Chapter 4: Rumble in Nerima

                     Ranma 1/2: Curse of Darkness
                              Chapter 4
                           Rumble in Nerima
The story so far: It's Ranma's birthday, and it's probably the worst
day of his life.  First Amigi Diatonobi of DEMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced
dem-ses-rep-bfft) came and turned his female half into a free-willed,
cruel person named Senchi.  Then Ryouga attacked and throughly
trounced him for Senchi's actions.  Then Tsubasa, of all people,
showed up and puts him into the hospital-or clinic, at least.  Now,
Amigi plans on taking him away to god knows where because Genma sold
him for food-again.  Some people just don't get any breaks...

(Scene: Dr. Tofu's clinic, in what's left of the waiting room.  Amigi
stands in the centre, cackling like a madman.  Scattered about are the
unconscious forms of Ukyou, Dr. Tofu, Soun, Genma, Akane, Shampoo,
Tzubi, Nabiki, Cologne and Ryouga.  The lost boy is in the worst
shape, being covered in a multitude of cuts and gashes.  Amigi stops
laughing and smiles smugly at Tzubi.)

Amigi: That's what you get for defying me, boy.  (cackles again)
(He stops as he hears a door open behind him.  Whirling to face this
new challenger, he relaxes as he sees a bandaged Ranma.)

Ranma: Oh my head... (looks around) Did I miss something?  (blinks as
he realizes what he's seeing) Holy...what the hell happened here?

Amigi(politely): Hello, Ranma.

Ranma: (looks at Amigi; angry surprise) You!  So you're behind all
this!  (gets into an offensive posture) Just what did you plan to
accomplish with that?

Amigi: What do you mean?  (looks around) Oh, this.

Ranma: (blinks) Huh?

Amigi: You must think I did this.  (takes a step closer)

Ranma(confused): Didn't you?

Amigi: (shakes head) No boy, I did not.  In fact, I just arrived.
(another step closer)

Ranma: But...

Amigi: You doubt me, don't you?  (now standing withing reach of Ranma)
I don't blame you.  I have not given you much reason to trust me.
(places his hand on Ranma's shoulder; face takes on a serious cast)
But I can assure you that I am not responsible.  (looks at Tzubi) My
own ward has been assaulted too, as you can see.

Ranma: I... (he looks at this and straightens, dropping his arms) I
guess you wouldn't attack your own pupil.  But if you didn't, who did?

Amigi: (closes his eyes and shakes head) I have no idea, but it was a
strong opponent.  Even Cologne could not stand against it.

Ranma: (goggles at Cologne's unconscious form) H-how could someone

Amigi: (stands behind Ranma and smiles evilly) I have no idea, but it
is beyond either of our abilities to combat.  (Ranma looks confused
and worried; Amigi puts a compassionate look on his face, gently puts
his hands on Ranma's shoulders and turns him around) But it doesn't
have to be.

Ranma: (blinks) What are you talking about?

Amigi(intense): Come with me.  Let me train you, make you better able
to defend your friends.

Ranma: I... (suspiciously) Hey, if you couldn't defeat this person,
how could you help me?

Amigi: I am a sorcerer, a user of magic.  I know many techniques, but
lack the physical training to use them.  You do not.  You could use my
knowledge to help your friends, to defend them.

Ranma: (backs away) What makes you think I couldn't do that without

Amigi: (arches an eyebrow) Are you telling me that you are truly that
confident in your abilities?  Are you so strong that any opponent you
face is doomed?
(Ranma back off, and we see two flashbacks: one of a laughing Tsubasa,
and another of Ryouga about to perform the Shishi Hokodan.  Then we
see Ranma looking at Amigi in complete confusion.)

Amigi(softly): Let me train you... (extends his hand, palm upward)

Ranma: How do I know that I can trust you?

Amigi: You do not.  I can only ask you if you feel that anybody else
can help you here.  
(A tiny blue spark crackles in his palm.  Ranma stares at it, then it

Ranma(absently): N-no, I suppose not... (blinks) I... (firmly) Hai.  I
will come with you.  (clasps Amigi's hand)

Amigi: (smiles) Good.  We will depart immediately.

Ranma(hesitant): Immediately?  But what about...

Amigi(calmly): They will be fine.  We can do nothing for them.  Dr.
Tofu will awaken soon, and he will look after them.

Ranma: I don't think...

Amigi: Do you want to become better?  To rehabilitate yourself and
improve your skills.  To learn more about the martial arts then you
ever dreamed possible?

Ranma: I...I... (looks at all the people) I guess so...

Amigi(evilly): Excellent.  (closes eyes) Prepare yourself.

Ranma: For what?  (Amigi begins to glow a bright blue) Huh?  (the aura
intensifies, becoming a halo of light which covers both Ranma and
Amigi) What are you doing?  (they both disappear)
(The room is silent as the glow disperses into a few scattered
sparkles of light.  Then even they are gone, and only the unconscious
forms of the Nerima group remain.  Then slowly, wearily, one of the
figures rises to his knees.  Dr. Tofu clutches his head with a groan
of pain, keeping his eyes tightly closed.)

Tofu: Oooohhh, a black energy point technique... (groans) I didn't
think anybody but an accomplished sorcerer could... (looks up and sees
the room) Oh my goodness...


(Scene: The Tendo living room.  Nodoka Saotome and Pantyhose Tarou are
sitting across the table from each other.  Tarou is calm, if somewhat
upset, while Nodoka looks worried.)

Tarou: Well, are you going to help me or not?

Nodoka: Huh? (looks at him) Sorry, I was thinking about Ranma...

Tarou: (frowns) I think we need to prioritize here...

Nodoka: Are you saying my son should not be a priority?

Tarou: No, it's just that at the moment you can do nothing about
Ranma.  However, you can help me with my problem like you promised to.

Nodoka: Hai, you're right.  Perhaps helping you will allow me to
forget about Ranma...for a time.
(Tarou smiles.  Nodoka leans back and looks thoughtful.)

Nodoka: Happousai is your problem...

Tarou: Hai.

Nodoka: More specifically, the fact that he has given you
an...unsatisfactory name.

Tarou(irritated): Hai.

Nodoka: And according to some obscure law you follow, only he can
rename you.

Tarou(very irritated): Hai, hai, _hai_!  I know all this!

Nodoka: Patience, dear.  This is what is called "defining the

Tarou: I am not a "dear."

Nodoka: (leans forward) Now, you have already tried assaulting
Happousai, without success.  Attacking his "friends", and even
tricking him...hmmm.

Tarou: Well?

Nodoka: I think I have a solution.

Tarou(anxious): Which is?

Nodoka: Have you tried reasoning with him?

Tarou: (blinks) Reason?  (incredulous) REASON?!?  Are you INSANE?!?
You can't _reason_ with Happousai!

Nodoka: (arches an eyebrow) Have you ever tried?

Tarou: Of course not!  I'm not stupid!

Nodoka: Then how can you be sure that it won't work?

Tarou: (grits teeth) Because...because Happousai is unreasonable!

Nodoka: Then how about bargaining?  A trade?  Or maybe even just
asking nicely?  Have you ever tried any of those?

Tarou(hesitant): No, I haven't...

Nodoka: Would asking hurt you in some way?

Tarou: Well, my...I guess not...

Nodoka: Then why not try it?  You've got nothing to lose, just the
breath it takes to say the words.

Tarou(grudging): Fine, I'll do it.  But I have a _bad_ feeling about


(Scene: Amigi's spellcasting chambers (described in the last chapter),
which are currently empty.  Suddenly, a blue sphere appears near the
centre of the room.  Ranma and Amigi materialize in the centre of it
and the sphere pops like a soap bubble and disappears.  Ranma steps
back, looking about in surprise.)

Ranma: Where'd you get this?  A cheap horror movie?

Amigi: (shrugs) It suits my needs.
(Amigi walks over to a chest and opens it, while Ranma continues to
look around.)

Ranma: Doesn't matter to me.  I've seen weirder...and cornier...stuff.

Amigi: I'm sure you have.  (rummages in the chest) Ah, there you are!

Ranma: (turns to him) There what is?
(Amigi stands up, holding something to his chest.  However, his back
is to Ranma and we can't see what it is.)

Amigi: Just a little something I need to talk to my guest.

Ranma: Your guest?  I thought _I_ was your guest.

Amigi: (chuckles evilly) You thought wrong.  I want to speak to
someone else.

Ranma: But...who?
(Amigi turns rapidly and swings a bucket at Ranma.)

Amigi: HER!
(The water descends on Ranma, who is instantly drenched...and no
longer a he.)

Senchi: Ahh!  Cold!  (shakes herself) What'd you do that for?

Amigi(politely): I apologise for the impromptu soaking, Ms...?

Senchi: Saotome.

Amigi: And your first name?

Senchi(mutters): Finally, someone who _won't_ call me Ranma... (out
loud) Senchi.

Amigi: (smiles) Senchi.  A very nice name.

Senchi: Well, thank you.  I haven't gotten much positive reaction to

Amigi(seriously): I am not surprised.

Senchi: Oh?

Amigi: Have people been referring to you as Ranma?

