Ranma Saotome: The Atomic Kid.

Part 4

A slight complication.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Akane Tendo sat at the bar with a beer bottle clasped in her grip. She'd taken a few sips, and it wasn't as gross as she'd thought it'd be. It was largely untouched and would likely remain that way.

All around her the retired soldiers sat around the room. She could sense the bond they had and didn't really feel excluded. They were treating her like 'the new guy'. It was slightly unnerving for her, but she found she didn't mind too much.

"Ya did real good kid," said the older black man as he puffed on his cigarette. "Hell of a shot. When did you start shooting kid?"

"This morning," she replied simply.

The man started laughing and Larry joined him while he cleaned a glass on the other side of the bar.

The old man patted her shoulder. "No, really kid."

"Some guy kidnapped my sister at school today. I think it was Ranma's fault, but he's helping out now. I'm not sure what to think of that jerk."

Both men blinked and Larry leaned over the bar. "Yer kiddin?"

The girl looked at them both and started to grow a little nervous. "No. Why?"

"Kid, you are one hell of a shot," replied the black man cheerfully. "I ain't sure if I properly introduced myself. Name's Charles."

"Um, nice to meet you," replied the girl. Her face flushed as she looked away from the gaze everyone in the room was giving her.

"Get a load of this shit. I heard about stuff like this before, but I never believed it. I heard rumors about a few guys back in Nam." The old soldier puffed on his cigar and smirked at her with a strange knowing in his eyes.

"Huh?" said the girl. She looked confused and avoided looking anyone directly in the eyes.

"I got somethin for you kid," said Larry. "I've got a couple of these. I don't mind parting with one. Don't get caught low on ammo with nothing else on you. You won't find much ammo for this thing fighting those alien assholes. I got a couple of hundred rounds you can have. Think of it as a gift for helping defend the place. Come back in anytime, just don't expect a drink every time. Okay?" He grinned and placed a sleek black rifle on the table. It had a huge complicated scope on it and the bullets were bigger than her index finger.

"I can't take this..." It was huge, and it looked expensive.

"You got talent kid. Don't try and push it away. Maybe you should join the service or something?"

"You're kidding. Me in the military?" grumbled the girl flatly. "I'm too young to even think about that yet." She found herself seriously wondering just how these people had gotten ahold of all these weapons. The bar was a disguised armory. The sensible portion of her brain decided it was something she was better off not knowing about. "Here. I really can't take this. It's not right."

"Keep it anyway. If Duke is right and you're staying with Ranma, you might need it." He winked at her and pushed it towards her.

"Thanks," she muttered with a heavy blush as she hefted it up.

"Who showed you how to fire a weapon?" asked Charles.

"Ranma."

"You gotta be kiddin me," said a blonde haired white man as he walked up to the group. He had on a straw cowboy hat and an open flannel shirt was draped over his shoulders. Strands of gray were becoming more noticeable in his stubble and hair. His left hand held a half-full beer mug and his walk wasn't quite straight any longer. "You can't tell me you believe this. The kid didn't miss a shot the whole trip."

"You're right," said Charles. "Not a one."

"So? I always hit what I'm shooting at," she muttered sourly. "What's wrong with that?"

"It don't happen overnight, that's what," said Larry as he continued to clean his glass. The trip back was pretty hectic. Once Duke had run off on his own in order to clean up some of the mess in the area, they all returned to the bar. A few hundred dead aliens littered their path. "You'll like this rifle. It only holds about four rounds at a time, but you won't mind." He hefted several boxes of ammo onto the table and placed them into a small, green, military issue ammunition bag. "That's a hundred and fifty rounds. Sorry I can't fit more. Bring the bag back will ya? It's got sentimental value." The shells were longer than her fingers with sharp looking points.

"Um, thanks I guess," she muttered. She was bewildered by her situation. "I'm good with a gun?" She upended the bottle and chugged down a few gulps before setting it down.

Those near her arched their eyebrows and said nothing. The girl pushed the bottle back to the other side of the bar. It was obvious she didn't like the taste. She did understand that wasn't really what you drank beer for and kept it down without coughing. She was forced to take a few gasping breaths before speaking again. "Do you have anything else to drink? I don't want to get drunk on this side of town, and I've never had beer before."

Larry shrugged. "Sure. I'll get you a soda."

The girl smiled a little as she looked down at the rifle in her hands. "Thanks."

The man was smiling as he put the glass down on the counter. "You're welcome."

++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma frowned as he looked at the circle of enemies around him. "What the hell?" She had found herself in an empty cargo bay with a long hall on either side of the room in every direction.

Along with plasma weapons, the creatures had tanks of clear fluid on their backs as well with nozzles and hoses.

"You dirty son's of bitches." The boy caught sight of nets in the hands near the back of the group.

He stood there and let the squirt gun toting creatures soak him down.

"If yer planin, what I think yer planin, yer in for a world of shit." The redhead leveled her eyes dead forward.

The monster's jumped forward armed with stun batons as they let their other weapons hang from straps at their sides.

The girl twirled her handguns around her fingers and put them back on her hips. "This is really going to suck for you guys." She cracked her neck and clenched her fists as they slowly closed in around her.

Unfortunately, that was when it hit her. Some sort of energy wave emitted within the ship. She fell to her knees with her eyes wide with shock as her body suddenly felt heavier and an intense throbbing started to form in her head. "What the fuck?!" she snarled angrily.

The monsters around her started to put their weapons away as the creatures with the nets moved towards the front cautiously.

She could hear moans of pain all around her, an all too familiar sound. Every woman she'd ever encountered on one of these ships acted like it hurt to be on it. Some of them even begged for death. By the time they reached that point it was all she could do to help.

Ranma watched as her glasses hit the floor and clattered around. Waves of pain from the sound filled her head, her senses were super excited, she could feel everything, the air, and even the heat from the beasts in front of her. The most maddening sound alone was the insane pace of her own heartbeat.

"For this..." she said calmly. "This is what you put my chicks through when you pull this shit?"

"No. No fists for you Assholes." She glared up at them and stood up. On her arm was the biggest gun they had ever seen. It had grown out of a rifle like weapon she pulled from her back. A blue ball of light started to form in front of the barrel as several blades began to spin around the nose at an increasing rate of speed. "Hmmm. Wonder if I built up enough juice yet?" thought Ranma to herself as she lifted the firearm into a firing position. It was a large silver hunk of metal with various wires and tubes poking out of it. The girl had to hold it with both hands and the barrel was thicker than her arm. A flashing red warning light and beeping sign told her the gun thought she had enough.

Rather than try and charge her, the monsters were running and flying away as fast as they could. They were starting to near the door on the other side of the hallway.

"I've never vaporized an entire hallway before. Should be cool."

A beam of blue light roared out of the barrel, inside the light was a solid projectile that moved far too fast for anyone to see. When it impacted with the group of aliens a large round hole about the size of their own head appeared right through the middle of the group, a few limbs fell to the ground as a result and several had chunks of their torsos missing. The light from the beam grew larger and melted the hall into a large circle shape, vaporizing the remains. The girl snorted as she put it back on her back and watched the seemingly endless void of the new round hallway. Thousands of feet away at the end of the hall, a bright light formed suddenly. She stood calmly and watched it grow brighter and brighter as she put her shades back on. "Nice." The end of the hallway ended in sunlight when the explosion died down. "I should use that more often."

Ranma flicked her pigtail and noticed that her headache and the pained screams had all stopped. "Much better. I'll have to remember to tell Duke about that."

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Warning lights began to flash as sirens sounded on the bridge of the invading ship. Aliens rushed around excitedly as they worked to find the source of the problem. In the middle of the room, an alien much larger than his subordinates sat in a chair and gazed around at his underlings as they bustled about. He looked largely the same as the smaller alien grunts, but had large green veins that bulged out of his brown skin all over his body, and across his face. "What the hell is going on?" growled the new lead alien to his commander. He was new to his job. Ryoga Hibiki had done away with his former superior officers. "What happened?"

"We cannot leave orbit," replied the creature coldly. "Our only choice is to kill him, we have no other options."

"Very well. Prepare for him."

"He will be waiting for him."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tatewaki Kuno backed away from the towering beast before him and growled. It roared angrily launching a large drop of drool onto his clothes.

He stared down at it in disgust. "Foul thing." He gripped his shotgun and pointed at the thing's face. It reported and the beast lurched back, shaking its head violently. It started stomping forward and Kuno backed away while firing another shot into its upper chest. The thing had mechanical arms from the elbow down, and everything from its lower abdomen down was metal. Visible heat could be seen from the monster's mouth as it breathed heavily and slowly turned its weapons as it attempted to train them on him. Several shots exploded behind Kuno tearing huge holes into buildings and littering the ground with debris.

"Curses!" snarled the Kendoist angrily. The thing was cutting off all of his escape routes. He could not run away. "Fine then! I shall face you!"

The beast roared as the boy charged directly at it brandishing both weapons.

It welcomed him by bending down to catch him in its mouth. Kuno could see the flames in the monster's belly. He snarled angrily and nailed it upside its face with one of the shotguns. The creature landed on its side hard from the blow as Kuno spun around in the air and fired a shot into its neck.

The beast roared in rage as it quickly stood back up and fired randomly with the cannons.

Kuno was in too close though and jumped up to belt the creature again, firing into its chest with the free weapon as he did so. "Ha! My technique is invincible beast!"

The monster opened its mouth as it turned back to face him again. A jet of flame forced the boy to roll back away from it. "Damn!"

The creature stomped back a little and leveled the cannons towards him. He growled and started running around it again to stay out of the shots. He was forced to move in the opposite direction a few times by a close shot, but managed to stay out of fire. "I am not yet defeated fiend!"

