Warning: this story is about as dark as I get! Its "M" rating is because of violence and situations, not because of sex. Though it will have a happy ending of a sort, getting there involves a lot of death and pain. This first episode is inspired by the opening of Tuisto's Daimakaicho Ranma (an unfinished and apparently dead story available on fanfiction dot net) and much of the middle of the story by J. O. Barr's The Crow (simultaneously one of the most powerful, most painful, and most violently brutal graphic novel I've ever read). So if you enjoy good eventually triumphing but paying a very high price for that victory, enjoy. If not, you might want to give this story a pass. Also note that Ranma will be female throughout the story.

I originally published this under the name Anduril at Anime Addventures, with the only changes being a few corrections in spelling, punctuation and the occasional word choice. If you like the beginning of my story but think I've gone off the rails, or have your own ideas for a great branch-off, or think I'm taking too long to update and want to continue the story yourself, come to Anime Addventures and join in the fun!

I claim no ownership rights to any of the works of Rumiko Takahashi or Kosuke Fujishima.


"Bakah!"

A dark-haired, pigtailed boy sighed as he sailed out of the house and splashed down into the koi pond, instantly losing several inches and a number of pounds. Well, at least her aim has gotten pretty good even if her temper hasn't, the now redheaded girl thought to herself as she pulled herself up onto the rocks around the pond. Pulling off her shirt Ranma wrung it out as her dark-haired fiancée stormed out of the house behind her.

"And when are you going to learn some feminine modesty?" Akane shouted, and Ranma shrugged as she pulled her still-damp shirt back on over her generous chest.

From the doorway, brown-haired Nabiki chuckled. "About the time she starts wearing bras," she jibed, and Ranma scowled.

"Yeah, right, like that's ever going to happen," she retorted, and the middle Tendo nodded.

"Exactly," she said, stepping out of the doorway so that Ranma's parents could join them in the yard.

"Boy, apologize to your fiancée immediately," Genma stated firmly.

"For what, not letting her poison me this time?" Ranma shouted. "If you think her cooking's so good, you eat it!"

"Son, it is not seemly for a man to show such disrespect for his fiancée," Nodoka said with a frown, and Ranma rolled her eyes.

"Mom, cockroaches can't stomach Akane's cooking, what make ya think I can?" she asked rhetorically, and Akane seemed to glow red as her hammer rematerialized in her hand and she started toward her fiancé.

Ranma sighed and braced herself, ready for another trip on Air Akane, when suddenly a purple-haired, voluptuous figure appeared on the dojo compound wall, dropped inside, and without a word charged straight for the hammer-wielding girl. A chúi whirled unerringly toward the side of Akane's head, but Ranma got there first, diving into her fiancée and the two falling and rolling to the side as she kicked out and knocked the chúi to the side.

"Shampoo, what the hell are ya playin' at?" Ranma shouted. "That would a' killed her!"

"That point," Shampoo growled, circling around as Ranma bounced to her feet. "Shampoo through playing games."

Ranma paled. She's dead serious, she thought, then winced slightly at her choice of words. "Akane," she hissed as the dark-haired girl rose to her feet, "get over by my pop, now!"

Akane glared at the smaller redhead. "Ranma, how many times have I told you, stay out of my fights! I can take care of myself."

"Yeah, right!" Ranma retorted. "Listen, Akane. she's serious this time, get over there, pop will protect you if ..."

"Ranma, you destroyer of women!" came a shout from another wall of the compound as a long-haired Chinese boy wearing coke-bottle glasses dropped down inside the compound, a sword in each hand. "Today you die!"

Oh, great, Ranma complained to herself. The only thing needed to make this the perfect day is ... A section of yet another compound wall exploded, revealing a large muscular boy dressed in disheveled, travel-stained clothing and wearing a yellow and black bandanna. I just had to push my luck, Ranma grumbled to herself as Ryoga stalked into the compound.

"Ranma, because of you I've seen hell. Prepare to die!" Ryoga sneered, snatching off a bandanna and shaking it out straight as Mousse moved to the side and one of his swords disappeared.

