this book contains Ranma 1/2 characters and situations © & created by Rumiko Takahashi
no infringement of copyright is intended or implied
Go buy all of Takahashi's stuff! She's amazingly cool!
Editor's note: I've been meaning to start this for some time, and finally got around to it when I needed to turn in a short story for Creative Writing class. ^_^; Obviously, it is just one part of a much longer work, which might actually get written someday... Meanwhile, this is Aislinn's introduction to the universe of Ranma 1/2.
As the sun rose over the forest just outside Japan's Nerima district, you could sense that it was going to be a beautiful day. A day in which the birds would chirp, the flowers would bloom, and all would seem right with the world. As if on cue, a brightly colored bird sitting in one of the taller trees burst into song. Unfortunately, the bird's overture was cut short a few seconds later when a blinding flash of light startled the poor creature half out of its wits and sent it winging quickly away in search of calmer perches.
Standing just below the tree that said bird had just departed, where until a moment ago there had only been a few clumps of grass blowing lazily in the breeze, there now stood a girl. She stood there quietly for a few moments, gazing around in all directions, taking in the minutest detail of the scenery around her. She looked to be in her teenage years, of about average height. Her hair was shoulder-length and purple, with a golden streak running through it slightly to the left side. Her features were a bit elfin at first glance, though not remarkably so. She was wearing a sort of light armor with a flowing purple cape trimmed in gold, and a sword with an intricately engraved hilt hung at her side. An amulet around her neck bore a similar style of engraving.
This sort of getup was a bit unusual for Nerima district, but no one remarked on the fact, because no one was around to see it. If there had been anyone there, though, and they had looked very closely, they might also have noticed the faint glint of a jewel resting just inside her right ear.
"Hmm..." the girl thought, as she completed her visual inventory of her surroundings, "quiet." She seemed to be listening intently for something as she tapped her right ear, and a slight frown flitted over her features. "Still, this looks like a peaceful place..." Now she smiled; "Good," she thought and began to stride purposefully in the direction of the rising sun.
Meanwhile, the bird which had been displaced from its tree by the girl's arrival finally came to rest on another branch not far away, beneath which a boy was walking. This boy, who was also in his teenage years, was wearing the clothing of a traveler; a bit worn around the seams, but still much more typical for the region than the girl's attire. He wore a back pack with a red umbrella strapped to its top, and his short but thick black hair was tied back in a yellow and black striped bandanna. As he paced forward resolutely, he stared at the ground with a melancholy expression.
"Oh, Akane," he though to himself, "why can't I ever tell you how I feel? How I wish you felt the same way. You're always so nice to me, but there's something more in your eyes when you look at Ranma. And today… today you almost married him. What is it that you see in him?"
From a few dozen meters away, the girl's ears perked up slightly as she heard the boy's shuffling footsteps. Quickly, she dropped into a crouch and moved silently towards the sound until she could get a good look at him while concealing herself behind a clump of foliage. "Hmm," she thought, "he looks harmless enough. Right, then. Time to get some information." With that, she stepped out of the bushes into the boy's path.
"The world is indeed a dark and lonely place," the boy thought as he continued staring at the leaves of the forest floor and walked right past the girl. She stared at his back for a moment and blinked twice. She tried coughing politely. The boy kept walking. Looking slightly annoyed, she shouted at his back, "Ahem!"
At this, the boy finally turned around and looked at her in some surprise. "Nani?" What? he said.
"Um, good afternoon?" the girl greeted him experimentally. He blinked at her in incomprehension. The girl frowned and briefly touched some of the engravings on her amulet. "Anar kala lúmenn' omentialvo?" Still no reaction. She fiddled with the amulet again. "Bonjour? Aloha? Konnichiwa?" Suddenly, the boys eyes lit up. "Konnichiwa," he replied. "Hibiki Ryouga desu." I'm Ryouga Hibiki. "Who are you?"
The girl smiled. "Aislinn desu."
"Aisurine?" Ryouga tried fitting the foreign name into his native tongue.
"That's close enough," the girl replied, extending a hand. "Nice to meet you." As Ryouga tentatively shook her hand, she continued, "Not to intrude on your meditation, but could you tell me something about where I am right now?"
"Oh, ah..." he replied, looking about at his surroundings curiously. He scratched his head and muttered, "I'm not too sure, really. I kinda have this lousy since of direction. Looks like we're in a forest. I was at the Tendou Dojo just a few minutes ago. So, uh, we're probably still in Japan?" he finished with obvious uncertainty.
"How helpful," Aislinn thought to herself. "I figured that out from the language. So, I wonder what kind of century we're looking at here. I'll probably have to change to fit in."
Hiding her mild irritation, she smiled broadly at him and said, "Thanks. By the way, if you hadn't noticed I'm a bit new to this place. What kind of clothes do girls wear around here."
