Disclaimer: Neither Mid-Boss nor I own Ranma ½ which belongs to Rumiko Takahashi-san or Star Ocean: Till the End of Time or any other anime that may appear in our story.

"Dialogue"

((Thoughts))

Original characters Ray Yagami belongs to Mid-Boss and Maaya Yamamoto belongs to me, arekuruu-inabikari-no-she

Prologue 3:

The Beginnings of a Journey

The planet Char...

"Ranma?"

"What is it Kasumi?" asked the boy from his sitting position in the middle of the dojo, he just finished a kata and was now resting

"Ryoga's here." replied the girl, standing at the entrance of the building

"Would you please lead him in?"

"Okay, it'll only take a moment." saying this, she left the dojo

After some minutes the eldest Tendo daughter came back in again, this time with Ryoga, who was blushing because Kasumi had to take his arm to lead him to the training hall.

"I'll see you at dinner." said Kasumi and left the two young men alone

"So Ranma, what did you want to talk about?" asked Ryoga, "Kasumi told me that you almost never leave the dojo since our return from Jusendo and Akane's disappearance which was over half a year ago."

Ranma sighed, "Sit down Ryoga, this could take a while."

The Lost Boy complied and Ranma continued, "Ryoga, you know that as fighters we are about equal with the only difference that I'm faster and you have more strength and endurance."

"You're telling me nothing new there. What's your point?"

"From almost all the strong fighters we met in our time in Nerima we're the weakest…"

"Come on, who could beat us here, Kuno, Mousse or maybe those two crossdressing fools…?"

Ranma interrupted him and said forcefully, "I said 'strong' fighters! I meant Herb and his two idiot servants, Rouge, Taro, Saffron, Ray, MY father, Happosai and Cologne… I think you catch my drift."

Ryoga raised an eyebrow at that, "Ranma, you defeated all of them."

"That was all sheer luck…"

"What about Herb?"

"I was lucky that he lost his concentration when he saw the breasts of my girl-form, otherwise I wouldn't have my head anymore. And Mint and Lime are much stronger and faster than you or me."

"This Ray Kumon guy?"

"I would've lost if I hadn't found the scrolls for the Umisenken accidentally and my final technique in that fight only worked because there were enough people around…"

"Taro?"

"It was always a team effort to defeat him. You know that."

"Rouge?"

"I don't think she can be defeated in her cursed form at all if it wasn't for her back problems…"

"What about Saffron? You killed that guy!"

"It was pure luck that the Gekkaja broke so that it got the ability to freeze things and that Akane fell out of my shirt to create the opening for my final attack… nothing I used against him really worked."

"Your father… you beat him up every morning."

"He may be a stupid panda but he did create the Umisenken and Yamasenken techniques from scratch."

"The two trolls?"

"Luck, by both of them…"

"Man… what's with you and this new way of thinking… I bet you could pull of a Shi Shi Hokodan now…"

"That was also the last technique that we learned…"

"What?" asked Ryoga not understanding what his rival meant

"Shi Shi Hokodan and Moko Takabisha… they are the last new techniques we learned and that was almost a year ago."

"From what I heard, you know this 'Umisenken' school?"

"Ryoga, there's a reason why the Senkens are called 'Forbidden Techniques'. You didn't see me using them against Saffron."

"So, what is your point exactly?" asked Ryoga, "That's not everything you wanted to talk about."

"How about a training trip?" replied Ranma, "And I don't mean one where we come back after a few days… I mean a real training trip where we will train for some years without returning back here."

Ryoga stayed silent for some moments and thought about this, he knew Ranma was right but he didn't know if a training trip was such a good idea, at least for him. Akari was waiting and he knew that he would love to live on her farm. On the other side there was his passion for martial arts and his rivalry with Ranma, it wouldn't do if he would fall behind.

"I'll have to decline... Akari is waiting for me and I think I finally found a place where I can settle down." answered Ryoga with a smile on his face

Ranma stared a moment at the Lost Boy and then shook his head, "You always find a new way to surprise me, P-Chan... Oh well... then I have to go on my own..."

"Do you want to find her?"

"Who are you talki...?" asked Ranma confused and then it clicked in his mind, "Oh... her. No, not really. I bet she had her reasons to disappear like that."

