The Empire Strikes Out

     This is the sequel to "Ran Wars."  It is also the second episode
in the Ran Wars trilogy.  Like the first one, this is an _identity_
crossover.  Hopefully, this story will be as enjoyable as the first.
So hang on for the ride, and "May the Force get the flu."

(Scene: Space, infinite and timeless.  As we watch, the screen is
suddenly filled with something gold.  It is too close to see clearly,
but recedes into the background until we can make it out.)


(The words fade into the distance.  As we watch, text begins to roll
diagonally into the screen from the bottom.)

                            Episode X/-31
                        The Empire Strikes Out

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  It was...oops,
wrong script...Two years ago, the rebel forces gained their first
major victory against the Empire with the destruction of the
Happoudaikarin.  This resulted in a schism of the Imperial forces
between Darth Saotome and the Kunous.
However, this has not been good for the rebels.  Now caught between
the two opposing war machines, they have fled from Dojo.  And on a
base on the planet Hoth, the rebels fight for survival...

(The text scrolls from sight.  Out of the deepness of space, we see a
large wedge-shaped craft approaching.  As it comes closer, we see that
it is surrounded by smaller wedge-shaped craft that it literally
dwarfs.  This is the Super Star Destroyer.  On its bridge, we see
Darth Saotome-who happens to be a panda in mismatched black armour-and
Admiral Harkov.)

Harkov: The last of Kunou's strike force has been destroyed, lord.

Saotome(words print out on a computer screen mounted above and behind
his head): {Any significant damage?}

Harkov: Not from Kunou's forces, but the Black Rose used the attack as
a distraction to intercept one of our cargo convoys.

Saotome: {Kodachi is a devious one.  This has gone on too long.}
(clears screen) {We need to destroy the Kunous once and for all or our
plans will be ended.}

Harkov: We've tried.  We even had Hut send us assassins, but none

Saotome: {Then we need to find someone who can.} (pauses and clears
screen) {I have it!  Contact Vice-Admiral Mikado and tell him to
prepare an assault on Hoth.}

Harkov: I was wondering when you'd get around to that.

Saotome: {But first we'll need a special probe...}
(Cut to a picture of an ice-blue planet spinning through space.  We
see a snowy field.  As we watch, a tantaun-sort of an ostrich/yak-runs
across the field.  On its back, bundled up in heavy clothes, is a
pretty red-haired girl.  She looks about her and pulls up her goggles
for a better view.  As she watches, a meteor falls from the sky and
hits the ground several miles off.)

Ranma-chan(teeth chattering): Not _another_ meteor!  I hate these
patrols, absolutely _hate_ them!
(Ranma is distracted by a beeping sound.  She moves her hand to her
belt and removes a tiny device, which she flips open like a clam

Ranma-chan(irritated): What?
(A face appears on the static-filled screen in the top part of the
device.  It is a girl, with blue-black hair done up in two donut-like
curls on the sides of her head.)

Akane: You don't have to snap, Ranma.

Ranma-chan: hate these patrols.  Why do you insist that I
always go on them?

Akane: We need a good fighter to clear out the snow beasts, Ranma.
Ryouga'd never find his way back to base, Tarou'd have a hard time
working the equipment, and dad won't let me or the droids do it, so
that leaves you.

Ranma-chan: I don't know why King Soun is so worried about those
things.  They're no threat.

Akane: Who knows?  My dad's weird.

Ranma-chan(under her breath): _That's_ an understatement.

Akane(angry): What was that?

Ranma-chan(quickly): Er...uh...I said, that's very understanding...

Akane(complacent): Arigato, Ranma.

Ranma-chan: For a violent tomboy.

Akane(steaming): Why you...(gets control of herself) Just wait until
you get back, Ranma.  By the way, it's getting late.  You should come

Ranma-chan:; looks into the distance) I...(excited)
I've got to check out a meteor that landed near her first!  Heh
heh...yeah, the meteor!

Akane(sweetly): Fine.  See you soon, Ranma. (she cuts off)
(Ranma-chan grumbles and turns her tantaun towards the meteor.)

Ranma-chan: [With any luck, by the time I get back she'll have
forgotten.] (there is an ominous roll of thunder...peculiar, since
it's a clear day) [I hate ominous rolls of thunder.] (starts off) [I
_hate_ patrols, I HATE this stupid rebellion, I _HATE_...]
(Cut to a rebel control room, where we see Akane slam a mike into it's

Akane: Baka!

Ukyou: (standing nearby) What did Ranchan do this time?

Akane: That baka called me a tomboy!

Ukyou(patiently): Akane, he _always_ calls you a tomboy.  He doesn't
mean it.  Ranchan isn't mean.

Akane(accusing): You're biased!  I can't trust your opinion.

Ukyou(defensively): I'm not biased.  Just because I love him doesn't
mean I misjudge him.

Akane: You may think that, but you're programming's screwy.

Ukyou(looking slightly hurt): You always trusted my opinion before
Ranma showed up.

Akane: (sighs) I'm sorry, Ukyou.  It's just that Ranma makes me so mad
sometimes.  And to top it off, there's this marriage thing.

Ukyou: I've been telling you for the past couple of years that there's
a simple solution to the problem. _I'll_ marry Ranchan.

Akane(quickly): That'll never work!  You're a droid!

Ukyou(confused): So?
(At this point, Mousse walks in and spots a tech.) 

Mousse: Aha!  Princess, I've found you.  (walks over to the tech, who
is staring at him in confusion) Come along, Princess.

Akane: (waves) Over here, Mousse.
(Mousse makes his way over.)

Mousse: Princess, someday I'll figure out how you move so fast.

Akane(giggles): Yes, I'm sure you will.

Ukyou: What is it, Mousse?

Mousse: (his glasses-like optics swing to Ukyou) Hello, Ukyou.  You
can come too.

Akane: Where?

Mousse: Queen Nodoka and King Soun want to see you.

Akane: (sighs) What is it this time?

Mousse: (shrugs) Who knows?  Come, we shouldn't keep them waiting.

Akane: Alright, let's get it over with.
(Cut back to Ranma-chan riding her tantaun.  The sun is going down in
the background as she comes over a ridge.  She looks down to see a
severely damaged pod of some type buried in the snow.  Footsteps lead
to and from the pod.)

Ranma-chan: Well, what do we have here?  (rides her mount down to it)
Looks like an Imperial...

Voice(a girls voice, cutting her off): Ohhh, that tantaun is soooo
(Suddenly, a cute girl in a set of pink tights pops out of the snow
and grasps the tantaun around the neck.  The tantaun shrieks.)

Girl: Eliza!  Eliza!

Ranma-chan: What the...

Girl: Be a good girl, Eliza, and come with Azusa.
(Ranma-chan kicks Azusa off.)

Ranma-chan: Hey! Get off my tantaun!  What are you doing out here?

Azusa: Who are you?  Why are you taking Azusa's Eliza from her!  (gets
up and begins banging Ranma-chan ineffectually on the leg with her
fists) Give Azusa back her Eliza!

Ranma-chan: What are you talking about?  I better report this.  (pulls
out her com-link; Azusa starts pelting her with snowballs) This is
Echo-4 to Echo base.  Come in, Echo base.  
(The snowballs are getting larger.  Ranma-chan ignores them.  After a
moment, Tarou's face forms on the screen)

Tarou: What is it, Ranma?

Ranma-chan: (larger and larger snowballs) Hi, Tarou.  Listen, I found
something out here.  It looks like an Imperial...
(The pod connects solidly with the back of her head.  Ranma-chan's
eyes roll up and her face falls on the com-link, shutting it off.)

Azusa: ELIZA!  
(She picks up the tantaun-with the unconscious Ranma-chan still
strapped to it-and runs off, carrying it over her head while laughing
excitedly.  The scene switches, and we see a conference room of some
type.   Soun and Nodoka sitting at an oval-shaped table.  Soun looks
determined, while Nodoka looks tired and bored.  It should be noted
that Nodoka's clothing is considerable more regal-looking than in the
last movie.)

Nodoka: This will never work, Soun.

Soun: It must! (slams his fist into his palm) Akane must marry Ranma!

Nodoka: Why?  Both our planets and their old forms of government are

Soun: That makes it all the more important to preserve the old
traditions!  With a strong union of Akane and Ranma at the head of the
rebellion, we can not fail to overthrow the Empire! (tears of

Nodoka: (sighs) But Ranma doesn't _want_ to lead the rebellion.  In
fact, I don't think he _should_ lead it.  He's only here because I
promised to make him a Jedi.

Soun: How goes his training, by the way?

Nodoka: Not as fast as he'd like.  He's so impatient, and I can't help
but hold back because...

Soun: (tears of consolation) Hai, I understand.
(Just then the door opens and Akane walks in.  She looks thoroughly
disgusted.  Following her closely is Ukyou.  Finally Mousse enters, or
tries to, at least,  missing the door by a few feet and embedding
himself in the wall.  With a sigh, Ukyou extends her battle spatula
and peels her fellow droid of the wall with it.  She drags him in.
Akane stands before her father with her hands on her hips.)

Akane: Okay, dad.  What is it this time?

Soun: Daughter, Queen Nodoka and I have reached a decision on the
matter of your engagement to Ranma.

Nodoka: Actually, you came up with this ridiculous idea.  I just can't
veto it.

Akane: Unless it has to do with dissolving my engagement to that baka
hentai freak, I don't want to hear it.

Nodoka(patiently): Akane, my son is not a hentai.

Soun: Hai, the Queen is right.  Now, as to the matter of the
marriage...since we have been safe on Hoth for nearly a year now, I
have decided that we will be completely secure here.  Thus, we can
finally conduct a proper wedding.

Akane and Ukyou: WHAT?!?

Soun: (holds up his hand) No objections.  The wedding will take place
a week from today.

Akane: Dad!  You can't DO this!

Ukyou: That's right, _I'm_ going to marry Ranchan!

Soun: (gigantic) I am the KING!  You will obey me!

Akane: I will not!  That lame old monarchy is dead!

Nodoka: I'm sorry, girls.  There was nothing I could do.

Akane: I...
(Tarou bursts in, cutting Akane off.)

Tarou: Trouble!

Ukyou(after getting over her initial surprise): Care to explain,

Tarou: BIG trouble!

Ukyou: Uh huh.  That was very helpful, Tarou.

Nodoka(patiently): Tarou, what exactly is the trouble?

Tarou: (pauses) Ranma.

Akane: And what about Ranma?

Tarou: He's been captured.

Everyone: NANI?!?

Tarou: Ranma called a few minute ago.  He said something about the
Empire, then his transmission cut off.

Nodoka: (leaping to her feet) Do you know where he was?

Tarou: No, he cut off before we could fix.

Akane: I called him about fifteen minutes ago.  We have those
coordinates.  He said something about going to check out a meteor, so
he had to be close to that area.

Ukyou: Then what are we waiting for?  Let's form search parties and
find Ranchan!

Everyone: Hai!
(The scene switches to a snowy valley at night.  Three shuttles float
down from the sky and land with muffled thumps.  As we watch, one of
the hatches slide open and a ramp descends to the ground.  A figure
strides down the ramp and stands dramatically in the snow.  He is a
boy in his late teens, with brown hair down up in an airy style and a
handsome, if arrogant, face.  He wears the uniform of an Imperial

Boy: This will do nicely.
(An officer exits the shuttle.)

Officer: Vice-Admiral Mikado, we managed to evade the rebel's sensor

Mikado: Excellent.  Set up our base here.  How long until the fleet

Officer: Two days.

Mikado: Plenty of time to scout out this rebel base.  (throws his hair
back) I'll lead the first search party in the morning. [And perhaps
capture a few rebels.]
(Cut to a hangar in the rebel base.  It is snowing heavily outside.
Ukyou and Akane stand near the partially open blast doors.  In the
background, we can see the Hibiki Falcon resting on its landing
struts.  As they watch, a speeder flies in, followed closely by what
appears to be a flying minotaur.  Akane runs up to the speeder, while
Ukyou hands the minotaur a teapot and some clothes.  The minotaur
leaves, just as the speeder's hood pops open to reveal Ryouga.  He
jumps out.)

Akane: Did you find him, Ryouga-kun?

Ryouga: No, but Tarou and I did find this.
(He reaches in, and with scant effort lifts out a large pod about his

Ukyou: That's an Imperial probe!

Ryouga: Hai.  It doesn't look good...
(Just then, Gosunkugi, Tofu, Nodoka, and Mousse all ride in on
tantauns.  Ukyou turns to them.)

Ukyou(doesn't sound very hopeful): Any luck?

Gosunkugi: No, we couldn't find him.  It's getting cold out.  Nobody's
ever been out in this cold before.  He probably won't make it, it's
totally hopeless.  We should start to plan his memorial.

Akane: Shut up, Gosunkugi!

Nodoka: I'm afraid we'll have to shut the blast doors and hope for the

Ukyou: No!  I won't leave Ranchan out there alone!
(Before anyone can stop her, Ukyou charges into the snowstorm.)

Akane: Ukyou!  Come back! 
(She begins to take off after her droid, but Nodoka restrains her.)

Nodoka: Let her go.  She'll be okay.

Akane: [I only hope the same can be said for Ranma.]
(The blast doors slide shut with dreadful finality.  Switch scenes to
a cave of some kind.  Everything is covered with ice and snow.  There
appears to be only one exit-a tunnel near one side of the chamber.
Scattered around the cave are various kawaii (stuffed animals,
balloons, articles of clothing, etc.)-and just plain weird(lampposts,
uniforms, missiles, etc.)-objects partially buried in the snow and
ice.  Incased in a pillar of ice in the centre of the room is a
tantaun in a starry-eyed pose.  Strapped to its back and also covered
in ice is Ranma-chan.  As we watch, her eyes blink open.  She
struggles to move, without much success.  Presently she stops and
concentrates, then begins to vibrate, faster and faster until...)

Ranma-chan: KIYA!!!
(She bursts from the ice in a storm of shards.  With a cry, she
collapses to the floor.  The tantaun is still partially covered.)

Ranma-chan: Aaagh!  What happened?  (she pulls herself to her feet and
looks about) [What the...hey, this is all the stuff that's been going
missing from the base!  What's it doing here?] (begins to walk around
the chamber, examining the objects-each of which has a little
nameplate) [That girl must have...  Where did that girl go, anyway?]
(Ranma-chan looks around, more cautiously this time.  Just then, we
hear the sounds of blaster fire.  Ranma-chan's eyes widen, and she
positions herself at the side of the entrance so that anybody coming
in won't see her.  Suddenly a voice cries out.)

Azusa: Oooohhh!  That helmet is so kawaii!  (sounds of a struggle)

Voice: Get'er off of me! (the struggle intensifies)

Azusa: Get away!  This is Azusa's little Pierre!

Voice#2: Hold her.  There's more rooms down here.
(We hear the sounds of people walking.  Presently, a snowtrooper walks
into the chamber.  Ranma-chan swiftly performs a vicious chop to the
side of the trooper's neck, knocking him unconscious.  Blaster bolts
spray into the room.  She "eeps" and dodges to the side.)

Voice #3: She went that way!

Voice#2: Two of  em, huh?  Fine.  C'mon, the Vice-Admiral wants them
(Several snowtroopers rush into the chamber.  Ranma-chan snaps out her
lightsabre and deflects a few shots, then leaps up and knocks three
troopers unconscious with a flying pivot kick.  Unfortunately, she
lands on an ice slick and slips off her feet.  With a cry, she rams
her jaw into a _hard_ chunk of rock and falls unconscious.)

Trooper: Well, that was...easy.
(Cut scenes to a snowstorm.  We can't see anything but white for a
moment, and then a shadowy figure separates itself from the snow.
It's Ukyou, and she is concentrating on a device in her arm.  She
frowns as she sees something on it she obviously doesn't like.)

Ukyou: [Not a sign of Ranchan...but I can't give up.] (the device on
her arm beeps) [What's this?  Life signs!  And metal!  It must be
Ranchan!  Wait...there's too much metal and too many life signs for it
to be just Ranma.  I should check this out...]
(She walks off into the storm.  Cut to the conference room from
before.  The probe is on the table.  Sitting around it are Nodoka,
Tofu, Soun, Akane, Mousse, and Tarou.)

Soun: We have a problem.

Nodoka: Wait.  (to Tarou) Where's Ryouga?  He was supposed to be here.

Tarou: (shrugs) He decided to come by himself.

Tofu: We'll fill him in when he gets back, then.

Soun: Hai.  As I was saying, we have a problem.  This is an Imperial
probe.  Now, I'm pretty sure that it did not transmit our location,
but I can't be 100% certain.  Therefore, we shall have to evacuate
this base.

Akane: But what about R..Ukyou!  We can't leave her here!

Nodoka(obviously worried, but putting on a good face for everybody's
benefit): Don't worry about Ranma, Akane...

Akane(defiantly): Who's worried about that hentai?

Nodoka: ...we need at least a week to evacuate, so we have plenty of
time to find them.

Tarou: Or their bodies.

Tofu: You're not helping, Tarou.

Soun: We all know the situation now, so let's get some rest.  There's
nothing that can't or mustn't wait until morning.
(They all nod and leave.  We remain in the room for a few seconds,
until Ryouga bursts in.)

Ryouga: I'm here! (looks about) Huh?  Where did everyone go?
(scratches head) I could have sworn the meeting was here.  Maybe I'm
early!  (sits down) I'll just wait for them.
(Cut scenes, this time to a room.  It is dark, being lit only by a few
scattered candles.  On a chaise lounge in the centre lies Ranma-chan.
She is clad in her red silk tunic and black pants, and is unconscious.
With a groan she sits up, rubbing her chin and blinking away the

Ranma-chan: I have to find some way to avoid all this's beginning to get bad for my health.  (looks around)
Huh?  Where am I?  (notices herself) Where's my snowgear?  (pats an
empty spot on her belt; more worried) And my lightsabre?

Voice: I believe you mean this?
(One of the shadowy corners is suddenly filled with the light of
Ranma's lightsabre.  This reveals Mikado-dressed casually-who is
holding it.)

Mikado: What an interesting weapon.  (he swings it a few times
experimentally) It has grace and beauty, much like its owner.  (he
steps from the shadows, deactivating it) Tell me, what is one as
lovely as yourself doing with such a deadly weapon?

Ranma-chan: (blinks) Who the hell are you?

Mikado: I am Mikado Sanzenin, Imperial Vice-Admiral.  And you?

Ranma-chan: Ranma Skywalker.

Mikado: What an unusual name.  (he comes closer) And what an unusual

Ranma-chan: Hey!  I ain't no girl!

Mikado: (chuckles) Did you hit your head too hard during your rescue?
(Ranma-chan blinks) Oh, speaking of your rescue, you owe me for that.

Ranma-chan: Owe you?  Owe _you_?!?  Yeah right, I don't owe you
(She suddenly has trouble speaking, perhaps having something to do
with the kiss Mikado is planting on her lips.)

Ranma-chan: .......!
(Mikado pulls back and stares at Ranma-chan.  Her eyes are wide, her
mouth open an unhealthy amount, and her arms are stiff at her sides.)

Mikado: Oh, to be so honoured by my kiss that I strike her
speechless...(flicks his hair) You still have the old touch.
(Ranma-chan turns around-slowly and carefully-and walks-slowly and
carefully-to the door.  She reaches up-slowly and carefully-and opens
it-slowly and carefully-and the door slides shut behind her.  We
follow her as she walks-all together now, slowly and carefully-down
the hall until she comes to a door marked "Bathroom".  She steps
in-not fast and the opposite of carelessly-and goes over-if you don't
know what should come here, you rival Kunou in brains-to the bath,
grasps the top-quickly and decisively-and twists it with a low growl.
Back in the room, Mikado has turned the lights on, and is sipping a
drink while tossing Ranma's lightsabre in the air.)

