Chocolate Oranges Zero:
Young Pereshte Cracks a Safe
A Ranma ½ prequelfic
by DannyCat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: The characters of Ranma ½ are owned are owned
by Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. The gerbils
in this fic, however, are not. The events and persons in this fanfic
are completely fictional and any resemblance to actual events or
persons is completely unintentional, and the author is not responsible
for any injury, trauma, or other detrimental condition resulting
from proper or improper use of this fan fiction. Comments, suggestions,
and other C&C will be greatly appreciated, and are accepted
at: email@example.com. Keep circulating the fanfics
A small leaf flitted silently through the skies over Nerima, drifting
lower and lower. Shoppers in the crowded streets below paid it little
heed; leaves falling through the air were perfectly natural for
Tuesday afternoons. There was no wind to speak of, and the leaf
was flitting in a particularly horizontal direction at rather unnaturally
high and un-leaflike speeds, but these facts escaped them utterly,
as they were meant to.
The occupants of the leaf waited patiently as their pilot, a young
gerbil who was a middle-ranked lieutenant of the Order of Order,
brought them in towards their headquarters in this reality; the
one nexus point where they could safeguard the very lynchpin of
all sense and logic for the world they alone were charged with keeping.
In order to keep prying eyes away from this closely guarded secret,
it was located within the Tendo Dojo, where few would think to look
"Is that where the control panel is?" asked the younger
of the two passengers. His companion nodded, garbed in the same
brown robes, yet with extra decorations to signify his experience
"Indeed, apprentice Pereshte. That is where your training
with the Order of Order shall begin. Now hang on, the landing could
get a little bumpy."
"'Tis fine, 'tis fine," Pereshte chuckled, grinning cryptically,
"I rather like
bumpiness." He looked out the window,
away from his teacher, who merely nodded again, cheerfully enthusiastic
to begin teaching his new apprentice the ways of their order. It
was unfortunate for the world at large that he was never awarded
a decoration for great foresight.
The leaf, or, more appropriately, the interdimensional transport
for transporting gerbil-sized passengers that was disguised to appear
as a leaf, slowed its approach, and began to idly swing from side
to side, lining up with the small hangar opening which appeared
below Nabiki's window. With a final puff of wind, it shot inside
and the hangar closed up behind it, leaving no trace of anything
Timelines are fascinating things. Even beyond the fact that, since
they usually possess both beginning and ending points, they should
be more accurately referred to as time line segments, the real interesting
part occurs when time travelers alter them.
When one sits in front of a timestream, watching the twin flashes
of a group of matter particles bursting out of the continuity then
crashing back in at a different point, two things spring to mind.
First, they can watch a propagation wave forming, rearranging space-time
for each instant in reality from that time on forward.
For common inhabitants, such forced alterations wash right through
them and they, offering no resistance, have no idea that anything
strange has happened.
However, for those beings quite a bit more anchored to reality,
being smashed through by a wall of moving time is a particularly
In fact, the entire purpose of the establishment of the Order of
Order was to attempt to prevent such temporal tsunamis from wrecking
the lunch breaks of visiting dignitaries to this particular dimension.
By putting a lockdown on the coating of reality and keeping all
attributes of physics under careful control, they could — in
theory — prevent temporal incursions even before they happened,
and therefore allow a strong sense or normalcy to prevail unchallenged.
The second thing one notices, as long as one has not been drinking
too heavily, is that actually sitting outside of a timestream, as
well as having a propagation wave traveling through it at neither
a zero or infinite speed, implies the existence of metatime, but
this fact can be safely forgotten for the moment.
Beneath the floorboards of Nabiki's bedroom, a modestly-sized chamber
of meeting began to fill up with several very anxious-looking gerbils.