"Come on, you killed for her, she must mean something to you."

"It's pretty weird, Ryoga. A few months ago you would have been right... but somehow everyone lost interest in her, even me. I don't know how or why it happened but with every passing day Akane seems more and more like a ghost that flashed through our lives and then faded away without leaving a trace."

"Careful, you almost sound like Kuno." warned Ryoga

"Sorry 'bout that. I couldn't help it."

"What are you planning to do now that I refused?"

"Well... it may sound weird but I think I'm going to leave Char."

Ryoga was a little shocked by this, "Really?! Isn't that a little extreme?"

"I don't think so, who knows what kind of martial arts styles are out there in the galaxy. I heard the Klausian System is pretty popular for its fighters."

"Still... you don't have the money to get a ride on one of the starships. And I really doubt that Nabiki will loan you that much."

"I never would go to Nabiki for money. Not anymore." replied Ranma with a frown

"Then how do you expect to get of this planet?" then the Eternally Lost Boy noticed the expression on Ranma's face, "You're not going to stowaway on a ship, are you?"

"Wow, since when are you so perceptive? Yeah, you guessed right, I plan to sneak on a ship."

"And you don't think that you can be caught by the sensors that are installed?"

"That's what the Umisenken is for."

Ryoga raised an eyebrow at this, "But I thought you wouldn't use them, since they're 'forbidden'."

"Wrong, I'm not going to use them in a fight. I never said something about using them for their original purpose."

"Which is?"

"Well the Umisenken is also called 'Way of the Silent Thief'. Take a guess what it was made for."

Ryoga sweatdropped and let out a groan, "They were created by your father... I should've guessed something like that..."

"True... I still wonder why he sealed them though, normally he's not this morally challenged."

"Anyway, when are you going to leave?"

"Tonight, if nothing gets in the way."

"Hmm... then this is the last time we're going to see each other." stated Ryoga

"At least for a very long time."

"Spar?"

"Spar." answered Ranma with a cocky grin

Outer Space several thousand miles away from Char…

It was dark inside bridge of the Ragnarok as Ray slept on the Captain's chair with a pillow and a blanket. All of the ship's systems were on standby mode with the exception of its scanners in case of any surprise attacks. But Ray was totally oblivious to everything around as he was immersed in his own dreams.

A young woman with short golden hair slowly rose from her sleep and she sat up making sure that the sheets were covering her naked body. The woman looked around and saw a brown haired young man sitting on a nearby chair and cleaning a couple of handguns. Her face frowned a bit and she said,

"Where you going, Ray? Don't tell me that you're going on another job."

"Yeah." was his simple answer

"So you're going to kill again." she asked him, stating it as a fact rather than a question.

"Yeah." was Ray's answer again

The young woman's eyes watered, "When is it going to end, Ray? When are you going to stop killing?"

Ray stopped what he was doing and approached the young woman on the bed, "This is my last job." Ray said he used his right hand to gently caress her cheek, "After this, we can finally get away from everyone."

"But….I have a bad feeling about this, won't you please stay here with me instead?"

"Don't worry about it." he said pulling her into his arms, "I love you, Nina."

Nina just sighed in his chest and said, "I love you too, Ray."

"Nina….."

"Ray…"

WHACK!

"Ouch!" Ray shouted in pain as he bolted straight up from his chair glaring at Maaya, "What the hell's your problem?!"

"We're nearing Char, so get yourself ready." Maaya said already moving towards the door, her job done.

"How long are we staying there?" asked Ray

"Just a quick stop for some repairs and extra supplies." answered Maaya before leaving the bridge

"If things in life were just that simple, I hope my usual luck doesn't hold up." Ray said sighing as he radioed the planet's spaceport

"Nerima Spaceport this is the Ragnarok requesting permission to dock and request for repairs."

Less than a minute later a response came from the spaceport control tower,

"Crew of Ragnarok, this is Nerima Spaceport, permission to dock approved. You're to head Dock # 7, I repeat, Dock #7. Repair crews are standing by waiting for you arrival. The bill for the repairs will be included in the fees."

