A Ranma ½ story by
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.
It is the year 2023, fourteen years after the signing of the global compact intended to regulate the world's mutant population. Initially hopes were high that mutants could be accepted into the general population more easily if they were no longer thought of as somehow above the law. No more than six months passed before internal united government corruption brought about drastic amendments to the original charter of the MRACT— the Mutant Registration And Containment Treaty. Mutants went from being equal citizens, protected under the law, to second-class refugees, hunted down and interned within enormous prison facilities built around the world with the original purpose of housing the world's burgeoning inmate population.
While most mutants are not capable of escaping from the advanced robotic security drones, Sentinels that act as guards in the mutant containment facilities, there are many either too powerful or gifted to be confined. These mutants, along with the underground resistance made up of both free mutants and sympathetic humans, fight for the rights of their imprisoned fellows.
This is the story of one such mutant, an extremely gifted telekinetic talent capable of grasping electric energy to increase his TK powers or to use as a projectile weapon. Combined with a life spent learning the most deadly of martial arts and all the ancient secrets of the great masters, these powers make Ranma Saotome, age 20, one of the last hopes for mutantkind.
Allies to Ranma are his wife, Kasumi Tendo, a telepath on a level with the great Professor X, several friends and semi-rivals too numerous to mention, and the scattered inhabitants of a secluded valley in the mountainous Bayankala region of China.
The Amazon Nation, a tribe of warrior women, over countless generations has intentionally bred several mutant strains into its population with the eventual goal being a return of their Council of Elders to a position of world power.
The remaining members of the Musk Dynasty who, by using a combination of ancient magics, have introduced into their genotype the most desirable traits from the world's most deadly predatory animals. Prince Herb, the culmination of this legacy, is said to be the direct descendent of an alien race of Draconic origin that once maintained a colony on Earth.
Lastly, the Phoenix People, a race of powerful avian/human hybrids who are led by the most powerful pyrokinetic talent in history. Their relation to humans is unquestioned, but the circumstances leading to their creation remain shrouded in mystery.
Together they will triumph over their oppressors or die trying.
"Are the personnel carriers fueled and armed?" Ranma asked the woman substituting for a technician while the real one recovered from a laser bolt.
"Yes, sir," she replied crisply.
Ranma nodded and continued toward the armory. He found Kasumi, her abdomen bulging with their first child, talking to her sister Nabiki. Nabiki never had liked him much; he never knew why, but she was rich and she parted with her money freely with no questions asked.
"Everything okay, Kasumi?" Ranma asked, refraining from a PDA that would only embarrass him and Kasumi. He brushed her stomach as he glided past her.
Kasumi smiled lovingly, having received the tacitly passed message. “Yes, Ranma. I was just talking to Nabiki about those new body shields she brought us. They're much more advanced than I would have believed possible."
"My R&D division—really, just Gosunkugi— got his hands on some pristine alien tech left over from the last known contact." Nabiki shook her head. "He worked something of a miracle with these, though," she said, pointing a finger a five bento-sized metal cases. "I should be able to deliver them on a regular basis in a few months. These will have to do until then."
Ranma nodded, letting his facial expressions convey the gratitude he felt. "Any suggestions on who we should equip them with?" he asked the women.
Kasumi frowned. "You are taking one, whether you like it or not. The other four would most likely be more effective with our close combat forces, which you are, by the way, despite my objections."
Ranma knew better than to argue with his wife when she took that tone of voice. If he resisted, all he would earn would be a telepathic lecture on how important he was and how much she would miss him, etc… Ranma sighed. "Show me how they work."
His wife beamed at him happily and Nabiki smirked knowingly. "It's simple, Saotome." Nabiki palmed open one of the cases and drew out five belts of varying size. "These two go on your arms, these two on your legs, and this one around you waist. Each one only generates a partial force field, but when used in conjunction with one another, they provide full coverage. They're powered by a variant of the Magnus principle in relation to Earth's magnetic field, so no batteries included."
Ranma let himself be dressed by Kasumi, blushing at Nabiki's presence as Kasumi fitted the belts to his frame. "Will the field interfere with my powers, or fighting ability?" Ranma's own TK shield was pretty much impenetrable, but it required too much concentration to use it and fight simultaneously.
"No. That should be taken into consideration, though, with any mutants that shape-shift or use some kind of biological protrusion or projectile as a weapon," Nabiki answered. "I need to be going now. This attack you're planning is going to disrupt traffic over most of Asia." Before she left though, Nabiki said to Kasumi, "Daddy is proud of you and truly misses you, Kasumi, no matter how he acts."
Ranma could easily see that Kasumi's smile was forced as they said their farewells. He carefully blanked the subject of Soun Tendo's treatment of his daughter after learning she was a mutant from his mind, lest she accidentally pick it up.
Once they were alone in the room, shut off from the noise and bustle of mission preparations, Ranma slipped behind Kasumi, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his head on her shoulder. "This is going to be a big one, Kasumi-chan," he said finally, lacing the spoken words with as much affectionate thought as he could muster.