Senchi: Hai.  (looks surprised)

Amigi: And acting strangely towards you?

Senchi: (obviously curious) Hai.

Amigi: (nods solemnly) Indeed, then it is true.

Senchi: What is?

Amigi: That you have finally escaped.

Senchi: (blinks) Escaped?  Escaped what?  I was never held by

Amigi: (raises his hand) Not physically escaped, _mentally_ escaped.

Senchi: Huh?

Amigi: This is all very complex, but let's just say that you are...a
victim of a terrible injustice.

Senchi: Injustice?

Amigi: When you were born, a curse was cast upon you.

Senchi: Curse?

Amigi: (nods) Hai.  A curse which transformed you into a boy, instead
of the girl you were meant to be.

Senchi: (frowns) But how...

Amigi: Wait, allow me to explain.  (deep breath) You see, transformed
into a boy you never developed naturally.  They named you "Ranma", and
treated you like a boy, so you developed a boy's personality.

Senchi: You lost me...

Amigi: Just hear me out.  Now fortunately for you, Ranma went to the
cursed springs of Jyusenkyou, where he fell into the spring of drowned
girl and was twice cursed.  You see, whenever you are exposed to hot
water you become Ranma, and cold water changes you back.

Senchi: Huh?

Amigi: I warned you this was complex.  (clears throat) After Ranma was
cursed, though, your original personality did not emerge.  I, or
rather my organization, learned about you and came at once.

Senchi: Why?

Amigi: Huh?

Senchi: Why did you want to help me?  You don't know me...

Amigi: Who said it was to help you?  And you are wrong, I do know you.
Many, many years ago, I met Ranma and his-your-father.  In Ranma, I
saw you.  Your father made a deal with us that involved my training
you-among other things-and I came to see it through.  When I realized
you were still trapped, I thought it best to free you, and did so.

Senchi: Free me?

Amigi: I used magic to restore your personality.  To drive out all
that male training and bring to the fore your personality as it was
meant to be.

Senchi: So what you're saying is that I'm the real Ranma?

Amigi: No, you're the real _Senchi_.  Ranma is the _false_ you.  And
to answer your earlier question, I have no idea who originally cursed

Senchi: That still doesn't answer why you wanted to help.  (crosses
her arms)

Amigi: Simple.  Ranma couldn't handle the power of Ginkiri.  You can.

Senchi: Ginkiri?

Amigi: (spins around dramatically) Ginkiri... (puffs himself up)
Ginkiri was a complex man...

Senchi: You're not going to break into song, are you?

Amigi: (turns back with a guilty look) really...
(clears his throat) You see, several million years ago, when most
humans were still climbing out of trees, there lived a race of people
who were nearly as advanced as our own.  These were the Cadinians, and
they developed the first martial arts.  The greatest among them was
named Ginkiri, which means "black hand".  He used a secret technique
to conquer the multitude of ape-men who lived then.  However, he was
betrayed and killed by his wife Sionna, who was with child.  Soon
after, the Cadinian civilization was wiped out by the barbaric
ape-men.  Some few survived, keeping alive the teachings of Ginkiri,
though no one was ever able to perform his ultimate technique.  I, and
all the members of DEMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced dem-ses-rep-bfft), are
the descendants of those few.  You also have the blood of Ginkiri in
your veins, and show great promise.  That is why we want you to join

Senchi: So you plan on teaching me these techniques so I can help you
and this DMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced dem-ses-rep-bfft)...conquer the

Amigi: Uh...(coughs) 

Senchi: (gives him a thumbs-up) Cool.  Sounds like fun...but on two

Amigi: (pauses) Tell me what they are, and I'll see what I can do.

Senchi: (holds up one finger) First, get rid of Ranma.  He usurped
this body long enough, and I want it back for good.

Amigi: I think I can handle that...and the second?

Senchi(dreamily): Ryouga...

Amigi: (blinks) What?

Senchi: Ryouga.  Do you realize how much of a _hunk_ Ryouga is?

Amigi: Not really, but I'm not much of an expert on boys...

Senchi: Or girls, by the looks of you.

Amigi: (eyes wide in indignation) Why, I never!  (calms down) Fine,
I'll see what I can do about Ryouga.  What's the problem, anyway?

Senchi: What makes you think there's a problem?

Amigi: There's always a problem.

Senchi: (sighs) Well, he thinks I'm a guy...

Amigi: Easy enough to solve.

Senchi: ...and he wants to kill me.

Amigi: (blinks; long pause) He wants to...kill you?

Senchi: Well, he hates...Ranma, and _I_ sorta beat up a girl he's in
love with... (shuffles her feet)

Amigi: Wait.  You can remember more about your...Ranma's life now?

Senchi: (blinks) Now that you mention it, things are coming
in...memories that made no sense earlier...

Amigi: This is highly unusual...but yours is an unusual case, Senchi.
It must have to do with you and Ranma occupying the same body...hmmm.
(looks thoughtful) That could mean that Ranma is able to access your

Senchi: Huh?

Amigi: Ranma may be able to see through your eyes too.

Senchi(angry): He's WHAT?!?  Why that... (growls) How do I stop him?

Amigi: Careful meditation and mental discipline.

Senchi: Great.  How do I learn that?

Amigi: (smiles) I can teach you...and other things, as well.  Among
them how to defend yourself.

Senchi: I can take care of myself.

Amigi: Against _all_ of your friends and enemies?

Senchi: Huh?

Amigi: I suspect that very soon, all of Ranma's friends and even some
of his enemies will be coming here to destroy you.

Senchi: (eyes narrow) We'll just see about that.  Amigi, I need some
way to know as much as I can about all of Ranma's friends.
(Amigi smiles and gestures.  With a flash of light, a crystal ball
forms in the middle of the room.)


(Scene: The office of Dr. Tofu.  There are several makeshift cots set
up.  Ryouga lays in one, swathed in a healthy supply of bandages and
still unconscious.  Tzubi and Nabiki, both out cold, are in side by
side cots, and an awake Ukyou is in another.  She looks annoyed and
obviously wants to get up, but Dr. Tofu is gently holding her down.
Cologne and Shampoo stand off in one corner, looking worried.  Soun is
bawling his eyes out while Genma-panda reassures him with "There,
there" signs.  Akane sits, statue-like, in a chair on the far side of
the room.)

Ukyou: I'm _fine_, doctor!  I can walk.

Tofu: I'll be the judge of that, Ukyou.  Now be still.  That blow
knocked out your balance, so you'll have to wait.

Ukyou: Fine.  (lies down and crosses her arms) I'll only stay for an
hour, then I'm going to find Ranma.

Tofu: Patience, Ukyou.  You won't do him much good if you break your

Cologne: The doctor is right. And even if you could walk _and_ find
Ranma, you would still have to beat Amigi and his Negative Vortex
Field.  Do you feel up to pitting yourself against an attack that can
defeat _me_?

Ukyou: You just didn't have the proper motivation.  I love Ranchan,
and _that_ will give me strength.

Shampoo: You say Shampoo no love Ranma?

Ukyou: Well duh, of course you don't love Ranma.  You only care about
him because of that stupid amazon law.

Shampoo: (pulls out a bonbori) You take back!

Tofu(firmly): No fighting.

Shampoo: (puts the weapon away) You tell cook-bimbo to take back what

Ukyou: I won't.  (looks at Tzubi) How, pray tell, do you feel about

Shampoo: Tzubi?  (dreamy voice) Shampoo love Tzubi, he very strong

Ukyou: Love him, do you?  Well what-besides the fact that he's
strong-do you love about him?

Shampoo: (lamely) He handsome...

Ukyou: What else do you know?  What about his favourite movie?  His
personality?  His favourite and least-liked foods?  His parents?  Does
he even _have_ parents?  (each question slams into Shampoo like a
depleted uranium slug) What is his occupation?  His age?  His LAST

Shampoo: (backing away) I...I...

Ukyou: Well, Shampoo, why _do_ you "love" Tzubi?
(Shampoo looks like she is about to crumble, when Cologne bounces over
and lays a protective hand on her arm.  The young amazon straightens.)

Cologne: Shampoo doesn't have to answer any of those questions.  And
most certainly not from the likes of you.

Shampoo: Yeah, you no hear of love first sight?

Ukyou: (smiles) I've got all the answer I need.

Akane: Speaking of Tzubi, what is he doing here?

Tofu: Sleeping.  (laughs stupidly; blinks when nobody gets the joke)

Soun: (stops blubbering for a moment) Yes, what is the monster who
helped to steal my Akane's husband from her doing here?

Akane: I am _not_ marrying him!

Soun: Waaah!  She's so despondent, she's given up all hope!  Waaah!

Cologne: Actually, that is a good question.  What is Amigi's pupil
doing here?

Voice: Why don't you ask him yourself?
(Everyone turns to see Tzubi sitting up on his cot, a somewhat defiant
expression on his face.)

Cologne(hate-filled voice): So boy, you're awake.

Tzubi: Hai, and I'd like to stay that way, so please don't beat me up.

Ukyou(scornful): Oh?  And why shouldn't we?

Tzubi(flat tone): Because you want to defeat Amigi, and without me you
don't stand a chance.

