaringly
clear. "Ranma."


Pink lips hidden in the shadows of the back seat of a
limousine smiled darkly as she closed a cellular phone.

"Are your plans working?" asked the large bodyguard who drove
the vehicle. The window between them rarely closed.

"Of course they are," she replied snidely. "That family is
ruined, their position in my way easily eradicated. They'll never
recover from this, I've ensured that."

"Of course, but they are weak and vulnerable now. That makes
them dangerous."

"No. They have no standing, their assets are gone, and they
are little more than a number added to the homeless. I have
ruined them completely. Poverty alone makes them undesirable. The
Saotome family will not have anything to do with them any longer.
I know Mother in law well enough to know that at the very least."

The driver frowned. Midori was underestimating the family
ties between these two clans. "You underestimate their friendship
I think. Your target survived, and there is a witness as well.
None of the family was killed in the explosion. "

"That is of little consequence," she replied simply. "Perhaps
they will cling to this notion for a time, try to help their
friends out so to speak. In time, when their financial situation
becomes worse and worse..."

"I see," said the man with a serious nod.

"Heh. I'll have them so much in debt, that not even that lout
Genma will speak to them. The honor system is such a wonderful
thing at times."

The large man merely nodded as she laughed lightly behind
him. It was a cold and vicious sound, but not entirely


"How are you feeling?" Ranma stood over the hospital bed with
his cane supporting him as he leaned forward towards Nabiki
Tendo's prone form.

"Like shit," she replied irritably.

"That's odd, considering all the painkillers you're on at the
moment," he replied simply.

The girl turned her head away from him in disgust.

"You think this is my fault?" he asked her calmly.

"Of course it is," she replied darkly. It had taken her a bit
of time to realize just how doped up she was. Thinking clearly
was a rather distant memory to her, and she didn't mind much. She
held up her stump in his face and smirked from under her
bandages. Half her face was covered. "Still want to get married."

"I don't think anything important is missing," he replied
with a rather unusual grin.

"You think not?" she asked as she pulled her sheets down to
reveal her single breast.

"Ouch," muttered the boy sympathetically.

"This is your fault you know," she said in a slurred tone.

"That's probably the morphine kicking in," he said as he
noted the fresh bag hanging just over her good arm.

"Are you going to answer me or not?" she snorted irritably.
She idly wondered if being drunk was similar to this experience.
It wasn't all that bad, at least not yet.

"Well, I suppose you're right. You and your family are moving
in with us. I doubt if that has anything to do with who's at
blame though. It's more a case of the plotting fathers, and the
immediate reaction of a family friend."

Nabiki frowned at that.

"I've got a sinking feeling that this is just starting," said
the boy as he turned away. "Nabiki."

The girl looked up at him.

"You're in for some hard times, we will be there for you."

"That makes me feel so much better," she said sarcastically.

"I've counted you, and your family among my friends Nabiki.
That may not mean much to you, but I am loyal if nothing else. No
matter how hard it gets, I want you to remember that. We will
never turn you away, even if your family must stay with us for
the rest of your lives."

"What?" said the girl in shock.

"Midori is much more dangerous than you realize."

"I think I know," replied the girl sharply.

"In the coming weeks, you will find out what I mean. There is
more than just physical pain to deal with when facing her. She
will destroy you totally if she can, and she has the power to do
just that."

Nabiki stared at him as best she could. It was becoming
difficult to focus her eyes though. She tried her best to put
forth a scowl, but it just wasn't in her.

"I'll send your father in before you pass out, and stop your
sister from doing something stupid while there's still time."

Nabiki growled a little, then what he said registered,

He walked out without another word.


Akane Tendo stared at the wall in front of her. Anger, rage,
a blind fury had consumed her. Still, thanks to her sensei, she
had focus, power.

She stood there looking strong as she glared at the white
plaster in front of her with an angry and righteous frown on her
face. Those around her gave a wide birth of clearance as they
passed her in the hallway.

She was standing just outside the hallway, letting her anger
fester and boil up inside her. Her gaze almost literally burned
the paint on the wall as she stared forward, rigid, unmoving,

"If you keep standing there like that, someone is likely to
call security."

