❯ New Destiny Reloaded – Book I: Roads to Succession – New Friends, Old Friends, Terrorists and a Rival ( Chapter 2 )
New Destiny Reloaded: Book I � Roads to Succession
Chapter Two � New Friends, Old Friends, Terrorists and a Rival
�TK, we�ll be late!�
With great reluctance, TK finished buttoning his school shirt before walking out of his new room. Give him Chinese Amazons. Give him rampaging demons. Hell, he�d even take on a revived Black Cell. Anything would be better than to go to Furinkan High, especially after Nabiki had told him her husband Kuno was the current principal.
It wasn�t that TK feared losing to Kuno; that wasn�t why he didn�t want to go to the school that day. It was because, no matter how many times he�d win, Kuno would come back more determined to see him broken. It was doubtful even the Mega Avengers, or even King Robert, could help him if he got fed up and killed Kuno. Still, TK�s parents had already made the arrangements and there was no use convincing them to look at another school.
Nancy looked up to see her son practically dragging his feet into the living room of their apartment. �Honey,� she said, �Just let me do the talking, okay?�
�I know, I know,� TK said half-heartedly, �but I really don�t trust Kuno, given his family�s track record.�
�Well, would you rather it was his father?�
Tatekwai Kuno watched from his office window as his students walked through the gates and into the building. He was waiting for TK to arrive. Nabiki had told him TK had moved into the area and his parents wanted to discuss having him enroll at Furinkan. It made him feel uneasy, as he kept straightening his tie for no reason.
Kuno had discarded his samurai grab long ago, before Ranma had died a night later. It had taken him almost an entire day to come to terms with his behavior; of his obsessions, and make a decision to change his life or else forever be lost in his disillusions and thereby shunned by all. Yet, for all his good intentions, he was too late to seek Ranma�s forgiveness, or even his friendship.
Now, with TK attending the school, Kuno had a chance to atone for all the troubles he caused TK�s cousin in the past. That is, if TK was willing to accept his change. When she came home last night, Nabiki had given him TK�s message he would not take his revenge upon Ranma�s rivals. However, Kuno knew some feelings never really died. He could see in Nabiki�s eyes she still loved Ranma.
Suddenly, Kuno�s eyes fixed themselves on two figures walking through the schoolyard: a blonde woman and boy that, if Kuno�s eyes weren�t deceiving him, had a pigtail similar to Ranma�s. [That�s TK,] he thought. [It has to be. Though I expected him to have died his hair black, since he had his last name changed to Saotome.] Knowing TK was on his way to his office now, Kuno turned away from the window and sat in his chair behind his desk.
Over two minutes passed before the buzzer on his intercom went off and a female voice spoke to him through the device: �Principal Kuno, a Mrs. Ishida and her son are her to see you.�
[Here goes.] Kuno pressed a button. �Let them in,� was all he said before silently taking a deep breath.
The doorknob turned with a slight creaking noise before the office door opened and TK and his mother calmly stepped into the room. �Hello, Principal Kuno,� Mrs. Ishida said warmly.
�Welcome, both of you,� Kuno said, �and may I say the years have most certainly been kind to the two of you.�
TK said nothing, but bowed to show respect to the compliment. His mother, on the other hand, verbally thanked Kuno for his words. �I�m sorry we had to come during school hours-.�
�Oh no, don�t apologize. At least this way you�ll be able to fully see what Furinkan has to offer for Takeru�s education. Er, is it alright if I call you Takeru?�
Kuno held up his hand. �It�s quite fine, Mrs. Ishida. Most who remember me from my less-than-sane days still do not trust me, and I cannot blame them. �How are the Saotomes, if I may ask?�
�Oh, we just moved into the area, so we haven�t had time to go see them. Although, TK told me he met with your wife last night while he was taking a walk and she said they�re working at �Ucchan�s.��
�Yes, I know this. It�s just� I haven�t seen them since the viewing. I dare not show my face to them since, after all, I was once a rival of Ranma�s. Excuse me, we seem to be straying from the matter at hand. I�ve gone over Takeru�s records, and he seems more than smart enough to study here. He also appears to be a model student, which is good-.�
�If you�re referring to the fact that I don�t fight in school,� TK said suddenly, �with my skills, I prefer fighting away from where I could damage school property. And before you ask, no I haven�t had any fights starting at school.�
Kuno rubbed his chin. �Your record may change. Ryoga�s cousin Daisuke Hibiki attends this school, and he�s a loyal pupil of Akane�s: Anti-Saotome.�
All TK did was shrug at this, which meant �so what.� Seeing this, Kuno stood up from his chair.
