Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 does not in any way belong to me. Any character
not originally from the series does (hopefully).

^^^^^^^^^^
The Tendo's Brother: Prologue
A Ranma 1/2 Self-Insertion Fanfic
By Nathan Huss
^^^^^^^^^^

8 years BR (Before Ranma):

Eight year old Akane Tendo was in her family's dojo, practicing a kata that
her father had recently taught her. She was currently waiting for him to
return from seeing off some of his few remaining students after that day's
session. Their numbers were gradually decreasing, and Akane suspected that
soon she would be the only one learning from her father.

After a few minutes she realized her father had not yet returned. Curious
as to what was keeping him from continuing with her own lessons, she headed
out of the dojo into the yard.

She was surprised to see Soun sitting on the porch talking with a foreign
couple, while a young boy, most likely their son, tried to catch one of the
fish in the koi pond without falling in. The boy looked like he was about
Akane's age, and had a pair of glasses whose earpieces were hidden under a
mop of curly brown hair.

Soun looked up and spotted his youngest daughter. "Ah, Akane! Sorry to
keep you waiting. This is Mr. Huss and his wife. They just informed me
that they wish to sign up their son, Nathan for martial arts lessons,"
he said, nodding toward the boy by the pond

Akane looked at her father, the Huss parents, then at Nathan. In her mind,
she was trying to decide how to view this. It could be a good thing, as
from what Nabiki had said at one point that they needed new students soon,
and the fact that this would get Akane a sparring partner in her own age
group. On the other hand, it was a boy, and a gaijin at that.

Nathan glanced up from the pond. Seeing Akane, he smiled awkwardly and
stood up, brushing off his pants.

"H'lo. You..." He paused as if searching for the words. "... martial
artist?" he finished in very choppy Japanese.

She eyed him critically. She had been teased a lot recently by some boys
in her class at school when she had told them that she was a martial
artist. "Yeah. Why? Don't you think a girl can be one?" she challenged.

Nathan didn't seem to register her question, but began to hop up and down
in excitement. "[Cool!]" he exclaimed in English. He realized he had
switched languages and tried to correct himself. "You break stone with
fist, like comic?" he asked.

Akane slowly shook her head. "No. I can only do boards. I bet I could
one day, though!"

The boy grinned. "Neat! You show? Wanna see."

Akane, happy to be able to show off, nodded. "I'm Akane," she said as she
led him over to the dojo.

The parents watched as the two children headed off. "They seem to have hit
it off fairly well," Mr. Huss said.

"Indeed," replied Soun, smiling. He turned back to face the two
foreigners. "I'm curious as to why you decided to come here to have your
son receive lessons. I haven't exactly been advertising lately."

Mr. Huss nodded. "We recently moved here when I accepted a job teaching
English classes at the local high school. I overheard one of my students
mention that he was taking lessons here."

"We've been having Nathan receive schooling from a private tutor since he
doesn't know Japanese that well yet," Mrs. Huss said. "He isn't able to
make that many friends that way, though. We thought this would give
him a chance."

Soun nodded. "Well, he seems very enthusiastic about it. I'll be glad to
teach him."

^^^^^^^^^^

6 years BR:

A bespectacled young boy clad in a gi hopped out of the car that had just
pulled up in front of the Tendo residence and rushed through the gate. He
immediately raced around the house to the yard and then into the dojo.

Inside, Akane, similarly dressed, was standing in front of a stack of
wooden planks. Her back was to the door, so she didn't notice when he crept
in. Grinning to himself, he tiptoed up behind her, and struck.

"BOO!"

^^^^^

Outside, Soun greeted Nathan's parents as they walked up to the house. As
they exchanged some pleasantries, they heard a scream coming from the dojo.
Blinking, they turned toward the noise to see a madly grinning Nathan being
chased through the yard by Akane.

"I'm still not sure why you endorse his doing things like that, Tendo-san,"
Mr. Huss said.

Soun coughed. "It's part of their training, of course. For Akane, it is
to teach her to be able to detect an opponent trying to attack her from
ambush, and hone her senses. For Nathan, to increase his abilities at
stealth, and gaining tactical advantages over an opponent."

They watched as Akane tried to pull Nathan down from a tree he had climbed
into in an attempt to escape her wrath.

"And the rest?" asked Mrs. Huss.

"Speed, endurance, and resourcefulness training. I myself was trained in
a similar manner."

"Really?"

Soun coughed again, and looked off at the horizon. "Well, it is rather
amusing to watch the two of them."

