After wandering around for about an hour, George ended up at the Tendo dojo. This was it, he thought. He'd prove how easy it would be to change things around here.

He stuffed an envelope into the mailbox. This was the first step. Of everything that went he had seen in the videos, one thing had outraged him more than anything else. He was going to put a stop to it right away.

As George stood, picturing in his mind what he would do next, he heard the sound of a bell from behind him. Before he could turn around, something struck him in the head, knocking him to the ground.

He rose slowly and carefully, used to this sort of thing by now, and turned to look. There on the bicycle was a girl with luxurious black hair that reached down past her waist. Her body, muscular but not the least bit unfeminine, filled out her shimmering silk dress in a way that he had never dreamed possible.

The girl turned to George. "Why you get in way of Shampoo's bike?" she said, as he quickly moved his gaze up to her face.

"Uh... I... that is..." he responded as he mentally kicked himself. Here was the sexiest, most beautiful girl that he could ever remember seeing, and he couldn't manage to say anything coherent.

"Keep out of way! Shampoo need finish deliver ramen. Then I go ask Ranma for date! I look like self now, but could turn back any time to look like crazy ribbon girl. Then Ranma never agree to date. Aiyou!"

Wheels turned in George's mind. Shampoo was the one who had to marry the one who defeated her in combat... and the Goddess said that he would be able to defeat anyone here! Therefore...

"Shampoo!" he blurted out. "I challenge --"

Too late, she had already gone.

Oh well, there would be other chances. Meanwhile he could do other things. He headed to the Tendo home.


"You're here to do what?" asked an incredulous Ranma.

"Solve all your problems," George replied matter-of-factly. "Didn't you hear me the first time?"

"Man, just stay away from me," Ranma said. "Nothin' personal, but I got enough trouble already without somebody else going along and making things worse." As he spoke, he tied the Box of E'civedt'olp shut with a sturdy length of rope. "Like this stupid box. Stuff like this is always nothing but a pain in the butt." He finished by putting a hastily-lettered sign in front of the bound container. "There, this'll keep people away from this thing for sure!"

"Jerk!" Akane whacked Ranma on the head with a convenient flowerpot as she read the sign he had written: DANGER! KEEP OUT! CONTAINS AKANE'S COOKING!

Kasumi came into the room. "Look who's here!" she said cheerfully as a boy in a bandanna followed behind her.

He was Ryoga, George remembered. The one who takes advantage of Akane, sleeps in her bed disguised as her pet. How could anyone be such an honorless.... pig? Anyway, it would soon be over.

"Ryoga's come for dinner, isn't that nice?" Kasumi handed an envelope to her youngest sister. "By the way, this was in the mailbox for you, Akane."

"That's strange," Akane said as she stared curiously. "It doesn't say who it's from, just to open it the next time I see P-chan. Maybe it's an advertisement for a new pet grooming tool or something. I'll just put it up in my room, I guess." She went up the stairs as Kasumi went to the kitchen.

George glared at Ryoga. "I sent her that letter, you know. Your days of playing P-chan and sleeping in her bed are over, pal."

"What?!?" Ryoga was flabbergasted. "What -- what do you mean?" He grabbed George by his shirt. "Who the hell are you, and what business is it of yours what I do anyway?"

"Hey, you can't talk to me like that!" George pushed Ryoga's hand off of him. "I'm a martial artist too, y'know! I'm telling you to stay away from Akane. Go hook up with that girl who likes you; Bukari, or whatever her name is. Or with Ukyo. A lot of people think you and her would be a good couple. But not Akane. She and Ranma are destined to be together." He noticed Ranma and Ryoga looking at him as if he were a raving lunatic.

"It's obvious that Ranma doesn't deserve Akane!" Ryoga pointed to the sign that Ranma had drawn. "Look at the way he insults her and makes mean jokes about her cooking all the time!"

"Who's joking?" Ranma said dryly. "Her cooking even makes the pots and pans upchuck."

"I'll show you, Ranma!" Ryoga cried in a frenzy. "I respect Akane and appreciate what she does! I'll EAT her cooking!" He began frantically ripping off the ropes that Ranma had tied around the box.

"You moron!" Ranma yelled. "Don't open that..." Heedless, Ryoga threw open the box lid. A strange green glow from inside bathed both Ryoga and George, before Ranma went around and pushed it shut from the other end.

"So it glows green," Ryoga admitted. "That still doesn't mean that it's bad cooking!"

"I'm used to you being a jerk, Ryoga." Ranma turned to glare at George. "But you are getting on my nerves, pal. You might be the most annoying person I've ever met."

A voice came from outside. "Pig-Tailed Girl!"

"Okay, maybe not the *most* annoying.... Whattaya want, Kuno?" Ranma asked, sounding uninterested.

"Saotome! What have you done with the Pig-Tailed Girl? Release her at once from whatever captivity you have placed her under, so that I may date with her!"