Mikado: [998.  Two more women and I shall have finally reached my
goal.  Perhaps I should pay a visit to that other girl we picked up in
the cave...] Hmm, this is more fun then I thought it would be.  And to
think that in only two days the Empire will arrive and I can clear out
that rebel base.
(A hand reaches out from behind him and snatches the lightsabre from
the air.  Mikado leaps from his chair and spins to see a _VERY_
_ANGRY_ black-haired boy with a ponytail who is wearing the same
outfit as the girl from before.)

Mikado: Where did you come from?  And who are you?

Ranma: MIKADO!  For what you did to me I will _KILL_ you!  (snaps his
lightsabre on) RAAH!
(He charges Mikado and narrowly misses taking the pretty-boy's head

Mikado(angry): I don't know who you are, but nobody assaults
Vice-Admiral Mikado Sanzenin of the Imperial Navy and lives!

Ranma: Are you going to fight, or just talk me to death?
(Ranma runs at him with a series of vicious overhead chops but Mikado
simply taps his heels and slides away with hardly any effort.)

Ranma: What the...

Mikado: A-grav skates.  The latest development in Imperial technology.

Ranma: Who cares?
(Ranma rushes at Mikado, but he skates to the side and backhands Ranma
against the wall.  Ranma turns to face Mikado.)

Ranma(grudgingly): You're good.

Mikado: I'm the best.

Ranma: Hardly.
(He leap kicks and Mikado dodges, but this time Ranma is prepared.  He
whips around in mid-air and punches Mikado, who slides across the room
and into the wall.)

Mikado: So you too are skilled.  This calls for more...powerful
measures.  CYCLONE ATTACK!
(He goes into a spin, with one leg extended outward like a battering
ram.  He spins faster and faster, then flies across the room at

Ranma: Oh please!
(He ducks under the whirling leg and uppercuts Mikado, who flies into
the air.  Mikado pivots to land feet-first on the ceiling and...stays
there.  Ranma blinks, but then leaps with his lightsabre and attempts
to chop Mikado down.  He slides away and smiles evilly.)

Mikado: Prepare yourself, fool!  Now I perform my Ultimate
Technique(tm)!  (he puts his arms straight down and goes as stiff as a
(He begins to spin again, but this time as he does his arms flail
about him like chains.  He spins toward Ranma.)

Ranma: You have got to be kidding!
(He positions his lightsabre in front of himself.  Mikado doesn't
slow, and it looks like he is about to run himself through when we
notice he has something in each hand.  What they are becomes clear a
moment later as blaster fire starts spraying from Mikado in a vortex
of lasers.  Ranma "eeps" and jumps away, then begins to furiously
deflect the blaster bolts.  This continues for a few seconds, with
Mikado raining death on Ranma, who does everything he can to survive.
Just when Ranma appears to be failing, something saves his life.)

Azusa: Elaine!  (the girl runs out of nowhere and leaps through the
laser storm without getting a scratch) Come to Azusa, Elaine!
(She collides with Mikado and they both fall to the ground.)

Mikado: Oof!  Hey, you little brat!  (Azusa snatches his blasters and
begins to pat them) Give me those!
(He snatches the blasters back.)

Azusa: ELAINE!

Ranma: (blinks) Okay...
(Mikado arrogantly stands and faces Ranma.)

Mikado: You were lucky, boy, but know (Azusa starts batting him on the
back of his head) that I shall not go so easy (Azusa picks up a lamp
and uses it to whap Mikado without success) on you this...
(Azusa slams a couch on him.  He shuts up and falls forward, his arms
sticking up from under the couch.  Azusa resnatches the blasters.)

Azusa: Elaine!  It's so good you're back with mama-Azusa!
(Ranma walks over and overturns the couch.  He picks up the
semi-conscious Mikado.)

Ranma(sneers): I could kill you for what you did...but I have a more
suitable punishment.
(He drops Mikado and walks out of the room, leaving him alone with
*gulp* Azusa.  Cut to an exterior scene.  It is still snowing, but we
can see several inter-connected metal domes at the bottom of the
valley.  Ukyou lies at the top of the vale and peers into it, a hand
shielding her optics.)

Ukyou: [An Imperial compound?  What's this doing here?] (she watches
some snowtroopers enter a door) [Only one way to find out.]
(Silently, she descends the snow-covered slope.  She sneaks up to a
door, where two snowtroopers are on sentry duty, and extends her
spatula to battle length.  With a swing that would put the Babe to
shame, she smashes the two guards into each other, knocking them out.
Walking into the compound, she hears the sounds of blaster fire...and
a familiar voice.)

Ranma(far off but approaching rapidly): Hah!  C'mon, you can do better
than that!  (pauses; closer) Puh-leeze!  You people are pathetic!
(Ukyou runs up to a nearby intersection of corridors, stopping just
inside her own to avoid a stream of blaster fire.  As she watches, a
smirking Ranma sprints backwards into the intersection while absently
deflecting blaster fire with his lightsabre.)

Ukyou(glee): Ranchan!

Ranma(surprise): Ucchan?!?
(He turns, dropping his guard for about .02 nanoseconds.  Of course,
thanks to the Law of Dramatic Effect and Plot-Enhancing Coincidences
this is _just_ enough time for a blaster bolt to smash into his side
and send him spinning to the ground.)

Ukyou(horrified): RANCHAN!!!  (with a growl, she leaps into the
corridor and faces the Seething Mass(tm) of stormtroopers) YOU HURT MY
(She sends an absurd amount of mini-spatulas into the horde, and with
brutal efficiency cuts about half of them down before they reach her.
The rest are the unlucky ones...she pats her hands together when she's
finished and turns to Ranma with a look of chagrin.)

Ukyou: Ranchan?  Are you okay?  (he doesn't respond; with a worried
look, Ukyou kneels beside him and shakes him gently) Ranchan?  Speak
to me, Ranma!  Say something!

Ranma(groans): ...something...

Ukyou(relieved): Ranchan!  You're all right!
(Ranma sits up with a little difficulty.)

Ranma: Of course I'm alright.  It'll take more than a blaster bolt to
put down Ranma Skywalker!
(He gets to his feet, clutching his side.)

Ukyou: We'd better get you back to base so Tofu Wan can look at it.

Ranma: I'll be fine.  (winces as he takes a step) But you're right
about the base, we have to warn them.

Ukyou: Let's find you some clothes.

Ranma(snaps): I'll be fine!  (pause) Sorry Ucchan, we just don't have
time to waste.  We have to get back.
(He begins to walk away with increasingly faltering steps; obviously
more hurt than he's letting on.)

Ranma: Have to get back to base, and tell...them about all....this...
(begins to stumble)
(Ukyou looks after him with an unreadable expression for a moment.)

Ukyou: Here, let me help.  (she walks over and places her shoulder
under Ranma's) We'll warn...them.
(They walk away.  Cut to a scene of space, where we see a hodge-podge
of craft in a flotilla.  Occasionally dotted throughout the fleet are
Star Destroyers.  For now, we focus on a ship near the centre.  It is
the unusually shaped Black Rose, which now looks even more like its
namesake with a new black paint-job.  We switch to the bridge of the
ship, where we see the megalomaniacal Kodachi sitting in a throne-like
command chair and studying some technical readouts.  As we watch, the
Dark Jedi Kunou and his aide, the diminutive General Sasuke walk up to

Kunou(angry): Kodachi!

Kodachi: (without looking up) Hai, that is my name.

Kunou: Do not attempt flippancy within the presence of my divine
personage, sister.  For misfortunately, thou hath erred in your
dealing with the messenger of heaven in that you by lowest trickery
didst send me, ME, Tatewaki Kunou, the Blue Thunder of the Empire on a
fool's errand!

Kodachi: Then it suited you just fine, didn't it?
(Kunou stutters and fumes and sputters and fumes some more, then
storms out.)

Sasuke: You really shouldn't insult him, mistress...
(Kodachi whirls, her eyes ablaze.  Sasuke almost-but not

Kodachi: Do you presume to tell _me_ what to do, general?

Sasuke: (bowing frantically) No!  No!  I was just thinking that he
would be more manageable with a little tactical ego-stroking.

Kodachi: Ohohohohohoho!  My brother has a large enough ego as it is.
If his power with the Force rivalled his ego, he'd be Emperor!
Ohohohohohoho!  (pauses) Why are you here, general?

Sasuke: I felt it wise to deliver this report to you in person,

Kodachi(intrigued): Proceed.

Sasuke: Your spies within Saotome's forces have reported that Harkov
is setting up for a unilateral assault on the Hoth system.

Kodachi: The Hoth system?  Hmmmm.  (she smiles) It appears they are on
to something, Sasuke.  And only one thing could warrant a unilateral
motion by the enemy fleet.

Sasuke: The rebels?

Kodachi: Hai!  Ohohohohohoho!  This is my chance!  A well-placed
assault could spell doom for both Saotome and the Rebellion.

Sasuke: Excellent, mistress.  Do you want me to alert the fleet?

Kodachi: (eyes narrow) Not just yet.  That Saotome is a sneaky one.
He could have leaked us the info in a plot for an ambush.  (pauses)
No.  First, I will take the Black Rose to Hoth to confirm the rebel
presence.  Ohohohohohohohoho! [And perhaps find my Ranma-sama...]
(Return to Hoth, where Ukyou is half-helping, half-dragging a
shivering Ranma-chan through the snow.  Ranma-chan looks determined as
they both walk into the full force of the storm.)

Ukyou(shouting above the wind): We can't go on, Ranchan!  We have to
find shelter or you'll freeze to death!

Ranma-chan: (teeth chattering) What?  Oh no...we can't...stop.  We warn...the's...too...too...(begins to
fall, but Ukyou catches her)

Ukyou: Ranchan!  Ranchan, are you okay?

Ranma-chan(angrily): I'm fine!  (get's back to her feet) Let's...go!

Ukyou: I'm sorry, Ranma!  I can't let you go on!  You need shelter!
(Ukyou grabs Ranma-chan as the girl attempts to leave.)

Ranma-chan: go!  I'm...a Jedi...Ninja...I
can...handle...a...little snow...

Ukyou: You're not a Jedi yet, Ranchan!  You need shelter!

Ranma-chan: (shakes head) No!  I can't...leave...Akane...alone!!
(She groans and clutches her side.  Ukyou grabs Ranma-chan and slings
her over her shoulder.)

Ukyou: Sorry, Ranchan!  You leave me no choice!
(Ranma-chan shivers, in too much pain to struggle.)

Ranma-chan:!  (voice getting weaker)
(She begins to drift off as Ukyou searches for shelter.  Suddenly,
Ranma-chan is snapped back to consciousness by a voice.  It is the
same voice that spoke to him in Kodachi's room and in his X-wing
during the last movie.)

Voice(same ethereal quality): Boy...

Ranma-chan: Huh?  Who the...

Ukyou: What was that, Ranchan?

Voice: There is no need to speak, boy.  I can hear your thoughts.

Ranma-chan: [Who are you?]

Voice: In due time you will know.  For now, you must come to me.

Ranma-chan: [Why?]

Voice(apparently to itself): WHY do they ALWAYS ask WHY?!?  (to
Ranma-chan) So I can train you, you idiot.

Ranma-chan: [But...]

Voice: Nodoka will never train you like a Jedi was meant to be
trained.  She fears the Dark Side too much.

Ranma-chan: [Dark Side?]

Voice: All questions will be answered when you come to me, boy.

Ranma-chan: [Where are you?]

Voice: Jusenkyou.

Ranma-chan: (pauses) [Nobody has any idea where that is!  How am I
supposed to find it?]

Voice(fading): The probe...remember the probe...(fades away)

Ranma-chan: ....(falls unconscious)

Ukyou: Ranchan? (notices her condition) Poor boy.  I'll never find a
cave in time at this rate.  
(Her eyes narrow, and she shifts Ranma-chan's body to her other
shoulder.  Then she raises her now-freed spatula arm, extending the
cooking implement/weapon to half battle length.)

Ukyou: So I'll have to make one.
(She smashes her spatula into a drift and begins to shovel out snow.
Shortly afterward, she has dug a hole large enough for one person.
She pushes Ranma-chan into it, then pulls herself into the opening,
blocking Ranma-chan from the wind and snow as best as she can with her

Ukyou: [You have to survive, Ranchan!  You just do!]
(We cut to the bridge of the Black Rose, where the molted sky of
hyperspace is visible on the main screen.  Kodachi sits in her command
chair and watches as the sky becomes starlines, and then simply

Tech: We've exited hyperspace at a point 10, 000 kilometres from the
planet Hoth, mistress.

Kodachi: Any sensor data that would suggest a rebel base?

Tech: Unavailable.  The range, combined with the near-perpetual storm
fronts, make it impossible to determine anything.

Kodachi: That confirms it, then.  We either have a rebel or a rival
Imperial base on that planet.  Contact the fleet and inform them to
prepare a hammer operation for this sector.

Tech: That will take two days, mistress.

Kodachi: They have eight hours to be in position, and will await _my_
order to strike.

Tech: But...(Kodachi glares at him)..uh...right away, mistress.

Kodachi: And prepare my shuttle for launch.  Have three legions of
stormtroopers in an assault craft and awaiting my order in orbit by
0630.  (she stands up and makes her way to the bridge) [Soon,
Ranma-sama, soon we will be together again.  Forever!] (cackles)
(Switch to a view of one of the snow and ice fields of Hoth.  It is
morning, and the storm is over, allowing the bright red sun to shine
its light on the chrome hull of a snowspeeder.  The speeder careens
over the ice field with ease.  Inside the cockpit we see Wedge trying
to keep his attention on his flying and a scanner at the same time,
with reasonable success.  Presently, we hear a "ping" and a small blip
appears on the scanner screen.  He smiles.)

Wedge: Echo base, this is Scout leader.  I've detected life signs and
a metal signature.

Nodoka(over the radio): Roger, Scout leader.  Echo base advises
caution, but set down near it.  A transport will home in on your
location ASAP.

Wedge: Roger, over and out.
(He spins his speeder about, and starts a rapid descent towards a
large snowbank.  As he approaches, one part of it abruptly crumbles
and falls away, revealing Ukyou standing up, with Ranma-chan over her
shoulder.  She waves at the ship as it sets down.  Cut to a scene,
apparently some time later.  It is a medical centre of some kind.  In
a large vertical tube we see Ranma-now male-floating in a hot liquid
that is most likely water.  He wears a harness covering most of his
chest and crotch, and has a breathing mask on.  Outside the tube, we
see Tofu fiddling with some controls.  Near him, looking both worried
and relieved, is Nodoka.  Slightly further away, Akane sits with an
unreadable expression, watching Ranma intently.  Tarou, Ryouga, Mousse
and Soun are clustered in a group to one side.  Ukyou is nowhere in
sight.  Presently, Tofu finishes whatever he was doing.)

Tofu: There.  He'll be fine, he just needs a couple of hours in the

Nodoka: (lets out her breath explosively) For a minute there I'd
thought I'd lost him.

Ryouga: What was that idiot doing out in the middle of the storm
without a snowsuit anyway?

Nodoka(glares at Ryouga; icy): I don't know.  Ukyou's verbal systems
were one of the ones freeze-fried by the storm.  We'll find out soon

Soun(crying partly in joy; partly in worry): Tofu wan, can't you speed
up the process?  Every moment my son-in-law-to-be is incapacitated
*sob* wrenches at *choke* my heart...*sob, choke, sob, sob*

Tofu: Yes, but I think it would be a little hard on his...unusual
metabolism.  I'm being forced to rewrite the medical journals with all
my Jusenkyou-cursed patients.

Tarou: You may have to risk it.  We need to know what's out there.

Tofu: (stepping over to the control pad) Sorry, but I can't do that.
The safety of my patients is my first concern.
(Tarou snorts.  At that point, Kasumi walks into the room, holding a

Kasumi: Tofu Wan, here's that medical data I borrowed from you.

Tofu: (glasses fog up) KASUMI!  How wonderful of you to visit me!
(begins pushing buttons on the control pad) Just let me clean out my
garage and I'll be right with you!
(Everyone backs out of the way as Kasumi approaches Tofu.  Inside the
tank, bubbles suddenly burst from the floor and obscure Ranma.  When
they clear, his eyes are opening groggily.)

Kasumi: Here you go, doctor.
(She hands him the datacard.  Tofu looks at it in surprise, while
still punching buttons at random.)

Tofu: A cookie?  You baked for _me_?  Arigato!  (he grabs the card and
shoves it in his mouth; there are a bunch of crunching sounds) Mmmmm!
(swallows with some effort) Wonderful... (looks pale) You're such a
good cook, Kasumi!

Kasumi: (smiles indulgently) Arigato, Tofu Wan, but I didn't bake
anything.  (pauses) Are you making edible datacards now?
(Ranma has now noticed his situation, and tries vainly to escape as
various unpleasant things-electrocution, banging about, burning,
etc.-happen to him.)

Tofu: Edible datacards?  (pauses) What a _wonderful_ idea!  I'll start
on it right away!  You're brilliant, Kasumi!

Kasumi: (blushes) Well, I wouldn't say that...

Tofu: I really must commend you.  (looks about) How'd we get to the

Kasumi: (giggles) You're silly.  I really must be going, though.  (she
starts to leave) See you later, Tofu Wan.

Tofu: Later?  Am I late for something?
(She leaves and he stares after her for a moment, then sighs
whimsically and wipes his glasses.)

Tofu: Now where was I?
(He notices Ranma in the tank.  The boy is hanging upside down, with
bubbles rising off him.  His eyes are wide and glazed over, and his
skin is reddened.)

Tofu(concerned): Oh my!  What happened here?  Don't worry, Ranma, I'll
have you out of there in a jiffy.
(Cut to later.  Ranma is lying on a bed, clad in his regular silk
outfit.  Near him is Nodoka, hovering like a mother hen.  Not too far
off sits Akane, her expression unreadable.  Leaning against the wall
is a sneering Ryouga, with Tarou not too far away.)

Nodoka: Are you sure about this?

Ranma: Hai, they were definitely Imperials.  (angry) We have to
destroy the _ASAP_.

Tarou: It's unlikely we'll be able to get to them before they send out
a signal.  Besides, the fleet already knows we're here.

Ryouga: The only question is which fleet?  And how long before they
get here?

Ranma: We still have to destroy them!  We can't leave him just sitting
there, smiling smugly!  Not after...(trails off)

Nodoka(calm): After what?

Ranma(sullenly): Nothing.  (snaps at Akane) WHAT?!?

Akane(starts): Huh?

Ranma: Why are you _staring_ at me like that?  You're getting some
cheap thrill out of seeing me hurt, I bet.

Akane(defensively): I am not!

Ranma: Yeah, and I'm an Imperial agent.

Akane(growls): Listen, you baka!  I was only...concerned you'd slow us
down during the evacuation.

Ranma: Oh I'm sorry, miss high and mighty princess tomboy rebel
leader, if my being captured by the Empire ruined any of your plans!
(Nodoka smiles to herself and leaves.  Akane shakes her fist at

Akane: If you weren't already in the hospital, I'd put you there!

Ranma: (rolls out of bed and faces her) I'm not an invalid!

