(At the Cat Cafe, Shampoo is cleaning up the kitchen. She sees a figure watching her from the shadows...)

Shampoo: MOUSSE! You keep sneaking around Shampoo, she have to hurt you!

(The figure suddenly steps out of the shadows. It's not Mousse. It is a muscular humanoid figure, about 8 feet tall with a hunched back. Its flesh is grey colored and covered with visible blood vessels. It has very large bulging eyes, and a reptilian mouth with finely spaced pointy teeth. It has three clawed fingers on each hand. The left hand holds a nasty looking knife. It makes a hissing sound like a snake. Naturally, Shampoo is surprised. The monster grabs her and moves its knife in for the kill.)

Monster: {CHU MAI... YOU MUST DIE!}

Shampoo: {Shampoo won't be killed so easily, you foul demon!}

(Shampoo reaches her arm back and picks up a big cutting knife, the kind found in most every Chinese kitchen. In one quick motion, she swings it around and plants it in the monster's heart with a force that could have stopped a truck. The monster stops moving. Shampoo pulls back to catch her breath. Just then, the monster unexpectedly comes back to life, using both hands to grab Shampoo by the neck and knife hand. Its incredible strength forces Shampoo to drop the knife. Just then Mousse comes in the room.)

Mousse: Shampoo? NO!!!

(Mousse goes berserk and fires a flurry of weapons at the monster. It throws Shampoo at Mousse, who is forced to retract its weapons in order not to hit Shampoo. This gives the monster a chance to run into another room.

Later, Dr. Tofu, Genma, Akane, and Soun are at the cafe. Tofu is examining Shampoo. The police are also there and are examining the scene. Mousse is talking to a police sketch artist.)

Artist: What was the attacker's most distinguishing feature?

Mousse: um...

Artist: How tall was the attacker?

Mousse: uh...

Artist: Can you just give me a general description?

Mousse: well... um...

(Girl-Ranma runs in with Yusaku.)

Ranma: I came as soon as I heard. Is she gonna be OK, Doc?

Tofu: She'll be fine, it doesn't look too serious. I would like to take her over for some X-rays, though.

Artist: We've finished the picture. (He shows a drawing which is of a young pointy-eared woman in a tiger-striped bikini.)

Ranma: You're dealing with Mr. Blind-as-a-Bat here. Why don't you talk to Shampoo instead.

Artist: That is a relief. If the girl in this picture were the real killer then we'd all be in big trouble.

Shampoo: (Taking the drawing materials) Here, creature look like this. (Draws)

Soun: I've called her great grandmother and notified her. She should be here any time now.

Akane: Who could have done this to HER?

(Shampoo shows a picture which is a pretty good likeness of the attacker.)

Genma: A lost soul!

Akane: Huh? What's that?

Genma: I've heard tales of such creatures. They are the ill result of man's attempts to defy his own mortality.

Ranma: What the hell does that mean, Pop?

Genma: Listen, boy! There is a legend of a species of mermaid which has been long sought after by man. Eat of the flesh of the mermaid, it is said, and you will gain eternal life.

Ranma: Never die? That's crazy! Everybody's gotta die sometime! (Cologne walks in) Of course, some take longer than others...

Cologne: Your father is correct, groom.

Ranma: Hey, you sure got here quick all the way from China.

Cologne: When my great-granddaughter needs me, I am not slow. Besides, I was only in Yokohama meeting with the restaurant supply company. Anyway, it is true that the mermaid flesh can give immortality. But only to a few rare individuals. To most people, it acts as a terrible poison. Those who are not killed outright are transformed into horrible creatures like the one that attacked Shampoo. They are called lost souls, or poisoned ones.

Shampoo: It talk like it think I somebody else... it call me Chu Mai. You know this name, Great grandmother?

Cologne: No, child.

Soun: I see. But according to this book (he is reading a manga entitled "Mermaid's Private Parts"), these lost souls are mindless creatures.

Cologne: Yes, that has always been the case as far as I know. This must be an unusual variant type of creature.

(Yusaku starts daydreaming about being with Kyoko. In the dream he gives her something.)

Kyoko (dream): What's this, Yusaku?

Yusaku (dream): It's mermaid flesh. Your beauty should be allowed to last forever.

Kyoko (dream): Oh, Yusaku...

(She eats it, and immediately transforms into the creature in the picture. Yusaku screams and backs up. Fortunately, it's only a dream. He realizes that he was really looking at Cologne.)

