What difference is there between a day and a year? Time choses to go at the pace it wishes. There are moments
when days feel like ages and there are moments where years seem like mere seconds. What is time? Is it the passing of the
bright stars? It is the change from a warm summer breeze to the bitter breath of winter? Or perhaps it is the rings which form on
trees, only distinguishable after death. Or perhaps it is something else.

The wrinkles that grow...
the cuts that bleed...
the bruises that form...
the scars that mark...
the wounds which define you...
the lessons you learn...
the people you lose...
the souls you search for...

In which direction does time move? Today's day is tomorrow's yesterday. The next day was last week. Last year is
next month. Now is never and tomorrow came yesterday. Time, time, time...

"Who has set your clock? Or have you yet to do so?"

"Excuse me, have you the time?"
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Empty Eyes
Chp 2
By: Ling Mao

Started: 5-8-02
Finished: 5-11-02

( ) = Thought
[ ] = Panda signs
" " = Spoken
~ ~ = Sound
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As usual, it was a quiet death. She always made sure of it. She swiftly wiped away the stains on the victims mouth, not
allowing it to lay there, foaming from its mouth. After she finished she stood and straitened her skirt before making her way out
the door. With practiced ease, she pulled out her cellphone.

"Madam, I've finished," said the woman as she opened her umbrella before walking around the block to where her ride
would meet her.

"Very good. Now return."

"Yes, mam."
-----------------------
Ranma squeezed the last bit of water out of his hair. He stepped out of the bathroom, gently pushing any wrinkles out
from his shirt, and walked downstairs, where he would stand outside to wait. As grabbed the basket from the table, he glanced at
the calendar and sighed.

"...it's that time of year again..." he said in a sober tone. Ranma set up near the gate of the Tendo residence. He laid
out the cloth and, after pushing the basket of food to the side, he laid down just as he had every year, well that is, rather, every
year since the incident. It had been nearly five years since. If Ranma had had the choice, he'd be waiting out side everyday,
however the family forbid him and only after much persuasion was he able to at least wait this day. But still, even after given
permission, he could see their eyes looking at him discontentedly. He knew why, but it didn't really matter to him because he knew
they wouldn't understand. No, it would be impossible for them to understand. They had given up long ago.

Ranma sighed again as he recollected the events of the past few years. Initially, when it was found out that Akane had
run away, not much was done. It just seemed that Akane was prone to running away, and that she'd eventually come back like
she usually does. Too bad they were all wrong. After a week had passed, the family began to worry more. For weeks they
searched, yet found no sign of Akane anywhere. Everyone put almost all of their time in to find her, but to no avail. Even Nabiki,
who everyone would think has enough connections to find her was unsuccessful, but what did everyone really expect, Nerima is a
small place where it seems that everyone knows everyone. It becomes a bit more difficult once one gets out of Nerima. Soon
weeks turned to months and before anyone knew it a year had passed. By then people started to question if she ever would be
found and the questioned continued, growing greater and greater until the second year had passed.

A few days after the passing of the second year the Tendos held a funeral.Ranma gave a disgusted smirk at the
thought. Ranma felt it was incredulous for the Tendo's to give up, and just take her as dead. And to top it off, they didn't bother to
tell him about the funeral, he had happened to stumble upon it. The moment Ranma had realized what they had been trying to due
chaos began, though slightly different than usual. Ranma went off on a yelling rage demanding that they stop the funeral.
-----

"No! I can't understand because she's NOT DEAD!" Ranma shouted in a child like manner.

"Ranma we understand wha..." Kasumi started.

"NO YOU DON'T! I won't believe any of this! Not until I see with my own eyes! I want to see with my owns eyes
first!"

"Ranma! Stop being so rude! As much as the idea may hurt you have to be a man about it and accept it!" retorted
Genma.

"Be a man and accept it!?! BE A MAN AND ACCEPT IT!?! What do you know! Your the biggest liar of them all!"
Ranma screamed before running off. Genma was about to go after him when a hand fell onto his shoulder. He turned to find

"Give him time." Nabiki said softly.

Ranma slammed the door to the bath room and sprayed himself with the shower head, activating his curse. He let the
shower head hit the floor only moments before he crouched down on the floor. He tucked his knees in, wrapping his arms around
them, then hid his face in his knees before letting out a muffled sob.
-----

Ranma rolled over to his side and stared at the basket next to him. (I couldn't be a man for her ever. Not before the
incident, not after the incident... I couldn't even be a man...during her ... her ... her funeral...) No. He shook his head. That
wasn't her funeral. She WAS still alive and yet as each day passed it seemed harder and harder to believe. ~Sigh~ (am I to be a
walking curse for the rest of my life?)

As if the add to the insult the skies began to crumble as tiny droplets of water turned to fall bullets. (If only the
droplets truly were bullets that would pierce my skin. Then maybe my pangs of guilt wouldn't be as painful.) Ranma stood and
wiped what droplets she could from her breast and headed inside, but not before giving a longing glance towards the gate.
-----------------------
There was a knocking at the door. When the door opened, a young woman walked in and took a seat in front of the
large desk which decorated the room. Facing the woman was the back of a brown leather chair.

"How was it?" asked the older woman in the leather chair.

"Very good. And the pills that I gave you, did they work well?"

"They worked fine, however the coating that I have to put around my mouth leaves an odd feeling," the young woman
replied.

"Ah, but 'tis the price you pay so that you get rid of the target and not yourself. Oh since we're speaking of those pills, I
have something for you," said the older woman. She turned her chair around only half way and handing the young woman a
medicine bottle.

"What is it?"

"It's the new model for the pill you been using. It's small so it will fit under your tongue better. With these pills you don't
have to break the pill in half in your mouth before giving it to the target. Instead they will dissolve instantly into the targets mouth,
being that they don't have the coating layer in their mouths. Additionally, these pills do not form as much foam as the others do."

"Only the best for you my darling. Now, let me give you your next assignment." She snapped her fingers and the man
standing at the entrance of the door came forth hold a folder. He put the folder on the desk in front of the young woman.

"All the information you need for your next assignment is in there. This assignment is rather peculiar. To start, the
woman who hired us is new to the underground. I couldn't find much information about her. From the information I did find, I
can't seem to figure out her motives. Moreover, she was willing to pay far more than the going price is for some unknown kid in a
small town. She gave me two pictures. Each one is a target, but you only need to get rid of one of the two. The pictures are in the
front of the folder."

The young woman pulled the photos out of the folder and began to examine them.

"Is something wrong?" asked the older woman.

"No, just a chill. It seems as if these two are twins."

"Yes, it would seem so. If you look on the next piece of paper, you will find the address of the targets. I suggest you be
extra careful on this assignment, it seems like something may be off, but I think you will be able to handle it."