Crossover Fan Fiction / Gundam Wing Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction ❯ You've gotta be shitting me?! ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Before anything else, I would like to ask that you readers do not take this fan fiction seriously. This is the result of a plot bunny that I still had to ask on what he had been smoking before coming to me with a strange look on his face.

Two of the gundums mentioned here would be coming from the never to be posted final story of the Flight of the Intruder series aptly titled Flight of the Intruders: Legends and Destinies set in where else, but Gundum Seed Destiny with the third coming (more like slightly remodeled in my Gundum Seed fan fiction – Flight of the Intruders: Seeds of Freedom). Thus, I am free to use them all in this story.

All I ask is for the story to be read and whatever you want to do with it – review, enjoy, or flame.

So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the wild ride that is entitled…

Ranma One-Half: Gundanium Gaffe

During a certain experiment on using artificial space bridges to lessen travel time between Jupiter and Earth, an accident had resulted in a wormhole that had pulled the nearest security mobile suits within the area to it.

This was why Wing Zero, Air Raiser, and Iris had disappeared with their artificial intelligences successfully transferred via Wi-Fi to the nearest battleship– the Kusanagi before being sucked in.

All three mobile suits were considered lost and non-recoverable their pilots were told as their replacements were being built.

All three gundums had gone through the rip in space-time towards yet another place and time in another universe. The said wormhole had opened within the Bayankala mountain range in Qinghai province of China.

All three intruders were then detected by spy satellites from the then two superpowers – the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

China was given cursory information regarding the sudden entrance of the three mobile suits with most of the abovementioned information coming from stunned witnesses that had seen the actual sighting of the strange robotic forms as they fell.

It was said that the mobile suits had fallen on the little known cursed training grounds called Jusenkyo. Most of the cursed springs in Jusenkyo were either destroyed or swamped by the fallen robots’ impact so only three large springs and numerous smaller springs at the farther western side were all that was left of the said cursed bodies of water.

It was to the good fortune of the Jusenkyo Guide and his young daughter that they were invited to a certain festival in the nearby Joketsu village and thus both were not in the springs at the time of the incident.

A certain Chinese government task force had hushed up the witness with money and lucrative job offers in the government controlled industries while marking which new cursed springs had resulted from the crash.

The cover up was very successful in brushing off any interest in the crash as even UFO and other conspiracy theorists had written off the whole incident as a meteorite crash.

-oOo-

Five years had passed and with it the end of the Cold War, thus the flood of declassified information from the former Soviet Union and the US.

Still, the truth behind the three unidentified falling objects in northwestern China was still kept under wraps for fear of it being confused as inert intercontinental ballistic missiles or other weapons of mass destruction.

It would have remained to be kept a secret if not for a certain group of martial artists and their penchants for trouble, and this is where our story really begins.

-oOo-

“Son, it is time to show the fruits of your training.” Genma Saotome was saying as he and his son – Ranma Saotome, had emerged from the eastern mountain path leading to the Jusenkyo training grounds.

“Yeah, yeah.” The teenaged martial artist with a ponytailed replied with scorn. Whenever his father had said those words, it always ended up in them getting into unexpected trouble.

‘There seems to be much less springs than advertised,’ Genma was thinking as he had landed on top of a bamboo pole in one of the smaller springs near his starting point. ‘This may even be better for training as the chances of getting wet are much higher than before.’

‘Damn, those springs are huge,’ Ranma had said mentally as he had landed in the bamboo pole opposite to his father’s chosen pole. ‘It’s a good thing that they’re more poles over there.’

“C’mon, boy.” The elder Saotome was saying as he had curved his fingers in a come-hither style. His stocky toes had wrapped around the edge of the pole where he was standing to keep himself from falling. “Prove your worth as a fighter.”

“Comin’ at ya, old man.”

Ranma then jumped from his pole before extending his right leg while coming at his overweight father at a high angle of attack.

Genma had chosen to cross his arms as he intended to go on a defensive as well as find enough purchase to regain his footing over the two inch diameter pole edge.

His wily mind had worked overtime on formulating a counter-attack of his own.

Skin had met skin as Ranma’s kick at made contact with the raised arms, the momentum of which the teen had used to propel himself at another bamboo pole a good distance from his father.

In response, the Anything Goes Master had leaped from his own pole and tried to pummel his son with an overhead strike as he passed by.

Ranma had read his opponent’s movements and had ducked accordingly. He belatedly realized that in doing so he had lost his balance and was about to fall into the spring below.

Landing on yet another pole, Genma had relished his short term victory as he outsmarted his son yet again.

‘The boy still has much to learn,’ he thought grimly. ‘Yet his skill in the Art is steadily improving with each passing day. Maybe it’s time to see an old friend of mine back in Nerima.’

The fat martial artist was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he did not see his son grab the pole beside him and use it to swing himself straight back at him, bare feet first.

In the end, Genma could only utter a loud ‘woof’ as the air from his lungs had exited through his mouth in a rush. The man himself was airborne for a full second before gravity itself greedily took over.  

A loud splash had announced Genma’s dunking in a spring about fifteen meters away from his former position.

“Had enough, old man.” Ranma said with a cocky grin. The young teen had steeled himself for another attack as he waited for his father’s emergence from said pool of water.

To his shock, a giant panda bear had broken through the water surface and landed in the bamboo pole in front of the pony-tailed martial artist.

The panda was outfitted with a wet dogi top barely covering his upper furry body and a pair of glasses that were now askew.

“What the hell?! Where’s Pops and what’s that panda doing here?!”

“Oh, old man fell into spring of ‘drowned panda.” A panicked voice was saying. “Very tragic tale of panda, which had drowned there two thousand years ago. Now whoever falls in spring takes body of panda.”

The Jusenkyo guide was suddenly holding a wooden sign that says “Spring of Drowned Panda” written in Chinese characters while he was speaking.

Ranma then looked back at the panda. The animal had looked as angry as the usually docile creature could relatively get before it launched itself at the martial artist, right paw outstretched.

The teenage martial artist was so surprised at the recent turn of events that he was catapulted to a spring on the other side of the training grounds.

The spring was the one at the northeastern edge of the three springs that seemed to form a triangle. Unlike the other smaller springs, it was only labeled by a wooden sign saying – “N.B.E.-01” in Chinese.

A few seconds after Ranma had gotten dunked; a nineteen meter robot with folded wings on its back and two rifle-like weapons at its gyroscopic magnetic leg holsters had emerged from the large spring with a large splash.

One of the rifle-like weapons has two barrels and what seemed to be two conjoined triggers.

The said robot had lifted itself via its main thrusters on its back, in between the wings, before landing on solid ground on the western end of the Jusenkyo springs, gallons of water dripping from its large metallic body.

A deep low pitched voice that seemed to be coming from the huge craft’s external speakers had said. “Hey, how come things had gotten much smaller?”

Before the Guide and his newly arrived daughter had spoken anything, the robot then said. “Wait a minute, everything isn’t smaller I’ve just gotten bigger. What the hell is going on here?!”  

“Honored customer, you had fallen in special spring – Spring of Drowned Non-Biological Entity Zero One“. The Jusenkyo Guide said with fear as he carried a bigger wooden sign with “Spring of Drowned Non-Biological Entity-01” written on it. “Very tragic and strange spring that was formed when one of three huge robots had fallen into it, five years ago. Government had almost gotten Jusenkyo Springs closed down for it, but had relented since very few customers had gone here anyway.”

“Ok, let me think about that for a moment.” The robot then replied as it had sat down cross legged before plopping its head over its right hand while its right elbow was placed over its right leg, its weapons tilted to lie just over the ground. “Ok, it would seem that I’m a gundum, whatever that is, and I’m armed to the teeth.”

Genma had already used the time to transform back to human form. “You do know that weapons are not allowed in our school.”

“I know that, old fart.” The robot, which was clearly Ranma’s new form, shot back. “It’s not like I would use them in a fight. Only thing is, I’m just too big to fight anyone or even hide. This sucks!!”

“It’s still better than being a panda,” the older Saotome said with disdain. “At least, you can talk.”

“Honored customer, the curse is still reversible.” The pre-teen daughter of the Jusenkyo Guide then spoke up in the hopes of calming the cursed individuals down. “However, I am not so sure about being clothed upon your return to your true forms.”

“This is Plum, my daughter.” The Guide added as he had placed a hand on Plum’s shoulder. “Smart and pretty, like her poppa.”

“Father, I got that from Mom.” The young girl, with black hair was tied in typical Chinese ox horns or double buns fashion, complete with pigtails, said upon looking back at her father.

Plum was dressed in a plain brown cheongsam and black slippers that both Saotomes had noticed. They also had to agree on the girl’s own opinion as she was too cute to look like her old man.