Ranma: A lot of people act like that when they see her face. (Cologne bops Ranma on the head with her staff for this remark) <Still... I wonder what it would be like to live and be young forever...>

(Now it's Ranma's turn to start daydreaming. He imagines himself on a barren world, where a sign reads "The End Of Time". He is being chased by Akane, who is carrying a big mallet.)

Akane (dream): Come back here, Ranma!

Ranma (dream): No way!

Akane (dream): You said that you would eat my cooking if we were the last two people on Earth!

Ranma (dream): I lied!

Akane (dream): Insensitive jerk! Idiotic pervert!

Ranma (dream): Macho chick! Uncute tomboy! ... <How many more billion years are we gonna keep doing this?> ...

(Back to reality...)

Ranma: Y'know, I bet that eternal life stuff ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Others: Huh?

Akane: So how did this creature get away?

Mousse: It ran into the bathroom, over here.

(They go into the bathroom. The police are examining the area.)

Police: We've found traces of the same organic material we found at the other murder sites.

Mousse: This one is not a murder site! It's an "attempted murder site"!

Police: Whatever. This supports our theory that this creature can travel through the plumbing, maybe by dissolving itself.

Cologne: I've never heard of a lost soul able to do that. But then I've never heard of one fighting intelligently either.

Akane: What about this window here? Couldn't it have climbed out that?

Shampoo: Window too small for huge creature to get through without breaking.

Akane: And you think it would be EASIER for it to fit through the WATER PIPES?

Police: The creature's traces don't lead to the window. They go straight to the sink. There are traces on the hot water faucet here, but none anywhere near the window.

Akane: The hot water faucet?

Cologne: We can't be sure of anything at this point. Mousse and I will be here in case the creature strikes here again. The rest of you continue your decoy operation. Between our two groups, we might be able to catch this thing next time it shows up.

Yusaku (to Cologne): Ma'am, could I talk with you a second?

Shampoo: Forget it! Shampoo already engaged to Ranma! (She is taken off by paramedics; the others leave)


Cologne: What is it, young man?

Yusaku: It's this. (He shows her the crystal he had previously)

Cologne: Hmmm... where did you get this?

Yusaku: From my grandmother. <Should I tell her that she got it from

Cologne: The aura is unmistakeable. What you have here is extremely rare. It is the heart of a mermaid, compressed and fused into crystalline form. (Yusaku is staring at Cologne in amazement.) You look startled, young man. (He continues staring) What is on your mind?

Yusaku: It's just... I never imagined... I never thought I'd ever meet anyone uglier that Grandma! (Cologne bops him painfully on the head with her staff)

Cologne: You heard us say that the mermaid flesh can give a person the power to return from the dead? The heart of the mermaid can be used to bring someone back from the dead, without the danger of that person becoming a lost soul.

Yusaku: Return a dead person to life?

Cologne: Yes. It can be used only once every hundred years or so. The glow from inside means that it is ready to be used. It must only be used on a person who died before his or her time. Someone who died of natural causes will just die again and you will have wasted your one chance. There's something else about it but I can't remember right now what it is.

Yusaku: Something I'll find out about at the worst possible moment?

Cologne: You catch on quickly, young man.

Yusaku: I need to talk to Kyoko right away. (rushes out of the restaurant)

Cologne: Hmph. Didn't even say "thank you". I guess impertinence is a characteristic of young people. He'll grow out of it, they all do.

(Just then Happosai enters)

Happosai: Hey there, cutie! Where's that gorgeous little Shampoo of yours? I'm looking for some fun! (Cologne smacks him into the next time zone)

Cologne: ... most of them, anyway ...


(INTERLUDE: We see a three-story building that looks like an apartment house. A young man wearing a warmup suit is outside. A very pretty young nun slides open a window on the top floor.)

Man: Sister!

Young nun: What are you doing here?

Man: Sister, if I win my next fight, will you be my girlfriend?

(The young nun face-faults and staggers back. An old, somewhat heavy-set nun comes to the window.)

Old nun: (to man) You should not be here!

Man: Oh, it's you, Sister Angela's nanny. Hi, nanny!

(The old nun steps back. At this time, Ryoga comes up behind the man.)

Ryoga: Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to...

(The old nun reappears in the window with a bucket of water. She throws the water at the man.)

Old nun: I have told you before to address me as Mother Abbess!

(The now wet man turns to where Ryoga was.)

Man: Sorry, what were you saying... huh? Where'd he go? He left his clothes? And was he carrying this little pig?

P-Chan: Bwee! Bu-kee!

(The man runs off as several broom-wielding nuns chase after him. Benny Hill music plays. Scene fades...)

For the record, the Mermaid's Heart Crystal is something I made up for
this story. It is not a part of Takahashi's mermaid lore.