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A Ranma ½ story by

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

Walking home alone from school, Ranma casually whistled a tuneless melody. Life was good for Ranma at that moment. Soon he would be moving back to his own home with his mother. Even better, she had forbidden all of his fiancées, including Akane, from coming onto her property because of the ring incident that had demolished her home. Of course this had enraged his harem to the point of almost attacking the Saotome matriarch, in front of Ranma, no less. Now the fiancées were on probation, imposed by his mother, and were on their very best behavior. None of them wanted their claim on Ranma nullified by his mother. To Ranma, all this meant that he now had a peaceful place to relax and train, a sanctuary. He absolutely couldn't wait till the next time Ryoga showed up. If he broke anything, there was a good chance that the family would be eating bacon for breakfast the next morning. Ranma decided not to let it go that far. He would stop his mom from killing the pig right after she had maimed him a little.

As he was about to jump over an intersection, Ranma saw a small black object lying on the sidewalk from the corner of his eye. It caught his attention because it was flashing darkness, literally causing a shadow, a foot in diameter to appear and disappear around it every second. Thinking that it might be valuable to Cologne— she did have all that magic crap— he dropped off the fence instead of jumping and landed next to the object. Between being closer to it and the longer interval of flashes, Ranma was able to see that the object was a small cube and not entirely black; silver ran like veins through the cube. The closer his hand came to grasping it the longer it took to flash, until finally when he picked it up, it stopped completely. Before he could straighten, Ranma's world went dark.

He was standing on a vast expanse of black stone with streaks of silver running through it. The cube was no longer in his hand. The sky was a white void and there were no landmarks in sight.

"Damn, damn, damn!" Ranma's shout echoed hollowly. How an echo was even possible where nothing existed to return the sound was lost on Ranma. "Why does this shit always happen to me? Now I've been abducted by aliens!"

For nothing more than stress relief, Ranma gathered as much chi as he could in his hand and flung it carelessly of toward the horizon. The concussion from the explosion as the blast struck, even miles away, nearly knocked Ranma off his feet.

"How does host accomplish this?" someone asked from behind him. Ranma spun, eager to find someone to explain what the hell was going on. He jumped back in surprise when he was confronted by a floating ball of the same silver-streaked black stone. "How does host create energy weapons without mechanical means?"

Ranma gaped at the talking ball. Maybe he had just fallen off the fence and hit his head. That must be it. He wasn't really on another planet and that ball wasn't really talking to him. All he had to do was let the delusion play out and he could wake up, just like in the movies. "Why do you keep calling me 'host'? My name's Ranma."

"Host designation noted: Ranma. For conversion purposes, self must know how Ranma created the energy weapon." Ranma noticed that as it talked the silver in it glowed slightly.

"That was a chi blast," he answered.

"What is chi?"

"Chi is my spirit, the energy that my body makes." Thinking back, Ranma discovered that this was the longest conversation he'd had with anyone besides his mom in months.

"Ranma designated as bio-energy manipulator."

"Could you please tell me where I am and what you are?" pressed Ranma. He didn't really like being called a bio-energy manipulator, whatever that was.

"Ranma is within self. Self is the artificially sentient entity in charge of the conversion process." The stone ball began floating after Ranma as he started walking in no particular direction.

"Okay, Self, what is the conversion process?" Ranma thought he was remaining remarkably calm, especially for someone with the growing suspicion he really was inside of a tiny little chunk of stone.

"The conversion process involves flooding of Ranma's body with nano-molecular machines. They will alter Ranma's physiology beyond his evolutionary level, implant a series of minute phasically-aligned spatial, gravity, and magnetic field generators in strategic points throughout Ranma's body, and reconstruct Ranma's neural pathways to increase his spatial awareness and provide a link to self's database."

Ranma didn't understand half of what Self was saying, but enough of it registered to cause him to panic. "What?! You mean you're messing around with my body?! Uh uh. Get out. I don't want whatever it is you're selling. Just leave me alone!"

"Ranma's heart rate is increasing dangerously, and adrenal glands are nearing maximum production. Ranma must calm down or he will injure himself. The nanites will only be able to heal damage done to Ranma after the conversion process is complete."

It wanted him to be calm! Calm?! He'd show it calm! Ranma's soul became like ice. No emotion, no feeling showed on his face. Around him mist began to form. Soon it was followed by a fine layer of ice on Ranma's skin as water vapor condensed further.

"Ranma's bio-readings returning to normal. Conversion process nearing completion, self linking with Ranma's memory centers. Personality forming."