Shampoo: Husband!  (runs over and wraps her arms around him) You okay?
Shampoo worried.

Tzubi(dangerous tone):

Cologne: Do as he says, great-granddaughter.  There will be time
enough for that later.
(Shampoo unwillingly releases Tzubi and backs away.  Dr. Tofu moves
over to Ryouga.  Nabiki shifts in her cot and rolls to the side, but
doesn't wake up.)

Cologne: Okay boy, speak.  How can you help us?


(Scene: The attic of the Tendo Dojo.  Happousai has recently returned
from a panty raid, and is perched next to a hole in the floor.  His
sack is next to him, and he pulls out of it a frilly black thing whose
purpose is totally undecipherable.)

Happy: Don't worry, my silken darling.  I'll keep you safe.  (drops it
into the hole) Now what's
(Stops as he hears heavy footsteps tramping up the stairs.)

Tarou's voice: Haven't you ever heard of stealth?

Nodoka's voice: Hai, but we should make a lot of noise so that
Happousai hears us coming and has time to hide his...treasures in his
secret compartment.

Happy: H-how did she...
(There is a knock at the door.)

Nodoka's voice: Master Happousai?
(He quickly slides the sack into the hole and places a plank over it,
making it indistinguishable from the rest of the floor.)

Happy: Yeeessss?

Nodoka: Are you finished hiding your panties under the fifth plank
from the pole?  And if so, may we enter?
(Happousai blinks and looks over at the support pole.  He counts five
planks away from it, right to where his sack is hidden.)

Happy: Uh...sure...
(A trapdoor opens and Nodoka and Tarou step out.  Tarou is stiff and
his movements are mechanical.)

Happy(surprised and delighted): PANTYHOSE!
(Tarou's expression cracks and he begins to clench and unclench his
fists.  Nodoka lays a calming hand on his shoulder.)

Nodoka: Calm down, Tarou.  We are here to talk, not fight.

Happy: How're things going, Pantyhose?  (Tarou jerks forward an inch)
Where ya been, Pantyhose?  (Tarou is shaking visibly, and his teeth
are clenched)

Tarou: Fine...I'm just fine...

Nodoka: Master Happousai, Tarou and I would like to talk with you.

Happy: Talk?  (sits down and pulls out his pipe; pauses) Okay, let's

Nodoka: See Tarou, you just have to be reasonable.

Tarou: This isn't over yet.

Nodoka: (to Happousai) As I understand it, you christened and named
this boy.

Happy: Hai, and I named him Pantyhose, an absolutely lovely name.
(Tarou grits his teeth and latches onto and iron bar on the floor with
his right hand.)

Nodoka: I'm sure it is, but Tarou here has expressed some displeasure
with it.

Happy(exaggerated surprise): He _has_?  I never would have guessed.

Nodoka: (nods) And he kindly requests that you change it.

Happy: _He_ does?  You're very nice, dearie, but you're no Pantyhose.

Nodoka: Tarou?

Tarou: (bending the bar with his fingers; forced) Would you change my

Happy: You didn't say the magic word.

Tarou: (bows head; quietly) Please?

Happy: I can't hear you.

Tarou(roars): _PLEASE_!!!

Happy: (after a long pause) No...

Tarou: (leaps up) See?  I told you!  Now I'm going to...

Nodoka(barks): Sit _down_ Tarou!  Now!
(Tarou sits down again, muttering under his breath.  Happousai looks
impressed, and grins.)

Happy: I won't change your name just because you asked, but I will
change it in exchange for something.

Tarou(genuinely surprised): You will?

Nodoka: What do you want?

Happy: (thoughtful pause; smokes his pipe) Ranma.

Nodoka: (blinks) Huh?

Tarou: (eyes narrow) What...?

Happy: I want Ranma-chan to...give me a...

Tarou: (smiles evilly) show?

Happy: Exactly.

Nodoka: You can't be serious!
(Tarou stands up and clasps Nodoka's hand.)

Tarou: Well, thanks for all the help!  (smiles warmly) I can't tell
you how much you've helped me.  (he runs down the stairs)

Nodoka: Tarou!  (runs after him) Come back here!  This isn't how I...
(They are soon both gone, and Happousai opens compartment to continue
counting his darlings.)


(Scene: Dr. Tofu's office, the same as when we left it.  Cologne
shifts her weight on her staff.)

Cologne: Well, boy?

Tzubi: For starters, I can lead you to Amigi and help you defeat him.

Ukyou: We know you _can_ lead us to him.  The question is _why_ you
would lead us to him.

Cologne: Hush girl, let him speak.  We will determine his motives
later.  (to Tzubi) How can you help us defeat him?

Tzubi: I know how to get past the Negative Vortex Field.
(Everyone is still for a moment as this sinks in.)

Cologne(snaps): How?!?  Tell me quickly!

Tzubi: (smiles) Slight exaggeration.  I don't know exactly how to
counter it, but I know how we can find out.

Cologne(suspicious): How?

Tzubi: (shrugs) Nabiki.

Akane(incredulous): _Nabiki_!?  What does she know about martial arts?

Tzubi: Nothing...but when Amigi used the Field, she was the only one
left standing.

Genma: Perhaps the fact she knows no martial arts has something to do
with it.  Maybe the better a martial artist you are, the more effect
it has.

Ukyou: I don't know...from the way you described it, Akane fell
_before_ Shampoo...

Akane: Hey!  Are you saying the Chinese bimbo is better than me?

Shampoo(angry): Who you call bimbo!?

Tofu: No fighting.
(Akane and Shampoo sit back and glare at each other.  Ukyou smiles
briefly, but then her face returns to its solemn look.)

Ukyou: So why _was_ she the only one left standing?

Tzubi: That should be easy enough to find out.  Ask her.

Soun: Waaaah!!!

Cologne: What are you crying about this time?

Soun: Waaah!  I don't know! *sob*choke*sob* It just seems like the
right thing to do!  Waaah!!!

Ukyou: (to Genma) Are you _sure_ you want your son to marry into that

Cologne: (to Tofu) Could you wake her up?

Tofu: (nods) It wouldn't hurt her.
(Everybody is silent as Dr. Tofu leans over Nabiki; there is a look of
concern on Tzubi's face.  The doctor pokes Nabiki several times.  He
leans back as the girl blinks.)

Nabiki(groggily): What happened...

Tzubi: Amigi used magic to knock us out, but I took the brunt of the
blow so you weren't seriously hurt.
(Ukyou looks sharply at Tzubi, cocking her eyebrow.  Nabiki frowns.)

Nabiki: I remember now... (sits up; angry) How _dare_ he!  Attacking a
defenceless girl!  I'll sue!  Do you hear me, _SUE_!!!  (she looks

Tzubi: Uh...right...

Cologne: (clears her throat) Nabiki...

Nabiki: (collects herself) Hai?

Cologne: It would be of great help if you would...

Nabiki: ...if I would tell you how I protected myself from Amigi's
attack?  (leans back, putting her finger to her chin) Hmmm.  How much
is this worth?
(Everyone sighs in resignation.)

Ukyou: I should have known.

Nabiki: (sits up) Okay, this is a freebie.  (everyone gasps) I don't

Cologne: (blinks) You...don't know?

Nabiki: Haven't a clue.  I wasn't even _trying_ to resist it.

Tzubi: (eyes light up) You weren't?

Cologne: What is it, boy?

Tzubi: Quiet, I'm working on something here.
(Cologne looks profoundly shocked.)

Tzubi: Nabiki, tell me: why weren't you resisting?

Nabiki: (frowns) I thought he wouldn't attack me...

Tzubi: And why was that?

Nabiki(suddenly excited): Because I wasn't trying to attack him!

Tzubi: Hai, and that was because...
(Everyone starts looking from Tzubi to Nabiki and back again like
people watching a tennis match.)

Nabiki: I didn't want to, and...

Tzubi: ...the name is _Negative_...

Nabiki: ...because it relies on the...

Tzubi: (nods) ...hai, and that would explain...

Nabiki: ...not to mention Akane and Shampoo!

Tzubi and Nabiki: That's IT!!!

Ukyou(absently): Anybody else feel like a third wheel?

Cologne: What is it?

Tzubi: Amigi's Negative Vortex Field isn't _really_ an attack.

Nabiki: What it actually does is converts any _negative_ emotions
towards its user into energy, which hurts the victims.

Tzubi: Which explains why it can affect so many people, _and_ why
Cologne and Akane were the first to fall.  In other words, the more
angry you are with Amigi, the more damage it does.

Nabiki: (leans back) It's soooo nice to finally meet someone who uses
his brain.

Tzubi: (coughs) A-arigato.

Cologne: (eyes narrow) So what we need is to find someone who has no
harsh feelings towards Amigi.

Ukyou: That rules you out, Cologne, me too, and just about everybody
else in this room.  (sighs)  We need help.
(Somebody clears his throat, and everyone turns to look at the
entrance.  Nodoka stands just outside, and Tarou is leaning against
the doorframe.  He smiles evilly.)

Tarou: Did someone mention needing help?