Mr. and Mrs. Huss exchanged a glance, then shook their heads. "They do
seem to be enjoying themselves," said Mrs. Huss.

"Anyway, Tendo-san, we might be a bit late to pick up Nathan after lessons,
so could you look after him until we get back?" Mr. Huss asked.

"Of course," Soun replied. "I'd be glad to."

"See you later, then." They walked back to the car and drove off.

After watching the car pass out of sight, Soun turned back to the two
children. "Alright you two. Akane, let go of Nathan's head. Nathan, stop
trying to twist Akane's leg off. Into the dojo."

^^^^^

Soun watched as Akane and Nathan finished sparring, and assessed each of
them. His daughter was obviously above Nathan in skill, having begun
training at an earlier age, and also had superior strength. However, Nathan
had an advantage in reach and flexibility. Akane also seemed more serious
and dedicated, while Nathan, although taking the lessons seriously, tried
to enjoy himself as he went along.

At the moment, the two children had just broken apart from an exchange of
blows, and were standing a few meters from each other. Both were tired
from the day's practice, and were showing it. Akane, in an attempt to
finish the match, rushed forward with a shout.

As she approached the boy, he stumbled slightly to the side. Akane,
surprised, pulled back on her attack, only to have him attempt to grab her
wrist to throw her. Unfortunately, he was critically unbalanced, and Akane
easily broke free, causing him to fall.

*Whump!*

"Oww!" Nathan whined as he sat up. "I almost got ya."

"But you didn't, so I win!" Akane crowed happily. She reached down a hand
to help him up.

He accepted it and began to rise, before pulling down suddenly and
causing Akane to topple over. He quickly started tickling her, and she
just as quickly began to retaliate in the same way.

"That was a -hee hee!- dirty trick!"

"You -ha!- still fell -haha!- for it!"

"Keep still!"

"Nope!"

Soun found it hard to keep a straight face. Eventually he clapped his
hands to get their attention. "All right, you two, enough." His two
students quickly stood up and bowed to him.

"Sorry, daddy."

"Sorry, Sensei."

Soun nodded at this, and then dismissed them. As they walked out, he could
overhear them whispering to each other.

"Where'd you even get the idea of trying that, Nate?"

"I forget exactly. A comic I think. It had this guy who was really clumsy
only he wasn't really and..." the voices trailed off.

Soun glanced at the sky outside. It was nearly time for dinner, and
Nathan's parents hadn't shown up. He hadn't expected them to be quite this
late.

Walking over to the house and into the kitchen, he found Kasumi busily
cooking. "Kasumi-chan, have the Husses arrived yet?"

She shook her head. "No, father. Is anything wrong?"

"No, no. It's just that it's getting late and they haven't come to pick
up Nathan yet."

"Oh. Should I make an extra portion for him, then?" Kasumi asked.

"Hm... yes, of course. We can't have him go hungry while he's under our
care. I'll go tell him that he'll be staying for dinner."

^^^^^

After dinner (which had involved a fair amount of giggling on the Tendo
girls' part as Nathan tried to use chopsticks) had been finished, Nathan's
parents still hadn't shown up. The children had split up after eating,
Kasumi cleaning up the dishes, Nabiki renting out some of her manga to
Nathan (as well as hiring out her services to read the parts he couldn't),
while Akane went to practice some more in the dojo.

Looking at a clock nearby, Soun saw that it was now much too late for the
Husses to be just 'a bit late.' Wondering if anything had happened, he
tried to call their house, but nobody answered.

About an hour later, he almost jumped when he heard the phone ring.

"Tendo residence," he answered as he picked up the receiver.

Unfortunately, the voice he heard on the other end was not that of either
of Nathan's parents.

"Mr. Tendo, do you currently have a boy named Nathan Huss there?"

"Yes, he's here."

"I'm Doctor Noro at Nerima General Hospital. I'm afraid Mr. and Mrs. Huss
have been in a car accident..."

^^^^^^^^^^

3 years BR:

Nathan was walking home after school. He had been going to public school
after being taken in by the Tendo's, as it was too much for them
financially to continue to have him learn from a private tutor, even with
the life insurance from his parents' death.

He would normally have been walking with Akane, except that she was going
over to her friend's house to do some studying. And so, he was by
himself when he heard scuffling in a nearby lot as he walked down the
street.

