Future Memories - A Circle Closed

  • All characters mentioned from Ranma ½ or Ghost in the Shell are owned by Rumiko Takahashi and Masamune Shirow respectively. This story was written for entertainment purposes only.
  • Thanks to Skuld for the C&C.
  • Author Notes are available for those interested.

As he stepped into the near vacant lot he spotted his opponent. The man was tall, near seven foot, and his arms and legs were near tree trunk in size. In contradiction of most cultures he sported lots of visible augmentation, a sign of either cheap work or someone wanting to intimidate his opponents. Only Kami himself knew what the man was packing in addition to it.

Centering himself, Ranma stopped about twenty feet from the man. There were many reasons why he was here, fighting this fight, but right now one prevailed over all others.

He had been challenged.

Taking a quick glance around to map the lay of the grounds, he finally settled his gaze upon the man across from him and said, "I'm here Chandler, let's do it."

Less then five seconds later he was fighting for his school... his honor...

...and less then a minute after that, his life.

Tosuga paused just long enough to grab a package as he stepped out of the car. Having followed Saotome from his flat, he then jogged the thirty feet to the end of the block and peaked around the corner.

The guy was huge, and so obviously chromed out Tosuga would have been surprised if he didn't qualify as a complete shell conversion. When Saotome and the guy rushed each other he swore while he tried to ready the insurance he had brought, but then paused as both men delivered a fury of punches before Ranma leaped backward.

Shaking his head in amazement Tosuga decided to wait, hoping that his fellow officer knew what he was doing....

He silently cursed his own stupidity while bouncing back a few steps to gain some maneuvering room as combat diagnostics ran the edge of his vision, telling him of the damage.

He hadn't noticed the mini-explosives that ran the length of Chandler's knuckle ridge, and the first hit not only ripped the synthetic skin and muscle sheath of his side all to hell, but also created no less then four stress cracks along the rib guards.

'Okay Ranma,' he thought to himself, 'you now know who he is. Time to take this seriously.'

Centering himself once again, he began to draw upon the tiny amount of ki still within him, and then launched another attack. As he moved in he watched as Chandler used the massive muscle augmentations he had to try and once again match Ranma's speed.

This time, however, Chandler just wasn't fast enough.

Careful to avoid the massive knuckles headed for his body, Ranma twisted inside of them and delivered a couple of punishing blows to the large man's chest and groin areas. Then ducking under a retaliatory strike he spun, ending up behind the man to deliver further punishing blows, this time focusing more on damage then speed.

Funny thing about his ki. With almost no 'life-energy' any longer Ranma had found himself with an almost non-existent ki to draw upon. Many things, like the Tenshin Amaguri-ken and the Mouko Takabisha, were no longer within his ability. Over the last couple of years, however, he'd learned how to manipulate the environment around him in tiny ways, giving him that extra edge when he needed it.

Like reducing wind resistance.

Or an extremely limited Bakusai-ten-ketsu.

Focusing down to a single point he jabbed his finger into Chandler's back to see a chunk of the cyborg's plate armor half crumble half explode under the impact, then jumped backward to avoid the mule kick that was thrown at him.

Spinning in place Chandler screamed in anger, and Ranma watched as a gun port snapped open on the man's chest. Again swearing at himself for making stupid assumptions he moved, trying to evade the twenty-five millimeter cannon rounds that sought him out.

With a mutter of "School of Flying Stone Fist my ass," Tosuga readied the anti-personnel rocket and began to take aim. His surprise was complete when he felt the weapon almost literally ripped out of his hands before he could fire.

Stumbling aside he frantically reached for his gun before the sight of the Major registered on him.

Stuttering a "Wha-" he then noticed Batou, Ishikawa, and a half dozen others standing around. Totally confused at this point he looked back to the Major for an explanation, only to find her attention locked on the battle happening across the street.

Eventually she raised her voice and spoke.

"Okay people, this is it. I want you all to watch this close, DAMN close, cause you're about to see a redefinition of the word 'Good'."

Wincing at the tenth cannon round exploded across his back, tossing him to the ground, he scrambled back to his feet only to hear a snarl. Turning towards Chandler, even as details of the bloody hole in his back scrolled past, he watched as the gun port snapped shut. Muttering "Anything goes damn it," he then moved in.

Once again concentrating on speed he snaked his body in past the striking hands and feet to deliver a double kick to Chandler's chest, rocking the cyborg backward, while he dropped his anti-IR smoke grenade. Moving to his left as the smoke enveloped the both of them he threw a couple of mental circuits and activated the global radar system, then suddenly changed direction.

Watching the virtual image of Chandler smash the concrete of the spot he SHOULD have been standing in he set himself before delivering a devastating front kick into the side of the man's knee joint, causing the metal reinforcements there to screech and pop as the stress being put on them proved to be more then they could handle.

Jumping even as Chandler fell Ranma landed on the other's shoulders and immediately drove a fist right into the top of his head. The slight dent he caused wasn't worth the vicious body shot that launched him into the wall of an abandoned building.

Pulling himself from the rubble he deactivated the GRS and stood to the sight of Chandler limping out of the dissipating smoke cloud, an insane look of pure hatred twisting what little facial features the man had left. Uncaring, Ranma fell into his classic offensive stance, and waited.

Hearing Chandler whisper, "Going to fuck you up good," he watched as the man's immense arms suddenly split along a previously invisible seam line resulting in two sets of arms. Noting that only the upper arms maintained possession of his hands, he nodded to himself in acceptance as the six-inch saw blades attached to the lower arms started to scream.

Time to up the ante.

