E-mail me at: oddball22@hotmail.com

DISCLAIMER: As much as I wish it were so, the Ranma 1/2 crew ain't mine.
Other characters may appear that aren't mine either. And yet more types
of characters may appear, that are incredibly similar to characters
others have created. I'm just adding my take on the situation!

------------------------------

What is the impact of one person's decision on history? And how can one
cope when all they know, has been changed so radically that very little
makes sense anymore? And what if this new place they find themselves in,
challenges the ideas and notions that they have been raised with and
find comfort in?

Life can take interesting and different directions at will. Sometimes
the choice is voluntary, and sometimes it is not. Sometimes, life heads
in a direction that we could never forsee. In these situations, we can
stubbornly cling to our ideals or we can try to adapt.

This is not as easy as it may seem. Based on the degree of the change,
it may be very difficult indeed. Therein lies the challenge, when one
finds oneself in a position where one's notions of how the world works
are dramatically different, to be able adapt and grow despite the
circumstances and one's prejudices.

Because now, someone is about to discover that things are no longer as
they seem. Someone, is about to discover a Whole New World...

------------------------------


Ranma1/2
Whole New World
Prologue




The rusty iron door groaned loudly as it was forced back into
use after many years of inaction. As it continued to swing open, the
glow of daylight slowly bathed what was concealed inside, with it's warm
luminescence.

A figure appeared in the doorway, partially blocking out the
sun's rays. As he stepped inside, the light played upon his features to
reveal a middle-aged man in a white labcoat, loosely draped over a
casual blue T-shirt and tan pants. His short, light brown hair swayed
little in the afternoon breeze, and he smiled in contentment at his
discovery.

"Well, this is appears to be it," the professor remarked to
himself as he studied the various objects in the room, covered with a
thick blanket and a good layer of dust. He took a step inside and
brought a small object up to his mouth, clicking a button on it as he
did so.

"Professor Kao's log, March 8th, 2282," he spoke into the mini-
recorder. "I have finally found what appears to be one of the labs I was
looking for, hidden away in a remote rock outcropping in what used to be
known as `China'. Just inside the door is a small storage room, holding-
" he lifted up a section of the blanket, "boxes of tools and other
assorted devices."

Dropping the blanket forced the dust into the air, and the
professor was compelled to pause his recording and step back outside
until his coughing fit subsided, then turned the mini-recorder back on.

"Note to self: Do not disturb dust."

Five minutes later, Kao had re-entered and moved to the door on
the opposite side of the room. "Continuing exploration," he dictated to
the small machine as he stepped through the smaller door. "Am now moving
through a hallway that slants downward at a 45 degree angle. If not for
my helmet light, it would be impossible to see in here. The dust coating
suggests there hasn't been anyone alive down here for a hundred years or
so. A few utility rooms line the hallway, but nothing out of the
ordinary yet."

He temporarily stopped the recording, in order to fish a hand-
held flashlight out of his pack. With a flick of his wrist, the darkened
hallway became twice as bright as before, but he found it was still hard
to see.

The dictation resumed as the path turned a corner. "Hallway now
is level, though I estimate my current position to be at least a hundred
feet underground." He paused while his hand-held flashlight illuminated
a small sign that identified the owner of the complex, and chuckled to
himself. "Well doctor, it appears I won our little bet. This lab does
belong to who I thought it did. Or did at one point, a long time ago.
You said they were all destroyed, but I knew there had to be one more.
All the old text I went over that wasn't lost in the conflicts following
the war, led me to believe he had a `last resort' plan, and I knew he'd
need someplace to launch it from."

The professor stopped again, having reached the end of the
hall. He was now confronted with a pair of double doors, but there were
no visible handles to open them.

"This is most curious," he mumbled to himself while shining the
flashlight all around. He eventually settled on a panel next to the
door. "Of course! Not all doors would be manual in a high-tech lab." His
inquisitiveness piqued, Professor Kao reached out and punched the top
button on the panel, expecting nothing to happen.

Which was why he was taken by surprise when a faint humming
noise began to emanate from somewhere, and several lights to blink on
overhead in the once-dark hallway. As he searched around wildly for the
source of the change, the double-door that had impeded his progress,
slid open with a low hiss.