Curious, Nathan snuck over to the wall that closed off a side of the lot
and peered around it. He then saw a group of four boys wearing masks
crowded around another boy, who had his school bag held up like a shield.
The boy was slightly bloodied, and had a number of bruises visible.

"Great, just great..." Nathan muttered. He looked around, but saw no one
around besides himself and those in the lot . "I guess I'm supposed to play
a hero." He perked up for a second. "Hmm... who knows? Might be fun."

Meanwhile, the masked boys had wrestled the schoolbag away from their
victim, and were rummaging through it while simultaneously keeping him
from getting it back or escaping. The one holding the bag pulled out a
few yen notes, and quickly pocketed them.

"Is that all you've got on you?" he demanded. "You have to have more than
this!"

"I don't have any more, I swear!"

"Then you'll just have to work the toll off another way," one of the masked
boys said. He strode forward, cracking his knuckles. Before he could reach
his target, he felt something crash into the back of his knees, quickly
followed by a sharp pain in the back of his head.

The other three boys looked over as he toppled over, fully revealing Nathan
standing right behind him with a small grin on his face.

"Well, a sneak attack isn't quite heroic," Nathan said, mostly to himself,
"but it _is_ a lot more effective."

"What the...?!" one of the boys shouted. "Oh, man! Not him again!"

Nathan blinked. "Huh?"

"C'mon, let's get out of here!" The three of them ran past him and were
quickly out of sight.

Nathan stood there for a second, before shrugging. "Interesting... No
idea what just happened there, but interesting..."

He turned to the boy who had been leaning against the wall during the brief
exchange. Nathan saw he was thin, almost gaunt, and had dark circles around
his eyes, giving them a sunken look.

Nathan picked up the boy's schoolbag from where it had been dropped, and
dusted it off a bit before passing it over. "You all right?" he asked.

The boy nodded and took the bag. "Y-yeah. Thanks."

Nathan kneeled down next to the fallen mask-wearing teenager, and took the
mask off of his face. On seeing the face, he tilted his head in thought.

The gaunt boy walked over and looked down at the prone figure. "Do you
know him?"

Nathan was silent for a moment before a look of recognition hit his face.

"I think so. This guy and a few others thought I would be an easy target,
what with having glasses and being a foreigner." Nathan prodded the boy on
the ground with his foot, eliciting a groan. "Of course, compared to
sparring with Akane, those guys were comparatively easy. Anyway, I'm
Nathan Huss." He held out his hand.

"Hikaru Gosunkugi," the boy said, shaking hands with Nate. Hikaru blinked.
"Did... did you say... Akane?"

^^^^^^^^^^

1 year BR:

Nathan looked at Nabiki from where he was watching the TV in the living
room. "You want me to what?"

Nabiki smiled. "Nothing major. A classmate of mine was out sick today, and
the teacher picked me to bring him today's notes and work. I have to go to
a meeting with some of my friends, and don't have time to go over to his
place. So... could you do it for me?"

"Nah," Nathan replied, and turned back to the TV.

"Oh, come on. It's not like you're actually doing something important."

Nathan didn't even turn around. "Sorry."

Nabiki stood there for a few seconds, then sighed. "All right. A box of
Pocky."

He immediately turned around. "Two boxes."

"Okay, but only because I'm in a hurry," Nabiki said, grimacing.

"Drat, I should have asked for three, then." Nathan shrugged, and stood
up. "So, who am I bringing the stuff to?"

"Tatewaki Kuno."

^^^^^

"Whoa..."

Nathan looked up at the mansion located at the address Nabiki had given
him.

"Nabiki's classmate lives _here_? What is he doing at a public school?"

Still a bit in awe, he walked up to the front door and rang the bell.
After about a minute or so, the door opened. He was greeted by a girl wearing
a black school fuku. The girl had her black hair tied up high and slightly
to the side in a ponytail. She had a haughty look in her brown eyes as she
appeared to examine him.

"May I help you?" she asked impatiently.

"Oh, right... sorry. I'm here to deliver this classwork to... er...
Tatewaki Kuno."

She raised one eyebrow questioningly. "Oh? I do not recall my brother
saying that a... foreigner was in his class, and I am fairly certain he
would have mentioned if one was."

Nathan grinned slightly. "Ah, I'm not, actually. Nabiki was supposed to
bring it over, but she had to go do something, so she's having me do it
for her."

"Nabiki... Tendo?" the girl asked, and Nathan nodded. "Ah, her, my brother
has spoken of oft. I am Kodachi Kuno. Please follow me." With that, she
retreated back into the mansion.