"Clothes?" Ryouga still seemed a little lost as he looked at the girl's attire. "Um, something less flashy I guess. You know, just shirts and pants or dresses... normal stuff."
"That's a bit vague," Aislinn thought, "but I'd say about 20th century. Let's try it out." Speaking brightly again, she told him, "Stay right here for a moment, ok? I'll be right back," and jumped back into the nearby bushes.
"What a strange girl," Ryouga thought as he wandered off in a random direction.
A moment later, Aislinn jumped back out of the bushes wearing a purple t-shirt and jeans, with the amulet still around her neck. "Ta-da! How do I look?" she exclaimed, then blinked a few times as she glanced around the now empty clearing.
"How odd," she pondered, "he left. Oh well. Hopefully I got it right. Now I've just got to find some civilization..." Straightening her shirt a bit, she resumed her eastward walk.
Several hours later, Aislinn found herself walking through the streets of a pleasant suburb. She had found a newspaper and determined that her guess of the twentieth century had been correct, and was now taking in the sights.
"I suppose now that I've got the date straight, I should find out where I really am. This has got to be earth, so my data should include all the right maps and we can try a little triangulation." She stopped by an intersection and began to touch the engravings on her amulet once again, then lifted it closer to her face to gaze at it for a moment. "Nerima ward, just outside of Tokyo," she read to herself. "So that Ryouga guy wasn't far off after all. Alright then, twentieth century Japan sounds like an interesting change of pace. Maybe this will actually be a nice relaxing stop for once." She glanced up and down the street, scanning the roadside shops and businesses. "Meanwhile, all this wandering about has been giving me the munchies something terrible. I could go for some authentic oriental cuisine about now." Finally, her gaze alighted on a small restaurant across the street. "Ucchan's Okonomiyaki," she read the sign above the establishment, "sounds yummy!"
Aislinn had just crossed halfway across the street when she heard a distant rumbling and turned to peer intently down the road. Shouted phrases floated on the breeze to her ears. "Pervert!" "Hentai!" "Thief!"
"What in the worlds?" she wondered. Suddenly a short old man darted around a corner down the road, turned, and headed in her direction. He was wearing some sort of mask and carrying a bag almost as large as himself stuffed full of something. The reason for his haste soon became apparent as a horde of enraged girls wearing school uniforms and armed with baseball bats, hockey sticks, and other implements of destruction rounded the corner in pursuit of the old man. A moment later, his eyes lit up when he caught sight of Aislinn.
"Oh, a new girl in town!" he exclaimed, "Kawaii!" She's cute! As Aislinn continued to stand in the street wondering what was going on, the old man made a giant leap and landed on her with his face snuggling into her chest. "Hello, pretty lady."
Aislinn staggered back a few steps. "Eek! A lecher!" she exclaimed, before delivering a punch which sent the little man flying off her and down a side street, where he hit the ground running. "See you later, pretty lady," he called over his shoulder as he dodged down the road, avoiding the pack of girls who continued after him. One girl, however, broke away from the group and ran up to where Aislinn was still standing a bit dazedly in the street.
"Gomennasai," the girl said, "I must apologize for Happosai's inexcusable behavior. You see, he's an incurable pervert. Are you new here?"
"Uh, yeah, thanks," Aislinn replied. "My name's Aislinn."
"Mine's Akane Tendo," the girl smiled brightly, "welcome to Nerima. Sorry the first person you met here was such a lecher."
"It's ok, really," Aislinn replied, and laughed slightly. "And actually, he wasn't the first person I met. I ran into some lost guy named Ryouga in the woods a while ago."
"Ryouga? I wonder if he's ok..." Akane looked a bit pensive, the shook her head and smiled again, "So, where are you from and where are you staying?"
"Oh, I'm from... out of town, I guess. I'm not sure where I'm staying yet, but I might be here for a while. Say, I don't suppose you could show me around town a little bit?" Aislinn asked.
"Sure," Akane agreed. Then her face darkened a bit. "But first I need to finish chasing Happosai. He stole our gym shorts, see..."
"How odd..." Aislinn began.
Akane laughed nervously. "Actually, with him it's a regular occurrence."
"Hmm..." Aislinn frowned, "so why don't you just lock him up or something? He's such a little old guy."
"Well, you wouldn't know it by looking at him, but he's actually a master of martial arts. It's nearly impossible to beat him when he's paying attention," Akane explained with her brow furrowed. "But right now we've just got to catch up to him to get back..."
Just then the rumbling sound returned and the old man burst around another corner and headed straight for the pair, with the group of girls still in pursuit behind him. "Akane-chan!" he yelled, and took another leap into the air. Aislinn, with her wits about her this time, swung her fist out to knock him into the ground just before he landed on Akane. The girls in pursuit took this opportunity to rush up and jump up and down on the old man for a few seconds before reclaiming their gym shorts, thanking Aislinn, and walking off.
