Date: 171007, 310108, 080208
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 never belonged to me and never will. sighs
“Ranma! Because of you, I’ve seen HELL!” a voice shouted.
The ponytailed girl turned in the direction of the voice to see a familiar boy in a bandana, shouting to the heavens. Behind the lost boy were two of her mechanical contraptions looking on in surprise at the sudden appearance of the lost boy.
‘Last I heard, he was in France up until five milli-seconds ago. How does he do that? Appears and disappears from thin air without warning. Can he actually fold space and move from one location to another without crossing the space in between?’ the ponytailed girl wondered while her mechanical contraptions continued to study the lost boy’s ability to get ‘lost’.
In actual fact, that had been one of their many projects. Figure out how did Ryoga travel from one location to another without crossing the space in between. It had proven to be a most intellectually challenging, not to mention rewarding endeavour.
Ranma was quite certain that if she or her mechanical drones ever figured out the mechanics behind the ‘lost’ phenomenon, they would be able to travel the universe at large without the need for starships, Stargates or any transportation device for that matter.
‘Time is the single greatest enemy of man,’ were the words she had picked up from a television series.
She had wholeheartedly agreed with that statement as it had limited mankind’s development and potential to the Earth-
“Have you seen Ranma Saotome?” the lost boy asked after stopping in front of her.
“Can’t say that I have,” the ponytailed girl replied innocently.
There was no reason to get into a fight over nothing after all. She had much more important things to do … like finding her mother and sister.
“Okay … sorry to bother you,” the lost boy answered before continuing his usual rant which stopped as soon as he had rounded a corner.
‘Lost again … now he’s in Tehran. Amazing … simply amazing,’ the ponytailed girl thought after receiving information regarding the lost boy’s whereabouts from her mechanical drones in Iran.
“Who was that?” a familiar voice asked.
“An old friend of mine,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“What was his name?” the middle Tendo sister asked, trying to fish for more information.
“Ryoga Hibiki,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“Why didn’t you tell him that you were Ranma Saotome?”
“I didn’t want to get into a fight with him. He tended to use his brawn more than his brains. A powerful warrior fights with his mind as well as his body,” Ranma answered.
“Say Ranma … have you thought of sharing your knowledge with the rest of the world?” Nabiki asked.
“Yes.” Ranma answered.
“I could put you in touch with a few people that I’m sure would be very happy with all those technological gadgets that you have,” the middle Tendo sister continued.
“I’m sure you could,” Ranma agreed.
“It could help a lot of people, Ranma. Think about it. All this knowledge and technology. And I’m sure that a martial artist’s code is to help those who couldn’t help themselves, right?” the middle Tendo sister chose her words carefully.
“Yes,” Ranma replied without hesitation.
“How about we put it to good use by putting it with this people who I’m sure would be more than happy to help you with your quest to make the Earth a better place to live in? This is a list of the names of the people,” Nabiki answered.
The ponytailed girl studied the list of names carefully.
“Is it just me or are the names on this list, the names of every CEO who heads all the large multinational corporations in the world?” Ranma asked skeptically.
“Well … Ranma … we can’t just give it to Mr. Average on the street. They don’t have the means of carrying out your dreams to fruition. These are the names of the people with the means and capacity to do so,” Nabiki replied carefully.
‘That’s right! All these people are going to pay me through the roof for all of Ranma’s technology! They’ll make me rich! Filthy rich! My days as a smalltime loan shark and blackmailer will be over!’ the middle Tendo sister laughed inwardly in glee though she was careful to maintain a concerned expression on the outside.
“I need to think this over …” the ponytailed girl answered.
“Ranma, don’t take too long. Think of all the sick, hungry and dying children we could help. People are dying everyday! Every second you delay kills even more people, Ranma! We are the people with the means to do so! To deny them help when you could do so … wouldn’t it be going against the martial artist’s code of honour to refrain from helping out when we could?” Nabiki pointed out.
“I’m not so sure. Goauld technology was never designed with the intention to help mankind. If that were the case, today Earth would be a technological paradise and hell would be a myth. Nabiki,” the ponytailed girl spoke, surprising Nabiki with her answer.
Of all the answers that she had pre-empted from Ranma, she had not expected this.
