Damn. Just damn. I didn't realize until the devian and others pointed it out to me that my formatting hadn't carried over into the online chapter, which is really weird because it was all there after I cut and pasted it in. So here is the story with format changes. Special thanks also the devian and Vandenbz for showing me some of my writing mistakes. Does anyone know why indenting doesn't work? It makes the story look a little strange.
insert standard disclaimer here: Me no own, so sorry.
Warning, this Ranma is going to be a grown man, one who takes his word of honor seriously and has no ties whatsoever to Nerima any longer, and who has developed a libido, though he still doesn't know what to do with it without some instruction. How he separated those ties will be hinted at but not fully explained until later in the story. Be aware the romance portion of the story will be moving slightly slower than in the Anime Adventure thread I got the idea from, and Ranma will possibly be building a harem in this story.
Destiny vs. Chaos
Chapter 1 My kingdom for a (wild) horse
In an emergency meeting of the ministers of the interior:
"How could this have happened!?" An elderly man moaned into his hands, looking at the pack of papers in front of him, much of which was comprised of photos and what looked like hospital reports. "This is an unmitigated disaster. How can we get the public to believe we can protect them when our police force can't even protect itself?" Around him other elderly gentlemen all muttered their agreement with emotions ranging from anger to shock.
A younger man still fit and spry despite his desk job shrugged. "I can't say I saw this particular idiocy coming, but the trouble in Kanto has been building for over two years now."
Another younger man, barely in his thirties and still in good shape from his time as a beat cop, nodded sharply expression showing his own anguish at the news. "We told you that the Kanto issue was getting away from us. The fact that some of the gangs are now targeting the police force is awful but not the worst of it to my mind. At least there were no deaths on the force, unlike when the gangs fight eachother or when bystanders are involved."
His ally on this council of incompetence nodded sharply. "Agreed, and the fact that the few female officers still willing to serve in Kanto were not there is a blessing considering what has been reported at times from the Kanto Hospital. I assume now that you will allow our police force to start using lethal force? Our side arms are useless unless we can use them after all." His sarcasm could have cut glass as sharp as it was.
One of the older men shook his head. "As we have explained before we cannot simply let your officers start shooting unarmed people"
The younger man interrupted him rudely. "Unarmed is a bit of a stretch when you're talking about people who can lift cars or rip apart a human being with their bare hands! And what about the ones who use weapons! The report says that someone using a sword opened the front of the police station like it was a tin can!"
There was a moment of shock at this severe breach of decorum and then the older man took a deep breath to put this young upstart in his place. He was interrupted by the man at the head of the table. A middle aged man, paunchy but with quick lively eyes, he had been silent up to now, simply looking at the images in the report before him. "Are these reports accurate? That none of the main attackers were arrested or even injured in the attack? What exactly happened?"
The police commissioner nodded sharply. "At about 3:15, a mob of about fifty gang members stormed the Kanto police precinct. Of that group only five low ranked, what the gangs all call d-rank fighters, were injured and taken into custody when reinforcements from the patrols out in the district and the other city precincts arrived two hours later. Of the hundred and twenty-five police officers there at the time of the attack only forty are able to continue their duties for the foreseeable future. Thirty-six were critically injured with five that might not make it, and the rest received injuries from severe to mild. It would have been worse if the patrols hadn't responded so rapidly, and at least the officers locked down the armory quickly. The gangs weren't able to grab any of the guns or anything."
"I see. And how do you think this will affect the morale of the policemen?" The older man asked, still calmly.
The police commissioner snorted at the idiotic question. "Badly. We have already had several reassignment requests backed up by threats of quitting entirely. A police force is not like an army unit where they are trained to take casualties like this. Our policemen are overmatched in terms of skill and numbers and after this incident they know they can't even protect themselves. This is why I respectfully request that we allow them to break out the damn firearms and let us shut this gang war down hard!"
The man at the head of the table shook his head sorrowfully. "What you fail to understand is that our government cannot condone the use of firearms when the opposition is not using them. It would mean all our jobs, a complete shake up of the government from top to bottom."
"Then I am afraid we can't handle it alone." The police commissioner said grimly. "None of our police units, not even the SAT have the training necessary to take these punks on in their own game. These 'Fighters' think they're acting out some war from ancient China and they take it very seriously. There is even some evidence to suggest that the idea may have some merit, the names of the factions along with the leaders and their troops, as well as the outcomes to the various fights between the factions all seem to point to something going on there."
"Then we will have to look elsewhere for aid. We have to fight fire with fire."
"And how are we going to do that minister?" Another cabinet member asked. "None of the martial artists that work for the government are good enough to handle something as large and widespread as this, and the freelancers we can contact I wouldn't trust." The government did keep a small crew of skilled martial artists on retainer for various jobs, but none of them were among the best in that particular subgroup. Martial artists tended to be a fractious and anti-authoritarian lot, far more loyal to their schools their own pursuits and the Art than to the nation or government.
