A foggy field strewn with grass and wildflowers. Two children, a boy and a girl, are seen romping around. Their screams and giggles of delight fill the air as they play an unending game of tag. Suddenly the boy stands up, his pigtail fluttering in a wayward breeze; his face, save his chin and his mouth, are obscured by shadows. He turns and faces the girl, hugging her. "Goodbye, Ucchan. You'll always be my best friend," he whispers, errant tears falling down his face as he slowly walks away.
The girl stands up from a kneeling position and tries to follow him, but stumbles into the turf. She looks around and suddenly the beautiful meadow they were playing on has changed, its vibrant colors faded to shades of gray, the blossoming flowers and grass all withered into dust. She looks back towards where her playmate was headed and finds not a boy, but a young man wearing a pilot suit slowly walking towards the foggy shadows. "Wait for me, Ran-chan! Don't leave me behind!" she yells as she tries to get up to follow him, only to stumble as roots entangle her legs. She struggles with the binding plants and finally manages to stand up, her features changing from that of a bubbly young girl to a grown woman, wearing a standard Earth Federation captain's uniform. She runs toward the slowly fading young man as shadows flow around them.
"Ran-chan!!!!" Ukyou Kuonji, youngest Medea captain of the Earth Federation, gasped as she woke from her bizarre dream. Her heart still palpitated as she fearfully clasped the locket she wore beneath her chemise. She tried to make sense of the dream, to recall every minute detail as she tried to understand what the dream was trying to tell her. The young captain was about to arrange her thoughts in order when her bunkroom door slammed open -- which it was not supposed to do, it being an automatic sliding door.
A muscular young man wearing a tiger-striped bandana on his head entered, brandishing a red umbrella, his eyes looking at every direction at once, scanning for any possible danger. Immediately at his heels was an effeminate Federation Officer brandishing a set of shuriken in one hand, while the other was on his service pistol, ready for anything.
"Are you all right, Ukyou? I heard you scream and I came as soon as I could," the umbrella-wielding young officer asked, still looking around the small bunker suspiciously. His eyes traveled to her face, worry and fear for the young captain hardening his expression.
Ukyou nodded, and then frowned as she caught sight of her ruined door. "Ryouga, you're such a stupid idiot! Why do you always have to plow into everything without even thinking? Look at what you did to my bunk door! Whose paycheck do you think will cover that damage? It's not as if I'm swimming in money at the moment."
The fanged young officer stared at the ruins of Ukyou's bunkroom and smiled sheepishly as he scratched his head. "Oops. Guess I got carried away. Don't know my own strength. I just got worried when I heard you screaming, and I felt I had to get here as soon as I could. Sorry about that. I'll just have the pencil pushers at Jaburo deduct it from my paycheck," he said blushingly, twiddling his fingers all the while.
Seeing his expression made the young captain smile. They had been officially a couple since their early days at the academy, after her best friend Ran-chan introduced them to each other; but even after all these years, her Ryouga still acted like a little schoolboy and rushed impulsively whenever he thought she was in any sort of danger.
"That's all right, Ryo-chan. I forgive you. You just startled me when you banged that door open. I'm fine, really; I just had a bad dream. Now, would you mind getting out of my room? I'm not exactly dressed for company, you know. That goes for you too, Konatsu. You may act and dress like a girl, but I know you're still a guy."
She giggled as her effeminate self-appointed bodyguard blushingly dragged Ryouga out of the room. The poor man fainted after finally noticing her state of dress -- or in this case, undress. She stretched her kinked muscles and then poured herself a cup of coffee. Something tells me this is going to be one of those days where it pays not to get out of bed, she thought as she browsed the stack of communiqués Konatsu had left on her desk. She almost spewed her coffee when she read the mission order coming from Jaburo. "Ran-chan, you idiot! What have you gotten yourself into this time?"
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. The various mobile suits featured here except for the RX-79GS were created by Hajime Yadate. No profit was made from this fanfic.