“Goauld technology? I was thinking of Ancient technology … the one you mentioned in the past,” the middle Tendo sister replied.
“You don’t know what you’re asking. Ancient technology is way beyond the reach of this world’s understanding and science even if they were able to get a hold of Ancient artifacts and devices and study them for the next millennia or so. Goauld technology is a simplification of Ancient knowledge and understanding. Consequently, the technological gap between Earth and the Goauld is not as great. Unfortunately, Goauld technology was designed primarily as a tool or means to enslave humanity by their creators. More than ninety percent of their technology centered around personal glorification and destruction of one’s enemies. Especially mass destruction. I don’t know if the Earth is ready for such knowledge,” the ponytailed girl continued.
“But still you could modify it to benefit mankind, I’m sure,” Nabiki replied not giving up on her quest for riches.
“The technology of the Goauld is still largely beyond that of Earth’s best scientists even though it is nothing more than a simplification of Ancient knowledge and understanding. At best, Earth’s current level of knowledge would work haphazardly with Goauld technology and at worse, they might cause an unwanted disaster with their research. It would be premature to introduce Goauld technology to the Earth at this stage,” Ranma answered.
“But you could always guide them with the research,” the middle Tendo sister argued.
“I could yes … but would they always listen to me? Mankind is well-known for their penchant for disobedience. If they would not even listen willingly to their blood relations on the street, what makes you think they would listen to a complete stranger like me? Do you honestly think that for one god-given moment, they would appreciate it if I told them what to do and what not to do with something I had given them?” the ponytailed girl fired back.
“I’m sure they would be very grateful,” the middle Tendo sister tried again.
“I’m sure they would too … until the time I told them what they could do and could not do with it, that is,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“Well you can’t be sure about that, can you?” Nabiki did not give up.
“In the old days, every prophet and religious leader ended up dead or hunted due to the audience trying to kill him or her before said person could even reach the end of their message. If Noah, Moses, Elijah, Jesus and Mohammad could not get the people to listen to them, what makes you think that they would listen to an alien like me?” the ponytailed girl continued.
“But that is just religious doctrine they were trying to spread. This is technology we’re talking about,” Nabiki answered.
“All the same, they would be so very grateful at receiving what I had given them that they would do anything I told them to, I’m sure, Nabiki,” Ranma commented sarcastically.
“Ranma … please listen to me. It would be a great help. Think of those starving millions all over the world, for once,” the middle Tendo sister brought up again.
“Goauld technology was designed for population control. Not population welfare. You have no idea as to what it was used for. Neither its purpose nor its means,” the ponytailed girl answered simply.
“And you do?” Nabiki challenged.
“It is a difficult thing to explain in words. Only experience can tell you this,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“And you have this experience?” Nabiki doubted.
“Yes … for my experience is my birthright,” the ponytailed girl continued.
“What do you mean?” the middle Tendo sister asked Ranma.
“I am Harceasis, Nabiki,” came the reply.
I am Harceasis, Nabiki.
That was Ranma’s simple and concise answer … as though it explained everything.
She had been about to ask him more when Kasumi’s voice disrupted their conversation.
“Dinner is ready!” came the call.
The ponytailed girl turned around and headed for the kitchen in a flash. Seeing no forthcoming reply, the middle Tendo sister quickly followed suit.
Dinner was a silent matter … as usual … apart from a greedy panda that was now reduced to eating bamboo at the dinner table. Akane was seething quietly in her corner, no doubt in anger at being unable to pound the ‘perverted’ ponytailed girl into the dust. Kasumi was well … Kasumi. She was stoically eating her tofu and miso soup. ‘R-chan’ the ever faithful mechanical contraption that quickly became the pet of the eldest Tendo sister scurried forward with a plate of teriyaki and sushi to the dinner table before settling down by her side.
I am Harceasis, Nabiki.
Ranma’s answer continued to echo in her mind.
What did the ponytailed girl mean when she said that?
It wasn’t only Ranma’s answer that puzzled and intrigued her. Somehow, in that very moment, when she gave her answer, the spell of the youthful teenaged persona that had covered the ponytailed girl like a veil had been broken … penetrated … to reveal a sense of great age and wisdom in the unfathomable depths of her eyes.