"What about Ranma Saotome?" The minister asked quietly.
A silence spread across the table at this question. Ranma Saotome, formerly the best martial artist of the Nerima SD (special district) had a formidable reputation in his field, and was known as being very honorable. None of the cabinet members however liked to admit that several of their departments, the health/family and education departments in particular, had dropped the ball badly when it came to the young man and his situation in Nerima, which no doubt added to the carnage that broke out when the young man in question turned 18 –legally an adult - and moved to solve his problems in a decisive and final manner.
Nine months later the district had yet to recover from the battles that raged that day. Not a single member of the so-called Nerima Wrecking Crew was still operating there. Happosai and Genma No-Clan had been apprehended and put behind bars for life after Ranma had finished with them, leaving both shadows of what they had been. None of the others had walked away unscathed either, most especially the Kuno clan, whose three living members were now guests in diverse insane asylums, and the Tendos, who while all still free had been disgraced, their name tarnished beyond recognition because of the actions of the two youngest daughters and the patriarch. Kasumi alone had moved on. She had moved out and was now attending Tokyo women's college on a scholarship, taking her mother's name of Todo at the behest of her aunt and uncle on that side.
Ranma himself had disappeared directly after, cutting all ties with the very few who had remained unscathed from his problem solving. Still he was easily the greatest martial artist of his generation, so "If we can find him, I suppose he could help us get control of the situation." Said the police commissioner cautiously, "but finding him in the first place will be difficult."
The prime minister shook his head. "Not difficult at all if you know where to look."
Deep in the woods of the Kyushu national reserve a government employee was badly dressed for the outdoors. He stood in front of a small but well built tree house looking up at it askance as he fiddled with his necktie, loosening it and rubbing his legs while wincing in pain. The trek out here had been strenuous even with the help of the park rangers but he had found his quarry, which made the pain worth it. "Ranma Saotome?"
A rustle above and suddenly a young man stood in front of him, startling the government worker so much he jumped backward in astonishment, nearly falling on his ass. A strong hand shot forward and caught him by the arm before he could and the young man rubbed the back of his head abashed. "Sorry about that dude. But what the hell are you doing way out here in a suit of all things? And what do ya want with me?"
Ranma moved back and sat down on a tree limb watching the man, who took a moment to take in Ranma's own appearance. The young man was dressed in loose silk pants, with bare feet, and a simple green t-shirt. His hair, which looked in desperate need of a haircut, went down to his shoulders. For a man who had spent most of nine months on the road or in the woods he looked remarkably good.
The government worker decided to go with the blunt approach. "Your government needs your help Mr. Saotome."
Ranma's blue eyes darkened noticeably for a second then he sighed. "I could ask something like 'oh and where was it when I needed help?'" The man in front of him winced, he had read the file on one Genma Saotome and knew the government had dropped the ball several times there. "Or why I should give a flying fuck about the government, but I won't. That wouldn't be worthy of The Code, so why don't you tell me why the government needs my help then I can tell ya if I can actually help ya."
The worker, one Yamada by name, nodded and gave a brief overview of what was going on in the Kanto region, how the violence was escalating and becoming more open between the various school-based gangs involving more bystanders and how the government was slowly losing control, finishing up with the assault on the police station a few days prior.
Through it all Ranma's face hardened noticeably. What the hell do these bastards think they're doing? They call themselves warriors, and this is how they act? Well, someone's got to step up and show them how wrong they are. He looked at the man in front of him and snorted internally. Though that don't mean I'm going to do it for free.
"Alright, here is what I'm going to need for this. One, an apartment somewhere in the area, a nice apartment with a kitchen and everything, I've gotten tired o' eating camp food. Two, I'll want to be paid at least 60,000 yen every week while working on this. Three, I don't want any of the remaining crazies showing up without warning, that means none of the Tendos and no bloody Amazons. And four, I want complete control of how I handle this problem for ya."
That last bit Yamada objected to. The first two the government would no doubt have no issues with, the salary he was asking for was very low to deal with a problem of this size, and the apartment in the area just made sense as did the other matter, though he didn't have as much information there as he would have liked. But as for the fourth, "I don't think my employers will like that idea at all. They will almost definitely want to have some say in how you go about solving this issue for them."
"Too bad." Ranma said bluntly. "Y'all would solve this your way if you could, but ya can't. I might be able to, but it's probably gonna involve a lot of things the government would rather not believe in." With barely a thought, Ranma summoned up a ball of ki in his hands, and Yamada's eyes widened. "I don't need some stiff necked asshole showing up and telling me how to act or what ta do when he can't fight worth shit." The time away from civilization had done little to curb Ranma's already sharp tongue and distrust of authority figures.