The inside of the Kuno home looked just as impressive as it had been
outside, with a large number of paintings, tapestries, and other
decorations. Nathan craned his head around as he tried to keep everything
in view.

Kodachi stopped next to a small table that had a bowl of rice crackers on
it, and held out her hand. "I will bring my brother the papers. If you
wish, you may have a small snack while you wait."

"Sure." Nathan handed over the classwork and took a cracker as she walked
away.

Several minutes, and crackers, later, Kodachi came back, and seemed
slightly surprised when she saw him. She quickly recovered before Nathan
could notice, and walked over. "My brother thanks you for bringing his
classwork. Did... you enjoy the snack?"

Nathan nodded as he swallowed the last of his most recent cracker. "Yeah.
The taste seemed a bit off, but otherwise was fine. Well, I hope he feels
better soon. Goodbye, and thanks again for the snack."

He began to leave, but was stopped by Kodachi. "Do you have to go right
away? I am a bit curious as to why Nabiki Tendo chose you to deliver the
classwork."

"Eh? Oh, that. I've been living with the Tendos for about five years,
ever since... Anyway, I usually help out when they ask. That's
pretty much it."

"Ah, I see. Hmm... the Tendos have a dojo, do they not? Do you yourself
practice martial arts?" Kodachi asked.

Nathan's eyebrow quirked, as he was surprised at the attention he was
receiving. Mentally shrugging, he answered. "Yes. I'm a student of the
Tendo School of Anything-Goes Martial Arts. That's sorta how I ended up
staying with them, even."

"Really? Do tell."

"Er..." He paused for a moment. "Okay, I guess. If you really want to
hear it. If you don't mind, could I have a glass of water or something
first? My throat is a bit dry from the crackers."

Kodachi's eyes lit up, as if she had been waiting for this. "Of course.
I'll just be a moment."

After she had headed off to the kitchen, Nathan shook his head in
bewilderment. Other than the Tendo sisters, girls ignored or avoided him
for the most part. The attention he was receiving was very out of the
ordinary.

While he was pondering this, Kodachi was stirring a glass of water that she
had just put a measure of powder in. When the powder was fully dissolved,
she smiled, and walked back out to where Nathan was waiting.

"Here you are," she said, handing the glass to him. He took it, and drank
it down in a few large gulps.

"Thanks," he said, placing the empty glass on the table. He looked up to
see Kodachi staring at him intently, as if waiting for something.

"Um... is something wrong?" he asked.

"No, no..." Kodachi inwardly grimaced. The paralysis drug laced into the
crackers might have been a bit old, but that dose that she had put in the
water had just been mixed earlier that day. The boy should have been
affected immediately!

Originally she had just planned to render him immobile, toy with him for a
while like a cat with a mouse, and then deposit him outside. But his
resistance to the mixtures he had just been given came as a great surprise.

Suddenly, a realization dawned on her. While he may not have been an
amusement like she had first thought, he might be something else.

A challenge.

^^^^^^^^^^

4 months BR:

Akane, Nabiki, and Nathan walked alongside each other as they went to
school.

"What was that big commotion yesterday?" Nathan asked Akane. "There was
this large crowd of people over by the gym after school, but I was busy
cleaning the classroom so I couldn't go see what it was."

"Stupid boys..." was all the response he got.

"Huh?"

Akane looked up. "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean you, Nate. It's Kuno-sempai
and the rest of the bakas."

"Oh?"

Akane just started grumbling again.

Nathan glanced to Nabiki, who shrugged. "I'll tell you what happened for...
one box of Pocky."

Nathan stuck his tongue out at her briefly, but was smiling while he
did. "Deal."

^^^^^

Kuno stood near the back of the mob of boys, waiting. Just the other day
he had made his proclamation, laying down the terms that anyone trying to
date Akane Tendo would have to follow. He, of course, was the only one
actually capable of defeating her, so he had no fear of her falling to any
of the lesser combatants (i.e. everyone else).

"Hey, she's coming!" a boy from in front called out.

'Excellent,' Kuno thought. 'Soon the fair Akane Tendo will be-'

"What are all you morons doing!?"

'-mine?'

Kuno looked toward the gate and saw a tall, brown-haired gaijin standing
just in front of Akane and Nabiki Tendo, yelling at the crowd. He
immediately strode forward to see what was going on.

"I can't believe you people!" Nathan continued to shout. "_This_ is what
you think will get Akane to go out with you? You'll be lucky if you don't
get more than a concussion and a few broken bones for trying something
like this!"