The creature opened its mouth and started to breathe fire as soon as he started charging forward. Both cannons went off and he could feel the shells passing on either side of him as he tripped and rolled across the ground just behind the jet of flames. He scrambled onto his hands and knees with both weapons still gripped in his hands and moved between its legs, barely avoiding being crushed underneath one of the massive piston like feet.

He noticed the monster was still firing flames at the ground as he stood up and looked at the back of its head. He simply raised the shotgun and placed it directly against the back of its skull. The reach the weapon gave him was just enough to allow it.

The fire promptly stopped, but alas, Kuno pulled the trigger at that moment. The creature fell forward onto the ground landing in its own brains.

"I knew I would be victorious!" cried the boy arrogantly as he waved the magic blade in his right hand about over his head. "Having confronted such evil and righteously destroying it with my might, I feel that this darkness is now broken! I shall return post haste to my quarters to meditate upon this!" He turned and promptly started running home as soon as he climbed over the debris in his way. "Hmmm. Perhaps Saotome has some merit. I shall inquire about a more powerful blade upon the morrow!" He paused in the street and looked deeper into the city. "I do not think Saotome has finished his battle yet. I have not yet found any trace of Akane Tendo as well. Perhaps I should return this way and inquire of her whereabouts again." That was a much braver reason to run away. By the time he got back, most of it would be over.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma calmly walked through one of the many long metal hallways within the ship. None of the aliens were using anything but stun weapons. She wasn't carrying weapons in her hands as she casually strolled towards the metal doorway in front of her. She already knew what was on the other side thanks to her glasses. She smirked slightly as she cracked her knuckles as it slid aside in front of her.

Five more of the things were standing on the other side waiting for her to open it. Each one had another stun baton gripped firmly. "What the hell is wrong with these assholes? Haven't they given this crap up yet?" Fighting them with bullets when they were using stun weapons was a waste of ammo, but it was getting to the point where she wouldn't care about that much.

She stood patiently and waited in clear view of the camera right in front of the door. It took a minute or so, but it opened up and the things stepped forward warily.

"Man, you guys are so gonna get your asses kicked. I'm getting sick of this, I think I'm gonna set off your reactor core. I need to blow off some steam."

They charged forward as a group and waved the stun weapons around wildly. The girl kicked her knee up sharply and put her leg back down before she grabbed the very large knife that had been ejected from the side of boot. She shifted sideways with the knife in front of her as two passed on either side of her. The one on her right hit the ground with blood spraying out of its throat. The other staggered for a second and quickly turned to attack her from behind.

The redhead had the one that had charged directly in an arm lock with the blade against his throat. She neatly carved through half of the neck and slashed down to remove one of the creature's wrist. Both weapons clattered to the floor at her feet. She released her dead prisoner and flipped the knife around backhanded just in time to jab it into the monster charging from behind's gut. She sliced up splitting him from the neck down and flipped the knife over the back of her head into the last monster's forehead.

"Heh." She turned to pull the knife out of the creature's skull as the injured one screamed at the loss of its hand and clutched the wound. She flipped it around her wrist and stabbed into the side of the thing's head. She shook some of the blood off the weapon and wiped it off on the fallen monster's uniform. She replaced it and smiled as she realized there were five stun weapons lying around on the ground. They were the new models, with belt clips built onto them. "Oh yeah." She collected four of them and pulled two small chains out of her pocket. They had swiveling clips on either end that were well oiled and worked smoothly. The girl linked two of the weapons with each one and hooked one on her belt, and activated the ones she was holding. The redhead smirked as she gave it a few spins around her body.

The weapons crackled and popped excitedly lighting the hallway with quick popping flashes of blue and white. She smirked to herself and started whistling the theme to 'Enter the Dragon' as she spun the weapon around lazily. She started to walk to the next room and stopped in front of the door with her grin widening. There was fifty waiting in ambush on the other side of the door in a cargo bay. A few of them had energy weapons now as well, but it wouldn't spoil her fun or anything.

"Sure is nice of them to only guard the most direct way to important shit." The interior of the ship was as large as a small multi level city. He could see the holding cells were just ahead from the map on the wall beside her. Her glasses scanned and memorized it with only a quick glance at the lighted plaque on the wall.

She calmly pushed the button to open it and grinned as she took up a ready position with her improvised electric nunchaku. "Hi."

The things charged towards her in mass and she jumped into the room to meet them spinning the weapons wildly around.

The monsters around her staggered as the flashes made it difficult to focus and she landed unchallenged. The things started to adjust as the three closest to her all flew away shaking wildly and foaming at the mouth, each one had no less than five visible burn marks.

Four of the beasts armed with plasma weapons stood on top of the large steel crates that turned the back half of the room into a few narrow passageways. They all took sniping positions and fired down at her as she tore through the ground troops. She sent each one that charged forward flying away with several blows burned onto them. The redhead lashed her foot out and hook kicked one of them face first into the side of one of the crates crushing his skull as she nailed the creature in front of her with an upwards strike to his crotch. It flew straight into the air. One of the energy weapon carrying aliens had finally figure out that aiming was a good way to stop killing his swarming comrades. She spun the nunchaku in her left hand and nailed the ball of energy dead on. It flew back and burned off the creature's face. The monsters surrounding her were thinning out and the plasma toting aliens started to get better shots at her, unfortunately none of them got off more than one as each blast was deflected in the same manner. There were still about thirty five aliens left when the batons finally ran out of juice. They were grouped together on the other side of the room and waited for her to come to them. Ranma strolled out of the rows of boxes into the open area of the room in front of the alien mob.

A collective alien chuckle started as Ranma took back her chains and put them into her pocket calmly. After that, she lit a cigarette. The creatures started to edge forward slowly. They all stopped as she pulled the mini gun off her back.

"I got a mini gun and you got electric sticks, plus, you're all lined up like yer takin a damn photo. So smile for the birdie!"

She opened fire and quickly leveled the crowd of monsters.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Akane sighed with relief as she lowered her handgun. Larry was showing her the simple operation of her weapon when the door opened. The other men did the same thing and the midget by the chalkboard sat back down on the stool next to his beer as he jumped off the counter.

A young woman with short brown hair poked her head into the door. "Do you do this to every patron you get?"

"We'll get over it when this mess clears up," replied Larry calmly.

"I should have you all arrested!" snapped the woman angrily.

"Who's she?" asked Akane.

"Izumi. She's a bit loud, but she's on our side. Don't worry."

The girl shrugged and went back to looking over the weapon again. It was heavy, and she had enough experience with other firearms that she could tell it was going to kick hard.

"Who's the kid?" asked the woman as she stared at Akane for a moment. She seemed confused and surprised to see her.

"Ranma's new friend."

"Oh. You're the engagement."

The girl frowned. "I'm not marrying him."

"I'm glad you're smart enough to realize you can't keep him," replied Izumi cheerfully. "He's broken a few hearts before."

Akane's frown deepened. "I knew it, he's a womanizing jerk."

"Of course he is. That's part of the deal," replied Izumi cheerfully. "He has his place in the world. Marrying him would be hell anyway. He is fun though isn't he?" She tapped the bar and grinned. "Bourbon please."

Larry was already setting it down.

Akane was staring at her in shock. "You slept with him?"

"A lot of girls have." Izumi looked somewhat surprised at the younger girl's reaction. "He's no Duke Nukem mind you..."

"Him too?" stammered the girl dumbly.

"No. He likes his women a bit more...mature I think."

"Rrrrrr. The pervert."

Izumi was confused. "What are you so pissed about? You knew this already didn't you?"

"I can't believe my father would do this to me," she replied irritably. "Hearing about it doesn't help."

"Oh. Don't worry. He's not a bad guy."

"Yeah, right," muttered the girl irritably. "You don't have to live with him. I hope he leaves soon, I can only take so much of that macho jerk."

"That's an interesting way of looking at it," replied the woman as she sipped at her drink. "You look like his type too. I'm surprised you don't like him."

"I don't know what to think of him," grumbled the girl.

"We need him around," replied the woman with a small frown. "The world needs Duke Nukem, and someone to replace him when he retires. He won't be as old as he is forever."

"I'm sure, these things wouldn't be here if not for him."

"Yes they would," replied Izumi calmly as she continued to drink. Her face became very serious. "Those ships they brought here, those aren't just invasion troops. Those things are floating rape prisons for women."

"Wh-what?" gasped the girl in shock.

"It's actually painful for a woman to be inside one. Trust me Akane, I don't want to think of a world without Duke Nukem, or Ranma. Not one of those ships has ever made it off this planet under their watch."

Akane found herself staring down at the bar. "Great, now it's more confusing than ever..." She glanced over her shoulder at the door.

"Thinking of trying out your new toy?" asked Larry.

She hooked it over her shoulder and adjusted some of her other weapons a bit as she stood up and faced the door. "Which way is Nerima ward?"

The man tossed her a small cheap compass. "It's southeast of here. Just keep following the needle and you'll find your way."

"Thank you."

"Don't be a stranger now. I want that bag back remember?" said Larry cheerfully. "You be careful with that, and don't shoot any people with it!"

"I promise," she replied as she walked out into the street. It was getting late, but she thought she had enough time to make it home before sunset. She turned towards the center of town where the ship had landed and frowned. "Good luck, Ranma. I hope you pass your test." She took her new rifle off her shoulder and decided to relieve herself of some of her anxiety and stress on the way home. It only held four rounds though, but it obviously wasn't meant for close range firing. Loading it was simple though, and she didn't think she'd need much else to make it home. Larry had donated a lot of ammo for it.

