Chapter 2: My Name is Senchi

                     Ranma 1/2: Curse of Darkness
                              Chapter 2
                          My Name is Senchi

The story so far: It's Ranma's birthday, and it doesn't look like it's
going to be a good one.  Already Mousse has been forced into
engagement with Akane by Joketsuzoku law.  Of course, when Ryouga
found out he overreacted a _teensy_ bit and ran off to kill the male
amazon.  Also, Amigi Diatonabi, a member of DMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced
dem-ses-rep-bifft) and his pupil Tzubi arrived to finalize _another_
deal Genma made.  Now, at Ranma's party, everything seems to be coming
to a head...

(Scene: the Tendo household.  Tzubi, a tall, green-haired boy in
jeans, t-shirt, sneakers, and sunglasses, stands over the unconscious
form of Shampoo while sliding his daisho-paired samurai swords-back
into their sheaths.  Nearby stands Soun, looking confused and angry.
Nabiki sits at a table, calmly collecting money from some other
teenagers, while Akane stares at Tzubi from nearby.  Ranma and Ukyou
stand side-by-side with Genma-who looks pale and frightened-a few feet
away.  Cologne is rushing across the room towards Ranma while Amigi, a
man with short purple hair and wearing an armani suit, pulls back a
vial filled with pink powder.)

Amigi: Here boy, CATCH!
(He flicks it at Ranma.  The unstoppered vial flips end over end
through the air, defying physics by not spilling anything.  With a
flicker of movement, Ranma snatches it.  As he does so, the powder
within explodes in a cloud around him.)

Cologne: Noooooooo!  Amigi, you fool!
(The dust begins to settle around Ranma.  Ukyou, who was only a foot
or so away, is untouched by the powder while Ranma appears to be
completely coated.  Everyone stares at him with expressions ranging
from surprise, to apprehension, to expectation.  Then Ranma crinkles
his nose and sneezes.  He sneezes again and shakes his head.)

Amigi: Well boy, how do you like my present?

Ranma: Sneezing powder?  All this over sneezing powder?  (incredulous)
You went through all that for a practical joke?

Amigi: (frowns) Don't you feel...different?

Ranma: No, of course not!

Amigi: No strange compulsions or unusual feelings?

Ranma: Listen you, I feel fine.  My nose itches like crazy, but
otherwise I'm completely normal!

Akane: (chuckles) As compared to what?

Ranma: (spins to face her) Hey!  I'm absolutely normal!

Akane: Riiiight, as normal as any brainless baboon.

Ranma: Hmph.  At least I'm not a violent tomboy.

Akane: You baka!  I am not a tomboy!

Ranma: If the name fits...

Akane: I'll fit you alright...for a full-body cast!
(She chases him from the room.  Amigi blinks, then regains his

Amigi: Oh well.  It must have been a defective batch.  I'll make some
fresh stuff.  Come along Tzubi, we shall leave here.

Tzubi(under breath): I _knew_ this wasn't going to be simple.
(Amigi and Tzubi exit through the shredded door.)


(Scene: A park somewhere in Nerima.  On two different sides of a tree
stump stand Ryouga and Mousse.  Ryouga is snarling and shaking
slightly.  He has his umbrella out and a bunch of bandannas in his
free hand.  Mousse is standing in a hastily erected defensive

Mousse: Ryouga, what are you doing?

Ryouga: Killing you!  (bares fangs) Now shut up and DIIIIIIEEEE!!!
(he leaps up over the stump and fires a flurry of bandannas at
Mousse's head.  The male amazon launches a pillowcase at them; they
get swallowed in it and fall to the ground.  Ryouga lands and brings
his umbrella about in a vicious sideswipe.  With a cry, Mousse flips
end over end and lands behind Ryouga.  The lost boy is prepared,
however, and he performs a forward flip while lashing out behind him
with his foot.  Ryouga's big boot connects solidly with Mousse's back
and forces the Chinese boy to roll away.  Ryouga spins around and
rushes at Mousse, who is just returning to his feet.  Mousse whirls
and leaps backward, barely avoiding Ryouga's powerful umbrella swing.)

Mousse: I don't know what you're so angry about...(lands)...but nobody
gets away with attacking me!  KEIRAN-KEN!
(He swings his hand over his head; as he does so a duck leaps out of
his sleeve, lays an egg in his hand and disappears back down the
sleeve.  He releases the egg at the mid-point of his downswing and it
goes sailing at Ryouga.)

Ryouga: Arr!  Strike one!
(He pulls his umbrella back, and with a powerful baseball swing knocks
the egg back at Mousse.  The Chinese boy blinks, then the egg connects
with his chest and explodes.  He remains standing-if throughly
crisped-Ryouga roars and charges.  Mousse tosses a hubcap at him, but
Ryouga deflects it with an unfolded umbrella.  Then, with the open
umbrella in front of him, he smashes into Mousse like a freight train.
Ryouga easily pulls the smaller boy off his feet, an with Mousse still
plastered against the unfolded umbrella, he charges into a tree.  It
snaps in two, and Mousse yelps as his back is nearly broken by the
impact.  The tree falls over as Ryouga leaps to the side.  Mousse
slowly gets up.)

Mousse: [What's gotten into him?  I haven't seen him this bad
since...] (his eyes widen)Ryouga!  Wait!  I know...

Ryouga(snaps): Shut up!  You don't deserve to speak!  (tears rolling
down his cheeks) I know what you're doing!  But you won't take Akane
away from me!  
(Ryouga thrusts his hands at Mousse, palms-outward.)

Mousse(desperately): I don't want to...