She didn't even bother looking back at him. "Good. I could
use a good fight."

"That's not a very healthy attitude to have," he chided
calmly. "A battle like that, would do nothing but ruin the lives
of others. This is not the time, or the place."

Akane turned to see Ranma standing behind her calmly. He
seemed relaxed, at ease, and peaceful in his stature. A strange
strength radiated from him as well, something she couldn't place
her finger on.

"I won't let her get away with this."

"Neither will I. Attacking her, will only do harm to your
family at this point. It will make her plan more successful than
you imagine. It is best to wait."

"Wait for what?!" screamed Akane.

"You are weak and vulnerable right now. An attack on her,
will only serve to destroy the last remnants of what your family
has left."

Akane turned away in disgust. "I'll make her suffer for

"Not as much as she'll make your family suffer if you do."

The girl turned to face him, hatred and rage were etched onto
her features. "What do you suggest I do?"


"How Buddhist of you."

"Sometimes he's right."

"Not this time." Akane turned away from him and stared at the
wall in front of her. "I'll crush her, humiliate her, and then
destroy her."

"What will that accomplish?"

"She won't be able to hurt my family anymore."

Ranma's tone had remained the same throughout the entire
conversation. It did not waver even now. "No, but you will."

The girl's anger and rage peaked. "You think I'm not good

"Your skill doesn't matter here. You're simply not smart

Akane fell off the deep end as her anger flared with such
intensity that she couldn't hold herself back any longer. She
thrust forward with her palms at the wall and screamed.

"Ryuu Hageshiku Okoru!"

Ranma simply stared in awe as a ball of red power exploded
from the girl's hands. The wall in front of her crumbled down
into dust and debris. She stood staring at it for a long moment,

"I will destroy her."

Ranma merely frowned as she looked back at him. "The Shishi
houkou dan."

The girl's eyes went wide as she gasped at his immediate
recognition of the altered technique.

"Focus all your rage in a single point, and then release it;
a derivative of the move, possibly even more dangerous than the
original. Akane, do you realize what you have unleashed upon

The girl snorted. "I'm strong enough to face her."

"This will destroy you. You know that don't you?" His gaze
was serious and firm. "Perhaps not as quickly, or as physically
as the technique that has taken everything away from me, but it
will do the same to you."

The girl lifted her chin defiantly. "I'll have revenge for my
family yet."

"Even if it costs your soul?" insisted the boy as firmly as

Akane nodded firmly, but somewhat reluctantly.

"Akane, what you will do to your family with this technique,
is a hundred times worse than anything that Midori will do to
them. I do not think Soun Tendo will be able to take the loss of
another member of his family."

The girl stared at him firmly. "Our honor..."

"Is less important to your father than his daughter's

"What would you know?" snorted the girl.

"Perhaps, you should ask yourself that. You might understand
the answer better than I can."

Akane smirked with viciousness easily read in her eyes.
"You're worried that I'll become better than you."

"I'm more concerned that you might not," he replied simply.
"The road to victory is always paved with sacrifice. The key to
truly winning, is finding the path that takes the least from

The girl frowned deeply as she glared at him. Without another
word, she turned away and started walking down the hallway,
ignoring the frightened staff and patients that stepped out of
her way without speaking.

Ranma merely watched her go with a somewhat sad look in his
eyes. "I've got to do something about this...but what?"

He turned to go back to the waiting room with the rest of the
family. All the while, a strange smile began to form on his face.
If Genryu had been there to see it, he would have become quite
nervous. After all, he'd seen it many times before, and nothing
good had ever come of it.


"I'm leaving. Genryu is coming with me, alone."

The two families turned to look at him in confusion.

"What?" said Ukyo angrily.

Ranma turned to face Kasumi and ignored her. "I'm sorry to
leave at a time like this, but I've got a promise to keep."

Genma looked confused and nervous. "Promise?"

"Ryoga Hibiki said he would return in three days to defeat
Genryu. He has to be ready for this technique, it is very

The boy blinked as he seemed to suddenly remember this.

"I'd say that gives us about a week to prepare," said the
older boy.

