For the readers' information:


Pantyhose Taro is a young Chinese man who, as a baby, was baptized by Happosai in the "spring of drowned yeti riding bull carrying crane and eel." This gave him a cursed form that is a minotaur-like monster, but with wings and an eel's tail. Happosai gave him the name "Pantyhose Taro", which he hated. Only Happosai, who gave him his name, could change it; so he came to Nerima in search of the old lecher, where he fought Ranma and friends. He later returned to Jusenkyo to splash his back with "spring of drowned octopus" water, which gave him giant tentacles; he then fought Happosai and the others again. In his final appearance in the series, he was attacked by an Indian girl named Rouge. She had fallen into a spring that turned her into Ashura, a three-headed six-armed flaming warrior demon of incredible power.

The reader may assume that this history from the original series happened in this alternate universe as well. For more information, the Pantyhose Taro FAQ by Blade is recommended.

Lili and Akane glared at each other with looks of mutual hurt. "I suppose you think this is funny, don't you," Akane said. "Well, enough is enough!"

"I told you. Why won't you believe me? I'm not this person you think I am. My name is Feng Lili."

"Fine. You be Feng Lili today if you want, Ranma. Maybe tomorrow I'll be Feng Lili. And maybe Feng Lili can explain to the officer here why we have to just let that monster go around destroying things, because the person who could have stopped it is pretending to be a scared little girl right now."

A voice came from the corridor. "Akane!"

"Ryoga?" Akane had not seen him for the past several weeks.

"Akane, Ranma's not acting. It's the curse! His Jusenkyo curse has taken him over! I was with him yesterday when it was happening!"

"So it's true." Everyone turned to see Nabiki, who had just come in the front door.

"What's true?" Akane asked in an irritated tone.

"I just checked our mailbox." Nabiki held up a letter. "This is from Cologne. She's closed up the Nekohanten and taken Shampoo and Mousse back to China. According to her, those two have both acquired the minds of their cursed forms. They're now a cat and a duck, mentally as well as physically. She says that it's the inevitable latter stage of the curses of Jusenkyo.

"She also says that the same thing was happening to Ranma. You're not talking to Ranma here. You're speaking to the girl who drowned in that spring hundreds of years ago. That girl's mind, or spirit, has taken over Ranma's body."

Lili jumped up from her chair. "NOOOOO!!!! That can't be right! This is ME!!"

She found a mirror and stared at herself in it. A thing like that just *couldn't* happen! But... was there any other explanation for the things that had happened? Was there any other way that this insane world, and the insane things that were happening to her in it, made sense?

Lili looked into the mirror, desperately looking for herself. A stranger stared back.

All of which went well over the head of officer Usugurai. "Folks, I don't want to be rude, but I need to know if you'll be able to help us with this monster or not. If not, I need to try to locate someone else who can."

"On the honor of the Anything Goes School, we will do what we can," Soun said, without optimism.


Soon after, a police car sped down the road, its siren blaring as the other vehicles cleared the way. Usugurai drove, with Soun next to him on the passenger side.

Akane was in the back seat. She didn't know what to make of what Nabiki had said. Maybe Ranma *wasn't* acting. Was this another of Cologne's plots to force him to marry Shampoo? Did she do this to him, perhaps using some sort of mind-altering drug? Would she offer some sort of cure, one that would only work if Ranma went to China with her and stayed there?

Lili's mind was numb. She closed her eyes and tried to wish herself back to be with her father. It didn't work.

P-chan, in his human form as Ryoga, sat in the back between Akane and Lili-Ranma. He didn't like being in his human body, this big clumsy thing. But Akane was the one who had taken him in and given him a home. It was his duty to protect her from whatever this monster was. Or from Ranma -- Lili -- whatever her name was, if it came to that. Right now, this was the body that he could do that best in.

Soun broke the silence. "What sort of monster is this, anyway?"

"Something resembling a minotaur." Usugurai drove the car across a Do Not Cross line, onto an evacuated street. "But it has a tail like an eel, and on it's back are --"

"Pantyhose," Akane said.

"No, wings. It has wings."

"She means the monster is named Pantyhose," Soun corrected. "It's a long story."

"Whatever it is, it moves too fast for us to shoot it," the officer continued. "It seems to be carrying out mindless vandalism, destroying everything. We managed to get all of the civilians evacuated from the area, but not before several people were injured. One of them's a girl named Mako who just turned thirteen today. She's critical right now, but she should make it to fourteen."

"Could Pantyhose's mind have been taken over by his curse?" Akane asked. "Like the others supposedly were?"

"It's possible." Soun looked worried. "If that's the case, then things have gone from bad to worse. I can't think of a tougher, more dangerous opponent than him."

"Wasn't Pantyhose's cursed form made up from multiple creatures? Which one will be in control?"

"Good question. Maybe none of them. Maybe the conflict between the minds of the several different constituent forms is what's causing his current behavior. We might be able to use that to our advantage." They would certainly need any advantage they could get, Soun thought. Facing an opponent as powerful as Pantyhose, with most of their fighting force gone or disabled, they were... what was the expression Soun had heard Ranma use? They were in deep shit.