Mousse: Ohhhh _SHIT_!!!  (throws his hands in front of himself)


(Meanwhile, back at the party, Genma is sitting in the corner, looking
miserable.  All of the party guests have left, and Kasumi is cleaning
up.  Nabiki is calmly counting out some stacks of yen and smiling to
herself.  Ranma is sitting sullenly near the table, casting the
occasional venomous glance at Akane, who is near the presents talking
to Soun.  Ukyou sits by Ranma, cooing over his injuries-mainly a large
bump on his head-and Cologne is perched on the table like a vulture,
watching him.  Dr. Tofu and Shampoo are nowhere to be seen.)

Ranma(snaps at Cologne): What?  What are you looking at, you old

Cologne: (bops Ranma on the head with her staff) An insolent boy who
should show more respect to his elders.

Ukyou(defiantly): He'll respect his elders as soon as they give him a
reason to respect them.

Ranma: What she said...

Cologne: Be quiet, girl, or I'll kill you here and now.

Ranma: Don't threaten Ucchan, you old hag.  If you hurt her, I promise
I'll do the same to your precious great-granddaughter.

Ukyou(surprised): How...sweet, Ranchan...

Cologne: (eyes narrow) You're aggressive today...

Ranma: No more than I usually am with you.  And why are you concerned
about my feelings all of a sudden?  You never cared before.

Cologne: I...

Girl(from upstairs): AIYA!  AIYA!  NO!  NO!  NO!

Man(from upstairs): calm down, you're fine now.  I've undone that
Atemi flash-kick stun attack...

Girl: Dr. Sushi...

Man: That's Tofu...

Girl: understand, Shampoo beaten!  By outsider male!
(Shampoo runs down the stairs and towards Cologne.)

Shampoo: Great-grandmother, Shampoo beaten!  Twice!  What Shampoo...

Cologne(flat tone brings Shampoo to a halt): I know.

Shampoo: (wringing hands) No Shampoo's fault, boy...

Cologne(roars): QUIET!!!  (Shampoo steps back, a worried expression on
her face; normal tone)  You have allowed yourself to become fat, lazy,
and complacent.  You disgrace our clan and our village.  (Shampoo
looks mortified) ...but...I will allow you one more chance.  (Chinese)
<We'll discuss this later.>

Shampoo: H...hai, o-baba.

Ranma: (grins) Well, maybe now you'll finally give up on me.

Cologne: Maybe...
(Soun and Akane finish talking and walk over.)

Soun: I have come to a decision about Akane's engagement problem.

Cologne: (cocks an eyebrow) You know?

Soun: (nods) It has been decided that Akane's engagement to Mousse is
invalid, and hereby null and void.

Cologne: You have no authority to do that!  This is Joketsuzoku law!

Soun: Exactly.  It is not our law, therefore we will not obey it,
unless Mousse decides to pursue Akane.
(Akane smirks at Cologne, who is steaming.)

Cologne: You _will_ obey our law.  Come along, Shampoo, we will
discuss your disgrace.
(She leaves.  While gnawing her lower lip and trembling visibly,
Shampoo follows.)

Ranma: At least they're gone.  Now, maybe I can open my presents!
(He rubs his hands together in anticipation.)

Akane: Aren't you forgetting something?

Ranma: What?  (backs off) You aren't going to hit me again, are you?
(Akane bops him on the head.)

Akane: Of course not!

Ranma: Hmph!
(He crosses his arms and sticks out his tongue at her.)

Ukyou: I think Akane was talking about this Amigi character.  Like who
he is, what he wants, and what he planned to do with you.

Ranma: Well, I know one person who can answer those questions.
(He looks meaningfully at Genma along with everybody else.)

Genma: (smiles thinly) I don't know what you're talking about...heh
heh...I had nothing to do with it...heh heh...

Soun: Saaootoomee-kun, what did you do?

Genma: I was just SO hungry...
(Flashback, a field in Hokkaido.  Genma, wearing a straw
hat(FB-Genma), and a super-deformed version of Ranma(SD-Ranma) are
sitting near a yatai.)

Genma(voiceover): It wasn't long after we left Ukyou's village...

Ukyou(voiceover): Ran...

Genma(voiceover): This is my dramatic-plot-enhancing-flashback, don't
interrupt.  Anyway, as I was wasn't long after we had left
Ukyou's village.  We had been living off the supplies for a while, but
one day they ran dry...

SD-Ranma: Hurry up pop, I'm hungry!

FB-Genma: Sorry son, they're isn't any food left in the cart.

SD-Ranma: Hmph!  You'd think when somebody gives you a present, they'd
make sure it was filled.

FB-Genma: Uh...sure, Ranma, sure.

Genma(voiceover): We were forced to abandon the yatai...

Ranma(voiceover): I thought you dropped it in a ditch.

Genma(voiceover; slightly irritated): _My_

Ranma(voiceover): Geez, sorry pop...
(The flashback now shows the two walking down a road.)

Genma(voiceover): We were starving, when something happened to save
(Presently a dust trail can be seen down the road.  SD-Ranma and
FB-Genma stop to watch as a caravan approaches.  It is made up of five
box-like wagons being pulled by mules, and about ten people-men,
women, and one teenager-on horses.  All the wagons are painted a
garish purple and have DMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced dem-ses-rep-bifft)
written across them in Chinese, Japanese, English, and Arabic.  The
caravan pulls to a halt, and one of the riders trots his horse up to
SD-Ranma and FB-Genma.  He is tall, in a ruined and dirty travelling
cloak, with the hood pulled up over his head.  As he comes up to the
two, he looks down and we catch a good look at his face.  It is

Ranma(voiceover): Knew I saw hi...

Genma(voiceover): Uh uh uh!

Ranma(voiceover; sullen): Sorry...