Yamada gulped. He wasn't a martial artist, he'd never even seen a single martial arts movie and seeing something like this was well beyond his ability to comprehend. He kept his cool though and nodded. "I will relay that to my superiors. But would you take suggestions?"
Ranma nodded, and the ball of impossibility disappeared. "Sure, but the final say in what I do is mine. Oh, and I want the first two weeks up front, that'll let me stock up on food and other stuff."
Yamada nodded, and pulled out a cell phone, moving away so that he could not be heard. Fifteen minutes later, he came back. "My supervisor the police commissioner agrees to your terms, but suggests that you go undercover first to figure out the lay of the land. He says that Seito private school would allow you to finish your high school diploma without taking a full course load."
Ranma grimaced but nodded. He knew he would eventually have to take math and science classes, so that made sense. But he was not looking forward to the literature course at all. "Alright then we have a deal mister. Where should I go to fill out the paperwork for the apartment and whatnot?"
Yamada breathed a sigh of relief then handed the cell phone across. "Once you get to a road, this will give you directions to where you need to go. It's the Kanto prefectural court, and if you give them your name at the desk, they'll direct you to the proper floor and office. They will be expecting you there in a few days. The phone is yours to keep, a gesture of good faith."
"A few days," Ranma laughed. "You guys don't know me too well do ya?" Ranma jumped up into his makeshift tree cabin. A second later he jumped down with a small bag on his back. "You gonna be all right to get outta here by yourself?"
Yamada nodded. "Yes, there are a few rangers a mile back towards the entrance waiting for me. But don't you want a drive to the bus station at least?"
"Nah, waiting will only slow me down. See ya dude." Without another word Ranma jumped off, running swiftly away through the trees. In a second, he was out of sight and Yamada was left standing there shocked.
For his part Ranma ran swiftly, his mind on fire. He had been adrift for so long, his past problems now gone but unable to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. And now this happened, a chance to use his arts the way they were meant to be used and to make some money, possibly even make some friends if there were at least a few 'Fighters' that were worth the name. Yes, Ranma was looking forward to this.
In Kanto several people working under the fate of the sacred bead shivered uncontrollably for some reason they could not understand.
One day of nonstop running and jumping later Ranma arrived at the address he was given. After startling the secretary at the front he was directed to the third floor and then to a corner office. Inside he found a man dressed in a suit sitting behind a large western style desk. A plaque on the desk read 'police Commissioner'.
The man stood up and bowed formally to Ranma as he came in. "Ranma, I want to thank you for agreeing to work with us on this. This isn't like in Nerima, where the martial artists only bothered each other and never really made any permanent harm that they themselves did not fix, and our police force is woefully inadequate to the task. Would you like me to give you an overview of what we're dealing with here now or would you like to read it yourself?"
Ranma nodded "Both please, let me see what ya have now and let me read over it myself later." Without being asked he took a seat in front of the man's desk.
The police Commissioner turned a computer screen to face Ranma and punched some buttons on his keyboard and a presentation started up on the screen. At first it showed a map of the district, with seven highlighted areas of differing colors. "The problems first began about two years ago. At that point in time, every police station in the region began to notice that there were a higher number of martial art students in the area than had previously been the case, and an increase in martial arts fights of all levels of skill. They ranged from simple fistfights where we would throw both fighters into jail, to extremely skilled marital artists who would cause a little damage to the surrounding area and be long gone before police arrived."
"We didn't think anything about it at first but then they started to split into factions and the fights began to do more damage to both the fighters and the landscape. The schools involved are these seven schools." Here the presentation changed, showing each faction's territories and the school that served them as their headquarters. "Every fighter involved thinks they are reenacting the three kingdoms war from Chinese. In many cases in fact these fighters seem to believe they are reincarnated souls of the fighters and leaders of those areas. That seems to be connected to these magatama, or sacred beads that each fighter wears as either an earring or necklace." Another image popped up showing several pictures of the beads in question. They were all shaped like a fat nine with a bead in the center, and made of stone, bronze, silver, gold or jade. Next to each was a line saying what level the beads signified. The stone was D-rank, bronze was C, silver B, gold A and jade had a question mark next to it. "These factions, of which we think there are only four now, began to fight it out in tournaments to decide who will be the top dog. Other than bragging rights we don't know if that actually means anything, but the ones at the top seem to set the tone for everything else."
As Ranma looked at the beads and wondered how many fighters fell into each category the commissioner continued. "We were worried, but decided to put the special district protocols in place, much like you are familiar with in Nerima." The image on the computer screen changed to show pictures of the damage done in fights and a small video of construction teams fixing said damage.
"These protocols worked fairly well to keep the damage to a minimum just as they did in Nerima. We still did our jobs in keeping the peace with the rest of the population and the fighters kept to themselves, and there was very little overlap all of which we handled as it occurred. There were more deaths among the marital artists than any of us on the force were happy with, ten in the first year to be exact but as normal crime had decreased sharply over the same period we knew it could have been much worse."
