Started: June 25, 2004
Last Update: September 10, 2004
Disclaimer: Many characters used in this story were not originally conceived by the author. Ranma ½, 3x3 Eyes, and various other works of literature and art are used. This work is not for commercial use. I appeal to Copyright Fair Use in keeping this work legal; as such, I consider it fair use for you (whoever you are) to use any original characters or settings in derived works, should you choose to write one. Void Contract may be archived.
The disclaimer above applies to Void Contract as a whole and to each individual chapter of Void Contract. Should a chapter be posted seperately from the gestalt, the disclaimer must be posted with it.
sometimes a little Dark, sometimes a little Humor
Rating: R – lime, cussing/insults, gruesome bloody battles
Plot Summary: (Divergence)
(WARNING: Summary contains a few spoilers.)
Nine months before going to the Tendos for the first time, Ranma saves Sanjiyan Parvati III (3x3 Eyes) from a demon while in Hong Kong. However, he is soundly defeated and severely beaten by said demon; death is inevitable, even for a man of Ranma's caliber. However, Parvati's magic restores him to health, and she has only one magic that allowed her to do so: she steals his soul and turns him into her immortal Wu. Before he wakes up and thanks her, she is carted off to jail due to misunderstandings. She never learned Ranma's name, but that will be rectified.
Genma insists advanced training in the art in response to the attack, and unseals his forbidden Yamasenken and Umisenken. On the next day is yet another demon encounter... and another girl... and a few agents with black suits and a neuralizer... all of which find themselves to be pawns involved in a great Chinese conspiracy. Will Ranma's newfound powers and Genma's advanced skills have the strength to overcome these trials in China? And how will being forged in these Chinese fires change Ranma?
The first "book" takes place during Ranma's time in China, starting about nine months before he returns to Japan in canon Rumiko Takahashi. The story begins with Ranma recovering from an attack.
My head pounds. The crisp sounds around me are muted to a dull roar; a car honking, people talking, the drum of light rain on metal all fade into white noise. I take a deep breath and hear some of my ribs shifting against the strain.
A muffled voice asks me something in sweet, dulcet tones. Insistent light probes my closed eyes, seeking a way in.
I open my eyes slowly, and immediately regret it. White pain lances my brain. I bring one of my hands up to cover my eyes... or at least I attempt to; I hiss as pain shoots from my arm and makes the incessant throbbing in my head even worse. I squint my eyes and try to turn away from that stray sunbeam which conquers the clouds above.
I briefly try to remember why I'm on the ground. I must have been in a fight... that is the usual reason I get hurt. I feel as though I lost, badly. Oddly, though, I can't remember anything of the actual fight. Well, there is a vague memory of a dragon and a frog, but nothing that makes any sense. That must be a dream.
A shadow moves across my eyes, for which I was quite grateful, and I look up to vaguely see the outline of a figure kneeling near my head. I blink twice, trying to bring it into focus.
"Are you alright?" the figure above me asks, sounding concerned and very female. She has a very nice voice. Slowly the sounds around me return to normal, and I find myself staring into the violet-blue eyes of an attractive young Asian girl with reddish-brown hair, about my age, wearing some dirty brown clothes and a look of concern.
Around me I hear footsteps and see the polished shoes and slacks of people going about their business. A few people had stop, probably to gawk at my condition.
I force my pained visage into my trademark confident smirk. "Of course I'm -" cough! "- okay?". A ferrous taste filled my mouth and a few small bits of red (blood?) paint the forehead and cheek of the girl above me.
She doesn't even flinch; instead, the girl smiles, all concern gone from her face. "Oh! Good! Then I'm glad you're alright! I wanted to thank you for saving me!"
I twist my head slowly, painfully, and look to see why my chest hurts so. Cough! cough! More blood fills my mouth. "Say," cough! "is that a pipe sticking through my-" cough! "chest?" I painfully begin to inhale. A strange bubbling sound is heard from my chest and throat.
The girl turns to look at the pipe, still smiling. "Why, yes! Do you want me to pull it out for you?" Before I can protest, she reaches to grab the pipe, and uses it to leverage herself to a standing position, and immediately jerks on it in an attempt to pull it out. She frowns briefly when that doesn't work.
"It's stuck," she complains. Then her eyes brighten. "I know!" Her smile returns as she begins to wrench the pipe back and forth, up and down, ignoring my protesting screams.
"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" I cry out in a vain attempt to make my discomfort known to the oblivious sadist above me. Up. My rib cracks against the pressure. Down. My spleen is punctured by large fragments of rib. Left. My back slips a disk as it is twisted. Right. Sweet darkness steals my eyes and my pain.
I hear one more thing before the darkness steals my ears.