Mission 2: Last Impression
Ranma Saotome, pilot designate of the RX-79GS Stealth Gundam, youngest commander in the whole history of the Federation and currently female, looked around in awe at the size of the structure they had just entered. True, the hangar was smaller than those belonging to other bases he had visited, yet somehow he hadn't thought it would be this big. The maps he had read in several operations rooms showed Nerima base to be nothing more than a dot in an area totally occupied by the Zeon Archduchy forces. He was expecting a hovel, a desolate group of husked-out buildings, not a fully functional battlefortress. He carefully unstrapped his piloting harness, causing the cockpit door to swing gently open, then gathered his meager belongings and gracefully leapt out of the mobile suit to an awning adjacent to the cockpit, doing a lazy three-sixty around the bar above it before gently settling to the ground in a crouch to the accompaniment of loud applause from the watching technicians. He smiled cockily, winked and waved to his "fans" as he walked towards where Lieutenant Akane Tendou was conversing with a somewhat older female technician.
"Hey, Akane," she called out, "can you tell me where I could get some hot water in this place?"
The young lady nodded and pointed to a nearby door while continuing her discussion with the techie. Ranma shrugged and headed to the room indicated. He made sure to lock the entry before removing his sweaty pilot suit, making a face at the smell it emitted. He grabbed a kettle from a nearby stove and poured its contents unto his head. The transformation was instantaneous; Ranma's hair darkened from crimson to jet-black, his height increased and his features and body structure were altered to their proper masculine state. The young pilot glanced at his appearance in the mirror, winked at his reflection, and proceeded to change into his dress uniform. He left the room to return to the hangar, intending to ask someone, anyone, for the directions to the commander's office. He was about to leave the corridor adjacent to his room when he felt the tell-tale coldness of a pistol pointed at his nape.
"Hands where I can see them. I don't want any funny business. If you so much as twitch the wrong way, I will shoot you. Do you understand?" Akane asked as she cocked her service pistol. She had been waiting outside the room where she directed Ranma to go when she spotted this unknown person leaving the area. She suspected the worst. One could never be too sure of spies, after all. She was totally focused on her suspect, so she was surprised when the next moment she was down on the floor, her pistol pointed back at her by the stranger wearing a federation commander's uniform. (She only noticed the uniform just then.) She was further surprised when the unknown officer returned her service pistol and then offered his hand to help her up. "Sorry about that, Akane. That was just reflex. I don't like having guns pointed at me. You okay?" he asked, his worry evidenced by the expression on his face. Akane nodded and belatedly saluted the as-of-yet unidentified officer she had assaulted earlier. "My apologies, sir, I mistook you for a spy." she explained, inwardly awaiting her punishment for pointing a gun at a superior. His response baffled her even more.
"Jeez, Akane, didn't we agree that we won't do any of that?" Ranma asked, scratching his head in puzzlement. He was sure they had agreed on that when he assisted her in fixing up her squad's mobile suits, "I think I forgot to tell her something. Now what was it?" he thought. He looked at Akane's puzzled appearance and frowned. "Damn it, she still can't remember? It's not like she hit her head or something right? Is it the suit or " He looked down at his appearance and suddenly everything started to fit. "I am such a moron! How could I forget to tell her something like that?" he exclaimed, then proceeded to drag the startled lieutenant back into the room he had just vacated.
Akane was getting weirded out. Just what exactly was going on here? she thought to herself as she watched the unknown officer fill an empty glass with cold water and another with steaming hot water, all the while berating himself for being stupid. The officer then faced her carrying both glasses of water.
"Now, watch carefully, because I won't be repeating this thing," he said as he poured the glass of cold water over his head.
There was a sort of blurring effect and then the mysterious officer was gone, standing in his place was a wet Ranma Saotome who had an impish grin plastered on her face. She watched in awe as again the pigtailed pilot splashed herself with hot water this time and promptly changed into the male officer Akane had threatened earlier.
"Do you get it now?" he asked.
Akane nodded before falling into a dead faint.
Lieutenant Ryouga Hibiki looked worriedly at his beloved Ukyou, who was at the moment pacing back and forth the doorway leading to the meeting room. She received some very bad news, and she's worried at how the team will take it when the proverbial fecal matter hits the rotating oscillator, he thought, secretly amused at his wit.
He had done maintenance checks on his highly-modified GM just after waking up from his nosebleed that morning. He was wiping his grimy hands on a nearby rag when he saw his beloved girlfriend storm out of her cabin with a face like that of a thunderhead. She promptly headed for the radio room and slammed the door behind her. The sealed door barely muffled the curses and screams she leveled at whoever she was talking to, but in the end, the person on the other line had his or her way, which brought them to the events that afternoon. She had spent the last hour and a half pacing back and forth, muttering to herself, and probably composing what she had to say.