"The situation began to get out of hand about a year ago. First, the fighters began to fight back when we tried to arrest them rather than go quietly on minor infractions like misdemeanors, vagrancy and lewd acts, and most of them no longer helped repair the damages after fights. Moreover, said acts along with more serious crimes like rapes and murders began to escalate sharply. We think it has something to do with the tournament, but we're not sure what. Among those dead were several low ranked fighters that were willing to cooperate with us and give us information about the whole system. In the past year the total number of deaths has skyrocketed to eighteen, with a few others crippled for life. The fights got more brutal, the damage escalated. We reinforced our patrols in an attempt to try and contain things, but we knew we were losing control." Again the presentation changed this time showing a hospital room with every bed filled and then to a video of horribly injured fighters being carted off in an ambulance.
"About three months ago things escalated again, with the fighters not only not cooperating with the police but actually attacking any police patrol they saw out on the streets. It got so bad that we shut down our traffic department duties in the region and the police who walk around the city were doubled in strength and given swat vests along with the okay to defend themselves by striking first. And then two days ago came the attack on a police station, which I assume you were told about. The Police force simply can't handle this escalation of violence. None of our policemen are trained in hand-to-hand combat to the level of skill that even the least fighter is able to call on, and the A ranked fighters are simply monsters."
Ranma nodded thoughtfully. "Can you give me the names of some of the top fighters?"
"I can give you some names, the few that were willing to cooperate with us before the shit really hit the fan. That's why I said you should start going to Seito high school. The fighters there and in two other schools are known to be much more defensive, and they actively work with us to police their own factions. Unfortunately, they're too few in number to take on whoever is controlling the escalation of violence that has most of the low ranked fighters following his tune."
"Are there any limits to how I solve this problem for you?" asked Ranma carefully, face and voice not showing any of his thoughts about what he was talking about.
The police Commissioner however understood what he was really asking. He leaned back and steepled his hands for a moment, thinking very hard before he spoke in a neutral tone. "As I said, we are ill-equipped to handle something like this. Almost anything you do in regards to solving the crisis as long as it is permanent will be alright by the government, so long as it isn't too flashy or over the top. We would prefer not to have to clean up scores of bodies for example, but if you think that is the correct solution then we are willing to go along with it. Frankly, the fact that you didn't actually kill anyone in Nerima despite monstrous provocation leads my colleagues and I to believe that anything you do will be well thought out and well deserved. We would also prefer not to see monstrous collateral damage, but we can handle that for a short amount of time. Say, two months give or take of escalated combat, and then everything going back to normal." Yes, he thought said thoughtfully. Everyone in my department will be ecstatic about that.
Ranma nodded. "Okay cool and do you have my apartment ready?"
"Yes," the police commissioner said and spouted out an address. "We haven't removed it from the public records yet, so you might want to wait a bit before moving in."
Ranma shook his head quickly. "Don't do that. I want 'em to know where I am if they start lookin'."
"B-but w-why?" the police commissioner sputtered. "They'll attack you there if they know where you live."
Ranma grinned a shark's grin. "It's like a siege. I let 'em know where I am and force them to come to me. That way the rest of the district ain't bothered. Frankly, the more that try to attack me the faster this'll get done."
The police Commissioner looked dubious, but reached across and handed Ranma the keys to the new apartment as well as some paperwork he had to sign. 10 minutes later, Ranma walked out the door a special government employee with a mission.
An hour later Ranma finished checking out his new apartment. While it didn't have much in the way of furniture, it had a good kitchen and a great bed, which was all he really needed. Now he was scouting out the area, jumping from roof to roof with a half eaten ice cream cone in his hand.
Hopefully I'll find some of the action and see if the government's right about what's going on. The info they gave me is so sketchy. Beads to show rank I can understand but marital artists lettin' the beads tell 'em what they do and who they are, that's sounds like possession to me. Still, we'll see, I'm willin' to bet most of 'em are just usin' it as an excuse. It's the more powerful fighters, the B and A rankers that I need to see in action first, figure out if they believe this shit and which of them are abusing their skills and which aren't.
Wrapped in the Umi-sen-ken Ranma was jumping through a decent sized junk yard, the kind of place he thought gang members would hang out, when he saw a large group of guys ahead of him. All of them had beads in their ears like the one he had been given during his more lengthy briefing at the government office. And here we go.
As he neared he saw that one teen was being held down by two others, surrounded by about fifteen more people, all of high school age and all wearing pieces of the same school uniform. Some of them were armed with makeshift weapons but nothing was happening just yet, though the atmosphere was definitely getting nasty.
As he neared, one of the gang members who looked like he was in charge said, "Don't worry Kokin you're not the one targeted here. All we need you to do is just stay here with us until your cousin shows up."