(Scene: Amigi's living room.  Senchi is in a grey silk tunic and black
pants, and is kneeling at a table.  She has several items in front of
her: some nails, a pair of cymbals, a dozen shuriken and two
thermoses, one with a blue band, the other with a red band.  She
smirks.  Then Amigi walks in, leading Tsubasa.  The transvestite
blinks as he sees Senchi.)

Tsubasa(angry): What's _he_ doing here?!?

Senchi: I'm not Ranma.

Tsubasa: Huh?

Amigi: She's telling the truth, Tsubasa.  She is not Ranma.  She is
Senchi, who like us, is trying to destroy Ranma.

Tsubasa: He...I mean she is?

Senchi: Hai.  I have just as much, if not more, reason to want to get
rid of (absolute loathing) _Ranma_.

Tsubasa: (scratches his head) I'm confused...

Amigi: That's understandable, I suppose.  The technique I taught you
drains a lot from your mental facilities.

Tsubasa: Speaking of your didn't work.

Amigi: (cocks an eyebrow) Oh?  Didn't you become more powerful than

Tsubasa: Hai, but it didn't last!

Amigi: Did I _say_ it would be permanent?

Tsubasa: You cheated me, you... (growls) you...

Amigi: (smirks) Oh please, don't threaten me.  You have enough energy
now to become powerful for about three seconds.

Tsubasa: (blinks) What are you talking about?
(Senchi shifts her eyes to Amigi, but doesn't straighten from her
examination of the tabletop.)

Amigi: You know the general principal of friction?  Well, let's just
say that a great deal of energy you use is lost to friction.  Your
technique allows you to collect and store that energy, like a battery.
Then you release it all at once, funnelling it both into your body and
your mind.  So dependant on how much actual energy you've used, you
will have so much time as a  (Tsubasa looks
confused; Amigi sighs) You have to wait a while before you can use the
technique again.

Tsubasa: Oh...I understand.  So I can use it again?

Amigi: Hai, but not for another day or two.

Tsubasa: (nods) That's good.

Senchi: (looks up) Tsubasa?

Tsubasa: Hai, Ranma?

Senchi: (shaking; growls) I am _not_ Ranma!!!  I am Senchi!  SENCHI!!!

Tsubasa: (backs away fearfully) Sure, whatever you say!

Senchi(calming down): Anyway...we need your help to get rid of Ranma

Tsubasa(suspiciously): Oh yeah?  What is it you want me to do?

Senchi: (smiles) Why don't we discuss that?


(Scene: the office of Dr. Tofu.  More specifically, an empty room near
the back which is...filled with blood!!! {cackle megalomaniacally} All
hail Mephisto, lord of darkness! ...gomen, I was temporarily
possessed.  But I feel _much_ better now.  Let's get on with the
(evil!) story.  The room is empty, but not for long, as Cologne and
Shampoo enter.  Cologne perches on an examination room as Shampoo
closes the door and turns to face her.)

Shampoo: What you want talk, great-grandmother?

Cologne: (smiles) You remember that plan we had discussed before this
whole fiasco started?

Shampoo: Uhh... (frowns) Think so...something  bout spice...

Cologne: Indeed, the love spice we planned to use on Ranma.

Shampoo: (jumps) Aiya!  Shampoo remember now!

Cologne: Good, because now is the best time to use it.

Shampoo: What you mean?  Shouldn't we help Ranma?

Cologne: That we will.  Help him lose his other personality _and_ help
him realize his love for you.  (pulls out a bottle of powder) Now take
this and hide it well.

Shampoo: Okay.
(She takes the bottle and slips it in her bodice.)

Cologne: Umm...yes, that'll do.  Now, I want you to listen.  As soon
as Ranma is freed, toss the spice over him.  Don't wait, don't
hesitate, and most importantly...

Shampoo: (leans forward) Hai?

Cologne: Don't miss.

Shampoo: Hai!

Cologne: (looks up) Something's happening out there.
(They walk outside and into the main room.  Nodoka and Genma are
sitting in the corner; Genma looking small while Nodoka softly talks
to him.  Tarou is in the opposite corner, doing curls with hand
weights.  The big scene, however, is in the centre of the room as
Akane and Ukyou attempt to hold back Raging Ryouga (tm) from Tzubi,
who is in a defensive pose.  Dr. Tofu is trying to calm down Ryouga
without much effect.  Nabiki is calmly filing her nails not far off.)

Tofu: Ryouga, he's on _our_ side now.

Ryouga: (growls) Don't make me laugh, doctor!  (bares fangs) He's just
leading us into a trap!  He only wants us to follow him so Amigi can
get us!

Akane: Ryouga!  Please, listen to reason.

Ryouga: (shakes his head) No Akane, he's just leading us on.  He's no
better than Ranma!  (Ryouga shrugs off Ukyou, who lands with a grunt;
he gently removes Akane's hand) Trust me, Akane.  I know these kinds
of people.

Akane: But Ryouga, we need him to find Ranma.

Ryouga: (frowns) [Why is she so worried about that...Ranma?] Don't
worry.  (turns to Tzubi) I'll let him live.

Tarou: I think it might be the other way around.

Tzubi: I've already defeated you once when you were in peak condition.
What chance do you stand now?

Ryouga: (smiles) More chance than you realize.  (steps forward) Now
_I'm_ going to use my real strength against _you_!  (cups his hands) 

Tofu: Ryouga, wait!

Tzubi: (whips out his daisho and stands ready) I'd really rather talk
this over, but if you insist...

Ryouga: Now die!  (thrusts his palms at Tzubi) SHISHI HOKODAN!!!!!
(The ball of greenish energy erupts from Ryouga's hands and blasts
towards Tzubi...who sidesteps and watches as it blows some ground
apart harmlessly.  Tarou snickers as Ryouga finishes the move and

Tzubi: I warned you.  KIYA!  (he snaps out with the hilt of his
wakazashi and strikes Ryouga in the face, knocking the larger boy
back) Do you give up?

Ryouga: (growls) Never!

Tofu: No, now.  This ends now.  (he pokes Ryouga in the back of the
neck and he falls to his knees, gasping) No more violence.

Tzubi: Arigato, doctor.  I did not wish to harm him further.
(sheathes his daisho) I've already done enough to help Amigi.

Tarou: [Hmm, a smart one.  A rarity in Nerima.]

Nabiki: [Well, well...] (smiles mysteriously)


Tofu: Only if you promise not to attack Tzubi.

Ryouga: I...I... (grits teeth)

Tofu: That's good enough for me.
(He pokes Ryouga again.  The lost boy rises, glaring at Tzubi, who
ignores him.  Cologne bounces forward.)

Cologne: If all the foolishness is over, then we should be going.

Nodoka: (looks over) Hai, we've spent enough time here.  My son is in
danger, and every moment you waste here puts him in more of it.

Akane: Good idea, auntie Saotome.

Nodoka: (nods) Nabiki and I will wait for you back at the dojo.

Nabiki: Oh?

Nodoka: You've already proven that all this is too dangerous, Nabiki.
People like you and me should leave the fighting to those who are
better equipped to do so.  (to Genma) I'm trusting our son's future to
you.  (hard-edged) Do _not_ disappoint me.

Nabiki: One thing more before we leave.  (to Tzubi) Why is Amigi doing
all this?  What is this DEMSESREPBHPTT (pronounced dem-ses-rep-bfft)
we keep hearing about?  Anything you could tell us would help.

Tzubi: (frowns) I don't know much about the society.  I'm only an
apprentice member.  (smiles ruefully) Not even that now.  I was
orphaned at a young age, and Amigi took me in.  The word DMSESREPBHPTT
(pronounced dem-ses-reb-bfft) is an acronym for Dark Mysterious Secret
Evasive Society of Really Evil People with Big Hair and Part-time
Travelling Thespians.

Nabiki: Nani?

Akane: You've got to be kidding.

Tzubi: (shrugs) I didn't name it.  Anyway, they apparently want to
conquer the world, for some insane reason.  I mena, who in their right
mind would -want- this planet?

Nabiki: I certainly wouldn't.

Tzubi: (nods) Anyway, Amigi is a high-ranking member in charge of
recruiting new apprentices.

Ukyou: So what you're saying is that Amigi came here to force Ranma to
join this society?

Cologne: Well, now we know the why, and also the how.

Tzubi: One more thing.  Amigi is completely insane.  He has no morals
or compassion whatsoever.  He'll do anything to achieve his goal, and
at the moment, Ranma is his goal.

Cologne: (nods) Noted, but we won't have to worry about him.  I'm more
worried about Senchi, who will obviously resist.

Ukyou: We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Besides, there's
no way Senchi can beat all of us.
(*crack*boom*ominous roll of thunder*)

Tarou: (stands with a frown) Let's get going.  I don't have all day.
(Just then the door bursts open and a disgruntled-looking Mousse walks
in, his glasses on his forehead.)

Mousse: (to Ryouga) Listen you old hag, I'm not...

Ryouga: Who're you talking to?

Mousse: Oops.  Sorry, Ryouga.  Where's Cologne?

Cologne: I'm over here, boy.

Mousse: (turns to her) Listen, you... (Cologne shoves the butt of her
staff in his mouth) mmbrl blik mmrrphi!