Akane, who was holding her head with one hand and had a slightly
embarrassed look on her face, looked like she was about to either try to
pull him back or hit him. Nabiki was merely standing to the side with a
slight look of interest as she watched.

"Who are you to dispute the conditions that I hath lain down, gaijin?"
Kuno demanded, now at the front of the group. Now that he was closer,
he thought the boy looked slightly familiar. "I know you, do I not?"

"I'd think so. I've been over to your house a bunch of times in the last
few months to help Kodachi with some of her studies."

Recognition finally reached Kuno. "Ah, yes. My sister's new plaything.
Huss, is it not?"

Nathan blinked. "'Plaything'? What do you-"

"No matter!" interrupted Kuno. "What makes you think you can interfere
with this? It is of no concern of yours."

"I've been living with the Tendos for almost eight years now, and while I
may not be family, I'm close enough that it is my concern."

Kuno's expression darkened, and tried to loom over Nathan to intimidate
him. It would have worked better if the other boy, though a year younger,
had not actually been a bit taller. "Hurry along to your class, gaijin,
lest you provoke my temper. I do not expect you to understand the honor
in our methods."

Nathan stared at Kuno for a second, blinked, and then laughed.

Kuno fumed for a few moments. "Whelp! I would have allowed thee to pass
unharmed, but this show of disrespect forbids me to do so! You shall not
be allowed to trespass into these halls of knowledge any longer! To do so,
you must defeat us first!" With that, he swung his bokken.

And so, the daily fights of Akane and Nathan versus nearly half the male
student body began.

^^^^^^^^^^

43 minutes BR:

Soun Tendo sat on the porch of his house, holding a postcard. Tears ran
from his eyes as he read the message written on the back.

"At last, Ranma is finally coming," he said. "How I have waited for this
day!" He stood up and went to get his daughters.

In the kitchen, cleaning up after lunch: "Kasumi!"

In her room, reading a magazine: "Nabiki!"

_Not_ in her room, or anywhere in the house: "Akane?"

Soun went to the living room, where his eldest two daughters were already
waiting. "Have either of you seen Akane?"

Before either of them could reply, they heard a loud shout.

"Come back here!"

There was the sound of running feet, which went off into the distance.

Nabiki smirked slightly at the noise. "It looks like she just went out
'jogging' with Nate-chan again."

^^^^^

"Having fun back there, 'Kane?"

Nathan had an enormous grin on his face as he glanced behind to where Akane
was running after him.

"Give me back my necklace!" she yelled back.

He jumped over a fence, cut through a backyard, went over another fence,
and continued down the street. Akane was just a few steps behind, keeping
up with him in spite of his longer stride.

"I only took it as an incentive!" He kicked off against a lamppost with
one leg so that he almost instantly turned 90 degrees to head down a
sidestreet. "You were ignoring me when I was trying to ask you something!"

"I was listening to music on my headphones, and that's still no reason!"

It had began to rain as Nathan zipped down an alley. He leaped over a
large pile of discarded boxes, and soon heard a muffled crash behind him
as he continued on.

'Oh... she's really going to be mad when she catches me now...' he thought,
glancing back. As he suspected, Akane had just failed to clear the boxes
and was now sprawled out among them, but was quickly getting back to her
feet.

Looking behind him, he failed to see another figure
running down the street he had just turned onto.

*CRASH!*

The two colliding people fell to the ground, partially dazed.

"Watch where you're goin', ya big jerk!"

Nathan shook his head to clear it and saw that he had crashed into a short,
red-haired girl. She was wearing a red Chinese shirt, black pants, and was
glaring at him from her own spot on the ground.

Before he could apologize, two sounds reached them.

"Grrrowrr!" "Nathan!"

They blinked, looked in the directions that they had been running from, and
then hopped to their feet and dashed away from their pursuers.

"Look, really sorry about that, but I've gotta run," Nathan said as he
turned down another street.

"Yeah, well watch where you're going next time!" the girl shouted back, as
she continued straight on down the street. If Nathan had been looking back,
he would have seen a large panda charging after the girl.

^^^^^

Akane continued to chase Nathan for several more blocks as he led them
back to the Tendo Dojo. Once he reached the gate he nearly dived inside
and collapsed to his knees, panting for breath. "Safe!"

A shadow covered him, and he looked up to see Akane standing over him.

