A flash of lightning briefly illuminated a shadowy mobile suit, barely distinguishable from surrounding shadows. The massive amounts of Minovski particles scattered in its wake wrecked havoc on passive radar scans. An external coating dampened the unit's heat signature and caused the war machine to blend in with its surroundings. It successfully entered Japan's air space without being noticed.
The pilot settled his suit down near one of the small creeks that dotted the area and began preparations for exiting the mech. He gently eased the war machine down, making it lean against the creek bank with the waters of the creek coming up to the suit's chest. He unstrapped the restraining harnesses before completing the powering down procedure. He hopped out of the cockpit and carefully made sure that his unit was fully concealed. He took off his flight helmet as he surveyed his surroundings. "This better not be another of Oyaji's idiotic plans," he mused, before setting out towards his ultimate destination, Tendou-ke in Nerima…. The last bastion of the Federation in Zeon controlled Japan.
A Mobile Suit Gundam / Ranma ½ crossover story
by Jiro Maeda
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Mobile Suit Gundam belongs to Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, and Bandai.
Prologue: Turning the Tides
0700 hours the next day
Retired Colonel Soun Tendou was perusing the coded messages coming from Jaburou, hoping against hope that the help he was in dire need of would finally arrive. It has been a whole decade since the Zeon forces began occupying Japan. Through the years, and because of extensive use of sophisticated Mobile Suits, they had fully 80% of the country under their thumb. It had been Soun's initiative that rallied the flagging hope and courage of the officers stationed in Tokyo, and bit-by-bit — using outdated technology backed up by unsurpassed guts and gumption — they somehow were able to keep Tokyo Zeon-free. Jaburou of course, heard of this courageous stand and had sent mobile suits, ammunition and additional personnel.
It didn't help that Zeon had sent one of their ace pilots to work in Japan; Lord-Captain Tatewaki Kuno was most certainly a class 'A' loon, but one could not fault his fighting prowess, nor could anyone doubt his battle savvy. All would have been lost if not for Soun's darling little girl. Lieutenant Junior Grade Akane Tendou constantly thwarted the Zeon forces, rallying her troops with her dilapidated RGM-79 "GM". She had halted the advance of the Zeon strike force for over a year now, and had ever-so-slowly gained ground. That was a miracle in itself, but deep inside Soun knew it was only a matter of time before their luck ran out. Their mobile suits were in dire need of upgrades and replacements, Akane's unit most of all. Her sister's mechanical skills could only go so far. The Tendou patriarch remembered one particular evening when his girls complained about the lack of necessary tools and equipment….
"Daddy, we have to get supplies soon. Even with stealing from the Zeon bases and scavenging the wrecks of their suits and ours, we're still in need of a whole lot of stuff." Akane implored as she edged out of her RGM, failing to suppress a wince as she heard one of her suit's actuators creak. Her ever-talented sister, Kasumi, quickly rushed towards the joint of the battered old mobile suit to assess the damage.
"At the rate we're going, pretty soon we're going to have to fix 'Old Red' here with duct tape and kitchen foil," Nabiki remarked, ticking off the required parts on her notepad. She grimaced at the shortage this particular repair would probably cause.
"I've already tried that, Nabiki-chan. Aluminum foil burns too quickly. That's probably what caused the short in Fuji's mobile suit," came Kasumi's muffled remark from underneath the platform. She groped around for her homemade laser torch, praying that it wouldn't give out on her yet.
Soun could almost weep over their situation, particularly after hearing the rumor that the Zeon captain lusted for his darling little girl. He was so depressed that he almost failed to notice a communiqué from Jaburou . After reading it, Soun's countenance brightened and his spirits were lifted. “Maybe things aren't so bad after all," he mused as he exited his office.
Kasumi Tendou, Mobile Suit Technician First Class, was startled from working on one of their spare RGMs when she heard her name called on the speakers. She wiped her grease-soaked gloves on her overalls and went to the dressing room to change, wondering what her father required of her.
Lieutenant Nabiki Tendou was wrapping up the general inventory when her name was broadcast over the speakers. She frowned at the delay this was causing her schedule and ordered one of her subordinates to take over for her. She brushed off the imagined dirt from her crisp Federation officer's uniform and proceeded to see what her father wanted now. 'This better be important,' she thought darkly, imagining unpleasant fates for her father for wasting her time.
Akane rotated the hip of her mobile suit barely in time to avoid being sliced in two by a charging Zaku. She retaliated by thrusting her beam saber between the Zeon suit's chest and torso, instantly frying the delicate electronics of the enemy mobile suit. She watched nonchalant as the damaged mobile suit fell, only to be replaced by a Dom, painted all in blue. Her temper rose upon seeing the hated suit of that pompous ass Tatewaki Kuno. She holstered her beam saber and was taking aim with her rifle, targeting the Zeon suit's mono-eye, when….
"Lieutenant JG Tendou Akane, please report to the conference room for briefing. I repeat, Lieutenant JG Tendou Akane, please report to the conference room for briefing," came the announcement blaring over the onboard speakers.
Akane shook herself from her focus as she switched off the power, instantly terminating the simulation she was running. She took off her helmet and stretched. She languidly walked towards the pilot's lockers, inwardly wondering why her father called for her. Those thoughts were forgotten a moment later when the she felt the lukewarm water easing her tensions away.
The redhead huddled in her coat as the rain pelted mercilessly on her barely-protected body. "Why the hell does it have to rain now?" she murmured as she pulled the garment tighter over her shivering form. The young redhead glanced around her to check her bearings. 'Definitely lost, just like what's-his-face from the Academy,' she thought, lost in remembering. She was startled from her reminisces by the shudder of a pair of large metallic feet descending somewhere nearby. She stood up and tried to make the loose-fitting normal suit she wore more comfortable, and then started towards what she surmised to be the location of the mobile suit.
Hiroshi Tanaka was a young recruit of the Zeon Archduchy. It was his first day piloting his brand new Zaku, and he was very excited. He fancied himself as a young samurai serving his daimyo, and was thus worthy to reap the rewards befitting his station. He looked out through the optical camera mounted in his suit's mono-eye… and beheld a vision. A barely-clothed young redhead was waving at him; her sapphire eyes had that 'come hither' look that excited the young pilot in many ways. He shakily made his Zaku kneel down and barely managed to open the hatch. He opened his mouth to greet her only to find himself breathless. Hiroshi stared uncomprehending at the fist imbedded at his midsection before succumbing to unconsciousness.
The redhead smiled as she tossed the idiotic Zeon pilot overboard. She removed a block of C-4 from one of her normal suit's several pockets and carefully attached it to the console.
She was already miles away and safely ensconced in her beloved mobile suit when the timer reached zero. She watched with glee as the enemy mobile suit exploded, then started the pre-powering up process. "After all, I can't leave you behind, can I, partner? Who knows how many more surprises I'd find out there," she remarked, patting the mobile suit's console with fondness. Lieutenant First Class Ranma Saotome, the sometimes male, sometimes female pilot of RX-79GS, switched on her mobile suit's main reactors and plotted a course towards Nerima, unable to shake the feeling that she was headed for trouble yet again.
To be continued.
Author’s notes: Many thanks to Larry F, Allyn Yonge and Saku for the help with this thing.
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