"Thanks a lot Chief, E.T.A. less than five minutes, over and out." Ray said as he cut the transmission between the ship and the control tower. He stood up from the chair and headed for the exit,

"I'll let you take over from here, Melfina."

"No problem, Ray." the ship's AI responded as Ray disappeared through the door

Later that day...

It was finally late at night, around three in the morning. Ranma was lying awake in his room next to a sleeping panda, he called father. Slowly he stood up and made this way towards the closet where a small pack filled with some spare clothes was hidden, he also put on a black shirt and pants, along with his normal slippers.

The cursed boy slung the rucksack over his shoulders and walked back to Genma, he pulled his father, along with the futon he was lying on, to the side. This revealed a partially broken floorboard, which could be removed; Ranma did that and saw a bag under wooden board.

He found his father's secret stash a few days ago but he never got the chance to see just how much money the panda was hiding. Well, Ranma was very surprised and shocked to see around 25,000 Fol in the container. It wasn't quite enough to buy a ticket for a ship but it was still a huge amount, which Ranma would gladly take.

He was lucky that there was just enough space in his pack left for it to fit in. After all the money was packed away, he found out that there was a letter on the bottom of his father's bag. He took it out and looked from where it came.

((Zoological Garden? What do they want from Oyagi?)) asked Ranma in wonderment and started reading all of it

'Dear Mr. Saotome,

We are glad to tell you that, thanks to your panda's help, our problems have been solved. All of the females have been impregnated, which is almost a wonder for pandas.

In all of my years as director of a zoo I've never seen a male panda so eager to have sexual intercourse and even though it is strange, we are happy for it. If the resulting offspring is just half as active as father, then in a few years the pandas won't be endangered anymore.

... ...' (1)

Ranma had to stop reading after the first too paragraphs, he was feeling too sick to read on. He couldn't believe that his father would do such a thing; it was just too weird.

"Great... I have panda siblings..." stated the cursed boy dryly, "Hmm... I wonder what mom will do, if she reads this letter. Let's find out."

Ranma quickly left the Tendo property and made his way to the port, he was lucky that his mother's house was located in the same direction. The streets were almost empty, with the occasional car passing him by.

In almost fifteen minutes he reached his mother's house, he dropped the letter of his father along with one he wrote himself into the mailbox. Ranma gave the house one last look and disappeared into the night.

From his mother's house it was only another ten minutes before he reached the spaceship harbor. It was the biggest building in all of Nerima, since it had enough space to house around 20 normal ships and 5 battlecruisers.

((That's frickin' town in and on itself...)) thought Ranma in awe of his surroundings

He walked into the port and saw that there were around 7 ships docked. There were only a few people, most probably mechanics that were on night shift. Gradually he checked each spaceship out, careful not to be noticed by the workers.

When he got to the last one, a large heavily customized ship, he noticed that it had been in a battle. The hull had several breaches and around ten men were doing the repairs on it. Ranma guessed that they would be finished in a few hours. When he already began to think that there were too many people to sneak in, his gaze fell onto the elevator to the freight room.

It had been let down on the ground and he saw a brown-haired man and a silver-haired woman talking to one of the mechanics. The man nodded and then yelled to the other workers,

"Hey guys, short break!"

The others shouted cheerfully in response and got away from the ship. The man and the woman from before also walked away and to a nearby bar, where the people working at the harbor could relax.

He also took note that they left the entrance to the freight room open. Ranma used the opportunity that all the workers left the ship to sneak towards the elevator. Once there he jumped into the ship, it had been a very big room, around two and a half times as big as the Tendo Dojo and it was filled with several metal containers. Ranma looked around and saw his rucksack lying near one of the crates.

He walked over to it and picked it up, "Great, I didn't even have to use the Umisenken. Now where should I hide?"

He quickly searched through the hall, all the while avoiding the cameras that were supervising the room. Ranma soon found a ventilation shaft near one of the corners; it was blocked by a grating though. This didn't bother him at all, with a quick pull he ripped it from its place and laid it on the ground.

Ranma placed his pack on the grating and crawled into the shaft feet first, once he was completely finished he pulled his rucksack with him inside. The cursed boy then took the grating and held it against the opening so that it would seem undamaged from the outside.