He chuckled nervously. "Eh-heh... Or maybe not. Um, here." He held out
the necklace he had taken like a peace offering.

Akane snatched it out of his hand, and put it on. "Hmph! Now then, what
was it you wanted to ask me that was so important that you had to steal
this instead of finding another way of getting my attention?"

"Oh, right. It was..." he trailed off. "Hmm... I forget."

"Baka." She hit him over the head once with her fist.

"That's it!" he exclaimed, and stood up. "I was going to ask if you wanted
to spar!"

Akane shook her head, smiling softly. "I would, actually. Meet me in the
dojo in ten minutes."

As they walked into the house to change out of their wet clothes into their
gi, they were met by Soun.

"What started it this time?" he asked.

"Nothing," they replied in unison.

Soun glanced between the two drenched teenagers, and then sighed. "Very
well. Akane, could you come to the living room? I have something I need
to talk with you and your sisters about."

"Right now? I was going to go spar with Nate," she said.

"I'd like you to hear this first. You can spar when I'm done; it shouldn't
take too long.

"All right."

"Should I come as well?" Nathan asked.

"No, Nathan. I'm afraid it's a fami-" Soun caught himself. "I mean, it
really only concerns the girls."

"Oh. Okay." Almost imperceptibly, Nathan's shoulders slumped down. "I'll
be waiting for you in the dojo, Akane."

^^^^^

A bit later, after changing into her gi, Akane sat in next to her sisters
in the living room.

"A fiancée?!"

Soun nodded. "Yes. His name is Ranma Saotome, and he is the son of a
good friend of mine, Genma Saotome."

"Why didn't we hear about this sooner, daddy?" asked Nabiki.

"More to the point, how can you expect one of us to get married to someone
just like that?" Akane huffed. "Don't we even have a choice in the matter?"

"She's right, father," said Kasumi. "We've never even met Ranma."

"That's solved easily enough. They should be arriving within the hour."

There was a drawn out moment of silence.

"So, what's this Ranma like?" asked Nabiki. "Is he cute?"

"How old is he?" added Kasumi.

"I have no idea," said Soun. "I've never met him."

There was another moment of silence.

Soun coughed. "The two of them have been on a training journey. Just
recently they came back from an excursion into China."

"Big deal," said Akane.

"I dunno, sis," Nabiki said. "That's kind of neat."

It was then that the Tendos heard the sounds of scuffling near the front of
the house.

"L'go of me, oyaji!"

"That must be them!" Nabiki said. She ran toward the front door, followed
closely by Soun.

"I don't believe this," Akane muttered as she and Kasumi trailed after them.

The eldest and youngest Tendo sisters were surprised to see Nabiki and Soun
running back in their direction, with panicked looks on their faces. They
were even more surprised to see a large panda walking down the hall,
carrying a squirming figure over one shoulder.

Nabiki and Kasumi got behind their father, and peeked around him.

"We should have had Nate-chan in here," Nabiki said, cracking a nervous
grin. "He makes a better shield."

"C'mon, put me down!" the figure the panda was carrying shouted. "You're
scarin' 'em spitless!"

"Are these your friends, father?" Kasumi asked. Soun shook his head
violently in reply.

The panda placed the figure onto the floor in front of them.

"Er... hi."

Soun blinked. "You wouldn't happen to be...?"

"Ranma Saotome. Sorry 'bout this," the red-haired girl said, fiddling with
her pig-tail.

^^^^^^^^^^

Author's Notes:

Ta-da! And so the prologue is finished with.

Some people will probably notice that I had posted a 'chapter 1' of this fic
already. While I did, I had gotten a number of... while not being really bad,
a number of negative C&Cs from readers. Because of the number of them, among
other things, I decided to just reset a bit and start over. I think this
second time around it is turning out much better, and hope that those who had
complaints about the first feel it is an improvement as well. If not, too bad.

Anyway, much thanks to those who preread for me: Richard Robinson
(RICHARDROBINSON@prodigy.net), Zohar (myrmiddon@hotmail.com), Mike 'Kino
Makoto' Koos (makoto@mother.com), Taiteki Kagato (Taiteki_Kagato@aol.com),
TooWolves (kinnisonmn@vf103.navy.mil), Hpackrat (hpackrat@yahoo.com), Gemini3
(thrdtwin@hotmail.com), Master Jahaj (jahaj@bellsouth.net), Cute Kitsune
Kaydee (fox1@colla.com).

Ah well... that's pretty much it then. C&C is welcomed. On to chapter 1!