Akane: I never said you were, but I can correct _that_ little
oversight if you want.

Tarou: Oh be quiet, you two.  You sound like an old married couple.
(That brings them up short, and they whirl to glare at Tarou.)

Akane and Ranma: We are _NOT_ getting married!!!

Tarou: I never said you were.  You just sound like you already are.

Ryouga(quickly): C'mon, we have more important things to do.  If
Ranma's finished whining about his injuries...

Ranma: I wasn't whining!

Ryouga: Yes you were.  Cowards like you are always whining.

Ranma: I am not a coward!  If anyone's a coward here, it's you!  You
missed the last raid!

Ryouga: Only because _somebody_ locked me in a closet!

Ranma: Nobody would _need_ to lock you in!  You can't make your way
out of a wet paper bag, much less a closet!
(Ryouga growls, baring his fangs and activating his oddly-shaped

Ryouga: Take that back, Ranma.

Ranma: That's Prince Ranma to you...peasant! (lightsabre on)

Ryouga: Don't you mean _Princess_ Ranma?
(The two go at it.  Akane runs up and starts trying to pry them

Akane: Stop this!  We have more important things to do!
(They ignore her.  Tarou sighs deeply, shakes his head and leaves.
The two combatants are beginning to tear up the room when Akane pulls
a large, shining, mallet-shaped lightsabre out of nowhere and gives
them both a solid whack with it.  Ranma pulls himself off the floor,
rubbing the back of his head.)

Ranma: What'd you do that for?

Akane: (breathing slowly and hovering menacingly over both boys)
Because you're acting like children, that's why!  We have more
important things to do then fight amongst ourselves.

Ryouga(apologetically): I'm sorry, Akane.  I just can't help myself
where this loser is concerned.
(Ranma opens his mouth, a scalding retort on his tongue, but a glare
from Akane brings him up short.  Sullenly, he clamps his mouth shut
and crosses his arms.  Ryouga gets up.)

Ryouga: Come on Akane, let's go.  I don't want spend another minute
with _that_.

Akane: Well...(looks calmer)

Ryouga(quickly): You have to get down to the command centre, and Ranma
can't come in his condition, so I'll gladly escort you down.

Akane: (smiles) That's sweet, Ryouga-kun.  Arigato, I think I'll take
you up on that.
(Ryouga grins stupidly, Ranma glares and frowns.  Ryouga leads Akane

Akane(from outside): The command centre's _this_ way, Ryouga.

Ryouga(outside): It is?  Okay.

Ranma: (as their footsteps move away) Who needs  em anyway? _I_
certainly don't.
(At that point, the door slides open.  Ranma looks over to see Ukyou
framed in the light from outside.)

Ranma: Ucchan! I thought you'd still be in repair and refit.

Ukyou: I was, but I convinced them to let me see you.  (worried) Are
you okay?

Ranma: (smiles) Fine.  I'll be back on the front lines in no time.
(more serious) Arigato, Ucchan.  I _may_ not have made it back in such
good shape if you hadn't been there.
(Ukyou smiles, probably realizing that this was as close as Ranma's
going to get to admitting that she saved his life.)

Ukyou: You're welcome.  I'm glad I did what I could.
(Suddenly, klaxons and sirens begin to blare.)

Ranma: Huh?  What the...

Ukyou(fearful): I recognize that alarm.

Ranma: So do I.  (swallows hard) An Imperial attack!
(Cut to a scene of the area of space just beyond Hoth.  Star
Destroyers, frigates, capitals and assault craft flash out of
hyperspace in groups of three or four.  Soon they are amassed in an
impressive fleet of deadly warships.  Finally, the Super Star
Destroyer comes out of hyperspace and parks itself at the head of the
flotilla.   In the command centre of the Super Star Destroyer, we see
an angry-looking Darth Saotome looming over a 1/4 sized hologram of
Mikado.  Admiral Harkov hovers in the background.)

Saotome: {This had BETTER be worth it, Mikado.} (clears screen) {This
is throwing my entire schedule off.}

Mikado: Trust me.  The rebels know you're coming.  If you didn't come
now, they'd be long gone.

Saotome(obviously irritated): {If _you_ hadn't let that rebel escape,
we wouldn't have had to come here so soon.}

Mikado: (swallows hard) Um...yeah...well...That isn't important.
(looks more confident) I only have three AT-ST walkers.  I'll need a
full assault squad if you want that shield down.

Harkov: The dropships should be there in a few minutes.  They'll have
ample firepower.

Mikado: Hai.  I'll keep them busy until your forces arrive.

Saotome: {Go to it, then.} (Mikado disappears and Saotome turns to
Admiral Harkov; clears screen) {This puts a crimp in our plans.
Without time to prepare for Ranma...}

Harkov: (nods solemnly) We need to delay...somehow. 
(Switch scenes to the main command centre of the rebel base.  All the
techs are busy at their stations, while nodoka watches a tactical
holo, chewing her lip.  Nearby, Soun is bawling his eyes out while
Akane tries to calm him.  Ryouga, Tarou and Gosunkugi sit at terminals

Tarou: It's Saotome's fleet.

Gosunkugi: Latest reading: twenty Star Destroyers, thirty
Interdictors, fifty Victory Class, two hundred assorted gunships and
frigates...and one Super Star Destroyer.  Even with twice our
firepower, we couldn't possibly hold up to this fleet.  We're doomed,
it's over, we might as well give up now and save them the trouble.
(Everybody ignores him.)

Ryouga: I've got their positions and courses.  Sector VI, 36, alpha
quadrant, heading 35 mark 13.

Nodoka(calmly): That puts the entire fleet in the middle of the sun,

Ryouga(puzzled): It does?

Tarou: I double-checked.  (he hits a button) Here's their real
(The holomap is suddenly dotted with tiny symbols and colour-coded

Nodoka: (nods) We still have a chance.  Prepare the ion cannons for
bombardment bursts.  We'll send the transports up directly after them.
(Ranma runs in with Ukyou, and begins pulling on a flight suit.)

Ranma: Good plan.  Unfortunately, you'll only be able to send two
fighter escorts with each.

Nodoka: (whirls) What are you doing out of bed?

Ranma: (grins) You'll need every pilot you can get your hands on.  I'm
the best.

Nodoka: You're also injured.

Ukyou: I tried to convince him to...

Gosunkugi: Imperial walkers spotted.  Their target's going to be the
shield generator.  Unless we send some speeders, we'll lose our only
protection.  Of course, if we do send speeders our escorts will be
severely depleted and the fleet will blast our transports from the
sky.  Either way we lose.

Nodoka(to the sky): Doesn't he _ever_ have good news?  Just for once,
surprise me and make him give good news.

Gosunkugi: There's another fleet coming out of hyperspace at the outer
fringe of the system.  Imperials.

Tarou: You asked for that.

Ranma(to Tarou): Is that snowspeeder we modified still down in the

Tarou: (raises eyebrow) Yes, but I can't see how those speed

Ranma: (grins) That's great.  (to Nodoka) I think I can handle them
with just ten speeders.
(Nodoka looks like she's going to object, but then nods mutely and
Ranma runs off before anyone can stop him.  Tarou gets up.)

Tarou: I'll prep the Falcon.
(Ryouga looks over at Akane, who is still comforting her father.)

Ryouga: I'll stay.

Tarou: (sighs and shakes head) Hai.
(Switch scenes to the exterior of the rebel base.  Soldiers run about
in trenches and scramble to set up temporary fortifications.  More
permanent defences such as gun towers and blaster dishes swivel about
to face the AT-ST and titanic AT-AT walkers which are slowly
approaching the base.  Presently, ten snowspeeders in loose diamond
formations fly over the soldiers and bee-line for the walkers.)

Ranma(in his cockpit): Ice leader to Ice squadron.  Report in.
(A bunch of pilots report in, giving their code-names as "Ice-2",
"Ice-5", etc.  Wedge also reports in with the code-name "Ice-3".)

Ranma: Okay.  We're here to run interference.  Split up so we won't
make easy targets, but stick with your wingman.
(In an AT-AT command room, we see Mikado and his aide watching a
tactical schematic on a screen.)

Aide: We have ten speeders coming in fast on our right flank,
splitting into pairs and choosing targets.

Mikado: I see them.  Order the AT-ST's to concentrate on the rebel
defences, while all AT-AT's are to fire whenever possible at the rebel

Aide: Hai.
(An exterior view shows the speeders homing in on the AT-AT formation.
They break up and swing about in groups of two, launching volleys of
red laser fire into the massive quadruped war machines.  But the
blasts do very little, and the Imperials return fire from the powerful
turbolaser cannons mounted on the AT-AT's "heads".  One of them gets
in a lucky shot, and a speeder is blown out of the air in a whirling
blur of shrapnel and energy.  In the rebel command centre, Nodoka is
watching a tactical holo of the Imperial fleet.)

Gosunkugi: First transport ready to launch.  Thought it shouldn't
bother, because it doesn't have a...

Nodoka: Shut up!  Akane, tell ion control to target sector 11, 3, beta
quadrant.  Full burst in a cone pattern.

Akane(not very enthusiastic): Hai.

Ukyou: Nodoka!  The second Imperial fleet is attacking the first!

Nodoka: Nani?!?
(Cut scenes to space, where sure enough we see a hodge-podge fleet
with the Black Rose in the lead pounding the rear of Saotome's forces.
The first flotilla is turning and bringing its own weapons to bear.
On the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer, Saotome is watching in

Saotome: {Where did _she_ come from?}

Harkov: Her spies must have informed her about our operation.  She's
going to try to wipe us and the rebels out in one movement.

Saotome: {Over my dead body!} (clears screen) {Move 90% of our forces
to engage the enemy.  And take the Executor so I can deal with the
Black Rose myself!} [This is just the chance I was waiting for.]
(In the rebel command centre, Nodoka has gotten over her shock.)

Nodoka: I don't know what's going on, but never look a gift horse in
the mouth.  Ion control fire!

Akane: Hai!
(An exterior view shows a group of heavy ion cannons-which look
amazingly like observatories-begin to fire rapid-succession bursts of
energy.  Up in space, the effect is clear as a swarm of blasts pound
into a Star Destroyer and its nearby escorts of frigates and
dreadnoughts.  As they begin to free-fall away, an egg-shaped
transport and its escort of X-wings fly through the temporary gap.)

Ukyou: Transport away!
(Resounding cheer.)

Nodoka: (simply nods) One down, nine to go.
(Meanwhile, back in Mikado's AT-AT...)

Mikado: One down, nine to go.  Bring us about to a forty-five degree
northwest heading and fire at will.)

Aide: Hai.
(Outside, we see the speeders doing their best to take down the
AT-AT's, with limited success.  Ranma's speeder-recognizable by its
blue colouring-swings in towards an AT-ST with his wingman.  In a
flurry of expert flying, he and his wingman-Wedge-manage to pour
enough firepower into it that as they fly past, the "head" explodes in
a shower of flame and sparks.)

Wedge: Scratch one AT-ST.

Ranma: We still have to worry about those AT-AT's, though.  Here,
cover my tail while I try something.

Wedge: Roger.
(The two speeders fly at the nearest AT-AT.  They avoid the massive
turbolaser volleys, most of which come Wedge's way as he pours a
nearly continuous stream of fire into the walker.  Wedge pulls away
just as Ranma begins to swing around the walker in a tight circle.  As
he finishes his first circuit, Ranma pulls back a lever on his

(Ranma's speeder begins to spin around the AT-AT in faster and faster
circles.  Soon his ship is no more than a blur of motion.  Abruptly a
funnel of air begins to form, growing larger, faster and more powerful
by the second.  Soon it's a towering whirlwind which lifts the At-AT
with ease and flings it into the air like a rag doll.  The war machine
crashes several miles distant and explodes in a huge fireball of
energy and flying shrapnel.  Ranma's speeder shoots out of the
whirlwind as it shrinks behind him.  In his cockpit, Mikado is

Mikado: What the hell _was_ that?

Aide: I...don't know.  A new rebel superweapon like that ion burst on
the Hibiki Falcon?

Mikado: Hai.  Tell all AT-AT's to bring down that speeder!
(Outside, Ranma and Wedge are now dodging _massive_ volumes of
turbolaser fire.)

Wedge: At this rate, we'll never get close enough for you to pull that
trick again.

Ranma: (grins) That's okay, I couldn't do it again anyway.  The
booster's burnt out.  (to his radio) All Ice units, perform operation
(While the AT-AT's try in vain to pound Ranma and Wedge out of the air
by sheer amount of firepower, none of them notice the other speeders
pull in behind them and fly past.  As each performs the fly-by, they
launch a tow-cable.  The cables latch on, and the speeders do a couple
of quick circles around the walkers' legs.  With a jerk, they each
detach their cables and pull away.  The walkers find themselves unable
to continue forward and also unable to halt their forward momentum, so
they do the only thing available to them.  In rapid succession, seven
walkers fall to the ground and explode.)

Wedge: Slick, Ranma.  Very slick.

Ranma: (grinning like a loon) I thought so.

Mikado(furious): They destroyed _half_ my AT-AT's!  They will pay!
(calms himself) best revenge will be to destroy that shield
generator.  Double speed.
(Back in the command centre, Nodoka looks worried.)

Ukyou: Fourth transport away!

Nodoka: (shakes head) At this rate, we'll never get them all out
before those walkers reach the shield generators.

Akane: I could set the ion cannons for a wider spread.  It would give
us more openings.

Gosunkugi: And more chance of them having an operating ship in our
corridor.  No, we can't do that.  It would never work.

Nodoka: Be quiet.  We'll have to try it.
(Out in space, we see the two Imperial fleets locked in combat.  Darth
Saotome's Executor bludgeons its way through this like a mad bear.
Its hundreds of turbolaser turrets pound into two dreadnoughts and
blast them into pieces in seconds.  On the bridge, we see a
determined-looking Saotome.)

Harkov: Another transport got away.

Saotome: {Ignore them.  Where is the Black Rose?}

Harkov: Still evading us.  We're too large and slow to catch it, sir.

Saotome: (growl/sighs) {Fine.  Let's return to Hoth.  Prepare our
dropships, those shields will be down soon.}

Harkov: Hai.
(Meanwhile, near the planet another volley of blue ion cannon fire
bursts into space.  This time, however, it clears two areas.  But it
is no less effective as the two transports streak into space.  Then,
due to a massive amount of bad luck, one of the transports finds
himself on a cross-vector with the Executor.  With an almost
contemptuous volley of fire, the Super Star Destroyer blasts it to
atoms.  In the command centre, Nodoka watches her holo in chagrin.)

Ukyou: Number six transport away, but number five was intercepted by
an incoming...Super Star Destroyer.

Nodoka: (nods) It's Saotome.  He's the one in charge of that ship.

Gosunkugi: Imperial AT-AT's coming within firing range of our
generators.  We can't possibly stop them in time.

Ryouga(growls): Shut up or I'll shut you up!
(Outside, Ranma and Wedge are flying desperately towards one AT-AT
that has separated itself from the others.)

Ranma: C'mon, pour on the speed!

Wedge: Too late...
(In his cockpit, Mikado watches a computer image of the connected-disk
shield generators.  He smirks as the image flashes red.)

Mikado: Now I have you...FIRE!
(The turbolasers of the AT-AT's head blast out and score direct hits
on the generators.  In a flash of fire and sparks, the Hoth shield

Ranma: Damn.  C'mon Wedge, let's get him...(blinks) It's HIM!

Wedge: Who?

Ranma(doom): Him.  Cover me...

(His speeder takes the lead.  In the cockpit, Mikado is gloating.)

Mikado: Hah!  That will teach those puny rebels to defy Mikado

Aide: Two speeders coming in fast from behind.

Mikado(sneers): Activate our...surprise and switch control over to me.
Hah!  Only _fools_ take on my personal AT-AT!  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
(Behind the AT-AT, Ranma and Wedge are pouring almost continual
streams of fire into the walker.  Suddenly, and without warning, a
hatch on the top of the walker is blown up and a swivelling turbolaser
turret pops up.  Caught by surprise, Ranma is unable to evade as the
weapon spins and launches a deadly green bolt-which, thanks to hasty
firing, only skims Ranma's engines.)

Ranma: I'm hit!  I'm going down!
(Sure enough, his speeder is bee-lining for the ground.  With a cry,
he snaps on his lightsabre and cuts off the canopy.  Then he leaps
from the cockpit and flies up in a wide arc that ends with him
clinging precariously to the leg of the walker.  Below, his speeder
blasts into shrapnel as it crashes.  With a grunt, he begins to climb
the leg, his expression determined.  Back in the rebel command centre,
all hell has just broken loose.)

Gosunkugi: The shield is down.  Executor moving into bombardment

Akane: (tapping buttons frantically) Moving ion cannons into firing
(Suddenly, the base rocks.)

Gosunkugi: Ion cannons struck by turbolaser bombardment.  Only one
still operating.
(Mousse charges into the room.)

Mousse: Princess!  (he grabs a tech) Come along, princess, we must get
you to your ship!

Tech: I'm not the princess.

Mousse: You're not the princess!

Tech: How wonderful for you to have noticed.

Akane: I'm over here, Mousse, but I can't leave.

Nodoka(firmly): Yes you can.  Get to your transport and get out of
here.  I won't be far behind.  Ukyou, go with her.
(Both girls look at her pleadingly, but after a moment of watching her
impassive face, they bow their heads in surrender.  Ryouga leaps to
his feet.)

Ryouga: I'll make sure the princess arrives safely!

Nodoka: (smiles to herself) Hai.  Hurry.
(They leave.  Almost as soon as the door closes, a voice crackles over
the comm.)

Wedge: this is Ice-3 to Echo base, come in.

Nodoka: This is Echo base.  Go ahead, Wedge.

Wedge: Ice leader's down.  I couldn't tell if he ejected or not.
(Nodoka grimaces for a second, then resumes her usual calm.)

Nodoka: Understood.  You're now Ice leader.  Pull your squadron back
to base and board the next available transport.

Wedge: Roger.  (cuts off)

Gosunkugi: Imperial dropships coming in.

Nodoka: That's it, then, sound general evacuation.  Let's go.
(She gets up and walks out.  Cut to the halls of the rebel base.
Ryouga is leading Ukyou, Akane, and Mousse.  As they turn a corner,
the alarm klaxons change in pitch.

Mousse: They've entered the base.

Ukyou: And we're still not at the transport.

Ryouga(defensively): We're almost there...

Ukyou: Admit it, you're lost!

Ryouga: I am not.  (they turn another corner, and the sound of drives
activating is clearly audible)  See, there's the...(turns final
(Yes, they have come out into the hangar which the Falcon occupies.
Tarou looks over with mild annoyance.)

Tarou: What took you so long?

Ukyou: We followed him.  (points at Ryouga)

Tarou: (nods) Ah, I see.

Ryouga: Well, as long as we're here...(activates his com-link) This is
Ryouga Solo to Transport eight.  Go ahead, I'll get the princess out
on the Falcon.

Voice(over com-link): Yes, sir.

Ryouga: Okay, let's go.
(They climb aboard.   Out in the former combat field, Mikado's AT-AT
stalks toward the rebel base, turbolaser turrets blasting into the
retreating rebels with reckless abandon.  Underneath, Ranma has
reached a hatch.  With a flick of his lightsabre, he cuts it open and
flips inside.  He lands in a defensive position to see...nothing.  He
blinks, then shrugs and heads toward the front of the walker.  As he
walks by an access hatch, he cuts it open with his lightsabre and
tosses a small sphere inside.  In his cockpit, Mikado is unaware of
this as he watches the rebels flee.)

