[FFML] [XOver] Wednesday's Child: Prologue

Tail Kinker the.tail.kinker at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 19:25:35 PDT 2009


                        *Disclaimer*

     *Macross is owned by or licensed to lots of people -
Tatsunoko Studios, Harmony Gold, Studio Nue, Streamline
Video...note that none of them are me.*

     *The same can be said of Ranma 1/2 - Rumiko Takahashi,
Kitty, Shonen Sunday Comics, Viz Video. Not me.*

     *I didn't create any of them, and I certainly do not
own them.  Any use of them in this story is meant as nothing
more than tribute.  Please don't sue me.*


                    *Wednesday's Child*


         *Prologue:  A Shattering Of Shop Windows*



*21 June, 1996*

     "I thought you were the apolitical type, Ranma."  Akane
was walking backwards, the better to talk to her husband.

     Ranma snorted.  "Apolitical.  Generally speakin',
Akane, I'd say you're just about right there.  Politics
don't mean squat to me, really."

     "But you really tore a strip out of Daddy."

     "You mean about those anti-unification guys?"  Ranma
shrugged.  "We live in a democracy, right?  So everyone's
got a right to say what they please.  But the government has
decided that Japan is joinin' the United Earth Government,
and the people elected that government.  So they had their
say."

     "That's what Daddy said."  Akane grinned.

     "No, he said that the people who oppose the UEG should
all be rounded up as traitors.  I don't agree.  There's
other countries that are not joinin'.  They can always move
there."

     "Just kick them out?"

     "Look, Akane."  He sighed.  "I'm a firm believer in
live an' let live, all right?  These guys don't agree with
joinin' a world government.  Fine.  That's their choice, and
I don't think we should be pressurin' them into it.  But the
government of Japan is responsible for the islands, and
they've chosen to join.  That's just the way it is, and I
don't think that they should kick against it.  Ya can't
fight city hall, right?"

     "Do you agree with Japan joining?"

     "Not really."  He shrugged.  "I don't think that a
planet-wide government will be better.  But I grew up around
small villages that were largely self-governing.  Most
times, they were technically under the control of a larger
government, but me and Pops found many villages that weren't
bothered by the Japanese government, or the Chinese govern-
ment."
     "You're not making a whole lot of sense here."

     Ranma sighed, and sat down on a nearby bench.  "Look,
I'm just sayin' that people should be free to do what they
want.  If they don't want to be under this umbrella govern-
ment, then they should not be.  Fine.  No problems.  But the
anti-unification groups in Japan are tryin' to force those
people who want unification to not have it, and the pro-uni-
fication groups - includin' the government - are tryin' to
force unification on those who don't.  There's gotta be some
kinda compromise."

     "Compromises never make anyone happy."  She sat down
next to her husband.  "Would you have accepted a compromise
involving me, Shampoo and Ukyo?"

     He shook his head.  "No.  Maybe not a compromise,
but...Damn.  Politics is all confusin'."

     Akane giggled.  "Maybe you should stick to martial
arts."

     "Guess so."

     "And on that note..."  Akane jumped up from her seat.
"I'd better get the groceries.  Kasumi won't be happy if
we're late with them."  She paused, and glanced over her
shoulder.  "And actually, I've gotta get some stuff from the
shop over here."

     Ranma looked up.  "Which shop?  Oh, the lingerie shop.
Okay, I'll be right here when you get back."

     She giggled.  "Not coming in with me?  I'm sure you
could use an item or two as well, for when you're in girl
form.  I'll find you some cold water."

     "Forget it!"  He scowled.  "Nabiki will just wanna take
pictures of me in it."

     "Spoilsport."  She turned and walked across the street.
Ranma leaned back in the bench and sighed.