“Hush, child.” The Guide said quietly in return. “Do not make your father’s boast fall flat in front of honored visitors.”

“Wait, I see something.” Ranma’s external speakers had said in a softer voice as his manipulator finger had pointed at something. “A human figure, he’s standing on that ledge over there.”

“You’re right, I see him too.” The Guide had added as he had spotted the figure with his beat up binoculars. “He must be an intruder since he had gone over the place where we had placed barbed wire fences and warning signs.”

“I’ll scare him off,” Ranma said as his foot thrusters had ignited, managing to kick up a lot of dust in the process. His sudden rise to the air had scared off the shadowy figure and made the latter figure fall to the second spring (N.B.E- 03), the one nearest to him and the one in the southwestern side.

Two minutes later, a larger shadow had risen in a hurry from the spring and continued off towards the same direction of the setting sun and away from the still hovering gundum, flying at a low altitude as it had disappeared into the growing shadows of the mountains.

-oOo-

The Jusenkyo Guide had explained with some demonstrations (mostly on Genma) on how the Jusenkyo curses work. Ranma had already turned back to his birth form sometime after the earlier ruckus.

The trigger for the curses was in fact, water. With water heated to nearly boiling, the curses are negated while it is activated with tepid to cold water.

In fact, the three huge springs were composed of at least twenty five different springs with the curses being altered to adjust for the new curses that were created by the magical forces that govern the springs themselves.

This would explain why Ranma had turned into what he himself had called – Wing Zero, a powerful war machine with variable weapons of combat and other special abilities as well as a secondary form for faster means of travel.

It was about that time when the ponytailed teen had noticed something and laid his cards on the table so to speak – “How did Plum know that we could be clothed or not when we do return to our original forms? I never even considered that.”

“Plum could be speaking for those who had gotten animal curses because they end up naked upon returning to their human forms,” The guide said in defense of his daughter. “It turned out that the same could be said for giant robots as well.”

“So how did Pop end up being clothed anyway after turning back?” Ranma had tried again. “He turns to a panda.”

“I’m not really sure,” the guide said while scratching his bald head. “There may be some exceptions to the rule though.”

“Well, talking about this would only complicate matters even more.” Genma said as he had finally had enough. “Son, let us just find a way to find any advantage with your new form that doesn’t involve weapons.”

“Yeah, sure Pops.” Ranma had replied before setting up his futon. “Good night, everyone.”

“Good night, Ranma.”

-oOo-

The next morning, Genma had told his son to bring him along with himself to Tokyo in order to visit a friend of his.

Ranma then used the back of the house to remove his gi, put them in his backpack and transform once again to his new form. He then picked up his father before squeezing him into the tight cockpit before taking off once again along with their backpacks.

The cursed teen had to rely on whatever information his now computer brain had provided him in order to keep him in the air at about 10, 000 feet.

In the back of his mind, Ranma was also thinking if there were other people who had fallen into the huge springs as neither the Guide nor his daughter had shown surprise upon seeing him emerge from the water in his present form.

There has to be at least one other person who had fallen into the springs and had changed into a gundum or something similar before they had arrived. There was also the puzzle on what was the second giant robot that he had seen after their intruder had fallen into it.

It was due to these thoughts that were going through Ranma’s mind that he had missed the alarms from he had learned to be threat sensors that were built in the war machine’s confusing cacophony of displays and alarms.

He then mentally checked his Search Eye and Threat Identification System to learn that some Chengdu J-7 fighter/interceptors (based on the Soviet Mig 21 fighters) had gotten on his tail.

“Hang on, Pop.” Ranma told his still uncomfortable father. “We’ll be in Tokyo much faster than we have both thought.”

Genma could only utter a pained grunt of relief at the stated fact.

After saying this, Ranma had switched to Neo Bird Mode and increased his airspeed, making a triple sonic boom in the process.

The chasing pair of J-7s could not chase the transformed gundum without pushing their planes to their limits and thus earning a flame out due to empty fuel tanks.

Shooting at it had proven equally useless due to the aerobatic rolls and loops that Ranma had done before shooting the heat and radar seeking missiles out of action with his wing Vulcans or just toughening it out.

A flight of Shenyang J-8 interceptor aircraft had taken over only to falter after using their afterburners for a few minutes and having the gundum pass their area of responsibility at Mach 3.

Over the South China Sea, the Saotomes had met yet another squadron on patrol. This time, the patrol had come from Taiwan’s Air Force (it was mostly composed of six Mirage 2000 fighters) and like its predecessors, had to quit after a few minutes of playing cat and mouse in the clouds at over twice the speed of sound.

Finally, they had met four of the patrol flights of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force after reaching the Japanese area of responsibility and slowing down to about the speed of sound mostly because of Genma’s complaints about being pushed around due to g-forces.

Seeing that two separate squadrons of Mitsubishi F-15 fighter/interceptor had given chase, Ranma was able to surmise that he and his father had gotten a lot of unwanted attention.

To shake off his newest pursuers, Ranma had turned on the Nightshade system and disappeared from both sensors and visual scanners thus ending the possible dogfight over the main Japanese island of Honshu.

-oOo-

Meanwhile, in the city of Tokyo, a young woman with shoulder length darkish blue hair was jogging at a moderate pace in a street within a ward called Nerima.

A tingling feeling at the back of her head had signaled that something bad would happen. The girl did not ignore the feeling, something that she had learned after a brief training trip to China, weeks ago during summer break.

Instead, the girl had made plans on dealing with the threat once she knew how to deal with it. Along with the sense of danger, a sense of déjà vu was also felt and it had puzzled the girl on why did that come up.

Shrugging both thoughts in the meantime, the girl had continued her pace back home, intent in making some katas to relieve her of her tension as she would change to a white dogi from her present shirt and shorts combo.

-oOo-

Ranma had landed in a riverbank just outside of the Tokyo city limits before changing back to human form with his father via a stolen kettle.

The father and son tandem then made their way into the city limits and continued on to their destination.

Neither one had predicted the sudden burst of light rainfall once they did enter the city.  This would explain why a panda bear was standing fifteen meters of the ground before suddenly rising to about twenty five meters and it seemed to be riding on something invisible as it made its way through the Nerima ward that people could gawk at, faint, or simply call the police.

The panda was pointing and even scribbled on wooden signs that seem to come out of nowhere to its invisible ride until it had stopped over a certain compound with a sign in front saying – “Welcome to the Tendou dojo.”

The panda had furiously scribbled on a sign before making growls at no one in particular and pointing excitedly at the compound itself.

The concreted street in front of the compound had suddenly cracked with a loud bang as two huge rectangular impressions were created by the large weight that stood on it.

An electronic and amplified voice coming from somewhere then said. “Make it brief, Pop. I can’t keep this up fer long. I could actually hear the fuzz coming from their nearing car sirens.”

The relative of the raccoon then jumped down from its perch and rang the doorbell.  Seeing that there was no answer, he rang again twice.

A fortyish old man, wearing an old brown dogi and could be easily distinguished by his large mustache, had opened the gate along with a teenaged girl with her brown hair in a pageboy cut.

The girl was wearing a pink kimono with floral patterns and bowed in a polite manner, her brown eyes were another story though as it was more calculating and observant than usual.

“Uh, good bye.” The man said upon seeing the panda. He had taken his daughter inside and slammed the front door on the stymied panda.

Genma had followed them inside while Ranma had changed his mind and briefly took off in order to lose the nearing police.

Strangely though, once the police vehicles had arrived in front of the Tendou compound, they quickly left.

Even the police chopper overhead had left suddenly, leaving behind a bewildered cursed teen in a hovering (and invisible) war machine’s body.

Ranma was confused until he saw a second giant robot appear from the backyard of the compound in front of him. Unlike his form, this one was more feminine.

He could even hear the second war machine mutter through its external speakers– “Great, just when I need a hot bath.”

Ranma then turned off the Nightshade system, startling the other giant robot that was identified to be a female gundum named Air Raiser and said – “Hi”.

The said machine had looked like Wing Zero yet it is still somewhat different. Its longer wings on its back were much straighter and had rougher edges than the blue and white mecha. Its height is also nearly the same as that of Wing Zero.

Air Raiser is armed with a buster rifle with extra power packs attached to its wing like holder on both of its spiky forearms as well as a sniper buster rifle, both of which were also placed on magnetic and gyroscopic leg holsters when not in use, machine cannons, and Vulcan guns similar to Wing Zero’s own predecessor –Wing Gundum sans the hip holsters of course.

Its color scheme is also white, blue, and yellow with some dashes of pink instead of red under its wings and on its feet. Finally, it had two small pyramid-like protrusions at its chest that signified its true gender.

Right now, the buster rifle was leveled at Zero’s face plate along with the warning – “I don’t know who or what you are but I rather you would leave quickly and permanently.”