FB-Amigi(in Chinese): <Greetings to you, noble..> (notices Ranma and
Genma's blank looks of incomprehension) You speak Japanese?

FB-Genma: Hai.

FB-Amigi: Then...(clears throat) Greetings to you, noble travellers.
Thou art well-fortuned to be upon yon roadway upon this glorious

Akane(voiceover): He sounds like Kunou.  

Genma(voiceover; angry): Look, do you want me to tell this story or

Everyone(voiceover): Hai.

Genma(voiceover): Good, then shut up and let me finish _my_

FB-Amigi: ...for thou hath stumbleth upon DMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced
dem-ses-rep-bifft), the greatest group of travelling thespians in the

SD-Ranma: Travelling THESPIANS!  Cool, I've never seen thespians
before!  (Amigi smiles at him) You're a pretty convincing
cross-dresser...(FB-Amigi face-faults)

FB-Amigi: No!  Not lesbians!  Thespians!  You know, actors!

SD-Ranma(disappointed): Oh... (perks up) What do you do?

FB-Amigi: We do the eternal acts of the bard!  (notices there looks of
confusion) Shakespeare?
(SD-Ranma "Aha's" and pulls out a spear, which he proceeds
{Authors note: Let it be known that Rumiko Takahashi isn't the only
one who can create insanely difficult-to-translate puns.  I'd like to
see somebody make _that_ work in Japanese.}

FB-Amigi: NO!  Not shake spear, Shakespeare!  (desperately) The
English playwright?  The one who wrote Romeo and Juliet?

FB-Genma: I know that!  Romeo...

FB-Amigi: Finally...

FB-Genma: ...he's from the planet Krypton!  (looks proud)

FB-Amigi: (face-faults) ...uh...sure.  That's right.

Akane(voiceover): So _that's_ where that came from.

Genma(voiceover): That's _it_.  End of story!  I'm not going on in
this condition.

Ranma(voiceover): Please, pop, go on...(sound of knuckles
cracking)...or I'll put you in a _condition_.

Genma(voiceover): (gulps) Uh...let me continue...

FB-Amigi: What are you doing out on the road with so little in the way
of supplies?
(FB-Genma snaps his fingers behind his back.  Instantly Ranma falls
forward onto his knees.  His eyes grow larger and quiver pathetically,
his lower lip trembles, and he clasps his hands together in front of
him in a gesture of pleading.  A single tear rolls slowly down his

SD-Ranma(quavering, pathetic voice): Please sir, we are just two poor
travellers far from home...we haven't eaten for days...*sniff*...we've
been on the road so long...*sniff, choke, sob*...I've forgotten what
food looks like...

FB-Amigi: (laughs uproariously) You've got a great actor in that son
of yours, my friend!

FB-Genma: (expression vying between pride and disappointment)
Uh...sure... (settles on bewilderment) ...thanks...

FB-Amigi: I'll make you a deal.  You travel with us and help us put on
a few shows, and we'll feed you.

FB-Genma: Great!  C'mon boy, we're going to be actors!

SD-Ranma: Yay!  I only wish Ucchan was here, he'd enjoy this...
(We see several scenes: Ranma and several other boys rehearsing, Genma
pigging out, Ranma beating up and old man when he suggests that he put
on tights, Amigi watching Ranma and Genma train with an interested
expression, Ranma yelling at the audience, who are throwing food at

Genma(voiceover; nostalgic): We were the best actors that theatre
group ever had, but that didn't stop them from taking me into one of
the wagons that fateful night...
(We see FB-Genma sitting in a cramped room.  It is feebly lit by a few
candles, and FB-Genma is surrounded by a group of menacing people.
FB-Amigi is there, along with an old, grey-bearded man, a middle-aged
balding man, a dark-skinned fat man, and a tall, thin, stick-like

Stick-man(menacing): You've ruined us!

Fat man(even more menacing): You've forced us to refund all our money
from the last eight shows!

FB-Genma: It's not my fault if those people can't appreciate fine

Balding man: And you ate half our store of food!

FB-Genma: I only ate my share...

Balding man: That food was supposed to last six months, not ten

Stick-man: I say we kill'em!
(He pulls a knife out of his tunic.  Genma's eyes widen in fear.)

Grey-beard: No... (Genma sighs in relief; to FB-Amigi) You say the boy
is a good martial artist?

FB-Amigi: Hai, I saw him training.  He has tremendous natural talent,
and his father is a good tutor.

FB-Genma: Well, I do try...

Grey-beard: Quiet, or I'll let Faley carry out his threat.  (the
stick-man displays his knife; a nice, long, _sharp_ knife) Now Mr.
Saotome, I'll make you an offer.  We will let you and your son leave.
You will continue to train him...but upon his seventeenth birthday, we
will take him to be a member of DMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced
dem-ses-rep-bifft), and you will _never_ see him again after that. can die.

FB-Genma: Sure, fine, whatever you say!  (smiles thinly)

FB-Amigi: Done, may return to your tent, Mr. Saotome.
(Return to the present.  Everyone is staring at Genma, but only half
in shock; they're used to this kind of stuff by now.)

Genma: ...that night, Ranma and I snuck away, and I haven't heard or
seen anything of them by now.

Akane: I can't believe it...

Ranma(sourly): I can.

Ukyou(growls): He told me he wasn't going to kidnap you!  (leaps to
her feet) He LIED to me!  (waving her spatula around) I'll teach him
to lie to a _nice_ girl like ME!  (sheathed in flames and looking a
lot like a demon) HE SHOULDN'T HAVE LIED TO ME!!!!!  (notices everyone
staring at her; the flames disappear, she puts away her spatula and
gives everyone cutsie-eyes) Well, he shouldn't have.