�Allow me to show you around the school. Quite a few changes have been made since I became Principal.�
It may have looked like Seto Kaiba was paying attention to the teacher�s explanation of the current Calculus lesson, but looks were deceiving. He was actually thinking about the talk he had with Burter the other night; Burter had paid him a visit to inform the teen about TK, who would most likely be Kaiba�s newest classmate. There was also the chance TK would become the next member of the Teen Titans� Japanese branch.
Yet, Kaiba had to meet TK first. Burter didn�t give much information on him, mostly because Burter barely saw him after TK finished training with him a few years ago and then Burter assumed leadership of the Mega Avengers. The only thing Kaiba knew was that TK was a cousin to Ranma Saotome, a famous martial artist who died and TK was made his heir. Kaiba could only imagine what kind of training this TK had gone through, especially if Burter had once been his mentor.
[The problem is we need more female members for the titans,] Kaiba thought. [I know Burter meant well in asking we give TK as shot, but people will think we�re a machoist group or even worse.]
Suddenly, the classroom door burst open and a strange humanoid wearing an armor chest plate entered the room, pointing some sort of blaster attached to his right arm. The teacher gasped, seeing the blaster was pointed right at him. Several of the female students screamed in horror, causing the humanoid to shout at them to be silent and for no one to move.
�In the name of King Cold and Lord Friezor,� it stated, �all of you and everyone else within this building are our prisoners! No one leaves until we say so. Anyone tries to defy us shall be terminated without hesitation.�
Kaiba�s eyes were fixated on this intruder. Friezor and King Cold; those were names he was familiar with. From the looks of things, Kaiba theorized, this guy and whoever else was with him were sent by King Cold to find out where Friezor was being held. Since it was Ranma who took down Friezor, it was obvious Cold�s soldiers would come to Nerima.
Suddenly, there came a cold reptilian voice over the speakers, obviously of the one in charge of this assault: �Attention humans! We are the soldiers of King Cold, the ruler of the universe! You are all our prisoners from this moment on until we are met with members of the group known as the Mega Avengers or the one called King Robert to discuss terms. Do not try anything heroic or foolish, or else you will be killed on the spot!�
[Well,] Kaiba thought calmly, [that�s one way of canceling classes.]
�So,� Kuno said to the leader, on his knees with his hands behind his head, �you�re the followers of Friezor, whom Ranma Saotome gave his life to defeat.�
The leader, a red reptilian called Zugev, glared at Kuno, TK, and Mrs. Ishida. They were all in Kuno�s office, along with two of Zugev�s soldiers. Kuno had only opened his office door to begin the tour for TK and Nancy when these intruders had stormed into the room and then made the previous announcement.
�Correct, human,� Zugev snarled, �The one you call Ranma defeated Lord Friezor and now his father, King Cold, cannot find him. We were ordered to come here and gain information on Lord Friezor�s whereabouts and also to capture this Ranma for interrogation by King Cold. However, since you�ve told us Ranma is dead, we must now seek other means of finding our lord.�
�I�m curious,� TK said in a neutral tone, �what are your terms for the Mega Avengers and/or King Robert?�
One of the soldiers aimed his blaster at TK. �Silence, brat!�
Zugev raised his hand. �There is no harm in telling the likes of you. Our terms are simple: the Mega Avengers will surrender to us unconditionally and return Lord Friezor to King Cold, or else we start killing you and every other hostage within these walls.�
TK raised an eyebrow. �And what makes you think they�d agree to your terms? They don�t even care for their own teammates. They let Ranma die after all.�
This caused Zugev to sneer. He loomed over TK. �Is that so? Tell me something, boy; this Ranma, he was someone close to you, was he not?�
�He was my cousin.�
�I see. And you say the Mega Avengers let him die. Very interesting. How you must despise them.�
�With every waking moment.�
�I don�t trust him,� the second soldier said, but again, Zugev motioned for his followers to be silent.