“Hey, I’m not exactly glad to be here either.” The cursed young man said with his arms raised in surrender.

It was then that Ranma was called by his father while the girl (Akane) was called by her eldest sister.

Both teens had turned back to their original forms and got clothed before seeing each other in the family room.

Unlike before, Ranma was given by the Jusenkyo guide with a red Chinese shirt, black pants, and black slippers for helping him scare off the intruder.

Introductions and the start of the omiai were interrupted when both Ranma and Akane had recognized each other’s voices as well as remembered their names as they were called.

“Seeing that your curse is similar to our own youngest sister’s own curse, I say that you’re made for each other.” The teen with a page cut haircut that Ranma had learned to be the middle sister – Nabiki had quipped with an amused snort.

In the time between her appearance at the door nearly fifteen minutes earlier and the present, she had changed to a light green shirt and white short combo.

“Yes, it would be beneficial for Akane to be with someone who could understand her predicament.” The brown haired older teen with a pony tail and wearing conservative clothing had added serenely who the visitors had learned to be Kasumi, the oldest of the Tendou sisters.

“No, both Sayuri and Yuka had understood what it was like to be a nineteen meter high war machine and we’ve bonded even more because of it.” Akane then interjected. “He’ll just use it to take peeks at girl’s locker rooms.”

“Now hold on a minute, I’m not that perverted!” Ranma then said as his hands had slammed the wooden table. “Besides, we’ve been chased here by various military aircraft from three countries just fer passing by and I’ll never even want to make a bigger fool out of myself jus’ for kicks.”

“But you don’t deny being a pervert, don’t you?” Akane said with a snort of derision. “Admit it that I got you there, bub.”

“I wouldn’t admit anything that I did not even do,” the pony-tailed teen replied hotly. “Besides, since you have the same cursed form as I do, doesn’t that mean that you could do the same thing with the boys?”

“Eww,” the blue haired girl said with a disgusted face. “I’d rather watch earthworms dancing the Macarena than boys changing clothes.”

Realizing what Akane had said, both cursed teens then laughed out loud while everyone else were shocked.

“I have to admit that was pretty disgusting,” Akane said while stifling further giggles. “Amusing, but still disgusting.”

“I agree completely,” Ranma said as he had held out his hand for a handshake. “Truce?”

“Sure,” Akane said as she had clasped the given hand. “The funny thing is that you’re the only one big enough to spar with me in my cursed form anyway.”

“Yeah, same goes with me.”

-oOo-

The next day, both Ranma and Akane had gone to school with the former already registered the day before.

Along the way, the pair was both splashed by an old woman who wanted to chase demons away from her house and wet the road to keep it from getting too dusty or warm enough to crack.

Cue loud shriek and two giant robots hovering towards Tofu’s clinic with one of them making a phone call through her communication gear for extra clothes. I pity the old woman but that’s life for you.

Both teens then transformed back and hid in the clinic proper until their clothes, which were brought by Genma rather than Kasumi for obvious reasons, were donned.

After which, both Ranma and Akane had run as quickly as they could to class. As they passed through the gate, the pair had breezed through the foot lockers and arrived in class…five minutes late.

Akane then blamed Ranma for getting them late in the first place with the ponytailed teen doing the same.

They had never realized the approaching taller kendoist’s entrance until they had heard his loud voice echo through the halls.

Immediately, both teens had placed their buckets as far away as possible as triggering their transformation in school was a really bad move.

Kuno himself was about to slash at Ranma when an authoritative voice had said from behind the tall third year high school student – “I’m sure that you don’t want a repeat of last week’s debacle don’t you?”

“Feh.” Tatewaki Kuno said while letting his bokken’s edge hit the floor. “That monster would not have won if I was not tricked into believing it is the beauteous maiden Akane Tendou.”

“He still wouldn’t believe that was me he was losing to,” Akane had whispered in Ranma’s left ear as explanation. “I came to class cursed since I was really running late. This fool was waiting for me and actually tried to knock me out since the others had made a run for it upon seeing Air Raiser not Akane Tendou approaching.”

“I’m guessing that opposite had happened.” Ranma had whispered back. “Poor guy.”

“What are you whispering about?” Kuno had said upon seeing that neither martial artist was listening to him. A certain whack over the head had gained his attention though.

“Now what was that for?!”

“I suggest that we get to class since you don’t want to be hospitalized a second time,” the second speaker turned out to be Nabiki. Ranma was clearly surprised by the elder Tendou sister’s presence until he realized that Kuno had attacked Akane before.

“Kuno, get out of here since you obviously have class.” Akane was saying with a dismissive wave of her hand. “Also, everyone here knows that the giant ‘golem’ with wings was me.”

“I will not believe that as I will not believe that you and this…this barbarian would be living under the same roof,” the older brunet was saying with a shaking finger at Ranma.

“It’s not like we wanted to,” Ranma said as he had turned the offending digit away from his face. “For now, until our fathers would agree on what to do with our engagement, we’ll just have to stay with the Tendous.”

A moment later, the pony tailed teen had regretted saying anything about his and Akane’s engagement as he saw the aforementioned girl’s palm hitting her face as well as the suddenly opened windows on either side of them.

From the windows, a crowd of students wiggling and shouting questions about the engagement was seen. Akane had gotten the girls while Ranma had gotten the boys.

A few of the questions had ranged from “When’s the wedding” to “Where’s the honeymoon going to be held”.

If one were looking at Kuno that time, like Nabiki for instance, he or she could see the tick marks throbbing on his forehead. The middle Tendou sister had seen it and moved as far away as possible.

No one would be surprised to see Ranma running away from the classroom with Kuno in hot pursuit. Akane and her classmates had joined in the chase with Nabiki heading back to her classroom.

The chase had ended with Ranma jumping out of the newly opened window followed by the kendoist. Akane had arrived just in time to say. “You knucklehead, this is the third floor.”

“Don’t worry, Akane.” Ranma said with a smile and a wave. “I’ll be just fine.”

Looking down, he then added. “Oh shit! Why does it always have to be water?”

Both teens had landed in the junior Olympic size swimming pool with Ranma quickly stepping out of the pool in Wing Zero’s form and stood on the open grassy ground, careful on keeping himself from making gundum sized footprints on it.

He then picked up the unconscious older teen from the bottom of the pool and dropped him on the ground near his car-sized feet.

Akane could not help but sigh at the fact that Ranma had quickly gotten himself out of the pool before ordering two of the boys beside her – Daisuke and Hiroshi to get some spare clothes from their lockers as well as a kettle and give them to the newcomer.

Both of them did as they had realized that Ranma had the nearly the same cursed form as their classmate Akane did.

The four classmates had gone back to class and went home together for a really long explanation on why Ranma had gotten a similar curse to their friend Akane along with two more companions.

“I’m not sure if I can envy you guys,” Daisuke was saying to both cursed teens as the six students had gone to the Tendou compound in a group.

“Why’s that?”

“Well, aside from the garment problems, you’re untouchable.” The dark haired teen was saying with his hands behind his head. “On the other hand, everyone would like to use you for something.”

“And that’s why I had mixed feelings about seeing you for the first time, Ranma.” Akane said while trying to hide her blush. “On one hand, I finally have someone who I can relate to and actually cry on his shoulder while still cursed and on the other, I thought that you’re with some shady government official or the Yakuza.”

“Well, knowing Pop, we may have to deal with ‘em sooner or later.” The ponytailed teen said with a smirk.

“Don’t even joke about that,” the light haired brunette named Yuka was telling the taller teen. “Those guys don’t fool around.”

“She’s got a point,” Akane said with a pointed look at her partner (as she was not technically engaged to him…yet). “Even then, I got Nabs to tell them no since I don’t do hits or protection rackets. I only protect my family, friends, and those that really need protection since that’s how I tick.”

“Yeah, me too.” Ranma said with a nod. “It comes with the territory, being a martial artist and all.”

Akane had blushed once again at the reminder that she and her possible fiancé were more alike than she had thought. She quickly shook it off before anyone would notice it.

By the time the group had arrived at the said compound, they had met Kasumi who was holding two heavy baskets of groceries.

The boys had helped out, mostly to earn for themselves a good impression from Kasumi. The girls had followed and making small talk with the older girl as they went inside.

Inside Akane’s room, both cursed teens had given their respective stories. The boys were shocked that their blue haired classmate had gone a short trip to a least known cursed training ground in northwestern China during the summer vacation.

Ranma was especially surprised since his future fiancée had gone to Jusenkyo before he did. From what he could understand about travelling, the father and daughter tandem had travelled by planes, trains, and buses to arrive at the town nearest the aforementioned springs and thus did not do much hiking to save time.