Now only able to witness, Tosuga did just that as the insane fight between Saotome and that... that MONSTER continued. He watched as Saotome dropped the previously concealed grenade, a neat trick considering the fact that he was wearing black kung-fu pants and matching short-sleeved shirt, and disappeared into the smoke. Seconds later he watched as Saotome shot out of the cloud to crash into the wall, and that damned THING come out after him.

He almost sighed in relief when he heard Batou say, "Um... Major?"

"Batou, Ishikawa, did either of you ever dig a little when we were given Saotome's profile early last year?"

"No." "No Major."

"Let me tell you then. Saotome Ranma, age 21, born March 3rd 2001, MALE. Was tagged for observation at age 16 due to supremacy of hand-to-hand martial combat. Some of the things they claim to have seen... well... I'll believe it when I see it. Other crap... let's just say the Japanese have wonderful imaginations. One thing, however, was made painfully clear."

Glancing at Tosuga she said, "Saotome NEVER gives up."

Then glancing back to the fight she added, "And when it counts, he DOESN'T loose."

Rushing the limping form before him, he flexed his fingers in preparation, and then dived into the hydra of steel arms. Twisting and wrenching his body in ways it wasn't designed to Ranma climbed his way up and over his opponent before using his back as a springboard to put some distance between them once again.

Rolling to his feet he turned just in time to see the six coin-sized magnetic grenades that he'd just placed on Chandler blow. Fist size holes were blown in the man's chest, back, and shoulder, while one of the buzz saw arms skidded across the pavement. Unable to help himself he then grinned at the injured behemoth and with a gesture taunted him to come forward.

With a howl Chandler charged him, the three remaining arms working in perfect unison in an effort to tear the person who'd caused him pain into pieces. Pushing for speed once more Ranma ducked, blocked, and wove his way around the attack while looking for a good opportunity.

Unfortunately, Ranma has never been known for his luck.

Stumbling for a split second as he landed on an uneven piece of concrete he failed to completely dodge the downward slash of the saw blade, and found himself with critical warnings flashing in his retina as he was opened from waist to calf along one leg. Throwing up his arms in a cross-block Chandlers fist powered into his, the knuckle explosives damaging his arms while blasting him a dozen feet or more backward.

Overriding internal damage controls he pushed himself back to his feet only to be grabbed by one arm and hoisted into the air. Fumbling for a second he twisted as Chandler screamed, "Die you little shit!" and then shot the man in the elbow joint with a 6 gauge zip gun, locking the joint and destroying the circuits and wiring that ran through it.

More damage and joint stress warnings flashed as he back flipped several times for some maneuvering room, and then paused as Chandler suddenly stopped screaming. Watching closely he wasn't disappointed as another gun port opened up in the man's damaged chest. Instead of another autocannon, however, he found himself facing a fast approaching rocket-propelled grenade.

Time slowed as the grenade sped towards him, and he found himself gathering every bit of ki left to him in one desperate attempt. Reaching outward with his left hand he focused everything into a cushion, soft yet undeniable, millimeters beyond his fingertips. Ever so gently, in the space of less then a single second, he nudged the incoming explosive 45 degrees off course.

The concussive force as the RPG hit a dumpster behind him, coupled with the sudden and intense mental fatigue of his efforts, almost dropped him right there. Taking a few precious seconds to steady himself he looked up to see Chandler just standing there, staring at him.

Straightening up he began a slow walk towards the man while saying, "Now we end this."

Tosuga continued to just stand there, mouth agape in shock, at what he'd just seen. There was no way, NO WAY, a person could just swat aside an incoming rocket. It just wasn't possible.

And yet....

Hearing a quiet chuckle he turned to see Batou say, "Well Budda's left nut." A sudden grin on his face the big man then asked, "Hey Major, haven't you tangoed with Saotome?"

Before any comment could be made, however, Ishikawa suddenly said, "Uh... Batou? Aren't you doing hand-to-hand qualifications with Saotome this Friday?"

Everyone turned for a second and watched as the blood drained from Batou's face.

"Fuck that... I'm calling in sick."

Redlining half of his remaining movement systems Ranma charged. Just outside of Chandler's reach he suddenly crouched while dropping an anchor, then from all fours jumped to the man's left. Ducking under the saw blade he continued to circle his opponent, an insufferable smirk on his face that he used to taunt his opponent into a frenzy of action.

After playing for near two minutes, and circling the now mindlessly enraged person in front of him three times, he found himself wanting to attempt the Hiryuu Shouten-ha. Resisting the impulse, and knowing what little effect it would have, he instead drew an auto-reel from somewhere on his person and attached the monofilament line that he'd been laying down to it. Hitting a button he watched at the lines snapped taunt around Chandler's legs, causing the man to fall.

Jumping on top of the man he scrambled about before leaping off, again just in time as four more magnetic grenades, his last, went off.

And it was over.

Casually walking up to the now three quarter amputee he crouched down next to the man face.

"You know Chandler, I've been wanting to meet you for some time now. You've this nasty little habit of killing off the people you challenge."

Leaning closer he then whispered, "One of those people was a friend of mine."

Rising to his feet he snapped his arm, and a solid eighteen- inch iron spike appeared in it. A grim expression now on his face, he raised him arm and-

"You can stop right there, Saotome."

Blinking, he looked up to see the approaching group of people.

"It's finished, Saotome." Stopping a dozen feet away from him the Major then added, "Chandler's finished. He will be arrested, convicted for the murder of the martial artists that he's killed, and sentenced."

Glaring at her as fury, anger, and hate warred across his face, he once again raised his arm.

"Hara Toshio, Noda Masayuki, Okada Yoji-"

Thrusting downward the iron spike penetrated Chandler's chest, ripping through the steel rib bands and tearing through the organic storage cavity... and just missing the spinal column.

"-and Kuno Tatewaki, may you rest in peace."