A familiar looking speck was joined by three others just like it a ways down the road. Three of the pig cops were moving slowly towards her in what appeared to be a patrol. She ducked behind a large rock and used it to steady her weapon. Pressing her eye against the scope she adjusted it the way she had been instructed. She smirked to herself as she found the crosshairs already directly on one of the creature's neck.

The head popped off neatly and sprayed his companions with blood. The next shot removed most of the top of the middle one's head. The last pig took one right between the eyes, and a large red spray escaped the back of his skull.

The girl frowned as she glanced down at the weapon and scanned the area for any more targets. "This thing sure is messy." She frowned slightly and decided that there was no way she could have enjoyed anything so disgusting.

++++++++++++++++++++

Kasumi frowned very crossly as she blasted the disgusting perverts that kept trying to grab the women walking with her. They even looked like the pigs they were in fact. Tofu was being very polite and flinched in the most adorable way whenever she fired one of the weapons. The M-60 was getting low, and she so disliked having to use those under powered machine guns some of the things used. The shotgun was good enough to sate her though, and it was the favored weapon of the pig creatures that seemed to show up the most.

Behind her walked the shopkeeper's family, four women who had come out of hiding, the old man from the Yakitori place and his family, and the beef bowl restaurant owner and his family. "Oh dear. I think I may need help with dinner tonight." Fortunately, the business owners were contributing to the meal and talked cheerfully behind her. She was having a nice conversation with the shopkeeper's wife about those darling little towels the woman had hanging in her kitchen when she had been interrupted again. "Such rude people!"

"Pardon dear?" muttered the old woman in confusion.

"Those unpleasant people who keep trying to grab those girls. They have no consideration at all. I do hate to speak so about someone..." She looked flustered and sighed heavily. "I don't know what to say at all." She bowed in greeting to the squealing pig that rounded the corner in front of them. "Oh, good morning!" None of the people looked particularly worried at his appearance.

The thing grunted and hefted its shotgun up to take the women prisoner.

The girl in the lead simply sighed and promptly put two shells into him.

"Ka...kaa...kasu....Kasumi....k...Good morning, Kasumi...Kasumi, nice weather we're having, huh?...Kasumi, what brings you this way?..." muttered Tofu quietly to himself from just behind her..

"Hey, Tofu is getting better," said one of the girls near the front of the group,.

"Yes, that's nice to hear dear," said the shopkeeper's wife. "I hope he manages to get a grip on that soon. I don't really know how much longer Kasumi will wait before she..."

The girl blushed and hung her head a little as she gripped the weapon in her hand a little tighter. Her hair covered her face so Tofu could not see her expression. His mind went blank as her fingers wrapped around the trigger as she adjusted her grip slightly. He swallowed hard, and stopped thinking again.

Kasumi blinked and looked back with a cheerful smile on her face as Tofu suddenly became a little easier to guide. "Are you sure you're all right?"

"K...k...kkk..."

The girl sighed, his hands were becoming clammy again. He had gotten over that earlier, but seemed to black out again. She had no idea Tofu would react so badly to an Alien Invasion. She thought someone should tell them not to do it anymore. She'd ask Ranma about that when he got back. Surely he would know how if no one else did.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nabiki Tendo was sound asleep. Soun and Genma had moved the shogi table under the porch and played the game while cowering in the dirt.

"Saotome, how much longer is this going to take?"

"Shouldn't last more than a few more hours," replied Genma with a small shrug. "We could probably come out and turn on the television if we wanted too."

Soun nodded, but didn't move from his place under the floor. Neither did Genma.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Girls screamed around him, some of their clothes were in tatters, but they were mostly unharmed as they cowered back in their prisons. They weren't in any pain anymore, but their captor's rather messy deaths were a bit frightening.

A calm and collected redheaded girl strolled right through the guard with a pair of desert eagle handguns in her grip. They fired off seemingly randomly, often with her not really bothering to look where she was firing.

Ranma strolled through the giant holding cages as two floating brains with monstrous faces appeared before her in the air. Long tendrils floated below them and they began to move towards her firing some sort of energy shots at their rescuer.

Ranma spun and fired around the two monsters in the narrow corridor through the holding area. The balls of power dissipated into the floor as she slid past the blast untouched and put her pistols away. She rolled across the ground under them as they concentrated their fire together on her position. Instead of passing completely under them she landed flat on her back with twin double barreled sawn off shotguns pointed up at them. Green fluid shot into the air above them as both weapons reported. The creatures hit the ground with a rather messy splat just as the girl made it to her feet. She was a bit dirty, but it wasn't more than a few stains on her shirt. "Now I'm getting pissed. I liked this shirt." He glanced around at the girls standing at the bars of the cages with shocked looks on their faces.

Ranma looked down at himself for a moment. He was a woman at the moment. "Uh oh." A large group of the pig things came bursting through the door in what appeared to be riot gear. There were about fifteen of them. The redhead was busy looking around at the girls staring at her and didn't seem to notice.

"Why are you standing there? Go kick some ass sister!" cried one of the girls excitedly.

"Yeah, whatever," grumbled the redhead as she felt her face flush. Her eyes became bloodshot, though no one could see anything beyond a cool stare because of her shades. She let out a small growl that no one but her could hear before speaking again. "The military will show up to get you out of these cages shortly. I've got business higher up."

"What? You're just gonna leave us?" gasped a few girls in horror.

"Heh. I'm gonna go find the biggest, ugliest, asshole I can, then I'm gonna rip off his head and shit down his neck. After that, I'm gonna turn the engines on and let this thing ride into the atmosphere. The hole I put in it already should be more than enough." She calmly started forward towards the slowly advancing pigs. They had formed a shielded wall in front of her and were pushing forward carefully. She pulled a grenade launcher off her back and sent a few shells into the mess. A few easy shots with her personal hand cannons cleaned the remaining few up. She didn't even have to move from where she was standing. "Dumbasses."

She strolled up to the doors and pulled a small radio up to her lips. "Holding area secure, send in the troops and clean up the mess." She calmly strolled onward as the doors opened up revealing about five of the floating brain creatures. The girl calmly leveled the minigun she had strapped to her back on the things as they floated towards her. "Hey, what's that on yer face?"

The floating creature in front of her seemed confused for a moment and paused. She promptly fired and removed most of the monster's jaw. It splattered onto the ground and the others reacted by sending more of the energy blasts towards her. "There, I got it fer ya."

The doors closed leaving the imprisoned girls behind her. After several explosions the redhead walked back into the room and up to the nearest cage. "Hey. How many got taken out of here?"

The girl closest to her seemed confused, but had enough sense about her to answer. "About ten of us were taken out and through those doors. We haven't seen anyone come back." She glanced back at her fellow prisoners. "Who are you anyway?"

"Just a figment of your imagination," replied the redhead calmly as she turned back through the doors. She tossed a set of keys at the girl's feet. "Don't leave this room. Let the others out and stay put. Help is coming, and there are still a lot of nasty things on this ship."

The girl nodded and scooped the keys up nervously. They were strangely shaped and squared, but it was still easy to tell which end unlocked the doors. She immediately did so and rushed up to the door before it closed on the redhead. "Wait! Thank you!"

She was cut off as the doors closed, the girl hadn't even looked back at them.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Oh father!" exclaimed Kasumi as Soun and Genma crawled out from under the porch. Nabiki had a blanket wrapped around her and was sitting in front of the television. She glared at the two men, but seemed to decide that it was too much trouble to bother being angry with them. "Why are you under there?"

"We were waiting in ambush!" said Genma proudly.

"Uh, yes! That's right Saotome!" agreed Soun.

"You were hiding," said Nabiki flatly.

"Are you feeling better?" asked the older girl as she ignored the two men's embarrassment.

"Not really. My leg is killing me, but it's not too bad anymore. Did you pick up those pills for me?" replied the girl as she glanced back at the people. Kasumi produced a bottle of over the counter painkillers out of her bag. "What did you do? Bring half the town home with you?" Nabiki didn't seem to pay much attention to whatever answer she was getting as she fumbled with the bottle irritably. "Picked the perfect time to run out didn't we?" The girl quickly downed a few and realized just how many people were standing in her doorway.

The blank stare was easy enough to read and Kasumi blushed at her sister's reaction. "It seems we're having company for dinner. Oh my! I should get started!"

All of the older women made for the kitchen. The younger members of the group walked out of the kitchen having left the food there. They began to sit around the living room quietly while the women talked. The men all moved towards the porch, two young boys sat with the men. Both of them were young enough to not have much interest in the girls and ignored them.

Tofu stood by the door. "..." It was obvious he wasn't planning on moving.

"What's with him?" asked the girl Kasumi had saved at the store earlier.

"He'll be fine," said Nabiki as she continued to stare at the television. "This should be over soon. Duke Nukem has been running around town cleaning up most of the mess in town. Word is that Ranma is on the alien spaceship now."

Everyone seemed pleased with the news.

Nabiki blinked as grainy helicopter footage started on the news. A reporter smiled into the camera and adjusted her long dark hair. "This just in! It seems a few citizens of Tokyo have joined in the defense of our nation from the invaders."

Nabiki stared at the image as it zoomed in and became more focused. Tatewaki Kuno was standing in the middle of the street with dual shotguns in his grip. Surrounding him were several dead pigs as he moved back towards Nerima. "Exclusive footage shot earlier today shows this young man fought bravely to save his classmates from the aliens. A battle held earlier today shows he defeated an S-class alien to rescue many of the captured women." Grainy distant news footage of someone blowing a very large monster's brains out from behind.

"I'm getting a headache," growled Nabiki irritably.

"What's an S-class alien?" asked the shopkeeper's daughter.

Another of the nearby girls turned to look at her. "It's one of the really big ones. Those are very dangerous!"

"Wow!"