"Get up, boy!" a familiar voice hisses at me. It is obvious he wants to shout, but is keeping his voice down for some reason.
I grunt, then turn over, sure that I'm dreaming, or at least that I want to be. Or maybe it was a nightmare... something about a giant frog demon and a sadistic girl with a pipe. Perhaps waking up is a good idea. On the other hand, I feel like I'm in a bed, and it's very comfortable. I consider the possibilities for a moment with my eyes closed.
I feel a large, calloused hand grab my ankle and then find myself flying. Out of habit, I yawn loudly; my throat tightens, my lungs expand as much as they can, and my ears pop, relieving a pressure I wasn't even aware existed. I stretch my arms and legs, then open my eyes and look around.
I'm outside a tall city hospital, at night, and rather naked except for a sheet that managed to get carried out with me. And, I'm falling fast... although I still have several stories to go before I'd meet the ground. Acting quickly, I wrap the sheet around my waist for modesty, then prepared to break my fall.
After I land, I roll to a stop, then stand and look up in time to be hit in the face with something soft. It's one of my gis, and smells clean. Above, a portly bald man with glasses and dressed in a white gi zips up his backpack before he lands next to me.
"Well, get dressed boy! We've got training to do!"
"Baka Oyaji! You just want to skip paying the hospital bill!"
The taller man glares down at me. "Respect your father, boy. There is a lot of training to do. You aren't even injured; what in the many Chinese hells were you doing in the hospital anyways? And in the intensive care ward, no less?" His eyes narrow briefly. Then they widen and he chuckles. "Sure, boy, you may pay your hospital bill after we complete training. Just go back in and leave your name."
I consider this. I don't even have a job, and it might take months to pay even if I did. Also, it is true that they don't have my name. Maybe skipping out on the hospital bill has its merits. Besides, if I wasn't injured, then why was I in there in the first place? They have no right to charge me like that.
"No time for that, Pop. We must start training immediately!"
The doors to the hospital open and two security guards stepped out with flashlights. They shout something Chinese in our direction. The nearer of the two turns his light towards us. Spotting my old man and me, he shouts, " Halt! "
I've heard that word plenty often.
"Then let's start with a little running, boy! Here!"
A large pack lands in my arms.
"I'll get you this time, Pops!" I jump up towards him from a nearby building, and charge towards him to execute yet another a small flurry of punches and kicks. Sweat from hours of exertion flies from my hands as I swing in vain.
The old man blocks a few and dodges most of the rest.
"You're slow, boy, and weak! Don't slack off! You've been resting on your laurels far too long. It is time you advance in the art." With that, the stout fellow is suddenly outlined in a faint, but visible, bluish aura, and promptly begins to beat me to a pulp.
He's done this a half-dozen times already.
Slam! Smack! Thud! My head bounces off the concrete after my pop's blows move around and through my desperate guard. I kick myself back to my feet, only a little woozy.
I defend as best I can against the relentless onslaught, but Oyaji's punches and kicks are coming in harder and faster than ever. A fourth and fifth blow make it through my guard, pummeling me into the ground. Again. How is my pop defeating me so easily? I usually at least stand a chance. Then again, he usually holds back. Now he's just making it obvious.
What is that blue aura? Is that ki? The old man had talked about ki before, but I thought it was just some mystical nonsense like curses and demon frogs. Has the old man has been holding out on my training? I grow angry at that thought.
"I'll get you yet, old man!" I step in for a strike.
The old man smirks proudly as a glint of glowing red reflects off his glasses, and dodges the strike. "Not until you can do this conciously, you won't!" With that, the aura he held shines brightly visible, and he strikes me in the chest. I fly back, bouncing twice off the concrete before sliding to a stop. Ouch.
I lie on the rooftop a few seconds to recover my breath, and the old man approaches haughtily. As he gets closer, I sit up and wipe some sweat off my brow with my forearm.
At this moment, a few stray rays from the rising sun catch us, just a little earlier than the rest of Hong Kong. We are atop one of the taller buildings. Sunrise; we've been fighting since I was tossed out that window almost six hours ago.
"What's that, boy!" Pop points a finger at my head... or maybe at something behind it.
"Huh? I'm not falling for that trick again, Pop!"
"No! What is that marking on your forehead?"
"Unless it's a bruise, I'm not sure what you are talking about, old man!" I glare up at him.
He glares back. "Let me look at that!" He steps up and grabs my head with his two hands; I fight it briefly, but then calm down as he lifts my bangs with his warm, sweaty hand. Apparently there really is something on my forehead.
"So, what is it?"
"It looks like writing, son." He rubs it a bit. "This had better be temporary. You didn't go out and get a tattoo yesterday, did you, boy?"