"I'll settle this," George said. "C'mon into the kitchen, Kuno. I'll show you something about your Pig-Tailed Girl."

The four men went into the kitchen where Kasumi cooked, humming contentedly to herself.

George picked up a glass from the dish rack and filled it with water. Ryoga backed away slowly. "Watch carefully," George said to Kuno. "See this?" He poured the water on Ranma, causing him to change sex. "See! See! This is your 'Pig-Tailed Girl'!"

Kuno watched with amazement. "I... I never imagined... and the transformation is triggered? By water?"

"Yep! Pour cold water and you've got your Pig-Tailed Girl, hot water turns her into Ranma. Do you get it?!?"

"This sorcerous effect... it will wear off?"

"No, you idiot! It's permanent. It'll happen every time your Pig-Tailed Girl comes in contact with water. Here, I'll show you again." He grabbed a steaming pot from the stove and dumped its contents over Ranma, who became male once again. Something white and sticky now covered his body.

"Oh dear," Kasumi said. "I'm afraid that was the steamed rice for tonight's dinner."

George searched for something to say as he noticed Ranma and Ryoga looking furiously at him. "Oops."


"Man, this bites," George said, walking down the sidewalk and nursing the painful bumps on his head. "You try to help someone, and what do you get? They didn't even let me stay for dinner."

Abruptly, some sort of instinct raised an alarm in George's head. He jumped to the side a moment before a splash of water hit the spot where he had just been standing.

Whew, he thought, that was close. "Hey, be careful with that, willya?" Wait a minute! What reason did he have to be worried about water? Maybe the place was getting to him. He looked to see where the water had come from.

It was an old lady. "I'm so sorry, young man," she said. George was pretty sure that he'd seen her before. She was the one who'd caught Ranma a bunch of times with her water on the way to school.

"That's okay. I don't suppose you could tell me where I could get something to eat, couldja? Only I haven't really got any money to pay. I didn't think about that when I got sent here."

"Try some of this." The old woman held out a piece of food, which George gobbled up greedily. It was some sort of fish, though he couldn't figure out what kind. It was delicious, maybe the best he'd ever tasted.

"You wouldn't happen to have more, would you..." He looked back to find that the old woman was no longer there. That strange feeling in his mind told him that he was being watched. He could hear the faintest trace of... laughter? He ignored it and went to look for more food somewhere else.

Walking down the street, he soon came to something that wasn't food but nevertheless made him hunger.

Shampoo. He saw her standing behind the outer walls of some large estate. He stood, watching her as she moved, mesmerized by the way the afternoon sun reflected off of the Chinese dress, her perfect body nearly bursting out of it.

Later he would figure out a way to get Shampoo together with Mousse or somebody. Right now, this was probably the only chance he'd ever have at a girl this gorgeous.

George jumped up from his hiding place, yelling "Shampoo, I challenge you!" Before the girl could react, his magnetic tape wrapped around her, immobilizing her. She was beaten.

"I have defeated you!" George proclaimed. "By the laws of the Amazons, this means... uh, you know. Hey, you got anything to eat around here? I'm starved."

She thought a moment, then her puzzled expression changed to a smile. "You want food? Why, certainly. Wait here for just a moment." She slipped out of George's tape and vanished into the estate.

Some warning light in the back of George's mind went off. Something wasn't right, but he couldn't put his finger on what it was.

Her speech! That was it. Up until now, Shampoo had always used really bad English... or Japanese, or whatever they were speaking here. She'd just spoken to him correctly. How could that be?

There was only one explanation. She'd been faking all this time! She must talk that way just to keep people off guard, and must've decided she didn't need to do it with him anymore. Sure, that made sense.

George saw Shampoo bound back to where he was, carrying a plate of cookies. She handed the plate to him, and he quickly scarfed them all down.

This was unbelievably great, he thought! He'd be married to Shampoo, and he could... he could... why was everything spinning?

George's face fell directly into the cookie plate. The last thing he was aware of was the girl who looked like Shampoo casually flinging him over one shoulder and carrying him away, all the while laughing insanely.


Kodachi watched her captive for any signs of consciousness. She was getting impatient. The sleeping potion she had put in her cookies ought to have worn off by now.

Fortunately, she had changed back into looking like herself again. The curse of that magical box caused her to transform at random times into a double for that barbarian waitress. This was not a desirable thing at all. Still, it had spared her some effort in capturing this young fool.

She checked again, ascertaining that her prisoner was securely bound. His legs were tied with a rope that went up and around the limb of a large tree, and he hung down with his head on the bottom. His arms were likewise bound behind his body. There would be no way for him to escape.

He finally began to wake. A worried look crossed his face as he noticed how he was trussed up, and who his captor was. Kodachi laughed, as loudly and evilly as she could manage, to make him feel worse.

"What... what are you doing?" he stammered.