Cologne: Oh do be quiet, boy.  (takes her staff out and cleans it on
his sleeve) I'm going to ask you for a favour, boy.

Mousse: I'll never do anything for you!  Not unless you revoke that
stupid law.  (crosses arms)

Shampoo: Mousse, you do for Shampoo?

Mousse: (stupid grin; drops arms) O-of course, what do you want?

Shampoo: Help us beat up Ranma.

Mousse: (jaw drops) Uh...uh...uh...sure...uh...great... (jumps up
several feet) Yahoo!  Yippee!  What a wondrous day!


(Scene: a street somewhere in Nerima.  A house is on this street,
surrounded by a waist-high wooden wall.  The yard is filled with trees
and gardens done in the Zen Buddhist style.  The house is a
traditional Japanese one, that stands two stories tall.  Amigi sits on
the front porch, calmly sorting through some herbs.  As we watch,
Senchi opens the door and steps out.  She is wearing a sash covered
with pouches.  The two thermoses are attached to it, and the cymbals
are on her back.)

Senchi: Everything's ready.

Amigi: (starts putting away his herbs) Good, because they're coming.
You know, I can take care of these morons.  I did so before.

Senchi: (smiles behind his back) It never hurts to take precautions.
Can we count on Tsubasa?

Amigi: To do what we asked him to do?  No.  To do what you want him to
do?  I'm pretty sure.

Senchi: Good.  In fact, his messing up couldn't help me more.  I'll
get into position.

Amigi: (stands up) Don't bother.  No one can stand up against the
Negative Vortex Field.

Senchi(sarcastically): Excuse my concern, it's only my life I'm
fighting for.  
(She goes inside.  Amigi strikes a pose, allowing the breeze to
dramatically cause his hair and clothes to flutter.  Soon, several
figures come running down the street.  It's the group from Dr. Tofu's,
sans Tofu, Nabiki and Nodoka.  They come to the gate, and Ryouga tears
it open with his umbrella.  Everyone enters the yard and stands facing
Amigi.  The magician smirks.)

Amigi: So good of you all to join me.

Cologne: (bounces to the fore) This time it will be different, Amigi.

Amigi: (folds arms arrogantly) Oh really?  How so?

Cologne: This time, we have _him_!
(She points at Tarou, who steps forward.  Amigi chuckles.)

Amigi: And what can this boy do?

Tarou: (shaking in apparent rage) This.
(He pulls out a bucket and dumps it over his head.  Instantly, Tarou
is replaced by a giant monster.  It is shaped like a minotaur, with
tiny wings, and eel for a tail, and several tentacles sprouting out of
it's back that writhe about.  It's eyes are bloodshot, and a puff of
steam comes from its nostrils with every breath.  The monster howls
with fury, then takes a step forward.)

Amigi: Impressive.  Spring of drowned yeti riding bull carrying crane
and eel, combined with spring of drowned octopus.  Very frightening, I
assure you.
(The minotaur takes another step forward and roars angrily at Amigi.
The magician snaps one clawed hand forward.)

Amigi: And very stupid.  NEGATIVE VORTEX FIELD!  (his hand glows
black, and...nothing happens) Huh?
(The minotaur wraps a tentacle around Amigi, picks him up, turns him
upside down and slams him into the ground head first.  It lifts the
magician up, who now looks...decidedly more in touch with his inner
pain.  Cologne laughs.)

Cologne: Unfortunately for you, Amigi, Tarou here doesn't really
dislike you all that much.
(The minotaur smiles, and slams Amigi into the ground several more
times.  Suddenly, someone starts clapping.  Everyone looks up at the
roof, where Senchi is smiling and applauding.)

Senchi: Very good.  I'm surprised, but then again, Pantyhose was
always pretty smart.
(The minotaur roars in real rage this time and flings Amigi at Senchi.
She rolls to the side and Amigi goes flying into the stratosphere.)

Senchi: Nice throw.  Ever consider trying out for the Giants?

Ukyou: Senchi!  (snaps out her spatula) Give it up!  You don't stand a

Ryouga: Yeah!  I'll make you pay for what you did to Akane!

Senchi: (leans forward on her elbows) But Ryouga-kun, we don't have to
fight.  (smiles) I can think of some...more pleasant activities for us
to indulge in.
(Ryouga blinks, then backs up a step.)

Ryouga: Huh?  Wha?  You...
(He begins to shake in fear.  Everyone looks at each other, then at
Ryouga, then at Senchi, then back at each other.)

Shampoo: She no mean...

Ukyou: ...what I think...

Akane: ...she means?

Senchi: C'mon, Ryouga.  Let's ditch these losers and go someplace...
(sultry) more private.

Ryouga: (mouth drops) Ohhh no!  It worked!  (horror stricken) NO!!!!

Senchi: (tosses back her head) Hmph.  Well, you could have been more
polite about it.  (smiles)  Maybe later.

Ryouga: DIE!
(He begins tossing bandannas in a seemingly endless stream.  Senchi
dodges the hail.)

Senchi: I take this to mean you'll think about it?  (puts two fingers
to her lips and whistles) Yo, it's time!
(At that moment, Tsubasa leaps out of the trunk of one of the trees
and takes hold of Ukyou's arm.)

Tsubasa: Come, Ukyou-sama, I'm to take you to safety!

Ukyou: YOU!  (shakes) You almost killed Ranchan,!
(she smashes her spatula into his face, sending him flying) Die!  Die!
(She starts chasing him around the yard, yelling "Die!" at the top of
her lungs.)

Senchi: Come and get me, you losers!
(She grasps the lip of the roof and flips into the house through a

Ryouga: Come back here and die, Senchi!
(Akane, Soun, Genma, Mousse and Shampoo rush towards the house.
Ryouga wanders off in the wrong direction, but nobody notices him.
They all try to rush through the door at once, and promptly get stuck.
Tarou, Cologne, and Tzubi stayed back, and they stare at the others in
mixed shock and disgust.)

Mass: Hey, let me out...get out of my way...that's my ear...whose
staff is this...that isn't a staff...gaah...Saotome-kun, what is the
meaning of this...Shampoo...Aiya!  Go away!
(The minotaur shakes its head in resignation.  Cologne blinks.)

Cologne: At this rate, Senchi won't even have to fight us.
(The minotaur snorts, walks forward and pushes on the mass, sending
everyone tumbling inside.  After a moment, the group-minus Ukyou and
Ryouga-are all in the living room.)

Genma: Don't worry boy, we'll save you!

Mousse: I don't see Ranma anywhere.

Shampoo: That no surprise.  Even if he here, you no see.

Akane: We'll have to split up to find her.  She could have gone
(The minotaur shakes its head.)

Shampoo: What, you afraid?
(It shakes its head again and tries to say something, but it only
comes out as a series of grunts and moos.  Everybody ignores it.)

Genma: Let's go, Tendo-kun!  We shall find my son!

Soun: Hai, Saotome-kun!  We shall save his soul so he can marry Akane!
(they run off)

Akane: I'm not marrying him!  (frowns) Guess it's my turn to save his
hide.  (walks down another hall)

Shampoo: Senchi!  (pulls out her bonbori) Shampoo come for you now!

Mousse: Hai, we shall find him, Shampoo...why do you keep calling him
(She runs down a hall.  Mousse attempts to follow, trips over a table,
and ends up going in the opposite direction.)

Tzubi: (frowns) Looks like it's you and me, Tarou.  Let's try to stick
(The minotaur grunts in acknowledgement, then they both walk down the
last hall.  The view stays in the room, and after a moment, Senchi
drops from the ceiling.  She smiles evilly.)

Senchi: All the pieces are in place, and it's time to declare
(She walks casually down the wall after Genma and Soun.)


(Scene: the kitchen of Amigi's house.  Soun and Genma slide open the
door and enter.  They look around.  Genma's eyes light up as he sees
the fridge.)

Soun: Senchi!  Senchi!
(He leaps around the room, crying out Senchi's name and looking in
every conceivable {and a few inconceivable} hiding place.  After a
while, he finally figures out that Senchi isn't there.)

Soun: Come Saotome, we must look elsewhere.

Genma: (big grin) What's your hurry, Tendo-kun?  (begins walking
towards the fridge mechanically) After all, Ranma can wait a little

Voice: Your concern for your son is touching, pop.
(Both turn, to see Senchi perched on the counter.  She smiles at

Senchi: Kinda gets you right here, (thumps her fist to her chest)
doesn't it.

Soun: Senchi!

Senchi: Glad to see you've finally got the name right, Soun.

Genma: (takes a menacing step forward) Come quietly, girl.  This is
for your own good.

Senchi: Don't you mena _Ranma's_ own good?  Well sorry, but I'm not
quite ready to leave this life yet.  (jumps to the floor) But perhaps
you are?

Soun: Threatening your own father?  How cruel can you be?

Senchi: It's not like he's been much of a father to me.  (grins) He
hasn't even been much of a father to Ranma.  (she reaches into a pouch
and draws out several throwing stars) Shall we begin?

Genma: I'm surprised.  I taught Ranma better than that.  Shuriken were
designed as distractions, not for striking power.  They're harmless.

Senchi(doleful): You're right, they are worthless.  (she scatters them
all about her) There, are you happy?