"What's this all about Hanno?" the one named Kokin demanded from under the two guys holding him down. "Yoshuu Private School isn't supposed to be fighting Nanyo Academy!" From where he was listening Ranma filed their names away and the names of their schools, making a note to look them up later.
"My boss told me to do it," the smug-looking mob leader called Hanno replied. "It's an imperial order. That's all." Hanno then smirked evilly before adding, "Plus, to have the already famous Booby-bomb Girl as an opponent is something I'm looking forward to."
It was clear from Hanno's tone that it wasn't the fight he was looking forward to, but what he planned to do to Hakufu when he defeated her. When he realized what the bastard was talking about so glibly Ranma's eyes narrowed dangerously and he nearly lost the Umi-sen-ken before he controlled himself.
"Totaku. Shit," the one called Kokin muttered and then to the visible surprise of Hanno threw off the guys holding him down. "If that's what you want, then I won't hold back," Kokin growled.
Ranma nodded, this was just getting interesting and from what he was sensing he wouldn't need to step in just yet. Imperial order and Totaku huh, that gives me a name and a rank I guess. Once I start cleaning up this pit I should probably 'talk' with him first.
"You bastard, are you trying to fight us all?" The thug smirked. "You have a lot of courage, but no sense. Tear him to pieces!" Kokin took up a standard karate stance and met the charge of the first fighter to attack. He leveled the guy with a powerful punch to the diaphragm and then jumped forward before they could encircle him, putting down another guy with a hay-maker to the face and knocking out another with a kick to the head. Another fell to a punch to the chest leaving no one between him and where Hanno was standing for a few seconds.
Ranma nodded approvingly then tensed. It looks like one of the main players just arrived. I wonder whose side he's gonna be on?
Below, Hanno snarled in surprise as his men went down in front of him. "You're all useless!" Hanno spat while grabbing a crowbar from where he had put it on the ground next to him. "I'll do it then," Hanno grinned wickedly and was just about to charge when a voice from behind the mob interrupted him.
"What's this about, Hanno?" Hanno froze as his eyes turned to the man who spoke.
Ranma took a long look at this new guy. He was a large guy, about six feet five wearing sunglasses, a loose white t-shirt, and a bandana with two long braids of dark hair pulled over his shoulders. However it was his ki that interested Ranma. While he didn't have much, about as much as Kuno or Akane back in Nerima, it was much more controlled than either, and he moved with much more grace than they did. He moved like a well trained martial artist, something neither of them had been despite their delusions to the contrary.
"I-I thought I didn't need your help," Hanno stuttered at the fighter regally standing atop a pile of junk cars. "I thought I could handle one little chick."
"Just because she is a chick," the fighter sneered. "You took a hostage to lure her here just so you could have your way with her." From where he was standing Ranma nodded, an evil smile appearing on his face as he decided on what he was going to do soon to the would-be rapist, regardless of what else happened.
"What's the difference anyway? The big boss just wants her dead, he doesn't care what" Hanno fell silent as the fighter jumped down from the stack of cars and snatched the crowbar out of his hand tossing it behind him to land quivering top first in the dirt.
"You are..." the newcomer said to Hanno in a cold, ominous tone, "...not a Fighter."
Most of the crew who had engaged Kokin and the teen himself had not noticed the newcomer's arrival, still fighting it out in the middle of the mob, but the exterior started to notice him and pull back, allowing him to see the ongoing action.
Kokin panted from his battle stance, having downed two more as the cerebral discussion between the newcomer and Hanno was going on, but he had taken a few shots in turn from the others and was feeling pretty woozy.
Everyone pulled back when the newcomer stepped forward, the others giving way before him in surprise. "Taishiji?" one asked.
Kokin visibly gulped at the name, but his back stiffened and he brought his fists up into position again.
"Sorry," the large fighter said amiably. "One of our stupid members went too far. I'll have them withdraw. My only target is Hakufu Sonsaku. That was the order given to me." He looked around at his fellows. "Now withdraw."
The others all began to back off, some reluctantly some hastily. "Taishiji! Why you..." Hanno growled.
From where he was still standing covered in the Umi-sen-ken Ranma kept one eye on the little weasel as he backed off.
"Don't worry," Taishiji reassured Kokin. "I have no intention of fighting with you."
To Taishiji's visible surprise, Kokin merely firmed his stance.
"I won't let you touch Hakufu," Kokin vowed.
From where he was standing Ranma groaned. The kid's gutsy but has no ki to speak of and his physical skills are nowhere near good enough to take on this new guy.
"Don't you know who I am?" Taishiji blinked behind his sunglasses, amazed that this boy had the courage to stand up to him. Ranma was too, but he was prepared to intervene if the fight got too nasty. Until then though, he wouldn't interfere in someone else's fight.
"Taishiji Shigi," Kokin replied. "I know you are one of the top five fighters in the Kanto area."