On the other hand, both she and her father were able to stay longer and actually hiked (and even jogged) part of the way back to make up for the lost opportunities to train.

In short, while Akane may not be as trained as he is, she could still keep up especially if he had slackened off due to school now becoming important to him.

Even then, having the curse would also likely get the girl to join him in further training as she was the only one he could spar with in their cursed forms as well. Not that training of martial arts could actually be done easily with a nineteen meter robotic body anyway.

After the guests had gone home, Ranma had finally agreed to Akane’s request to train further into martial arts while getting him to enjoy doing schoolwork.

The pony-tailed martial artists did it because ever since he had mental images or bits of information flashing through his mind, and he wanted to know more about them. He could only do that if he had gone through school though.  

-oOo-

The following week was filled with misadventures on studying courtesy of Ranma’s inability (more like refusal) to study since it was too boring and it was not the information he was looking for.

“Ranma, the only way that you could understand what those terms and symbols that you’ve been seeing whenever you use Zero’s various systems, is when you study science and math.” Akane had once said while grinding her teeth in frustration during one particularly hard study session. “Just to make it easier for you, think of it as a challenge to learn something new that would be a great help in future battles.”

“Sorry, Akane.” Ranma’s facial features had shown sincerity for his part. “I actually wanted to learn more than martial arts since I can’t just pull martial arts in my cursed form. Learning more things may help me overcome that particular weakness and maybe bail me out of a bad spot once Pops gets me into it.”

“That’s the spirit, Ranma.” The blue haired girl said with a winsome smile that tugged the pony-tailed teen’s heart ever so slightly. “Even though I wanted to learn the Art, there really some things that surpass it in importance.”

The teens had continued their joined studying while pointedly ignoring the old men who were celebrating that the schools would be joined at last.

As the days and nights had gone by, Ranma was now able to both manage both his training and school work along with his fiancée. In turn, Akane was able to find excuses to train her body a little more, even having their friends to join them in training.

There was still something that Akane had not told her fiancé yet since it was not that big an issue anyway even though it would still come to light courtesy of a little early morning cloudburst making puddles in the streets and an inconsiderate driver.

It was about a week from the day that Ranma had arrived when the said incident had taken place. Since they were unusually early that day (not to mention that two winged gundums going to school would make a really big uproar among the student body and faculty), the duo had decided to visit a certain chiropractic’s clinic that was along the way to Nerima High.

Dr. Tofu Ono was more than happy to see the cursed teens as he was already prepped by Soun on what to do in case they ended up cursed on their way to school. This would explain why some spare uniforms and Chinese clothing were stocked in his spare cabinet.

“I am finally glad to meet you properly, Ranma.” Tofu was telling the slightly shorter teen upon the latter’s emerging from the makeshift fenced part of the empty lot beside his clinic that he had used once to train and now used to change Ranma and Akane back to their true forms. “Before, Akane really had to rely on me and her friends to make her accept her curse. Now, she could see that she’s not the only one who has it and she felt much better afterward.”

“Yeah, it was a relief for me too.” The pony-tailed teen had replied with his right hand behind his head. “I’m now doubly glad that I’m not seeing the business end of the buster rifle these days.”

“You still may, Ranma.” Akane said with an ominous tone before entering the said area in one big stride. “You still may.”

“So tell me, how did you and Miss Super Serious Gal actually meet?” Ranma said with a smirk in the hopes of riling his fiancée up.

“I heard that, Ranma.” Akane’s voice had gotten softer as she had turned back to human form.

“Well, I had set up shop here about seven or eight years ago and there was this little girl that was always brought here by middle-school sister because of her various bruises.” Tofu then explained to the interested teen. “She says that it was due to her hard training in martial arts and it was hard not to believe since there was no bruise that was the same every time they came here.”

“I can imagine,” the younger man said with a wistful smile. “So since then, you’re the family doctor?”

“Not to brag, but I’ve also tried dabbing in some herbal medicine. It did help my patients and my business in various ways,” The good doctor had also added, making the teen laugh at him at how Tofu had tried to remain humble despite of his given boast.

“Thanks for the tip, Doc.” Ranma then picked up his bag that he had discarded at the front door as he had waited for Akane to finish putting on her uniform.

The two teens had arrived just in time to breeze through the horde of dateless doofuses along with Tatewaki Kuno, age 17, height 5’11, and weighs about 65 kilos.

Maybe Kuno should be a stand in for Combattler V; Oh wait, the latter does not use swords just yo-yos while Kuno himself is a yo-yo.

Anyway… the soon to be lovebirds had arrived at the first class with ten minutes to spare, leaving behind a mess of people lying on the ground and groaning in pain.

-oOo-

Two weeks of nothing but classes does tend a teen itching for some action. Sparring with his fiancé in either form was fun, but Ranma could not go all out on her…yet.

Ranma wanted to against someone he could fight with no limits, even though Air Raiser could really take the hits even against Wing Zero’s punches and kicks and vice-versa.

In a way, being in their cursed forms had gotten them into moments of deja-vu as if the gundums themselves had fallen in love with each other before they were dropped to the springs.

Of course it would be quite a stretch that two ultra-advanced war machines could feel such human feelings for each other, that is (even though in two other dimensions, they sure did).

The two teens would spar in the mountains near their ward with their friends in tow to bring the food and more importantly, the kettles and clothes.

It soon came to be that Daisuke and Hiroshi had also liked to learn on how to fight as it would come handy against the usual bully or worse a mugger. The same could be said for both Sayuki and Yuka who had added rapists to the list of those to be wary from.

It was surprising on how the four ordinary high school students had tried to learn martial arts for seemingly ordinary reasons, but then again, for an ordinary student or teen for that matter, it was a good enough reason.

This is why the abovementioned students were already about halfway of learning the basics of martial arts and may shift to the advanced lessons with a month or two.  

It was also enough time for Ryoga who had gotten into a village only twenty kilometers from Tokyo to arrive in Furinkan High School around that specific time period.

Speaking of whom, I think that I can see the Eternally Lost Boy right now, leaning on the concrete wall near the polished brass sign that says “Furinkan High School”.

“Excuse me, but where is Furinkan High School?” Ryoga had asked a second year high school student as he had grabbed the latter by the collar.

The student simply looked at the stranger in what could be described as a “Are you kidding me?” look before pointing at the sign beside the bandanna wearing teen.

“Oh,” Ryoga then said with a sheepish smile as he had let go of the younger teen. “Sorry about that.”

The said teen had taken off with a flurry of steps from the yellow shirted weirdo as the former had called the latter on his way to the karaoke club for an afternoon off with his friends.

Ryoga had briefly wondered as to why the teen he had asked had run off like that; he did not have much time to worry about it as he could hear the voice of his hated rival close by.

He had scaled the wall quickly quick enough to confirm his suspicions before jumping in an arc right at the spot where Ranma and his friends would be at the right moment.

Ranma’s and Akane’s instincts had gone loco at the arriving threat’s power level thus the pair had grabbed their friends before the impact of the end of the bamboo umbrella had hit the concrete.

The force of the impact coupled with the release of concentrated chi from the abovementioned umbrella on the ground had combined to create a three foot wide crater that is also five inches deep where the teens would have been if they were not pushed away.

“What’s the big idea?” Ranma was saying to the kneeling figure in the middle of the crater only to somewhat recognize the spotted bandanna and the yellow shirt and black pant combo that had seen better days. “Uh, do I know you from somewhere?”

“Of course, you do.” The stranger screamed as soon as he had stood up from his crouch. “I’m your rival, dammit.”

“Rival?” The pony-tailed teen said in confusion. “Look pal, I’ve only got one self-confessed rival and that was back in middle school. Come to think of it, he looks a lot like you.”

“That’s because it is me, you idiot!”

“Ryoga, is that you?”

“Of course, it’s me.” The Lost Boy shouted in irritation. “You’ve still got to pay for making my life hell.”

“Excuse me fer a minute,” Ranma said before his rival could throw a punch, the cursed teen then ran past the gates at an incredible speed before returning five minutes later.

“What’s this supposed to mean?!” Ryoga was saying after catching a small plastic bag with melon bread inside that his old schoolmate had thrown at him. “Are you mocking me or something?”

“What? No!” Ranma said in confusion along with the rest of his friends who were watching the whole conversation with interest. “I just thought that I’d give ya some bread to make up for the feud we had when we were kids.”

“It isn’t about the bread, you knucklehead?!” Ryoga then charged at his rival with an upraised fist. The straightforward attack had done nothing other than get Ryoga in an awkward position outside of the circle with his fist still in the air. “Stay still and fight me like a man.”

“Sure, but at least give me a reason to do so.” Ranma answered as he had leapt, evaded, and blocked hits from his rival. “I just can’t fight just for fun, y’know.”