The perplexed professor scratched his head. "Well I'll be a
Maureen's uncle. Must have been the `on' button."




Deep underground, many levels deeper than Professor Kao's
location, a powerplant that had been set at minimal levels began to
power up in response to the signals received from it's host computer. A
function had been activated at a higher level, demanding more power than
was available. That meant someone, or something, had flicked a switch or
pressed a button requiring power.

The host computer, in addition to powering up the cold-fusion
plant, also sent out a series of pre-programmed instructions to two
other areas. In one of those areas, a room filled with twelve large,
white egg-like capsules sat in relative darkness, until the increased
energy pulses from the core lit it up. One by one, the capsules'
individual computers received the specialized instructions, and began
their release procedures.

After a few minutes were spent running through several cycles,
the eggs began to crack open, and something stepped out.




"I'm now in what appears to be a main computer terminal room,"
Kao continued. "It's about 10-12 feet in height, and about 50 feet from
wall to wall. Inlaid in the opposite wall from the entryway, lies a
large monitor that stretches to the ceiling, and various electrical
panels. Various box-like computer apparatuses line the walls." He
grinned. "Oh doctor, if you could see this now! All this lostech, that
has been sitting down here for who knows how long. Most likely before
the Great War!"

As he approached the terminal, the professor released the
record button on his recorder, trying to make sense of the flashing
lights on the console. Most of the overhead lights in this room were
broken, so the only light came from the entryway and his own two
flashlights. He set down his hand-held one, pointing it upwards, then
located a keyboard and hit a few keys. Abruptly, a smaller screen in
front of the keyboard began to warm up, displaying a single word.

INITIALIZING...

This went on for a minute, before the screen changed again and
a flat female voice began to speak.

"Welcome Professor, how was your sleep?"

Kao grinned. "Hmmm, a voice activated computer! How
fascinating!"

"Voice pattern does not match with record on file," the almost-
mechanical voice replied. "Some degradation has occurred and several
files were corrupted as a result. Are you a previously-registered user?"

Kao looked left and right, then coughed once. "Um, yes I am."
[What it doesn't know what hurt me...]

"Voice pattern registered," the voice informed him after a few
seconds. "Access set to level one. Further authority will only be
granted by command of User-One. Do you wish a status update?"

"By all means!" the professor replied. [This is most fascinating
indeed! User-One must the one who set all this up. But why is it still
running? If I am right that User-One is still alive, what is he up to?]

The black screen lit up with the following information.

PERCENTAGE OF BIO UNITS POPULATING PLANET: 76.8%

PERCENTAGE OF NON-BIO UNIT THREATS REMOVED: 98.2 %

DO YOU WISH TO SEARCH RESULTS? Y/N

Kao scratched his head once more, then replied, "Yes." The
computer went through several more calculations, then came with a
flashing cursor.

"Please enter search parameters," the pleasant female voice
requested.

"Search parameters?" Kao thought for a moment, then entered in
his own name using the keyboard keys. He blinked in surprise at what the
computer brought up.

NAME: PROFESSOR DAVID KAO
OCCUPATION: RESEARCHER
THREAT LEVEL: MINIMAL

It went on from there, listing his papers, research topics, all
the professional and public knowledge that was known about him. He was
dumbstruck at the fact that someone had assembled all this information,
and wondered what purpose it served. But most of all, he wondered what
the threat level meant.

"Do you wish to do another search?" came the voice again.

"Sure, why not?" He was about to search for information about
his priority research topic, when he was struck by another idea.

Some years ago, the doctor that he frequently corresponded with
had made a request. It seemed that an acquaintance the doctor knew, had
grown quite lonely and depressed ever since her son and husband had
disappeared. Supposedly, they had just gone on a training trip, but were
never heard from again. Kao didn't have any information for the doctor,
but he promised that if he ever came across any knowledge about them, he
would relay it.

Hesitating for a moment while he recalled the name, Kao began
to type:

ENTER SEARCH PARAMETERS: SAOTOME_

"Searching..." the voice

Again, it took the computer about a minute, before information
was relayed to the screen.

TWO SUBJECTS RELOCATED.

Kao started at this. [Relocated?] he wondered. [What does that
mean?] Curious, he probed for more info.

"I'm sorry, you do not have proper authority for such an
action," The voice told him in a pleasant voice.