"It's simple. My dear, dear pet, Mr. Turtle, needs a little variety in his diet. I'm counting on you to provide that for him."

"I don't have anything on me. I could run down to a pet store and buy some turtle food..."

"No, no. I'm afraid you misunderstand. Mr. Turtle is going to be having *you* for dinner."

"Well, I guess I could join him for dinner... I wouldn't have to eat turtle food myself, would I? I don't even know what they eat. And are we going to be eating hanging down from a tree? That's pretty weird if you ask..."

Kodachi leaned over as if to whisper into George's ear. He bent over as far as he could and listened closely.


"Unless," she pulled back, clearing her throat and regaining her composure, "unless you can give me some reason not to. Something you could do for me that would justify your existence. But I don't suppose there is anything like that."

A thoughtful expression crossed George's face. Come on, Kodachi thought, come on! Offer the secret to travel between the two universes! She needed him to think of offering it himself; he wouldn't be stupid enough to tell her the secret if he knew it was what she wanted, would he?

"Okay," George said. "I know what you want, and I guess I've got no choice."

Then again, maybe he would. "Good." Kodachi looked George straight in the eye. At last, she was getting somewhere with him. "Now tell me how you do it."

"Uh... I don't really use any special technique, or anything... Some of my friends have done it a lot more than me."

"There are others from your universe with this capability?"

"Oh, sure! Everybody does it there! Well, not everybody, but most people have done it at least once, I think. Except priests and people like that."

Kodachi tried to hide her amazement. A whole world full of people able to travel to different realities? Why had she never heard of this before? "You will give me a step-by-step description of how you do it," she said. "Then you will demonstrate for me."

"Uh, okay, if you say so." George started whispering some things into Kodachi's ear.

"NOT THAT, YOU IDIOT!!!!" She struck him upside the head with a gymnastics club, a disgusted expression on her face.

"I'm afraid that you'll have to be Turtle food, then," she said tauntingly. "I'll just leave you hanging here until Mr. Turtle is good and hungry." The sky was rumbling. Good. Maybe being forced to hang out in the rain would make him come to his senses, He would eventually offer her the secret to cross into his reality. He *had* to think of that eventually; he couldn't be *that* dense, could he? Then the Black Rose would have access to other dimensions. Who knows what she might find in some of them?

Of course she wouldn't actually feed a human being to her pet. Though the idea *was* amusing, and it was likely that he wouldn't be missed, at least not in *this* universe... Kodachi laughed loud at the thought.


A loud, jubilant laugh came from the Tendo bathroom. "HAHAHAHAHA!!!"

Ranma went to investigate, finding a naked Ryoga in the tub. "What the heck are you doin', ya jerk?" Ryoga responded by playfully splashing water at Ranma, turning him into a her.

"Why'd you... hey, waitaminit!" Ranma looked at Ryoga for a second and noticed his condition, then noticed the cool temperature of the bath water. "You're cured!?"

Ranma thought for a moment as he turned the hot water on himself. "Oh, I get it. It was that dumb box, wasn't it.... Don't get too excited, Porky. The ghoul said that whatever that thing does is only temporary."

"I don't care! I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!" Ryoga splashed Ranma a second time, turning him female again.

Ranma stormed out of the bathroom, into the kitchen to heat up a kettle of water. "Stupid, good-for-nothing..."

Akane poked her head into the kitchen. "Are you talking about P-chan? Have you seen him? Is he back? I'm so worried about him!"

"Uh, no, I meant somebody else. I ain't seen P-chan. He'll turn up eventually, I guess, he always does. But he ain't gonna be sleepin' in your bed tonight." Hah. Tough luck, Ryoga, you jerk. Like they say, he who wins shall lose.


"No, I've not seen darling Ranma today, brother dear," Kodachi said. "I would expect him to be at the home of that horrid Akane."

"He was not present when I visited there earlier today," Tatewaki replied. "I thought it to be he with whom you conversed out in the yard. No matter, I shall find him! For what he has done this time, Saotome shall pay!"

"It was not Ranma, dear brother. Merely some miscreant intruder whom I dealt with."

"Someone dared trespass in the Kuno home? I shall demonstrate to him the error of his ways!"

"Splendid idea, brother. Right this way." She led him through the wet shrubbery toward where she had tied up the boy. Perhaps the much vaunted Blue Thunder could loosen up the young fool's tongue. And if the boy were to reveal any secrets, Tatewaki would not have the necessary vision or imagination to exploit them the way that she could.

To Kodachi's surprise, it was an empty rope that hung down from the tree. Her prisoner had escaped. How? And his clothes were lying in a pile beneath the tree. Was he now running around naked?

She noticed something concealing itself in the brush. Her gymnastics ribbon quickly flashed, and she fished out a black shape. It was a dark, frightened animal -- one that she had seen before.

"You! What are you doing here?" she asked indignantly.

"Bu-kee!" came the reply.