Only A Moment

  • All characters mentioned from Ranma ½ are owned by Rumiko Takahashi, while plot and background belong to Project Hack. This story was written for entertainment purposes only.
  • Thanks to Nuriko for all the feedback.

Shutting the door behind her she took a deep breath, and then crossed the room, taking a moment to hit the power button on the customized computer system. Smiling as she sat down she was greeted with the following:

Operating System

A moment later she was donning her virtual reality headset while also fitting the gloves that she had special ordered onto her hands. Hitting a key she transferred the keyboard controls to the gloves, and with a flick of her wrist she logged into the system.

She only had a short time...

Phasing in next to a gate within her favorite server, she took a moment to take in her appearance.

Her profile depicted a slender six-foot human woman, ivory skin in stark contrast with the ankle length black hair that was pulled together into an elaborate braid. She was wrapped in a traditional kimono and obi, white with cherry blossoms, and in her right hand she held a naginata, two and a half feet of curved blade joined to a near five-foot black pole.


She had spent a lot of time getting her profile image just the way she wanted it. Months of game play, quests, and favors exchanged with certain staff members, all done in the tiny bites of time that she had. Eventually, she had gotten it all.

Now, off to see Granger...

"Okay, four suits of leather armor, six long swords, three glow cubes, two buckler shields, and five backpacks. In trade I'll take three purple eggs and the rainbow wand."

"What? I don't think so. How about two purple eggs OR the rainbow wand... I went through a lot of trouble to get that thing."

"Hey now! These might be basic items, but there is a lot of stuff here, and I spent the time to make it myself instead of just buying it from a merchant. They'll last longer because of it, especially the glow cubes!"

She almost laughed. Granger was a good person to do business with, and the dwarf made some of the best in basic adventuring supplies within The World. Watching his show of grumbling was just an added bonus of the experience.

"Okay, how about ONE purple egg and the rainbow wand?"

He crossed his arms and muttered, "Remind me again WHY I do business with you?"

"Because everyone has dirty laundry." Then with a grin she added, "Oh, and I think you called me 'cute' once too."

Throwing his hands into the he cried out, "WHY ME?!?"

The exchange done, she reached for a scroll...

The teleport dropped her exactly where she wanted to be, near The Pit, but not actually in it.

Glancing around she took in the various new players that inevitably ended up hanging out here. It was a popular spot, neutral, that was well known for trading and finding possible party members to go exploring with. Of course, other more experienced players, like her self, sometimes used that to their advantage.

Spotting a group of four individuals that were conferring away from the others, she smiled. Taking sure strides she approached while asking, "Hello. You look a little lost, do you need some help?"

She watched as they turned towards her, pulling back as if to defend themselves, and she approved. Player killers, those who preyed on other players instead of the creatures provided within The World, were common here.

"I think we'll be okay," the female elf said. The others all nodded in agreement.

Smiling she said, "Of course. Sorry to intrude." She turned, took three steps, and then turned back once again.

"Oh, I was wondering, I have some extra gear that I don't need anymore. Would any of you have a use for it?"

You never know when you might need a friend...

She sensed, more then heard, the movement to her left as she hurried along to her next meeting.

By throwing herself sideways the large two-handed sword missed her, though it also opened her up for a follow-up attack, which her opponent took full advantage of. The winding three cut combo both disarmed her, and also cut off her best possible route of retreat.

With a laugh the large ogre leveled his sword at her while saying, "Ha! I don't know what Quinta was bitching about, but you are going to be an easy takedown."

Her reply, however, was just simply a snort. Did this fool think he could take her down? No. Dozens of hours of painstaking training, coupled with the generations of warriors' blood within her, would not stand for it.

With a practiced snap of her wrists she equipped the fourteen-inch wrist blades that she had stashed in her kimono sleeves, one of the many special features of the clothing that she had so laboriously cultivated. The look of momentary surprise on her opponents face was gratifying... was stepping over his prone body ten seconds later. Crouching down she drove the lethal weapons into his body once more, leaving them there until she finally saw the color begin to bleed off of his corpse, it's eventual lapses into grayscale a well known sign of player death. He would have to wait now until someone resurrected him, and then begin the long journey back to gather his belongings.

She hoped he found it educational.

It was a peaceful spot, quiet and unobtrusive, while also offering a spectacular view of the countryside below. The view, however, was not why she had come here.

"Still beautiful, and lethal, as ever my lady?"

Turning she watched as the diminutive form of a halfling exited a concealing bush nearby, his slender form a mass of leather and buckles with various knives and hand axes hanging off of it. Smiling she said, "It is good to see you too, Motter."

With a sigh the small man sat down on the grass and asked, "And how long will you stay this time?"

A wistful look on her face she murmured, "Only a moment, Motter. Just like any other time, only a moment."

He nodded, spending a moment to gaze across the landscape, before saying, "I miss our time together, when you were new, still learning the game. I... I've missed your company lately." Then turning, he looked intently at her and asked, "Do you... do you think we shall ever meet? Outside of here? Out there, in the real world?"

She looked at him, and finally made herself smile. "Maybe, someday. You never know. Things happen on occasion."

He looked away, back at the scenic view, before suddenly jumping to his feet, his classic Cheshire grin on his face once again.

"Well then, I guess we should get going. Have you given any thought about that position you were offered with the temple guard?"

A grin of her own graced her visage as she said, "I don't have time for fancy politics or grand schemes, Motter. You know that, better then anyone..."

Smiling as Motter disappeared in the distance, she glanced about to confirm her seclusion. That confirmed, she ducked into the run-down house next to her, pausing just inside to confirm that the skeleton which occasionally lurked here was already dead, before continuing towards the back and into the kitchen.

Stepping inside she took in the rooms occupants with a glance, and smiled as she noted that everyone had been able to make it for once.

A human warrior, an elven assassin. An orc thug, and a human priest. And the, now, master elementalist. Some of the best player killers on The World, and THE best that frequented this server.

And they all briefly bowed to her.

"How are things going with the Assassins Guild, and Quinta?"

The orc laughed and said, "Ready to burst in sheer aggravation, my lady. Between taking down the whiny brat, in addition to stopping six kill attempts-"

"Seven. They are finding me quicker these days, I need to change my travel patterns a bit."

"-seven attempts," he corrected himself with a toothy grin, "I think everyone is just about ready to drop him and start business with us once more, regardless of our rates."


And so Clan Jin'ei, HER clan, continued to thrive.

With a sigh she pulled the headset off, and began the shutdown sequence as she carefully removed her gloves. Glancing at the time she noted that she been immersed for almost ninty minutes, almost a record for her these days.

She used to be able to play for a couple of hours, almost every day, but now contended herself with just a short trip whenever she had a spare moment. They were becoming more and more infrequent, however.

"Kasumi? Where are you?"

Raising her voice she said, "In my room, Father. Do you need anything?"

"Er... yes. I'm having some company come over, an old friend of mine, and I was wondering if we had anything to offer for refreshments..."

Covering the system with an anti-static sheet she answered, "I don't know, Father, but give me a moment and I'm sure I could come up with something."

She listened as her father began to sniff aloud, muttering how happy he was with her, with all the help and work she put into the house. Shaking her head sadly, she left for the kitchen, taking familiar steps down into her plain and domesticated life.

At least, until her next free moment....