He sighed, "Now I only have to wait for this thing to leave the planet."

The bar...

It was a run down building full of smoke and the smell of liquor but other than that it was kept pretty clean. It being part of a spaceport of the government may have to do something with it. Ray and Maaya were sitting at the counter; she was drinking a tall glass full of iced jasmine tea, while her partner nursed a bottle of beer.

"Say, did you notice the kid that was looking at the Ragnarok?" asked Ray casually

"Yeah, what about it?" replied the woman, while taking a sip from her drink

"I bet 5000 Fol that he'll cause us some kind of trouble."

"You're on."

"So... why did you want the workers to take a break? I thought we didn't want to stay for long."

"Did you take a look at them? They were working for hours. I don't want those tired guys to ruin my ship."

Ray raised an eyebrow at her statement, "I must have missed something but since when is that your ship alone? I clearly remember that I was the one who bought it. On a side note, if you have noticed most of the workers that were tending to our ship are in here, now you will have drunken and tired men repairing our ship."

"... Okay, I haven't considered everything when I gave them the break but they're professionals, I doubt they'll drink too much, unless they can afford that their employer is being sued by us because they screwed up."

She said it just loud enough for some of the before-mentioned workers to hear it, quickly this message spread through the bar and only a minute later the tavern was missing ten of its customers.

"That was mean." stated Ray

"Hey, it woke them up and they could get a small pause. What else can someone want?" responded Maaya with a smile on her face, "By the way, wasn't it you who plundered my account to get the money for the ship?"

"No, I took your money for the Creation Cannon, that's why you could name it." responded Ray, "I still can't figure out why you gave it the name Halconnen though, it sounds ridiculous."

"I'll have you know that I think the name Halconnen is perfectly fine. It's better than the name you chose for the ship... I mean, who in their right mind would call a ship 'Ragnarok'? I don't even want to know what you would have called the cannon."

"I thought the name Creation Cannon was perfectly fine." replied Ray, copying her earlier statement

"I just think that it is silly to use the word 'creation' in the same sentence as 'cannon'. It doesn't make any sense."

"Why? It's a cannon that uses the power of creation, thus the name Creation Cannon. I don't know what's so complicated about that."

"Do you think I'm an idiot? I know how it works but that doesn't change the fact that the name is ridiculous."

Just in that moment Ray's communicator started beeping. He quickly reached for it and activated the device. Then he held it to his ear,

/ Ray, do you hear me? / asked the familiar voice of Melfina

"What is it?"

/ The silent alarm in the freight room has been activated. The entrance to one of the fake air shafts has been breached. / explained the young woman, / Proceed as usual? /

Ray smiled, 5000 easy earned Fol, "Yeah, wait one or two minutes and activate the sleeping gas. Then send a team to the room and let them check the breach. If someone's there then bring them to one of the cells."

/ Understood. / replied Melfina, already knowing the process, she just wanted to reaffirm, / Over and out. /

"Yeah, yeah... thanks for telling though." he deactivated the communicator and slipped it back into one of his pockets, and then he looked back to his friend Maaya with a very cocky grin but said nothing.

"Breach in one of the fake air shafts?"

"Yup."

"... ...so when do you want your money?"

"You don't have to hurry, one or two hours is long enough." he said while his grin broadened, Ray took a last sip of his beer and stood up, "You can start with paying for my beer. I'll go back to the ship."

He waved and left the bar, leaving Maaya to glare after him, "I hate it when he's right. It makes him so arrogant... at least more than usual."

"Barkeeper, I'm going to pay!" she shouted towards the man on the other side of the counter

He walked over towards her and said, "Do you plan to pay for your friend too?"

"Yeah... here, just take it out of my card." replied Maaya, while hading him her credit card.

"Good, someone's finally paying for his tab. I already thought that I was going to wait for all eternity for this." he shook his head and pulled the card through a machine on the counter

"W-wait a minute? What tab? What're you talking about?"

"Oh... the one about... let's see... 11,000 Fol."

Maaya's face became stone cold and the knuckles of her hands whitened as she clenched them into fists,

"I'm going to kill him."

(1) Ewwww…..taking the word "bestiality" to a whole new level….