Update: 150205, 080305, 170305, 170405, 030505, 230805, 311005, 010306, 060306, 220306, 121006, 110307
Type: A Ranma/Babylon 5/Palladium/Sailormoon crossover
Disclaimer: Ranma and the Nerima Wrecking Crew belong to Rumiko Takahashi while Rifts and Nightspawn belong to Palladium. Babylon 5, Manhunter and Sailormoon belong to all their creators respectively.
Part 2: Mirage
Hikaru Gosunkugi, resident nerd and "mage" of Nerima was at his wits' end. He had yet to find a solution to freeing his "angel" and love, Akane Tendo from the grip of the villianous rogue, Saotome Ranma. All his research into the arcane arts had yet to bear fruit as none of the spells or charms that he had used on the pigtailed martial artist had seemed to work.
"Confound it!" he cursed loudly as he slammed his fist into yet another failed diagram of a pentagram that he drawn on the ground. 'What is the use?' Hikaru thought before throwing another "magic" book that he bought from a store into the wall. It flew against the wall before dropping to the ground with a thud. Tears welled up in his eyes. If he failed to get rid of Ranma he would never succeed in winning Akane's love.
Hikaru was no fool. He knew the looks people had given him regarding his odd behaviour in wearing candles around his head and chanting mumbo-jumbo to school and after school. Weirdo … Nerd … But for Akane Tendo, he was willing to put his reputation, life and even his soul on the line. 'What can I do … ' he thought. 'Ranma's more handsome than me. He's stronger and more courageous than I am. And a martial artist to boot! How can I go up against someone like him? It's not fair! It's just not fair!'
And Hikaru Gosunkugi cried himself to sleep.
Hikaru stirred slightly but continued to sleep.
The nerd turned and tossed slightly but continued to sleep.
Hikaru Gosunkugi …
His eyes opened and saw the figure of a woman standing before his bed. Words could not adequately describe her. She was beautiful beyond anything he had ever known. Even Akane Tendo was nothing compared to this woman standing before him. The nerdish boy found himself staring at her, mesmerized by her beauty and charisma to the point that he was unable to say anything or even move at first. Finally, she spoke … breaking the silence in the room.
"Hikaru Gosunkugi … "
Those words broke him out of his daze. Quickly he got up with a start.
"I have heard the longings of your heart and have deigned to grant you your fondest desire. "
Hikaru's eyes widened at this.
"At a price." She smiled.
Inwardly he groaned. It had just sounded too good to be true.
"I wouldn't have to give up my soul, would I?" He asked fearfully.
"No. The transaction of souls is the sole province of demons. I am no demon. What is required is your faithful service and an oath of loyalty from you. In exchange, what you have always wanted would be yours. Power, the perfect body and the ability to do real magic. Not some parlour tricks like you have in your room. Interested?"
"I'm all yours."
"Sign here. With your blood."
From out of nowhere, a thin sheet of pliable black metal appeared in front of him. The shiny words on it were etched in pure gold, in contrast to its pitch-black metallic surface. Its fine golden letters, reflected his face like a mirror.
It read: …
I, Hikaru Gosunkugi, hereby pledge myself in complete service to the Assembly of Night. To perform all the tasks set upon me by the Assembly in exchange for the Gift of Power and the Gift of Magic. Both gifts would remain with me till death or until such a time as the Assembly sees fit to terminate the contract.
Lady Zora, Speaker of the Assembly
"Who is the Assembly? And why am I signing a contract with more than one person?" Hikaru asked as he pricked his finger with the kitchen knife.
"The ones who sent me. Will you sign now or do I take my leave?" the woman asked, pressing the issue.
'Assembly? Why more than one?' he wondered as he signed his name in blood.
"It is done. Farewell," she smiled before disappearing from sight … much to his surprise.
Ranma sighed as he looked up into the night sky. Another day gone by. Life was just not getting any easier for him. Akane's daily declarations of 'love' for him in the form of malleting the pigtailed martial artist into low-earth orbit and 'bio-weaponry' being force-fed to him under the guise of 'specially-prepared homecooked meals' for her 'beloved' fiancee were certainly taking their toll on him. What was she trying to do? Kill him? Ranma thought despondently.
