Date: 070707, 310108
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 never belonged to me and never will. sighs
Deep in an underground secret base … a very important meeting is taking place … but then again … since when has the meeting not been important?
“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.”
Ranma continued his walk … while the sun continued its descent into the horizon … its golden rays dimming as it did so … and then … dusk fell … Day turned to night … while the number of people around him dropped considerably … for the streets of Earth are not safe at night …
Still his cursed body had yet to show visible signs of fatigue or exhaustion … while the sounds of passing vehicles continued to break the peace and quiet of the night … The cursed martial artist paid them no mind whatsoever … and continued his solo walk unhindered and undisturbed …
He continued to look into the skies … his incredible senses cataloguing and analyzing everything that looked interesting …
When he heard the sound of an alarm going off …
Instinctively, he tapped into the city’s communication systems … and the image of three masked figures leaving the bank by a side door for a getaway car appeared in his mind.
Robbery … he concluded from his observations.
The Jusenkyo cursed martial artist was about to make his way to the bank when another scene appeared … of a man pouring oil all over a large house, its occupants asleep. He threw a match and the place lit up in a massive bonfire.
Arson … Ranma growled softly.
Quickly, the Jusenkyo martial artist changed his priorities. He had to get the occupants out of the house before the place was burned down! As he ran in the direction of the house, he saw to his horror … the robbers in their getaway car … plowing through anything in their path as sirens began to be heard in the distance. His uplink to the city grid revealed a zebra crossing ahead … with pedestrians ready to cross …
This was becoming a disaster … There was no way he could be in more than one place at a time!
Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse … another scene appeared in his mind … a fight had broken out in a karaoke bar … three miles down the street. Two groups of men were engaging in hand-to-hand combat with all kinds of makeshift weapons and finally one of them threw a Molotov cocktail … the place caught fire … this wouldn’t have been too bad except that the fight was spilling into the streets … and the fighters themselves didn’t seem to be very discriminatory with their weapons …
Not to mention … the fire was getting bigger and closer to the gas tanks in the kitchen …
A piercing cry for help could be heard in the night … and it sounded like a woman screaming at the top of her voice …
Screw that! The Jusenkyo martial artist cursed and relayed an order through the Hyperlink …
Kengo Inui was a man with two jobs. Taxi driver by day and a woman hunter by night. Yup … since he didn’t want to label himself a rapist … he called himself a woman hunter for rapist seemed so ugly a word … so unrefined … so uncultured … Not to mention uncivillised … Normally, he would wait for his victims as they passed by at night. He specifically targeted the single women knowing that they could not keep up with his strength and speed. Like he did every night, he would wait in the shadows patiently for his next victim.
A young lady in her early twenties stepped out of the car. She was a real looker alright … Her beauty and poise … reflected that … The moment she locked the door, he moved into position. Quickly, he knocked her to the ground, and dragged her into the shadows. The young lady screamed for help but a single blow from him knocked her out. With wicked relish … he quickly set upon his righteous task.
Consequently … it was just too bad that he was in such a hurry to begin savouring his victim’s delicious assets that he never realized that something was following him quietly … on four legs … from the shadows …^_^
Yosuke Yamada was one of the many ‘front man’ of the dark and shadowy criminal underworld. At this moment he was having one of his meetings with another boss in the same business.
“So … does Jiro-san agree with the terms laid out by Jubei-san?”
“Include the Eastern District into the deal and I will call it a deal,” the other man answered.
“Let me speak with …” the man spoke before he was interrupted by another man coming into the room.
“Sir … we may have problems … several pickup trucks have stopped outside the bar with a lot of armed men … I think there’s going to be trouble.”
“What’s going on?” the other man asked suddenly wary, his hand on his hidden firearm.
“It appears we will have to hold off …” his voice was suddenly cut off by the sound of broken glass and gunshots.