“You want a reason,” Ryoga then switched tactics as he had used his feet and legs for his next attacks. “I’ll be more than happy to give you one.”

In his rage, he had aimed a mid-kick at Akane only to be met by a raised knee from the cursed girl before she had quickly put her left leg back on the ground in case someone would look under her skirt.

In addition, Akane had added with a snarl. “Do that again and I’ll kick your butt.”

Ryoga had scoffed at the threat only to find Ranma coming towards him with a fist held high. “Let’s dance, Saotome.”

The two teens did fight evenly for a minute or so until Ryoga had once again charged like an ox only to miss and hit the school on his way out, and I meant that literally.

“What was that all about?” Yuka had asked after the group had gone to their respective homes. “I didn’t understand a thing.”

“You’re not the only one,” both Hiroshi and Ranma said at the same time.

“Dude, quit copying me.” Both teens told each other in stereo before their own friend had knocked their heads together.

After the laughter had stopped, Ranma then told his friends the whole deal with Ryoga or at least what he knew all about it.

Ranma never knew that there was a second reason for Ryoga’s hatred of him and sure enough, Nerima including its JSDF base would suffer dearly for it.

-oOo-

That day had come around two weeks after their meeting in front of the school; Ranma had already gotten a challenge letter from Ryoga to meet in the Furinkan soccer field a week after their fateful meeting to fight the next day.

From what he had known about his friend/rival, Ranma had correctly guessed that Ryoga would arrive at the said spot a week later. He was right; the fanged boy did arrive a week later.

So here we are at the appointed place for the continuation of the duel between Ranma Saotome and Ryoga Hibiki with plenty of the students of the school sitting either on the bleachers or the grass to watch it.

With this many people watching the fight, we could surely expect someone who would take advantage of this. And who would be a better example of this than Nabiki Tendou, resident bookie/financier for the students of her school.

You know, if this was not a parody of both of my stories (one of which is locked away for good along with its sequel and spin-off); I would have been less sarcastic with my narration. Then again, more flames for me, yay.

Anyway, the combatants had finally faced each other for a few minutes to size the other up. But let’s face it, Ryoga is considered to be the more impatient one thus he had gone first with an outstretched fist seeking a bull’s eye in Ranma’s cheek.

Ranma had evaded the straightforward blow lazily before aiming a kick at his opponent’s chest. The fanged boy had let a huge breath to suck in the needed air after the blow before charging at the pony-tailed teen once again.

This time, he had started with another punch that was much slower than the first one he threw. And again, it was evaded by Ranma.

The only difference was that Ryoga had counted on his opponent’s evasion and thus had readied another punch at the opposite direction with his other fist – straight to Ranma’s head.

Ranma had fallen to the ground at the pain of the blow; he never figured that Ryoga would utilize such a dirty trick on him. Of course, in any real fight, nothing would be considered as dirty, just useful.

Ryoga had taken his time as Ranma was massaging the part where he was struck. Within the grass field far to their right, Akane was already saying some unladylike words at the visitor’s actions.

“D’you like that?” The fanged boy was now taunting his opponent, gleeful at his quick thinking. “Honestly, Ranma. That was nothing to the fights I’ve gotten into in Hong Kong.”

“Yeah, well.” The pony-tailed teen was saying as he stood up, still a bit woozy but alright. “I’d never figger that you’d actually hit me there that hard. I guess its gloves off then.”

“Yep,” Ryoga then said as he had brought out his umbrella into play. “Gloves off.”

The battle had continued with Ranma now forced to keep his distance or risk being swatted by the chi-empowered bamboo umbrella.

He did try to get close a few times to either disarm the fanged boy or put in some needed attacks deep inside the Lost Boy’s weapon range before quickly pulling back.

Ryoga, on the other hand, was continuously attacking the pony-tailed teen in order to either get Ranma to slow down or to soften him up for the finishing blow.

The fanged boy was also trying to get Ranma be tied down as he had another plan in mind just as he had slashed the air in front of him while trying to tag his opponent with a measured swing to the shoulder.

In response, Ranma had timed his upward kick to the chin upon flattening himself on the ground just enough for Ryoga to let go of his favored weapon and send it flying in the air.

At the same time, Ryoga had thrown something at Ranma’s exposed left wrist to keep the other from running away after getting himself disarmed.

Ranma was so shocked at the handcuffs with a high tensile wire tied to it that he did not see the kick to his stomach, sending him a few feet away with Ryoga riding the momentum while dragging his feet.

“Not cool, Ryoga.” The pony-tailed teen said after getting his breath back. “That was pretty low, even for you.”

“Gloves off, remember?” Ryoga said with a smirk as he stood up from where he too had fallen due to momentum. “Besides, I thought your style was Anything Goes.”

“I guess I can do this then,” Ranma said as he had quickly bent down and scooped up some grass and topsoil with his closed fingers before throwing it at the fanged boy’s face. “Eat dirt, Ryoga.”

The pigtailed teen then continued his assault by laying the slightly blinded martial artist a flurry of blows all through the front of his body using both kicks and punches.

Ryoga had somehow weathered them all while keeping his arms over his face, he only put them down when the blows had lessened then stopped.

It was only then that he saw that Ranma was a bit winded in having thrown as many punches as he did.

Far to their left and back, Akane was trying her best to lift the bamboo umbrella off the ground in order to throw it to her sparring partner.

No such luck, the blue haired martial artist would thank the gods if that thing could even be lifted two feet off the ground, let alone be thrown to where the boys were fighting. Her friends were not much help either as that damn umbrella must have weighed a ton.

In truth, the residual chi that had remained within the umbrella’s fiber had somewhat bonded with that of the ground thus even if Akane would try to lift it with her chi, it would not work at all.

This was why Akane had shouted to her warning to her sparring partner. “Watch out, Ryoga’s much stronger than I thought.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Ranma had shouted back with a bit of sarcasm evident in his tone as he had missed being pounded to the ground via a hammer kick by jumping aside to his left. “Just get outta of the way.”

“Yeah, yeah.” The blue haired girl had replied as she had herded the other teens to a safer place to watch the battle. “Don’t get yourself killed out there.”

“Ha ha, very funny.” Ranma had replied while ducking from a thrown high kick and responded with a mid-level kick of his own to Ryoga’s stomach.

The blow had gotten the bandanna wearing boy to cough a bit as the wind was knocked out of him for a few seconds.

Ranma then threw mixed punches aimed for the face and chest with various levels of kicks aiming from the knees to the nose of his resilient enemy.

Ryoga was now wobbling as most of the attacks were done randomly and thus had scored hits at his various pressure points.

Thankfully, Ranma did not hit them at full force or that would have seriously disabled or killed his opponent outright.

The pony-tailed martial artist had remained on guard as he had watched Ryoga stopped wobbling while he strained to keep himself from being pulled by the wire still attached to the cuff on his left wrist.

“Not bad, Ranma.” Ryoga said, while spitting some blood to the ground and wiping the rest of his sweaty face with his dirtied right hand. “Not bad at all.”

“You’re beaten, Ryoga.” Ranma said with a mixture of pity and tiredness from his face. “Leave and the next time we do meet it would be as friends…or at least, friendly rivals.”

“You’ve always been a dreamer, Ranma.” Ryoga said before letting loose a mirthless laugh that seemed so menacing with bloodied nose and teeth. “But I know that I’ll win this fight since even at your best, I’m still tougher than you. And…”

“I never hesitate to take the fight to the next level,” Ryoga added as he had tugged on the wire hard enough to pull Ranma to him.

A haymaker was landed on the surprised pony-tailed teen’s chin before the said teen was flung towards the still lying umbrella far from them even before hitting the ground.

Ranma had woken up upon hitting the ground hard just next to the umbrella which Ryoga had now taken hold, before spitting some blood off his mouth.

A pair of high-level kicks aimed at the left hand of the fanged martial artist had gotten the latter to let go of the umbrella followed by the umbrella itself being catapulted even farther and higher from the combatants.

Seeing that Ranma was slowly getting the advantage once again and that he needed to lick his wounds for the time being, Ryoga had beaten a hasty retreat with his opponent hot on his heels.

Both martial artists had climbed up the wired fence and made a run for it through the school grounds.

The students had gone their separate ways to watch the ongoing fight from a safe distance with Akane and her friends going the same way as the combatants themselves.

The fight had continued towards the drinking fountains where the Chemistry Club had placed their homemade (more like lab made) explosive devices in order to get their revenge on Ranma for taking Akane (and their dream of getting a cool giant female robot of their own) from them.

Jeez, they should have spent their energies on making a life size replica of the RX-078 Gundum and have that made as their crowning glory. I mean, it would take them a good twenty years before they got that one up and running, just not literally that is.

Even then that particular plan was thwarted since martial artists were taught to be light on their feet to the point of not leaving footprints on the ground or even sand.