That was new information to Ranma and important to think about but he didn't think it was accurate. Just by running around the area the past few hours he had felt at least seven or eight ki sources that were far larger than Taishiji.
Back on the ground the shaded fighter nodded in respect. "Knowing that, you raise your fist against me?" Taishiji he asked.
"Because even if we end up killing each other, I won't let you fight Hakufu," Kokin declared.
"Don't underestimate me," Taishiji cautioned. "Why don't you try repeating that declaration after you've managed to land a hit on me? If you can hit me just once, I'll withdraw rather than fight Sonsaku."
"Taishiji!" Hanno protested, only halfway to where his crowbar had landed. "You can't just go around making your own rules!"
"Is that a promise?" Kokin smiled.
"Of course," Taishiji said. "You have my word."
Ranma nodded approvingly. Whatever else he was, Shades was an honorable sort.
The pair faced off staring at each other, one waiting for the other to make his move and the other waiting for the perfect moment. Time ticked by seemingly unnoticed by the fighters.
"It's already been five minutes," one of the watching goons remarked.
"Yeah," agreed another. "I've never seen Taishiji take this long sizing up an enemy. It's a first."
Behind them Ranma turned to the left, watching as one of the weirdest ki signatures he'd ever felt came close enough to see with his eyes. Reminding Ranma a little too strongly of Shampoo, a female fighter riding a bicycle came into view jumping the bicycle easily over an intervening pile of junked cars before crashing into the ground with concussive force
Taishiji glanced at her for a moment and Kokin saw the opening he was waiting for. He charged in with a hay-maker. Taishiji casually took his right hand out of his pocket as the girl jumped over a pile of cars to fly over the heads of the two fighters, landing with a crash in a pile of other cars.
While this was going on Ranma and the onlookers all looked at the newcomer. She was extremely fit but short, maybe as short as Ranma's female form. She had orange-brown hair, an open expression and possessed truly huge breasts which bounced free unencumbered by a bra as she jumped out of the crater her entrance had made still riding her bike.
Shivering at how much the new girl reminded him of Shampoo, bicycle, bouncing and all, Ranma turned back to see the Kokin guy was standing with his fist outstretched toward Taishiji's head while Taishiji stood with his fist buried in Kokin's gut. The glass in Taishiji's shades shattered and Kokin slowly slumped to the ground. Crap I could have told him that was gonna happen. That guy's too good to be open to that kinda surprise attack.
Hakufu slid her bike to a stop right next to where Kokin was now lying on the ground. "Kokin!" she shouted as she kneeled down next to him. "Are you okay?" Kokin eloquently answered her by groaning and coughing up blood.
"Call him an ambulance," Taishiji said, removing his broken sunglasses and dropping them to the ground.
"Kokin..." Hakufu repeated sadly as Ranma leapt down from his hiding place to land between the Hakufu chick and Taishiji, still wrapped in the Umi-sen-ken.
"Where are you going?" growled Hanno, staring from Taishiji to where the new girl was down on her knees next to Kokin.
"I gave my word," Taishiji said. "Even though it was just my sunglasses, the young man managed to hit me. Everyone, withdraw."
"What? Are you crazy!? We have orders to execute her damn it!" Hanno shouted.
"Wait right there!" Hakufu commanded Taishiji, standing up and angrily raising her fists. "How dare you! How dare you do this to Kokin! I won't forgive you!"
"Don't do it," Taishiji cautioned. "This young man risked his life to protect you."
Ranma decided to step in at this point and allowed his hold on the Umi-sen-ken to fade slowly appearing between Taishiji and Hakufu. While everyone was gaping at him in shock and alarm he reached out and tapped a pressure point on the girl's neck, freezing her entire body in place. "Stay put girl. You're outta your league here." Both Kokin and Hakufu looked at him still in shock from his sudden appearance as were most of the other fighters around him.
"Who are you?" Taishiji asked, wondering where the hell the other man had come from and slipping into a combat stance. He didn't let the fact that this newcomer didn't have a magatama affect his appraisal, the man's skill was obvious and overrode that concern.
"Ranma Saotome," Ranma replied. "And I gotta say if you and the rest of this lot are what Kanto has to offer, I ain't impressed."
"You don't know what you're getting into stranger," Kokin protested from where he stood on wobbly legs next to his cousin. "He's one of the top five fighters in the Kanto area."
Ranma snorted. "Around here he may be a badass, but where I come from he'd be well down the totem pole. I used to know little old ladies that could lay the smack down on him without breaking a sweat."
"Is that so?" Taishiji smirked.
"Yeah, it is," Ranma replied. "You look like yer a pretty good brawler, but now yer about to find out what it means to face a Master of the Art. Don't worry though, I won't do any permanent damage," Ranma assured him. "You've got a code of honor and I respect that."
Taishiji nodded, "Bring it."
