Update: 241206, 150107
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 never belonged to me and never will. sighs
"I always thought Saotome-san had a boy," the Tendo Patriarch spoke before fainting clean away.
SOME HOT WATER PLEASE.
The panda waved its sign back and forth. The eldest Tendo sister ran into the kitchen and returned with a kettle of hot water.
Just then, the middle Tendo sister saw something ... for lack of a better word ... crawling besides the ponytailed girl's feet. At first Nabiki thought that it was a small animal like a tanuki except that it was oddly shaped like a bunch of LEGO building blocks put together on four legs and that it appeared to be made of metal.
Moving blocks of metal on legs? What's this?
"What are these things?" the middle Tendo sister asked with curiosity.
"Things that I built," the ponytailed girl replied.
"Kawaii-desu." the eldest Tendo sister remarked as she stooped to pick one off the ground.
It was smooth and silver-coloured like mercury, reflecting its surroundings like a mirror. The strange metal contraption stopped moving as it was lifted into her hands. She placed it back on the ground, patting it affectionately as it did so. The metal contraption scurried to her side.
The ponytailed girl shook her head dolefully.
"It seems to have taken a liking to you. You can have it if you wish. There's more where that came from." She replied before stepping into the room.
Nabiki picked one up carefully and studied it curiously. It was similar to the first except that its colour was like bronze and its patterns were subtly different in shape and size.
"Robot drones?" as she put it back on the ground.
It scurried away behind the ponytailed girl as soon as it was placed on the ground.
"You could call them that."
The ponytailed girl appeared reluctant to say anything more than that.
"This one ... it looks different from the first."
"It's made of different stuff put together." the ponytailed girl replied.
"How many did you make originally?"
"Just one. Then it started building more of itself."
"Just where did you get all this stuff to build them with?"
"I just let them loose at the junkyard and they clear the whole place up by disassembling the junk and reassembling it into more of themselves. The owners were only too happy to get rid of the junk."
"Do they rust?"
"Not anymore. They've learned to improve the stuff they're made of."
"Ohh ... " Nabiki sighed but inwardly … dollar signs were twinkling. KA-CHING! KA-CHING!
‘Automated garbage disposal technology?’ the middle Tendo sister thought. There were people willing to pay millions, if not billions to find a way to get rid of all the garbage around them.
Another of those metal contraptions could be seen moving around rapidly on its weird-looking ziggurat, cross-tabbed legs.
The panda had by this time poured hot water over itself to reveal the face of a bald-headed martial artist. It was about to do the same to the ponytailed girl when she lashed out with her palm, sending him to the ground.
"I told you once before. Don't even think about it. I hate changing back."
The bald-headed man backed off warily. Three of those metal contraptions quickly ran forward to form a barrier between the bald-headed man and the ponytailed girl, their sharp points glinting dangerously in the light.
"Genma ... old friend!"
“Tendo-san! It’s being a long time!” The bald-headed martial artist answered.
“Oh happy! Now the two schools will be united!” the double duo of martial artist dads shouted in synch.
“What’s this thing about the two schools being united, old man?” the ponytailed girl asked suspiciously.
“Well son … before you were born … we made a promise to unite the two schools, the Tendo-Ryu and the Kakuto Musabetsu Ryu into one school through the marriage of our firstborn child.”
“I see … and you meant to do it without telling me. Does my opinion on the matter mean anything to you, Old Man?”
“It’s a matter of honor, son!”
“Whose honor, Old Man? I never promised anything!”
“Besides … how is a girl going to marry a girl?”
“That’s right, Saotome-san.” The middle Tendo sister replied.
Quickly, the bald-headed martial artist launched himself into an explanation about the physical changes that could be done through changes in water temperature.
“Then, if she’s a he instead … why doesn’t she change back?” the middle Tendo sister asked, curious about the answer.
“I feel cut off from them when that happens. It’s like losing all sense of feeling from a part of your body,” the ponytailed girl answered reluctantly.
“You’re connected to them?” the middle Tendo sister once again, subconsciously pointing at the strange metal contraptions.
“This connection is more than that. It’s like they’re all a part of me. Each of them … a small part of a greater whole …When I change back, the connection disappears … and it feels like a whole part of me has gone dead or something …”
“A part of something greater … like a swarm of bees. And you’re the Queen Bee … “
“Yes … “ came the reluctant answer. “And they are my friends, my companions … and my everything …“
There was silence as the words sunk into all those present.