�Perhaps you could be of some use to us, my lad. Would you care to deliver our terms to the MA?�
��What�s in it for me? And how do I know you won�t kill me anyways?�
Zugev thought about it, and then said, �You can pick one MA member and we�ll let you kill him/her. And you have my word that we will not kill you-.�
�Promise to spare my mother as well,� TK nodded towards Nancy, �and you have a deal. But I�ll need an escort to prove what is going on here is for real.�
Zugev now grinned, revealing his jagged teeth. �It is agreed.� He turned to his soldiers. �Kovich, escort the boy to the Mega Avengers� base!�
�And he can kill me if I try anything,� TK added, standing up. [IF he can.]
TK and Kovich exited the office and headed down the hallway; Kovich behind TK and pointing his blaster at TK�s back. �No tricks, kid,� Kovich snarled as they rounded a corner and entered a stairwell. They reached the bottom of the stairs before TK, seeing no one was nearby to see or hear what would happen, used his speed to �disappear� before Kovich�s eyes. Before Kovich could react, TK got behind him gave a quick chop to the neck, rendering the alien unconscious. He then dragged the soldier into a nearby closet and tied him up with some extension cords, took the blaster, and crushed it in his hands.
Now that he was free, TK had to figure out how to save everyone in the school without anyone getting killed. Luckily, the walls of the school were thick so that none of the classes could overhear one another, so taking out the remaining soldiers would be a little easier. Yet before TK exited the closet, he reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a tiny device with a button on it. It was something Rusty had given him yesterday during the moving in at the apartment; an emergency commlink to alert the MA if he was in trouble.
[I told Nabiki I wasn�t too proud to ask for help.] He pressed the button and spoke softly into the device. �Burter, Rusty, any MA member who can hear me, Furinkan High has been taken over by soldiers working for King Cold and they�ve taken everyone hostage. They�ll start killing hostages if the MA doesn�t surrender and have Friezor returned to his father. We need help, and fast.�
Releasing the button, TK waited to a response. It wasn�t long before he heard Rusty�s voice coming from the device: �Help is on the way. Don�t get yourself or anyone killed.�
While the break in the usual dull class lessons was nice, Kaiba didn�t feel like spending another minute just sitting at his desk waiting for these terrorists to kill everyone in the school whether their demands were met or not. Lucky for him, he brought his deck along, which was resting in his pants pocket. Now all he had to do was somehow get his hand into his pocket and hopefully pick the right card to deal with the situation quietly. He didn�t need to pull out the card, just touch it with his fingers.
Just the, one of the other students spoke up, still sitting at her desk. �Uh, mister gunman, sir? I really need to use the bathroom.�
Kaiba flashed a quick smile; this was just the break he needed.
The soldier faced the girl, scowling. ��Nice try, girly. Even in outer space, we get cable TB, or whatever you call it here on Earth. What, you don�t think even aliens watch �The Three Stooges?��
�But-but I really, REALLY need to go.�
�Well, just hold it! This�ll be all over with soon enou-.� The soldier was suddenly cut off and lots of chains appeared out of nowhere and wrapped themselves around him, forcing him to drop his gun. He tried to shout, but his mouth was the first thing to be covered up tightly by the chains. He also felt his strength suddenly diminish as if the chains were sucking the fight out of him.
Kaiba blinked at what he had secretly done to the class� captor. [I wasn�t aiming for my Shadow Spell trap card, but it certainly did the trick.]