Molotov cocktails were thrown and before long … everybody was opening fire and trying to get the hell out of the burning bar …
Unseen by anyone a four-legged mechanical contraption crept quietly into the kitchen …
Takada-san was a desperate man. He needed the money badly to pay up his gambling debts. Or the yakuza would be after him very soon. He had teamed up with two other men in similar positions … the first was called ‘Ju-san’ while the second went by the name ‘Goro’. All three of them had planned this heist for sometime now.
It was simple.
Two of them would enter the bank through a sideway entrance used by the employees and then … grab the money as it was being moved before … making a run for it as quickly as they could for the getaway car driven by the third man of the gang. Things went as planned until they had turned the car down in the direction of the highway … That was when they saw a long line of tourist passengers … crossing the road at the zebra crossing to enter the tourist bus up ahead …
S**t! Was the one thought that ran through their minds upon seeing the long line of people up ahead. Not wanting to get people killed in their heist … the driver of the car honked loudly … The passengers of course turned to look … horrified expressions on their faces … as they saw this speeding car bearing down on them …
There was a sudden sense of vertigo and all three occupants of the car found themselves airborne … their eyes going wide with disbelief … as their car continued to ascend at an unbelievable rate … going over houses … shops … tall buildings … before finally going down at a fantastic rate as gravity took over … The drop accelerated … and the ground sped upwards to meet them …
Closing their eyes … they began to pray as the car dropped like a rock down to the earth below …
What was going on? Takada wondered.
The last thing he saw before darkness claimed him was the sight of a strange looking mechanical contraption advancing towards him … on four legs …
The house was going down in flames. Ogata tried to shield his family from the burning debris but it was not much use. The burning roof was coming down any moment now … It was then a section of the wall broke down … cleanly cut from the rest like a knife over a piece of wood. It opened into another section of the house devoid of flames and beyond … there was another section of the wall on the ground cut in a similar manner.
One section of the wall falling down in such a manner could be a coincidence but two sections … of the walls in the house falling down in similarly cut-pieces … Ogata did not wait to look a gift horse in the mouth … quickly leading the rest of his family from his burnt down home as quickly as he could through the ‘passageway’. Once outside … Ogata studied the ruins of his home as sirens sounded in the distance … Unnoticed by anyone … a four-legged metal contraption crept through the shadows …
The next day …
At breakfast …
“Ranma … take a look at this,” Nabiki asked.
“We now report to bring you breaking news …” the news anchor announced on the early morning newscast.
In Nerima today … Police are baffled by what appears to be a rapist begging to be taken into custody … he was seen struggling with and shouting at the police, “They’re everywhere! The metal bugs are everywhere!”
In another part of Tokyo … Three robbers have been apprehended in connection with a bank robbery … one of those robbers … reported seeing a four legged metal bug the size of a cat before falling unconscious …
“This is your work, isn’t it?” the middle Tendo sister looked on accusingly at the ponytailed girl sitting in front of them.
All around them, everyone had become silent upon hearing Nabiki’s question. They were just as curious to know the answer. The Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist simply smiled at her knowingly.
“Come on! Ranma! Tell me!” the middle Tendo sister insisted.
“It is the work of the mysterious metal bugs whose true intentions remain in doubt,” Ranma answered, her words coming out like poetry.
Kasumi burst into a hearty laugh at hearing the ponytailed girl’s answer while Nabiki continued to nag her for better answers.
“Help me, Kasumi!” the middle Tendo sister begged.
The eldest Tendo sister simply smiled at the middle Tendo sister’s predicament as she petted the four-legged mechanical contraption beside her affectionately.
Sitting next to Ranma, the youngest Tendo sister continued to seethe in rage at the ‘perverted’ antics of the ponytailed girl.
‘SHOW OFF!’ she thought.
“Ranma! How dare you flirt with Kasumi!” Akane shouted and drew her faithful Pervert Buster from subspace.