Kasumi sighed, leaning back and into his muscular frame. "I wish I could go with you, love, but the baby is due any time and…" She was silenced by a finger trying to cover her lips. Ranma missed slightly and almost poked her in the eye causing her to giggle.
"Just hold down the fort for me and be prepared to do a bunch of long-distance scans to make sure that none of the prisoners we rescue are government spies." Ranma hugged her tightly to him, almost to the point of discomfort, before gathering up the four remaining cases brought by Nabiki and heading out to distribute them.
"Tonight," Kasumi said breathlessly.
"Tonight," Ranma confirmed.
Ranma found Ryoga in the makeshift weight room that they had carved into the cavern base's back wall. His friend— they were sort of friends anyway— was fighting a winning battle against an industrial-strength piledriver. Ranma whistled, hoping to distract the gullible man. True to form, Ryoga relaxed slightly and turned to see who was trying to get his attention. That moment of laxness was all the piledriver need, finally venting an hour of pent up force by slamming into Ryoga and heavily denting the adamantium plating that the machine was fastened to. Damn, he'd have to get that hammered out.
Ryoga fought his way from under the piledriver's crushing arm and shouted, "Damn you, Ranma! I was going for a personal record! Die!" And a wave of chi force, completely unrelated to the man's mutant based strength and endurance, blasted from his outstretched hand.
Ranma didn't attempt to dodge the attack. He just redirected it and slammed it into its creator. Ryoga didn't show any sign that he even had felt the energy blast. "Calm down, man," Ranma chided. That 'Die!' had only been half-hearted at best. "I need your advice."
Ryoga's face contorted into a confused mask and any vestige of anger fled him. "What do you need?" He wasn't used to being asked to do much more than break stuff or blow something up.
Ranma shrugged. "You hang out with a lot of the more physically-inclined mutants, right?" Ryoga nodded. "We just got some new body shields from Nabiki and I was wondering if there were any mutants I may not know about that are strong enough to be effective but unable to go on the front lines because of a normal human constitution."
Ryoga frowned. "That new Amazon kid… what's her name? Oh, yeah, Toothbrush… She's already had the breaking point training. Uh, what about Alex? He's not much stronger than a normal person, but he's fast," Ryoga emphasized the last word, "and good with a beam lance."
"I'll find him. Anyone else?" Ranma knew that Ryoga wouldn't name himself. His friend was the most durable mutant ever born.
"I'm thinking, be patient," Ryoga snapped. Ryoga tried to act tough, Ranma knew, and the man was tough, he just didn't know that acting like a bull all the time made one tough. Ever since that genetic defect that had limited his x factor introduced abilities and screwed up his directional senses had been corrected, Ryoga was a much easier person to get along with. "Shiro, I guess. All the others can get along well enough without the shields."
"Thanks, pal. I'll get in touch with you before we pull out."
Ranma found two more likely candidates. Amoro Kanza, a projector capable of forming solid objects from energy, and Jamie Smith, an aging mutant with seismic control abilities.
"Pilots ready?" Ranma asked over the point-to-point laser comm system. The pilots would only be required to land the carriers and fly them long enough— once they pulled out for the refugees— to be scanned by Kasumi and the other telepaths. Ranma and other telekinetics capable of teleportation would be the main force moving the attack.
After all eleven carriers checked in, Ranma brought up the coordinates of his carrier’s destination and concentrated, forming a conjunction between the destination and the landing pad. As they slipped into the air above the island prison, Ranma could see the multicolored light display of an array of different teleportation methods. Whether they used rips in space or subspace travel, all his forces arrived in their pre-appointed position.
The island's defenses had been mainly designed to keep mutants in, not to fight off a small army of superpowered individuals. The laser turrets that turned to fire on the carriers, had no effect on the thin adamantium plate they were all sheathed in. Sonic and microwave attacks meant to subdue recalcitrant inmates were rendered useless by mutants specially selected for this mission who could control these aspects of energy.
Ranma didn't wait for his carrier to set down. He teleported his strike force directly to the ground and began tearing down defensive towers, using the electric current from the base’s own generators to fuel his power instead of exhausting his own. Sentinels would be active within thirty seconds, and they had to do as much damage as possible before fighting the enormous robots.
"Ranma," Ryoga said across the comm, "we have a couple tame mutants over here. What do you want done with them?" Ryoga's voice carried with it a world of disgust.
Tame mutants were government collaborators who traded their freedom for that of their people. "Are they resisting?"
"Yeah, and doing a damned good job of it," was the reply.
Ranma's voice went cold. "Take them out, Ryoga. Do it personally and make it bloody. Set an example." He cut off the transmission. The first sentinel was being raised out of its hanger bay. Before it could become fully active and partially protected by its energy dampening shields, Ranma focused a beam of chi energy with a core of electrical current into the robot's chest, directly into its A.I. processors. With the chi to cut through the plating and the equivalent to a bolt of lightning coursing through its systems, the sentinel could not be reactivated for weeks, if not months.