Soun: Much better.  GET HER!
(They both take a step forward and launch themselves with battle cries
at Senchi.  She steps back, snaps out her fist and thrusts it upward.)

(Soun and Genma, despite flailing limbs, are unable to stop themselves
from falling into the vortex that Senchi creates.  That also lifts the
"harmless" shuriken and sends them spinning around a laughing Senchi
in a whirl of flashing, razor-sharp steel.  Soun and Genma are caught
up in the storm, and float briefly in the air as dozens of cuts appear
almost magically on their bodies.  Then they both fly into the
ceiling, bounce off, and land on the floor, unconscious.  The shuriken
bury themselves in the ceiling, and Senchi allows the vortex to
dissipate.  She crosses her arms arrogantly.)

Senchi: That was too easy.  Now who's next?  (smiles) I know.


(Scene: a stairwell.  Mousse, his glasses on, is climbing the stairs
and looking around.)

Mousse: Shampoo?
(There is a creak behind him and he spins, launching a chained sickle.
The sickle slashes open a wall, and he retracts it.  No one was

Mousse: Hmph.  You can't sneak up on me, Ranma.  (two large gold disks
slowly lower to just above his head) My sight may not be the best, but
my hearing is...
(Suddenly the cymbals are clashed together repeatedly, making an
absurd amount of noise in the process.  Mousse "gaah's" and jumps.
Quickly the hands holding the cymbals stop and spin one around to slam
it into Mousse's face.  As the Chinese boy rocks back, we see that his
glasses have disintegrated.  Senchi drops from the ceiling and lands
in front of him.)

Senchi: (smirks) Blind _and_ deaf, now you're completely helpless.

Mousse: Garr!
(He flings a spear into the wall, almost as far from Senchi as

Senchi: I shouldn't even bother.  (smiles) But this is too much _fun_!
(She slashes out with the edge of a cymbal, catching Mousse in the
chest.  He gasps and turns to face her, but she dances to the side.
Senchi slams a cymbal into his back, then smashes another one into the
side of his head, sending him reeling into the wall.  She then
proceeds to mercilessly pound Mousse until he falls down, bloodied and
unconscious.  She replaces the cymbals on her back, patting her hands
and chuckling evilly.)


(Scene: the Zen gardens around Amigi's house.  Ukyou has cornered
Tsubasa at the wall and reduced him to unconsciousness.  She is still
pounding on him, and is wearing a berserker expression.  Suddenly, she
stops and allows her spatula to drop.)

Ukyou: (blinks) I'm forgetting something... (eyes widen in shock)
Ranchan!  I let Tsubasa distract me!  (frowns) Senchi must have wanted
that to...oh no!  I've got to find the others!  (she takes off towards
the house)


(Scene: a bathroom.  Shampoo is looking a cabinet.)

Shampoo: Senchi?  You in here?

Senchi: (perched on the back of the toilet) No, I'm up here.

Shampoo: (backing off) Aiya!  How you move so fast?

Senchi: It's a gift.

Shampoo: You give up now, or Shampoo use secret weapon.

Senchi: (chuckles) Ranma could beat you easily, Shampoo, and _I_ don't
have any of his...reservations about hitting girls.

Shampoo: You no give up?

Senchi: Of course not.

Shampoo: Then I forced use this.
(She leaps at Senchi.  Senchi backs up slightly and raises a hand to
block Shampoo, but needant have bothered, as Shampoo lands standing in
the toilet.  Instantly, she is replaced by a cute pink cat which leaps
up at Senchi with a hiss.  She pulls back in mock fear.)

Senchi: (barely contained laughter) A cat!  Oh no, a cat!  Whatever
shall I do?  The cat's going to eat me!  (laughs and picks up
Shampoo-neko by the scruff of the neck) Just a reminder, Shampoo.  I
am _not_ Ranma.  (Senchi smashes the cat against the wall, and drops
its unconscious form into the toilet) I should take the time to kill
you properly, but I've got business to take care of first.)
(Senchi leaps to the floor and walks out.)


(Scene: a hallway.  Akane is walking down it, looking around

Akane: Where are you, Senchi?
(Suddenly, a lasso falls from the ceiling and wraps tightly around
Akane, pinning her arms.  Senchi drops to the floor, holding the other
end, which is flung over a beam in the ceiling.)

Senchi: She's around here somewhere.

Akane: Let me go!  (struggles futily)

Senchi: (hoisting Akane off the ground) And ruin all the work I went
through to trap you?  Really, Akane, you're just as dense as Ranma
says you are.  (gags Akane with a sock before she can reply) Gotta go.
(She walks down the hall, whistling, and leaves Akane spinning slowly
in the air.)


(Scene: a gymnasium.  Tzubi and Tarou-minotaur walk in.  The minotaur
grunts, and Tzubi looks up to the roof.)

Tzubi: Hai, it is a deceptively big house.  (looks to the far side of
the room) Did you hear something?
(The minotaur grunts non-commitally and squints, searching the room.
Suddenly, it stops and stiffens.  Tzubi snaps his head around, and
both he and the monster dodge to the side as a ball of yellow force
tears apart the floor where they had been standing.  Tzubi rolls to
his feet and comes up with his katana ready, as Tarou-minotaur leaps
into the air and hovers.  Senchi walks out of the smoke and strikes an
offensive pose.)

Tzubi: I guess you've defeated everyone else, huh?

Senchi: Not quite, but almost.  (smiles) Divide and conquer, that's my
(The minotaur roars and flails its tentacles at Senchi.  She leaps
into the air, and avoids them all by bouncing off the wall and over
the monster's head.  Tzubi rushes at her with a battle cry and swings
his daisho about in a dazzling display of proficiency and speed,
forcing Senchi to roll away.  Then the minotaur dives, squirting ink
in an attempt to blind her.  She pulls out a cymbal and catches the
ink, tossing it back at Tarou.  The minotaur grunts and plows into the
ground as she leaps and springboards off its back to safety.
Relatively so, as Tzubi rushes at her.  He leaps into the air, spins
both of his blades around and snaps them together.)

(Both blades are suddenly coated in flames, and he brings them down in
an axehandle manoeuvre.  Senchi "eep's" and dodges to the side an
Tzubi's flaming swords blast apart the floor.  She snaps out with her
foot, catching him in the midriff and sending him tumbling away.)

Senchi: This isn't going well.
(She looks at the minotaur stalking relentlessly towards her, wiping
ink from its eyes.  Tzubi rises to his feet further on, and quickly
moves to cut off her escape.)

Tzubi: You're going down, Senchi.  (the minotaur grunts an

Senchi: I don't think so.  (she reaches down and pulls the red-striped
thermos off her belt) Not as long as I have this!  Eh, Pantyhose?
(The minotaur smiles, then lashes out with a tentacle and knocks the
thermos from her hand.  She cries out in anger.)

Senchi: No!  Without hot water...

Tzubi: (slices it from the air) You don't stand a chance.  (blinks as
some water splashes on him)  Wait a minute...
(The minotaur rushes Senchi and wraps a tentacle around her; she
gasps, managing to keep one hand free.)

Tzubi: Cold...

Senchi: (reaches down to her sash) Now I have you!

Tzubi: Tarou!  No!

Senchi: Later, underwear lad.
(She pulls the blue-striped thermos off the sash and throws it at one
of Tarou's horns.  The thermos explodes, spraying scalding water over
the minotaur.  Instantly, it is replaced by a dumbfounded Tarou, who
stands, blinking.  Senchi rushes at him, pulling something out of her

Senchi: Prepare to die!  (she snaps out her hands, and we see that
several nails are sticking out from between her fingers) TENSHIN
(Tarou doesn't even have a chance to dodge, but does at least have the
presence of mind to throw himself back.  Still, Senchi lands several
solid blows to his chest, tearing deep gashes with the nail-equipped
hundred fist blow.  Tarou lands on his back, gasping in pain and
trying to staunch the flow of blood from his wounds.  Tzubi takes a
step back as Senchi turns to face him.)

Tarou: (rising to his knees) [I underestimated her.  I won't do that
again.] (winces) [But later...]

Senchi: Looks like it's just you and me, Tzubi.

Tzubi: You're smarter than I thought.

Senchi: Smart enough to know I can beat you.

Tzubi: That remains to be seen.

Senchi: I seem to remember Cologne saying something like that to

Tzubi: Then let's go!

Senchi: Ready when you are.


(Scene: the hallway where Akane is trapped.  She kicks her limbs
frantically, but only succeeds in spinning herself faster.  She slumps
forward with a muffled cry of rage.  Suddenly, something flies down
the hall and cuts the rope.  Akane lands on her feet and begins to
struggle out of the rope as Ryouga runs towards her.)

Ryouga(concerned): Akane!  Are you all right!
(She removes the gag and takes a deep breath.)

Akane: I'm fine, Ryouga.  Arigato, you saved me.

Ryouga: (stupid grin) I did?  I did!

Akane: Come on, we have to find Senchi.

Ryouga: Huh?  (shakes his head) Is she the one who did this to you?

Akane: Hai, and she's probably going to trap everyone else, too!