Her faithful Pervert Buster flew straight and true to impact on a massive ki shield that had suddenly sprung into existence around the ponytailed girl. The Pervert Buster recoiled strongly from the impact taking the youngest Tendo sister out on a one way trip into the koi pond.
“RANMA! I HATE YOU!” came the shriek from a certain tomboyish Tendo sister.
Genma gave Soun a nudge.
“See! Told you! There’s nothing like true love!” the bald-headed martial artist commented.
“You are right Saotome! Akane and Ranma are perfect for each other already!” the Tendo Patriarch added much to the disgust of the three females seated at the table.
Ranma had left the table in a hurry, not wanting to deal with the middle Tendo sister and her troublesome questions. She had gone out for the day and would only return late at night. Her current walk was taking her towards the outskirts of Nerima when her enhanced hearing picked up the voices of a group of men nearby.
“Alright lady! Hand over all your money! Nice and easy! No sudden moves!” a voice spoke.
Quick as lightning, Ranma was over there in an instant to see a group of five men in unkempt clothing and clutching all kinds of cutting weapons surrounding a woman. The woman had red hair and was clad in a kimono. The stereotypical image of a traditional Japanese housewife. Ranma felt a sense of de ja vu with the person like she had met her in the distant past, though she did not know why.
Since the leader appeared to be trying to harm the woman, Ranma acted fast taking down the entire group before they could even react to her presence.
“Thank you, miss for saving me from these sorry excuses of the Japanese race,” the woman spoke.
“Not a problem. What are you doing out here in this place?” the Jusenkyo cursed martial artist asked the woman curious.
“I was in a hurry to catch the bus and I lost my way while traveling to the bus stop,” the woman answered.
“What about you?” the woman asked.
“I was going out for a walk,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“Would you like to accompany me to my house?” the woman asked again.
“Sure, since I don’t really have anything else to do,” she answered.
It took them twenty-five minutes to reach the woman’s house by walking since the woman had already missed the last bus. Finally, they came to a detached house with a large garden that stirred some form of memory in Ranma’s mind.
‘It can’t be,’ she thought as she contemplated the odds of something like this happening.
“We’re here!” the woman announced and opened the locked gate.
“So what do I call you?” the ponytailed girl asked, anxiously wanting to confirm her suspicions.
“How rude of me! I’m Mrs. Saotome by the way. But you can call me Nodoka,” the woman answered while opening the door to her house.
“Do you live alone?” Ranma asked again to be sure, her voice carefully neutral so as not to rouse the suspicion of the older woman.
“Yes, I do. My husband Genma left with my only son Ranma, more than ten years ago on a training trip that would make him a man amongst men. I have not heard from either of them since that fateful day and can only assume the worst,” she spoke with a mixture of pride and sadness in her eyes.
“I know this is a stretch but if you have met any of them, please let me know. I miss them so much!” her voice broke before throwing her arms around Ranma.
This was all the Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist could take. Deeply moved, she spoke.
“Do you have any warm water?” the ponytailed girl asked.
“Oh yes! Forgive me for being such a poor hostess!” the woman answered as she rushed into the house.
The ponytailed girl followed suit. Finally, the middle-aged woman returned back to the room with a glass of warm water. Without any further hesitation, she gave it to the girl.
The ponytailed girl picked up the glass of warm water in her hands and … poured.
“Hello … hello … Are you still there?” the woman asked.
“I had this most incredible dream in which I saw a girl changed into a boy,” the woman spoke.
"It is me, Ranma," the teenager in front of her spoke and began to relate her life story to him.
The woman listened attentively like a hawk and when he had reached the end of his story ...
"Goodness! My son! It is you!" the woman cried in happiness and threw her arms around Ranma in a loving hug when suddenly ... Ranma felt an inkling of danger and threw his mother away from him just in time to see her draw a poisoned dagger from the folds of her kimono.
“Why, mother?” Ranma asked in shock at the woman’s attempt to end his life.
"Die Abomination!" the woman shouted in Goauld as her eyes glowed.