If she was trying to show her love for him (like the moronic duo of martial artist dads had claimed), it sure was one hell of a strange way to show it. There was only so much a person could take before he or she grew tired of the whole situation. Even the indomitable will of the great Ranma Saotome, defender of the weak and martial artist extraordinaire had its limits. And right now … He was damn weary … and … tired of everything. Why couldn't things turn out for the better, for once? He wondered. What did he do to deserve this? He shook his head.
If only I could end it all, came the unbidden thought.
"You shouldn't do that, Ranma-kun. The world needs you …," a voice spoke gently, interrupting his thoughts.
"K-K-K-Kasumi? W-W-W-W-What a-a-a-a-a-a-are y-y-y-y-you d-d-d-d-doing here?" the pigtailed martial artist stammered as he caught sight of the beautiful surrogate mother of the Tendo family sitting beside him on the roof. She had come so silently upon him that he never even realised that she was there.
"For the reason you are here … " she replied without hesitation.
Turning to him, she looked deeply into his eyes as though peering into his very soul. Ranma felt as if he would drown in those eyes … of hers … those lovely, gentle eyes … that seemed to draw away all lucid thought …
There was no denying it. With the moonlight shining upon her, her face … framed by her long hair … was clearly the very essence of physical perfection. Not a single blemish or visible scar anywhere to ruin that image of physical perfection, giving her physical features an otherworldly quality. Her figure was … to put it simply … flawless … angelic … no … Ranma mentally corrected … divine … now that he was able to think clearly again … For such a person could not possibly be human …
Lightning flashed in the sky and thunder crashed ominously in the distance.
His mind went back to all the times that she was there for him … when no one else would …
"You are a good man, Ranma-kun," came the words as the eldest Tendo sister closed in onto his personal space letting her aura of gentleness ease away his skittishness and nervousness at being in the presence of the fairer sex.
"Come, tell me about your life," she added as she slowly wrapped one of her arms around the pigtailed martial artist's back. And Ranma needed no further urging … as those hands began to play across his back in gentle caresses before moving forward to unknot all those tense muscles in his body in skillful massages. And it wasn't long before Ranma began to groan ….
"Hush! … You don't want to wake up the neighbourhood, Ranma-kun," she spoke as she rolled Ranma onto his back.
The next day …
Ranma woke up with a certain buoyancy in his footsteps and a delightful smile on his face. All the tension clearly gone from his mind as well as body. Everybody was clearly affected by his good mood … even the Tendo Patriach. Not even the tropical storm, Akane, bordering on hurricane status and capable of great destruction (though which one was greater when compared to the real thing remains open to debate) was able to dampen the cheerful look on Ranma's face which irritated the youngest Tendo sister all the more.
"RANMA NO HENTAI!" came the words as Akane delivered her Mallet of Justice into her supposedly wayward fiancee.
'What did I do wrong now?' came the thought as Ranma crashed through the roof right into the open sky.
Before we proceed any further into the story … let us examine a little of what had been going on in the youngest Tendo's sister's head.
Akane OS ver 3.
FIANCEE DETECTED IN THE ROOM …
COURSE OF ACTION … NONE AS OF YET …
FIANCEE IS SMILING …
(1) FIANCEE HAS DONE SOMETHING PERVERTED … 80% PROBABILITY …
(2) FIANCEE DID NOT DO ANYTHING PERVERTED BUT IS PLANNING TO DO SO SOON … 20% PROBABILITY …
FIANCEE IS STILL SMILING TO THE POINT OF SELF BEING IGNORED …
REASON (1) CONFIRMED.
RECOMMENDED COURSE OF ACTION?
MALLET OF JUSTICE …
And thus was Ranma's fate sealed.
"Akane … I can't ever seem to do anything right in her eyes … " Ranma grumbled as the eldest Tendo sister applied more ointment into the bruised parts of the martial artist's body.