The said mines were not even triggered as the two brawlers had stepped on them twice, thrice, or even five times in succession.

The same could be said for Akane and her friends who had been trained on the same thing, although for Sayuri and the others, it was more for making quiet footsteps as they make their escape from an attempt on their lives or persons.

The whole Chemistry club was so shocked to see that their bombs had essentially “bombed” to borrow a cliché phrase from the nineties that they had done a Wile E Coyote and essentially stomped on the buried baby blockbusters with both feet.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know what had happened next (chuckles).

For those who did not get the joke, let us just say that the school clinic was busy healing some first degree burns on them and maybe a busted limb or a broken rib due to the force of the explosions.

The one thing that did go right was that a rouge piece of the explosives’ plastic shell had cut the wire bounding the two duelers and Ryoga had used the resulting confusion to retrieve his lost advantage by getting another weapon against Ranma.

The ponytailed teen in turn had continued to chase Ryoga as with the others to keep him from making even more collateral damage.

-oOo-

The chase between the dueling martial artists had continued past the two meter high concrete wall that they had scaled into the crowded streets of Nerima.

Both combatants had paused for a moment so they could catch their breaths beside the utility transmission poles on both sides of the street.

They had paused enough for Nabiki and two of her lackeys to catch up with them by means of a short cut while Akane and the others arriving a little later, no doubt it was due to their taking of the long route to catch up to the two young men.

“Here, Ryoga.” The middle Tendou sister said in a near whisper. “These super strength pills will help you defeat Ranma.”

“Are you sure that these would even work?” was the bandanna wearing martial artist’s skeptical response.

“Have I ever lied to you before?” Nabiki said sweetly.

Having nothing to answer, Ryoga had taken the pills in one gulp before washing them down with a glass of water that a lackey had shakily given to him.

His mind pumped up, the Eternal Lost Boy had hugged the utility pole in front of him much like a tourniquet. Understandably, the concrete pole had broken at the points of compression (the part of the pole being bear hugged) and was lifted a good three feet by Ryoga using both hands.

The said pole was then swung in a downward angular slash at the teen that was hiding behind a similar pole across the street, its wires having snapped at the given action.

The said teen wearing a Chinese red shirt and black pants had made a tuck and roll to avoid the incoming cement made impromptu weapon and thus only the other utility pole was hit with Ryoga continuing to swing the pole in Ranma’s direction before it was evaded completely.

As a result, the struck utility pole had broken at the part where it had met the swung pole and it fell down towards at the opposite direction of the pole that hit it, bringing down the various electrical and telephone wires along with it.

Seeing the falling utility poles, Nabiki had herded the others to a safer place. For the middle Tendou sister, it was more to ensure that her lackey’s parents would not blame her for causing harm to their children.

Along the way, they had hide amongst parked cars to avoid getting hit by shrapnel of various makes and sizes ranging to tiny pieces of concrete to large shards of broken automotive glass from the ones that were hit in the follow up swing that Ryoga had made as he chased after his opponent.

The aforementioned Lost Boy had seen Ranma run through the street in the direction of downtown, the latter hoping that he could lose Ryoga in the maze of streets and buildings.

Ryoga had chased his rival through the street, swinging his large weapon in the hopes of bringing him down.

Thus, even concrete walls were not immune to damage caused by the wildly swinging super powered teen as they were dotted with cracks, holes, and scratches across its smooth and white surface.

“Damn it, Ryoga.” Ranma yelled in between breaths as he had ducked to avoid being hit by the swung pole that passed just over his back. “This is a gentlemen’s fight so no killing.”

With each swing, the pole had hit an immovable object and broke up or was torn off after colliding with the said object, whether it was a car, another pole, or just anything that did not even evade it even a telephone booth that was seen lying on its side, broken in half with the broken phone lying meters away. Ryoga did intentionally miss the fire hydrant for a good reason though.

This would explain why the pole keep getting shorter as the chase had gone on, but with each section broken off, Ryoga would run even faster to keep up with his rival.

The fanged boy had even shouted back. “Who says I’m going to kill you. I’ll just flatten you a bit.”

“Very funny.”

The whole chase had continued to the Nerima City Zoo that was already evacuated except for the people in charge of the cages.

The whole town could already see the path of carnage from Furinkan High in their television sets, but none could actually come in between a fight between two martial artists especially since one of them could transform into an even more dangerous figure.

Once the teens had entered the Zoo, their rampage had caused them to break the steel bars or shatter the walls surrounding the animals. The frightened animals had unsurprisingly bolted from their places of refuge to seek it elsewhere with zoo keepers being right on their heels.

-oOo-

As for the rest of the students, they had to navigate through the hazardous path that was left in the wake of the two duelists.

Smashed cars, fallen utility poles, recent potholes, and walls that were holed completely were just some of the property damages that they had seen as they ran past angry housewives, limping mailmen, sprawled newspaper boys, and other unfortunate victims of a duel gone bad, real bad.

“Wow, Nabs.” Akane was saying as she and her friends had skirted a live wire that was still making a tiny lightning bolt to the ground before it was disconnected. “What did you ever do to Ryoga?”

“Just gave him a boost of confidence,” the middle Tendou sister said with a look of superiority to keep her youngest sister from finding out her look of dismay beneath the mask she always wore. “I mean, didn’t you did that with your fiancé earlier.”

“Ranma’s my friend and sparring partner so of course I’m going to cheer for him.” Akane replied as she had briefly looked back and made a raspberry. “So there.”

It was only due to Sayuri’s slight tug that the blue haired martial artist did not trip over a newly made pothole in front of her.

She even added. “Akane, we need to get there fast. The guys had already passed us a minute ago.”

“Right, sorry.”

The three girls then sped up to catch up with both Daisuke and Hiroshi who were now in the lead of the crowd of students following their friend – Ranma.

Behind them was a neighborhood so shaken up, a tsunami of frantic calls had flooded the emergency switchboards for the whole ward eventually leading to Tokyo City Hall.

The whole zoo was already surrounded by police but they were kept busy by panicking animals and zoo keepers that had charged through their ranks.

Holes, literally big enough for a bus to drive in, were formed in the cage walls as well as the walls of the zoo itself as the police were forced to corral the beasts that would may harm the general populace in search of safe havens.

In one of these holes, a group of high school students had passed through to watch and if possible, stop the duel before things would get worse.

In the middle of all the attention (and even some TV choppers that were getting a live feed of the fight), two martial artists were still duking it out with one of them being kicked inside the monkey cages.

The said teen that was kicked in had stood up quickly and actually tore off a painted steel bar in order to parry the shortened utility pole with jagged spikes at one end.

The resulting parries were less than perfect considering the size of the impromptu weapon that were used, but Ranma was anything except stupid when it comes to fighting.

Rather than using brute force versus brute force, the pony-tailed teen had switched tactics and used his own impromptu weapon to tag his opponent’s weak spots while dodging the slashes and thrusts made onto him.

A good example would be when Ryoga had tried to slam him from above. The pole’s edge had hit the concrete deck and broke up even further with jagged concrete chips flying in all directions.

All Ranma had to do was to bat the said chips back in his opponent’s direction thus Ryoga had some small cuts on his face, torso, and legs. An arching swing to the kidneys had followed with the bandanna wearing teen grunting at the pain it caused, but he still held on to his own weapon.

“Heh, that was actually a smart move.” Ryoga had to smile at the creativeness of his opponent as he said so. It would make his victory over his rival much sweeter. “I may have to commend your using your head that time, but I think I’ll do that after I beat you to a pulp.”

“Talk is cheap,” Ranma had replied with a come hither movement of his free hand as he was trying to hide how tired he was. “Let’s get this duel over and done with.”

By the time that Akane and her friends had arrived, they could see the chaos at the zoo as some of their schoolmates had run from animals that had gone amuck.

Even then, there were some that had enjoyed the company of the more sedate creatures that just wanted to do some running around.  

A few more steps further in the hellish scene and they were able to catch up to Hiroshi and Daisuke who had sat down after calming their schoolmates down and getting them to watch from a safe distance or even better – help corral some of the escaped animals.

“What’s up, Hiroshi?” Sayuri had said upon reaching her friends. “Any way we could stop those two lunatics?”

“None,” the sandy haired teen replied as he had looked up at his crush. “Ranma had told us that it was his fight and we should butt out unless we want to get hurt.”

“That’s Ranma alright,” Akane said with a wry smile as she shook her head. “But I’m not going to get hurt.”

“No, Akane.” All four teens said as they had the blue haired martial artist in a full nelson. “You know that Ranma would hate you for taking his fight away from him.”

“You don’t understand,” Akane had replied. “Look at him; he’s already bleeding from all those wounds he’d gotten. I have to stop them.”