Soun: Wwaaahh!  They're going to take Ranma away from us!
W-wh-waaaaah!  Now he'll never marry Akane!  Waaaah!
(Everybody pulls out umbrellas and uses them to deflect the rainstorm
coming from Soun.)

Ranma: I'm not going anywhere!

Akane: And I'm not marrying this idiot!

Ranma: Who are you calling an idiot?

Akane(sweetly): If you can't figure _that_ out, then it's pretty

Ranma: (blinks; figures it out) Hey, you kawaiikune, violent, macho,
martial-artist-wannnabe tomboy!  I am not an idiot!

Akane: BAKA!
(She plows him with a roundhouse that sends him flying through the air
and straight into the pond.  Ranma-chan emerges, but instead of
looking steamed she has a look of wonder on her face.  Ukyou sighs.)

Ukyou: I'd better go boil some water.  
(She heads to the kitchen.  Akane steps up behind Ranma-chan and pats
her mallet into her hand.)

Ranma-chan: (looking at her hands) I'm...alive...

Akane: Not for long.

Ranma-chan: (notices Akane) Huh...who...Akane, you're Akane!  How

Akane: Of course I'm Akane!  Who else would I be?

Ranma-chan: I'm not sure... (squints) could pass for a guy,

Akane: Ranma no BAKA!
(She swings the mallet in a high overhead arc.  In a flash, Ranma-chan
leaps to her fet and easily sidesteps the bulky weapon.  As it comes
parallel with her shoulder, she reaches out and latches onto the
handle of the mallet.  Ranma-chan looks at Akane with a hard
expression while the other girl tries vainly to pull the mallet form
her grasp.)

Ranma-chan: You wanted to hurt me with this, didn't you?

Akane: *grunt* Of course *heave* I was... *puff*

Ranma-chan: (nods) Just making sure.  (to Kasumi) Call a doctor.

Kasumi: Why?
(In reply, Ranma-chan brings her foot up and uses it to crush Akane's
rib cage.  Akane gasps, releases the mallet, and crumples.  Ranma-chan
swings the mallet around her back, changes hands, and brings it up to
connect solidly with Akane's chin while the girl is still falling.  As
Akane rockets back like a punching dummy, Ranma-chan leaps and
performs a devastating pivot kick to the side of her head.  Akane
cries out and falls to the side, but before she can even come to a
rest, Ranma-chan pounces and launches an uppercut which rocks her back
to her feet.  As Akane sways back and forth, Ranma-chan pulls back her

(Her fists flash in a blur as she catches Akane with a whirlwind of
blows that send the girl flying back against a rock.)

Ranma-chan: That's why.

Nabiki: SIS!  (she runs over and cradles her battered and bruised
sister's head) Ranma, glares at Ranma-chan, I mean
_glares_, one of those you _will_ cease to exist _NOW_ glares)

Ranma-chan(sweetly): Did you just insult me?
(Nabiki's eyes widen, and she backs off, still holding Akane.)


Genma: (towering over Ranma-chan) What did you do?!?

Ranma-chan: Huh?   Pop...yeah, pop!  You're my dad!  (seems excited)
(Kasumi, Soun, Dr. Tofu and Nabiki are staring at Ranma-chan in shock.
Genma blinks.)

Genma: Huh?

Ranma-chan: Eew...I'm all dirty and wet!  This won't do at all.  I'll
go have a bath, be right back...
(She runs up the stairs.  After a moment, Ukyou exits the kitchen,
holding a teapot.  She stops, and looks around at everyone, who are
still watching the staircase.)

Ukyou: Did I miss something?


(Scene: The Nekohanten.  Cologne storms in, with Shampoo hot on her
heels.  She spins to face her great-granddaughter.)

Cologne(Chinese): <How could you let this happen?>

Shampoo: <Shampoo doesn't know.  It all happened so fast!>

Cologne(calming down slightly): <We'll just have to change our
strategy.  I still have the dust, but now we must determine who is the
more worthy husband.>

Shampoo: <What was that spice?>

Cologne: <I'm not sure now.  I _thought_ it was Darkechilde spice...>

Shampoo: <Darkechilde spice?>

Cologne: <It causes people to be more aggressive and uncaring.  Ranma
didn't seem any more aggressive...but I know the spice _did_ discharge
it's magic...>

Shampoo: <Shampoo doesn't know much about magic, but maybe it could
have been another spice?>

Cologne: <None _I_ know of would have felt the same...>

Shampoo: <It must have been Darkechilde spice, then.>

Cologne: <Not necessarily.  Amigi knows more about magic than I do.>

Shampoo(aghast): <That's impossible!>

Cologne(grudging): <Who do you think taught me?>


(Scene: The Tendo bathroom.  Ranma-chan has undressed and taken a
towel from the rack, and is now headed for the almost-full tub.)

Ranma-chan: I live here.  This is cool.  I never had a home before.
(frowns) Not that I ever had anything before.  (the tub finishes
filling and she turns off the tap) Now, I' last name's Saotome.
I know that.  And it must be my birthday...but why did all those
people call me Ranma?
(She steps into the tub.)


(Scene: The Tendo living room.  Everybody-with the exception of Akane
and Dr. Tofu-is clustered around the table.)

Nabiki: Akane must have hit Ranma too hard, given him amnesia...

Soun: Waaaaah!  Ranma's a psychopath!  Waaaah!

Ukyou: Ranchan is not!  He's just...confused, that's all.

Genma: This amnesia thing doesn't hold water, though.  Ranma wouldn't
attack Akane even without memory.

Nabiki: (shudders) Yeah, I've never seen him so...cold and callous.
Almost evil.