"Jamie," Ranma said, keying the woman into his comm, "the sentinel bays are subterranean." He didn't need to say more. His people were well trained and understood their roles. Ranma knew that the powerful earthquakes to follow would most likely kill a few innocent mutants within the prison, but more would die if the sentinels all came on line.
The perimeter defenses down, mutants of all ages were being led into the carriers. Ranma and most of the mutants, now backed up by a few former prisoners, were picking off sentinels who could not land with the heavy fire they were being subjected to. The robots' missiles were easily deflected by telekinetics, and their dampening fields— the only thing keeping them from being totally obliterated— kept them from using their own laser and particle beam weapons.
Ranma, his mind mostly occupied with the sentinel he was beating to death with its own arm, still managed to decide that Jamie was going to be made a hero after today's encounter, even if he had to announce it to the world. The woman had destroyed most of the mechanical menaces by herself while they were powered down.
The policy for dealing with spies was simple. If they were caught, their mind was burned away by a telepath. Only two of the two hundred and seventy three mutants rescued were spies. That was a much lower number than Ranma had expected. The attack must have been truly unexpected. That meant they were doing a good job of keeping their information secret.
"Somebody's pissed with you, boss," commented the nine-year-old super genius, Trix. He was confined to a wheelchair and had little use of his body. Wherever Nabiki had found him, Ranma wished he could get a couple more like him. The boy substituted for a computer system that could be easily compromised by the enemy.
"I get that a lot, Trix," Ranma commented. He and his mission leaders were going over the recordings taken of the short and relatively uneventful battle.
Trix punched in something on the partial keyboard beside his right arm. A holographic projector replaced the traditional display monitor as the focus of attention as a three dimensional picture of Ranma appeared in the air. "They know that you're the honcho. According to the latest broadcast out of Washington, your head is worth one billion credits and a full pardon for being a mutant."
Pissed didn't begin to describe it. "I'll talk to Kasumi about this. I want a few of the most trustworthy telepaths to go over the surface thoughts of our people in the next few days. Nothing invasive, just surface thoughts. Inform me immediately if there are any potential traitors."
"Sure thing," Trix assured him. The others agreed with Trix and Ranma made his departure.
"Did Nabiki's shields help?" Kasumi asked as Ranma entered their living quarters. Her eyes showed the strain she had been under with their unborn son. For hours on end, almost everyday, she had to telepathically suppress the boy's power. Ranma had never heard of the psychic abilities manifesting so young until his son came along.
Ranma shrugged. "Not really. Today was just a typical raid on a small facility that was scheduled for expansion. We overwhelmed the defenses. The shields just didn't have a chance to be used much."
"I'll tell Nabiki that they saved someone's life," Kasumi said, grinning. "She'll feel more appreciated that way."
Ranma settled onto the sofa beside his wife. "You've probably heard about the bounty on me by now." It had been steadily increasing for three years, ever since Ranma had taken over leadership of his resistance cell.
"My Ranma, one of the top ten wanted criminals in the world. I'm so proud." The pregnant woman smiled. "I imagine that there are mother's somewhere out there telling their children stories about you to make them brush their teeth."
"Heh. 'Watch out or Ranma will get you!'" It was funny, in a pathetic sort of way. "Just the price of being famous."
Kasumi was about to respond when Trix's voice came over the intercom. "Hey Kasumi, how's the baby?" the boy asked.
"He's fine, Trix-chan. What do you need?"
"We need to borrow your husband for a bit. It's important."
The couple exchanged glances. "I guess I can spare him for a few minutes," Kasumi finally answered.
"What's the trouble?" Ranma asked as he walked into the control room.
Trix was an island of calm as adult mutants scrambled around, adjusting the controls to various things that Ranma didn't even want to know about. "Nothing much, just a severe reactor overload in progress. I think our last fuel shipment was spiked; can't be too sure about that until we get the thing offline, though. I was wondering if you felt like draining off a few gigawatts of electricity for us."
Ranma felt like running around and imitating the other people in the room, especially in regard to getting Kasumi and their son to safety, but panicking right now would do him no good. "Will that be enough to stop the reactor from cycling over?" The reactors powering the facility were state of the art matter/anti-matter units. To stop such a reaction, so much power had to be lost that the magnetic bottle holding the anti-matter in place failed. The first generation reactors of this type would then explode and blow half the planet into atoms, but the model they were using would automatically shunt the anti-matter to another universe through some amazingly complicated process that Ranma didn't even partially grasp. Sure some other Earth in another universe got blasted to Hell, but there weren't really that many options.
"Probably," Trix answered. "If not," he shrugged, "everything goes boom."
To be continued.
Author's Notes: Can anyone guess what's going to happen to Ranma when he absorbs so much power? Could it involve dimensional portation? Anyway, how did you like that? I wrote it in between chapters of 'Can It Get Any Worse?' and if I continue it, will probably continue to do so, releasing a chapter every week or so. Since this is a fic in its infancy and I've been concentrating on CIGAW, suggestions and ideas would really help me. Thanks.
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