Nabiki felt her eye twitch as she continued to ignore them. Her classmate's photo appeared on the screen with his name underneath it. By some sick coincidence, they had decided to surround his picture with red roses to make his heroics seem even more dramatic.

"He's kind of cute."

"He lives around here, I wonder if he has a girlfriend?"

"No. He's too stupid to get one. I know him." Nabiki glared at them. "He's a complete idiot."

"He's brave to fight those aliens though," pointed out the shopkeeper's daughter cheerfully.

"I wouldn't mind having a guy like that come to save me. Not that I don't appreciate Kasumi's help..." agreed another of the nearby girls.

The middle Tendo daughter found herself sitting amongst seven girls of various ages. All of them were in their early teens though. She wasn't really in the mood for company, but managed to suppress her irritation. She pulled her blanket tighter and sighed. "I wonder when Akane will be back."

"In other reports, a mysterious sniper seems to be eliminating aliens from the east district. Military sources deny any special forces troops in the area." A map with several marked places on it showed an almost direct line towards Nerima.

"That must be Akane now," said Nabiki calmly. "Daddy, I think Akane will be home soon. Don't forget to set a place for her, Kasumi."

The shopkeeper's daughter was sitting directly beside her now. "Wow. Your family is so cool, Nabiki!"

The older girl merely shrugged. "I guess." She stood up and limped towards the stairs with her blankets. "I'm going to take another nap now. Do me a favor and wake me up for dinner will ya?"

The girl watched the older girl move away as the others parted for her to get by. "Okay."

Tofu appeared in front of her just as she reached the stairs. "Let me take a look at that leg for you." He seemed to calm down considerably, and actually looked somewhat relieved to have something else to think about for a while.

Nabiki frowned at him and rolled her eyes. "Fine. I want to lie down though. My leg is killing me again."

The man sighed and nodded. "I've got to get some bandages from your father and make sure it's wrapped up properly. I wish I'd thought to bring my bag with me. I'll bring you something for the pain as soon as it's safe enough to head back to the clinic. Those pills Kasumi brought you will only do so much. You'll need an antibiotic as well."

The girl slowly moved up the stairs and nodded. She couldn't put much weight on the leg and it showed. Tofu was feeling worse and worse about how he had handled himself so far. It wasn't like him to be so irresponsible.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Akane Tendo sighed as she continued to follow the compass towards Nerima. She had her handgun gripped tightly and a pair of binoculars up to her eyes as she scanned the area for any targets of opportunity. It was clear, and had been for almost an hour. She hadn't run into any more monsters yet, and it was starting to look like she was in the clear.

The girl paused as she noticed movement a good way down the road. A lone figure was strolling away from her with a pair of weapons in his hands. "Who's that?"

She pulled the rifle from her shoulder and dropped to her knee as she adjusted the sight a bit. "Huh? Kuno?! What the hell is he doing here?" She frowned as she glanced around at the deserted street. "I don't feel like dealing with him." She turned to move down a different street away from him. It wouldn't be too difficult to stay behind him, but she didn't want to get spotted tailing him either.

That was when it hit her. "He's armed?" After a moment of thought, she just shrugged and turned down the road again away from him.

++++++++++++++++++++++

A few minutes later she was sitting in an upstairs window looking down on the street through the scope on her rifle. Kuno walked by wielding two shotguns openly. No one was contesting him, and people were starting to appear on the streets again. She needed to get home before the police took control again. Kuno seemed to have the same idea, though she doubted if he'd put any thought into it.

She pulled her eyes off the lens and frowned as four of the alien creatures landed in the street around Kuno, each of them had a jetpack and a plasma gun. "I don't have a plasma gun yet," she muttered as she quickly squared her sights on the first one that hit the ground.

Kuno hadn't moved yet, but the pedestrians had quickly cleared the street again. The alien things that surrounded him already had their weapons trained on him. "Feh. More dullards wish to challenge the might of..." Two of them fell dead before him. The sound of gunfire turned his eyes towards the window of a nearby building as he splattered large stains onto the pavement with the remaining two monsters.

"Who?"

Akane Tendo was turning away and leaving the room.

"Can it be? My love has sought to rescue me from..."

Akane opened the door and already looked pissed. "Damn it. Why did I do that? Stupid Kuno..." She had merely wanted two of the plasma guns the creatures were toting and had forgotten who she was saving.

"My tigress! You..." Kuno froze as he felt something push up against his most private of areas. Little Kuno was in danger, and his tiny brain struggled to understand why. "Seem to be having a feminine problem this day my love. I shall refrain from my usual display of affection until you are feeling less bloated."

Akane cocked the hammer of the handgun she had shot Ryoga with and shoved it a little harder into Kuno's crotch. She seemed satisfied enough with the color his face turned and didn't pull the trigger. Even though she knew she'd regret it later. She calmly collected two of the plasma guns and removed the ammo from the other two. They kind of looked like batteries of some kind, but they were warm, and she could see a glowing orange fluid inside the cell. It was her first energy weapon, and she was most interested in seeing how it performed. "You already killed everything that way?" she asked as she glanced back down the way he had come.

"Yes! I bravely faced this wicked enemy in order to rescue you my..."

"Do I look like I need rescuing?" she replied irritably.

"Allow me to escort..."

"Touch me and I'll shoot you," snapped the girl as she flashed a glare at him.

Kuno was intelligent enough to realize that she just might do it. "Akane Tendo, I merely wish too see you home safe. Why do you..."

"Why?" she muttered as she started walking away. "Go home Kuno. I'll make it home just fine. I don't need your help, and I don't want it."

"This worries me. Akane Tendo, it is not fitting for a man of my position to merely abandon a woman..."

The girl whirled around and slugged him in the stomach. "I've had about all of the help I can take from you. Why can't you just leave me alone?"

Kuno chuckled as he cradled his belly and stared up at her. "These taps of affection..."

The girl ignored him and continued walking, he followed behind her persistently. She was growing tired of that conversation. It was so tempting to just turn and blow his brains out, end her problem forever. No one would notice or care, and his death would be blamed on the aliens.

Kuno had his hand on her shoulder at this point and was sniffing a rose as he looked far off into the side of the buildings next to them. "Tis a lovely day for such a casual stroll..."

The girl planted her fist into his jaw. "If you're going to follow me keep quiet, and don't touch me. I'm sick of arguing with you about this."

The older boy merely cocked his head sideways and thought on the matter behind her. "Such ferocity, surely she is embarrassed by her feelings of love, and feels she must constrain them. How then do I break her free of such bonds?" It was something he'd been pondering for years. Akane Tendo was the reason he lost his first tooth. A fond memory indeed, the first time she proved her prowess and worthiness to him in battle.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma was mentally cursing herself. The girls were already hanging from cocoons in the wall, they looked tired and pale, almost glued into place. She was staring up at them calmly with a rocket launcher hefted in her arms.

One of them looked up at her with a dazed glaze over her eyes. "Who are you?"

The redhead didn't speak, her count was good and they were all here. Ten girls and all of them were together. She climbed up the wall and started ripping chunks of it out. "I'll need a decontamination team. I've found some on one of the upper levels. Not too far gone, but they ain't okay either."

"Understood, we are clearing out the lower chamber now," was the crackled reply.

The redhead started carving out large chunks of the sticky substance from around the girls. One at a time they were set free from the chambers and staggered around her in the nude with dazed stumbles. Ranma didn't like the situation much. It was rare for her to find any salvageable humans at this point in a ship. The girls were new arrivals, but they would still need years of therapy to cope with what had happened to them. They were an unfortunate group. The redhead made them all sit against the wall and guarded them patiently by strolling up and down the hallway. All of their captors had been killed of course, and their bodies were lying around the room.

The redhead didn't speak, and the girls calmed very quickly. After several minutes the dazed stares became more alert. Ranma glanced at the group and placed something that flashed red over and over in the middle of the floor. "Don't touch this, and don't let it leave your sight. I can't stay here, and you can't come with me."

"No! You can't leave us!" cried one of the girls as she jumped up to her feet. A few of the others had joined her and everyone looked alarmed.

"There's guys comin ta help ya already. If I don't keep goin forward they're gonna start comin ta me. Ya stay here and you'll be fine. You come with me, you'll die for sure." She nodded her head towards the device on the floor. "That's a tracking beacon, there are soldiers just behind me. Stay here, I mean it."

"Who are you?" asked one of the confused girls. Quite a few of them had started to wonder about that.

"Don't worry about that." The redhead strolled away grinding her teeth in frustration. These alien dick heads were so gonna get it.

She glanced over her shoulder at the huddled group of girls as the door closed. After a minute or so of walking she found herself in a storage room. Large crates of supplies, ammunition, and a few vehicles filled the room around her. Mostly it was a garage of some kind.

Something caught her attention in a nearby corner. It was a tiny robot. It looked almost like a midget and was only about two and a half feet tall. The metal was painted red, but it was old and faded looking. Two lenses appeared on the face where the eyes should have been and a small speaker hole was cut where a mouth should be. It was shut down and dust covered, but she didn't recall seeing any sort of robot like it before. Most of Proton or Ryoga's creations were quite a bit larger. She blew some dust off the chrome skull and frowned. It was Proton's symbol, she hadn't seen it in years. A sort of stylized 'P' that turned itself into a circle almost. Hibiki had his own mark and never used his former master's symbol. It was an unfamiliar model.

She hefted her arms around it and arched her eyebrows as she easily managed to turn it on. It's programming was erased and a system restore screen was flashing. Ranma chuckled at the next screen. "Erase hard drive, or change base settings?" The redhead wasn't in any particular hurry anymore. All of the babes had been rescued, and he'd done enough in the streets and opening up the way in to get credit for at least helping to save the day. A mysterious redhead could get some of the credit from time to time.