It was as if the middle Tendo sister was seeing her in her true light for the first time. The sense of agelessness and wisdom emanating from the depths of her very being and the strange sense of acceptance that no one, much less the middle Tendo sister, would be able to understand her reason or her purpose.
Then, as quickly as it had come, it had gone. Leaving Nabiki to wonder if what she had just seen was a trick of the eye or a fanciful hallucination.
Harceasis … such a strange word … what did it mean?
Nabiki did not have a clue. Yet the tenacious core that made up the middle Tendo sister refused to give up and she was determined to get to the bottom of the matter. Even if she had to pursue the ponytailed girl to the four corners of the Earth to get the answer.
And who the hell were the Goauld, anyway? The middle Tendo sister wondered.
“I thought we’ve been through this already,” the ponytailed girl spoke upon seeing the middle Tendo sister entering her room.
“Ranma, I want some straight answers. And I want it now!” the middle Tendo sister demanded.
“I’ve already given you my answer and the answer remains NO,” the ponytailed girl spoke.
“You’ve lived with us for quite a while in our home without paying a cent, I might add and we still don’t know anything about you except for your curse, your robot drones and your name. For all purposes you are still a stranger to us. So you owe us! The question is who are you really, Ranma, and what is the meaning of Harceasis?” the middle Tendo sister questioned.
“You think you are ready to know the truth, Nabiki?” the ponytailed girl’s eyes glinted in challenge to the middle Tendo sister’s question.
“Tell me all of it! The truth … the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Don’t leave a thing out!” the middle Tendo sister voiced out in a near shouting tone of voice.
“It is a very difficult thing to put in words but since you insist … so be it. In ancient times, when the first cities of Man rose in fertile lands that today are little more than places of wastelands or deserts, the Goauld rose to power. They were a cunning and savage race, the first among the many nonhuman life forms to make use of the knowledge and tools left behind by the Creators when they departed this universe. But the knowledge and tools they acquired were not used for the benefit of all life. Rather it was used by the Goauld to increase their power and prestige across the stars. It was through this knowledge and tools that their terrible weapons of war were first made and the beginnings of what would become their infamous Jaffa legions were first seen. Mankind, having little to no understanding of the vast technological creations that the Goauld invaders seemed to wield with ease at the time, fell easily to their overwhelming might and were forced to submit to their rule. The rule and worship of the gods that the Goauld had taken by force from their conquered subjects became mandatory. Those who resisted the Goauld were killed, often in horrifying ways. Those who followed became little better than animals. Those were dark times indeed for the Goauld masters proved to be nothing more than thankless masters and tyrannical overlords who ruled their subjects with an iron fist,” the ponytailed girl explained.
“These Goauld that you keep talking about, who are they really?” Nabiki asked.
“It’s a difficult thing to describe. They are a parasitic race that use human bodies as hosts without whom they cannot live unaided,” Ranma answered.
“The Jaffa … what are they?” Nabiki asked again.
“Their foot soldiers and walking incubators for the Goauld larvae that had yet to mature. Each Jaffa soldier is easily as strong as five men and were primarily used as cannon fodder in many wars with other alien races that had yet to submit to the Goauld and also to settle disputes among their own kind,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“The Goauld fought against each other?” Nabiki asked.
“The Goauld were never a unified force. They were too greedy and arrogant for their own good. That has been their biggest failing until now. If they were truly united under one leader, they would be a lot more dangerous then they are now. It was their disunity and arrogance that eventually resulted in their defeat and their eventual departure from this planet,” Ranma answered.
“The Goauld came to Earth?” the middle Tendo sister asked again.
“Yes they ruled this world once until their slaves rebelled against them, forcing them to flee from this planet. Among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Egypt stand as their biggest legacy on this planet.”
“The Pyramids of Egypt were built by aliens?” Nabiki asked in disbelief.
“No. They were built by human slaves in honour of their Goauld masters once.”
“Will the Goauld ever return?” Nabiki asked, worry evident in her voice.
“It is difficult to say. The Supreme System Lord was Ra and this world lies within Ra’s domain. Ra himself has not been seen in a long time. Whether he will return or not, no one knows,” the ponytailed girl answered.