"Of course not!" I snort at the ridiculous thought. "What does it say?"
"It isn't Japanese, boy, but I'm betting it just says 'baka' in another language. What did you do yesterday? You shouted something and took off, and I find you in a hospital twelve hours later!"
"I can't remember."
"Don't give me that, boy! At least tell me what you went chasing after!"
"I can't remember!" I shout. I'm more irritated at my own inability to remember than by my father's nagging. All I remember is waking up with a weird dream and promptly being tossed out a window; the dream was something about giant frog demons and a sadistic girl with a pipe... and I'm sure pop doesn't want to hear about those.
Besides, dreaming about a sadistic girl makes me a little uncomfortable; there is no way I'm getting into a relationship where I'm abused on a regular basis and where the other party enjoys nothing more than my own pain and suffering. I glance at my father. Okay... I'm not getting into ANOTHER relationship like that.
"Aha!" Oyaji exclaims. "I'm betting you spotted a bar and drank alcohol until you couldn't see straight. Then, in your drunkenness or some other foolishness, you allowed yourself to be convinced you want a tattoo. Then you were somehow stupid enough to get it on your forehead, of all places, and for it to be writing, not even in Japanese, instead of a cool picture of some sort. Foolish boy! If you're going to get drunk and get a tattoo, at least get it done right!" Upon saying this, the old man ripped open his gi, displaying a disgusting amount of flab and a grotesquely deformed panda tattoo on the left side of his belly.
"Ewwwww." I tore my eyes away from the thing. It was like looking at roadkill panda. It is obvious the tattoo looked horrible even before pop put on a few pounds.
"Or... or, is it possible you lost a martial arts drinking contest? To think one of my own flesh and blood would do such a thing!" Pops bawls his eyes out for a few moments. Then he shouts, "I know! We can get another tattoo over that one, to disguise it! I wouldn't stand for my son having 'BAKA' written on his forehead in any language. What to do? A phoenix? A dragon? An underwear chasing troll?" The man's girth shudders a bit. "I wonder if they have the equivalent of whiteout for tattoos? What will Nodoka think!" He begins bawling again.
Actually, some of those ideas don't sound too bad! My old man may be onto something. Who is Nodoka? Well, I want to move on. "I'll just cover it for now, pops; if it is one of those temporary tattoos, I don't want to get a real one to disguise it before it goes away! If not... we'll see."
The old man stops bawling immediately, and his eyes are completely dry as he looks at me seriously. "Yes, boy, that may be for the best. For now, let's get back to training. You must improve today, for you have no idea what kind of demons you might encounter tomorrow!"
Giant frog demons? I almost ask.
My stomach growls loudly.
"Hungry, boy? A real martial artist can go days without food! However, I'll allow you to take a break for a while."
I roll my eyes. There have been plenty of times I went days without food... enough that I'd never do it voluntarily.
My old man takes a seat next to me, and gazes towards the sunrise, as though contemplating it. After a little over nine years of travel, I've grown long used to these rare moments of comfortable silence between eating, sleeping, and taunting or nagging each other, so for a little while I just sit next to him.
After a few minutes passed, the expected happens; the old man's stomach growls as loudly as my own had, and he stands up saying, "That was long enough, boy. A martial artist has got to feed his body, you know. Let's eat."
We both stand up and began to reverse our path to where we left the pack when the fighting started.
Far below the roof of that building, a paperboy makes his rounds and drops off the newest Chinese tabloids.
- Witch kills boy and steals his soul! Exclusive interview! -
A large picture of a young girl shoving a pipe into a young boy's chest appears alongside a clearer picture of her with her arms handcuffed behind her back, being shoved none-too-gently into a police vehicle, while another officer stands near with a long, bloody pipe held in latex gloved hands.
"I was just trying to help him!" she says.
"We plan to try her under the fullest extent of the law, probably attempted murder. Initial prognosis is that the boy will never awaken," says one justice seeking officer.
"I swear it, she has three eyes and the third one stole his soul!" shouts a young ex-salaryman, struggling against his newly fitted straight jacket.
- Aliens fighting in the streets! Exclusive! -
A few fuzzy pictures of a large green blur fighting against a smaller white blur are followed by a couple pictures of the green blur's body parts, cleanly dismembered from their host. Several pieces of the head are grouped together in one picture, and look vaguely like a frog.
To the untrained eye, it all looks fake.
"My house was destroyed in the fight! A bald man cut it in half by shooting something from his arms!" complains one unfortunate lady. A picture of an older woman and her house, which is cleanly cut in two pieces, gives testament to this unlikely fact.
"I'm wondering if that meat is any good," says an opportunistic chef.