"Set!" Ranma muttered.
Her palm revealed a ribbon device and Ranma barely dodge a ripple of energy from the crazed woman.
"You will not escape me this time, Abomination!" the Goauld assassin announced haughtily in a loud voice as a series of Goauld transporter rings appeared all around the woman.
‘This house is a Goauld hideout?’
"Want to bet?" the Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist challenged.
"Perhaps you do not understand your current predicament. Allow me to clarify it for you. In your male form you are cut off from all those accursed creations of yours. They will not know what has happened until it is too late. All the water has been locked off from this house, thus preventing you from assuming your more advanced form to escape. As you can see, this entire house has been wired with a naquadah enhanced bomb which is set to go off in one minute and a forcefield covers all the exits including the house. Disable any of the forcefields to escape and the force from the explosions would be enough to wipe out the entire city. Any last words, Abomination, as you Earthlings might like to put it?" the Goauld assassin mocked as the Goauld transporter rings began to disappear in their usual way.
"Ranma Saotome does not lose!" the Jusenkyo cursed martial artist shouted.
"I will be sure to remember your final words for all eternity, Ranma Saotome!" came the mocking reply as the Goauld transporter rings disappeared from sight taking with them, the Goauld assassin.
After the departure of his personal nemesis, two of his creations appeared beside him.
“Deactivate the top of the force field!” Ranma ordered verbally.
Quickly, the mechanical drones ran and fired a series of bursts at the Goauld force field surrounding the house.
The Goauld force field weakened at the top until it finally disappeared. The Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist and his mechanical contraptions wasted no more time in leaping through the small gap in the force field that was already closing. Once out of there, he dropped to the grass below and ran like all the dogs of hell were after him.
A powerful explosion rippled through the force field but it held save for the top where they had escaped through earlier, in which a powerful wave of explosive energy erupted upwards in a brilliant column of light into the skies.
Ranma swore heavily in Goauld. Since his blasted encounter with the accursed System Lord Set, things had never been easy. The exiled Goauld fearing Ranma’s presence on the planet might attract the unwanted attention of the other System Lords to Earth had spared no effort in trying to get Ranma eliminated.
Right from the first time he had discovered that Ranma’s true nature, the former-System-Lord-in-exile had been busy. His attacks had been getting deadlier with each attempt, starting from the first time in which he had tried to bury the Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist beneath an avalanche of rocks in China to the most recent use of naquadah-enhanced explosives to blow him up in his old home, the former System Lord was certainly getting more creative or desperate in his attempts to have Ranma eliminated as time wore on.
What was worse, the Goauld had taken the body of someone that Ranma would never raise his hand against in life. How in the world had the Goauld known about his human mother when Ranma himself hadn’t even known that his human mother was alive?
Hmmm … He was going to ask the one man in Japan who would have the answers to all of this. His father. Once after he was able to establish a subspace link with all of his creations, of course, Ranma swore grimly as his footsteps took him to one of the public restrooms in Japan.
Somewhere in the Tendo Dojo, a certain bald-headed martial artist in the middle of a game of shogi felt a sudden chill brushed past him. Was it getting cold in here, somewhere? He wondered. Outside the house, a transparent hooded figure carrying a scythe waited patiently for his long overdue victim.
Cold water poured down upon Ranma, putting the Jusenkyo curse into effect once more. Once again, Ranma was the advanced android, Asura, with tens of thousands of mechanical drones at her disposal … and the world at her fingertips.
Without wasting anytime, she linked to the worldwide internet through her subspace transmitters hoping to able to find out where her foe, Set, had gone to. Not surprisingly, she was unable to locate the accursed Goauld, who had in most likelihood, transported himself to some isolated corner of the Earth. There was no way of knowing where that blasted Goauld had gone to even with the help of her ever-increasing army of mechanical drones unless … she was able to scan every inch of the Earth with her advanced Goauld technology …
But wait! Perhaps there was another option …
Without her cursed form, she was able to accomplish very little with the limited tools available on her world but as the advanced android, Asura, she was able to put much of her Goauld knowledge to use being easily able to manufacture any Goauld device or … even a … a … ship with the help of her mechanical drones. Quickly, she gave her mechanical drones the orders to build a starship … the first Hatak warship on Earth.