     *Bein' married is just about as hard as not bein' mar-
ried.*  He snorted.  *But at least I don't have every girl
in Nerima chasin' me anymore.  Instead, I got occupational
hazards like tryin' to teach the Tomboy to cook, and her
tryin' to get me into girls' underwear.*

     He glanced up as his danger sense pinged.  *No loony
martial artists, no crazed Amazons, just a guy in a trench-
coat goin' into the store--*  He frowned.  *Why's a guy
going into *that* store?  In a trenchcoat?  Is he a
flasher?*

     Suddenly, his danger sense went into overdrive, and he
jumped to his feet.  "Akane--"

     The pressure wave hit him first.  By definition, the
pressure wave of an explosion exceeds the speed of sound.
 From a large enough explosion, it can be seen, a wall of
white sound, billowing out from the target.  This explosion
was not very large, but Ranma's senses had long been super-
human, and he saw it rippling towards him, slamming him into
the chain-link fence alongside the canal.

     Next came the shrapnel.  Supersonic at first, the frag-
ments had lost speed rapidly due to air resistance.  He was
pelted with shards of broken glass and splintered wood.  His
martial arts training had toughened him to casual damage,
and neither the pressure wave nor the fragments caused any
lasting damage, but he was left crumpled at the base of the
fence, bleeding from hundreds of small cuts.

     He staggered to his feet, and stared in horror at the
burning building.

     The building his wife had just entered.


                         - - - - -


     *"Responsibility for the blast was claimed by the Free
Japan Alliance, a group previously known for civil disobedi-
ence.  Police have been unable to find the leaders of the
FJA, but have brought in several members for questioning.
Again, six people were killed in a suicide bombing in down-
town Nerima--*


                         - - - - -


     Ranma undid the tie, dropped it on their bed, then
shrugged out of the jacket.  *Less than a month since I last
wore this suit...to our weddin'.  She's gone.*

     He sat down on the bed, dropped his face into his
hands.

     *All we've been through.  I can't believe that some-
thing like this could take her from me.*

     There was a knock at the door.  He ignored it, but the
door opened anyway.

     "Ranma?"

     "Yeah, Nabiki?"

     She crossed the room, sat down next to him.  "How are
you doing?"

     "How the hell do you think I'm doin'?"  He calmed him-
self.  "Sorry, Nabiki.  I just--"

     "I know."  She sighed.  "God, it just seemed so...ran-
dom.  I mean, you protected her from princes intent on kid-
napping her, random crazy people, even Safuron..."

     "I shoulda been able to protect her from this."

     "There was no way you could have known."

     "But I did.  Almost."  He looked up.  "I saw the guy,
and I got the idea that there was somethin' wrong with him.
But I figured he was just a pervert, and Akane's good at
dealin' with perverts."

     "But you--"

     "I failed her!"  He stood up angrily.  "I let her die!"

     "You couldn't have known!"  Nabiki was yelling at him
now.  "Dammit, Ranma, you're not a superman.  You can't be
everywhere.  You protected her as best you could, and if
you'd tried more, she would have hated it.  You know that!
Why are you being so hard on yourself?"

     "Because protectin' her was my job.  Remember?"

     "You're angry at yourself because you failed to protect
her?  Don't be stupid!"  Nabiki scowled at him.  "Even Daddy
doesn't blame you, and you know he'd normally be the first
to do so.  Be angry at the terrorists, not at yourself."

     He calmed himself, and looked at her.  "The terror-
ists?"

     "Don't you watch the news?  It was the anti-unification
terrorists who killed her.  They claimed that they sent the
suicide bomber."

     "Terrorists."

     Nabiki took a step back, a look of fear on her face.
"Ranma--"

     "*They* killed her."

     He turned suddenly, grabbed his pack, and started fill-
ing it.

     "What are you thinking, Ranma."

     "I'm going to get them.  I'll make them *pay*."

     "Ranma, no."  She put a hand on his arm.  "You can't go
after them yourself.  We have police, and soldiers, to do
that."

     "Good idea."  He turned, and hefted the pack.  "Nabiki,
I'm leavin'.  Tell Mom I'll miss her, but I gotta do this
before I change my mind."

     "Do what?"

     "Get revenge.  No."  He shook his head.  "Not revenge.
Justice.  I can't be a cop.  So I'll have to be a soldier."


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