With the announcement of the arrival of a new apprentice of the
Order, Pereshte, it began to dawn on most of the elders that something
new and momentous was upon them. They felt that one day soon, with
his powers and abilities added to their ranks, they would be able
to not only keep normalcy normal, but also, for the first time,
make sense of the entire Ranma situation they had been living next
to for several weeks now. Oddly enough, however, Pereshte himself
was not in attendance.
"You believe that this young recruit is that reasonable?"
the oldest gerbil of them all, Yanne, questioned of the young captain
who stood before him in the middle of the chamber.
Captain Moba, who had flown in with Pereshte just a few scant minutes
earlier, drew up to his full height and proudly declared, "I
am certain of it. I even ran the spectrum of tests proscribed in
Yanne's aged ears perked up, as if hearing something off in the
far distance but not quite ascertaining what it could be. "And
which tests might those be?"
"Apprentice Pereshte possesses great mental power, surpassing
even myself. On the GRP exams, he scored a full 87.5%." This
statement provoked excited muttering among the council members.
Yanne, however, merely looked around, twitching his ears to get
a better lock on that rhythmic pounding sound he heard faintly coming
from far below them.
however, for the Order of Order,
that's hardly an extreme—"
"And, if you'll forgive the interruption, his energy level
for that mind of his is extreme; I ran the QQM test on his
bloodstream, and it came back reading 67,000!"
This caused stunned gasps throughout the room. Two or three gerbils
fainted, slumping onto the table in front of them, letting the hoods
of their robes fall forward to cover their heads. Yanne froze, both
in horror at the danger they were all in as well as at the colossal
ignorance of pretty much everybody else in the hall.
"All that means," he spoke in a trembling voice, "is
that he drinks at least five cans of Jolt a day! Where is
he, anyway? Clerk! Where is Pereshte?!"
The clerk of the Order, bowing in respect of Yanne's authority,
approached the council timidly. "Well, it's hard to say, exactly,
but I did see him heading off towards the basement with a
pickaxe in his—"
Yanne did not wait to hear any more. With a sudden burst of speed
that belied his centuries of age, he picked up his nearby walking
stick and leaped for the doorway, racing headlong towards the computer
that was their whole reason for existing in this dimension.
Kasumi walked by Nabiki's room, carrying a basket of laundry from
the bathroom. A faint reverberation from a distant future, triggered
by both the smell of the clothes and the power of the ancient gerbil
racing through the floor beneath her, triggered for an instant an
absolutely clear picture of what was eventually to be. She saw,
with photographic clarity, her great-granddaughter, saving not only
the entire physical cosmos, but preserving the lives of an almost
infinite number of people throughout every possible reality in existence
Before she could remember any of it, the moment passed, and she
stood still, merely confused and a little woozy. She blinked twice,
then smiled in realization.
"Oh! Oh, well, that's all right, then," she said to herself
cheerfully, continuing onwards to the laundry area.
Yanne passed through the unguarded entrance to the subterranean
computer complex built into the ground beneath the dojo, which was
unguarded only for the fact that the dozen or so sentries that were
supposed to be denying access to anyone and everyone were strewn
all over the corridors, so thoroughly confused by Pereshte's own
unique sense of sense that their minds felt it would be simpler
to just nod off and take a short break to recover.
The ancient gerbil steeled his mind and walked in.
Pereshte stood in front of the massive device, which was easily
ten feet high and ten feet wide, and furiously hammered away at
the keyboard panel with his paws, making hundreds of incorrect attempts
per second on the security system. His pickaxe —- a dented
and bent pickaxe after serving its purpose of getting him through
the proper doors — lay on the floor behind him, and his pace
slowed only slightly as he glanced over his shoulder at the silhouette
of Yanne in the doorway.
"You've come to stop me, haven't you?" he asked in that
bored sort of voice one uses when one doesn't care who comes to
stop them or not.
"If you would kindly step away from that computer and stop
trying to smash space and time with your bare paws, I'm sure we
could work out a deal."
"Do you have any idea what it's like, watching the
people in this town, day in and day out, but not being able to do
a single significant thing about it all account of the fact you
gerbils say that it's supposed to be that way?"