In the meantime, just to release the tension on her mind after her encounter with his mother … the Jusenkyo cursed martial artist decided to expand her crime prevention activities … wherever she was … meaning in other words … worldwide …
Throughout the world, all those involved with crime from small to big had a sudden collective urge to renounce their less than savory-past and choose a much safer occupation without knowing the reason why … ^_-
Deep in the heart of Cheyenne Mountain …
“Ok … SG-1, our orders to contain this new menace on Earth has been put on hold,” the General announced to the gathered group in the meeting room.
“On hold?” Jack asked doubtfully.
“Yes … by none other than the Joint-Chiefs of Staff,” the General affirmed.
“Why?” the Colonel asked.
“There has been a change of plans. They want us to observe this Replicator infestation,” the General answered.
“Observe?” the Colonel asked again, not quite believing his ears.
“Yes,” the General affirmed.
“But that’s absurd! If we just wait around and observe … they will multiply until they cover the entire surface of the Earth!” the Colonel protested.
“Those are your orders! Besides what are you going to do about them? Shoot every single one of them until they fall apart? There must be tens of thousands of them by now. And one more thing … whatever you do … do not provoke them in anyway. The Joint Chiefs of Staff don’t want an intergalactic war with a vastly superior technological foe starting in their backyard,” the General explained.
“Intergalactic war? Since when are we not at war?” the Colonel asked again, not quite satisfied with the orders he was receiving.
“You have your orders, Jack,” the General spoke.
“What about our treaty with the Asgard?” the Daniel pointed out.
“This is happening in our backyard … and if the Asgard are having as much problems with the Replicator menace in their galaxy … then there’s really nothing that they can do about this. Now, you’re all dismissed,” the General ordered.
Upon hearing their general’s orders and explanations, they fell silent before leaving the room in single file.
It was a good thing they were there just to observe. In that sense, they were fortunate for they would never have seen or experienced anything like what they were seeing now if they had charged headlong into taking out the little mechanical bugs.
Nagasaki, Japan … Kidnapping of Taiwan businessman foiled by unidentified four-legged metal bug. All kidnappers have been taken into custody.
Hiroshima, Japan … Yakuza drug smuggling ring busted by unknown metal bugs. All gang members have been arrested and are waiting for trial.
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China … Disastrous plane crash averted by never before seen metal bug.
Hangchow, People’s Republic of China … Four-legged robots assist in recovery efforts after Typhoon Mei struck the Chinese Mainland.
Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China … Chinese Triad …prostitution ring broken by strange new bug-like robots.
Taipei, Taiwan … Drug shipment from South America intercepted and destroyed by strange mechanical drones.
Narathiwat Province … Southern Thailand … Civillian massacre by masked gunmen stopped by unknown robot drones.
Herat Province, Afghanistan … Unidentified mechanical bugs have been seen moving and crawling across the mountains … clearing all roadside bombs and landmines …
Ramadi, Iraq … Wave of market suicide bomb and roadside attacks foiled by new type of military drone? Coalition Commander Talbot could not be reached for comment about America’s newest weapon … in the war against terrorism …
Beirut, Lebanon … Mechanical bugs disrupt arms smuggling on the Iranian and Syrian border into Lebanon… All arms dealers have been found incarcerated and weapon caches destroyed …
Waziristan Province, Pakistan … Tribal war halted by unknown metal bugs …
Undisclosed location … Al-Qaeda renews its pledge to destroy America and its newest toys …
Dhaka, Bangladesh … Terrorist attack in Dhaka foiled by strange new robots … Rioters taken out by new robot drones …
Ulam Batu, Uzbekistan … Plane hijack in Ulam Batu stopped by unknown mechanical constructs … The hijackers have all been apprehended …
Vladivostok, Siberia … Vice ring permanently crippled by unknown type of robot.