Genma nodded. "I understand boy."

Ukyo looked a little upset by this. "What? I..."

Nodoka put her hand on the girl's shoulder. "Daughter, you
have married a member of the Saotome clan. You are one of us now,
and you must be prepared. This is a part of what it means to be
the wife of a martial artist."

"He's not a waiter Ukyo," said Ranma as he looked at his new
younger sister with a small amount of pity in his eyes.

The girl turned her gaze to the floor and growled. "I'm a
martial artist too ya know."

"Yes, I know," replied the older boy as he smiled at her.
"That's why I think you understand this."

The girl nodded reluctantly and stared at the older boy. "If
he doesn't come back, I'm holding you responsible."

Ranma merely smiled at the confused reaction that got in his
younger brother. "I'm sure you will. He's not in any real danger,
Ryoga Hibiki has more bark than bite to him. That doesn't mean
this should be taken lightly."

"Um, yeah," muttered Genryu as he looked both embarrassed and

Ranma turned away and started walking towards the door. "Come
on. We should get started."

Genryu blinked as he realized he was being left behind and
jogged after his brother.

Ukyo glared at the doors as they closed after the pair had
left. "He didn't even say goodbye."

"I suppose we'll have to scold him for that when he gets
back," said Nodoka with a serious nod.

Genma swallowed a little at that, but quickly found an
upside- down magazine article to take his mind off of it.


Several hours later...

Ranma stood on the top of a boulder in a forest. Genryu was
standing on a small dirt patch in the middle of the clearing the
pair had decided to train in. Their camp was about a quarter of a
mile away in the woods.

"So, what's this move you want to show me?" asked the younger
boy as he stared at his brother.

"First, you must learn the Shishi houkou dan, and then you
can begin learning the new technique," said Ranma simply.

"What?" said Genryu in confusion. "But you said..."

"That it is a dangerous move? Yes. It is," he smirked as he
looked down at his brother and sat down on top of the boulder in
a relaxed position. "However, learning it, makes grasping the
secret that much easier."

"So, what do I do?" said Genryu in confusion.

"You don't know?" asked his older brother with a slightly
amused chuckle.

"What?" said Genryu irritably.

"I figured you'd picked something up from seeing it done,"
replied the older boy casually.

"It's like a solid wave of air, he pushed it forward with his
hands..." said the younger boy as he mulled over it.

"What else?"

Genryu looked up at his brother. "Like what?"

"Surely you noticed something," said Ranma patiently.

"He was actin a little funny," said the younger boy as he
scowled a bit.

"Really?" said Ranma as he leaned back even further and laid
down. He seemed quite relaxed and closed his eyes. "I suppose
that had something to do with it then."

"I thought you were gonna train me!" snapped Genryu angrily.

"I am training you," said Ranma as he smiled and didn't move
from where he was lying.

"Fine ya jerk! I'll figure it out myself!" Genryu stared at
his hands and sat down in the dust. "I just gotta figure this
out, that's all."

"You do that, wake me up when you figure something out," said
Ranma as he finally relaxed completely.

"I will! Ya stupid jerk!" snapped Genryu irritably.

His only reply was a light snoring sound from the boulder
behind him. Snorting in disgust he focused back on his problem.
"How did he do that again? Hmmm...He did something with his
hands. Is that it?"


Nabiki Tendo stared out the window of her room. She'd be
there for a couple of days, probably as doped up as she was at
the moment. Painkillers were about to become a very large part of
her life over the next year or so.

It was a depressing thought if nothing else. There was
probably going to be a lot of that as well.

She was scarred for life, the burn marks were going to fade
with time. They weren't that bad actually, most of the damage
done to her body had been shrapnel from the blast; the same thing
that had happened to Kasumi, but on a much larger scale.

She was aware that her body wasn't going to grow back. Her
breast was gone forever, only expensive surgery would give that
back to her, and it would never be the same. A lot of the damage
could be repaired that way, it might take a few years, but she
was fairly confident that she'd find a way to pay for it, even if
it took a little time. Money management wasn't something she
couldn't handle, even if she wasn't an expert yet.