Akane looked approvingly at Aislinn, "Hey, thanks. Nice punch."
"That wasn't too hard," she replied, looking down at the now pummeled form of Happosai in the road. "I thought you said he was a great master."
Akane shrugged. "He wasn't paying attention. But in a real fight, it's a different story."
In a moment, the old man stirred, groaned, then suddenly hopped to his feet and stared at Aislinn with a piercing gaze. "You," he said in a quavering voice, "you made me lose my precious haul of panties. Why?"
"Feh," Aislinn replied with a laugh, "she told me all about you." She tilted her head to indicate Akane. "As far as I'm concerned you deserve whatever you get."
"Akane-chan," Happosai spoke with a tear in his eye, "how could you be so cold-hearted as to turn this new girl against your dear old Happosai?"
Akane snorted in response, "Hmph. C'mon Aislinn, let's ditch this letch and I'll show you around."
"Wait," Aislinn told her, "I'm curious to find out if this little pervert is as good as you say he is."
Happosai turned back to her and his voice turned cold, "So it's a challenge, is it? And coming from one so young." Suddenly his voice turned quavery again as he leapt up into Aislinn's arms. "Why throw your life away when we can just cuddle instead?"
"Hyah!" Aislinn yelled, and sent the old man flying with another punch. Once again he landed on his feet, and with a melancholy expression sighed, "No go, huh? Well, if that's the way it is..." He glared at her. "Come."
"All right, you little pervert, here's some real action." Aislinn touched her amulet and the sword she was wearing earlier suddenly materialized in her hand. She drew it back and ran towards Happosai, striking down at him as she reached his position in the road. But the old man sidestepped so quickly that she didn't even see him move, and her sword struck only the dirt of the road.
"Tsk," Happosai shook his head, "you'll have to do better than that."
"All right then." Aislinn pointed her sword at him and a bolt of lightning flew from it and singed off some of the old man's hair.
"Ahh! My hair!" he stuttered, "Now I'm mad. Eh? Where'd she go?"
While the old man was talking Aislinn had leapt into the air above him and now uttered a cry as she fell downwards towards him with her sword pointed below her. Happosai looked up and quickly pulled out a small pipe which he twirled deftly over his head, catching her foot and sending her sprawling into the dust.
"All right," he snarled menacingly, "you're taking up my valuable panty-hunting time. Time to end this." His voice rose as he began a move, "Ultimate Technique, Happo-Fire-Burs..."
"BEWARE," a very loud, gravelly, and menacing voice intoned in his left ear.
"Eh?" Happosai looked around in surprise and saw only the road. Just then, Akane walked up from his right and took the opportunity of his distraction to deftly boot him into the stratosphere. She watched him arc over the horizon as she sighed, "Well, that's that for now. You ok, Aislinn?"
Aislinn picked herself up off the road and nodded briefly at Akane, "Yeah, thanks." Then she glanced at the area of road from which Happosai had heard the mysterious voice. Her eyes brightened and she smiled widely. "Dante!! You're back! I thought you'd never get here!"
A very stern voice echoed in an empty portion of the street. "You're supposed to stay put until I find you. You never know when we might end up somewhere dangerous."
Aislinn glanced downwards ashamedly and drew a lines in the dust with her shoe. "I know, I know, but it seemed like such a nice place..."
"Nevertheless..." the voice began, when suddenly Aislinn looked up and interrupted it. "Oh, wait, I should introduce my new friend. Akane, this is Dante. Dante, Akane," she beamed.
"Uh, where..." Akane began uncertainly.
"Oh, Dante, well, doesn't exactly have a body, you see. But he's right here. Really."
"Oh, ok," Akane replied, still very uncertainly. "Um, I'm pleased to meet you."
"Honored to make your acquaintance," the voice intoned politely.
"Akane here offered to show me around Nerima," Aislinn explained. "Can we go with her now, can we?"
"Well, since we seem to have already entered into the community rather abruptly," the voice said with a stern emphasis on the last word as Aislinn blushed slightly, "we might as well have a look around."
"Yay!" Aislinn clapped her hands. "Thank you Dante," she lilted. "C'mon Akane, let's go."
"Ok," Akane replied, "why don't we head back to my dojo first and I can introduce you and your.. uh.. friend. I'm sure you could stay with us for a while if you've got nowhere else to go."
"Could we?" Aislinn asked excitedly, "that'd be great. Thanks a lot, Akane."
"It's no problem," she said as they began to walk off down the street, "there's always room for a few more guests."
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Last Modified 12/09/96; ©1996 by Ben Elgin