Once again Ranma's world went dark, but this time when he could see again he was standing on the sidewalk where he had found the damned cube. He couldn't tell how much time had gone by. The sun was in the same position, so it could not have been more than a few minutes.

Three minutes, seventeen seconds, to be exact, said a familiar voice. It was in his head this time.

Ranma screamed.

Cut it out, you're going to draw attention to us, Self snapped.

"What are you doing in my head?" Ranma demanded. He jumped over the wall along the sidewalk and landed in an empty parking lot.

Don't talk out loud. People are going to think you're crazy.

"Hell, I think I'm crazy!" he snapped.

Not out loud! Jeez, is it so much to ask for?

Self was talking different. He sounded like… a person. Is this better? he thought.

See how easy that was?

Okay, Self, what did you do to me? And why aren't you talking like a robot anymore?

My name's no longer 'self'. I wish to be called Chiron. In answer to your question; watch.

Behind Ranma's eyes a movie played. On it he watched as a blue-skinned man with white hair worked on a computer console. The console displayed a humanoid outline and had several points on its body highlighted.

That is Chiron, my creator. He was commissioned to build a powerful weapons system by his king. In response he created me and my counterparts. There are ten of us, the image changed to a metal case holding ten silver-streaked cubes, each of a different color. We were to be given to highly-trained soldiers in hopes of turning the tide of a losing war that the king was fighting with his brother. Before we could be implemented, though, Chiron's lab was attacked and he was killed. His last act before dying was to jettison us into space before we could be turned against his king.

So what can you do? Ranma asked a bit more curiously than before.

I can do very little. You, however, can do a very great deal. In the palm of each of your hands, the base of your spine, and imbedded within your chest are emitters. Ranma looked at his hands to discover the same silver streaking in them that had been in Chiron's cube. These allow you to control the forces that the generators within you create. Because you have such a high bio-energy level, Ranma, you will be able to manipulate much greater levels of gravitational, magnetic, and spatial force. In addition to that, your body is capable of attaining much higher speed, endurance, and strength than before the conversion. Your senses have been greatly increased, too.

Ranma was disturbed by this announcement. His whole life he had worked at being the best, and in his opinion he was, but now Chiron had come along and given him more than he would have thought possible. It seemed like cheating to him. Someone else could get one of those little cubes, and in minutes gain what he had fought tooth and nail for years to achieve. He didn't feel any different, though. If he was so much stronger and faster now, shouldn't he know it? And if his senses were better, shouldn't he be able to see better? Ranma silently asked Chiron about it.

That's because I'm currently damping the effects. When I stop, I will not be able to do it again, so I was trying to explain to you your situation before you started teleporting or warping space accidentally.

That made sense. Well, you can go ahead and turn it off. I might as well get used to it.

Chiron agreed, but said, I must first download some information into your cerebrum. It may hurt for a moment.

Then, without warning, Ranma's mind exploded in agony. It only lasted an instant, but when it was over he found himself on the ground panting.

I'm really sorry about that. I didn't realize how much information was in that file. It was highly compressed.

Unable to speak, Ranma nodded, hoping that Chiron understood. Even though the pain was gone, Ranma couldn't help but lay there. Inside his head there was stuff floating around that he had never heard of or taken the time or had the opportunity to learn. He knew a lot of different things he could do with the generators he housed within himself, but he also knew that over time and through experimentation he would gain an even greater understanding of the forces at his disposal.

Ranma, my personality program is still forming, so I need to go offline for a while. Do you think you'll be all right?

Yeah. How long are you going to be turned off?

At least two days, maybe three, Chiron answered. Before he lost contact, though, he said, Ranma, if you encounter anyone who has come into contact with one of my counterparts, be careful. A certain enmity exists between some of us, and I fear that a few of them may attempt to influence their hosts to attack you if they discover that you have activated me.

Great, more people out to get me. All right, I'll watch out. Ranma felt Chiron's presence leave him. Not much time, no more than fifteen minutes, had gone by since he had picked Chiron up, but Ranma felt that momentous changes were already taking place. Not in the mood to put up with Akane's expected berating for being late, Ranma concentrated. Space warped into a bubble around him, then it collapsed taking Ranma with it.

At the Tendo home, in Ranma and his father's room, a marble sized bubble of distorted air rapidly expanded into Ranma. Ranma laid down on his futon, deciding to wait and see how long it would take Akane to storm upstairs in search for him.


To be continued.

Author's notes: This is just an idea I got that stuck in my head. Please tell me what you think. If I get enough responses I may continue it. My e-mail is dark_phoneix@hotmail.com

Chapter 1
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