"So you change into a girl with a splash of cold water and back to a boy with hot water. Your problem is not so bad after all. I have three daughters aged nineteen, seventeen and sixteen. Pick one and she'll be your fiancée," the Tendo Patriarch spoke.
The ponytailed girl looked at the two men before replying, "Not right now. I want to go for a walk. And don't you dare stop me ... OLD MAN!" she spoke in as forceful a tone as she could manage while turning to face the bald-headed martial artist.
The old man was about to reply when he saw six more of those metal contraptions rushed into his path at blinding speeds to reinforce their fellows blocking the doorway.
They formed a barrier around the door as if daring the bald-headed martial artist to go past them. For once, the Saotome patriarch wisely refrained from doing so.
"Saotome ... what caused this?"
"It all started on the day we visited the Training Grounds of Jusenkyo. Oh ... the day! The horror!"
"Its full horror was only realised the day that we fell into the cursed springs. Oh ... what did I ever do to deserve this?" the bald-headed martial artist cried out.
He was about to say more when a ki beam fired from one of the mechanical contraptions knocked him out for the rest of the day. ^_^
Two figures walked slowly along the road … one on two legs, the other on four legs. Normally, such a thing would pass for normal except that the one on four legs was made of metal and was about one foot tall. As it was, it drew the stares of pedestrians and motorists.
‘Oyaji no baka! Shut him up just before he could start spouting his crap! Good work, fellows!’
“Mom! Look! It’s a robot!”
“Yes, dear. Now come on. We don’t want to be late for school.”
Ranma’s thoughts were elsewhere …
‘What do I do with my life?’ the ponytailed girl wondered.
Before Jusenkyo … the answer would have been a simple one. To become the greatest martial artist that ever lived. There was no greater glory than that, Ranma was led to believe.
Now … ever since the Cursed Springs, Ranma knew differently. Those were not his dreams. Those were Genma’s dreams. A martial artist long fallen from grace. His desires and longings to be the greatest, twisted and molded by his former Master. Much of what he once was … his nobility, virtue and courage … gone under the tutelage of his former Master. And those dreams of his to be the greatest fighter alive … in ashes.
Much of his thoughts had changed. His mental pathways had expanded, his mind able to explore and extrapolate on possibilities that his life could have taken … with the help of his creations. Their minds all linked to his through the Hyperlink.
He had weighed Genma in the balances ever since the Jusenkyo Incident and found him wanting. This came as no surprise. Since he had begun training, the old panda was a sloth, a coward and a glutton who drank too much sake.
As for his supposed engagement to the Tendos, two of the Tendo sisters already did not look promising. The youngest sister had an explosive temper and the middle Tendo sister was money-faced. Ranma did not mind riches but it was her attitude towards wealth that worried him. She had no scruples in making money and was willing to do just about anything to get it if the price offered was high enough … including selling off her own soul.
As for the youngest Tendo sister … she had a terrible temper and was badly in need of psychological counseling. Meditation techniques would also really help in curbing her temper problem.
The eldest Tendo sister, however, was quite the enigma. At first glance, Ranma thought her to be the normal, charming, demure, polite and rather oblivious housewife. But after seeing the way she affected his creation, the ponytailed girl was not so sure. He had never seen any of his creations affected in such a manner … before. While it was true they did help those who were in trouble, they had never built any form of attachment to anyone he had come across … in his travels. There was something different … dare he say it … special … about this Tendo girl that bore watching.
A large group of attractive warriors in arms were still huddled down behind the rocks as beams of energy continued to rain down on top of them.
"Curse those mechanical fiends!"
"Curse the outsider girl! She brought this onto us!"
"It was your bright idea to give the outsider girl the Kiss of Death!"
"How was I to know that she had an army of those things at her beck and call?"
The Amazon warrior swore loudly once again. When she got her hands on that outsider girl, she was going to … kill … no … that was too kind of a word to be used here ... to put her down … like an animal.
About two hundred feet away from the source of the conversations,
An indeterminate number of mechanical contraptions scurrying around on four legs could be seen opening fire with their energy beams from time to time on the deserted village. They never let up and their beams continued to rain down on the entire Amazon regiment, pinning them in their hiding holes.
The Amazon Matriarch swore beneath her breath. None of her martial arts training or experience had prepared her for anything of this magnitude. It had seemed so simple at first. Give the outsider girl the Kiss of Death and then ... against three thousand years of Amazon culture, she would soon be forced to capitulate to the wishes of the Amazon village.