Soun: Waaaah!  He'll marry my daughter and enslave her!  Waaah!

Ukyou: Now you sound like Kunou.

Genma: I think you're right about the hitting too hard thing, though.

Ukyou: It does make sense.  At least much sense as the usual stuff
that happens to Ranchan.

Nabiki: Hai, and I have a solution to our problem.

Soun: Waaah!  He'll turn my precious dojo into an assassin's academy!

Ukyou(irritably): Who cares?

Genma: (sighs) How much, Nabiki?

Nabiki: (thinks for a moment) 50 000 yen.

Genma: _50 000_ YEN?!  Are you CRAZY?!?  I can't give you that much

Nabiki: (shrugs) Fine, then live with our happy psychopath.

Soun: Waaah!  I can't believe that Ranma's evil!

Ukyou: Ranchan is _not_ evil!  (she pounds him into the ground with
her spatula) Now shut up!

Genma: (groans) Fine.  (pulls out a large wad of bills) You said 30
000, right?

Nabiki: Fifty, and I want _real_ money, not _your_ money.

Genma: My money is perfectly legal!

Nabiki: Yes...if you're playing Monopoly.

Genma: (muttering to himself; turns to Soun) Tendo-kun?  (notices
Ukyou is still pounding him)  Ukyou, I'd like to speak to Soun for a
(Ukyou smiles sweetly and pulls Soun up so that he's facing Genma.)

Ukyou: Sure, Genma.
(She dusts off his front, but that doesn't noticibly improve his
looks.  His hair is sticking out and tangled, his eyes are glazed, and
his pupils are moving independently of each other.  His mouth has
widened out considerably, several teeth are missing, and his tongue is
hanging out the side.  He rocks back and forth like a punching dummy.)

Genma: Tendo-kun?

Soun: Yeshk, whare do yer wont?  I'ze burrsy gining me arcceptrance

Genma: Could I borrow some money?

Soun: Shmure! (he fumbles in his gi and pulls out a wallet, which he
hands to Genma with shaking hands) Her yuz goon, tark all yer
nedd...nod if'n yum exerse ma, I'ze thrink em goona lir don now.
Ezerer ta seem dra stares dat why.
(He falls onto his back, with his limbs sticking up at odd angles.
Genma calmly pulls a number of bills out of the wallet and hands them
to Nabiki, then stuffs the rest into his pocket.)

Ukyou: (arched eyebrow) I _thought_ he said take what you need.

Genma: I need it...just not at the moment...but I will need it.
(Just then Dr. Tofu walks out of the same room he was in earlier with

Tofu: Akane will be fine, she's just bruised and winded.

Nabiki: (sighs) Thank God.

Ukyou: Are you getting religious?

Nabiki: Of course not, there's no profit in religion.

Genma: By the way, what is your plan?

Nabiki: (shrugs) Hit him on the head again.

Tofu: (glasses fog up) K-Kasumi!  What are _you_ doing here?!?  I told
Betty-chan to tell me when you came by!

Genma: Hit...him on the head again?  Hit him on the head again?  I
payed 50 000 yen for "Hit him on the head again?!?" _I_ could have
come up with that!

Nabiki: I said that I had a plan.  I never said that it was a good
plan, or that it wasn't an obvious plan, just that it _was_ a plan.

Genma: Well, I...

Voice(from upstairs): _AKANE_!!!

Genma: that's Ranma.  Wonder what's gotten into him?

Nabiki: Who knows, but I'd say he'll be coming down those stairs soon.

Soun: Yeshk...

Nabiki: Go back to sleep, dad.

Soun: Shmure...

Genma: Right.  I'll get ready.

Ukyou: Please, let me.  I'll be gentle.

Nabiki: I can't wait to see how you plan to hit Ranma on the head hard
enough to cure amnesia and still do it gently.
(Ukyou walks over and stands beside the stairs.  She unslings her
spatula and holds it in an attack position.  As she does this, Ranma
appears at the top of the stairs with a towel wrapped firmly around
his midsection.)

Ranma: Akane!  Are you alright?
(Ranma rushes down the stairway.  As he reaches the bottom, Ukyou
brings her spatula down on the top of his head.  He crumples like a
deflating balloon.)

Nabiki: That's gentle?

Genma: (tapping Dr. Tofu on the shoulder) Doctor...

Tofu: Huh?  (turns, his glasses de-fogging slightly) What is it, Mr.

Genma: (points at Soun and Ranma) You have some more patients.

Tofu: (sighs) Maybe I should just move my practice here.


(Scene: The park.  A large crater now decorates the landscape.  Ryouga
is standing at the far edge, his hands extended outward.  However, no
one else is visible.  He pulls down his hands a looks about.)

Ryouga(confused): Where'd he go?  (growls) I'm not finished with him
yet!  (pulls out his umbrella)
(Suddenly, two chains fly out of nowhere and wrap around it.  Then the
weapon is wrenched from his grasp and snapped up into Mousse's waiting
hand.  The Chinese boy-slightly scorched-is perched on a tree limb.)

Mousse: Alright!  Now I'm mad!  Let's see you handle this!
(Mousse swings his free hand and riddles a tree near Ryouga with
crossbow bolts.)

