Disclaimer: Nothing here belongs to me, and I am gaining absolutely no resource advantage through the creation of this story. Don't sue.
Ranma, Now on PC: Intro
Everything started with a warm, enveloping softness.
Comfort was not routine. It had been over a decade since things had been otherwise, and so some manner of strangeness was afoot.
There was a humming coming from everywhere.
The sound was loud but wasn't masking any other obvious noises. Nothing, and no one, was breathing. No beasts were scurrying about. There was no stream and there were no cars, trains, or sounds of human bustle. All that could be heard was the all-pervasive, ceaseless humming. There was nothing familiar about this, it acted as a warning sign.
The only apparent odour was that of clean laundry.
The human scents of sweat and fire were the most notable omissions, seeing as their absence implied a complete and entirely unfamiliar solitude. There was no powerful soap smell to have disguised or wiped them clean, and wet panda fur was also missing. 'Thank the kami; I really hate that smell!' Still, pleasant lack of panda-stink aside, no one cleaned this thoroughly. 'Hell, I sure don't. Not even Kasumi tries for this.' It also left no hint still as to what manner of oddity could have occurred.
A ceiling materialized from out of what must have been a complete darkness only moments before.
There were softly luminescent panels between unblemished white tiles, and a single, dark monitor directly overhead. At the edges of vision were amassed a multitude of mysterious machines, all connected to bizarre gauges and gizmos by countless cables and cords, some reaching too close to see. On further inspection, a vast majority of them were. This led to a number of pointed questions. 'And why the heck can't I turn my head to see where they go?' An instant passed. 'Why can't I even move my eyes? Can I move at all?' Another moment slipped by. 'I am completely paralysed; why don't I care? Was I drugged again?'
The custom system boot completed. Input/Output device functionality tests returned positive results. All data ports, wireless, and A/C power connectors were in proper working order. Memory partitioning and allocation were restructured according to input from 'Father', and free of corrupted sectors. Mobility components were engaged, and in excellent repair, with minimal friction and full range of motion. The power button was disassociated from shutdown and energy saving modes.
Jolted by the rapid influx of alien information, the bed's occupant shot up into a sitting position, drawing the first breath since waking. Rather than using the new-found mobility to investigate the surroundings, her attention was focused on something much closer to home. "Aww, man, I'm a girl." Something else was off. Namely, the girl she was. "Where'd most of my breasts go!" A brief pause was taken to process the incongruity of the last two complaints, but since the first was familiar and normal, the second earned greater attention.
Attention shifted slightly to the incredibly long, silky, blonde hair covering much of her front. She was sure it had been red, and much, much shorter. It had certainly not been worn loose. It was only partially covering an obscenely frilly, cool, and sheer black, lacy nightgown. With a disappointingly adorable roar, she tore the covers from her bed and whipped her head, long hair, and dozens of wires about searching for the person to blame. "Alright, ya old perv, I'm gonna kick your ass once and for all this time!" Her tirade was halted as she traced some of the wires back to where they attached with her tiny, dextrous fingers. Panic set in when she discovered they plugged into her head. A frantic moment's pulling and tearing found her free of the connected cords.
She was also made aware that all her ports were free of external connected devices and that her housing could safely be closed. The last was just too much, and she stood ramrod straight, arms at her sides, glaring at the most obtrusive machine she could locate before yelling out with no fear at all, "What the hell is going on here?" She almost jumped out of her skin when the answer was emitted from some panels beside the screen above the bed she'd been lying on.
"Good morning, sleeping beauty, and do not fear. I, Icchan, am here to make everything clear to you." The girl so addressed made a solemn vow to have the amused-looking, dark haired man in a lab-coat currently displayed on the monitor earn his shit-eating grin when she met him in person.
Author's Note: I certainly didn't intend for this to come out so late. I was originally planning to release it around Christmas, with Chapter 7 of APD, but that didn't turn out as hoped. This is more a teaser than anything, but I wanted to get it out there since it's been sitting on my hard drive for so long. Once again, huge thanks to Riniko22 for allowing me to work with this idea.
The pseudo-science premise for how this all is going to work is in many ways contingent on the technologies explored in Angelic Layer. Expect this to be science-fiction in some places.
The story presupposes a darker world than is seen in Ranma 1/2, or even Chobits proper. From the former, Martial Arts Mayhem, and RomCom elements will (hopefully) be imported. From the latter, a whole hell of a lot of focus on the existence and merit of inorganic consciousnesses.
Feel free to leave a comment even on this tiny Chapter, and sorry once again for the long wait on APD 7.