Instead, nothing of the sort happened. As soon as the outsider girl was attacked, they had found their entire village overrun by twenty of those strange rodent-sized mechanical contraptions. Yes, only twenty at the start … a sigh escaped her … but they fought like two thousand! The old Matriarch swore beneath her breath.
Running around vigorously like cat-sized spiders and able to outfight and outmaneuver the best Amazon on her best day without tiring, those mechanical contraptions were the Amazon warrior’s worst nightmares come to life. Physical attacks did damage them in the beginning, but they were getting faster and more difficult to hit as time wore on.
Eventually, the Amazons were forced to use their advanced martial arts techniques on them ... all to no avail ... for those things simply adapted to those attacks being used against them and responded in kind!
Heavy interest as could be seen from the number of ki-blasts and ki-bombs being fired at the Amazon village.
The elder Matriarch cursed those mechanical fiends for the tenth time that day as they continued to outperform the best Amazon warriors in combat and tactics, making a complete mockery out of the Amazon warriors on the battlefield. What made it worse was their seemingly uncanny ability to adapt, use and refine any method or technique being used on them just once to a degree unheard off even by her standard and experience.
Case in point … the Amazon ki attacks and Splitting Cat Hair Techniques which they used on their strange attackers. Thanks to those attacks being used, those mechanical fiends were now able to generate ki attacks and create multiple solid clones of themselves increasing their numbers and attacks dramatically on the battlefield!
In fact, the clones were so realistic like their real life counterparts that the Amazon Matriarch found herself unable to distinguish between any of them and the real McCoy. Though as to how they managed to make actual solid clones of themselves rather than the illusionary after-images of the Splitting Cat Hair Technique she dared not ask.
Just like their ki attacks that they used in the fight. Their ki blasts were unnervingly accurate and their rate of fire was … Cologne shuddered when she thought about it … way beyond the realm of what was thought to be possible. The only thing she thought could come close to describing those attacks launched was a weapon she once saw being used by the PLA, namely the AK-47.
Not to mention, they were able to home in on their targets like guided missiles forcing the Amazons to seek shelter behind objects or risk getting hit. Worse still, the clones created by those mechanical fiends appeared to be capable of firing the same kind of ki beams as well!
With that came the dreadful thought that if those clones were capable of firing ki beams, would they not be able to generate new clones of themselves? If that were true … the Amazon Matriarch whispered a silent prayer to her ancestors that this was not the case.
The blind martial artist had not made things any better with his Hidden Weapons Technique. Thanks to his use of the Hidden Weapons Technique, those mechanical fiends were now able to store an untold number of items in subspace, including stolen Amazon artifacts!
After those accursed mechanical fiends had learned to refine their techniques further by developing ki-shields, much to her disbelief, the Amazon Matriarch was quite reluctant to use any more new attacks on those strange enemies of theirs for fear of giving yet a new weapon or idea to their enemies to use against them.
The only good news so far was that none of the Amazon warriors had lost their lives. Although the Amazon Matriarch had the sneaky suspicion that could have been deliberate. ^_^
Still, it was humiliating to see all three thousand years of Amazon culture and lore amount to nothing against this strange and bizarre enemy who for some unknown reason seemed content with knocking them unconscious on the battlefield.
After four days of non-stop fighting, the entire Amazon garrison was ready to collapse to exhaustion on their feet while those mechanical fiends showed no signs of slowing down in their movements and intents.
“Those things are mocking us! They could have killed us at anytime but they’re not. Instead they seem to be satisfied with knocking out our best warriors.”
“Pushing us into exhaustion.”
The thought to call for aid had appeared in her mind and as much as it galled her, she would have to ask for assistance from the outside.
"Shampoo!" she called her heir.
"I will be leaving for a short time! Co-ordinate the village defenses with Perfume! We cannot take on this type of enemy alone!"
"Where will you be going?"
"I can't say at present ... Just wait for me!"
Ranma was not pleased with what he had discovered about his father’s latest scheme. In fact, he was seldom pleased at all with any of the hare-brained schemes cooked up by his father. Getting hitched to a girl that he knew next to nothing about … and before he was even born. What in the world was his father trying to accomplish?
There was a buzz in his mind as a string of numbers and characters made themselves known into his brain. One of the others was sending a message to him across the ‘HYPERLINK’, a subspace network that linked him to all of his creations in one vast information superhighway.
Disturbance in bio-energy readings in the surrounding forest detected …
A ripple in the collection of multiple images of the same location, taken from different angles superimposed on one another, was seen in Ranma’s mind.