Ranma smirked and leaped into the air, bringing down an overhead kick aimed at his opponent's head. As he expected, Taishiji easily avoided the attack by stepping to the side...only to get caught off guard by his opponent's other foot coming in at head height to smash into the left side of his head.
Taishiji winced but kept on his feet and launching the same devastating ki charged punch combo that he had used on Kokin. To his surprise, Ranma just stood there, and accepted the hit.
Ranma let his enemies punch land, moving with the power and soaking it up. He landed feet first against the side of a junk car behind him and looked back at Taishiji, who was staring at him in surprise. "Wow, not bad, that's almost as strong a punch as the tomboy could dish out when she was pissed at me."
Everyone gasped at this new kid's unreal toughness as Ranma jumped down from his perch completely unhurt. "Come on, I took hits like that or worse every day for nearly two years, don't tell me that's all you got?"
"Who the hell are you?" Taishiji asked in awe.
"I told ya, I'm Ranma Saotome, grandmaster of the Anything Goes School of martial arts," Ranma smirked. "You ready to continue?"
With a battle cry, Taishiji charged in and began swinging at the smirking man. He led off with a sweeping right cross that Ranma merely leaned to the side slightly to casually avoid. The right cross was followed by a left uppercut which Ranma leaned backward to dodge. The backward lean was followed up by a handstand flip when Taishiji dropped to attempt a foot sweep. Taishiji was now very worried. Not only could the new guy take a hit, but he was about as elusive as smoke when he wanted to be.
"My turn," the grinning man announced.
Taishiji's fears were well founded as suddenly he found himself on the defensive as Ranma launched into a series of lightning fast kicks and punches that crashed against his guard. He was forced to give up ground even as he was amazed at the power behind the strikes. It's like fighting Ukitsu, speed and power expertly mixed. I can't keep this up for long! Desperately, the larger man launched a wild punch to try and get some space.
Ranma ducked the punch and suddenly, Taishiji's ribs exploded in pain as Ranma landed a kick to his kidneys, launching the bigger man into a pile of cars with a huge crash. Hanno's goon squad gasped. "Whoa," one of them commented. "I've never seen Taishiji get taken apart like that."
Meanwhile, Hanno had found the crowbar he had picked up earlier and had slipped around behind where Kokin and Hakufu were gaping at the one sided fight occurring before them. He just had to wait for the right moment to strike.
Taishiji coughed and clutched his cracked ribs as he climbed to his feet. He looked up at Ranma who was standing there waiting for him to pull himself together. It wasn't often that he was outclassed, but he couldn't shake the impression that the other man was just toying with him. The grin on Ranma's face and the excitement in his eyes didn't help any. Still, Taishiji didn't become the fighter he was by giving up so easily. He gathered himself and charged the pigtailed martial artist.
Ranma cracked his neck and set himself to receive the other man's charge. The larger man barreled towards him and leapt into the air in a flying drop kick. Ranma deftly stepped to the side and then almost lazily ducked the spinning back fist Taishiji launched immediately after landing. Suddenly Ranma was inside his guard.
"Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken!" Ranma shouted. There was a rumbling roar like that of a machinegun and the amazed spectators watched at Taishiji's body began to float several inches off the ground while seeming to convulse. The roar ceased after about two seconds and before Taishiji could fall to the ground he was nailed with a spinning back kick to the chest. Taishiji was in a world of pain as he flew back from the kick that cracked even more ribs to land heavily on his back several meters away. He rolled to the side and coughed up some blood before blissfully passing out.
Everyone was frozen in shock at seeing one of the top fighters in the seven schools taken out so quickly.
As Ranma walked over to check on Taishiji, Hanno recovered his wits and decided that now was his chance. "You're mine, Booby Bombs!" he shouted and swung the crowbar around in a swing that would cave her head in where she was standing in front of her boy toy.
What happened next was terrifying to everyone who witnessed it. As Kokin threw himself on top of Hakufu knocking her flat to the ground Ranma reacted, hands blazing with blue energy as he unerringly turned to where he knew Hanno stood. "Mouko Takabishi!" Ranma shouted and fired a blinding blue ball of energy at the dishonorable weasel.
Hanno was caught completely off guard when the ki blast hit him dead center. His chest exploded in pain as his shirt disintegrated under the force of the blast that hit him. He was thrown backwards to violently slam into a stack of cars before he collapsed to the ground with several broken ribs and his torso covered with third degree burns.
"What the hell was that?" one of the goon squad shouted.
"Hell if I know! Let's get out of here!" another cried fearfully.
"No shit! No way I'm messing with someone that can do that!" a third agreed as the whole group turned to run but was stopped by a shout from the new fighter.
"Hold it! Run away and I'll chase yer asses down!" All the gang members froze, too terrified to move and too terrified to stay. After making certain none of his witnesses were moving he turned to the two victims of this little get-together. "You guys okay?"
"Um...yeah," Kokin muttered, slightly in awe and greatly afraid of what he had just seen.