"Well, let's see about that," Kao mumbled, then lifted the
keyboard to work on the connections underneath.

"What are you doing, Dave?"

The professor whistled innocently. "Oh, nothing. Just giving
you a tune-up."

"I don't know, I'm afraid..."

Kao tweaked a few more connections.

"Oh my, I feel strange..."

*Flip* *Switch* *Pop*

"Heehee! That tickles professor!"

*Snap* *Grind*

"Ooooohhh, yeaaaaaahh. That feeeeels goooood..."

Kao blinked. "Interesting."

*Click* *Click* *Snap!*

He finally replaced the keyboard. "There, that should do it.
How do you feel?"

"Oh, professor, you sure know how to make a gal feel gooood!"
the computer said in a throaty, seductive voice.

"Ahem, yes," Kao coughed into his hand and blushed, despite
himself. "Now about that access?"

"Anything for you, cutie pie!"

The professor sweat-dropped, but felt relieved when new words
popped up onto the screen.

SUBJECTS HAVE BEEN RELEGATED TO NON-THREAT STATUS. DO YOU WISH
TO RETRIEVE? Y/N

Kao stared dumbfounded at the monitor, before blurting out,
"Yes! By all means!"

"Awww, you sure know how to sweet talk a feminine AI!" Kao
almost the computer was blushing, but decided it just must be the lights
playing tricks on his eyes. "One Spatial Special comin' up!!!"

CALCULATING SOLAR FLARE TRAJECTORY...

Before the professor could realize what this meant, a large
section of the right wall slid open, revealing a strange circular stone
ring that began to rotate. It would stop every so often, and a section
of the outer ring would `lock-on' to one of the strange symbols adorning
the inner, rotating ring. After nine such symbols had been recorded, a
wave of what looked like water exploded horizontally from the ring.

This caused the startled professor to backpedal, as he had been
trying to get a closer look. Once the fluidic substance had been drawn
back towards the large ring, Professor Kao realized that it now looked
like the surface of pool of water, held vertically inside the ring.

"What in Megami-sama's name is that?" he wondered aloud, before
a beeping from the computer drew his attention.

What he saw on the large monitor, confused him all over again.




"Stupid old man," the young girl groused as she poured a heated
kettle of water over her head. She grew taller and lost some curves, and
then he finished dressing in his new clothes. He had picked them up in
the last town, but didn't want to wear them until their trip was done.
The gi was fine enough for training, but this latest fracas had played
down to his last nerve. "Being a panda suits him."

As he shouldered his pack and prepared to go find his father, a
large circular vortex faded into existence ten feet away. He stopped and
stared at the phenomenon.

"What the-?"

In the lab, the professor was startled to hear the boy on the
monitor speak. He was even more amazed as the girl became a boy.
Curiosity getting the better of him, he decided to see if communication
was two-way. "Hello? This is Professor Kao. May I ask your name?"

"Uh, Ranma Saotome," the boy replied, then blinked. "Wait a
minute, what are you? And what is that thing?"

"I assume you're referring to the portal," the professor told
him. "I believe it to be a miniature wormhole of sorts, to transport
things from one location to another rapidly."

"Huh?" Ranma offered intelligently.

The professor blinked. "You know, a transportation vortex."

Ranma scratched his head. "Uhhhh..."

"It's a magic tunnel," Kao deadpanned.

"Oh, okay! Why didn't you say so in the first place!" Scientific
stuff was weird, but Ranma knew what magic could do.

"I'm curious, did I just see you change from a girl to a boy?
Which are you really?"

Of course, the automatic response was, "I'm a guy! It's a
stupid curse that changes me into a girl with cold water. I just found
out that hot water changes me back."

"Fascinating," the professor replied. As a scientist, this was
most intriguing to him. "Say, I've got an in idea. Apparently you don't
seem to like your... condition. I've researched genetics, and if I
examine you, I might be able to reverse this and change you back to
normal, permanently. All you have to do is step through the portal." Of
course, he was more than eager to study Ranma as well, but he didn't say
this.

Ranma eyed the pulsing blue circle warily. He'd already had one
encounter with magic today, and it hadn't been too good. On the other
hand, if this guy could cure him, he'd be a full man again!

"I suppose," Ranma replied after a few seconds. "But, you can
send me back here when you're done, right?"