Mikado: Heh.  Look at them!  Is this the much vaunted _bravery_ of the
Rebellion?  I'm surprised that they even survived this long!

Aide: (chuckles) Perhaps they survived because they're always running.

Mikado: Hah!  Indee...(the door behind them is slashed down the middle
and falls in two pieces; Mikado whirls) Who dares!?
(Ranma swings his lightsabre down, barely touching Mikado's neck.)

Ranma: I do.

Mikado(recognition dawns on his face): You!  But I thought...

Ranma: That I died in the storm?  Not likely, pal.

Mikado: What do you want?

Ranma: Revenge...for what you did to me.

Mikado: Trying to kill you?

Ranma: No.  Before that.

Mikado(sneers): I've never seen you before that.

Ranma: Yes you have.
(There is a soft explosion from farther back in the AT-AT.)

Mikado: What was that?

Ranma: My revenge.
(He leaps out the viewport.  Mikado stares after him.)

Mikado: What the...
(Suddenly, there are a series of explosions behind them, each faster
and louder than the last.)

Mikado: That's a turbolaser overload!

Aide: How'd he know how to...
(Outside, Ranma pinwheels through the air, then slams into a snowbank
and disappears.  When he emerges, a she who watches with a
malicious grin as a series of explosions rock the super AT-AT.  Then
her eyes widen, and she shakes her head as if trying to clear it as
the entire machine becomes a fireball...except for the head, which is
launched like a cannonball across the snowfield.  Ranma-chan shakes
her head again, then shrugs and starts towards the base.  On the
Executor bridge, Saotome and Harkov are intently studying a tactical

Harkov(disappointed): Our current position will not allow us to
accomplish both of your goals.

Saotome: (growl/sighs) {Then we must sacrifice the less urgent one.
Pull our forces out.}

Harkov: Hai.
(On the bridge of the Black Rose, Kodachi watches one of the screens
with an arrogant sneer.  General Sasuke stands nearby.)

Sasuke: (frowns) The opposing fleet is pulling out.

Kodachi: (temples her fingers) Yeeeeessss.  Ohohohohohohohoho!  Allow
the fool to escape!  We shall deal with him at our leisure!

Sasuke: Hai.
(On the planet, we see Ranma running up to one of the transports and
boarding it.  He rushes up to a comm-station and activates it.)

Ranma: This is Skywalker reporting in, let's get this bucket of bolts
(Nodoka's face appears on the screen.)

Nodoka(surprised and relieved): Ranma, I thought I had lost you!

Ranma: Ha!  It'll take more than an AT-AT to take down Ranma

Nodoka: I take it, then, that the Super AT-AT was your doing?

Ranma: Hai.  Where's Akane and Ucchan?

Nodoka: Ryouga's getting them out on the Falcon.

Ranma: Nani?  You're trusting _him_ with Akane?!?

Nodoka: We didn't have much choice.  And yes, it's too late for you to
go after them, so strap in for the trip.  Saotome's on the planet, so
we can't delay.

Ranma: How do you know?

Nodoka: I felt him use the Force not too long ago.

Ranma: (frowns) Okay...I'll come with you.

Nodoka: (laughs) It's not like you had a choice.
(In space, the two fleets have disengaged and are retreating.  Soon,
they begin to hyperjump away.  After several minutes, only six ships
remain.  Two Victory-class Star Destroyers are escorting the
sword-shaped Blue Thunder and its companion dreadnoughts.  Nearby, the
Black Rose hovers.  On the bridge of the Blue Thunder, we see Kunou in
all his arrogant glory.  Kodachi is on the viewscreen.)

Kunou: Farewell, my sister.  You can rest assured that those most foul
rebels do not escape yonder ice-bound sphere whilst I, the lord
warrior of the Force, doth stand in vigil!

Kodachi: Just try to take out as many of those transports as possible.
I'd do it myself, but I can't allow Saotome _too_ much freedom.
(She cuts off.)

Tech: The Black Rose has entered hyperspace.

Kunou: Excellent.  Report upon the rebel's activities upon yonder

Tech: Three transports and one unidentified freighter-class ship
coming up from the surface.  I assume we move to intercept the

Kunou: (distant look) Akane... (shakes head) No, we move for the
(Cut to the cockpit of the Hibiki Falcon.  Inside, we see Ryouga and
Tarou sitting in the pilot's and co-pilot's seats, respectively.
Behind them stand Akane and Ukyou, who are both examining a screen.)

Ukyou: The transports are right on our tail.

Akane: Ryouga!  You're moving away from them; adjust your course!

Ryouga: I _want_ to move away from them. We're so small compared to
them that the Imperials will ignore us.

Tarou: I hate to say this, but it looks like they're _not_ ignoring

Akane: They're on an intercept course!

Ryouga: (frowns) Then we'll just have to run interference for the

Ukyou: What?
(An exterior view shows the Falcon swinging towards the Blue Thunder
and its support craft.  TIE fighters attack the ship, but are blown
apart by the Falcon's turrets.  On the Blue Thunder, Kunou is
strangely calm.)

Kunou: I want that ship and it's occupants in one piece.  (reveries)
Oh the beauteous Akane, princess of the fates and lady of my heart.
Though the foul sorceries of the Dark Side have long conspired to keep
us apart, I know now that fate has finally set its hand in motion and
we shall be forever one!

Tech: the transports have entered hyperspace.

Kunou: Then bring me my prize!
(Outside, the Falcon is easily dodging the various fighter craft, but
the capital ships are closing in with their powerful ion cannon shots.
In the cockpit, Ryouga is chuckling evilly.)

Akane: What's so funny?

Ryouga: Nothing.  Just get ready to blast our way through our old
friend Kunou.

Tarou: Ryouga...

Ryouga: I could really get to enjoy blowing the Blue Thunder to bits.
(The ship aligns itself with the Blue Thunder.)

Tarou: Solo-kun...

Ryouga: (grabs a familiar joystick) Now, Kunou, let's see you handle

Tarou(urgently): SOLO...

(He jams his finger on the trigger and...there is a hiccuping sound,
followed by a shower of sparks from the console.)

Tarou: ...the bakusai ten ketsu's not working.  And now, thanks to
you, (checks a readout; sighs) neither is the hyperdrive.

Akane: I think we're in trouble...

Ryouga: (swallows hard) Akane, Ukyou, get back there and help Mousse
with those quad turrets.  I'll make for some open space where we can
(Inside the Blue Thunder, the tech is looking slightly excited, if

Tech: Sir, the computer confirms that that freighter is the Hibiki

Kunou: Of course.

Tech: ...but it's had ample time and opportunity to use that ion
cannon of its, hasn't.

Kunou: (smiles) The ways of the Force are subtle and many, but that
does not exclude it from taking more direct action when the time comes
for destiny to flow its natural course!
(The Falcon weaves and dodges past the fighters and ion cannons, and
somehow manages to make it to the other side of them.  In the cockpit,
Ryouga and Tarou are frantically steering the ship.)

Tarou: Keep alert, Solo-kun.  There's an asteroid field off to our

Ryouga: Hai.  (pulls forcibly on a stick)

Tarou(shocked): Ryouga!  What are you doing?!?

Ryouga: taking us away from the asteroid field.
(There is a bang, and the ship rocks slightly.)

Tarou: No you're not.  You're heading _into_ it.

Ryouga: Uh oh...  (the viewscreen is now showing the large asteroid
field; over a comm-link) Brace yourselves!  We're going in!
(The Falcon weaves its way into the field, a squad of TIE's in
pursuit.  It pulls sharply around a large asteroid.  The TIE's follow,
but one isn't quite fast enough and goes up in a fireball.)

Akane(over a speaker in the cockpit): Ryouga, what are you doing?

Ryouga: If we want to escape the Imperials, we're going to have to do
the unexpected, so...

Akane: I just hope you know what you're doing.  (cuts off)

Tarou: Solo-kun, you lied.  You never planned on going in here.

Ryouga: I never said I did.  Besides, if _I_ didn't expect I'd be
going in here, than the Imperials certainly didn't.
(The Falcon shoots between two asteroids, which collide behind it,
crushing a hapless TIE.  The remaining four pursuers fly through the
resultant rubble.  The Falcon suddenly veers to the side as it avoids
a medium-sized rock.  A TIE that had come too close is unable to avoid
the rock completely and has one of its solar panels torn off.  It
spins out in a flurry of sparks and collides with another TIE.  Both

Ryouga: We'll never survive out here.  We'll have to pull in close to
one of the big ones.

Tarou(apprehensive): _Do_ you know what you're doing?

Ryouga: Have I steered us wrong yet?...on second thought, don't answer

Tarou: I didn't intend answers itself.
(Ryouga decides not to say anything as he steers the Falcon towards a
moonlet-sized asteroid.  He pulls in tight to the surface.  The
remaining two TIE's follow closely and begin to pelt the space around
the Falcon with green laser bolts.  Ryouga counters with an abrupt
swing to the left that _almost_ throws off the TIE's.)

Ukyou(over the speaker): Ryouga!  The cliff!  THE CLIFF!

Ryouga: What...(looks out to see a tall cliff rising up not very far
away) ...oh, the _cliff_.  



Ryouga: I can't pull out...(grimaces)
(The cliff rapidly approaches.  As it gets closer, a tiny crack
appears, then quickly expands into a crevice.)

Ryouga: There's our chance!

Tarou: You can't possibly...Solo-kun, I know that grin.

Ryouga: (grinning) I'm sure you do.
(The Falcon streaks towards the crevice, turning on its side to fit.
It flies through unhindered, but the TIE's aren't so lucky.  One
over-compensates a bit too much then begins to pinball around the
crevice, the second TIE has no choice but to pull up to avoid the
careening fighter.  Unfortunately for it, it pulls straight into an
outcrop and bursts into a fireball.  The Falcon comes out of the other
side of the crevice without so much as a scratch.  It flies around the
walls of the crater that it now finds itself in.  The crater has a
large, gaping cave just slightly off the centre.  Ryouga smiles as he
spots it.)

Ryouga: That'll do nicely...

Tarou: You're not doing what I think you're doing.  Remember the last
time you hid in a cave?

Ryouga: How many times can that happen?
(He pulls the ship up in a loop and flies it into the gaping cavern.
Brief cut to the surface of Hoth.  Near a disembodied AT-AT head, we
see a figure in cold-survival gear fiddling with a portable
transmitter.  He looks up for a moment, and we see that it is Mikado.)

Mikado: [Damn, where are they?] (plays with the machine again) [Great,
they must have left me here.] (looks around) [Things can't get much

Voice(from behind him): Oooooohhh, that transmitter is so kawaii!
(Azusa runs up to him and grabs the piece of equipment)
Pierre-Marquis!  Come to Azusa, Pierre-Marquis!

Mikado: (fear) No... (desperation) No!  (throws head back; complete
anguish) NOOOOOOOO!!!
(Cut to a scene of three transports exiting hyperspace.  They emerge
near the edge of a fleet of starships.  On the bridge of the last
transport, Nodoka, Ranma, and Soun are all sitting around a holo-map
of the system.)

Tech: We've arrived at the fleet.

Ranma: Any word from the Hibiki Falcon?

Tech: No sir.  All ships report no contact with the Falcon.

Ranma: The Falcon's faster than these transports.  It should've
arrived...(thinks for a moment) ...three hours ago.  (angry) I _knew_
you shouldn't have trusted Akane with that loser!  He probably jumped
her straight to Coruscant!

Soun: Waaaah!  My darling daughter is lost forever!  And on the eve of
her marriage, too!  So much like my darling Nabiki!  Waaahhh!  (starts
doing an impressive imitation of a water sprinkler)

Nodoka: (ignoring Soun) Don't worry, Ranma, she'll be fine.  Akane can
take care of herself, and she has Tarou, Mousse and Ukyou to protect

Ranma: Hmph!  (crosses arms defiantly) I'd still like to know what the
Imperials know about them.  If only we had access to their
codes...(eyes grow distant)
(Nodoka looks at ranma with a worried frown.  Suddenly, he snaps his

Ranma: The probe!

Nodoka: Huh?

Ranma: Do we still have the Imperial probe from Hoth?

Nodoka: Yes...but we'll need our techs to go over it for at least a
day before...

Ranma: _I_ can crack that code in five minutes.  Where is it?  Never
mind, I'll ask a tech...(runs off)

Nodoka: Ranma!  (sighs) What am I supposed to do with him...
(Switch to a cave, where the Hibiki Falcon rests on its landing
struts.  Inside the cockpit, Tarou, Akane, and Ryouga are checking

Tarou: Well, the bakusai ten ketsu's fried.

Ryouga: Yeah, well maybe the hyperdrive can be fixed.

Mousse(over a speaker): that darn intercom...

Akane: Mousse?

Mousse: Ah, princess.  I thought I should tell you that I saw
something back here.

Akane: Where are you?

Mousse: Outside the ship.

Ryouga: Mousse, go back to adjusting that array.  We'll check it out.

Mousse: Hai. (cuts off)

Akane: (after a moment) Aren't you going to go see?

Ryouga: (chuckles) Check out what he saw?  He can't see his hand in
front of his face, much less anything we'd have to worry about.
(turns to tarou) I'm going to go see what condition the hyperdrive's
in.  You stay here and monitor those bomber flights.

Tarou: Sure.
(Ryouga leaves.)

Akane: Tarou?

Tarou: Hai?

Akane: I was wondering...

Tarou: About what?

Akane: Why are you so loyal to him?

Tarou: Who?

Akane: Ryouga.  Why are you so loyal to him?

Tarou: (distant look) He's the only one who can live with my shame.

Akane: Shame?

Tarou: (sob) Yes, my secret shame that forced me to leave my
people...(choke, sob)

Akane(sympathetically): The curse?

Tarou: No, the curse is okay...(sob, choke, sob)
It''s...NO(sob), I cannot say!  It would drive you away from
me...(tear breakdown) Only Solo-kun understands...

Akane: It can't be that bad...

Tarou(recovering somewhat): Please, I do not wish to speak of it.

Akane: Okay...

Ryouga(over the intercom): Tarou, could you come back here?

Tarou: Hai, Solo-kun.  (he leaves; Akane looks thoughtful)
(Cut to the bridge of the Blue Thunder.  Kunou strides down the
catwalk towards a group of bounty hunters.  There are eight, all told,
including a reptilian creature, an insectoid, an avian, Mian Toris and
a beautiful girl in a tight-fitting set of armour.  She has long
purple hair, and a somewhat arrogant expression.)

Kunou: Know all ye servants of the green god that the rewards for
retrieval of those who cower upon yonder space-borne rock garden
whilst forcing my love to be unable to yield herself to me will be
plentiful and most abundant for those who accomplish the stated task.

Purple-hair: What he say?

Tech: Any of you that bring back the rebels in the asteroid field will
be paid highly.

Purple-hair: Is true you say Ryo-lonely on ship?

Tech: Huh?

Purple-hair: Ryo-lonely.   Bout tall this (places her hand near her
eyes), carry Brella, lost lot.

Kunou: I do believe that yon mauve-topped huntress doth allude to that
rebellious hider of cargos, our old adversary, Ryouga Solo.

Purple-hair: Nani?

Tech: Do you mean the smuggler Ryouga Solo?

Purple-Hair: Hai, Ryo-lonely.

Tech: Yes, he is.

Purple-hair: Then Shampoo Fett will find him.  Get big money from the
Hut for Ryo-lonely.

Kunou: Care I what you do with those others among that sortied party
of ravening dogs?  Nay.  But know this: whoever among you may be
called responsible for the loss of my princess shall be summarily
susceptible to the wrath of a Jedi!
(He waves his lightsabre around.  Shampoo looks at the tech with an
upraised eyebrow.)

Tech: Do whatever you want with the others, but the princess is to be
taken alive.

Shampoo: Ahh...
(Switch scenes, this time to a tech lab.  The probe is lying on a
table.  Hundreds of wires and tubes are attached to its innards and
stretch to various monitors around the room.  At one of these monitors
sits Ranma.  He is busily tapping buttons, seemingly at random.
Abruptly the screen changes from unyielding static to a block of

Text: Access granted.  Enter command.

Ranma(smiles; types command): Call up command menu.

Menu: 1. Starmaps
           2. Command codes
           3. Information
           4. Encryption codes
(Ranma's finger hovers over the "4" key for a moment, then he gets a
distant look on his face and, zombie-like, his hand drifts over to the
"1" key and presses it.  Instantly the screen is filled by a starmap.
He shakes his head and looks at the screen in bewilderment.)

Ranma: Huh?  Why in...(notices something in the corner of the screen)
What the...?
(He punches a few buttons and the corner magnifies.  He magnifies
sections of the screen three more times, until only a single planet is
displayed on the screen.  Under the slowly revolving blue and grey
sphere is a name, a name which causes Ranma's mouth to drop.)

Ranma: Oh my lord...Jyusenkyou.  I can't believe it.  This is my
chance to finally be rid of this curse.  I've got to tell...(frowns)
No, I can't tell mom...
(The scene switches to a little later, in a hangar.  Inside are a
bunch of X-wing fighters.  Ranma-in his flight suit-runs in a jumps
aboard one.  The flight officer runs over.)

Officer: What are you doing, sir?

Ranma: Special assignment...sector 52...Dark Jedi uprising...people
turning into get the idea.

Officer: Uh... (the canopy closes and the X-wing practically leaps
from the hangar)...okay...
(The camera follows Ranma.  He pulls some quick manoeuvres and is
beginning to pull away from the fleet when Nodoka's voice bursts over
the comm.)

Nodoka(angry): Ranma!  Where do you think you're going?

Ranma: I have to do some stuff.  I'll see you later.

Nodoka: What?!  Come back here, young man!

Ranma: Sorry mom, this is something I have to do.  You'd only hold me
(He punches a button and the X-wing leaps into hyperspace with a
flash.  On the bridge, Nodoka is _mad_.  With a shudder, she calms

Tech: Extrapolating on his hyperspace vector...

Nodoka: Don't bother.  He'll change it at least once before he settles
on his actual destination.  (sighs) No, we'd best just trust the Force
in this.
(Cut back to the asteroid field.  TIE bombers are blasting the
asteroids with proton torpedoes, but are having no success in flushing
out the Falcon.  On his bridge, Kunou is ranting at Shampoo.)

Kunou: Why art thou not out searching for my one true love?

Shampoo(exasperated): Shampoo say already, Kunou-Jedi, she have plan
but it not ready yet.

Kunou: I don't care about your plan!  I want Akane now!  (jumps up and
down) NOW! NOW! NOW!  (points at her) Now you _will_ obey my orders!

Shampoo: [Him nuts.] Hai, right away...
(She stalks off.  Kunou whirls to face the crew, who are staring at

Kunou: What?
(Back in the Hibiki Falcon, we see Tarou's legs sticking out of a
service duct.  Ryouga is fiddling with an exposed panel near-by.)

Tarou: Try it now.

Ryouga: Hai.  (pulls a lever)

Tarou: (as sparks leap from the duct) YAAA!  Turn it off!  Turn it
(Ryouga quickly pushes the lever up.)

Ryouga: Sorry.  Are you okay?

Tarou: Fine, just singed.
(They are both distracted by a beeping sound.  Ryouga grabs a com-link
and activates it.)

Ryouga: What?

Mousse(over com-link): It's me.

Ryouga: What do you want?

