Disclaimer: I don't own any of this, Vandread is property of Pioneer, Gonzo, and Media Factory; Ranma is property of Rumiko Takahashi, Viz and a lot more companies that I can't remember to list.


Half a Vanguard Chapter Three

Being the second part of the '1/2' series

By Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton

---Aft deck---

"Hmm…how about…'Dreamcatcher'?"

"Pyoro, that name has already been listed."

"What about 'Stargazer'?"

"Already listed."

"You know, you aren't the happiest robot in the world."

"Bite me, Pyoro." The floating navi-robot whizzed around his head as Parfet called for more suggestions with the old-fashioned megaphone.

"What about 'Kaiton'?"

"You've got to be kidding…Pyoro." The egg-shaped mechanoid hopped up and down in frustration. "Will you just pick a stupid name, already?"

"Okay, okay, 'Photon'." The robot scrolled the list of names on the tiny screen that made up its face until the proposal, 'Photon' was inputted at the bottom. Ranma stepped back from the automaton and looked down the hall as Jura Basil Elden and Barnette Orangello entered the corridor from the galley. He stepped behind Parfet so as not to blow out his eardrums and watched as the skimpily-dressed Mejale females stopped in front of the hopping machine.

"Help us pick a name for the ship! We're holding a contest to name this new ship and the winner will receive one years worth of free food at the-"

"Pyoro! You have to input your suggestion into me if you want it to be considered." Parfet lowered her megaphone and looked at the two Dread pilots, annoyed because she'd been interrupted.

Jura swept a hand through her blond locks and jutted her hips out. "How about 'Fantasy Night'? Thanks Pyoro!" She began to walk back down the hallway towards the room she shared with Barnette. The brunette, meanwhile, was tapping her choice into the navi-robot's keypad.

"A night of underwear, 'Lingerie'!" The egg 'bot landed back on the deck and waddled back to Parfet, the two walking away for more entrants. Ranma leaned against the wall until the galley's doors slid open and Meia walked out in her body-hugging spacesuit. After his friendly wave, the Dread pilot simply snorted in annoyance and pushed past him. Ranma grasped her arm as she passed.

"Hey there, is that any way to treat a 'fellow crewmember'?" He realized it would take a while for the Mejale women to accept him and the others as actual human beings but things had begun to improve after Magno's stirring speech the other day.

"Let go of me." Meia glared at the doctor as she tried to twist her limb from his grip, the rubbery suit squeaking as she struggled. "I said let go of me!" Ranma let go and the commander, in the middle of pulling her arm away, went flying back a few steps to hit the floor hard on her coccyx. The normally stoic pilot let out a painful shout as the numbing wave swept up her back.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that, let me help you to your room." Ranma hauled her up off the floor and draped her arm over his shoulder as the two began towards her quarters. Meia, embarrassed and very angry not only at the impudent man but also her own stupidity, silently just bared the humiliation as she directed Ranma to her room and let him set her down on her bed. Her room was cluttered with dirty clothes, Ranma noted. "Here, it'll stop the pain." He flared his ki and his right hand burst into iridescent flames. "Now just turn over for a moment."

Meia would have none of the man's help and thrashed about as he tried to roll her over, knocking her music box off the night table and onto the floor. The melody broke through her indignation and calmed her struggles. Ranma bent down and plucked the jewelry box from the pair of soiled panties it had fallen into, setting it right-side up on her nightstand once again.

"'Wonderful World', isn't it? I remember this song. Very beautiful." Ranma took her calmed status and proceeded to roll her over so he could heal her bruised tailbone. She sucked in air as his hand made contact with her behind, her buttocks supple and firm from exercise, but sighed in contentment as his ki poured into her body, re-knitting bone cells and blood vessels. "See? Isn't this better than not being able to sit in your Dread for a week?"

Meia grit her teeth but nodded in the affirmative.

"A pretty girl like yourself shouldn't be so obstinate and bull- headed. Why don't you try to relax a bit?" Ranma stood from her bed and stood by the open door looking in at the darkened cave Meia hid herself in, the hallway lights casting his face in shadow. "As your doctor, I suggest you try to have a little fun once and awhile, it certainly can't hurt." Meia glared at her retreating back before the doors slid shut, leaving her alone with the gentle tune of 'What a Wonderful World'.