Then there was her hand. There was nothing she could do about
that, it was gone. A prosthetic limb would probably replace it.
It wasn't something she liked, but she imagined she could learn
to live with it.

Or maybe it was just the morphine talking.

She continued to look out the window. Tomorrow they'd put her
on a less addictive, and less effective painkiller. She wasn't
sure if she was looking forward to it or not.

One thing she was sure of, was that it was a long road of
recovery ahead of her.

"At least you can still walk," she muttered under her breath.

After a moment, she cursed. She wasn't sure if she could or
not, and didn't really feel like she should try to find out at
that moment. Her leg was torn up pretty badly, but she could
still move her toes. That was a good sign towards her somewhat
cynical optimism.

She decided that being on less powerful painkillers wasn't a
bad idea. She was a little more than muddled at the moment, and
it showed when she tried to think.

It was a nice day outside and she sighed. A new wave of pain
shuddered through her body and she barely noticed.

"I guess I'm not looking forward too it," she muttered under
her breath as she relaxed a bit more and let her head sink into
her pillow.

A light knock at the door caught her attention. Glad for any
distraction she turned to face the source of the noise. "Come

Kasumi nervously entered the room with a smile on her face.
It seemed so odd to see her with the bandage over her head.

"Is it bad?" asked Nabiki as she looked at her sister's head

"Not really," replied the older girl with a slight break in
her smile. "I wouldn't have used nearly this much bandage on the
wound if I had wrapped it myself."

"Well, at least one of us can say that," replied Nabiki a
little too cheerfully.

"How are you feeling?"

"Like shit," replied the girl simply. Also a little too

"Oh my," muttered Kasumi a little nervously.

"I'm starting to understand why Akane started talking like
that. It's quite liberating."

It was easy to see that the older girl didn't approve, but
didn't have the energy or the desire to scold her sister at the

"I'm going to be all right Kasumi," she said simply. "Might
not be as pretty as I was, but in a few years I can work on

The older girl nodded silently.

"I haven't seen Akane."

Kasumi blushed slightly. "She didn't take this well. She left
just before Ranma and Genryu did. The rest of us will remain
until we can take you home; well, Auntie Nodoka and I at any
rate. I think Ukyo will stay as well."

"I see," said the younger girl as she nodded.

"We'll be able to take you...out of here, in a few days or

"Home is gone, isn't it?" said Nabiki with a slightly wistful

"The house is gone, but the dojo is still there," said Kasumi
with a small amount of cheer creeping into her voice.

Nabiki nodded silently. "Ranma told me we'd be staying with
his family."

"Yes," replied the older girl with a blush on her face.

"I don't think we have to worry Kasumi. He seemed...honest."

"I know," said the older girl as she nodded seriously. "He
always has been."

Nabiki frowned as she glanced up at the older girl. She
looked like she believed what she had said with every fiber of
her being. It was unsettling. "If you put this much faith in
someone, you'll get hurt."

"I don't think I will," said Kasumi as she shook her head for
a moment. "I love him."

Nabiki frowned. "I know."

"Even if I know I can never have him, I know he won't betray
us Nabiki."

This caught the younger girl by surprise. "What?"

"Don't look so surprised Nabiki. He's a married man, and he
has been since the day we met him."

Nabiki frowned at this. "That..." She turned the gears in her
mind as fast as they would go. Remembering things from the past
as best she could. It wasn't easy, and she gave up frustrated.
She could think of nothing to argue Kasumi's claim with. Perhaps
before the fateful tournament she could have, but was
as if she'd known a completely different person before those
events. Everything he did had some sort of motive behind it,
hidden though it might have been at the time. He made a lot more
sense once she had learned more about him.

"That doesn't excuse him for bringing this down on us."

Kasumi nodded, her expression was completely unreadable. "I

Nabiki gave a humorless laugh as she noticed her sister's
expression. "That doesn't mean he won't try his hardest to make
up for it, does it?"

"No, it doesn't," said Kasumi as she cheered up again

"These people, they change the lives of others completely.
Remember that Kasumi."