Disturbance in the visible light spectrum and ki harmonics field noted. Switching to infra-red and ultra-violet scans … Modulating frequency of ki energy scans …
A miniscule outline of a short bent figure began to appear.
Usage of ki stealth technique detected … Enhance image by combining ki energy field scan with tachyon, gamma and neutrino bombardment emissions … Match found …
The visually enhanced scan of a partially shrouded form of a shriveled gnome was seen dashing through the trees at blinding speed. The Old Ghoul? Using a ki stealth technique? What was she up to? Ranma wondered.
Enhance ki harmonics field imagery with multiple variation of electro-resonance pulses …
The image of the shriveled gnome sharpened further to reveal … the Amazon Matriarch.
Identity confirmed. Quarry appears to be fleeing designated target zone. Neutralize target? Came the query.
Let her through. Let her think that she’s escape but keep an eye on her movements and note the technique, Ranma sent back.
Acknowledged, it replied.
The Amazons huddling beneath their shelters were suddenly disturbed by the sight of their one-foot tall bug-like foes disappearing from sight … without a trace … ^_^
“You really have to attend school.”
“Fine then … “ the ponytailed girl replied.
“And you’re not going in the clothes you are wearing right now. You need a school uniform … We might have to get you …“ Nabiki never finished speaking her words, her mouth gaping in astonishment as the clothes that the ponytailed girl shifted into that of the Furinkan school uniform.
“How did you do that?” she asked in wonderment.
“It’s complicated ...” The ponytailed girl replied simply.
“The re-ordering of matter on the atomic level using nanotechnology.“
‘Matter reconstruction?’ The middle Tendo sister thought before answering, “That’s really advanced stuff. So how much of this matter re-ordering can you do?”
“Well I can improve the quality of all metals that I come into contact with. I can also change them if I really need to.”
“Change them? Say … can you change like for example … lead into gold?”
“It is what I am.”
‘Kami-sama … she’s a walking gold mine!’ the middle Tendo sister thought as she began to dream of the possibilities that the ponytailed girl was presenting her with.
A slight drool began to escape from her lips as Nabiki began to imagine the possibilities that Ranma might bring her.
Scenes of people from all over the world coming to congratulate her on her greatest discovery of the century appeared in her mind. Pictures of her and Ranma appeared in the papers and magazines everywhere. TV talk shows …Documentaries … Advertisements … Which was soon followed by more contracts being signed … Then dollar signs … Luxury cars, extravagant lifestyles and homes filled her mind …
‘We’re going to be rich! Never going to be poor again! My days of being the Ice Queen Bitch of Furinkan High School are over!’
There was no answer.
“Nabiki!” The ponytailed girl called out again.
The middle Tendo sister was lost in her dream world of the rich and famous …
‘It’s all mine!’
“Nabiki! We’re going to be late for school!” the younger Tendo sister added in her voice.
‘ALL … MINE!’
Too lost in her own dream world, the middle Tendo sister paid no attention to her surroundings. Her next thought, however, would send a chill down the spine of anyone who knew about it …
‘MY … ‘
‘… PRECIOUS …’
‘… … … … RANMA … … … …’
Elsewhere … a certain hobbit turned goblin had a sudden urge to throw a fit without knowing the reason why.
Deep in a hidden subterranean base in Cheyenne Mountain ... a secret meeting that will change the destiny of a certain martial artist forever is taking place ...
"So what's up this time, General?"
"Is it an emergency?"
"It depends on whether this qualifies as an emergency. Here … take a look at this."
"This was taken by a freelance journalist at Nerima Ward and circulated through the Internet while filming the local scenery in Japan."
A picture of a strange mechanical contraption could be seen rummaging through the junkyard with a few of its fellows looking for … something.
Alarm bells rang through the heads of all those present at the table as one thought sprang into their minds upon seeing the picture.
Coming soon …
“That’s not all. They’ve been sighted in Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Tibet, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Siberia, Vietnam, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and even India where they’ve been observed making their journey in a westward direction towards Europe.”
“Holy cow! There must be hundreds, if not thousands of them.”
“It looks like a major Replicator infestation.”
“We must warn NATO about this.”
“And risk full disclosure to the public?”
“If it means the survival of the human race, yes.”
To all my reviewers … I wish to thank you all very much for the reviews you left me which gave me the inspiration and desire to go on. This fanfic, unlike Chrysalis had not been intended to seriously pursue it but your reviews changed my mind. I will continue as much as I can while working on Chrysalis.