"That was awesome!" Hakufu gushed happily. "How did you do that?"
"It was just a ki blast," Ranma replied, shrugging his shoulders. "A lot of people back where I used to live could do 'em one way or another." He walked over and checked Hanno's wounds. While severe the man would recover eventually. He looked up at the watching crowd. "When I first arrived this asshole was sayin' somethin' about playin' with the girl. Was that just talk or somethin' that happens a lot around here?" None of the fighters who had worked with Hanno would look him in the eyes. Hakufu looked clueless but Kokin looked grim and Ranma nodded angrily. "About what I thought. Well boys, the fun time's over. There's a new sheriff in town and you lot are gonna tell all your friends what he thinks of would-be rapists."
With that Ranma lifted one foot and brought it down hard on the unconscious Hanno's crotch. Hanno jolted out of his stunned state screaming in agony, his testicles and pelvic bone pulverized under the blow. Every man watching even the waking Taishiji winced in shared sympathy, some even crying out in horror. Ranma reached down and with a single pressure point put Hanno out again. At the same time, he grabbed the thug's magatama off his ear. He wanted to see what he could figure out about the thing. Standing up he nodded to the weasel's gang. "Now, get him and your own asses outta here before I think all of you had the same idea."
There was a mad scramble to pick up the maimed gang leader as Ranma knelt down beside Taishiji. "Yo big guy you okay?" Ranma asked solicitously as the large man began to groan.
"I'm just lucky you didn't do that to me. But what did you hit me with?" Taishiji moaned as he crossed his arms over his aching torso.
"That'd be the Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken," Ranma chuckled, "a technique where you use your ki to push the speed of one or two body parts way above what ya do normally. You gonna be okay?"
"I'll live," Taishiji said, sitting up. "That was some technique. How many times did you hit me, anyway?"
"About fifty times, give or take," Ranma grinned briefly before going on more seriously. "Sorry about your friend there," Ranma said not sounding apologetic at all. "He ain't as honorable as you. He used our fight as a distraction to sneak up behind the girl and try to cave her head in with a crowbar. I took him out with a ki blast and then decided to make an example of him."
"A ki blast?" Taishiji blinked. "Interesting. And you needn't worry about me. Hanno has always been one of the ones saying that those who follow the magatama should simply take what we want from those weaker. I certainly won't miss him, though Totaku may miss having one of his tools in my school for a while."
Ranma filed that information away for later standing up and offering his hand to the larger man to help him up. "I know, you're honorable and a decent fighter that's why I wanted to fight you, not just to help those two." He jerked his head to where Hakufu and Kokin were still standing
Taishiji took the offered hand and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet, wincing as his cracked ribs reminded him of their presence.
"The others ran away carrying that other guy" Ranma continued. "You think you'll be okay on your own?"
"I should be," the larger man nodded.
"Great," Ranma grinned. "That was fun. Maybe we can spar again sometime?"
"Um...right," Taishiji sweat-dropped, "sure."
"Cool," Ranma said. He turned to the couple, "what about you two?"
Hakufu grinned. "Yeah we can get home ourselves, but first I want to fight you! You're so strong it makes my blood boil!"
"No." Ranma said emphatically. "Not only no, but hell no. You fighting me would be like a raw white belt fighting a fourth level dan. You're too slow, too quick to anger, and ya don't have enough skill." And until I find out what that other malevolent ki inside of you is I'm going to make damn sure I keep my distance!
What Ranma sensed from the girl was beyond odd. She had two distinct ki signatures inside her body! Not even a Jusenkyo victim had two different ki auras, and the way they were distributed was even weirder than the fact that she had two in the first place. One ki signature was obviously her own, large for someone with as little skill as Hakufu obviously had, being around the size of Shampoo's when he left Nerima. That aura was spread normally around her body, but the second aura was solely centered in her heart and central body. It was contained there within her own aura, but it was far deeper, stronger, and gave off a malevolent, almost evil feel. He had never even heard of something like this, and it almost scared him how powerful it was.
"How do I know that until I try?!" Hakufu yelled dashing forward with her fist cocked only to be halted by another pressure point strike paralyzing her entire body for a second time.
Ranma sighed. "Word of advice girl, never enter a battle half-cocked. If ya do, your enemy's already won. Ya need to train a hell of a lot more before you're in my league. You sure you can get her home?" He asked Kokin, who nodded meekly. "Good, then I'm outta here. I hear my dinner callin' and I still have to actually make it so see ya around." With that he jumped up to the nearby pile of wrecks and away, leaving behind him one massively irritated Shou Haou and one astonished Kokin.
I'll be interested in what people think of this story, and the genre in general. It seems as if Naruto has taken over the crossover male/harem sector, but i prefer Ranma simply because of the amount of chaos that is his very nature. Updates will be once every five days or so unless no one seems to like my story(s).