“Stay out of this, Akane.” Ranma had shouted without even turning around as he had continued to block or tag Ryoga with his steel bar. “Last thing I need is a busybody tomboy.”

“What did you just say?!”

And all hell just broke loose, thanks to a certain someone’s foot in mouth disease, just wonderful.

-oOo-

Both male martial artists had heard the girl’s battle cry thus had separated quickly from each other before Ranma was forced to defend himself from Akane’s attacks and later Ryoga’s as well.

Ryoga, on the other hand, was able to draw first blood with a few hits on a distracted pony-tailed martial artist before Akane had turned on him.

From then on, it was the fanged boy who was put on the defensive as he was already tired from dealing with Ranma with Akane having fresher legs than either he or the pony-tailed martial artist do.

All of this was already known by the newest combatant as she was able to rest even for a few minutes and had not used up much of her energy for the whole running fight.

Thus, Ranma was forced to rest for the meantime as his sparring partner had taken the Lost Boy’s attention as the latter two had moved to a new and more spacious battlefield. In their place, his friends had moved to where he was sitting in order to tend to his wounds.

Akane had sneaked a look at her friends after sliding under a swung concrete post and kicking upward at her opponent’s stomach before rolling away from harm. Ryoga had staggered at the attack that he was not able to see thus not was able to counter.

The bluish-black haired martial artist had quickly stood up and going into a loose stance with her legs bent and her arms crossed in front of her.

Shaking both his pain and confusion off at the surprise attack, Ryoga had slowly straightened himself and also made a combat stance while making tactical decisions on how to deal with the newest interloper while keeping her mostly unharmed.

Akane did not as much compunctions as Ryoga did since she was dismayed with the damage done to her hometown and the fact that she had to prove herself as a martial artist even against a powerful opponent like Ryoga.

So far, Akane was doing well with her speed and by her opponent holding a cumbersome weapon that keeps her hidden at certain times.

Even then, Ryoga was still a threat that could hurt her if she was not careful. That short yet spiked concrete pole he was holding was not helping her chances either.

To test her opponent’s defenses, Akane then attacked head on yet either stepped back or sidestepped any of Ryoga’s swinging of his weapon in retaliation.

Even then, Akane still had miscalculated the fanged boy’s intention and thus was slashed by the pole’s jagged edge thrice as Ryoga had managed to trap her in between two trees within the picnic area where the martial artists were fighting in.

This time, Ranma had enough of waiting and proceeded to charge at his old rival. Ryoga had heard the sharp crack of leaves, branches, and concrete chips under Ranma’s feet and turned around.

Legs had met in mid-air in between the now bitter rivals as things had changed between them.

Ranma was ticked off at the sight of his sparring partner holding her wounds on her arms and torso, Akane’s uniform blouse being ripped at the places that she was slashed. Ryoga, on the other hand, was angry at having his victory over the interloper being taken from him.

The fight had crossed the line from being between two martial artists trying to beat the other to submission to two warriors that would win by any means possible.

After jumping from each other, Ranma then ran to another location. His rival would call him a coward as he had chased the pony-tailed teen that the latter had ignored.

As before, it was Akane’s friends who had treated the girl’s wounds and kept her from harm. The girls were already using the remaining bandages from their foray with Ranma minutes before.

Ranma and Ryoga did not just contend themselves with kicks and punches, but rather they used other body appendages like their heads as they repeatedly pummeled each other savagely like animals.

The shortened concrete pole was already shattered by a solid punch that Ranma had thrown as Ryoga had used it to shield himself.

Anything within reach was now used as weapons, some of them blunt like a thick tree branch or piercing like a pitchfork. Even rocks or broken chips of concrete were made into to throwing weapons that were either blocked or made even more fresh wounds for the combatants.

Akane and the others could only watch in despair at the brutality of the fight. The blue haired martial artist herself had even regretted her earlier action only to be reminded that she was only doing it to save Ranma’s life from the berserker teen.

Ranma was in the middle of an overhead kick as his opponent was taken down courtesy of a swung park bench that batted his opponent towards a drinking fountain.

From this point on, we can safely say that the level of destruction had just risen by a factor of five. Why did I say that; just keep reading to find out.

-oOo-

Witnesses that day were still shocked and mystified at the fact that the brawling teens had transformed to nineteen meter robots in about a blink of an eye upon being drenched by the gushing water from the decimated fountain’s broken pipes.

One would have been tempted to laugh at what could be seen in Ryoga’s cursed form’s chest, but seeing two giant robots now wielding similarly sized weapons and trying to destroy each other along with everything or everyone around it, was not that amusing to begin with.

Akane was aghast at the double transformation and she had to be shaken by Yuka just to recover her bearings. They and their other friends were the only civilians left in the zoo proper as everyone else had run away screaming in terror.

“Akane, I’m scared.” Sayuri was saying from Hiroshi’s tender embrace. “How can we stop those two lunatics now?”

Daisuke had ignored the shouts of the police to leave as the Special Weapons and Tactics squad in another part of the zoo was firing their assault weapons uselessly at the dueling gundums as he was more concerned about the crying young woman now in his arms.

A policeman then approached the group before saying. “Please follow me to safety. Our chief had called for help with the JSDF.”

Hearing the initials of the armed forces of her country, Akane had made a run for it to the still standing administration office and disappeared.

The officer, who was successfully distracted by the other teens, was aghast upon seeing a third giant robot emerge from behind the abovementioned building.

Unlike the other two, it was obviously female and not male as the one called Wing Zero was or female yet looking masculine due to its heft as the one with two curved swords in hand.

The third giant robot, that the light brunette named Sayuri had called Air Raiser, entered the battle with a jump kick at the third giant robot’s back before landing shakily on two legs.

“Hey, you shouldn’t be here, Raiser.” Wing Zero said as he had straightened up and sheathed its beam saber from where he stood, over the rubble of the row of monkey cells. “You’ve done enough damage already, both to yourself and that nutcase over there.”

“Who are you calling a nutcase, Ranma?” The third machine said as it slowly stood up, looking for its heat shortels that it had let got earlier. “It was clearly your fault that I became this monstrosity.”

“Shut up!!” Air Raiser said to both gundums. “I’ve had enough of you two destroying property and almost taking of lives. I suggest that we stand down and talk this over like civilized people.”

“I would if my threat detectors were not flashing like a disco ball.”

“Shut up, Iris.” Both Wing Zero and Air Raiser shouted at the same time. Realizing what they had done, both gundums had lowered their heads and twiddled their fingers as if they had spoken something embarrassing.

Iris (Ryoga) looked dumbstruck for a second before roaring in laughter. In their embarrassment, neither of the other two gundums had given him any attention.

It was only when heat seeking and radar guided missiles were launched at the three war machines that they had finally realized their situation and separated before shooting down the said missiles with their guns.

Unlike the winged gundums, Iris had fought back. First, it had also fired its guns at the nearing jets and took down two Mitsubishi F-15 jet fighters from the attacking squadron, its pilots ejecting from the stricken planes.

This was followed by hastily grabbed and thrown Heat Shortels that had chased the remaining three jets and ended up slashing two buildings in halves before returning to its owner.

It was this action that had reignited the fight between the three gundums as both Zero and Air Raiser had tried to stop Iris from making further damage that the third gundum had mistakenly thought to be an effort to double team “him”.

From Soun’s vantage point in the steel door of the shelter near his home, he could see Wing Zero flying uncontrollably into another building head first and screaming, making the building become rubble as the gundum had collided with it full force.

Borrowing a pair of binoculars from a young soldier that was guarding the shelter, Soun could then see his youngest daughter trading punches and kicks at the now disarmed gundum that he had learned to be Iris coming from the incessant chatter coming out of the speaker of the soldier’s two way radio.

A quick look at the left had showed him the leaning heat shortels (curved schimatars that are seven meters long) over a few demolished houses near the park.

Kasumi had found her father watching the battle with binoculars and asked him to come back to the shelter as it was too dangerous outside. Ranma had shaken the cobwebs off his head and got back into the battle, back and foot thrusters blazing.

“Alright, but I do wish that Ranma would pick up the pace a bit.” The elder Tendou said with a sigh upon seeing the three-way battle going underway. “Seeing Akane fighting that giant goon makes me wish that it would be I who will be there and that she would be here.”

“I understand, Father.” Kasumi said as she had gently relieved the binoculars of her father’s hands. “But you have taught Akane well so let us put our faith in both her and Ranma.”

“Well then, let’s go.”

Both Tendous then joined the other residents of Nerima in the safety of the bomb shelter.

-oOo-

Back in the chaotic streets of Nerima, we could see three gundums exchanging blows while dodging missiles, artillery shells, and even people that tried to hit them with anything they could hold.