She wasn't in it for the credit, though that helped her get laid. No, she was squatting down next to the robot going through options screens because she liked explosions. It was meant to be an infiltration unit, its small size allowed it to hide easily and sneak around in areas. It was also expendable, and Proton tended to use a lot of things like that when he used them. They could carry a large variation of weapons as well. Somehow one of them must have escaped Duke without too much damage somewhere and these things had scavenged it. It looked like it had been ignored for a long time.

The tiny thing stood up and the lenses on its metal skull focused.

Ranma closed the access panel. She would have to update some of the security software if it survived the trip. "Yer comin with me. I could use some cannon fodder ta check things ahead fer me."

The thing zoomed in on the boy and paused. It beeped a few times and started walking around a bit, keeping the head trained on its new master. "What is my mission?" asked the little robotic voice.

"If you see anything not human on this ship. Kill it. Yer on point fer a little while. Let's see how long ya last. I'll decide if I should keep you or not dependin on how long ya last."

The small thing processed this information. "Available armaments?"

"I'll give you a shotgun, the rest is onsite procurement."

"Range of motion limitations?"

"Don't get too far ahead of me, five hundred meters or so."

"Thank you, have a nice day, sir."

The redhead paused and looked down at the thing for a moment as it scurried off. "Okay."

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Akane's eye twitched. Her finger was actually itching. She'd thought it was just an expression. Tatewaki Kuno strolled along beside her as they neared the Kuno mansion. He had his weapons tucked inside his belt and did his very best to persuade her to think they were on a romantic stroll. He had his hand on her shoulder and gazed longingly into the distance.

"Ah, such a fine day my love. I return victorious from battle, only to find my tigress awaiting my return! Oh, Akane Tendo! I shall go out with thee!"

The angry looking girl promptly slugged him in the gut. "I told you not to touch me! Go home!" She pointed at the gates beside her and glared at him as he stood up and clutched his stomach.

"Ah! Come my love! We have arrived! Never again shall you have to return to your hovel, cursed by a wicked sister, and consumed by poverty!"

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! I'll kill you!"

"Brother dear..."

Akane paused as her head slowly turned. She had Kuno by the neck and her handgun was pressed firmly against his balls. Her teeth were gritted together and light foam was forming at the corners of her mouth. Two bloodshot eyes stared at the girl standing in the gates of the Kuno estate. "Is this your brother?"

"Y-yes," muttered the strange girl. She was about the same age as Akane and had her long dark hair tied into a ponytail. She was dressed in a uniform from an expensive private all girls school nearby. "Tachi? Who is this strange girl?"

"My true beloved Akane Tendo!" gasped the older boy.

"Oh yes. This is the girl who is in all of those pictures in your room!" The girl seemed quite cheerful and pleased to meet her.

Akane's eyes returned to the older boy's face. He was starting to turn purple, and she cocked the hammer of her weapon back.

"It's so nice to meet you. I can't seem to kill him either. I've tried all sorts of poisons, but he just doesn't die. I never imagined I should try firearms."

Akane relaxed her grip on his neck a bit and turned to look at the girl in surprise. "Who are you again?"

"Forgive me. I am Kodachi Kuno. Sister of this fool."

"I guess I can hand him over to you," replied the gun-wielding girl with a small shrug.

"No need. Please feel free to shoot him," said Kodachi cheerfully. "I thought I was the only one who disliked him this much!"

Akane seemed to realize what she was doing and put the handgun away. She kneed Kuno in the crotch and backed away from him as he fell to the ground. "I might have gotten away with it earlier, but the aliens have been gone to long to blame it on them now. I'm Akane Tendo by the way."

"Is he bothering you? I managed to keep him out of my room at least. Maybe I could offer a few tips."

Akane shrugged and followed the girl through the gates. "How did you avoid the aliens? I thought everyone was kidnapped."

"I keep a supply of gasses and poisons with me most of the time. It wasn't difficult to escape, though my friends were taken. It's a pity, but I'm afraid I couldn't do much to help them."

The other girl grunted and followed Kodachi into the home. "Whatever. I'm a pretty good shot though."

"If you poison my brother enough times, he will leave you alone," replied Kodachi calmly. "It takes a bit of time, but it's truly wonderful to have some privacy once you've done it."

"Really?" Akane blinked in mild surprise at the bloated crocodile that was sunning itself while lying in a large splatter of entrails. Various alien pieces littered the ground around it, a few heads and limbs. "Nice pet."

"Thank you. Unfortunately, he doesn't eat my brother. Mr. Turtle didn't work out, but he was just too adorable. I decided to keep him anyway."

"Right. Adorable. Is there anything that can hurt your brother? I beat him up so much it's rare for me to see him without having to clobber him."

"It's difficult to make him sick, he's built up a remarkable tolerance to most poisons. I can tell you what works best against him. I'm constantly having to change the dosage and poisons I use. I've built up something of a tolerance myself. I enjoy the flavor it brings to food."

"You can use poison to make food taste better?" asked Akane in confusion.

"Oh, most certainly," said Kodachi cheerfully.

Akane paused, and seemed to think about that for a moment. "I guess that makes sense." She was lead through the center of the home towards Kodachi's bedroom. The building was very old and the girl's room was enormous. "Wow. Nice room. You do gymnastics?"

"Hohohohohohohohoho! I am the regional champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics Martial Arts!"

"I practice martial arts myself. Tendo School of Anything Goes martial arts."

"Really? It seems we have much in common. Unfortunately, it is because of my brother mostly."

"Where is he anyway?" asked Akane as she glanced around. She halfway expected him to try and grab her again any time. She was in his house after all.

"My brother will not come near this room if he can help it. Do not worry," said Kodachi cheerfully. "Let me show you my lab. Tachi is quite resistant to physical pain."

"I think that's mostly my fault. I beat him up all the time."

"Really? My understanding was that you were quite fond of him. I am relieved to find my brother will probably not reproduce."

"You're relieved?" said Akane cheerfully. Kuno's sister wasn't bad at all. She was starting to like her.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

The small metal robot Ranma had picked up moved forward at a quick pace. The shotgun rested in its small three fingered hands. The robot paused as it glanced around at a crossway in the hall. It could move forward, up, or down. The bio scanners told it that most of the targets in the ship were above it. Almost all the life below it was human, and currently off limits. The thing beeped excitedly as it started jogging towards the upward leading hallway. The ship was very organic and lacked stairs of any kind, the ground just inclined when the hallway branched.

The upper levels of the ship were even more alien. The walls looked alive almost. Doors were more like membranes and orifices. Everything became a sickly green, and large puddles of liquids on the ground made it look almost like it was the innards of some giant monster.

The machine cocked its shotgun as it walked into a room full of pigs. They all looked down at it in confusion and grunted. The robot realized that it was surrounded and had only a single shotgun. The pig things just sort of stood around it grunting at each other. It was obvious they were trying to figure out what it was doing there.

The robot walked up to a few of them and took three shotguns. Two extra arms had popped out of small doors on its back and chest. The pig creatures weren't alarmed by this and backed away a bit while the robot returned to the center of the room. The head turned and scanned all of them.

One of them stepped forward and grunted.

Without warning the small robot spun its body around at high speed and fired the shotguns. Within a few seconds all twenty of the pig creatures were dead. The robot paused long enough to procure a few more weapons and reload.

The biosensors told it to continue forward, another disturbance in the electromagnetic field ahead also made it aware that other robots barred its path. Not that it mattered much, after all, orders were orders.

"Heh heh." A rather maniacal sounding laugh escaped the speaker on its face.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma was growing irritated. She sighed as she walked through the large hole blasted in one of the walls. It looked like the little shit head had gotten ahold of a rocket launcher or three somewhere along the way. "This is startin to piss me off." Ranma was getting impressed. The robot was efficient and destructive. Nothing had been left alive yet, and she'd come across more than just dead pigs. It was slaughtering the aliens as well.

She glanced around at the walls and grunted in annoyance. The shattered remains of a few security droids littered the ground. It was obvious the little asshole had a laser weapon now. There was slashing burns cut into the walls. A few of them were even still on fire.

"Come back here ya jerk,"

The redhead stumbled into the next room and shook the wiring from the broken arm that had caught her pants off. She paused and glanced up at the gigantic brain that was spilled across the floor. It was a really large one, with a metal jaw and some sort of claws. It looked like a cyborg version of one of the floating brain aliens that she'd killed onboard. It was also about three times larger than the normal ones.

The robot was standing in the doorway. "You ordered me back sir?"

"Huh?" The redhead glared at the offending thing and tapped her foot on the ground. "You killed everything!"

"Those were my orders sir," replied the thing in an even tone.

"I would have had fun killing this thing." She sighed and looked the dead monster.

:"If it is any consolation sir, I enjoyed killing it."

"Yeah, whatever." Ranma seemed somewhat disappointed and waved the metal thing over to him. "I was kinda expecting you to get destroyed. I'll let you know if I want help. For now, just follow me and watch my back."

"If my protocol is protection I recommend I take point."

"You might come in handy. I'm takin you with me if you live through this. Might do a few upgrades and such. I got friends that can help with that kinda crap."

"My logic circuits tell me that you are trying to persuade me to survive. I would remind you that I would prefer to keep destroying meat bags and causing property damage sir. It is all my programming allows for."

"This thing kicks ass." Ranma was quite pleased with her find. "Hey. I'll trade you for that laser. I've got a grenade launcher I'm willing to give up."

"That would upgrade my capabilities considerably. I am currently out of explosive ordinance."

"Great. How many rooms you cleared out?"

"The next three chambers are cleared."