"I have realized that for some time now Nabiki," replied the
older girl as she turned to leave. "You should get some more

Nabiki merely nodded and went back to her thoughts. What was
she going to do now? She had no real idea about how she was going
to handle this situation.


Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome stood in the hallway staring at
the hole in the wall just outside the waiting room.

"Saotome..." muttered Soun seriously.

"This situation is indeed grave Tendo," said Genma with a
serious nod.

"What has happened to my little girl?" said Soun as he looked
at the charred dust and debris that his youngest had left behind.
It was quite obvious that she had not done the damage with her

Both of them had been quite aware of what had happened in the
hall from the moment it had occurred. Their training alerted them
immediately. Genma was well aware that what he was now seeing was
something his eldest son was incapable of doing.

Soun shook his head slowly and turned towards his friend. "My
Akane. I fear what she might do."

Genma wasn't sure what to say or do. The girl was more than
enraged by the events that had occurred over the past day. "We
can only hope Tendo."

"We must find her Saotome," said Soun simply.

"Indeed Tendo," agreed the larger man with another short nod.

"That you should," said a quiet voice from behind them.

Both men froze in terror as they slowly turned to see
Happosai standing behind them. He looked quite serious as he held
his hands behind his back and moved between them to look at the
destroyed wall.

"This is most serious Tendo," said the old man as he peered
at his student for a moment.

Soun nodded slowly and cleared his throat. "What do you
suggest master?"

"I would suggest that we find her and destroy her, she will
only become worse with time, and will eventually destroy
everything she hopes to save."

Soun gasped as he froze in terror.

"However, it is still early. Perhaps she can be turned back?"
He looked up at the two men with a gleam in his eye.

"What are you saying master?" stammered Soun.

"Find your daughter Tendo. You may be her only hope, then
again...perhaps there is another?" With that said he turned his
head to look back down the hallway.

Several security guards rounded the corner at full sprint.
"There he is!"

"Oops, gotta go!" chirped the old man cheerfully as he hefted
a bag over his shoulder and bolted down the hall at full speed.

Genma merely nodded. "Well, that explains why no one
responded to this mess. A blessing in disguise perhaps."

Soun merely looked at his old friend and then down the hall
in the direction the master, and his pursuers had run. "Come
Saotome. We have much to do."


Genryu struggled to figure out the dangerous technique a few
yards away. It was slow going, but Ranma wasn't particularly
worried about that. Genryu was smart enough to figure it out on
his own. A little prodding, and the right information would be
enough to get the boy where he needed to be.

He had other problems to deal with though.

Midori had shown just how dangerous she had become. More than
even he had suspected she was capable of. He doubted if it would
stop anytime soon. The Tendo family had nothing now, and she
would make sure they would not recover to get in her way again.
That made the situation even more dangerous, having them in his
own home, with his own family wasn't something he thought of with
a lot of comfort.

Genryu would be elsewhere at least, but his mother was
another story. Midori would think nothing of removing her if it
meant she might get rid of the Tendo family's perceived
interference. That left him with a big problem.

She was very unpredictable, she used methods that would keep
her out of danger personally, and she had enough money and power
thanks to her family, that she could cover her tracks if she was
less than careful at times.

He knew that the police would be of little help unless he
managed to catch her red handed, with them present; a very
unlikely situation, one that would probably be avoided
intentionally by some rather high-ranking officials.

"So what the hell can I do about this?" he thought to himself
as he continued to fake sleeping.

He knew he'd have to charge headlong into things sooner or
later, it was just a matter of when and how. This wasn't a battle
he could win easily with his fists, killing her that way would
only bring more trouble. He'd have to outsmart her, outmaneuver
her, not as easy as it sounded. She was powerful, her family was
powerful, and she was dangerously smart.

He didn't have a clue what to do, or how to keep anyone else
out of the mess he'd found himself in.

There was a simple solution though.

Ranma frowned involuntarily. "No. I can't do that."

Genryu continued to meditate, oblivious to all of this.

The older boy opened his eyes to look at his younger brother
for a moment. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place at the
moment. Midori wasn't likely to try the same thing again for a
while. She'd wait and see how effective what she'd done so far
had been, and make sure the Tendo family was being kicked while
they were down. That left him a little time to think, but not a

"Shit. Why can't this kind of thing just be simple?"