"I will not make any excuses for her behaviour, Ranma but for a happy marriage to happen, you must be able to accept all facets of her personality and life. Think of it this way … the grass always looks greener from the other side. When you first spot an object from afar, it may look wonderful to you. That is what happened when you first saw her smile … As you draw closer to the object, you may come across certain aspects of it that you like and certain aspects that you don't look like. Likewise, when you draw closer to Akane, the more facets of her personality you will see … some will be beautiful and some will be ugly. There is nothing that is completely perfect without some form of imperfection in it. Neither is there something completely imperfect without some form of perfection in it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Ranma. Never forget that …"
"But all I've seen so far from Akane are the terrible parts," Ranma groaned as Kasumi massaged another sore point on his body (or to be more accurate, her as he was in girl form at the moment). 'And from you, all the beautiful parts,' came Ranma's subconscious thought.
"You've just been unlucky with her that's all. Plus you have yet to see my undesirable parts," the eldest Tendo sister replied as though reading his thoughts.
"You … Kasumi … having undesirable parts? That would mean the end of the world is near."
BOOM! 'Was that lightning and thunder again? Strange, there weren't suppose to be any clouds in the sky … were they?' he thought. The sound of rain began to hit the roof.
"No one could compare up to you in terms of beauty or kindness. A man would virtually have to be crazy not to desire you. Even the animals and plants love you …" Ranma blurted out before he could stop himself.
"Ranma-chan, I appreciate your love for me. I always have and always will," Kasumi spoke causing Ranma to blush in reply.
"But please give the engagement with my younger sister one more chance before giving it up completely. I do not want you to regret any decisions that you make for the rest of your life. You will know what to do when the time is right. Besides nothing is perfect. Not even me …" Kasumi added in her usual gentle voice as she began massaging Ranma-chan's injured body.
"Kasumi-" Ranma spoke but was interrupted by Kasumi's finger to her lips.
"Appearances or first impressions can be deceiving. You will know where your heart truly lies the day you return from the night … Rest Ranma-chan for you will need your energy for tomorrow …" Kasumi added cryptically with her usual smile on her face, her hands moving steadily and gently across Ranma's body.
"Kasumi-chan!" a muffled female voice cried out as the eldest Tendo sister's ministrations grew in pleasure and in intensity.
"What a strange dream … "
Hikaru thought before opening his eyes. He got up from bed with a bound and made his way to the furo.
'I feel different today … Stronger, faster … ' came the thought … and took a quick look in the mirror. A shock came over him. Gone was the scrawny-looking boy that girls avoided at school and in the market. In its place, stood a handsome young man with a strong athletic body with a look in his eyes that could take on the entire world and win.
Hikaru realised anothing. As he studied his physical body, he was able to see clearly without his glasses. "My poor eyesight … It is gone! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much for everything!" he cried out loud. Tears of joy welled up in his eyes. "It wasn't a dream, after all. Thank you, whoever you are!" What was her name again? He wondered. For some reason, he was unable to recall her name.
Mingle … a voice clear as crystal seemed to echo from nowhere.
"Oh man … I got to hurry … I'm going to be late … " Hikaru thought as he cleaned himself up as quickly as he could.
He ran downstairs, grabbed breakfast along the way … and rushed out the door. Quickly he made his way to school.
At school …
"Hello Hikaru … " a voice spoke. He turned to face the speaker. It was one of the prettier girls from the next class that he was usually to shy to approach.
"It's me, Kei. How are you this morning?"
"Good." He replied.
"How would you like to join me for recess?" the girl asked.
"That's a good idea! We could all get to know one another," another voice added. Kei scowled at the speaker.
"Gomemasen! I am Yuki! I would like to join you for recess. What's your number?" the girl added quickly before Kei could say a word.
Without any hesitation, Hikaru Gosunkugi gave his number much to the other girl's consternation though she took care to take the number down as well.
'A date finally … ' he thought. 'I can't believe it!'
The school bell rang.
"Got to go now Hikaru! See you later!" the first girl spoke quickly before departing in haste.
"See you soon!" the second girl replied.
The resident nerd and mage of Nerima managed to stop himself from involuntarily giving out a cry of joy.
'Akane, my love, we will soon be together!' came the delirious thought.
Elsewhere … a certain Tendo sister prone to widespread violent, shivered inwardly for no apparent reason.
I've decided to remove all Star Trek/AVP/C&C/Terminator references from this Lords of Twilight derivative to my Rise of the Machines series where it actually belongs. And now for my first Omake …