She smirked as she walked through three sets of the organic doors. The membranes seemed to contract allowing her to pass though. When she reached the other side, her boots were considerably dirtier. "Man. It's like you used a blender or somethin."

"That is essentially what I used the laser for sir."

"Quit callin me sir."

"Yes Ma'am."

"You ever call me that again and I'll turn you into metal shavings. I ain't a girl."

"Fine. Meatbag."

"Say what?"

"My programming only allows for three designations: Sir, Ma'am, and Meatbag. Please feel free to select the one you prefer."

"Meatbag is fine. Only you can call me that though."

"Very well Meatbag."

"Can't you get more creative than that?" grumbled Ranma.

"No, Meatbag."

"Don't call me that every time you say somethin."

"I should remind you that we are currently in a hostile environment, and I am unable to defend you because of my current instructions."

They were walking through a large open room with several slim pillars that dotted the interior. Otherwise it was empty and quiet.

"Yeah. Whatever. Those jerks ain't hidin up there." Ranma didn't even bother looking up as she fired at the top of the two nearest pillars with her Desert Eagle handguns.

Two dead aliens hit the ground with a dull thump. Their cloaking devices flickered on and off as they landed and shut down after a few seconds.

"Meatbag, I was unaware you had thermal vision capabilities. Have you been modified?"

"Nah. I'm just that good."

"Logic does not compute."

"Scurry away for some cover will ya?" Ranma smirked as she slowly turned towards the wall that was lifting up to their right. The entire left wall was slowly rising upward revealing dozens of clawed feet on the other side. An entire battalion of aliens stood waiting on the other side. Two of the cyborg brain creatures floated on either side of a giant half tank half-alien monster. It had treads for feet and a human like torso. The skull was half-metal with a glowing red eye and the bottom jaw was nothing but razor like spikes. Both of its arms ended in a massive laser cannon.

"You stupid dicks never learn. Don't line up for someone with a minigun." Ranma unloaded an entire belt of ammo into the alien soldiers. The rounds she was using were armor piercing and ripped them to shreds easily. She was able to clean them out in a few seconds and only dodged a few shots.

The larger aliens roared in anger as they converged on the redheaded girl. She had already dropped the spent weapon to the ground and pulled a pair of sawn off shotguns from her sides. "Bring it on."

The giant alien chuckled as the brain creatures appeared on either side of her.

Ranma's eyebrow twitched as they all did something she'd never seen before. Tentacle like protrusions began to drop from underneath the brains, and the giant creature's back suddenly became swarming with rope like whips that moved around violently behind it.

The two brain creature's screamed as a blue energy filled their eyes. Sonic waves slammed into the redhead as they filled the entire room. She jerked as if struck from both sides, but remained standing. She was adjusting her grip on the shotguns and kept both of them trained on the brain things that moved slowly towards her. The tentacles began to rise and reach for her.

"Oh no! You did not just pull this shit with me!" Blood dripped from her nose and it was starting to form in the corners of her eyes as well. She tossed the shotguns to the ground and back flipped away from the slowly reaching appendages.

All three of the monsters seemed surprised by this. They roared in alarm and sent waves out that seemed to stab her brain repeatedly. The monsters started to rush towards her reaching with the disgusting protrusions again.

Ranma spit blood onto the ground and pulled the silver weapon from her back once again. She adjusted one of the dials and it split into two handgun style weapons. They were both still almost as large as an AK-47, but with a chrome surface and more electrical components.

Beams of blue light blasted out of each weapon as the twin automatic railguns began to put holes through the charging beasts. The bullets were only about the size of a pellet from an air rifle, but they traveled at about the speed of light.

She flipped them around her hands and holstered them just behind her back in her belt as the two brain creatures fell to the ground. The larger monster slashed at her with its whip like protrusions and she skillfully back flipped out of the way. She skillfully twisted in the air to avoid being caught by the follow up attacks and landed crouched down with her rocket launcher hefted and aimed at the thing's face.

The thing's head was tossed back by the explosion and the small girl quickly rolled across the ground to avoid another attack from the tentacles. She bounced off a wall and began to run and jump on top of the thing's tentacles as she continuously fired her handguns into its chest. When the monster's chest was completely covered in green fluid she jumped down and spun around in mid air as she pulled the two silver handguns out from behind her back once more. As her feet gently touched the floor she unloaded a few dozen rounds directly into the thing's head, and through the upper decks of the ship.

She smirked to herself as it fell face first onto the top of its own treads. The mechanical part was still working and ripped both arms off before grinding to a halt as it drove the head into one of the walls and snapped the neck. Not that the monster felt it anyway.

Ranma walked over to the body and kicked it a few times. She glanced around the room and saw the little robot walking up to her from the other side of the room. She grabbed the head and began to tug on it.

"Might I inquire what you are doing Meatbag?"

The small redheaded girl was how holding the ripped off head in her arms and tossed it aside. She pulled out a newspaper from one of her pockets and dropped her pants as she squatted down over the thing's neck hole. "What does it look like?"

"It appears you are..."

"Yeah. I am. You got a name?" The girl casually turned the page to the sports section.

"I am RDD-19."

"That stand for something?"

"I am number nineteen in a line of fifty Reconnaissance Demolition Droids."

"Any more like you left?" She only seemed partially interested as she perused the newsprint.

"I do not believe any more of my line has survived this long. I have not received any signals from others in many years."

"That must suck."

"I am a robot. One advantage of that is I never get lonely."

"You're a pretty big wise ass for a robot."

+++++++++++++++++++++++



"He is dead," growled the lead alien as his chair swiveled to face his crew. "The boy has killed him."

His commander frowned as he turned away from his master. "I was certain only Nukem himself could escape such a trap."

"We are defeated. Signal our surrender."

"You have got to be joking." The commander smirked as he glanced back at his leader. "Do you really think he'll accept our surrender now? We die with honor." He strolled towards the ship's controls. "We'll burn him alive in the atmosphere with us. If we're going to die, let us die as legends."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma staggered for a moment and put her hand against the wall. "What the?" She glanced back at the robot. "We just took off didn't we?"

"Yes, Meatbag."

"Great. Looks like they got to my plan before me. Anyone left onboard besides us?"

"All human targets have been removed. We have ten minutes to escape, once we reach the atmosphere we will be destroyed. The hull of this ship is badly damaged."

"We're close to the upper deck aren't we?" The redhead glanced at the rocket pack she was carrying over her shoulders. "I got a ride already. Yer screwed if you don't find somethin."

"I have limited flight capabilities. I can glide to the ground with ease. Two small wings popped out from his back. I lack propulsion of any kind though."

"I got enough fuel to make it down all right. Just gotta slow down enough once I start to get close to the ground."

"The nearest exit to the outer hull is fifteen feet above us. There is a junction just ahead."

The pigtailed girl shrugged and started jogging with the small robot beside her.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Akane found herself talking cheerfully with Kodachi Kuno in the girl's room. She blushed when she realized what was going on. "Oh. I'm sorry, but I should be getting home. My father is probably worried."

"Really? That's too bad. I do hope we can speak again."

"I'll give you my phone number."

"I shall give you mine as well."

"I already know the house number."

"Tachi?"

"He doesn't call much thankfully. I think my sister gave him the number. He used to try to get me to call him. I think he stopped when I shoved that phone receiver up his nose."

"That was you? It took the doctor almost a week to get that out. It was genius of you to leave the chord attached. I used to plug it back into the outlet! The noise would drive him mad!!" Kodachi seemed quite pleased to remember that.

"I'm glad to hear about it. It was nice meeting you. I wish I could stay longer, but my family is probably really worried about me." Akane bowed politely and turned to walk away.

"Hmmm. Akane Tendo, I shall have to remember that name." Kodachi smirked as she turned back into the home. "Brother dear! I have something for you! Come see me in the kitchen!"

"Does your wickedness know no bounds woman?! I know better than to accept such affections from you! Begone! I am contemplating the purity of my beloved and her giant gun!"

Kodachi narrowed her eyes as she glared towards his room. She'd seen the weapons he'd been wearing as well. "That could become troublesome." It was something to think on later, her idiot brother would spend the rest of the night in his room, and they would be out of hand lotion in the morning once again.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma stepped out onto the hull of the ship from a small maintenance exit. The small robot paused and turned to face the bow of the ship.

The redhead's hair was blowing violently in the wind as she narrowed her eyes at the thing staring her down. Her ponytail was wild and messy, and her clothing had small tears and holes in it. A large bruise marked her cheek and dried blood was still present on her face and in her ears. She had both her Desert Eagle handguns out again.

A massive alien monster was holding a rapid-fire energy weapon at her. "You defeated us. Even like that, you beat us."

"I ain't no chick. I'm a man no matter how I look and you'd better not forget it."

"It won't matter in a few minutes. We'll burn up in your own atmosphere. That jetpack of yours won't do you any good. The shields are activated, and you're trapped here with us now. Not even you are good enough to kill me, make it to the bridge and shut down the shields, and then make it to an exit in time.

"Yer right." She glanced down at the robot beside her. "Go shut down the shields while I keep this asshole busy, and then find an exit if you can. If you make it go to home base. Yer on lockdown till I say otherwise."

"Yes Meatbag." The small drone hopped down into the ship again leaving his master facing the alien leader.

"I owe you a painful ass kicking before you die. I got a few minutes ta spare while he does his thing anyway." The girl kicked the hatch shut and aimed her weapons.

The alien monster started to strafe to the left around her as he opened fire with the plasma machinegun. Balls of energy slammed and sizzled into the ground all around the redhead. She skillfully dashed away and fired her handguns at the thing. It jerked back and to the side, but remained standing. The armor plating on its chest prevented the shots from killing it, but the alien obviously felt it.