He was a Saotome, and knew that it never was that easy.


Akane Tendo stalked forward. She had no real destination in
mind at the moment, she just walked.

Finding Midori was the focus of her mind. She had no idea
where to start, but it shouldn't prove too difficult. Getting too
her was another matter entirely.

The scene she'd made when she'd visited Furinkan made that
obvious enough. The girl was rich, and probably part of a
powerful family. That meant she'd be well guarded.

Sooner or later, she'd come back to Ranma though.

Attacking her around him wasn't an option either. She had a
strong feeling that he'd do whatever he could to stop her. She
even understood on some level.

The fire in her heart would not be satisfied with that
though. She had to take revenge, justice. The girl would pay
dearly and painfully for what she'd done to her family.

The only question was how.

"Damn," she muttered as she mulled over it. It would be best
for her to avoid the man she called sensei for a time, but she
knew that he was her best chance of finding the woman. It left an
interesting dilemma for her.

"Feh, there are ways to find people, if you look hard
enough," she growled as she pushed further into the city.

Ranma had taught her one thing though, she couldn't just
charge in and lay waste to anything that got in her way. Her rage
had to be focused, her skills sharp, she would have to plan and
wait for a time to strike.

Opportunities like that didn't come often though, it would be
an interesting game of cat and mouse. She just had to be sure
that Midori didn't turn out to be a dog in disguise.

Akane clenched her fist and smirked as she turned a corner
and found herself looking at a busy street in downtown Tokyo.
People filled the sidewalks, and cars ran bumper to bumper in the

As she stood watching them she realized something. She was
the most dangerous predator in the city at the moment. With a
little caution, and a focus for her rage, she could destroy her
enemies easily.

She turned to look up at the sun as it hung in the sky
overhead, the flame in her eyes burned a thousand times more than
the giant gas ball that warmed the planet.

She turned back into the street with a confident swagger
about her as she pushed through the crowd easily. "I'm coming for
you bitch."


Midori sat in a large office, she wasn't sure what it was
for. It was really nothing more than a place for her to be during
the day besides the home. She didn't do any work, and her father
ran the company without her help, just a position that came with
her name.

Idly she flipped the switch on her desk and spoke to the
secretary outside her office. It was considered one of the best
duties in the entire building. Like her, her secretary had little
to do besides sit around and answer the occasional call.

Midori had no meetings, and usually took calls herself. Other
than a few messages, the woman outside had little to do.

"Do I have any messages?"

"None today Midori, I'm going to lunch if that's all right
with you."

"Yes, go ahead," replied the girl as she crossed her legs
under her desk. She had a pair of black silk stockings on and a
business suit that would send most of the male employees in the
building into little piles of goo if they had seen her perform
the action she had just done.

She turned her high-backed chair to look out the window with
a smirk forming on her lips. She had her long blonde hair down at
the moment and it cascaded down her back in golden curls as she
stared out at the city below her. The people on the streets were
nothing more than ants to her from this height. It was a fitting
description as far as she was concerned. They worked to serve the
queen, toiling their lives away so that the elite few could live
in luxury.

"I think something interesting is about to happen," she said
as she watched them for a moment. There was a tension in the air
that hadn't been there earlier in the day. She couldn't explain
it, but it thrilled her slightly.

"My darling Ranma, soon we'll be together forever, but I have
a feeling that convincing you of this will not be easy." She
smiled as she turned back towards the desk again. "I'll bet it
will be quite interesting though."

"Makoto?" she flipped the switch as she said this. There was
no answer. The woman's previous message seemed to be recalled a
moment later. "Oh yes. Lunch." She flipped the switch off and
relaxed. She'd ask her to retrieve the Tendo file when she
returned, there was no hurry. She was the one controlling the
game after all.

She turned back to the window once again and stared out at
the street. At the moment, she was blissfully unaware of the
dangerous new player she had unwittingly introduced into the



Ah yes. The build up. Suspense is killing you isn't it? ^_^

Well, you'll just have to wait until next time. Heh. Ja!