Usugurai pulled the police cruiser over to a stop, and the occupants got out. "The creature is around here somewhere. It hasn't been spotted leaving this area." He and Soun moved off to one side to search. Akane moved in another direction, with Ryoga close behind.

Lili leaned up against the police car, hoping that this would all be over soon and she could go back to somewhere safe - if there was anywhere that could be called safe in this insane place. She knew nothing of monsters, save some stories of demons that her mother had told her.

Her mother... if what these people had told her was correct, then her mother was dead now. So was her father, and everyone she had ever known. And she herself. She was dead, a ghost trying to live a life in a stolen body. One that she would gladly give back, if she only knew how.

Lili noticed that she had been left behind at the car, by herself. That brought back the frightening memory of being alone back in the wilderness of China. She stepped away from the car, looking down the block, trying to spot where the others had gotten to.

Something touched Lili's waist. She looked down. Something long and slimy was wrapping itself around Lili's body. It was followed by another, and another...

Lili screamed.


Soun Tendo rushed down the street with officer Usugurai, toward the scream they had just heard. The monster that had once been Pantyhose Taro had its tentacles around Ranma. Ranma looked absolutely terrified. The monster let out a noise, something vaguely resembling an evil, guttural laugh. The policeman drew a gun and pointed it directly at where the monster's heart ought to be.

"No," Soun said. "If you fire that at him... it, it will kill him. Her."

Usugurai was a good enough shot to take down a normal man instantly with a single shot. But what, if anything, would a gunshot do to this creature? He lowered his gun, watching the thing intently.

Akane and Ryoga ran onto the scene, stopping in their tracks when they saw what the situation was. A triumphant laugh-like noise issued forth from the monster's mouth, as his pig-tailed captive pleaded helplessly. If this was an act, it was the best acting Akane had ever seen. She had watched an anime called Iczer-One a few days ago, in which a girl named Nagisa had been attacked by some sort of slime creatures. Ranma was freaking out ten times as much as Nagisa had.

Then another police car pulled up.

Nabiki Tendo came out from the passenger's side of the newly-arrived vehicle. The driver's side window was partially rolled down, and a gun barrel could be seen, directed toward the creature.

"Nabiki, no!" Soun cried out. "If we try to shoot it, it will kill Ranma!"

"Oh, I shouldn't worry," Nabiki said unperturbedly. "This gun is not exactly standard police issue."

"What do you mean, not standard police issue?" Akane asked, hardly in the mood for games.

"It's a super-soaker. Now!" A stream of steaming water issued forth from the gun. Instantly the monster was gone, replaced by a naked young man. Lili-Ranma, noticing that the tentacles that had been holding her had disappeared, dove away from her former captor and fell to the ground sobbing. Ryoga wrestled the now-human Taro to the ground before he could escape.

Soun went to comfort Ranma. "It's okay, Ranma, it's all over. Please stop crying. It's not a dignified thing to do." He turned to his middle daughter. "Thank you, Nabiki."

"Always glad to help when my dear old dad rushes out of the house with no idea what he's doing. You'll be getting my bill," she said with a smirk.

"It is all over, isn't it? I mean the fighting," Akane said. "Or is there something we're forgetting?"

"Well, I want to thank all of you." Usugurai forced the handcuffed Taro into the back of his car. "Fighting monsters is not something I'm trained to deal with. It's funny, I was watching an old monster movie last night. The people didn't know what to do about the monster that was attacking them, until a couple of little kids came up with an idea that they needed."

"Your department will *definitely* be getting a bill," Nabiki said, "and for more than just the ice cream cone or can of Coke that kids like that would have asked for."

"It's okay. The kids' idea in the movie didn't work as well as yours did. Luckily in the movie, another monster showed up. Gamera the flying turtle fought the first monster and saved everyone. By the way, ma'am, if you're not busy, I'd like to thank you personally for your help, by taking you out to dinner."

"Well, all right. I should warn you that my tastes run toward the expensive, though." Nabiki tried to estimate how much a police officer could be taken for. "Wasn't there a delightful little foreign restaurant in this neighborhood? A friend took me there last month, and I had some of the best flambeed.... Say, do you smell smoke?"

"Now that you mention it.... Someone probably forgot to turn something off when this area was evacuated. I'll call in the fire department, have them check it out. We don't want this whole area going up in flames --" Usugurai's thought was never finished. All eyes looked up as a brilliant red ball of light erupted into the sky. Something solid became visible in the center, as the ball of fire began coalescing into a shape. Three people. No, it was one humanoid thing, a female with three faces and six arms.

Another monster had shown up.

"HAHAHAHAHA!!!" it said. "Ashura has returned, little ones!"

The policeman in the second car raised his gun and fired a stream of hot water at the demonic creature. The water turned into steam before it could get within two meters of its target. Ashura laughed again, pointed one of her six hands, and instantly the car was set aflame. The officer jumped out frantically, rolling on the ground to extinguish his burning clothes.

Lili looked at the demon in the sky. Happosai, Akane, Pantyhose... none of them were a tenth as frightening as the thing she saw before her. Deep inside her mind, some small not-yet-extinguished vestige of what was Ranma Saotome saw and understood the situation...

They were in deep shit.