Mousse: You know how I told you earlier how there's something out

Ryouga: Hai.

Mousse: Well, it can be confirmed that there _is_ something out here.

Ryouga: How can you be sure?

Mousse: Because it's chewing on my arm.

Ryouga: (long pause) We'll be right out.

Mousse: No hurry.  I'm just trying to be helpful.
(Outside the Falcon, we see a hatch lower.  Tarou, Akane, and Ryouga
exit, all wearing environmental suits.  Ryouga has his Brella on.
They walk around the ship and come upon Mousse, who is standing with a
long spear coming out of his sleeve and pinning a bat-like creature
with a sucker for a mouth to the ground.)

Mousse: Hello, so good to see you.  Greetings, princess.

Akane: Mousse, call me...never mind.  What's that?

Tarou(hisses): Mynoc.

Ryouga: Great, that's all we need.  (via com-link) Ukyou, prep the
Falcon for launch.

Ukyou(over the com-link): Hai.  Why are we leaving?

Ryouga: Mynocs.

Ukyou: What's that?

Ryouga: I'll explain later.  (shuts it off) Come on, we'd better check
to see there aren't any on the ship.  The last thing we need is one of
them chewing on the main drive controls.
(They begin to circle the ship.  As they round a section, they spot a
mynoc on the engine.  Ryouga bats it off.  Suddenly, one flies in from
behind.  Ryouga spins and uses his bandanna-blaster to blow it out of
the sky.  Two more fly above and Mousse lets loose with his
duck-grenade launcher.  He launches three egg-bombs, two of which hit,
the third exploding on the ceiling.  Its explosion is accompanied by a
significant rocking of the cave which throws everybody off-balance.)

Mousse: What happened?

Ryouga: (frowns) I'm not sure.
(He points his bandanna-blaster at the ground and fires.  The cave
shakes again, more violently this time.  Ryouga and Tarou exchange

Ryouga and Tarou: Uh oh...

Ryouga: Into the Falcon!  NOW!

Akane: What...never mind.
(They rush into the ship and to the cockpit.  Ryouga and Tarou take
their positions and begin to pull the already-prepped Falcon up.)

Ukyou: What's going on?

Ryouga: No time.
(The Falcon begins to fly up the cave.  The opening is slowly closing,
around the same place as two peculiarly even rows of stalagmites.)

Akane: The cave's COLLAPSING!

Tarou: This isn't a cave.

Ukyou: It's too tight!  We'll never make it!

Tarou: We'll see about that!
(He punches some buttons on the console.  The Falcon suddenly launches
a blue photon torpedo which flies forward and blasts one of the
stalagmites to pieces.  They dart through the gap and pull away from
the hole as a giant, snake-like creature rears out of it.  However,
instead of snapping at the ship, it turns away, making mewling noises.
The Falcon pulls out of the asteroid field and immediately finds
itself swarmed by the Imperial ships.  Cut to the Blue Thunder's

Tech: Lord Kunou!  The Hibiki Falcon has exited the asteroid field!

Kunou: Bring them DOWN!
(The Falcon is now dodging ion fire from both the enemy capitals and
the Gunboats that are chasing it.  In the cockpit, Ryouga and Tarou
are alone-Akane, Ukyou, and mousse having gone back to man the quads.)

Ryouga: (grimaces) We'll never make it...

Tarou: The tower!

Ryouga: Huh?  Could you elaborate?

Tarou: (smiles) Listen, Solo-kun.  I have a plan...
(Outside, the Falcon makes an abrupt change in direction, temporarily
throwing off the eight gunboats on its tail.  The three gunners take
advantage of this and unleash a stream of fire at the confused
Imperials.  Only two fighters survive the barrage, and one of those is
streaming sparks and fuel.  The Falcon is now bearing down on one of
the Victory-class Star Destroyers.  On the bridge of the Star
Destroyer, the captain looks shocked.)

Captain: Is he _insane_?

Officer: Probably, Captain Sentarou.  Did you hear what that ship
tried to do at the Battle of Dojo?

Sentarou: No...and I don't want to.  Full power to the bridge shields!
(The Falcon grows bigger on the main screen until it blots out almost
everything.  Sentarou flinches back as the Falcon pulls up at the last
second and...)

Tech: It's gone!

Sentarou(relieved/surprised): What?

Tech: The Falcon, sir.  It just...disappeared.

Sentarou(fearful): What?  Are you sure it didn't crash?  Or enter

Tech: I...don't know.  It just vanished off our sensors.

Sentarou: Very well, then.  (swallows hard) I'll explain to Lord Kunou
how I lost the Falcon, and...apologise.
(Cut to later.  On the Blue Thunder, Captain Sentarou slowly crumples
to the floor.  Kunou shuts down his lightsabre just as the unlucky
ex-captain comes to a rest.  He whirls.)

Kunou: Apology accepted... (to the crew) Extrapolate on the Falcon's
last known vector and plot all possible hyperspace courses.  Then
break up the fleet.  I want that ship found!
(Out of earshot, two techs glance at each other.)

Tech#1: Why isn't he using that awful poetry of his?

Tech#2: (shrugs) Who knows?  Probably too excited to think of any.
(Cut to the outside of the Victory Star Destroyer, where we see the
Hibiki Falcon on the back of its conning tower.  Inside the cockpit,
we see Ryouga, Tarou, and Akane watching the fleet at an odd angle.)

Akane: Brilliant, Tarou, absolutely brilliant!  (pats him on the back)

Tarou: I can't take _all_ the credit.  Without Solo-kun's flying, we
never could have pulled it off.

Akane: Good job, Ryouga-kun!  (she throws her arms around him)

Ryouga: (eyes going goofy in ecstasy) A-arigato...Akane-chan... (sighs
and faints)

Akane(startled): What happened to him?  (worried look)

Tarou: (looks at her and shakes head) Nothing.  (snaps his fingers)
Wake up, Solo-kun.  Wake up!

Ryouga: (shakes himself awake) Wha?  Huh?

Tarou: The fleet's breaking up.
(He points outside, and we see that the fleet is indeed doing just

Ryouga: Hai.  Prepare to disengage mooring clamps.
(Akane cocks an eyebrow.)

Tarou: The Imperials always dump their junk right before hyperspace

Akane: So we just float away with the garbage?

Ryouga: Hai.

Tarou: (smiles sardonically; to himself) How appropriate...
(The Star Destroyer indeed lets out its garbage, and with a lurch, the
Hibiki Falcon begins to float away with it.  Presently, the Imperial
fleet flashes away in bursts of pseudo-motion.  Inside the cockpit,
Ryouga is studying a screen.)

Ryouga(musing to himself): Our hyperdrive's still shot so we'll need
to find somewhere to...what's this?  Tsubasa...hmm...

Akane: Tsubasa?

Tarou: Tsubasa Calrissian, she's an old acquaintance of ours.

Ryouga: Hai, and it looks like she has something on Bespin.  I think
it's about time that we paid her a visit.

Tarou: (straight face) You're tired, Solo-kun.  Why don't you go get
some rest while I steer the ship?

Ryouga: (yawns) Good idea.  I think I'll do just that.
(Tarou sighs in relief.  Outside, the Falcon suddenly activates its
thrusters and flies away from the space junk.  Unnoticed by it,
however, a large spherical piece of apparent garbage with a long,
handle-like protrusion begins to move away from the junk after it.
Cut to another sector of the galaxy.  Around a tiny red sun orbits a
single planet.  The planet is almost uniformly dark green, but is
dotted with millions of tiny blue dots, which give the planet the
appearance of having the pox.  Abruptly, an X-wing emerges from
hyperspace and hovers above the planet.  In the cockpit, Ranma gazes
down at it with an eager expression.)

Ranma: [So this is Jyusenkyo?  Not very impressive.] (looks at some
instruments) [I guess I can set down anywhere.]
(He flies the X-wing into the atmosphere.  Almost immediately, the sky
is filled with dark clouds and high winds.  Ranma grimaces as his
fighter is rocked about.)

Ranma: [Where did that storm come from?] (looks down at the instrument
panel; blinks) [The instruments are going crazy!]
(We'll have to take his word for that.  However, the X-wing is now
shuddering and shaking as it plummets through the atmosphere.  Ranma
struggles vainly for control.  Suddenly a tree limb whips by the
canopy, followed quickly by several others.  There is a splash and the
ship comes to an abrupt halt, with the exception of Ranma, who bangs
his forehead off the console, and is saved from unconsciousness only
by his flight helmet.)

Ranma: [So that's what we wear these things for...] (looks around)
Great, what else could go wrong.  (*crack*boom*ominous roll of
thunder*) I _hate_ that!  
(He pops the canopy and climbs out onto the body of the X-wing.  We
see he is in the middle of a vast jungle/swamp.  The X-wing is
partially submerged in an irregularly-shaped pool of water that has
bamboo shoots sticking out of it [which doesn't really make sense,
since this isn't Earth, but you'll just have to live with it].  Ranma
sighs and steps to the edge of the ship.)

Ranma: Better get to shore.
(He is preparing to make the plunge, when a voice distracts him.)

Voice: Were I you, would not.  Hrmm.
(Ranma looks over to the shore, and sees a diminutive old woman with
green skin and long white hair balancing herself on a staff.  He

Ranma: Wha...

Old hag: Unless crab wish you become, into water you not go.  Hrmm.
Hrmm. *hack*cough*hack* Sorry, frog in my throat... *hack*cough*
That's better.

Ranma: Who are you?  And what are you talking about?

Old hag: I am Cologne.  And what I was talking about is the fact that
you were about to plunge into one of the cursed pools.  Spring of
drowned crab, to be exact.
(With a look of horror, Ranma backs away from the edge of the X-wing.)

Ranma: YAAA!  Wait a can a crab drown?

Cologne: If an octopus can manage it, so can a crab.

Ranma: Huh?

Cologne: Never mind, it was an in-joke.
(Ranma looks around, and notices that it is a long way to each shore.)

Ranma: Uhh...if I can't swim, how _am_ I supposed to get off?

Cologne: (eyes narrow) Use the Force, boy...

Ranma: Huh?

Cologne(irritated): The Force!  You want to be a Jedi, right?

Ranma: Hai, but how did you know?
(Cologne waves her staff, dismissing the question.)

Cologne: If you want to be a Jedi, you must be able to use the Force.

Ranma: What do you mean?  Mom never taught me anything about "using
the Force."

Cologne: (eyes widen in surprise) She isn't even teaching you how to
manipulate matter yet?!?  That's the most simple, rudimentary Jedi
ability there is!  And she _isn't_ teaching you it?!?

Ranma(defensively): Mom's been doing a good job...

Cologne: Your mother's an idiot, boy!  She's too worried about you
converting to actually spend the time teaching you anything useful!

Ranma: I can use my lightsabre...

Cologne: Bah!  Lightsabres!  Useful in their own right, but they
should hardly be the focus of a Jedi's studies.  (sighs) Very well.
If you can't use the Force to cross the river, I suggest you use
(She points at one of the bamboo shoots.  Ranma easily leaps from pole
to pole and lands before Cologne.  He is frowning.)

Ranma: Listen old troll, who are you to be insulting _my_ mother?

Cologne: I am the Jedi Master Cologne, and I have summoned you here to
teach you the ways of the Force.

Ranma: You?  A Jedi MASTER?!?  Yeah right, and I'm the Emperor!

Cologne: What does the Emperor have to do with it?

Ranma: It's just an expression...the point is, you're too old, feeble,
and short to be a Jedi Master.
(Cologne's eyes narrow in amusement, and she eagerly shifts her weight
on her staff.)

Cologne: Oh really...why don't you attack me, then?  Prove how
superior you are to poor, feeble, doddering old me.

Ranma(hesitant): I don't want to hurt you...

Cologne: You?  Hurt ME?!?  That's rich, that's really rich!!!
(She rolls around on the ground, cackling with glee.)

Ranma: Hey!  (activates his lightsabre) Fine!  But remember, you asked
for this!  KIYA!
(He swings his lightsabre around in a whistling arc that's sure to
decapitate the old crone.  He never finishes it, however, because in a
flurry of movement, Cologne leaps to her feet and pokes Ranma in the
chest with her staff.  With a cry, he crumples up and falls to the

Cologne: Now, if you still don't believe I'm a Jedi Master, please say
so.  (Ranma doesn't speak, he doesn't move, he-apparently-doesn't
breathe) Fine.  Come, we shall start your training at my home.
(Cologne gestures and the paralysed Ranma raises off the ground.  She
bounces into the forest, with the floating Ranma right behind.  Cut to
a planet on the other side of the galaxy.  The clouds are so thick
that it is impossible to see the ground.  Directly above these clouds,
the Hibiki Falcon is gliding along.  On either side of it are two
ships, which look like connected pods.  In the Falcon's cockpit, Tarou
appears to be doing some fast talking while Ryouga steers the ship.
Akane stands nearby.)

Tarou: No, I do _not_ have a landing permit.  But if you'd just...

Pilot(via com-link): you'll have to turn back.

Tarou: We can't turn back, we're in serious need of repairs.  If you'd
just tell Tsubasa Calrissian that Ryouga and Tarou are...
(Suddenly, the ship is rocked by laser fire.)

Mousse(via intercom): They're firing on us!

Tarou: What _would_ we do without you to tell us these things, Mousse?

Mousse: Probably die.  Do you want me to return fire?

Ryouga: Not until the last second...

Pilot: Wait...we've just confirmed your identity.  Follow us in,
you're clear on pad sixteen.

Ryouga: (sighs) Finally.

Akane: I thought this Tsubasa was your friend.

Ryouga: She is, she's just...flighty.

Akane: Flighty?

Tarou: Tsubasa's always sort of...distracted.  She doesn't treat
anything seriously, and is always playing games-especially games
involving disguises.  On top of that, she's always mooning over some

Akane: Who?

Tarou: (shrugs) I don't know, never met him.  His name starts with a
"U", though...Uch...Uck... Ukc...something like that.

Akane: Oh, okay.
(The Falcon flies around a large cloud, and we see a large city
suspended above the clouds by a large, inverted castle-like hoverpod.)

Akane: What _is_ that?

Ryouga: Cloud City, I'd wager.  Another one of Tsubasa's games.
(The ship settles down on a circular pad that is connected to the city
by a wide walk-way.  The side of the pad is cluttered with containers
and crates.  The ramp on the Falcon lowers and Ryouga, Akane, mousse,
and Tarou step out.  Akane looks over at the clutter and smiles

Akane: I guess she wasn't expecting you.  She didn't have time to
clean up.
(Tarou grunts.)

Ryouga: Tsubasa's absentminded, she'll get around to seeing us soon
enough.  (looks at the cargo) Might as well sit down and wait.

Akane: (shrugs) I can go for that.
(Akane walks over and sits on a crate.  Ryouga and Tarou are following

Crate: Eee!  Get off of me!
(Akane "gaahs" and leaps about eight feet in the air.  She flips in
mid-jump and lands facing the crate with her lightmallet out.  Ryouga
runs in front of her, Brella unfolded to shield her and
bandanna-blaster at the ready.  Tarou pulls a small thermos from his
belt and unsnaps the lid.  Suddenly, a cute brown-haired girl in a
frilly pink dress pops out of the crate.)

Girl: Surprise, Solo-kun!
(Tarou and Ryouga visibly relax and put away their "weapons."  Akane
does not.)

Akane: You know this...this...

Tarou: Of course we do.  This is Tsubasa.
(The girl waves at Akane and gives her cutsie eyes.)

Tsubasa: Hi!  That's right, I'm Tsubasa Calrissian.  And you are...

Akane: (mallet has mysteriously disappeared) Akane Tendo, pleased to
meet you.
(Tsubasa steps out of the crate, giving Akane a surprised look.)

Tsubasa: _Princess_ Akane?  Of the Rebellion?
(Akane looks at Ryouga dubiously, who nods.)

Akane: Hai.

Tsubasa: Pleased to meet you.  (bows respectfully; to Ryouga) It
appears you've fallen in with some bad company, Solo-kun.  You haven't
gone respectful on me, have you?

Ryouga: (laughs) If you can call running around the universe, avoiding
Imperials, smuggling supplies and treason in general respectful, then
yes I have.
(Tsubasa gives Akane a pitying look.)

Tsubasa: Is he _still_ making these occasional attempts at levity?

Akane: Not really.  He spends most of his time...uh...trying to kill

Tsubasa: Oh?

Ryouga(snarls): I found the one responsible for...(looks at
Akane) problem.

Tsubasa: Ah, I see.  (runs over and hugs Tarou) And what about you?
You still hanging around with that loser?

Tarou: (looks uncomfortable) Uh...yeah.  Tsubasa, would you mind...

Tsubasa: You're still such a stuffshirt, I see.  (steps away)

Tarou: It's just not proper.
(Tsubasa shakes her head and approaches Mousse.  Akane gives Ryouga a
mystified look.)

Ryouga(low voice): She's teasing him.  She thinks he's a prude.  I
told you she was flighty.

Tsubasa: What a familiar droid...

Mousse: I doubt it.  I'm a prototype NoC...

Tsubasa: Mousse!  (excited) it's you, Mousse!

Everybody: How did you know?

Tsubasa: I bui...
(Just then, Ukyou walks out of the ship.  She is frowning.  Tsubasa
_stares_ at her.)

Ukyou(irritated): Well, I shut down the ship.  You know, I'm a
companion droid, not an astromech...
(She is distracted as Tsubasa suddenly leaps at her with arms
outstretched and hearts in her eyes.)

Tsubasa: UKYOU-SAMA!!!

Ukyou: YAA!  We're under attack!  (she quickly uppercuts Tsubasa with
her spatula) Defend yourself!
(Tsubasa flips end over end and slams into the ground several metres
away.  She begins to rub her forehead, which has developed a sizable
lump.  Ukyou swings her arm around and opens her spatula-shot.)

Tsubasa(pouting): You don't remember me, Ukyou-sama?

Ukyou: (stops as she was about to fire) Wha?  No...I don't know you.

Mousse: What's going on here?

Tsubasa: I built you...both of you.  (looks more closely at Ukyou) But
Ukyou-sama was a...boy when I built her.

Ukyou: I was altered by one of my owners...wait!  You built me?
_You're_ the one who built me?!?

Akane: You built her?

Ryouga: You built her?

Tarou: And Mousse.

Mousse: You built me?  (looking at Tarou) Why didn't you tell me?

Tarou: Not me, her.

Mousse: Her who?

Tarou: (points at Tsubasa) _Her_, her.

Mousse: That's a he, not a she.

Akane: You need to clean your optics, Mousse.

Ukyou(flabbergasted): She built me...

Mousse: I tell you that's a guy!

Ryouga(gently):'re blind.

Akane: He saw those mynocs.

Tarou(ominously): Mousse, Tsubasa's my friend.  Has been for five
years.  Don't you think I can tell the difference between guys and

Mousse: Obviously not.

Tsubasa: (sniffs) Ukyou-sama, I can't believe you don't remember me.

Akane: What's this "sama" business?

Tsubasa: Just what it means, she's my beloved Ukyou.

Akane(blinks; slowly): You love a _droid_?

Tarou(under breath): And I thought _Ukyou_ was weird.

Tsubasa: (shakes head) No.  I don't love a droid, I love Ukyou.

Ryouga: But Ukyou...

Tsubasa: human!
(Stunned silence.  Everyone gapes at Tsubasa.  Well, Mousse is gaping
at something on the wall-but who cares about him?)