"Apprentice, I'm afraid that what you have said is precisely
the point. What needs to be, needs to be. We cannot pick and choose
the aspects of the people and places here to suit our wishes; the
Pereshte stopped, turned around in exasperation, and began tapping
keys with his tail at nearly the same rate as before. "You
know, I've gone right off this timestream."
"Ah, but that's the thing, isn't it? You haven't. You can't."
"Not yet, but I do possess a sound strategy."
He stuck in hands in the pockets of his Order of Order robe and
spoke in quite a different voice, mimicking the weathered vocalizations
of elder Yanne. "This computer is, by definition, the most
logical device in this dimension. It defines that which is. Therefore,
the password must be the most un-logical combination ever!
is precisely what I excel at."
"What? Never yet! That makes absolutely no sense! You
cannot hope to crack the fabric of space and time by—!"
The hammering of keys halted abruptly. "Just did."
Yanne's jaw dropped open in shock, and several critical instants
passed by before he recovered enough to shout, "
"Bye-ie!" Pereshte grinned, and promptly vanished.
The older gerbil rushed in and tried to recall Pereshte to three-dimensional
space, but he was too late. The system had been relocked with a
completely different password, and the barriers safeguarding reality
systematically began to fall. Yanne shrugged in defeat and trudged
back to the council hall, trying his best to ignore the rumblings
beginning to resonate throughout the universe.
Even before Yanne had returned to the main hall, the Order of Order
had a very clear sense that something had gone very wrong. The spectrum
of visible light, for several seconds, had rapidly alternated between
inverse monochrome and a palette of exclusively bright pastels.
Occasionally, gravity seemed to be taking a holiday, leaving the
gerbils and a load of paperwork to go floating off towards whatever
direction they happened to want to go in. The most troubling occurrence
of all was when Lieutenant Frungy, who had previously received the
job to ferry Pereshte and his intended master in on the leaf transport,
suddenly and inexplicably transformed into a large rabbit, shredding
his robe and causing no small deal of embarrassment when he suddenly
returned to his original form.
Yanne entered the hall, and the gerbils who were not still floating
around managed to stand at attention to hear what their respected
elder had to say regarding the Pereshte situation. He reached his
chair, sighed deeply and spoke, "My friends, I am afraid that
our mission has failed."
"WHAT?!" the crowd shouted back at him.
"Pereshte has cracked the computer's security, and he is now
loose within the system."
"Our mission has failed, but let us not despair; we are all
capable and versatile gerbils, and I have a plan!"
"The results here will now be the same no matter what we do,
so I propose we leave this dimension, and go our own ways
He fixed them with an intensely inspiring and rodential glance.
"I said go our own ways!"
"'Cause Yanne said so!" he concluded, triumphantly.
At that moment, as if Pereshte himself was personally spiting the
entire Order of Order — which he was — the ceiling exploded
off of the chamber and exposed the entire council to Nabiki Tendo,
who was sitting in her bed and most definitely not expecting to
see a group of robe-clad gerbils standing or floating underneath
"WHAT?!" she screamed in complete surprise.
"WHAT?!" the gerbils chorused back at her.
Yanne's left lower eyelid began to twitch, so he waved a furry
paw in the air and muttered, "I think it's time we go."
With that, each of them flung off their now-obsolete Order of Order
garments, concentrated deep within themselves and, with one loud
*pop* per gerbil, vanished from Earth and scattered to
various other worlds throughout the multiverse.
Nabiki didn't get any time to think about what she was seeing before
the house lurched violently sideways, causing her to tumble out
of bed and hit her head quite hard on Yanne's desk. Luckily, he
had already placed his cloak on it, and that both cushioned the
blow and protected her slightly from what happened next.
Unfortunately, as she passed out, she happened to completely miss
the wave of timestream changes that washed over her.
To be continued.