Ryouga: Nice shot!  (launches a volley of bandannas)
(The bandannas chop through the tree with ease, and as it begins to
fall backward, Mousse leaps out of it.  He spins end over end and
launches Ryouga's umbrella into the distance.  Mousse lands on the
opposite edge of the crater just as the tree smashes to the ground.
With a cry, he spins and launches a box at Ryouga.  The lost boy leaps
back and avoids the box, which lands at his feet.  He sneers and
snatches off more bandannas.  Suddenly, a tiny crank on the box begins
to turn and "Pop-Goes-the-Weasel" begins to play from it.  Ryouga
blinks, and then the music ends and a boxer's glove pops out of the
box and smashes him on the chin.  He flails backward, and Mousse
charges across the crater at him.  The Chinese boy pulls out an axe
and pulls closer to the unbalanced Ryouga and...runs right past him.
He screams a savage war cry and swings his axe at a convenient fire

Mousse: Now I have you, Ryouga!
(He chops off the top of the fire hydrant and...)

Duck: (flying away) QUACK!  QUACK!
(Ryouga spins around, his balance regained.)

Ryouga: Okay, Mousse... (gasps as he sees the pillar of water not far
away) NO!  Must kill Mou... (it begins to rain)


(Scene: A street in the Nerima district of Tokyo.  Tzubi and Amigi are
walking down it.  Tzubi looks bored, while Amigi is muttering to

Amigi: Why didn't it work?  I made that batch myself, it couldn't have
been defective.

Tzubi: I told you magic wouldn't work.

Amigi: (sighs) I guess we'll have to fall back on more
conventional-and forceful-tactics.   

Tzubi: (fingering his diashyo) I'm not sure I can defeat all of

Amigi: hai, we'll have to recruit some help.
(They turn the corner and pass a "girl" crying on the edge of the
sidewalk.  The "girl" is Tsubasa.)

Tsubasa: (as the two are passing) I'll get that Ranma...
(Amigi stops dead in his tracks-not, not really dead-and turns to face
the sobbing transvestite.  Tzubi stops and looks, his expression

Amigi: Excuse me...uh...sir...

Tsubasa: (looks up) Huh?  How'd you...

Amigi: I'm very perceptive.  Did you just mention Ranma?  As in Ranma

Tsubasa: Hai, *sniff* he's stolen my love from me! *choke*

Amigi: (smiles evilly) How'd you like to make sure that Ranma's gone


(Scene: Back at the Tendo's, where Genma, Nabiki, Kasumi, Ukyou, and
Akane are sitting around the table.  Akane has a sour expression and a
bandage around her head.)

Akane: I still say _I_ should have gotten to hit him.

Ukyou(patiently): Akane, you were unconscious at the time.

Akane: Then you should have woken me up!  I deserve to pulp that BAKA!

Ukyou(under breath): Imaginative, isn't she?

Genma: Well, it doesn't matter.  As soon as Ranma's better, we'll be

Akane and Ukyou: WHAT?!?

Genma: I'm not about to lose my son!  I couldn't bear to lose him!
Boo hoo! *snort* (blows his nose loudly on a handkerchief)

Ukyou: And what's the real reason?

Genma: What, are you suggesting I don't have the noblest of
(Ukyou gives him a flat stare.)

Genma: Okay, okay, so I just thought that if Nodoka ever came back,
she might be a _teensy_ bit mad when she finds Ranma missing.

Akane: I knew it.

Genma: But that doesn't change the fact that Ranma and I will be

Ukyou: Why?  So that you can run for the rest of your life?  So you
can never call one place home?  So that you'll never be able to see
your loved ones again?  Trust me, Genma, Ranma will leave himself if
you try to force that on him.

Genma: (wringing his hands) But I can't let them take Ranma!  They'll
come for him here!

Akane: So?  They're just actors!  It's not like they're some dark,
secret, powerful organization that wants to conquer the world or
anything.  (*crack*boom*ominous roll of thunder*)

Genma: I suppose you're right.  (looks worried)

Kasumi: Why don't you try talking to these people?  They seem
reasonable.  I'm sure this can all be solved without violence.

Nabiki: (reading a stocks magazine) The voice of reason.

Akane: Well, whatever you decide to do (gets up) you'll have to decide
it without me.  My muscles are sore, and I need some fresh air.  I'm
going for a walk.  (she leaves)


(Scene: A road in the countryside, which a bus is whizzing down.  As
it goes, it passes a sign reading "Tokyo 40 km".  Inside, we see the
two from the bus stop, still with hoods drawn-illogical, yes, but it
does keep the suspense-and with their baggage in their laps.)

Woman: We're almost there.

Boy: Hai... (noticibly worried) You _will_ help me when we get there.

Woman: Of course.  It's silly, but I'll do whatever I can to
soon as I see Ranma.

Boy: (sighs) Good.  Arigato.


(Scene: The park; Akane is strolling along with a distant expression.
She passes a fountain and begins to talk to herself.)

Akane: (sighs) Oh, Ranma.  What's come over you?  Why did you do that?
Granted, I do treat you badly, but that's only because you can be such
a jerk at times.  (frowns) It's just hard to believe you could be so
cruel.  It was like you were a different person...and now (pained) you
may be leaving forever... (long pause as she comes to a wooded area;
softly) Ranma no baka...
(Just then, a kawaii black pig bursts out of the bushes, and while
squealing frantically, dodges behind Akane.)

Akane: P-chan?  What...
(Suddenly, a duck also bursts out of the foliage.  It is wearing thick
glasses, and has multiple blades fluttering out of its wings.
Quacking in rage, it rushes up to Akane and begins to chase P-chan in
circles around Akane's legs.)

Akane: Mousse?  (angry) Mousse!
(Akane reaches down and plucks the duck of the ground.  She pulls it
up to face her, expression volcanic.)

Akane: Mousse!  Why are you chasing my P-chan?
(The duck quacks an irritated explanation.  Akane blinks, then shakes
her head.)