Tsubasa: You're human-or at least you were.
(Ukyou runs down the ramp and lifts Tsubasa up by the front of her


Tsubasa: (blushes) Ukyou-sama, that tickles...
(Ukyou realizes where she's holding the girl and drops her.)

Ukyou: Now explain.

Tsubasa: You really don't remember?  Any of it?
(Akane, Ryouga and Tarou are exchanging glances.)

Ukyou: No I don't.  Now tell me.

Tsubasa: (sighs) It was a long time ago.  Ukyou-sama and I lived on
Corelia.  We were in love almost from the day we were born.  Up until
our fifth year, anyway, when *sniff* our friend Mousse...*choke*

Mousse: I'm human too?
(Ukyou slams Mousse into the Falcon with a backhand from her spatula.)

Ukyou: SHUT UP MOUSSE!!!  (to Tsubasa) Go on.

Tsubasa: Well *sniff* Mousse travelled a lot.  And during his travels,
he picked up a case of *choke* Brinarian fever.  (everyone gasps) It
was *sniff* still dormant when he transmitted it to Ukyou-sama...

Tarou: Wait a minute.  Brinarian fever _can_ be cured.  It's
expensive, but...

Tsubasa: It couldn't be twelve years ago. *sniff* I was mortified, but
(perks up) I knew how to save her!  She insisted I save Mousse too.  I
built droid bodies for both of them, then transferred their
intelligence into them while I cryo-froze the bodies.

Akane: (gasps) Is that possible?

Tarou: (pauses and frowns) Yeeessss, it _could_ be...  I was doing
some research a while back, and discovered that somebody _had_ done
research into the transference of human personality and memories into
droid bodies.  He came very close, but was killed during the first
stages of the Clone Wars.  Nobody else took up his work.  His name was
(stops; eyes widen) Drello _Calrissian_!

Tsubasa: Hai, my grandfather.
(Ukyou has an awed expression on her face.)

Ukyou: So I really _am_ human!  I really can be with Ranchan!  

Tarou: I wouldn't get too excited.  Your original body was male,

Ukyou: (shakes head) I _feel_ female...I wish I could remember all
this.  (to Tsubasa) Why didn't I remain with you?

Tsubasa: Something went wrong during the transferral.  You both went
berserk after it was finished and ran off. *sniff* I've been looking
for you ever since...

Akane: Wait, do you have the bodies here?  In cryo-stasis?

Tsubasa: (nods) And cured.

Akane: Then you _could_ transfer them both back?

Tsubasa: Hai.  I need time first, though.

Akane: Well, why don't you show us them?
(Cut back to Jyusenkyou.  In a crude hovel, Cologne places Ranma on
the floor and pokes him with her staff.  Instantly he leaps to his
feet, glaring at her with undisguised hatred.)

Cologne(irritably): Stop that.

Ranma: Stop what?

Cologne: Hating me.

Ranma: (blinks) Huh?

Cologne: Hating me.  If you let your hatred control you, you follow
the path of the Dark Side.

Ranma(curiously): What _is_ this Dark Side everyone keeps talking

Cologne: I see you've decided to accept that I'm a Jedi Master.

Ranma(mutters): You didn't give me much choice...

Cologne: (chooses to ignore that) To answer that question, I will need
to explain the nature of the Force.  (she pauses as Ranma takes a seat
on a near-by hammock) The Force is more than just a tool.  It is a
power, created by life.  It surrounds us like a mist, flowing through
and binding us.  The Force reflects life in it's capability for
compassion, healing and strength.  But it can also reflect hatred,
intolerance and anger.  This is the Dark Side.  It tempts young Jedi
by offering the easy path.  But once taken, it will lead the Jedi
deeper and deeper into enslavement, until finally he is no longer his
own being but merely a tool of the Dark Side.

Ranma: (after a moment) What's this got to do with me?

Cologne: Anger, hatred, fear, impatience, all these are tools of the
Dark Side.  Allow yourself to be ruled by them, and you are already in
it's thrall.  I don't intend to let that happen.  I've only lost _one_
student to the Dark Side, and I plan to keep that record.

Ranma: Who was it?  The person you lost to the Dark Side?

Cologne: (looks at Ranma with narrowed eyes) He is called Darth
Saotome, servant of the Emperor.

Ranma: (leans forward eagerly) I must ask you one more question before
we begin my training.

Cologne: I see you've decided to be reasonable.  Very well, ask.

Ranma: My father came to Jyusenkyou...

Cologne: train with me, hai.  He had you with him.

Ranma: What happened to him?  Mom told me that Saotome killed him.

Cologne: (hesitant) You _could_ say that...but it is not my place to

Ranma: I _have_ to know.  (looks at her pleadingly)

Cologne: I can tell you this.  One day the Emperor came here.  He
trapped you and your father, there were some accidents at the pools,
and when it was over, Saotome and the Emperor left.

Ranma(growls): So he _did_ kill him!
(Cologne bops Ranma on the back of the head.)

Cologne: Stop that!  No hating!

Ranma: Sorry, forgot.

Cologne: Don't do it again!  Now come, we must start your training.  I
hope you got some sleep on your way here, because it will be in short
supply for the next few days.
(Switch scenes, this time to a darkened room.  Inside, we vaguely make
out the sillouhette of a man in some form of armour.  Presently, the
door slides open and we see Admiral Harkov framed in it.)

Harkov: Lord Saotome?
(There is a splash and the lights in the room come on.  Saotome is
revealed to be in a kneeling position-hard for a panda-with his
translator harness suspended above him on a metal arm.  His fur is
sodden, and there is a small puddle of water on the floor.  With a
whirr, the harness falls down over his face and the screen comes

Saotome: {Yes?} (gets up)

Harkov: The Emperor has contacted us.  He is most displeased with the
lateness of our deliveries lately.

Saotome: {Tell him we have stripped three more worlds, and that their
"precious resource" will arrive within the next day.

Harkov: Hai.

Saotome: {How goes operation "Thunder Strike?"}

Harkov: our spies report that Ranma has arrived on Jyusenkyou.

Saotome: {Good.  Cologne will prepare him for his task.}

Harkov: Is this wise?  Cologne _is_ a Jedi Master.  We've gone through
a lot for this boy, and she might destroy it all.

Saotome: (growl/laughs) {I doubt it.  I, of all people, know Ranma.}
(clears screen) {Trust me, our investment is secure.}

Harkov: If you say so.  Oh, our informant has reported that our quarry
has arrived on Bespin as planned.

Saotome: {Good.  Tell him we will keep our end of the bargain.}

Harkov: Hut is growing restless.  Solo, apparently, must be made an

Saotome: {Tell the bounty hunter that she can keep Solo.  He is

Harkov: Hai.  Everything is going to plan, then?

Saotome: {Hardly.  Kodachi is still a wild card.  Prepare my
(Cut back to Bespin.  In a hallway which is peculiarly open and airy
for a mining and shipping port we see our rebels, being led by
Tsubasa.  Droids, aliens, and humans of all types wander about.  Ukyou
is talking animatedly to Akane, who looks slightly uncomfortable.)

Ukyou: ...this solves everything, Akane!  Now I really _can_ marry
Ranchan, and you'll be free of that stupid engagement!

Tarou: I wouldn't get your hopes up.  You're still overlooking the
fact that your original body was male.

Ukyou: That doesn't matter!  Even if I know, I can still
marry Ranchan!  You forgot about his curse!  It was _meant_ to be!

Akane: I doubt...

Tsubasa(huffy): Who is this "Ranchan" anyway?

Mousse: Ukyou fell in love with him a while back.  We thought it was a
glitch in her programming, but now... (shrugs)

Tsubasa: That's impossible!  Ukyou-sama loves _me_!

Mousse: That might have been true once, but it isn't anymore.  She
doesn't even remember you, and neither do I, but she _does_ remember

Tsubasa: Ranma?

Mousse: His real name.  Ranchan's just a pet name.

Tsubasa: Oh.  (looks determined) Well she _will_ remember me!  I'll
have to replace both your memories before I return you to your human
forms anyway.

Mousse: Do I _have_ to become human?

Akane(shocked): You don't want to?

Mousse: There's no real reason for it. _I_ don't have anybody that I

Tsubasa: (shrugs) Suit yourself.  I'll replace your memories anyway.

Mousse: I'd appreciate that.
(They come to a heavily guarded door.)

Tsubasa: Here we are.
(She waves aside the guards and the group enters what is obviously a
lab.  Large computer banks line the walls, with unusual sensors and
probes connected to them by thick wires and tubing.  Droids that look
vaguely like spiders with multi-tool extensions for legs tramp about.
However, all eyes immediately go to the far wall, where two large
cylinders can be seen.  They are tall, made of a seamless dark grey
metal, except where an indented wrap-around piece of lighter grey
metal covers the upper front.  A single vertical line bisects these
indentations.  Ukyou is shaking with excitement.  Suddenly, Ryouga
stops and blinks as something dawns on him.)

Ryouga: Wait!

Ukyou(snaps): What?

Ryouga: This all happened when you were five, right?

Ukyou: I guess so.

Tsubasa: (nods) It did.

Ryouga: And Tsubasa put your bodies in cryo-stasis?

Tsubasa: Hai.

Ryouga: Shouldn't the bodies be five years old?

Ukyou: (blinks) I hadn't thought of that...oh no!

Tsubasa: Don't worry.  Both your bodies are developed.  The cure to
Brinarian fever was discovered about five months after I transferred
your intelligences.  Unfortunately, you were gone by then, but I did
cure the bodies.  I knew that if you ever returned that you'd want
mature bodies, so I've been letting them mature in the tanks.

Ukyou: Arigato, Tsubasa!  (Ukyou hugs her, and Tsubasa beams.  Ukyou
releases her and steps back self-consciously after a moment) Well,
let's see them.
(Tsubasa nods and pulls out a tiny device that looks like a remote
control.  He taps a button, and the metal indent on the right cylinder
splits along its vertical line and slides under the metal sheath.  We
can now see a glass wall, behind which is a boy's body.  He is
floating in a light pink liquid and appears to be about seventeen.
His body from mid-waist down is obscured, but he is apparently naked.
The boy is handsome, with chinese features and long black hair.)

Ukyou(apprehensively): Who's that?

Tsubasa: Mousse.  (worried) I'll open Ukyou-sama's now.

Tarou: Brace yourself, Ukyou.
(Ukyou nods mutely and grits her teeth.  Everyone watches the cylinder
with anticipation-except Mousse, who is looking at a vaguely
human-shaped sensor.)

Mousse: That isn't much of a body.

Ukyou(hisses): Quiet! [Please, please, please...]
(Tsubasa hits another button, and the metal slides apart.  Ukyou's
human body is revealed.  Like Mousse, Ukyou's body is naked from the
waist up.  Unlike Mousse, however, it is most definitely female.
Switch back to Jyusenkyou, just outside Cologne's hut.  Ranma is
balancing himself upside-down on one finger, and is holding a large
rock in his free hand.  Cologne perches on a nearby tree stump.)

Cologne: now, boy, you must feel the Force around and through you like
a mist.  Concentrate... (Ranma looks like he is)...spin the mist into
a strand with your will.  (Ranma begins to sweat) Probe with it and
latch onto that which you wish to lift.  (pauses) Now, gently...lift.
(Shakily at first, but then with increasing steadiness, three nearby
rocks rise off the ground and hover in the air.)

Cologne(grudgingly): Good, you're a quick study.  Now I want you to
move them to the...
(Ranma tumbles and lands on his back.  The rocks drop with dull

Cologne: Boy!  That was _not_ what I asked you to do.

Ranma: (groans) What do you want from me?  I'm only human.

Cologne: No you're not.  You are Jedi.  You are not human, you are
more than human.

Ranma: Tell that to my head...

Cologne: You're still thinking in terms of physical power.

Ranma: (sits up) Isn't that what it's all about?  The Jedi are
warriors, pure and simple, right?

Cologne: (sighs) No they aren't.  (shakes head) It is time you learned
more about the Jedi.

Ranma: How? 
(Cologne points with her staff at a twisted and deformed tree.  Ranma
looks at it and frowns.)

Ranma: In there?  (Cologne nods) That place feels...

Cologne: It is strong in the Dark Side.
(Ranma's frown deepens, and he stands up, absently picking up his

Cologne: You won't need that.

Ranma: And you also said that lifting the rock would be easy.  I'll
believe another lifetime, maybe.

Cologne: (shrugs) As you wish...
(Ranma grunts and walks over to the tree.  He examines it for a
minute, then discovers an opening between two roots.  He squeezes into
it and emerges in a cramped, damp cave.  He stalks down the
corridor-like cave-shying away from a pool of water being fed by a
dripping from the ceiling-fingering his lightsabre.  Abruptly, a mist
flows up from farther down the cave and obscures everything.  Ranma
snaps out his weapon and activates it, casting blue rays into the
mist.  Suddenly, the air behind him is split by a resounding cry.  He
whirls and sees a shadowy figure rushing at him.  Apparently without
stopping to think, Ranma swings his lightsabre and cuts it down.  The
mist parts slightly, and Ranma gasps in shock.  The figure lying dead
on the ground is Ukyou, somehow human, and with an expression of
stunned horror on her face.  Not long after we see Ranma climb out of
the cave and walk over to Cologne.  She looks up at him and smiles.)

Cologne: Now boy, are you ready to learn?

Ranma: No I'm not.  What was that supposed to be?

Cologne: (shrugs) It's symbolic of a possible future.

Ranma: WHAT?!?

Cologne: The cave always reveals a possible future to those who enter.
It's different for each one.

Ranma: You don't know what I saw?

Cologne: Of course not.  I know what it would show me, but not what it
would show you.

Ranma: Is there any way I can prevent it?

Cologne: By not allowing yourself to serve the Dark Side.  By
following my teachings and remaining so that I can teach them.

Ranma: I need something more direct.

Cologne: You won't get it.

Ranma: Then I'm leaving.

Cologne: You can't!  You're not ready!

Ranma: (walking away) I know enough.  I won't let Ucchan die!
(Cologne stares after him for a second, then sighs and shakes her
head.  Cut back to Tsubasa's lab on Bespin.  Everybody-except
Mousse-is staring at the newly-revealed body of Ukyou...which just
happens to be female.  Ukyou's expression is vying between surprise
and joy, Tsubasa is pale, and Ryouga, Akane, and Tarou are shocked.)

Akane: She _is_ female!

Tarou: But how could Tsubasa love a girl?

Ukyou: I'm a girl!  Ranchan will be so happy!!!

Ryouga: She's a lesbian.  It's the only explanation.

Mousse: I keep telling you that she's a _he_.  That's why Ukyou is a

Tarou(growls): If you call Tsubasa a boy again Mousse, I'll tear you
apart.  (to Tsubasa) Excuse me, but this idiot needs proof.

Tsubasa(edgy): Well, actually...

Tarou: (grabs the top of her dress) Sorry about this.  (he rips down,
peeling the dress off, to reveal...)
(...two wads of kleenex, which fall slowly to the ground and leave
Tsubasa's flat chest revealed.  Tarou stares for a second, then jumps
back with a "gaah".  Tsubasa smiles weakly.)

Tsubasa: Surprise again...

Ryouga(shocked/horrified): TRANSVESTITE!!!  You're a transvestite!

Mousse: Told you so.
(Tarou is in a steaming rage.  He stomps over to Tsubasa and picks him
up by the neck.)

Tarou(deadly quiet): You _lied_ to us, you... (losing it)
twisted, perverted, hentai, fagot, transvestite FREAK!  (begins to
shake him) DIE!!!

Tsubasa(struggling for breath): I...can...explain...

Ukyou: Don't kill he...him!

Tarou: Why not?

Ukyou: Tsubasa's the only one who can put me back in my real body.
After he does that, you can kill him.

Tarou: Oh, very well.
(He drops Tsubasa, who lands and begins gasping for breath.)

Tsubasa: As I said *gasp* I can explain *wheeze* please come *gasp*
with me...

Akane(suspicious): Where to?

Tsubasa: A place where we can *gasp* wait while the bodies are moved
to the transference *wheeze* centre.

Ukyou: Fine, and on the way you can explain this.
(Cut to a hallway, where Tsubasa is again leading the somewhat
disgusted group.)

Tsubasa: ...knew Ukyou wouldn't love me as a girl, so when the fever
came I took the chance to make her new body male, and to adjust her
engrams to the same purpose, not to mention...

Ukyou(sickened): ...make me love you.

Tsubasa: But you always loved me!  You just never expressed it because
you knew how people would react.

Akane(sneers): So it wasn't an accident, you caused Ukyou to lose her
memories when you tried to alter them.  (pause) You disgust me.
(They come to a door.  This one is smaller, and not guarded.  It
slides open, and they all step in.  Kunou is seated at the head of a
long table, calmly eating dinner.  Everybody except Tsubasa stops in
shock.  Then, with a cry of rage, Ryouga leaps onto the table and
activates his Brella.  The weapon flashes to life, but is suddenly
snatched from his hand by a grappling cable.  Everybody looks over at
the corner, where Shampoo Fett calmly reels in her prize.)

Mousse(surprise): SHAMPOO!!! (he leaps at her)

Shampoo: Nani?  (he glomps her) Aiya!  Mad droid!

Mousse: Shampoo!  Shampoo!  My darling Shampoo!  (pulls back) How do I
know you again?  
(Shampoo takes the opportunity to place her hand in between them.
There is a flash of blue light and Mousse is flung across the room.
Kunou leaps to his feet, his lightsabre crackling to life.  Ryouga
wastes no time in pulling out his bandanna-blaster while Ukyou cocks
her spatula-shot.  Both begin unleashing a volley of shots, but Kunou
deftly catches them all on his lightsabre.  Then he gestures with his
free hand, and Ryouga's weapon flies from his grip to Kunou's.  Tarou
looks as if he is about to join the fray when Tsubasa calmly places a
blaster to his temple.  Akane also appears as if she is about to join,
when a troop of stormtroopers pour into the room from two side doors.
Both she and Ukyou stop in mid-action.  Kunou shuts down his
lightsabre and sits.)

Kunou: It is most fortuitous that thou hath decided to be civil.
(gestures to the table) Please sit.
(With prompting from the stormtroopers, everyone except Mousse sits
down at the table.  The droid is lying against the wall, a burn mark
on his chest.  Shampoo also sits, and so does Tsubasa, who is using
one hand to hold his dress in place.  Tsubasa looks like he just
killed his father, while Shampoo is smiling cockily.  Kunou claps his

Kunou: Food for my most welcome guests.  (some servants hurry to
fulfill the request)

Ukyou(glaring at Tsubasa): You _betrayed_ us, you...(hissing)
slimy, disgusting, perverted, sickening, traitorous BASTARD!  
(Each word slams into Tsubasa like a missile, and he shrinks more and
more in on himself.)

Tsubasa(weakly): I had no choice... (desperate) They arrived just
before you, if I'd known that you were...
(Ukyou throws her head angrily to the side, and Tsubasa trails off.)

Kunou: My dear princess, you are not eating.

Akane: Go to hell, Kunou.

Kunou: (sighs) Nay, gentle Akane, (melodramatic pause) for in these
past years without your presence I have languished in most horrible
infernos of despair and remorse.  I do lament most fully my laxness in
guarding you from those foul sorcerers who whisked you away from my

Akane: Huh?

Kunou: But fear not, for our love shall never be denied by those
ever-accursed servants of the Dark Side, and we shall travel the stars
together for the betterment of the Empire!

Akane: I'm not going anywhere with you!