The starship started to rotate on its axis as it turned into a slow spiraling climb that would keep them over the city. The redhead and the alien monster were forced to keep a steady walking pace to the right to keep their footing. They dashed between protrusions in the hull. Antenna, cannons, pipes became the only cover. Ranma dove and rolled around the heavy repeating plasma weapon's spray of energy returning fire as she moved with both handguns at a steady rate. She was getting low on handgun ammo now and paused only long enough to reload as she came to a fat cannon barrel that jutted out about ten feet above the hull.

"My claws give me a firm grip. I've no fear of falling even if we flip over completely." Her enemy laughed as he fired a few rounds from behind his own cover. They into the open at the same time, both opening fire at the other. Ranma's aim was true, and his opponent was relying on how many bullets he was sending at her rather than where they were going. The monster grunted painfully as the slugs entered its chest.

Ranma was crouched behind an antenna that was about four feet wide at the base. It rose for hundreds of feet above the hull. She loaded her last two clips and caught her breath as the edge slowly crawled towards her.

Both of them froze as a dark shadow loomed over the both of them. The bridge was moving towards them from the left. It was high above in a skyscraper like protrusion that towered thousands of feet above them. They were standing dead in the middle of it.

"Shit." The redhead started running towards the engines of the ship with the alien monster closing in behind her quickly. The thing was firing his weapon ahead of himself as he ran in hopes of catching her in the panicked moment.

Ranma was able to stay ahead of the erratic fire easily as she hooked her hand around the far edge of the bridge and hook herself around the back end and a few hundred yards away from the massive starship engines that slowly pushed the vessel into the atmosphere. She was just able to get her footing and bounced up a few antennas to a point where she could comfortably walk along the hull again.

Ranma was standing on the opposite edge of the spinning ship walking backwards with her hands behind her back. She neatly sidestepped a gigantic antenna as the alien monster climbed back into her line of sight. He was gasping for breath and still gripping his energy weapon firmly in his claws. "I commend you for making it this far, but it ends now. "

The redhead bounded towards him and closed the distance between them quickly as she continued to dodge his fire and return it at the same time. The creature was pelted in the chest repeatedly and had started to grunt painfully with each shot when she finally drew close enough to fly into a hooking kick across his face.

The creature dropped its weapon and bounced across the hull for about ten feet.

Ranma kicked the plasma repeater up into her palms and hooked it across her shoulders in one fluid motion. "Bet Kasumi'll like this one."

"Sir. The shield is disabled." Ranma grunted in response and glanced at the fallen alien leader. He was slowly regaining his feet as the bridge on the opposite side of the tower shattered into a giant ball of flames. The entire ship shook violently, and energy reactions began to form around them as the shields finally failed. "Looks like you lose." The redhead simply remained where she was standing as the entire ship began to rotate to the right as it continued its upward coarse. She kicked off as she felt herself slipping and turned to face the ground as she went into free fall.

The alien commander roared in rage as he managed to stagger away and keep himself from falling off. He was clutching small metal protrusions from the side hull as he glared hatefully at the dwindling speck that had once been Ranma Saotome and let himself hang there as it twisted around. He growled as he realized that he was quickly growing warm.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

"We were getting worried," said Izumi as she pushed herself off Ranma's bike. She had been leaning against it when the redhead walked up to her. She paused and seemed to realize something was wrong. "Who are you?"

"Where's that thing gonna land?" asked the beaten looking redhead. She was wearing Ranma's clothes and didn't look very pleased with the alien ship high above.

"Right on top of us. They plotted that coarse in themselves didn't they?" The shorthaired woman frowned at the attitude she was getting from the redhead. "Who the hell are you anyway? Did Ranma find you on the ship or something?"

The girl ignored the woman and started to press buttons on the console of the bike.

"What are you doing? Ranma's not going to like you messing with his bike!"

Izumi found herself sitting flat on her rear as the redhead shoved her back by pushing her hand straight back. "What the hell?! You little bitch!" She paused and reconsidered herself as she watched the bike shift and change as it molded itself on the redhead's shoulder.

"Cover your ears, this is gonna be pretty loud." The ponytailed girl had vicious looking grin on her face as she hefted the barrel of the biggest looking firearm Izumi had ever seen.

"Wow!" she muttered as she stared at it in awe. "I didn't know Ranma had such a big gun."

"Yeah." The redhead looked into the twenty-inch display screen in front of her face. Various readouts and targeting information was displayed. Mechanical assists could be heard moving the arm as she aimed and the rear end that hung down her back planted itself firmly into the ground with long metal spikes that shot out from what had once been the suspension system for the front wheel. A beam of energy ripped through the sky creating a sizzling tearing sound as it melted a massive hole through the side of the starship above.

"Don't look at it without eye protection," said the redhead.

Izumi gasped and covered her eyes as she hit the dirt.

There was a flash of bright light in the sky above and then what seemed like a solid wave of sound that shattered every window in the city and quite a few in the suburbs.

"God damn, I live for this shit," gasped Ranma. It was an amazing explosion.

Izumi simply cowered on the ground for a moment longer and slowly staggered to her feet. "What the hell did you do?"

"Blasted it over the ocean. This was all I could use to do it. Nothin else with enough kick around." The redhead pressed a few buttons on the side of the weapon next to her head and it returned to the bike form.

"Who are you?" Izumi looked annoyed by this new person. "Do you know Ranma or something?"

"Yeah. Somethin." The girl revved the engine a few times and jumped the front end off the ground as she sped away into the streets.

Izumi stood there and growled at the irritating newcomer. "What a bitch! The nerve of her! Oooohh! Just..." She stomped her foot and clenched her fists. "How dare you talk to me that way! Who do you think you are!?"

Unfortunately, Ranma was already long gone.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Akane sighed as she walked into the gates of her home and looked around. There were people everywhere. "Hey. I'm home!"

"My darling baby! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAHHHHHHAAAAHHHH!!!"

"Hi dad." Akane neatly sidestepped her father's blind charge and he fell face first onto the ground. "We have company?"

"Um. You could say that." Kasumi popped her head out of the kitchen. Akane quickly realized that she was not in there alone. There were about five women bustling about inside, not counting her sister.

"Do you need any help?" Akane was itching to try some of Kodachi's advice out.

"No! I'm afraid I may have too much help as it is. We're very crowded in here."

"Oh. Never mind then." The younger sibling brushed it off. "Who are all these people Kasumi?"

"They all came home with me after I went shopping earlier."

Akane decided it was better if she didn't know. "Has Ranma made it back yet?"

The entire house shook violently as a loud boom filled the air, after a second it passed and everyone looked around nervously.

"I guess he isn't back yet then."

Kasumi didn't seem bothered in the slightest. "He should be home anytime now I suppose. That's good, dinner will be ready soon. I hope he doesn't miss it. I'm sure we'll have plenty left if he does."

"Whatever. I'm gonna go put some of my stuff up." Akane walked into the living room and nodded at the girls sitting around in front of the television.

"Wow! Did you see that?" gasped the shopkeeper's daughter.

"Akane and Kasumi are so cool!" agreed one of the others. "Did you see all that stuff she's wearing? She looks like some kind of soldier!"

"I could never be like that. I'm just not brave enough!" muttered another in the group.

"None of us are near that butch you mean. Akane and Kasumi are brave girls, but I wouldn't want to be around that kind of danger. Not with some of the things I've heard about those aliens." It was one of the older girls that said this. She hugged her knees against her chest and shuddered.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ranma kicked open the bar door and stepped into the silent smoky room. "Double bourbon." He sat down at the bar. Duke Nukem was at his right with a beer in his hand.

Larry poured the drink and slid it over to the boy who downed it quickly. "Beer?"

"Jesus yeah," grumbled the boy irritably.

"Bad day?" Duke didn't even look at him and continued to stare at his own reflection.

"They shoulda known better than to pull that shit with me. I'm more interested in how they found out."

"Found out?"

"It's nothing, just got under my skin a little more than usual this time."

Duke merely nodded once and continued to drink. "We'll have to keep that in mind. I heard she showed up again."

"Yup."

"Her?" Larry leaned in close to Carl and put his hand up. "Think it's that Akane chick?"

"I dunno. I been hearin strange rumors about some chick that's been hangin around the kid a lot. No one's said nothin though. I don't think it's that Akane chick though. Girl I heard about has red hair according to witnesses."

Larry shrugged. "I don't trust rumor. I'm not about to go over there and ask them about their business either."

Ranma seemed to relax a bit. "Hibiki is up to somethin. I ain't sure what though."

"He'll have to play his cards sooner or later." Duke didn't seem particularly interested. "Best not to worry till then. We got lots of grateful chicks to keep us company till then."

"Yeah."

The two men sat in silence and continued to drink their beer.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

RDD-19 stood in front of the Tendo Dojo and simply looked up at the sign. "Designated waiting area." He began to scan the area within and found quite a few life forms inside.

"Targets within main living area." He was unable to engage anything at the moment so stealth was his best option. He quietly moved up beside the porch and folded himself up into his most compact form to await the return of his master. After plugging himself into an outdoor outlet with a probing wire that snaked across the ground to a nearby wall outlet. It moved into scan mode and began to survey its surroundings and gather information. His report would be quite detailed.

The robot tittered cheerfully when he realized there was a fully stocked armory on the second floor of the home. It was somehow comforting to be near so many explosives, and explosives were the best way to make sure something ceased to function. Its eyes became circles of red as it replayed the destruction of the alien starship in its memory a few times. A small evil sounding laugh escaped its speaker as it waited for the master's return.

"Saotome, what do you suppose this thing is?" asked Soun as he turned to look at the robot sitting beside his porch. "I do believe it was laughing at us."

