I REPEAT: This is intended as grim & gritty urban drama. To
those who stick around, I promise a happy ending for our main Ranma
characters; but in the meantime, there will be lots of not-so-nice stuff
going on. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Regarding the new character introduced in this section, please
read the disclaimer at the end.

"She's dead! Ewwwww!" someone in the crowd said.

Doctor Yafuso struggled to make his way through the crowd of bystanders that had gathered. He had to get a look for himself.

"I think she starved to death," someone else said.

"Omigod! She should've gone to the mission down the block. They would've given her food."

"Maybe she didn't know that."

Yafuso circled around to try to get closer. He had just heard it on the radio: A homeless woman had been found dead. No details given. Was it the girl called Akane? Could he have saved her if he'd asked her to stay at his apartment? He had to know.

The doctor stood on his toes and looked over the heads of the people in front of him. It wasn't her. It was a different woman. A homeless woman who wasn't Akane had died.

Not something he could be happy about.



The dream had been a pleasant one. She had been surrounded by people. They were friends, family, people who wanted to be with her. A... panda? Then the sun rose and melted the dream away. Reality came in and reminded her of where she was. No! Not that! She wanted to go back to the dream!

The girl looked around. She had slept on the sidewalk, in front of the entrance to some sort of park area. A path led into the area, surrounded by grass and a few trees, in contrast to the concrete world outside.

The path led to a statue. It depicted a hooded woman carrying a baby, a sympathetic expression on her face. The woman's name was Mary, the girl remembered.

On the other side of the path were two large stone tablets. Carved on them were the roman numerals I through X, each followed by some writing. These must be the Ten Commandments, the girl thought. She could not read the text, but she remembered some of them. Thou shall not kill was one.

A man walked up from the other end of the path. Albert Bunson had come to pray. Although he knew that the Lord heard all prayers, he liked to pray at the Virgin Mary's shrine when he could. "Virgin mother, please give me the guidance and wisdom I need so that my life might follow the Lord's divine plan, amen." He noticed the young woman there, who was looking at him curiously.

"The Lord's plan has a place for all of His children," Bunson said. "When we accept our proper place, all of His glories can be ours. It is when we stray from that place that the evils of the world are set upon us." The young woman did not seem to understand. Or did she? Something in her eyes reacted to what Bunson said.

Bunson left the shrine. There was work to be done...

Another man entered the area; a small Asian man, with glasses and a long coat. He spoke to the girl in Japanese. "My employer wishes to speak with you. He has a business proposition to extend to you. He has asked me to invite you to dine with him. If you are agreeable, I can take you there immediately."

The girl was hesitant. "My employer wishes you to know that should you decide to decline his offer of employment, he will instruct me to drive you back to this location unharmed," the small man continued. "He is well aware that despite the armed men at his residence, you would be quite capable of injuring or killing him if he were to try to prevent you from leaving. Will you come with me?"

Why not, the girl figured. What did she have to lose?


Albert Bunson came home.

The girl had not understood. Of course not, they never did. And the world was beset by all the evils in creation. Abortion, that was the worst of them. It had to be stopped. The voice in his head told him so. He knew that it was the Lord's voice. It told him to take action. Other people were all talk. None of them were willing to do what was necessary. It was a war that was being fought, a war to save the children. The voice had told him that; and he had learned in 'Nam that in war, you had to get them before they got you.

Bunson took his gun and left his home.


"More pork chops?" Dana, the maid/butler, asked.

"Yes, please," the girl said. Toshi, the small man in the glasses, acted as interpreter.

Mr. Hill had never in his life seen anyone else who could put away food at the speed of this girl who called herself Akane. It seemed that fighting was not her only superhuman ability. Perhaps there were still others? He suppressed that thought.

"Would you like a drink to wash that down with?" Hill asked. "I don't drink myself, but I keep a supply on hand for guests. No? Are you sure you wouldn't like Dana to prepare a hot bath for you?" The girl quickly shook her head no.

"Let's get down to business then. I've observed the results of your unique talents. I could put you to work for me. You would be in charge of dealing with some of the more difficult obstacles that I might encounter in my business dealings."

"Sllng drgs?" the girl said through a mouthful of food.

"Among other things. I don't like drugs, you know. My kids would catch hell if I caught any of them using drugs. But I'm a businessman. I go where the money is. And there'd be plenty of money in this for you, too. No more sleeping out on the street. You could have your own house like this one, perhaps even a bigger one. What do you think?"

The girl put down her fork and wiped her face with her napkin. "I think I'm gonna take you up on the offer you made."