Kunou: (sighs) I see the foul sorceries still hold sway upon your
blessed soul.  It is of no import, for I shall seek out the
perpetuators of these evil magicks and undo dually them and him!
(Mousse shakes his head and rises to his feet.)

Mousse: Shampoo!  What happened?
(Shampoo cocks her arm at Mousse.  A tiny ion blaster pops out of her

Shampoo: Stay back, crazy droid.

Mousse: Shampoo!  Don't you remember me?

Shampoo: No.  Where Shampoo meet crazy droid?

Mousse: I don't know.  That's why I asked you.

Ryouga: Mousse, be quiet!  We're in enough...

Shampoo(shocked): MOUSSE?!?!?

Mousse: You remember me?

Shampoo: It not possible!   Mousse human!  You droid!

Mousse: But I _am_ human.  Just ask him.  (points at Tsubasa)

Shampoo: Is true, train-vest-eat?

Tsubasa(weakly): I prefer uniquely wardrobed individual...and yes.  He
is Mousse.

Shampoo: Shampoo no believe it!  Crazy droid can't...wait...maybe
crazy droid Mousse.

Mousse: (sitting down) I'm so glad we cleared that up. do I
know you?

Shampoo: If you is Mousse, then you and Shampoo growed up same place.
Mousse always...say he love Shampoo, but he weak.  Shampoo keep
pounding him until he leave for to train on far world.  Shampoo no
miss him, she happy he never come back.

Ukyou: (looks at Tsubasa angrily) How come Mousse can remember things
and I can't?

Tsubasa(quietly): Well, Mousse wasn't the one I was concentrating my
efforts on.  He simply got caught in the feedback loop, and the memory
wipe would have been imperfect at best.  It may even degrade further.
(Another glare from Ukyou causes Tsubasa to crumple up like a crushed
paper doll.)

Ryouga: Okay, now that that's sorted out...Kunou.  What do you plan on
doing with us?

Kunou: (sips from his wineglass) With you?  Nothing.  I shall leave
you with friend Tsubasa, who may do with you as he pleases.  I shall
be taking the fair Akane with me, to ensure her safety.
(Akane glares.  Ukyou looks disgusted.  Ryouga, Tarou and Mousse look
perplexed, while Shampoo is angry.)

Shampoo: Shampoo hope Kunou-Jedi not going back on word.  He say
Shampoo could take Ryo-lonely back to Hut.  (Ryouga and Tarou gasp)

Kunou: Very well, do what you wish with Solo.

Shampoo(sarcastically): Arigato...(normal tone) but Shampoo need make
sure he no escape.  Friend Conditioner capture Ryo-lonely once and she
lock up, but when she check him on he no there, instead little pig
(Akane blinks and Ryouga looks at her with a worried expression, but
she simply rolls her eyes and shakes her head.  Ryouga sighs in

Tarou(under breath): Thick as a brick...

Kunou: Friend Tsubasa, art thou in possession of a device to ensure
that Solo will not through foulest deceit and trickery escape from yon
noble seeker of those who flee?

Tsubasa(miserable): I don't...wait.  (looks up) I do have a carbon
freezing facility...

Kunou: Excellent.  
(Kunou sips his wine, than after a moment his eyes widen and he spits
it out in a stream.)

Kunou(shaking voice): He comes!

Shampoo: Who?

Kunou(growls): That miserable cur who cheated me of victory at the
Battle of Dojo!  That foul sorcerer, that conniving dog, that...

Akane(surprised): _Ranma_!

Ukyou(just as surprised): Coming here?  (starry eyed) he's coming to
(Kunou leaps to his feet.)

Tarou: (leaning back) What's your hurry, Kunou?

Kunou(snarls): Bounty hunter, gather them up.  We go to the facility
now!  We must be prepared by the time he arrives!  (turns to a
stormtrooper) You!  Tell them to delay him for as long as possible.
He'll be in an X-wing.  (sneers) At last I shall have my revenge!
(Cut to space, near Bespin.  Ranma's X-wing pulls out of hyperspace in
a flash of pseudo-motion.  He pulls it towards the planet.  In his
cockpit, Ranma has a perplexed look.)

Ranma: [Why did I come here?] (pauses) [Wait, I can feel Ukyou!  She's
here and she's in danger!  I've gotta save her!]
(Just then a squadron of Gunboats pull away from Cloud City and
bee-line for Ranma's craft.)

Ranma: [So they want to play, eh?] (his fighter's wings lock into
combat position) Alright, let's play.
(Switch scenes to a crude factory-like facility, the middle of which
is dominated by a monstrous machine which is hanging over a round pit
in the floor.  The entire group from the impromptu dinner party is
there.  Tarou, growling menacingly, is in chains, but everybody else
is free.  Shampoo is standing as far as possible from Mousse.  Tsubasa
examines readouts.)

Kunou: Is it ready yet?

Tsubasa: No, I need (pulls a lever) to adjust it perfectly (twists a
knob) or Solo-kun will die.

Ryouga: Don't call me Solo-kun.

Shampoo: Ryo-lonely no good to Shampoo dead.

Kunou: Very well, but hurry.  (paces about)

Tsubasa: (after a few minutes) There, we're ready.

Kunou: Excellent.  Throw him in!
(Two stormtroopers grab Ryouga and pull him towards the pit.)

Ryouga: Wait!  Don't I get a last request?

Kunou: I am honourable.  What do you desire?

Ryouga: To say something to Akane... (she looks at him curiously)

Kunou: Quickly.

Ryouga: Akane...I... (she blinks; he struggles for a moment then
blurts) I love you!  I have always loved you!  And I always will!

Akane: ... (and) ... (not to mention) ...

Kunou: Whelp!  I should...

Officer: (running in) Lord Kunou!  Lord Kunou!

Kunou: (activating lightsabre) What?  Can you not see that I am
otherwise occupied?

Officer: (blanches) I just...that X-wing, it's destroyed our forces
and is heading for the city!

Kunou: WHAT?!?  Are my forces _totally_ incompetent?

Tarou(sneers): Like leader, like soldier.

Kunou: (grabs Akane's wrist) Come, princess, we must prepare!  Soon
you shall be free!
(He begins to drag Akane towards a door not too far away.  Akane
stares at Ryouga, her expression a mixture of confusion, surprise,
and...concern?  Pity?  She snaps out of her confusion as the door
slides open.)

Akane: Ryouga!  I... (she's cut off as the door closes)

Ryouga(despairing): AKANE!
(He stretches his hand towards where she disappeared, then it falls to
his side in despair.)

Shampoo: okay, Ryo-lonely, into freezing...(stops for some reason,
perhaps having to do with the blaster Tsubasa is holding to her head)

Ukyou(surprised): Tsubasa?

Tsubasa(determined): I _won't_ betray you, Ukyou-sama.  They never
told me about you.  I'm sorry.
(Abruptly, the three dozen or so stormtroopers about the room lock
their rifles into position.)

Ukyou: Tarou!
(She launches a spatula which cleaves the thermos on his belt.  There
is a splash and a metallic snap as the chains are ripped apart by
Tarou-minotaur.  He bellows in rage and flies into two troopers,
bowling them over.  Ukyou leaps into action and launches a flurry of
spatulas into the higher reaches and catwalk, knocking multiple
opponents off them.  Mousse turns and snaps a chain around a trooper's
ankle; with a jerk he pulls the soldier off his feet and uses him to
clear the platform of troopers.  Ryouga cries out in a bellow of rage
and despair much like Tarou's and charges the nearby soldiers,
promptly tearing them apart.  The rest of the troopers don't even fare
as well as those ones.  They finish up and calm down.  Tsubasa is
still holding the blaster to Shampoo's head.)

Tsubasa: If we hurry, we can catch up with Kunou.

Ryouga: Hai!
(He begins to run...straight towards the pit.)


Ryouga: Huh?
(He tries to stop, but his momentum is too great and with a yelp he
plummets into the pit.  The machine comes to life, and steam pours out
of the hole.  Shampoo uses the distraction as a chance to grab
Tsubasa's arm and flip him into Ukyou.  Both tumble to the ground.
Tarou bellows in rage, but she merely cocks her wrist blaster and
strikes him with a flash of blue energy.  Tarou drops to his minotaur
haunches, blood-shot eyes unfocused.  Shampoo swings her blaster to
point at Mousse.)

Shampoo: Stay back, crazy Mousse-droid!

Mousse: Shampoo!  What? Why?  How?

Shampoo: Shampoo take Ryo-lonely back to the Hut.  (sneers) You think
train-vest-eat stop her?  Ha!  Shampoo always win!
(As Ukyou and Tsubasa scramble to their feet, the steam stops and a
large metal claw grinds into the hole.  Their is a clamping sound, and
the claw retracts, carrying a block of brownish carbonite in a
techno-box.  Sticking out of the block, and covered with a skin-tight
sheath of carbonite are Ryouga's face, one hand and a knee.  His
expression is horrified.  Shampoo reaches over and taps a button.  The
claw moves to the side of the pit and releases the block.  It lands
vertically, and Shampoo kicks it onto its back.)

Shampoo: No follow Shampoo!  (swings her blaster from Ukyou, to
Tsubasa, to Tarou, to Mousse) Or I blow up you!
(She reaches down and touches something on the techno-box.  It hovers
off the ground and Shampoo begins to walk backward, with one hand on
the block and her blaster still panning the room.  Tarou begins to
shake his head as the door opens, and is on his feet by the time it
closes.  He bellows.)

Mousse: Shampoo!  I'm coming, Shampoo!  (both run to the door)

Ukyou: Wait!  What about...(the door closes behind them; weakly)
Akane... (sighs) I guess it's up to me.  C'mon, Tsubasa.

Tsubasa: Hai, Ukyou-sama.

Ukyou: Don't call me that!
(They run out.  Cut to elsewhere in cloud City.  Ranma is stalking
down one of the hallways with a determined expression.  He stops, and
two troopers burst out of a side door.  They are surprised by his
presence, but he is not surprised by theirs.  With a single swing he
cuts them down.  He runs by the bodies without a second glance and
turns the come face-to-face with Shampoo.)

Shampoo: Nani?

Ranma: Out of my way!
(He swings his lightsabre, but Shampoo leaps over it and lands on the
block of carbonite behind her.)

Shampoo: Who stupid boy?

Ranma: I said get out of my way!

Shampoo: Why in such hurry?  (casually raises her wrist blaster)

Ranma: I have to save Ucchan!

Shampoo: Sorry, but you go nowhere!
(She fires a blast but Ranma catches it on his lightsabre.  Gritting
her teeth, she lets loose with a volley of blaster fire, all of which
Ranma easily catches.  With a cry, he leaps into the air and knocks
Shampoo off the block.  She rolls behind the block and comes up in a
defensive stance.  Ranma now stands on the carbonite-still not having
noticed who's in it {not that he'd care if he did}.  Shampoo reaches
behind her and unhooks a short pole from her backpack.  Ranma flips
over her as she flips a switch on the pole and a large, glowing sphere
expands from the far end.  They exchange a few blows, but Ranma's
lightsabre seems to bounce off the super-reflective ball on Shampoo's

Shampoo: Ha!  Stupid Jedi!  Shampoo know how to deal with you!
(She comes in with a series of high overhead swings, all of which
Ranma deflects with ease.)

Ranma: I don't have the time to bother with you!  Now, Cologne told

Shampoo: (stops) Cologne?

Ranma: (points his lightsabre at her) MOKO TAKABISHA SABRE
(The lightsabre expands into a ball of blue energy.  Shampoo barely
has time to blink before the ball consumes her.  Ranma shuts down his
weapon, and Shampoo is revealed to be embedded in the wall with "X's"
for eyes.)

Ranma: to find Ucchan.
(He runs off.  After a moment, Shampoo shakes her head and steps out
of the wall woozily.  She blinks, then her hands go to her face.)

Shampoo: AIYA!  Shampoo beat!  (pauses) But Jedi is cute... (excited)
Must find husband!

Voice: Wait.

Shampoo: (turning) Nani?  Oh, is you.
(We see a figure in the shadows, but can't make whoever it is out.)

Figure: Do not bother to chase him.  I will make sure he comes to you
soon enough.  Now take Solo to the Hut.

Shampoo: But...

Figure: (holds up a hand) Trust me.  Now go.

Shampoo: Hai.
(She begins pushing the carbonite past the figure, who melts into the
shadows and disappears.  Cut to the lab where Mousse and Ukyou's human
bodies are stored.  Kunou walks in with a struggling Akane.)

Kunou: Yes!  He shall come here!  I can feel it!

Akane: Let me go!  (struggle futilely)

Kunou: (sighs) His presence is causing you distress, my fair princess.
I fear you shall cause harm to yourself.  Allow me to secure you until
I destroy that vile sorcerer.
(He pulls her over to a pile of cable and ties her up with it.)

Akane: Let me go! _Let_ _me_ _go_!!!

Kunou: Fear not, you shall be free soon enough!
(Just then, Ukyou and Tsubasa rush in.  Ukyou sees the situation and
extends her spatula to battle length.)

Ukyou: Okay, Kunou!  Let Akane go!

Akane: Ukyou!  How'd you escape?

Ukyou(grudgingly): Tsubasa helped.

Akane: Tsubasa?!?  That hentai helped?

Tsubasa: I did it for Ukyou-sama.

Kunou: (activates his lightsabre) Traitorous whelp!  You shall die for
defying the Empire!

Ukyou: The only person who's going to die here is you!
(They charge, and fly past each other with red and metallic grey
flashes as they swing their respective weapons.  As Ukyou stops, her
battle spatula falls forward, cut off her arm.  Kunou turns with a

Ukyou: My spatula?!?

Kunou: Ha!  No droid is a match for a Jedi ninja!  HAR!
(He gestures and Ukyou is flung across the room, to collide with the
wall next to her tank.  She collapses, apparently dazed.)

Tsubasa: NO!
(He fires off two quick rounds with his blaster.  Kunou whirls and
catches them both, then gestures and Tsubasa is flung away to slam
into the wall.  He falls unconscious, and Kunou turns back to Ukyou.)

Kunou: Now to finish you off...

(Kunou spins, to see Ranma outlined in the doorway, blue lightsabre

Ranma: Get _away_ from Ucchan!

Akane: RANMA!

Ukyou: Ranchan?!

Kunou: At least we meet, foul sorcerer.  Know that I, Tatewaki Kunou,
Jedi ninja and Blue Thunder of the Empire, do hold you most wholly
responsible for the enslavement of the fair Akane's heart.  And for
this, I shall seek vengeance.  For it has been revealed to me that
only one of us shall leave this room alive!

Ranma: (staring at Ukyou's body) What the...human...

Ukyou: Watch out, Ranchan!
(Ranma parries Kunou's first swing.  Cut away {yeah, it is nasty} and
go to a landing pad outside of Cloud City.  Shampoo's ship, the
Bonbori, is parked on the pad, and she directs two stormtroopers to
load Ryouga onto the craft.  They finish, and with a wicked smile,
Shampoo enters and the hatch slides shut.  The troopers position
themselves on a catwalk, but frozen by a blood-curdling roar.
Tarou-still a minotaur-rushes up the catwalk and doesn't even slow
down as he flings them over the side and into the clouds.  Mousse is
right behind him, but both are too late as the Bonbori lifts from the
pad and speeds away too fast for Tarou to follow.  He bellows.)

Mousse: Shampoo!  No!  Don't leave me!

Tarou: Mooo!  Growl!  Mooo!  Snort!

Mousse: Eh?  (Tarou makes pouring gestures) Oh!
(Mousse pops a thermos and a pack of clothes out of his shoulder and
hands them to Tarou.  He then looks away as tarou transforms and

Tarou: Okay, let's go.

Mousse: (turns to face the wall) Where?

Tarou: To find the others so we can go after her!

Mousse: Hai!  Good idea!
(Cut back to the lab, where Ranma and Kunou are exchanging blows.
Akane is still tied up, Tsubasa is still unconscious.  Ukyou is one
her feet, but is unwilling or unable to come to Ranma's aid.  The two
combatants seem very evenly matched.  Ranma is faster and a better
natural fighter, but Kunou is a fully trained Jedi who has had a lot
more experience with his lightsabre.  Their blades cross in a
lightning quick exchange.  Red and blue flash as both Ranma and Kunou
look for an opening in the other's defences.)

Kunou: You (parry) are (thrust) good!  (block) It has been (dodge) a
long (swing) time since (feint) I have fought a worthy opponent!
(Ranma chops down powerfully, but Kunou blocks it.  The two struggle
for a moment, then Kunou throws Ranma back.  He rolls to his feet.)

Ranma: Don't you ever shut up?
(Ranma comes in with a series of swings that instantly put Kunou on
the defensive.  However, this time Ranma doesn't stick purely to his
lightsabre.  With a cry, he turn kicks Kunou in the stomach, following
up with a backhand swing and a downward swipe.  Kunou avoids the
series and comes back with a low, fast strike.  Ranma brushes it aside
almost disdainfully and uppercuts Kunou.  Kunou staggers, but manages
to parry Ranma's three follow-up attacks.  Kunou is still off-balance
when he performs a powerful thrust, and he overextends himself,
allowing Ranma to grab his wrist and pull him off his feet.  Kunou
flies into one of the spider-droids, and barely manages to rise to his
knees by the time Ranma leaps in.  Ranma attacks, driving Kunou's
lightsabre to the side.)

Ranma: Do you yield?

Tsubasa: (just waking up) Wha?  Who?

Ranma: (looks over sharply) Who?  A new opponent...
(In the process of looking at Tsubasa, Ranma takes his eyes off Kunou.
With a triumphant yell, he swings his lightsabre around in a wide arc
that sends the hand Ranma was holding his lightsabre with flying away.
Ranma cries out in pain and falls to his knees, clutching the bloody
stump where his hand used to be.)

Akane: Ranma!                Ukyou(shrieks): _RANCHAN_!!!

Kunou: I do not yield, Dark Jedi,  I _destroy_!
(He pulls up his lightsabre to finish off Ranma.)

Ukyou: NO!
(She launches a spatula which cuts open Kunou's shoulder, causing him
to cry out.)

Kunou: You!  (turns to her) Will die for that!
(He grabs the spider-droid and hurls it at Ukyou.  She dodges to the
side, and the droid crashes into her tank, shattering the glass.  She
snaps her head around and looks up.  The spider-droid is half in and
half-out of the tank.  Pink liquid flows out, tinged with a red
stream.  The source of that stream is one of the droid's legs...which
is sticking right through Ukyou's body.  Ukyou watches in horror as
the colour drains from her human form.  Tsubasa almost mirrors the
process, and Akane gasps.)

Ukyou(absolute despair): NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
(Ranma looks over and sees the body; his eyes come alight with rage.
Leaping to his feet, he ignores his stump and thrusts his good hand
towards his severed one.  The lightsabre flies from it and settles
into his grip.)

Ranma: You killed Ucchan!  DIE!
(Kunou spins about as Ranma rushes him.  They sprint past each other
with a simultaneous flash from their lightsabres.  Kunou winds up
facing Akane-who flinches-and Ranma ends up facing Tsubasa.  Ranma
spins and snaps his lightsabre into position, but Kunou doesn't move.
Instead, his weapon falls from his finger and he collapses to his
knees, clutching his chest.)