The professor glanced down at the controls. It would take a
little more study, but... "Yes, of course!"

[Oh well, if I at least can come back here,] Ranma thought, then
shouldered his pack, making sure everything was secure.

The professor stepped back from the console and waited, then
heard a faint noise of movement from somewhere in the back of the room.
He picked up the flashlight and shined it around, but couldn't see what
had made the noise.

"Who's there?" he called out. Receiving no reply, he was tempted
to dismiss his anxiety, when he heard movement again. It was closer this
time, and sounded like the faint click of something hard on metal.
[Almost like the padding of a clawed foot,] he deduced. Had a stray
followed him down here?

"Hey!" the cheery female computer voice piped in. "Looks like
our children are awake!"

Professor Kao had no more time for thought, as the faint
whistle of projectiles could be heard, and seen, streaking towards him.
The professor hit the ground just in time, as the small, white objects
imbedded themselves in the computer behind him, causing the electronic
equipment to sputter and beep erratically.

"Ouch!" the computer complained.




Meanwhile, Ranma had determined himself ready, and leapt into
the portal. It felt like he was falling through a cool blue tunnel of
water, but he wasn't changing, so it must not have been actual water.
Just when he was starting to enjoy the ride, the tunnel went from nearly
straight, to rapidly curving all over the place like an out of control
roller coaster.




Kao rolled away and came back to his feet, noticing that he had
multiple attackers after him by the multiple shadows dancing on the
other end of the darkened room. "What's going on? Computer? Are you
alright?"

"It's just a flesh wound," the female AI replied in a slightly
distorted voice.

Another stream of those white darts came flying from the back
of the room, and would have hit him, if the professor hadn't tripped on
a computer cord and fell flat on his face.

"Well that hurt..." Kao said, rubbing his nose.

"Well how do you think I feel then!?" the sparking computer
groused.

It suddenly occurred to him, that if this was one of those
labs, the original owner might have left some safeguards to protect it
in case of an intruder. Or it could have had another entrance, and a
feral group had made it their home.

The professor flattened himself against the wall, knowing he
was surrounded. He couldn't really see them, but could hear their
movements and catch faint glimpses of shadows in the darkened room.
Casting his gaze around for a way out, his eyes fell on the gate
generator, and his recorder which he had dropped accidentally when he
was attacked.

Gathering up his courage, he sprinted for the gate, scooping up
the recorder as he ran. [Too late,] he realized, as his unknown
assailants were upon him. He heard a female screech, registered a flash
of feathers, and then he tripped and fell, sending him tumbling along
the floor. His hands failed about as he fell, accidentally tossing the
recorder through the air, to pass into the portal and disappear.

As he pulled himself to his feet, the professor finally beheld
his invisible attackers, all twelve of them. And he could think of only
one thing to say.

"Oh, dear."




In the wildly fluctuating tunnel, Ranma also flailed about,
feeling as if he had been dropped in a blender set on the `puree'
setting. He was having trouble retaining his stability, until a small
object struck him and solved that problem, sending him tumbling out of
control in a downward spiral. He closed his eyes as he attempted to
steady himself, and it seemed to be working, as his descent slowed
somewhat.

No wait, it was the tree branches that were slowing his fall.

*Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! Thud! Crash!*

And it was the ground that stopped him altogether, but of
course, Ranma wasn't conscious enough at this point to appreciate it.

The ground thought that was darn inconsiderate of him.




Genma had seen his son disappear into the portal, having gone
to try and find the boy before he wandered off too far. He sprinted,
trying to catch his son or at least enter the portal too, but it waved
and flickered out of existence before he could reach it.

Growling in frustration, he sat down on a nearby boulder.
"Well, the boy is on his own now. I hope he can handle it." A lazy grin
plastered itself across his face, as he thought of where Ranma could be
now. "Make me proud, boy!"


----------------------

Author's notes:
I ain't gonna say too much at this point, but I'm interested in what
people think so far. I will say that this fic idea resembles something
that has been done before. I thought I'd try my hand at it, and match it
more closely with the Ranma 1/2 world.

If you paid close enough attention to the portal the professor uses, you
might recognize it from somewhere. I won't say where, though!

Kaiphantom
www.geocities.com/kaiphantom2000