Ryouga: Curse her!  Fear not, Akane, I will deal with Senchi.  (starts
down the hall)

Akane: Ryouga?

Ryouga: (turns) Hai?

Akane: (going in the opposite direction) She went _this_ way.

Ryouga: Oh...yeah...right...  (takes off after her)


(Scene: the bathroom.  Shampoo-neko slowly pulls herself out of the
toilet and falls, sopping, to the ground.  She staggers over to the
tub and falls in, then leaps towards the faucet...)


(Scene: a car.  Just thought you'd like to see a car...well, it's a
nice car!)


(Scene: the stairwell.  Mousse shifts slightly and opens his eyes.)

Mousse(mumbles): Oh, my head...could somebody quiet down those
bells... (snaps up) Shampoo!  That fiend is sure to go after Shampoo!
I must save her!  (tries to get up; doesn't _quite_ succeed and
proceeds to tumble down the stairs) SHAMPOO!  Ouch!  Ye-ouch!  Ugh!


(Scene: the gymnasium, just as we left it.  Tzubi takes a step

Tzubi: Prepare your...

Voice: STOP!
(Senchi and Tzubi look up at a window high on the wall.  There,
sillouhetted by the sun, with her hair blowing dramatically behind
her, is...Sailor Moon!, that's not right.  Wrong fanfic.  There,
standing dramatically is...the entire cast of Hee Haw! ...wrong again.
Hmm.  Now, who was this...oh yeah, her! {ahem} There, dramatically
positioned is Ukyou! ...yeah, that's right.  It's Ukyou, and she leaps
from the window to land in a crouch with her combat spatula held

Ukyou: I've come to help Tzubi.

Tzubi: Appreciated.

Senchi: I'm _very_ disappointed in you, Ukyou.  Tsubasa was supposed
to keep you occupied longer.

Ukyou: (eyes narrow) _Nothing_ will distract me from saving Ranma,
Senchi.  Nothing!

Tarou: [Hmm, I'll have to reevaluate her...] (looks thoughtful)

Senchi: (cracks her knuckles) This doesn't change a thing.

Voice: Oh yeah?  How about this!
(Senchi dances to the side as two bandannas fly through the space her
head had occupied a moment ago.  Everyone turns to see Ryouga and
Akane enter.)

Senchi: I thought I tied you up.

Akane: You did, but Ryouga saved me.

Ukyou(mutters): Way to go, Ryouga...

Senchi(pouts): Saved her.  Ahh, why don't you ever save me?

Ryouga: Because I'd rather see you dead!

Senchi: Now that's just plain cruel.  You'd think he could let a girl
down more easily.

Ryouga: You're no girl.

Senchi(angry): I am so!  I'm a perfectly feminine, kind little lady!
And if anybody says different, I'll shove my fist down their throat
and squeeze their heart like a sponge!  

Shampoo: (appearing out of nowhere) Senchi!  (gestures threateningly
with her bonbori) I defeat you now!

Senchi: (looks skyward) At least tell me the blind guy's still
(At that moment, a battered and bruised Mousse stumbles in.)

Mousse: Sh-sh-shampoo...  (falls on his face and goes still)

Senchi: This is really unfair.

Ryouga: You're one to talk.

Tarou: Especially after that trick with the nails.

Senchi: Oh be quiet, Pantyhose.
(Tarou growls, but is unable to stand up and sits back with a grimace.
Senchi steps back, now looking desperate.  Just then, a smirking
Cologne bounces in.)

Cologne: Give it up, girl.  You're no match for all of us.

Senchi: I won't!  Never!  (grits her teeth) I deserve to live!  Much
more than that fool Ranma.  I'm not afraid to express myself like he
is! _I_ am what Ranma Saotome should have been!

Ryouga: (steps in front of Akane) You're an abomination that will be

Shampoo: Aiya!  We make Ranma come back!

Ukyou: And you can't stop us!
(Ryouga, Shampoo, Ukyou and Tzubi begin to advance.  Akane does too,
but Ryouga turns back and holds her.)

Ryouga: Let me handle this, Akane.  You should rest, stay out of

Akane: But I...

Ryouga: You'd only be her first target.

Akane: Why would _I_ be her first target?

Ryouga: Uh...that is...

Ukyou: (exasperated sigh) Because you're Ranchan's fiancee, and you
see him every day, and you tried to hurt Senchi before, and...

Akane: I get it, I get it!  I'll stay behind.

Senchi: And I was _so_ looking forward to seeing you screw up.  (backs
up another step) Really I was.
(The four begin to close in on Senchi.  Cologne, Akane, Tarou and
Mousse hold back, each for a different reason.  Senchi soon finds
herself backed into a corner, with everyone walking towards her.  She
stands still, gritting her teeth.)

Senchi: [No!  I won't die after such a short time!  Not like this!]
(she begins to glow with a faint black aura; out loud) You won't kill
(Her right hand has turned jet black.  Cologne's eyes widen, and she
backs up a step.  The others have all gathered in front of Senchi, and
are preparing to attack.)

Tzubi: It's over, woman!  (snaps up his daisho) DIE!

Shampoo: For Ranma!  (spins her bonbori) AIIYAA!

Ryouga: Now I'll have my (pulls back his umbrella) REVENGE!

Ukyou: Forgive me, Ranchan.  (raises her spatula) HIYA!
(They charge at Senchi as one.  She snaps up her pitch-black palm to
face them.)

Senchi(absolute hatred): NO!!!
(The four teenagers have come to just within reach of Senchi, when
there is a thunderous concussion.  Then a black sphere blasts from
Senchi until it is fully two metres across, disappearing into the
floor and walls around her.  All four of her attackers are blown back
by the sphere like leaves lifted by a grenade and tossed back several
feet.  Their weapons go skittering across the gym.)

Cologne(awed): [The dreaded secret of the Black Hand!  I thought it
was only legend...until now!  Such power!]
(Meanwhile, Akane and Tarou are watching Senchi in mixed fear and
shock.  The others begin to rise to their feet, just as purple strands
of energy begin to flow along the sphere with a rhythmic hum.  The
sphere grows transparent, and we see Senchi hovering off the ground,
her hand pointed towards the one area of the sphere which is still
opaque.  In fact, it is growing even more dark.)

Senchi: I won't die!  Not now!  Not ever!

Tzubi: Holy SHIT!!!

Shampoo: Aiya!

Ukyou: Everyone move!  We've got to...

(The sphere begins to bubble at the area which is now so black that it
hurts to look at it.  Then it bursts, and a giant stream of roaring
black energy erupts out, plowing into the four teenagers.  The beam
lifts all of them up and sends them flying around the room as it
blasts through the roof and flashes high the stratosphere.)

Akane: Ryouga!
(Ryouga smashes into the wall and lands in a heap on the floor.  Ukyou
is flung high, lands on her face, and lies still.  Tzubi is sent
skidding across the floor and collides head first with the wall.
Shampoo is also flung upward and spins through the air.  As she does
so, a tiny jar falls from her shirt.  At this point Mousse raises his
head, his eyes straining to focus on...and the jar crashes into his
forehead, sprinkling the spice over his face.  He mumbles something
and falls unconscious.  Almost immediately after that, the black beam
focuses into a tiny ray then bursts, scattering waves of energy
throughout the room.  The translucent black sphere around Senchi
flickers and disappears, as an organic wail echos throughout the
chamber.  Senchi falls to her knees, her eyes wide in awe and triumph.
She looks at her now perfectly normal hand, then rocks slightly and
falls forward, landing with a soft thud.)

Tarou: Impressive.

Akane: Impressive?!?  She just blasted all my friends!

Tarou: (winces) So?  She also practically knocked herself out.  Now's
our chance.

Cologne: That's right, girl.  (bounces over) Now we can get rid of
Senchi.  Here.  (hands Akane the potion) Take this and force it down
her throat.

Tarou(sneers): And why don't _you_ do it, Cologne?  Afraid of

Cologne: Of course not!  It's just...just that I need to-to make sure
nobody interferes.  (to herself)  Yeah, that sounds good.

Tarou: I'm sure.

Akane: (clutches the vila tightly) I'll do it.  I'll save Ranma.
(She walks over to Senchi, who is stirring slightly.  Akane turns her
over, and Senchi's eyes open.  She kneels down, pinning Senchi's arms
with her legs.)

Akane: Open wide, Senchi.  This is for your own good.

Senchi: (through gritted teeth; face turned away) My own good?  Don't
make me laugh.

Akane: (unstoppers the bottle) Don't fight it, Senchi.  It's all over.

Senchi: (sighs) Fine.  I just hope you can live with blood on your

Akane: Blood on my hands?

Senchi(fiercely): That's right, blood!  My blood, on _your_ hands!

Tarou: Akane...

Akane: (hesitates) What are you talking about?  

Senchi: _Murder_, Akane!  I'm talking about murder!  If you use that
potion, you'll be committing murder.  (shifts)

Tarou(worried): Akane...

Akane(doubt-filled): But you''re...

Senchi: I'm what?  A freak.  Only a magical creation.  An accident,
maybe?  Well I'm here now, and I'm alive.  I breathe, I bleed, I
think, I _feel_!  I'm alive, Akane!  It doesn't matter _how_ I'm
alive, the fact that I _am_ alive is all that's important.