Kunou: (coughs up a little blood) I've won... (falls forward onto both
hands, with obvious effort he lifts his head to look at akane and
stretches his hand towards her) You're free... (the light starts
draining from his eyes)
(He dies.  A single tear rolls down Akane's cheek.  Ranma, however, is
not touched.  He stalks over to Kunou's body, deactivating his
lightsabre and buckling it to his belt.  He reaches down and pulls
Kunou up off the floor, turning the dead Jedi to face him.  Kunou's
face is strangely calm.)

Ranma: Get up!  (raging) I'm not finished with you!  (shakes the body)
Now get up!  (shakes Kunou) Get up!  Get up!
(Ukyou's metallic hand closes over Ranma's wrist.)

Ukyou: He's dead, Ranma.  Leave him be.

Ranma: (seems to shake something off) Ucchan?  You're alive?

Ukyou(calm facade cracks): Hai... (begins to break down) At
this form... (breaks down completely) Oh Ranchan!!!
(Ranma drops Kunou and holds Ukyou gently as she heaves with tearless

Ranma: (to Tsubasa) Take my lightsabre and free Akane.  (turns back to
Ukyou) There there, Ucchan.  It'll be alright...there, there.
(Tsubasa removes Ranma's lightsabre and gingerly cuts Akane free.
Akane starts to move towards Ranma and Ukyou, but Tsubasa stops her.)

Tsubasa: Here, help me with this instead.
(He points at Mousse's tank.)

Akane: Why?

Tsubasa: (looks at Ukyou) I want to bring happiness to at least one
person...(Akane nods mutely)
(Cut to a corridor in Cloud City.  A squadron of stormtroopers trot
down it, weapons at the ready.  Suddenly, a tiny spherical object
falls into their midst and explodes, scattering them like leaves.
Tarou and Mousse drop from the ceiling and mop up those still
conscious.  They both start down the hall and presently turn a corner.
They are now in a long glass tunnel stretching from one tower to
another, with a thin metal walkway for a floor.  On the opposite side
is the other group.)

Tarou: _There_ you are!  (runs over) We've been looking all over
for...(stops) Jeez!  Ranma, are you all right?
(Ranma is supporting the weeping Ukyou, and his stump arm is in tight
to his chest.  Akane and Tsubasa are leading a cryo-tank on a hover
platform.  Mousse runs up beside Tarou.)

Mousse: What happened?

Ranma: (distant look) I'd rather not talk about it.  (Ukyou heaves
with another dry sob)
(Tarou lets them both pass and falls in step with Akane; so does

Tarou: What happened?

Akane: (grimaces) You know Ukyou's body?

Tarou: Hai...

Akane: (sighs) Kunou killed it.

Tarou: And...

Akane: And Ranma killed him.

Tarou: Good for him.  Kunou had it coming.

Akane(sadly): No he didn't.  Kunou wasn't really evil, just misled...

Tarou: If you say so... (looks to his right; startled) TIE!

Akane: What?

Tarou: TIE fighter!  Everybody down!
(Everybody, of course, does not drop to the ground but instead looks
to the right.  There, sure enough, is a TIE fighter that shrieks
towards the airwalk.  Before anybody can react, it lets out a dual
burst of green laser fire.  The blasts slam into the glass and shatter
it like a rock through...  For a moment, the rush of
wind threatens to toss everyone off the bridge, but they grab the tank
and manage to hold on...except Ranma and Ukyou, who are too far away
to safely reach it.  With a cry, Ranma tosses Ukyou at the tank and
Tarou grabs her.  Unfortunately, Ranma has left himself off-balance
and he tumbles over the edge without a sound.)

Ukyou: RANCHAN!!!
(Everyone gasps, but no one is able to move for a few seconds until
the wind dies down.  Then Ukyou begins to make a rush to the side of
the bridge, but Tarou brings her up short with a strong hand.)

Ukyou: Let me go!  I've got to help him!

Tarou: There's nothing you can do.

Ukyou: You're lying!  I lost my own life!  I won't lose his too!
(Akane comes up and touches something on Ukyou's back.  She goes limp,
and Tarou tosses her over his shoulder.)

Tarou: Let's get to the Falcon.  We aren't safe here.
(Everybody nods, and they rapidly push the tank along the bridge.
Switch to Ranma, who is tumbling end over end along the outside of the
tower.  He passes a tightly wound coil of ducting, and with a cry
extends his good hand.  The coil snaps off the tower at one end and
unfurls itself into Ranma's waiting hand.  He grasps it in a death
grip, and falls a few dozen more feet before the coil snaps taut,
almost tearing his arm out of the socket and sending him hurtling at
the wall.  He aims at a window, and in a shower of glass shards he
releases the duct and rolls through the hallway beyond until he is
brought to an abrupt halt by a wall.  He remains there for a moment,
breathing harshly.  Besides his amputated hand; he now has many other
injuries: multiple cuts from the window, a large bump on his head,
several purpling bruises, and an arm which is limp and heavy.  With
obvious effort, he climbs to his feet and staggers down the hal.  He
starts around a corner, but backtracks almost immediately.  Fumbling
for his lightsabre with his wrenched arm, he manages to get it out and
activated by the time a figure walks around the corner.  It is Darth
Saotome.  In one paw, he carries a thermos.)

Saotome: {We meet again, son.}

Ranma(growls): Saaoootommmee!  What are _you_ doing here?

Saotome: {I've come for you.}

Ranma: Come to finish what you started?

Saotome: (pauses) {I've come to take you to the Dark Side.}

Ranma: (backing up very slowly) What are you talking about?

Saotome: {Your journey is already started.} (clears screen) {It is
only a matter of time now.}

Ranma: (still backing up) I don't know what you mean...

Saotome: {Yes you do.} (clears screen) {Remember the power you felt on
Hoth, and just recently the ecstasy you felt in killing Kunou?} (Ranma
looks uneasy; clears screen) {You can't deny what runs in your blood.}
(clears screen) {You are a member of the Dark Jedi now.  Come with me,

Ranma: (now next to a door) NEVER!  
(He blasts the lock with his lightsabre and runs through the door.)

Saotome: [You can run, but you can't hide.]
(Cut to the landing pad where the Hibiki Falcon rests.  Akane and
Tarou leave the building.  Tarou still has Ukyou draped over his
shoulder.  They examine the empty surroundings for a moment, then
Akane nods at the exit and Tsubasa and Mousse push the tank out and
towards the Falcon.)

Tarou: Let's hurry, before they...
(Suddenly a squad of stormtroopers erupt out of the door.  Tarou's
eyes narrow, and he tosses Ukyou on top of the tank.)

Tarou: Into the ship now!
(He kicks a trooper in the face, sending him flying back to collide
with several of his friends.  Mousse stops pushing the tank, and Akane
takes his place.  He then uses his duck-launcher to aid Tarou in
holding off the stormtroopers.  After a minute or so, Akane and
Tsubasa have wheeled (floated?) the tank up the ramp.  Tsubasa
whistles and both Tarou and Mousse break off and run for the ship.
The troopers lock their weapons for a nice shot at the fleeing duo's
backs, but suddenly have other problems as one of the Falcon's quad
turrets comes to life and starts blasting them apart.  Tarou and
Mousse board, and Tarou runs for the cockpit.  Tsubasa sits in the
co-pilot's seat.  Tarou notices that the ship's monitors are already

Tarou: You had the ship prepped earlier?

Tsubasa: Hai, and I had the hyperdrive fixed.  I ordered it as soon as
I discovered Ukyou-sama.  I knew we would be leaving soon and with

Tarou(grunts): Maybe you weren't as bad as I thought you
(The Falcon lifts off the ground and flies away, while Akane takes
pot-shots at the milling troopers with the quad cannon.  Cut back to
Ranma.  He steps wearily onto a catwalk over a wide, deep pit.  He
looks around, and apparently satisfied that nobody is about, he begins
to shamble across, lightsabre held in his good hand.  Reaching the
halfway point-which has two long arms of pipes extending from each
side of the catwalk-he leans on the guardrail, his breathing harsh and
slow.  When he looks up again, Darth Saotome is standing on the other
side of the catwalk.  Ranma looks frantically over his shoulder at the
other side, but dismisses the idea of flight.  He turns back and
attempts to rise to his feet, finally settling for leaning against the
rail with his lightsabre held threateningly before him.  Saotome steps

Saotome: {You're weak.}

Ranma(softly): Loss of blood will do that...why do you care?

Saotome: {Why, son? Why do you resist me?} (clears screen) {Why do you
fight your heritage?  Why do you not join me?}

Ranma(weakly): I'll never join you!

Saotome: {Why?}

Ranma: (growls)  Cause you killed my father.
(Saotome stops in absolute shock and amazement.  He blinks slowly and
takes a step back.)

Saotome: {She never told you...} (clears screen) {I should have
expected as much.}

Ranma: Who never told me what?

Saotome: {Nodoka...your mother...never told you...}

Ranma: What?  Come on, tell me!  You're going to kill me anyway...

Saotome: {Ranma, I _am_ your father.}
(Ranma blinks, then laughs weakly.)

Ranma: This isn't a soap opera...besides, you're a panda!

Saotome: {Really...}
(Saotome lifts up the thermos he was carrying, tears off the top, and
splashes it's contents into his face.  Ranma's eyes widen as Saotome
is replaced by a medium-sized, stocky man with dark skin and a bald
head.  The armour instantly clamps together so that it is no longer
mismatching, but a set of black armour much like Kunou's-minus the
cape.  The man reaches up and pulls off his translator harness, then
tosses it behind him.)

Saotome-man: I am Genma Skywalker, your father.

Ranma: No...

Genma(takes a few steps forward): Join me, Ranma.  Join me, and
together we will destroy the Emperor and rule the universe as father
and son!

Ranma: No.
(He climbs over the guardrail and onto the arm.  Genma runs over.)

Genma: Ranma!  Don't!  You must realize the power you will gain with
me!  (Ranma stops, almost unwillingly) The Force is strong with you,
and the Dark Side even stronger.  (extends his hand) Join me, and our
future will be glorious!
(Ranma half-extends his own hand, but stops.  Behind Genma, he sees
something.  Faces, the faces of his friends, his mother, even Ryouga
and Cologne; all looking sad.)

Ranma: NO!
(He lets go and plummets into the pit.  Genma slams his fist against
the guardrail.)

Genma: DAMN!  (gets control of himself) Oh well.  There's always
(He turns away and leaves.  Follow Ranma on his fall down the pit.  He
tumbles-seemingly endlessly-and begins to drift towards the side.
This time neither help nor the Force saves him, merely luck.  He
shoots into a hole in the side of the wall and slides down a long,
sloping tunnel for several seconds before coming to rest on a large
iron portcullis.  After a few moments, he wearily raises his head.)

Ranma: Well, that's over...
(The portal opens beneath him and he falls a short distance before
landing on an antennae hanging beneath Cloud City.  Scrambling for
purchase, he manages to grab a hold just as the portcullis closes and
sighs in resignation.)

Ranma:(grimaces in pain) Why can't anything be simple?
(He closes his eyes for a moment, then they snap open in sudden
realization.  He shifts slightly, then closes his eyes again in

Ranma(softly): Akane...Akane...
(Cut back to the Falcon's cockpit.  Akane has joined Tsubasa and
Tarou.  Suddenly, she shakes her head and slaps her palm against her

Tarou: Something wrong, Akane?

Akane: No, just this annoying buzzing in my ear.  I'll be fine.

Tsubasa: I've located the Bonbori on scanners.  We can still catch it.

Tarou: Good, feed me the...

Tsubasa: Incoming TIE's!  Evasive!
(Tarou pulls the ship to the side, avoiding the main volley of the
three squadrons of TIE Interceptors.  However, some do hit and the
ship is jostled.)

Mousse(over intercom): There are too many!  We'll never make it!

Akane: Mousse, Gosunkugi's not here.  Let's keep it that way.  We just
have to lose them somehow.

Tarou: Under.

Tsubasa: What?

Akane: (sighs) I thought you were over that.

Tarou: sorry, backsliding.  I meant under the city.  Being that close
to the repulser pod will throw off the pursuit, and... (pauses; to
Tsubasa) Did you fix that unusual ion generator on the ship?

Tsubasa: Hai, though it's very impractical...
(Tarou smiles evilly.)

Tarou: Let's get rid of some TIE's!
(He pulls the ship around, and with a series of complex manoeuvres,
manages to fly in under Cloud City.  The Falcon sweeps around the
hover pod to throw off any visual pursuit, then comes about to hover
near the main pod.)

Tsubasa: (shakes head) Well, they can't sensor lock on us.  Our own
sensors are less than worthless with all this interference.  But we
can't last forever...

Tarou: We won't have to.

Akane: (eyes widen) RANMA!

Tarou: What?

Akane: Ranma's here!  I can feel him!

Tarou: (pauses) If you say so.  Where exactly?

Akane: I can't tell.  (frowns) That direction.  (waves her hand
vaguely to the right)

Tarou: All right.

Tsubasa: You don't actually believe her, do you?

Tarou: Yes I do.  And if you argue with me, I won't hesitate to throw
you out.

Tsubasa: But we're over a hundred miles up!

Tarou: So?  Can't you fly?  I thought everyone could.

Tsubasa: (sighs) Fine.  Get us killed.  See if I care.  I'm going to
go check on Ukyou-sama.
(He leaves, and Akane takes the co-pilot's seat.  Not to long after,
the antennae upon which Ranma hangs comes into view.  Ranma is
apparently unconscious.  He is barely hanging on, and his head is
thrown back; eyes closed.  He doesn't react to the Falcon's presence.)

Akane(worried): We'll never lock a tractor beam on him with all this
interference, and he won't be able to climb aboard.

Tarou: I'll have to go out for him.  Stay here.  (gets up)

Akane: Be careful.  That hoverpod is causing powerful downdrafts.
(Tarou grunts and leaves.  After a moment, Tsubasa enters.)

Tsubasa: Where's Tarou-kun going?

Akane: (points at the viewscreen) getting Ranma.

Tsubasa(startled): He really _is_ here!  How...never mind.  I don't
want to know.
(They watch as Tarou-minotaur flies out, pulls Ranma off the antennae
and returns to the ship.)

Akane: Keep this thing steady.
(She leaves Tsubasa and heads into the lounge-like area of the ship.
In there, Mousse is playing 3-D chess with himself while Ukyou sits in
the corner, looking miserable.  Almost as soon as Akane enters,
Tarou-minotaur does too.  He has Ranma draped in his arms.  Ukyou's
head snaps up, and her self-pitying expression is instantly replaced
by one of concern.  She leaps to her feet.)

Akane: How is he?
(Tarou snorts and shrugs.  Ukyou runs over and gently removes Ranma
from Tarou's arms, laying him on a bed nearby.  Tarou walks out as
Akane comes over.  Ukyou frowns as she sees Ranma's strangely becalmed

Ukyou: Ranchan? Ranchan, can you hear me?
(Ranma's eyes open slowly, and he gives Ukyou a cracked half-smile.
He tries to reach up to her, but is unable to.  Ukyou grasps his hand

Ranma(whispers): Ucchan...I'm okay?

Ukyou: Hai.  What happened?

Ranma: I...I...fell into a conduit and managed to grab the antennae
when I came out...I've been hanging ever since...

Ukyou: (nods) Okay, you're safe now, Ranchan.  Get some sleep.
(Ranma's eyes close, and he falls into slumber) He'll be fine.  I'll
take care of him.
(Tarou-in human form-enters and looks at Akane.  She nods.  They head
up to the cockpit, where Tsubasa waits.)

Tsubasa: Well?

Akane: He'll live.

Tsubasa(mutters): Great.  Just great.

Tarou: Okay, let's get out of here.

Tsubasa: But those TIE's are swarming all over the city!  And more
have probably joined them...

Tarou: (grins) That's what I'm counting on.
(The Falcon begins to move, and with a lurch, dives into the clouds.
It continue for a moment, then pulls a 180 and heads back towards
Cloud City.  In the cockpit, Tarou reaches for a familiar joystick and
pops the safety.)

(He jams the trigger, and an exterior view shows the multi-coloured
beam lance out from the ship and strike Cloud City.  Tarou allows the
beam to continue for about half a minute, then shuts it down and pull
abruptly to the side.  He shoots away from the hoverpod and comes out
from under Cloud City at Mach 10, heading for space.  True to
Tsubasa's prediction, the TIE's have come in close to the city to look
for them, and have been joined by an additional three squadrons of
Assault Gunboats.  They all turn to give chase, but are too slow.  The
city is suddenly covered with multiple explosions which throw a hail
of shrapnel into the Imperial forces and force them to take evasive
action.  Cloud City tilts to its side, and teeters like a ball on a
ledge for a moment, then is transformed into a fireball as the
volatile gases inside explode and expand outward.  The explosion fries
the imperials, and the Hibiki Falcon makes for space unhindered, but
not unobserved.  In a shuttle pulling into space on an opposite
vector, Genma and Admiral Harkov watch the death of Cloud City.)

Harkov: I guess you failed, at least in one mission.

Genma: No, old friend, I succeeded better than I could possible have
hoped for.  (watches the Falcon disappear from view) Take us to
Coruscant, it's time to begin project "Rebirth."

Harkov: Hai.
(Cut to an operating room in the rebel fleet.  Tofu is fitting a
bionic hand on a much better-looking Ranma.  Akane and Nodoka are
talking nearby, but we can't make out what they're saying.  Ukyou, as
always, hovers near her Ranchan.)

Tofu: How's that feel, Ranma?
(Ranma flexes the bionic appendage.)

Ranma: Fine, but how will it affect my curse?

Tofu: Not too much.  I fit it with a self-adjusting textile
appearance.  It can imitate both your male and female hands.  I just
need to do a few more adjustments.
(He moves to the IV stand Ranma's hooked to, and prods at his hand
with some tools.  Nodoka and Akane finish talking and nod to each
other.  Akane wanders over to the window near Ranma's bed, while
Nodoka walks to the foot of it.)

Nodoka: I'm glad to see you're all right, son.

Ranma(coldly): I'm fine, mother.  Just fine.
(Nodoka steps back, hurt, and Ranma sighs and shakes her head.)

Ranma: Sorry, mom.  I'm just on edge.

Nodoka(relieved): That's understandable.  Now our first...
(Just then Kasumi walks in with a datacard.)

Tofu: (glasses fog up) K...Kasumi!  How nice to see you!
(He jams a tool into Ranma's hand, and sparks start to fly from it.
Ranma shrieks and begins to thrash in pain.)

Ukyou: Ranchan!
(She cuddles his face.  At this moment, Mousse runs in.  He is now
human, wearing a long white robe, and sporting black hair and a pair
of glasses...which are on his forehead.)

Mousse: Hey everyone!  I'm human!  And I can... (slams into a wall)
...see... (falls back, unconscious)

IV Stand: Ukyou-sama!  (glomp)

Ukyou: Go away, you hentai!  
(She starts to clobber Tsubasa with one hand, while still holding
Ranma with the other.  Unfortunately for Ranma, his flailing free hand
brushes Akane's behind and she whirls with a look of doom on her

Akane: You HENTAI!!!
(She slams her mallet over his head.  Nodoka shakes her head as the
scene pulls away, and we see Ranma being clobbered, cuddled, and
shocked in the window, which recedes into the distance along with the
rest of the rebel fleet.)

                             THE END

Well, that's RW part 2.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Comments may be
directed to (for Blade) or
(for Epsilon).  Just as a note, you also may have noticed that on
Hoth, Ranma was a girl every time he was outside.  This is because
snow is frozen water, which tends to melt against skin.  Okay...any
more questions, comments, flames, and so on, please e-mail them to us!  

Jya ne!
                              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.