“Then Ranma! Hear me out! There is not a moment to lose! On behalf of the people of Earth, I am begging you to provide your knowledge to the people of this world that they might be ready for the Goauld invaders when they return!” Nabiki spoke frantically.
“Haven’t you heard what I told you before? The knowledge of the Goauld will corrupt your soul. Look at what the Goauld have become! You would be no better than the Goauld!” the ponytailed girl chided.
“That’s for them! That’s not me! How can you be sure that I will become corrupt and evil like the Goauld when you wouldn’t even give me a chance? Every individual is unique, Ranma. Give me a chance, Ranma … that’s all I’m asking … and I swear … no I will prove to you that I am different from the Goauld!” the middle Tendo sister swore fervently.
“You think you can overcome the temptation of power that comes with the knowledge of the Goauld?!!” the ponytailed girl voiced out.
The middle Tendo sister nodded her head vigorously.
“You think you can resist the inherent evil within the genetic memory of those parasitic, good-for- nothing worms?!!” the ponytailed girl added.
The middle Tendo sister continued to nod her head.
“Then you know nothing!” the ponytailed girl answered angrily and turned away.
“Please Ranma!” the middle Tendo sister begged.
The ponytailed girl did not answer.
“Just one chance!” Nabiki continued her plea.
Ranma remained silent.
“That’s all I’m asking!” she begged.
Still no answer.
“For the people of the world!” the middle Tendo sister added in her steadfast conviction.
The ponytailed girl remained unmoved.
“For everyone’s sake!” Nabiki got down on her knees.
“Just one chance …” she whispered again.
“Everyone deserves a chance!” Nabiki continued to plead.
Silence greeted her. In fact the silence lasted so long that the middle Tendo sister thought for one moment that the ponytailed girl had forgotten about her when she heard her voice.
“You want it? Fine then! I will pass to you the full genetic memory of the Goauld! Do not disappoint me, Nabiki! For I will be watching!” the ponytailed girl answered in a huff as she turned around to face the middle Tendo sister.
“Now hold still!” she ordered.
To Nabiki’s shock and horror, the ponytailed girl’s finger elongated forward like a silvery shaped spear to end in a needle like point which she used to pierce the middle Tendo sister’s skin directly into her brain.
Unable to control her reactions, Nabiki fell backwards in a wordless scream and the world burst into light …
“Ranma! Because of you, I’ve seen HELL!” a voice shouted.
“What are you doing in my home? Guards!” a female voice shouted.
“Ranma! This is all your fault!” the lost boy shouted as he was surrounded by more than thirty heavily armed people in robes.
“Ranma?!! Would the person you speak of happen to be Ranma Saotome?” the beautiful middle-aged woman in a hooded robe asked.
“Yes! Because of him I’ve seen HELL!” the lost boy shouted with an emphasis on the last word.
“How very interesting because I am Nodoka Saotome, his former mother,” the beautiful auburn-haired woman answered.
“You’re his mother?” the lost boy asked a little hesitantly.
“That’s right but fear not. That dishonourable freak of nature is no longer my son! Because of what he’s done, he should have committed seppuku!” the beautiful woman swore.
“What has he done now?” the boy asked again in growing rage.
“A long time ago, he made a promise to me that he would become a man amongst men, failing that he would commit seppuku like the dishonourable freak of nature that he’s become!” the woman answered angrily as she took out the seppuku contract for the lost boy to read.
Angry creased the lost boy’s eyebrows as his eyes fell on the seppuku contract.
“What has the dishonourable freak done to you?” the beautiful woman asked.
“He ran out on our man to man fight!” the lost boy shouted.
“He did??!!! Then he truly deserves to die!” the woman shouted, her voice changing slightly into a growl as she did so.
“RANMA SAOTOME! FOR THE DISHONOURABLE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE DONE, PREPARE TO DIE!” the lost boy shouted to the heavens.
So lost was the lost boy lost to his rage that he failed to notice something significant about the woman … something that should have told him long ago that the woman was not normal.
The woman’s eyes were glowing bright in the large chamber like neon lights as she studied the lost boy’s rantings with a wicked smile on her beautiful face.
To all my fanfic readers and reviewers … I wish to thank you for your continuing support, suggestions and most of all your deeply-appreciated reviews. Once again … 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.