Akane: Why did I do that?  (frowns) Go away, Mousse, I'll deal with
you later.  I have more important things on my mind.
(She tosses the irate duck into the woods.  Leaning over, she picks up
the fearful P-chan and snuggles him.  A look of contentment crosses
P-chan's face.)

Akane: Don't worry, P-chan, I won't let that nasty old Mousse hurt
you.  C'mon, let's go home.


(Scene: The dojo.  Roll call: Ranma, Ukyou, Genma, Dr. Tofu,
Soun-bandaged-and Nabiki; Ranma is talking.)

Ranma: was like one of those nightmares where you're aware of
what you're doing, but you can't control it.  I even felt asleep, like
I was emotionless observer...

Genma: Where is Kasumi with that food?  (looks toward the kitchen)

Ukyou: (hovering protectively near Ranma) Will you forget about food?

Genma: But I'm hungry...

Ukyou: You're _always_ hungry!  And it always gets Ranchan into
trouble!  I wish that just for once you'd forget about that bottomless
pit in your abdomen and start thinking about your son!

Genma: But I'm _really_ hungry...
(Ukyou rolls her eyes and shakes her head.)

Soun(still slightly groggy): Are you trying to tell us that you had no
control over what you did to my daughter?

Ranma: Hai, it was...weird.  (looks downcast) I'm really sorry, I
didn't mean to...

Soun: (doing a little dance of joy) Yaaa!  Ranma's fine!  I'm so happy
he isn't a psycho!

Nabiki(to Dr. Tofu): Could what Ranma described have happened from the
hit Akane gave him?

Tofu(cautiously): It _is_ possible...but unprecedented.  The
combination of stress, worry, depression, and _if_ the punch landed on
a strategic pressure point, _could_ cause a condition like Ranma
described...but it's still very unusual and unlikely.

Ukyou: Well, it happened!  Ranchan's fine now, got it?

Genma: Hai.  Now that we've straightened that out, let's eat!

Nabiki: Actually, I think that's a good idea.  Let's just continue as
if it didn't happen.

Ranma: So I can open my presents?
(Just then, Akane walks in, snuggling P-chan.  She glares at Ranma,
who draws back from her gaze.  Akane blinks and looks at Nabiki, who
surreptitiously gives her the "A-OK" sign.  Curious, she steps over to
the table.  P-chan-as usual-glares daggers at Ranma, but this time it
seems a _lot_ more intense.  Apparently, Akane has been pouring her
heart out to her pet on the way back.)

Akane(cool but not freezing): Hello, Ranma.

Ranma(hesitant): Hi...Akane...I want to say...

Akane: Yes?

Ranma: I'm sorry...I'm not sure what came over me...

Akane: (sighs) I suppose I can accept that.  The others explained it
before I left.  (pauses) What about Genma's decision to leave?

Ranma: (smile in relief, Ukyou frowns) Ucchan and I managed to
convince him to wait until tomorrow.  By then, we'll have come up with
a way to keep me here.  (P-chan snorts)

Genma: Can we eat now?

Soun: (still dancing about) Yaaa!  Ranma and Akane have made up!
(Kasumi walks in, carrying a tray of food.)

Tofu: (glasses fogging) My, Kasumi!  You've decided to visit me?  How
nice, but I promised to take Betty-chan to the oprah tonight!  (jumps
up and pulls on his coat, which is still on the coat rack) She's been
looking forward to it since Tuesday, and she'll be really disappointed
if I'm late!  (rushes out the window)

Kasumi: Bye, Dr. tofu.  See you tomorrow.  (cutsie eyes) Isn't he

Genma: Ahh!  FOOD!
(As soon as the tray hits the table, he begins to pile the food onto
his plate and shovel it into his mouth like an assembly line.  Nobody
else is very hungry, so they drift away from the table and approach
the pile of presents.  Ranma looks at them eagerly.)

Ranma: Why don't I open them now, before anything else happens?

Ukyou(trying hard to be cheerful): Sure, Ranchan.  Here, open mine.
(She hands him the present she was carrying when she entered the Tendo
household.  Ranma tears it open and pulls the object out.  It is a
chain, upon which hangs a tiny, brightly polished silver spatula.
Ranma smiles.)

Ranma: Arigato, Ucchan.  (he pulls an envelope from the pile) From
(He pulls it open and removes the yen inside.  He flips through them,
thanks Nabiki, and stuffs them in his pocket.  Then he opens several
more presents: a gi from Akane, a Super Famicom game-Dragonball Z
3-from Genma and Soun, a watch from Kasumi, a denim jacket from
Shampoo-which he tries on reluctantly but smiles when it does
nothing-and finally, comes to the present from Happousai.  He

Ranma: I don't think I'll open this...

Happousai: (appearing from the pile) But you must!  I went through a
lot of trouble to get that gift!

Ranma: Go away, you lecher!  I don't want anything to do with anything
you gave me!

Happousai: (sighs) I guess I'll just have to give you the other half
of your present right now...

Ranma(suspiciously): What is it?

Happousai: THIS!  (splashes Ranma with a bucket of water)

Ranma-chan: (blinks) Huh?  Happousai?  Why'd you...

Happousai: Quick, open your present!

Ranma-chan: Hai.
(She pulls open the present.  Inside, nestled on a fluffy white cotton
cushion, rests a frilly pink pair of panties and bra.  Ranma-chan

Ukyou: (to Happousai) You hentai!  I should...

Ranma-chan: I _love_ them!  Arigato, Happousai!  I'll go try them on
right now!
(_Everyone_ stares in wide-eyed, open-mouthed, stock-still shock as
Ranma-chan runs up the stairs with the package.)


(Scene: The Nekohanten.  Shampoo is preparing to open the restaurant
while Cologne perches on the counter, worriedly poring over an ancient
tome.  Presently she gasps in shock.)