The students spoke in hushed voices at random; some asking what had just happened. Others cheerfully, yet quietly, exclaimed it was the work of Kaibaman, Kaiba�s bodyguard. If they only knew the truth about this so-called �bodyguard.�
Acting quickly, the teacher grabbed the fallen space gun. �O-kay everyone,� he said in a weak voice, �Let�s not get excited. There may be more of these� people out there. Now, someone will have to go and get help-.�
Before the students could protest the teacher�s cowardice, Kaiba stood up from his desk quickly. �I�ll go,� he said, �I can sneak by any guards easily enough.�
�Really?! Er, I mean, very well, Mr. Kaiba, I won�t try to stop you-.�
�Just don�t shoot anyone, it may attract unwanted attention.� Kaiba was very cautious in exiting the classroom and sneaking down the hallway. Once he made it to the nearby restroom, he could change into Kaibaman without anyone seeing him. With ninja-like stealth, he snuck into the boys� restroom and glanced about. He was alone. Reaching into his shirt, he pulled out a card-shaped pendant that hung around his neck. He opened it to reveal a card that was one of a kind and absolutely secret. His fingers pressed lightly against the card.
�Who needs a phone booth?�
The school uniform began to glow before it changed physically into a white punk-ish sleeveless trench coat over black spandex shirt and pants with matching boots. A white helmet in the shape of a dragon�s head appeared over Kaiba before he reached up and put it on, long orange hair flowing out from the back of his head.
Seto Kaiba had once again become Kaibaman.
Yet, before he exited the bathroom, he pulled out a communicator card and pressed the image of himself hard to activate it.
�This is Kaibaman, calling the MA. Burter, you read me?�
�You beat I do, K-man. Let me guess; alien terrorists have taken over the school?�
��They gave you their terms already?�
�No, we got an emergency call from the new kid at your school, the one I was telling you about.�
�We�re already on our way. You find and hook up with TK and try to quietly subdue the terrorists. Think of it as seeing for yourself whether or not the kid�s worthy of joining your group. Burter, out.�
Kaibaman sighed while putting his communicard away. At least he wasn�t saving the school on his own.
[So far, so good,] TK thought a little proudly as he unseeingly and quietly raced down another hallway. He had managed to take out three of Zugev�s troops and rescued a chemistry class, a study hall, and a theater arts class. Yet, he was not about to get cocky. That was one of Ranma�s faults, and TK knew Ranma wouldn�t want him to follow that path.
TK came to a silent stop at the door to another classroom; one that had its door open enough for him to hear voices.
�Well, aren�t you a fine-looking specimen of Earth beauty?�
�You get away from Kari, punk!�
�Davis, calm down!�
The name caused TK�s ears to perk up. Could this Davis be really Daisuke Hibiki?
�Heh, your boyfriend is highly protective of you. Though I can�t blame him. Perhaps, if you survive this, my commander will let me keep you as my woman. Wouldn�t that be fun? You could join us as we conquer the rest of the universe.�
�LET GO OF HER!�
There was the sound of someone leaping right out of third seat, followed by a loud crack, and then a thud that was all mixed in with loud gasps and a cry of pain. It was enough to tell TK that this Davis had tried to take on his captor and got swatted aside easily. There was no doubt about it; Davis was indeed Ryoga�s relation.
�And you, my little fly, just signed your death certificate. Just following my orders.�
As soon as TK heard the sound of a gun clicking, his instincts took over. The trooper never saw who attacked him or what hit him, but all he could feel was something hard ramming deep into his abdomen, breaking his armor and sending the wind right out of his lungs. A sudden chop to the back of his neck was the last thing he felt before he lost all consciousness.
Davis looked up at his savior, who had taken away the gun and immediately smashed it with one hand. Before he or anyone could say anything, the teen made a gesture for them to keep silent. Unbeknownst to him, one of the girls was eyeing him familiarly, as if she knew him from another place, long ago.
�Stay in here and keep it quiet,� he hissed, �There�re still more of these guys watching the classes.�
�And some of them were assigned partners,� a cold voice came from the doorway. Another trooper, resembling a vulture, walked into the room, pointing his gun at TK.
�Show me your hands, hero, nice and slowly. Unlike my comrade on the floor there, I don�t let my guard down to womanize with every being with a pretty face. Now, tell me who you are and how many more of you are there trying to stir up trouble?�
TK�s arms went up as ordered, but he was smiling. The vulture-trooper was about to ask what the smile was for, but then a tall humanoid with what looked like a respiratory face mask clad in green metallic robes grabbed him from behind. The humanoid�s hands clamped onto the trooper�s beak, shutting it while the other hand grasped the arm with the gun.