She spoke so suddenly that Ryouga was forced to ask her to repeat what she said.
"I said I wanted you to call the guys together. I'm ready to tell them our next mission assignment." Ukyou's tone was exasperated, and had a hint of weariness. "This won't be easy, so I'll expect you to back me up on this, okay?" she asked, turning to face her boyfriend. He nodded and promptly left after giving her the thumbs up.
The young captain then proceeded inside the meeting room to await her team. "My team " she wondered aloud. This crazy mix of people had become "her" team ever since Ranma left half a year ago. This new mission would undoubtedly test their loyalty to the Federation. After all, only people loyal to the cause would willingly obey an order like this. Not that I want to follow those crotchety bastards from Jaburo anyway, she mused. She had no other alternative but to take action, but she herself isn't quite sure what action she and her crew were to take.
"Damn it to hell, Ran-chan, couldn't you have just stayed out of trouble for once?" she asked aloud, and promptly buried her aching head in her hands. The continued thrumming of the old air-conditioning unit was her only answer.
When Akane's vision swimmingly came into focus, the first thing she saw was the infirmary's familiar ceiling. She sat up and looked around. Someone had apparently carried her here, someone who was snoring beside her. The young pilot turned to the source of the horrible sound and saw Ranma dozing by her bedside on a chair, still in male form. She had to admit that he looked peaceful this way, in repose. Way different from the ace pilot I fought with earlier, she thought. She got up, being extra-careful not to awaken the sleeping young man, and gently placed the bolster that had covered her earlier over his shoulders. She had to admit that she was still a bit unnerved by what he showed her. The transformation from male to female in a moment was still hard to swallow. "What kind of technology or training made him able to do such things?" she asked herself as she wandered the room. She was so deep in thought that she almost bumped into a young man standing unobserved near the clinic entrance.
"I'm glad to see you're up and about, Akane. Your fainting spell gave your friend over there quite the scare." Doctor Ono Tofu, base physician, confidante, and fiancé to Kasumi Tendou remarked as he steadied the young woman. He allowed himself a small inward chuckle as he recalled the hysterical way the young man screamed for a doctor when he barged into the infirmary carrying Akane's inert form. He'd had to resort to dosing him with tranquilizers just to calm him down.
He observed his fiancée's younger sister and noted that her face was a bit flushed. She's probably embarrassed by having to be carried over here by that young man, he thought as he fought down another laughing fit. Kasumi's going to love hearing this later.
He harrumphed rather loudly to steady himself, and pretended to clean his spectacles before resuming his conversation with his young patient. "So, would you mind telling me who that young man is? Or is his identity some sort of Federation secret?" He waited for her nod of concurrence before indicating his small office. He offered her a seat in front of his desk and then proceeded to pour them both cups of tea as she began the young federation officer's introduction.
Ukyou stared long and hard at the faces of her teammates who were gathered in the small meeting room. What they had to discuss would affect all their futures, both with respect to their careers and their lives as warriors for the Federation. She cleared her throat, and then calmly began to speak.
"What I have to say will not go outside this room. I've just received our next assignment, and to tell you frankly, I don't like it." She gave herself a few moments to think out her next few words. "As of 0800 today, I've received orders direct from Jaburo instructing the 10th Autonomous MS Team to retrieve the federation prototype mobile suit 'Stealth Gundam', which was stolen three days ago and was approximately headed in the direction of the Japanese Islands. We have been further instructed to apprehend the pilot, dead or alive."
A long haired young man wearing coke-bottle glasses spoke up. "I don't see the problem there, Captain. Sure, the Gundam is a pretty tough mobile suit, but I'm sure our team can handle it. We've been in some rough spots before. I'm sure we can do it again."
Ukyou raised her hand and motioned the long-haired pilot to sit down. "That's because I haven't told you all the details, Mousse. For one thing, this Gundam is not the ordinary mass-production land type that we have seen deployed near the Amazon. For another, the pilot is no slouch either; he's a federation ace, one who we know very well. Gentlemen and ladies, the Wolf Pack has been ordered to attack and apprehend our former superior officer, Commander Ranma Saotome."
To be continued.
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