Genma was busy cheating and ignored the technical looking thing. "Must belong to Kasumi."

"I don't remember buying this thing." The man scratched his head as he peered at the strange object.

"It is rather odd." Genma peered down at the small canister looking object. He seemed satisfied with his new set up. "It's plugged in, must be some sort of appliance."

The robot came to life suddenly as its red eyes turned to face Genma. "RDD-19! It slices, it dices, it juliennes cannon fodder in seconds flat!"

"Must be some sort of blender." Genma shrugged and knocked his fist against the things metal cranium.

"Oh, right. Saotome, perhaps we should..." Soun wanted to go back under the porch.

Genma grabbed him by the shoulder and obliviously moved him towards the Shogi board. "I'm sure everything will be fine."

"Where is your security clearance?"

"I suppose you're right, Saotome."

"Where is your security clearance?"

"Come on, Tendo! It seems my son has saved the day. Soon he'll be married, and we'll be living the good life!"

"Where is your security clearance?"

"I'm not sure I like the way that thing is looking at me Saotome."

"Where is your security clearance?"

"It's just a microwave, Tendo."

"Where is your security clearance?"

"I thought you said it was a blender!"

"Where is your security clearance?" The little droid's head was pointing backwards directly at Soun. "Failure to comply will result in termination of vital signs." The two red eyes were somehow narrowed by lenses, and burned brightly. It was pointing guns at him, about five of them. Most of them were pretty large. He was quite certain that at least one of them would cause an explosion.

"What?" whimpered Soun as he turned his head back to find Genma's spot vacant. The door to the upstairs room closed shut just as his head whipped up to find his friend. "Saotome! How could you?"

"Where is your security clearance?"

"What? I...I don't have one!" The man's brain had basically shut down.

"Doesn't it feel good to be honest, Meatbag?" The droid cackled as the weapons lowered and moved into various slots along the machine's body. "Fooled ya! Ehhh? Eeeehhhh?" It was opening and closing the irises of the lenses and the lights had dimmed a bit. The head turned back forward and lowered as it seemed to go back to sleep.

Soun decided the floor where he was sitting was the perfect place to fall asleep.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Kasumi Tendo was finally finished with the biggest meal she'd ever cooked. It had been quite a day and a warm cup of tea was just what everyone needed. The guests were returning home, as the danger was now past. Things returned to normal rather quickly once the alien spaceship had been blown over the ocean. The resulting explosion did cause a few nasty accidents along the coast, but damage was kept to a minimum. That's what the news said anyway.

All Kasumi Tendo knew for certain was that explosions were definitely better in real life. The movies were certainly exciting and all, but...there was just something about that boom that seemed to poke at something deep inside her. It made her face flush and caused her skin to tingle just to think about it. She never imagined it would be so loud.

This line of thought caused her brow to furrow as she walked up to Nabiki's room to check up on her. Dr. Tofu was with her at the moment. The man stepped out of her younger sister's room and froze in mid step with the door still open.

"Oh!" gasped the older girl in mild surprise. "Dr. Tofu, is Nabiki doing any better?"

The man's eye twitched and he just sort of stayed where he was. "Kasumi! Imagine meeting you here? Heh heh ha ha ha ha!" His laugh was very forced and he was having nervous twitches.

"Dr. Tofu? I hate to be rude, but please be serious. I'm worried about my sister!" She seemed a bit cross with him. She didn't want to hurt his feelings. He was such a nice man. It was hard to pretend to be upset with him.

"Nabiki will be fine." The unfortunate man was completely ridged. He'd never been scolded by Kasumi before. "Wow! Imagine running into you here Kasumi! Ha ha ha ha haha!"

"Oh my! Are you sure you're all right Dr.?" Kasumi was starting to feel much better now that he was back to his old self again. He'd gotten so quiet that night. Everyone kept telling her he was a smart man and a good doctor. She didn't doubt he was a good doctor, but the intelligent part she was beginning to wonder about.

"Fine!"

"Good. It was quite a day!" Screw it, she was getting tired of this crap. "I haven't seen so much excitement since the movies. All those guns, and explosions!" She grabbed his hand and started to lead him towards the stairs. She didn't seem to be in any hurry and talked with him as they went. Tofu was feeling somewhat relieved, he had enough sense to realize she was leading him out and wasn't upset with him.

"There's only one thing missing though." She stopped and looked down the stairs for a moment with his hand held gently. She glanced at him and sighed. "Dr.?" He wasn't talking and she could no longer see his eyes. His glasses had steamed up far too much again.

She opened the door to her room and almost threw him inside by jerking his arm in the right direction and letting go. "Oh dear. I do hope this helps." She seemed to ponder it as reached behind her back and unzipped her dress as she walked into her room and closed the door rather firmly.

++++++++++++++++++++

Nabiki was lying awake in bed with her eyes wide open. The door had still not been shut yet, and her entire world had been shattered in about twenty-four hours. Everything she knew was wrong, every constant had been changed. Ranma Saotome had landed into her life and changed it completely.

The trouble was she wasn't sure if it was good or bad.

She rolled onto her side and huddled a bit closer to herself under the covers. Whatever those pills were Tofu had given her, they were starting to kick in. She was aware her leg was hurt, but unaware of any pain. After a few moments of lying there hoping her sister wasn't a screamer she forced her eyes shut.

As she started to feel the world slowly drift away she gave a small snorting laugh. Just how lucky could Tofu be anyway?

Her eyebrow twitched as she heard something crack and snap. A whimper of pain from the next room and another crack followed by a rhythmic thumping sound against the wall. The sleep gone from her in an instant she sat bolt upright in bed.

"Who's gun is bigger?"

"Yours Mistress! Yours!" Tofu was crying, she could hear it in his voice.

Nabiki Tendo ignored the faint stabbing of her leg as she hefted her sheets and pillow over her shoulder, grabbed her crutch, and hobbled herself out of her room and towards the dojo. "I'm going to make sure this only happens at that damn clinic in the future." She wasn't pleased and glared over her shoulder at the scratching sound at the base of her older sister's door.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Akane Tendo pushed open the doors to the bar and glanced around. It was late, and she was only armed with the handgun in her handbag. Everyone turned to look at her.

"You gonna tell me what this is about?" asked Duke Nukem. He was sitting next to Ranma.

"No." The boy was ignoring the television. A reporter was sitting at a news desk with a serious look on his face. Behind his head was a silhouette with a question mark inside it. "Jane Nukem?" was the subtitle below it.

"Those news reports?" asked Akane.

"You know somethin? He ain't talkin. S'not like him." Duke turned around on his stool and rested his beer on his knee. "The kid found all this new shit out about the aliens. He ain't sayin how. Usually, that's his favorite part. He keeps leavin this chick out of things too. You ain't mentioned one thing about that chick yet. What, you think I'll think less of ya if you decide to have a steady girl for a while? I done it a couple of times myself. Wears off real quick."

"You didn't tell him?" asked the girl as she frowned at her so-called fiancee.

"Who I tell is my business."



Akane wasn't real impressed, but backed off. "Sooner or later, someone's gonna find out."

"I'll worry about it when it happens."

"Fine," growled Akane irritably.

"What are you doing here anyway?" Ranma seemed to just realize that she was out of place. "I usually don't have to argue with you here. It was kind of nice till you ruined it."

Akane slugged him across his jaw. He fell into the stools clumsily and glared up at her from under his glasses.

"I've had a few drinks, so I don't recall if I've told you before. Don't hit me unless you mean it." He rubbed at his jaw and sat upright.

The girl kicked him in the face. "Get up! You want to fight!? Fine!"

Duke glanced at Larry and shook his head.

"Outside," said the bartender firmly. He hadn't even looked up at them yet. The other patrons were largely uninterested.

"Ain't like Ranma to fight a girl," said Carl.

"So? Ain't like he's gonna win," replied Duke. "The kid is tanked right now. He's been suckin em down all night."

The door opened and Akane staggered into the bar with Ranma hung across her shoulder. "I'm taking him home." Her clothes were ripped a bit, and she had a few bruises. Ranma had dozens of lumps on his head and quite a bit more bruising. With that said, she turned away.

"Didn't come all the way here just to drag me home did you?" grumbled the boy as he woke back up.

"No. I just needed to go someplace until Kasumi finished with Tofu." Her answer was simple and no nonsense. "I was thinking of drinking to forget what I was hearing."

It made no sense to him. He shrugged it off. "You did pretty good for yourself I hear."

"Yeah. Keep your hand away from my chest. You probably heard I don't miss from our friends in there."

The boy's slowly moving hand stopped and reversed itself to settle on her shoulder. "Had ta try."

"If you weren't this drunk I'd have kicked your ass by now. Cut it out. I'm never sleeping with you."

"Oh. All ya had ta do was say so," he replied calmly. "Besides, you did kick my ass."

"Honestly!" Akane was a bit miffed at this, but not enough to hurt him. He had immediately started to behave anyway. She really wanted to punch him, and just leave him where he landed. Unfortunately, she did feel he'd done a lot of good that day, and she'd already beat him up once.

"I'm gonna get you fer this in the mornin."

TBC...

Been a while since I updated anything. My Internet access has become...severely limited. I also do not have the carrotglace@mindspring.com address anymore. It's carrotsamma@hotmail.com for now. Also, I must sadly inform you that my E-mail is not often checked. That means no FFML for me till I decide to do something about my current situation. [Unfortunately, not a high priority.] ^_^; I'll be posting things and dropping in from time to time. I'm still writing anyway, and I'll continue to post when I can. [Plus, there are a lot of cool video games coming out this year. ^_^;;] I promise you'll have something else to read soon. Dragon and Ghost just needs a few small revisions and it'll be out as well. [Less than a month.]