Shampoo: <What is it, o-baba?>

Cologne(snaps): <Quiet!> (she studies the book for a moment while
Shampoo remains silent, then begins to shake) <Great-granddaughter!>

Shampoo: <Hai?>

Cologne: <I've discovered something.  A magical spice that looks and
feels so much like Darkechilde spice that I couldn't tell the
difference...and I don't think Amigi could, either.>

Shampoo: <What?>

Cologne: <Femme Fatale spice!  Quickly, we must get back to the dojo!>


(Meanwhile, back at the dojo: everyone is still staring at the stairs.
Finally, they wrench their eyes away and look at each other.)

Soun: Saotome-kun, what is Ranma doing?

Genma: I...don't know.  I...I...

Akane: What's gotten into him?  He sounds like...a...girl.

Ukyou: It's all your fault, Akane!  You had to go and hit him!

Akane: Why are you accusing me?  You hit him too!

P-chan(angrily): Bwee!  Eee!  Bwee!

Ukyou: Shut up, Ryo...P-chan!

Genma(to Nabiki): I thought you said you had a solution!

Nabiki: I did.  I said "I have a solution."  I never said it would

Akane: Aieeeee!  (Happousai has glomped onto her behind) Get it off!
(P-chan is dropped to the floor, and he begins the nip the old man)

Happousai: Akane-chan!  Ranma's being so helpful, why don't you follow
her lead?

Akane: (manages to snatch him off) Because I'm not SICK!  (punts the
hentai through the ceiling) DIE!!!
(Everyone claps.  Then they stop as Ranma-chan comes down the stairs.
Everyone-except Kasumi-is stunned again.  Instead of his gi, or his
silk tunic and pants, or any of his other clothes, Ranma-chan is
wearing a knee-length red pleated skirt, half-knee-high white socks,
and a soft white blouse with a fold-down sailor-like collar.)

Ranma-chan: Would you believe it?  I couldn't find a single decent
outfit in my room.  I hope you don't mind, Akane, but I borrowed some
of yours.

Akane(stunned): No...I...don't mind...

Kasumi: That looks very nice on you, Ranma.  The skirt matches your

Ranma-chan: (giggles and twirls around) You really think so?

Kasumi: Hai.  It's a nice outfit, Ranma.

Ranma-chan: (frowns) Why do you keep calling me Ranma?
(Everyone exchanges worried glances.  Ranma-chan makes a dismissive

Ranma-chan: Oh well, you're all peculiar people, anyway.  One more
idiosyncrasy won't matter.
(She walks over to the group.)

Genma: Son, are you feeling okay?

Ranma-chan: (rolls eyes) Listen, pop, I'm not your _son_, and I feel
fine.  (looks eagerly at the remaining presents) Well, let's get on
with the party, shall we?

Ukyou: Sure...Ranma...if you say so...

Ranma-chan: Please stop calling me that.

Nabiki: What _should_ we call you?

Ranma-chan: Senchi.  My name is _Senchi_.


(Scene: The Kunou mansion, where it is apparently dinnertime.
Kodachi, smiling maliciously, is sitting across the table from her
brother.  Kunou is liberally sprinkling his food with spice from a
container with a jolly roger crossed out on it.  Sasuke is kneeling in
the corner.)

Kunou: Yes sister, today is that vile Saotome's day of birth.  And the
world doth shudder with disgust for the remembered pain it felt when
he came to be.

Kodachi: I can't believe my Ranma-sama didn't invite me to his party!
He told me it was tomorrow!  I'll bet that Tendo wench put him up to
it!   (looks at Sasuke) Sasuke!

Sasuke: Hai, mistress?

Kodachi: Fetch my present!  It's time I had a talk with my beloved.
(Kunou begins to examine a lettuce leaf under a microscope.)


(Back at the dojo: is holding up a pair of
jeans.  Everyone else looks like people who have just been told they
have cancer-except Kasumi.)

Ra...Senchi: Uh...these...are nice.  (she puts them aside) What do we
have here?
(She picks up the badly-wrapped gift that Ryouga dropped when he
rushed out.  P-chan goes insane.  He struggles in Akane's grasp,
squealing in panic.  Senchi unwraps it and holds up the scroll inside
with an intrigued expression.  P-chan's struggles intensify, as Akane
tries in vain to placate her pet.  Senchi unrolls the scroll and reads
it for a moment.  P-chan's face falls, and he droops in despair.)

Senchi: What's this?  I can't read it, it's in some...weird language.

Genma: Let me... (the doorbell rings)

Nabiki(absently): When did we get a doorbell?

Senchi: I'll get it.
(Before anyone can react, she gets up and runs around the corner to
the door.  She throws it open, and we see two people outside.  One is
a tall, brown-haired woman with a pleasant expression.  She is wearing
a pretty brown dress, has a carefully wrapped bundle strapped to her
back, and is carrying a piece of luggage.  Next to and slightly behind
her is a handsome-if somewhat pretty-boy.  He has short, blue-black
hair and is wearing a blue scaled vest and baggy white pants.  On each
wrist he sports tight metal bracers.)

Nodoka: (cutsie eyed) Hello, dear.  Is Mr. Saotome in?

Senchi(surprised/delighted): MOM!  (hugs her fiercely)

                        TO BE CONTINUED...

If this is starting to interest you, make sure you tune in for "The
Killing Cure" next week, same aquatranssexual-time, same aqua...wait,
that isn't right....
Blade and Epsilon

All content unless stated otherwise is ©2021 Chris McNeil. He can be contacted here. The banner picture is courtesy of Jason Heavensrun. You can find more of his stuff at Checkmate Studios.