Seizing this chance, TK jabbed a finger at a certain spot on the trooper�s neck, rendering him unconscious. He got a thumb�s up from the humanoid after it dropped its captive, but then it faded away to reveal Kaibaman standing at the door.
TK raised an eyebrow, but said nothing as his supposed ally motioned for him to follow before he headed down the hallway. Following closely, TK whispered, �The Great Saiyaman, I presume?�
�Don�t even joke,� Kaibaman said, offended greatly by the comparison between him and Gohan�s alter ego. �I�m Kaibaman.�
�Please don�t tell me that�s the best name you could come up with.�
�It�s what my kid brother told the press ahead of me, okay? I wanted to call myself Duel Master.�
�Sorry. At least you don�t do the poses Saiyaman did.�
�Amen to that. You�re Saotome, right? Burter sent me ahead to lend you a hand.�
�Funny, he never mentioned you. I took out five of these guys. How many you get, counting that last trooper?�
�He makes four. So what�s your gimmick? Your abilities/powers, I mean?�
�I�m human, though I trained under a few former MA members in the last six years. From what I saw, you can summon monsters from your imagination?�
After they stopped between classrooms, Kaibaman held up a card for TK to see; it was the humanoid, or Jinzo as his name was printed atop the card.
�I can bring any �Duel Monsters� card to life; monsters, traps, spells, even fusion and ritual monsters without the hassle of offering tributes or actual fusion. From what I�ve been able to gather for information, and from what you told me, there are at least 7 more of these terrorists left to deal with.�
�Then we�d better split up and strike fast, but leave the ones in the principal�s office to me. Their leader�s in there and he�s got Kuno and my mom as hostages. He thinks I�m on my way to deliver their terms to the MA.�
With a nod, Kaibaman pulled out a card and, in seconds, transformed it into an actual physical replica of the monster pictured on it; a ninja clad in black. �This is Strike Ninja. Take him with you to help subdue the enemy without sounding any alarm for the rest. We�ll hook up at the office.�
�Sounds like a plan.�
Zugev felt very uneasy. Why hadn�t the Mega Avengers arrived? Had the boy lied to him only to escape, or, if this was true, had his soldier killed him and was on his way himself to deliver the message? And why hadn�t the others reported anything yet?
Just then, there was a knock on the office door. Zugev silently motioned to his remaining trooper to stand by the door, armed in case it was a rescue attempt. He then lifted up Kuno to his feet and whispered, �No tricks. Ask who it is.�
But Kuno didn�t need to. TK�s voice came from behind the door. �It�s only me. I�ve come back with the MA�s answer.�
Nancy sucked in her breath and held it, as Zugev gave a nod and the trooper turned the handle. Within a split second, the door flew open, TK knocked out the soldier, and dash-tackled Zugev so hard they flew through the glass window and out into the air. Zugev�s grip on Kuno loosened form the impact enough that the principal managed to get away and shield a screaming Nancy from the shattering glass.
There was a broad smile on TK�s face as he saw the shock on Zugev�s. �Fooled you good, didn�t I?�
Snarling loudly, Zugev quickly shifted them both before pushing himself away from TK, using his ki to fly upward a little. �As you humans say, �see you next-!� What?!�
Now TK was hovering a few feet away horizontally from Zugev, still smiling. �We humans aren�t as easy to push around as you believed. You think I�d just let Friezor get away with murdering my cousin? I�ve been pushing myself these last few years, preparing for your master�s possible return.�
�And he shall return, human,� snapped Zugev, powering up a strong ki sphere with both hands, �and when he does, this planet and every planet who opposes us will be obliterated, with not even the Mega Avengers being able to stop us! You and the others in that school below us will be the first to fall before our lords� vengeance!�
With that, Zugev fired his sphere at TK. The evil alien commander chuckled, until he saw TK disperse the sphere with just a brief flare of the teen�s battle aura. Fear gripped his black heart as he realized this human was more powerful than he had led everyone to believe.
�So,� TK said, �what else you got?�
Shaking his head to regain his composure, and to try and get the cold sweat off his brow, Zugev gave one last threatening shout, �T-this isn�t over, boy!� Blindly, he started to fly backwards, trying to escape. Yet, as he turned he froze as he came face to face with someone he, earlier, was looking forward to see squirming while others were being held hostage.