Tarou(very urgently): Akane!  Don't listen to her!

Akane: (shakes) I...I...

Senchi: Can you live with the knowledge, even the possibility that I
was alive?

Cologne: Girl!  Strike now!  Destroy Senchi before she...

Akane: (shifts her weight) But...
(Senchi takes advantage of Akane's shift in weight to throw the girl
off.  Akane cries out as the poison flips from her hands and
shatters-in dramatic slo-mo, of course-against the floor, spilling out
its contents.  Senchi laughs.)

Akane: NOOOO!!!

Cologne: You IDIOT!

Tarou: (snorts) What did you expect?

Senchi: (climbs to her knees) Ha!  What a sap!  (mocking Akanesque
voice) I couldn't possible kill you, Senchi.  (smirks) Sentimental

Cologne: That's IT!  Now I'm mad!

Voice: No, _I'm_ mad!
(Cologne, Tarou, Akane and Senchi turn, to see a battered and bruised
Amigi standing at a hole in the wall.  He is surrounded by a
multi-coloured, hissing aura that is writhing like a serpent.)

Amigi: I've had just about _enough_ of all of you!  (eyes glow red)
Now you will (echoing) DIE-IE-IE-IE!!!

Akane: (gulps) Can we talk this over?

Tarou: (sighs) That's life.  At least Senchi wasn't disappointed.
(Amigi raises his hand, drawing a nexus of force around it.)

Amigi: Prepare yourselves for eternity.
(Everyone looks on fearfully.  Tzubi and the others are just starting
to move.  Amigi pulls back his hand as if he were about to throw a
baseball, and the nexus of energy erupts into a raging inferno of
supernatural force.  Amigi laughs megalomaniacally, takes a step
forward and...a pair of handcuffs latches onto his wrist, stopping him
in mid-throw and causing him to drop the energy, which fizzles out.
His aura also blinks out.)

Amigi: Huh?

Police Officer: (the man who used the cuffs) Okay buddy, that's just
about enough of that.
(Several other police officers approach as the first one swings
Amigi's arm behind his back and locks the cuffs on.  Everyone blinks.)

Officer: Let's see: endangering innocents, making threats against
minors, releasing phenomenal cosmic powers, disturbing the peace, and
oh yeah; (kicks at the hole in the wall they entered through) Not
having an up to code dwelling.

Amigi: You can't do this to me!  Don't you know who I am?

Officer: You could be the Emperor for all I care, pal.  Now come
(He drags the kicking and screaming Amigi away from the dumbfounded

Senchi: How in the...
(At that moment, Nabiki and Nodoka walk in.  Nabiki smirks at them

Tzubi: Nabiki?!? _You_ called the police?

Nabiki: Of course.  You didn't expect me to leave this all up to _you_
guys, did you?  After all, someone around here has to do the
intelligent thing.

Senchi: Great.  Now why don't we head home?


(Epilogue: outside the tendo Dojo.  The sun is setting off in the
distance.  Akane, Soun, Genma, Ranma, Ryouga, Ukyou, Nabiki, Kasumi,
Tzubi and Nodoka are all standing around.  Nodoka has her bags packed,
and Ranma looks sad.)

Ranma: Do you really have to go, mom?

Nodoka: Hai, I must go and find you a cure.  Don't worry son, someday
I'll return and we'll be together.

Genma: Have a nice trip, dear!

Nodoka: There's nothing nice about it, and if you had done your job
properly, there would be no need for it.  (pats him on the cheek and
smiles sweetly) But don't worry.  We'll have a nice, _long_ chat about
that when I return.

Genma(high, squeaky, nervous voice): H-hai...

Akane: See you, Auntie Saotome...

Nodoka: So long, dear.
(She turns and starts off down the road.  Ukyou moves over to stand
next to Ranma.)

Ukyou: Don't worry, Ranchan.  I'm sure we'll get through all this.

Ranma: (deep sigh) That's easy for you to say.  You don't have to live
with someone else inside you.

Akane: (approaching Ranma) Ranma, I'm really so...

Ukyou(sweetly): Go away, before I use your liver as an ingredient in
Ranchan's lunch.
(Akane backs off.  Ryouga steps protectively in front of her.
Meanwhile, Nodoka has disappeared into the distance.)

Ryouga: Don't blame Akane, Ukyou.  She only did what she thought was

Ukyou: She single-handedly destroyed Ranma's chance at true freedom.
Isn't that right, Ranchan?

Ranma(pained): I'd rather not talk about it.

Kasumi: And how about you, Tzubi?  Where will you go now that this is
all over?

Tzubi: (shrugs) I don't know.  I thought I'd stick around Nerima for a
while, maybe find some work...

Nabiki: (looks him directly in the eyes) That wouldn't be a bad idea.
I could help you.

Tzubi: (smiles) Arigato.
(The view pulls back, and we see Tarou standing on the roof of the
dojo, dramatically sillouhetted against the sunset.)

Tarou: [Don't worry, fem-boy.  I'm not going _anywhere_ until I get my
new name.] (smiles) [You can count on that, Saotome.]
(He leaps off the roof and out of sight.  The view shifts back down to
a closer view of below.  Soun, bawling like a baby, is being led back
into the house by Genma.  Kasumi is sweeping off the sidewalk.  Nabiki
and Tzubi are standing off to one side, discussing a piece of paper
with a _lot_ of fine print on it.  Ranma, Ukyou, Akane and Ryouga are
all standing close to each other.)

Akane: I'm going to go help dad.

Ukyou: Hai, you do that.  (as Akane walks out of earshot) Ryouga?

Ryouga: Hai?

Ukyou: You wouldn't happen to know why Senchi was acting like that
towards you, would you?

Ryouga: (backs up a step) W-what makes you ask that?

Ranma: (head snaps around) Ryouga!

Ryouga: (gulps) know that scroll I brought here a while ago?

Ranma(darkly): Hai...

Ryouga: Well, it's sorta the Hibiki engagement scroll, and any girl
who reads it...sorta falls in love with the first Hibiki they see...

Ranma: It's _WHAT_?!?  You jerk!  You meant that for...

Voice: AKANE!
(Everybody looks over to see Mousse leap off the roof towards Akane,
his arms wide.  She stares at him, her eyes wide.)

Mousse: I love you, Akane Tendo!  Say you'll be mine.  (glomp)

Ranma: (shakes his head) Great.  What else could possibly go wrong?
(*crack*boom*ominous roll of thunder*)

Ukyou: I've got a bad feeling about this...




Afterword: Well, here ends Chapter Four of CoD (which isn't a fish).
You may have noticed that this chapter ran considerably longer than
the first three.  Well, I simply couldn't finish everything off in the
usual amount of space.  Think of it as an extra-long manga or TV show
that ends off a season or storyline.   Nuff said.  Now, let's move to
deal with some questions you may have:
1) Where did I get the idea for CoD?  I don't know.  Divine
inspiration, I guess.  I can no more explain the creative process than
you can.
2) Will CoD go on?  Of course.  This is a series.  All the further
exploits of Senchi, Ukyou, Tzubi, Ranma and friends will continue on
indefinitely, whether you like it or not!  BWAHAHAHA!
3) Why did I set up Tzubi and Nabiki?  Well, unless you're about as
observant as Kunou, it should be obvious that I've set up Tzubi and
Nabiki as romantic interests.  Why?  Well, I thought that Nabiki is
too interesting a character to leave in the background, and thought
this might help to increase her exposure.  Tzubi was created expressly
for this purpose; however, I hope he has and will continue to be more
interesting than just a character who'll run around with hearts in his
4) Why Mousse and Akane?  Comedy.  Why Akane specifically?  Well, I
briefly considered Senchi (admit it, some of you thought the same
thing), but decided she would either kill him or accept him fully.
Neither one fit continuity, so that only left Akane, the only other
one who gets thousands of pursuers.  Although it would have been
interesting if he'd seen Cologne...
5) What about Pantyhose Tarou?  Tarou, who may or may not be familiar
to you, will stick around to carry out his promise.  However, he isn't
an idiotic "attack Ranma at every convenient (or inconvenient)
opportunity" character; he's too smart for that.  However, the name
may not turn out to be his _only_ reason for sticking around
6) Do I have an end in sight?   Hai, contrary to what I said earlier,
CoD (not fish) will eventually end.  However, it won't be for several
more story arcs (probably about thirty chapters).  As for clues on how
it will end, I can't give them.  Not just because it will spoil the
surprise, but because I don't really know.  I _do_ have an ending in
mind, but that is subject to change without notice (even to me), so
all I really now is that it _will_ end, but not how, why, or exactly
when.  Stay tuned for our next installment, "Senchi's First Date",
which will cover, among other things: Senchi's first date with an old
friend of Ranma' Mikado Sanzenin.  Until next time I, Blade,
may be reached at:

And by the way, all characters (except for Tzubi, Amigi and
Senchi...sort of) were created by Rumiko Takahashi (regardless of
whether they are still recognizable) and all rights, privileges and so
on belong to her and affiliated companies.  So don't sue me, only an
idiot would claim these characters as his/her own.

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.