"Yeah, I've heard it all be — whoops!" Ranma started, then grabbed Akane again and rolled the two of them out of the way as both of Shampoo's chúi smashed down where her fiancée had been, kicking Shampoo's legs out from underneath her in the process. Ranma bounced up to a crouch, glancing back and forth between Ryoga and Mousse, then leaned back as a chúi flashed across in front of her.

Behind Ranma, Akane rose to her knees, her anger tunneling her vision to to the red pigtail a few feet away. "Ranma," she screamed, "I told you to stay out of my FIGHTS!" And her hammer swung up toward her fiancé's back.

Ranma heard the shout behind her, sensed the swing, and rose to avoid it as she watched Shampoo angle to the side for another shot at Akane, then all her air gushed out of her lungs as two hammerblows to her breasts knocked her back a step. Looking down, she saw a pair of Mousse's largest throwing knives buried to the hilt in her chest. Where's the pain? she thought as she turned slightly to look into the rage-filled eyes of her fiancée — and a bandanna whirled across her throat and washed the vision away in a spray of red and Mousse was there swords flashing and the ground was rising up toward her face...

/\

Akane wiped at her eyes furiously. What ... what was this ... what was happening? Her eyes finally clear she looked around at everyone on all sides, frozen as stiff as so many statues. Then, seeing the direction of their gaze, looked down at the ground in front of her. Was that Ranma lying face down in front of her? But ... but there was so much red ... the same red, she realized, that literally soaked her front.

Jerkily, Genma moved away from the door to the house toward his child. "Ranma, stop playing around!" he shouted. "This is no way to act in a serious fight!" He reached down and grasped Ranma's shoulder and flipped her over, then fell back as the last strands of flesh holding her head to her body tore and it rolled away to Akane's feet, while her intestines gushed out of the massive slit across her stomach.

Akane dropped to her knees and grabbed the head as she heard Nabiki emptying her stomach of its contents behind her, then looked up as an apparition faded into sight in front of her. He was an obese humanoid figure, slightly taller than she was, with reddened, diseased looking skin and a huge, engorged phallus. Looking at her, he smiled, showing jagged teeth as a long tongue snaked out and she jerked back to avoid its touch, then gasped as she realized that bound up in one of the two bunches of long tentacles that he had instead of arms was Ranma! Girl-Ranma, naked, and oddly see-through, but definitely Ranma, staring at her as she struggle uselessly to break free, one tentacle across her mouth, eyes begging for help.

The demonic visitor turned his gaze from her toward a white-faced, shaking Genma. "Really, Genma, I was beginning to think you'd actually won our little contest! It didn't seem like anything could kill Ranma, and the way that he did all the fighting he could in his male form, I was afraid if he was killed I'd get a male soul I'd have to trade away. But it all worked out in the end, and my little friend" — with a nod to his groin — "gets a new playmate after all." With a malicious smile, he added, "I hope the yamasenken worked out as well for you as your first-born child's soul will for me."

Then, the fat demon faded out of sight with his prize even as Akane shot to her feet and charged forward, swinging uselessly at empty air. She whirled around swinging aimlessly, shouting for the demon to show himself, then finally stopped, panting. Looking around she found herself almost alone in the yard, Ryoga just vanishing through another fresh hole in the wall and Genma standing over his child's corpse cursing Ranma for a weakling and a failure, and from the doorway to the house she could hear Nodoka's shaky voice: "Hello, police? I need ... I need to report a training accident."

Akane's scream of agony stripped her throat raw.


I was going to put off posting this story until I'd finished it then post it all at once, but it's been almost a month since I last posted a chapter and will be at least another week before I finish the last one for this story. So instead, I'm going to post one chapter of this story daily until it's complete. That's eighteen chapters at this point, so by the time I get to that point I'll certainly have the last chapter finished.

And yes, this chapter is a little short — it was one of my earlier chapters, I would never write one this short today.

Author's note in my forum for this story/chapter.