Air Raiser had found herself being lifted and then hurled to a row of houses, flattening about five of them upon making an ungraceful landing with her face and chest as she rolled on the ground.

Wing Zero had gotten mad at the sight of his partner and proceeded to shove the bulky gundum hard with thrusters ignited…before they ended up flattening Furinkan High School along with a few other buildings and structures.

Iris had responded by kneeing Zero’s solar plexus before standing up and hurling the disoriented gundum with all of his strength towards the JSDF base hangers a few miles from Furinkan proper.

Air Raiser could only mentally wince at the destruction caused by a thrown gundum into the demon’s brew of bombs, stainless steel tanks filled with aviation fuel, maintenance equipment, still live wires, and missiles.

The vibrations of the explosions had shaken the underground shelters and were even felt as far as Shinjuku. The resulting fireball could be seen as far as Shibuya.

The lone female gundum would have gone towards ground zero despite the explosions and a pillar of flame as tall as she was if she did not see a large figure getting up and walking toward her, its silhouette barely seen through the black smoke and fire.

The giant figure had come out of the flames before everyone had taken a good look at it. Wing Zero had emerged covered in soot as it slowly walked back to the city limits, thanks to its banged and bruised gundanium armor and inner frame.

Its slow stride had revealed that the original winged gundum had lost some of its motor as well as some minor functions but it was still operational enough to fight back with a vengeance.

Another thing that is noticeable within the approaching gundum stride is that it seemed to be of a person that is royally pissed off.

His friend’s words did not even register in Zero’s computer mind as a hidden system was activated and currently running.

“So you still have some fight in you,” Iris had gloated with his/her hands on his/her hips. “Well, let me pound you a little more then.”

“Shut up!!!!”

As soon as Ranma’s monotone voice was heard exiting the external speakers, the twin buster rifle was suddenly drawn from its right magnetic hip holster. Before anyone could even react, the double trigger was pulled.

Ryoga (Iris) along with the whole Furinken High School was awash in a beam of yellow plasma a hundred meters wide and about fifty meters high.

Ryoga had escaped most of the beam’s destructive heat as he jumped to the side, but the devastated school was unluckily melted to mostly white goo like substance that covered the land where it stood and part of it had covered the streets or the unfortunate houses near it.

The cursed pony-tailed martial artist did not stop to marvel at his initial salvo thus the transformed Lost Boy had gotten himself on the business end of the pile-driver that was attached to Wing Zero’s left shield right in the face.

Ryoga then had to roll his cursed self to avoid being stomped on by the berserker gundum, holding his dented face plate with his right hand. Ranma had continued to stomp on the ground, calculating where his enemy would be trapped if he had continued to roll away.

Sure enough, Iris had found herself stuck on a building that was not completely destroyed and had to block the car sized foot with her arms. She then grabbed the leg that was slowly being pushed downward before pushing it up with all of her might.

Seeing that he was now off-balanced, Zero had chosen to grab yet another building to keep his body upright. A sudden kick in between the legs was enough for the winged gundum to continue its fall, and pull the upper part of the building down with it.

After standing up, Ryoga then kicked the fallen gundum at the same place as before only to eat thruster fire from Zero’s right foot. The winged gundum then stood up itself before lodging a metal shod fist on the staggered burly gundum’s breadbasket.

Of course, Iris had back pedaled a few steps at the strike to the stomach, once again staggered by the blow. Zero had taken advantage of this and charged in, launching fists and feet whenever it could.

The bulky gundum had blocked as much as it could while also counter attacking the berserker war machine.

The close quarter fight was brutal on both the dueling giant robots as well as the buildings around them.

Akane could only watch in horror at the fact that her close friend had gone berserk even if she had realized that it was because of the hidden pilot interface program within the gundum’s hardware that Ranma was acting this way.

On the plus side, Ranma had lost his hesitation to fight and was able to actually anticipate Ryoga’s movements.

On the bad side, her friend had turned into a beast that does not know when to stop hitting and even use weapons capable of leveling buildings if not towns in a single blast.

Case in point, whenever tanks or any military vehicle would potshot at the dueling gundums, Ranma would fight back with his shoulder cannons.

Thankfully, the soldiers had only gotten injured although some of the helicopter crew had died in the crash even with her best efforts to save them.

In hindsight, trying to save multiple choppers’ crews from crashing into the nearest building while being shot at was not that easy to begin with.

Akane was lucky that she was similarly armored as Ranma is or that would be the end of her life as a martial artist.

Ryoga had done his best to keep his enemy’s attention back to him only to be punched hard in the face plate or where his stomach would be.

A fallen Ryoga was lifted with both hands and thrown in the direction of the business district, its buildings being enough to batter the bulky gundum even more.

Sure enough, most of the buildings were broken upon impact by the thrown Iris with the said gundum sporting even more dents and cuts all over its body.

Air Raiser had enough of this as she then confronted the berserker herself, despite the hail of gunfire and missiles coming their way.

She had blocked Wing Zero on the street leading to where Iris was sprawled on the ground and similarly blocked his attacks while trying to plead with him to stop.

Akane even had to hug her erstwhile fiancé (not that she would admit it) in order to keep him from attacking her or even moving. This had resulted in both winged gundums falling on the street, breaking concrete and even some streetlights on their way down.

“Ranma, please snap out of it.” Akane was positively crying now, despite the fact she could not shed tears in her cursed form. “The battle is over. You’ve won.”

Wing Zero had continued to struggle against his fiancée’s hug to no avail. Within Zero’s computer brain, another struggle was happening.

‘Dammnit, what happened to me?’ Ranma was thinking as he tried to gain control of his body. ‘ZERO system active?! I’ve gotta deactivate it fast before I destroy Tokyo.’

It had taken a few tries to override the command system from the inside, but Ranma finally managed to deactivate the ZERO system and regain control of his body once again.

Upon getting feedback from his eye cameras, Ranma was shocked to see Air Raiser’s face up close. His outside microphones were clearly able to hear her sobbing robotic voice as she continued to plead for him to stop.

Hesitantly, Zero’s arms were lifted from the ground and encircled Raiser’s waist before its hands had entwined themselves underneath her shaking back thrusters.

Air Raiser was taken aback by the fact that its hug was being reciprocated and even more flummoxed when Wing Zero had said in its external speakers. “I’m sorry, Raiser. I’ve lost full control of my body to the ZERO system. Please forgive me.”

“You’re forgiven, Zero.” Air Raiser said in a near whisper. “At least, I forgive you.”

The tender moment was shattered when they were splashed by fireman’s hose as he and his friends were trying to put out the fire in the buildings around them, unfortunately for them, the water is already warmed by the fire surrounding the aforementioned liquid.

The cursed individuals were reverted back to their birth forms and surrounded by a mixed group of soldiers and policemen.

Towels were thrown at them to keep them covered up as bathrobes and slippers were scrounged around for them to wear…on their way to prison.

Ryoga was also caught in nearly the same way and he too was escorted to the police station as the base where they were supposed to be taken was still burning brightly in the early evening sky.

The Tendous as well as the Saotomes (Yes, Nodoka was also fetched from her house in Juuban) were also taken to the police station to look over the prisoners as they were the only ones who the prisoners themselves could trust.

The whole station where the teens were later thrown to was surrounded by tanks and soldiers with planes and helicopters ready for scrambling within a moment’s notice from other JSDF bases within the Greater Tokyo Area.

The death toll was not as high as everyone had feared it would be: about six helicopter pilots and similarly numbered co-pilots and about fifteen tank crewmembers dead or dying with thrice that number injured.

About thirty more soldiers were dead, dying or injured in trying to keep the gundums from wrecking the city or saving some stragglers that were either trapped or just frozen in fear.

Among the civilians, there was a report of two persons dead due to being stampeded when the battle began with scores more injured.

Also among the rescue personnel, we have one fire man dead due to building collapse and a few others nearly scorched in the fire blast in the former JSDF base.

Even some policeman had lost their lives in the line of duty during the whole debacle and would later be given heroic burials for their dedication.

All in all, aside from the billions in yen of collateral damage, it was not as catastrophic as those in the local government or the military had thought it would be.

For now, let us leave the fate of the cursed teens to the local judge and hope that their sentence would not be that severe.

I finally finished this long one-shot so you guys could enjoy reading it. Yes, I left the ending somewhat open-ended and thus I will leave the real ending to your imaginations so take it as you will.

Iris is actually a female gundum like Air Raiser so I was able to keep the gender bending of the original series, but with a different main character. She is also one of the kindest unless you managed to piss her off.

Hopefully, I would post the sixth chapter (eight in the chapter counter in this site) of Together in Spirit within the year as I am slowly but surely getting rid of the writer’s block plaguing me for that particular story.

Thank you for giving this story even just a moment of your time.