Burter couldn�t help but grin seeing Zugev�s panicked face. �Yeah. It�s me.�
Zugev tried to run away, but he was stopped by TK, who had trapped the alien between himself and Burter. Realizing there was no escape, Zugev hung his head heavily. ��I surrender��
Looking up from the broken window, Kaibaman, Nancy, and Kuno smiled or sighed with relief. Behind them, Rusty had finished webbing up the fallen soldier. The crisis was now truly over.
�Hope you�re not mad about the window,� Burter said to Kuno as they and everyone else stood outside the school. Dinobot, the MA�s medic and second reservist, was examining students, teachers and faculty for any injuries or trauma. Rusty and several other members were helping the police load the prisoners into a large police transport vehicle. TK and his mother, however, were not among any of them. TK decided to take his mother home for some rest, saying to Burter that he would be expecting Dinobot to drop by their apartment later to check on her.
Kuno shook his head, a half smile on his lips. �Not to worry; our insurance covers even hostile invasions and takeovers by extra terrestrial terrorists. Nabiki insisted upon it, and now I�m glad she did so. My only complaint is that those villains cost me over half a day of school. I�ll have to count this as a snow day, and it�s only April.�
Rusty then came up to Burter. �That�s the last of �em, B. We took away any and all weapons they carried, heavily sedated them, and now they�ll be taken to the nearest space port to be shipped off to a maximum security station. Ginyu and the rest of the Avengers Elite will be at the port waiting for them.�
�Good. But what bothers me is how those bums managed to touchdown on Earth and take a whole school hostage without us knowing?�
�I�m sure the press will want to know that as well,� Kuno said quickly, adding, �Perhaps you and your team should leave before any reporters arrive.�
Burter nodded in agreement. Any bad press would not just tarnish the team�s name, but also merit a good scolding from King Robert. �I�ll follow that transport in case there�s trouble. Rusty, you wrap things up here and fast, and then get to Robert and report what happened before he hears about it on the news.�
�Sure,� Rusty said sarcastically, �make me take the heat for this.� Yet, the Spider-Doppleganger hurried over to Dinobot, who was examining three certain female students.
�When was the last time you saw your dentist,� Dinobot asked a girl with bleached hair and a red streak, just as Rusty approached him.
�Hey, I brush regularly,� the girl said while her redheaded friend giggled behind her.
Rusty put a hand to Dinobot�s arm. �Wrap it up with these three; we�re pulling out.�
Dinobot waved a clawed robotic hand. �I just have to finish with this one with the streak and I�ll head back to base.�
Hearing his name, Rusty turned to see a girl he almost didn�t recognize. �No! Kari?!�
�Man, you sure grew! What are you doing in this neck of the woods?�
�My family moved here a few months after Ranma�s funeral and we�ve lived here ever since. This is my school, too�
�You have?! Oh boy. How am I gonna explain this to TK-?�
Kari�s eyes suddenly lit up. �You�ve seen TK? How is he-? You don�t mean, that guy who helped save the school was HIM?!�
�Look, I�d love to play 20 Questions with you, but I have to see the King and fast. But� TK�s new place is on the way, so� want a lift?�
End chapter 2
Author�s notes: The gag with the alien mentioning TV and the Stooges was a take from an actual line in a play entitled �Of Moss and Men,� not to be confused with �Of Mice and Men.� Ironically, I played the character who said the original line in my Junior year�s Theater Arts production of the play. Here�s the actual line, or as how I remember it:
�That�s the oldest gag in the book. I turn around and you jump me. What, you never think I watched a �Three Stooges� movie?�
Being well-known as a Stooge-fan to the school and community, this line brought many a laugh from the audience both nights my class performed.
Looking back at the original fic, I realized I both rushed the reunion of TK and Kari, and foolishly delayed it when Kari realized who TK was. I mean, she was eating with her friends during lunch period instead of trying to talk to TK after being separated for so long. What was I thinking?
Next chapter, TK runs into Ryoga and Akane as he takes his mother home and they rush to the school to see about Davis and Kari. And then, TK and Kari finally reunite at his apartment, triggering several flashbacks.