Categories > Anime/Manga > Ranma 1/2 > The Raven

Job Offer

by Narsil 0 reviews

Category: Ranma 1/2 - Rating: R - Genres: Crossover - Characters: Ranma - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2012-08-04 - Updated: 2012-08-04 - 2085 words - Complete

The Daimakaicho of Niflheim sat at her desk and stared at the information on her monitor screen, as she engaged in an activity that none of her subordinates would have believed possible — dithering. Finally, she rose from her desk and strode to the large window and leaned her forehead against the one-way glass, staring unseeing out across the rugged, stony plain and river of lava flowing from the jagged mountains in the distance.

It’s been a year since Ranma arrived, she thought. A whole year! I’ve known some stubborn people before, but she ... ! And Rothgan’s getting worried. No, it’s beyond worry, he’s beginning to panic — he revels in hate and anger in his new acquisitions, enjoys breaking his “toys” to his use, turning it into fear and submission, but it just isn’t happening this time and if I don’t move soon Rothgan is going to do something stupid — he’s already increasing how often he’s ... using ... her again, apparently working on the theory that if your plan isn’t working, try more of the same. Stomping on him after he crosses the line would be a pleasure, but it wouldn’t do Ranma much good. But if I move too soon and Ranma’s newfound hate isn’t strong enough or she casts too wide a net ...

For long minutes Hild remained at the window, before finally pushing away and turning back toward to her desk. Striding back to her seat, she sat and hit the intercom button for her secretary. “Victoria, summon Trethgar, Arlonath, a couple of lackeys … and Angie, your predecessor, as soon as they can get here. We’re going to be making a surprise visit.”

“At once, Daimakaicho!” her secretary’s tense voice came back, and Hild sighed slightly as she released the intercom button. It’ll be nice once she gets past the “incomprehensible evil” stage of being afraid of me, so she can relax a little.


Followed by her five-member entourage, Hild shook her head as she strode past the cringing doorkeeper chained to her seat — the naked dark-haired, dusky-skinned woman would have been beautiful if she was cleaned of the dried, caked-on scum and washed up a bit, Rothgan must drop by occasionally.

As they strode down the hallway, the doors at the end opened and the obese Rothgan hurried through and bowed to his ultimate superior, his tentacle-arms waving nervously. “Mistress, it is a pleasure to see you!” he quavered, and Hild smiled sardonically.

“Of course it is,” she replied as she walked past him and waved for him to follow. “Don’t worry, I won’t be here long, I’m just here to pick up the new fury you’ve been incubating for me.”

“New fury?” Rothgan asked worriedly, and Hild’s smile turned vicious.

“Of course, Ranma,” she replied in apparent surprise. “You mean you weren’t trying to ramp her anger and hate up to Fury levels? Oh, well, I’m sure once she’s adjusted to her new position she’ll remember you kindly, even so.” Rothgan’s crimson skin faded to pink and he wavered on his feet, before pulling himself together and rushing to catch up with his visitors as they strode into what he fondly called his viewing hall.

Hild kept her expression carefully neutral as she strode along the hall, passing naked, mucked-encrusted woman after naked, muck-encrusted woman, unmoving in their niches except for their wounded, terrified eyes that followed the group as best they could. Given, most of them were there because they’d used sex as a tool in power games, or because they’d sold their souls to Rothgan for power while alive. Given, most of them didn’t stay all that long before getting the point and moving on. Still ...

Then a niche came into view displaying a petite redhead that was different from the rest. The nakedness was the same, as was the caked-on scum (some still drying), but there was nothing beaten about the eyes — hers blazed with anger and hatred, and Hild nodded in satisfaction. “Yes, she’ll do nicely,” she mused, then nodded to the two lackeys that had accompanied her. “Take her down, get her cleaned up, then bring her to my sanctum.” Looking up at the burly black-skinned demon to her left, she added, “Rethgar, accompany them — protect everyone from each other.”

Rethgar gazed thoughtfully at the tiny human soul being removed from her niche, reached up to the sword strapped to his back and loosened it in its scabbard, and nodded. “Of course, Mistress,” he rumbled, and Hild turned to her “host.”

“Rothgan, thank you for your help, even if it was unintentional,” she said sweetly, and the pink demon started to shake. “Now, I’m afraid there is one piece of bad news. I noticed that it’s been awhile since your last audit, so Angie here” — nodding to her pale former secretary standing beside her, staring wide-eyed at the women on display — “will be correcting that oversight. I’m sure you will see that she receives full cooperation.”

As Rothgan stammered out his assurances that he would do all he could, Hild turned to the second black-skinned demon that had accompanied her. “Arlonath, you are to see to it that Angie is not disturbed or hindered during her investigation, and escort her back to headquarters when she is ready to report,” she said firmly, and Arlonath nodded, contemptuously looking over Rothgan, then tapped Angie on the shoulder, making her leap to the side with a shriek.

“Come, girl, let’s get started,” he rumbled, with a nod to Hild, and Angie jerkily imitated him.

“Of course, with your permission, Mistress,” Angie said, and Hild waved her off airily, smiling inwardly at the vicious snarl that crossed Angie’s face as she turned away.