“Who are they? What are they? The new face of law enforcement? The new twenty-four hour policemen … or should we say … police bug of the future?”
The Colonel turned from the news anchor on the screen to face the SG-1 team.
“Alright … Let’s put all that we know about them on the table.”
“They’re not exhibiting the same abilities shown by other Replicators. They seem to be able to generate energy shields around their bodies which makes it near impossible for kinetic weapons to penetrate which is unusual for Replicators,” the female major volunteered.
“They seem of the rather lively variety …” Daniel agreed.
“And they seem pretty agile …” the female major continued.
“Nimble or quick on their feet?” the Colonel asked again.
“That too … “
“Like they’re doing some sort of dance?” the Colonel looked again.
“That’s one way of putting it … if you include dodging bullets, rockets and grenades as part of the dance,” the archaeologist suggested.
“Not to mention … they appear to have the ability to shroud themselves from view … do the invisible trick I mean …” the resident female of the SG-1 team added.
“They must have developed some kind of portable cloaking technology,” Daniel concluded.
“In short … they’re not behaving like normal Replicators, that much is certain …” the residential science expert, Samantha Carter answered.
“Very true. They have nothing to gain by stopping crime. From what we can see … either they’ve taken a sudden interest in human society or …” Daniel added.
“They’re not the same Replicators that the Asgard have been fighting.”
“Which of course brings us to the next question … Why?”
There was silence as everyone took this in.
“What we do know is this … the Joint-Chiefs and the President don’t want to do anything about them because that would force them to reveal the existence of the Stargate Program and they’re doing what they want done in the world for the moment. As you can see … there hasn’t been a single successful crime or terrorist attack from the Far East to Europe in a week since they’ve been reported.”
“Wonderful … they’re putting all our best police-duty and peacekeeping forces to shame … and if this situation continues for another month … Coalition Forces are pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“Yes … there’s no longer any need for them to be there … and besides public opinion about the Iraq War has never been encouraging anyway.”
“Congress was also gearing up to pull the troops out … give or take a year … regardless of the consequences in Iraq.”
“If everything is going so right and peachy … then why does the Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff still want us to investigate these bugs?”
“They want us to find out who the dominant Replicator is before anyone else does.”
“That’s right. Every Replicator swarm has a dominant Replicator …”
“Among other things …”
“So crime finally has a new enemy …”
“And justice has a new face …”
Having reached home, the ponytailed girl leaped, the apex of her jump taking her to the top of the Tendo home. She remained silent and began to meditate … her senses alert for any signs of danger …
Her superbly enhanced hearing picked up the tune of a song being played …
Twinkle, twinkle little star …
… among the various background ‘noise’ or ‘clutter’ that usually formed the background body of messages from the different channels that she picked up from all around her …
How I wonder what you are …
It was simple yet for some unknown reason … the martial artist found herself being drawn towards it like no other …
Up above the world so high …
Unconsciously, she looked up into the skies to stare at the stars …
Like a diamond in the sky …
Visions of ships of varying shapes and sizes that ferried their passengers from star to star appeared … unbidden … in her mind …
Twinkle, twinkle little star …
Are there any others like me? she wondered.
How I wonder what you are …
The visual image of a teenaged girl whom she had never laid eyes on before surfaced briefly in her mind before disappearing altogether.
Sister … she whispered beneath her breath subconsciously …
I will find you … she thought.
To all my fanfic readers and reviewers … I wish to thank you for all your support, suggestions and most of all your deeply-appreciated reviews without which this fanfic would have probably died out. If I had not responded much to your writings … forgive me … I have been very busy of late and things kept cropping up left and right without ending.