"The offer to have this guy drive me back to where you found me. I ain't sellin' no drugs, and I sure as heck ain't working for nobody that does! I'm leaving NOW!"

"Cake?" Dana offered.

"... after the cake," the girl corrected, picking up her fork.

"So that's your decision? Pity." Hill said.

"Tht's m dcsn." The girl noticed everyone looking at her. "Wht's every..." Why was the room spinning? Why was it so hard to think? The cake! Something in it... So hard to think... drugged food... didn't this happen before... ?

She fell forward, her face landing in the chocolate cake.

"Burt! Travis! Get in here!" Hill said forcefully. The two thugs entered. "You know what to do. Then dispose of the remains. And remember that this girl might have friends somewhere who are as tough as she is. I don't want the body found, I don't want any evidence leading back to tell anyone who was responsible. Otherwise two more bodies will be found. Is that understood?"

The two thugs nodded and carried off the unconscious girl. Pity, Hill thought. But this girl was a loose cannon. If she were left to continue, there'd be no predicting how much trouble she could make for his operations. He had given her a chance. Sometimes one chance is all you get.

Burt and Travis carried the girl into the garage. Their car was waiting with the trunk open. They stuffed her into it.

"Stuck-up bitch," Travis said. "I be givin' it to her. She ain't gonna be complainin' when she got a hole through her head."

"Stupid shit," Burt said. "Stick it to her, *then* kill her. Else you be a goddamn pervert!"



Reality was slowly trickling in. She'd been to this house before. The old house with no furniture. Her body felt numbed, her mind was moving slowly, she needed to get her bearings. She was lying prone on the floor of the empty house. The house was definitely familiar. So were the two thugs. They were there before, too. Except that last time they didn't have guns pointed at her...

Instinct took over. Before she even realized what she was doing, she was standing on her hands, with a foot planted into the jaw of each of the thugs. Instantly righting herself, her fist slammed one of them in the gut, snapping some ribs. She was moving and thinking slowly because of the drugged cake she had eaten. But the thugs were much slower still.

Her fist struck the jaw of the other thug five times in rapid succession. She felt some of his teeth break, maybe all of them. Ordinarily she had enough control to take down an opponent without causing him a hospitalizing injury. Not now. They had crossed the line. It wasn't a game anymore.

She looked at herself as the thugs collapsed into unconsciousness. Her clothing was torn. The numbing drug was beginning to wear off, and she was feeling sore in her lower region. Blood? She was bleeding there. How...?

They didn't --

-- they *couldn't* have --


She wanted to cry. She wanted to kill them. She wanted to go into the shower and scrub and scrub and everything would come off and she'd be clean and she'd turn herself into a guy and beat them and make them beg for mercy she wanted to make them beg for mercy and she wanted to cry and cry and cry she wanted to go back in the closet forever and cry and end up somewhere oh god somewhere where no one would recognize her and she'd get all the drugs and make them take them all make them take all of their own drugs and she'd wake up and it would all be a dream oh god oh god...

She ran. She ran down the street that she had run down before. She could not deal with this, not by herself.


Doctor Yafuso was on his way home when he caught a glimpse of a figure rapidly running toward him. A familiar face.

"Akane!" he cried.

"Doctor?" The girl called Akane heard a sound. The subtle sound of a gun being readied to fire. Her curse, her destiny.

The girl made a frantic leap, as long a jump as she could. She grabbed the doctor, and the two of them tumbled down the sidewalk. A bullet struck the place where the doctor had just been, removing a chunk of concrete.

When she went to look, whoever had fired the shot was gone.

A thousand questions filled the doctor's mind. Where had the girl been and why had she come back? Who had just tried to shoot him, and why? But there was one thing he had to say before it was too late again. "Akane, please stay at my apartment!" the doctor said.

The girl collapsed, exhausted.


Albert Bunson came home.

He had failed. His shot had missed. He had lost the battle, but the war would still go on. The voice inside his head told him that it had to.


"Now arriving at gate twenty-seven: Japan Air Lines flight one hundred and fifty two from Tokyo."

A short-haired girl moved along with the large crowd of people, up the covered walkway toward the noisy airport corridor. Couldn't these people move any faster? The girl looked back for her companions. She caught a glimpse of them further back, stuck behind more of the slowly disembarking passengers. It took all of her self-control not to start pushing people out of her way. Any moment now it might be too late!

Her name was Tendo Akane. She had come for Ranma. She didn't know for sure whether he was in this city, or even if he was still alive; if he wasn't, it would be her fault. But if he was here, she was going to find him.

DISCLAIMER: The character Albert Bunson is not meant to be representative of the anti-abortion movement, nor of any religious group.