Hild sighed in relief when the intercom chirped its signal of her secretary’s request for attention. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could simply sit the occasional rebel leader down and have them handle my paperwork for a few days? she thought whimsically as she reached for the acceptance button. “Yes, Victoria?” she asked with a smile as the lovely blonde woman’s face appeared.

“Ranma and her escort are here, Mistress,” Victoria replied nervously, and Hild nodded.

“Excellent, send them in,” she ordered, and looked toward the door. A few seconds later it opened, and Rethgar and Ranma stepped through.

Hild ignored Rethgar for a moment to look over his charge. Ranma was cleaned up nicely, now-shiny red hair tied back in a pigtail, dressed in the black and red clothing she’d favored in life — and eyes burning and darting in all directions, looking for any chance to strike. Nodding her approval, she looked up at Rethgar. So, any problems?” she asked, and the demon shrugged.

“Nothing major,” he said as he clapped a hand on Ranma’s shoulder to abort her lunge across the desk for Hild. “Once Ranma realized the lackeys were cleaning her up and not assaulting her, everything went fine.”

Hild smiled cheerily. “I’m so pleased,” she said happily, then nodded to the redhead. “Ranma, have a seat. I have an offer for you.”

Ranma warily sat on the edge of her seat, and Hild leaned back and gazed thoughtfully at her for a long moment. “So, let’s start at the beginning. The purpose of Niflheim, what you’ve probably heard referred to as Hell, is to test mortals while alive and punish and instruct them in their failures after they die. However, sometimes mortals fail so spectacularly that we … hurry up the process a bit, don’t wait for their deaths. To that end, I have an elite band of warriors called the Furies, and I’d like you to join it.”

Ranma stared at the beautiful blond woman across the desk in shock for a long moment, then settled back in her chair. “Why me?” she asked, and Hild shrugged.

“Why not you?” she said. “You are a trained warrior proven in battle, you understand honor,” — well enough — “and you’ve certainly learned how to hate abusers in the past year, you’re perfect. However, if you don’t wish to accept the offer I can hardly force you to take it — you’ll just be handed back to Rothgan to hang up on his wall again, I’m sure he’d be delighted to have you back.”

Ranma snorted. “Yeah, like hell ya can’t force me ta take the position. A’ course I’ll take it! What do I gotta do?”

“Good!” Hild enthused, sitting up straight. “Now, there is one last test to make sure you qualify, but you shouldn’t mind it — name the mortals you most want to take revenge upon, and we’ll send you back to Midgard — Earth — to deal with them personally.”

Ranma stiffened in shock. “That’s it — the entire test?” she asked incredulously, and at Hild’s nod a viciously hungry look crossed the busty redhead’s face. “Well, in that case let’s go for Pop, Ryoga, Shampoo, Mousse, and Akane,” she snarled.

Oh, shit! I was afraid of that. “Good,” Hild repeated, and pushed a button to the side of her desk. In the ceiling above her head, a portal opened up and after a few minutes a large black raven flew through and landed on the desk in front of her, looking around the room and then focusing on Ranma with eyes flickering with intelligence. Reaching out to pet the raven, Hild said, “You will be given whatever tools or weapons you ask for, transported to the location of each of your targets, and returned when you are done. You will be no stronger or faster than you were while alive, but you may find that you are unkillable and heal rapidly. This raven” — nodding to the bird on her desk — “is Thought. He will accompany you to observe all that happens.”

Ranma looked thoughtfully at the bird, then nodded. “Alright, when do I start?” she asked.

“When would you like to start?”

“Not right away, I’m a little out of practice. Ya got anywhere I can do katas, anyone I can spar with?” Ranma asked, and Hild nodded, then looked over at Rethgar.

“See to it,” she ordered, and the demon nodded.

“Of course, Mistress. Come on, Ranma, let’s get started. I’m curious to see what you are capable of.”

Ranma grinned as she hopped out of her chair. “You betcha! It’ll feel good to finally cut loose.” She started for the door, then stopped and turned back to Hild. “Uh, thanks fer the opportunity, I owe ya big,” she said, scratching the back of her neck and looking at the floor.

“No need to thank me, Ranma, I’m sure you will more than repay me. Everyone repays me eventually,” Hild said brightly, and the spirit and demon quickly left, Thought flying after them.

As soon as the door closed, the smile slid from Hild’s face and she simply stared into space for long minutes before shaking her head. Well, maybe this will still work out, she thought bleakly, ignoring the sinking feeling in her gut, and returned to the paperwork Ranma’s visit had interrupted.

A/N: One little idea I'm taking from the Hell anthologies back when the shared universe fad was big (C.J. Cherryh's Legions of Hell was my favorite) is where Nifleim's bureaucracy comes from. In that series, all the players had sycophants, greenish translucent blobby ghosts that spied and ran errands for the people that mattered — if I remember correctly, they were bootlickers in life that got to carry on in death. As you might imagine, there are a lot of them. Hild's bureaucrats aren't green blobby ghosts, but they are the spirits of mortals that were the brownnosers in life that didn't care what the job was so long as it got done and they got the credit (or at least avoided the blame if things didn't work out). Now, in death they get to reprise their roles until they figure out that jobs have purposes, those purposes have moral value, and that that moral value matters to them.

And of course, the Furies are my own creation, just a thought that if Asgard has the Valkyries, then Niflheim should have a corresponding elite force.
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