I claim no ownership rights to any of the works of Rumiko Takahashi, Naoko Takeuchi, or anything in the GURPS Ogre, GURPS Reign of Steel, and GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol settings published by Steve Jackson Games. Everything else is mine.
And this finally does it for what is simultaneously the first and the second of my two epic storylines — the first, because it was the storyline that pulled me into writing fanfic; the second, because I started writing Ranma, the Naive Succubus first to see if I could actually do this. I may come back to this later, but I may not with all the other stories bouncing around in my mind. As Bilbo said, it's dangerous stepping out your door — road runs into road, and you never know where you'll be swept off to! But wherever that may be, it's been fun.
Thanks so much to everyone for all the reviews!
I know this isn't the epilogues you'd hoped for, Atlan, but for anyone interested, here are my thoughts on the future history of A New Future. They're a little rough, but ought to give some guidance for anyone that wants to play in the same sandbox.
This timeline is primarily a mishmash of GURPS Ogre and GURPS Solar Patrol, with dates and events modified and additions added as required.
1943: The U.S. Department of the Navy decides against funding the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) project.
1945: Budget issues and a management crisis at Bell Labs derail work into improved telecommunication switches. The transistor is never invented.
1956-1964: Humanity struggles to reach the stars, but both Soviet and American efforts to launch and sustain artificial satellites fail. No rocket design proves capable of carrying itself to orbit. The first primitive general-purpose computers appear to help solve rocketry problems, but they cannot fulfill the requirements of the space program.
1998: The "euro" becomes the official currency of the European Union, except in the U.K.
2001: Islamist terrorists fly hijacked airliners into the World Trade towers, the Pentagon.
2005: Claiming economic and security concerns, the European Union annexes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia, and Vojvodina, creating a protectorate. Russian protests are ineffectual.
2009: European Union annexes Balkan nations, when the UN declines to take effective action the US withdraws from the UN, orders it out of the country. Ranma is frozen in girl-form, gains protection from magical influence, and remembers a past life as Princess Usagi's little sister while resisting Happosai's final attack, leaves dojo with Akane. A final cross-dimensional invasion defeated by a combined force of a JNDF unit, Amazon warriors, the Senshi, and fighters from Nerima—Mu Tse and Kuno Tatewaki are killed. Nukes go off in San Francisco, St. Louis, Boston and London (more fail to reach or properly explode in Tel Aviv, Chicago, New York City, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.). UK begins rounding up all perceived Muslim threats. EU protests perceived human rights violations, UK unilaterally withdraws from the EU. US, then world economies collapse, worldwide depression begins. The United States begins withdrawing its troops from Europe, South Korea and Japan. Japan revises its constitution's provisions limiting its military and begins re-arming.
2011: In Japan, engineers working from the theories of Ami Mizuno perfect the ether aperture, a simple device capable of drawing almost limitless energy from the ether of space (magic, actually, but scientists must have their figleaf). A massive earthquake and tsunami seriously damages several nuclear reactors, encourages Japan to adopt new energy source. US begins rounding up and expelling illegal immigrants, locks down southern border.
2012: Formation of the Paneuropean Federation from the European Union, Russia, the Balkans, and other western former Soviet republics. The new nation dissolves NATO. US elects hard-right Republican president.
2013: New US government begins cracking down on internal dissent, Muslims, rounds up millions of illegal immigrants and dumps them across the Mexican border. UK rounds up entire Muslim population and dumps it on the beaches of France. US nukes most of the major cities of the Muslim world and North Korea. China incorporates North Korea, "to maintain order." Paneuropean Federation condemns the US and UK actions, breaks off diplomatic relationships with the US. Canada follows suit, ends cooperation on border. Canada accepts tens of thousands of Muslim refugees from devastated Middle East. Yasuko marries the Crown Prince; she, Akane and their Amazon/ex-Confederate bodyguards prevent assassination attempt at wedding. Outers (minus Hotaru) crush Jade Emperor's spy network in Japan.
2014: Using the ether aperture for thrust, the first space craft is launched by Japan, orbits the Earth before returning to land safely. One successful Muslim cross-border attack across the Canadian border, the US invades Canada, incorporates it into the US. Massive destabilization of Mexico leads to US invasion, incorporation of the country. Massive oil discovery in Venezuela. Within two weeks, Brazil moves in and grabs the country. US protests, begins mobilizing troops as well as Latin American allies. Paneuropean Federation protests, mobilizes troops in support of Brazil. The US invokes the Monroe Doctrine, the two sides begin cold war.
2015: Argentina declares war on Brazil, receives support from the US and allies, Brazil receives support from PF.
2018: The first Japanese spaceship reaches the moon, Japan claims large swathes of the lunar surface. Brazilian War fizzles out with little effect.
2019: The first lunar settlements — optimistically called colonies several years early, are founded.
2020: China invades South Korea, attacks Japan, Vietnam when they and Australia respond by declaring war. Senshi go public and slow invasion of Vietnam to a crawl.
2021: First Japanese ship sent to Mars and Venus. Mars is mostly desert with manmade canals, inhabited by both human and three nonhuman races. Venus is mostly swamps and jungles, inhabited by reptilian Stone Age race. Japan central to the creation of the Union of Pacific States, a new federal government/alliance.
2022: The UPS takes the fight to China directly. With the help of Ryoga, the Senshi locate the hidden lair of the Jade Emperor, take the fight to him and his allies. Without the Jade Emperor pulling the strings the Chinese Communist Party collapses, China fragments into warlordism, sections along the coast join the UPS.
2023: Quebec economy worsens. Protesting "cultural imperialism," Quebec seeks Paneuropean aid to preserve use of the French language in its schools. High-level diplomacy accomplishes nothing; English remains the official US language. Second expedition to Mars, this time under the auspices of the UPS, open diplomatic and trade relations with human city-states.
2025: UPS and Martian allies attacked by Gray Men.
2028: Gray Men defeated on surface, retreat to underground fortresses.
2029: With Mars situation stable, UPS sends expedition to Venus (already semi-occupied at the cooler poles by a small number of private wildcat operators, mostly Australian). Finds reptilian sentient race.
2030: Under increasing pressure to join Paneurope, United Kingdom signs Treaty of Liverpool to formally ally United Kingdom and US for "mutual defense."
2031: Gray Men begin raids on Martian surface.
2032: First asteroid belt colonies founded.
2033: First contact with Jovian system, also inhabited by humans ruled by the Overlord of Jupiter.
2038: Contact is made with an intelligent insectoid species on Venus. Brush wars between the Venusian reptilian and the insectoid sentient races take on a new flavor with the addition of Earth-built weaponry. Smuggling begins to become a serious issue. Venusian Dead Zone discovered, circle of territory within which all electronic communication is lost and from which no airship returns.
2040:The beginning of the Last War between the United States and the Paneuropean Union. Japanese Traditionalists launch attack from secret Moon bases; when defeated, survivors flee towards Saturn.
2041: First ships land on Mercury.
2043: Interplanetary piracy begins to be an issue, Solar Patrol created to combat it.
2047: Combined Martian/UPS military assault and destroy Gray Men underground fortresses, though with heavy casualties.
2048: The Overlord launches attack on asteroid belt, the Venus colonies, and Earth. His forces are spread too thin, defeated in detail.
2049: UPS invades moons of Jupiter, overthrows the Overlord of Jupiter. Collects scientific treasure trove. Begins rebuilding Venus and asteroid belt colonies.
2050: Using technical knowledge discovered in Jovian databases, the first UPS interstellar ship is launched.
2051: Beginning of Paneuropean Civil War. US withdraws recognition of Paneuropean government but offers to honor Second Armistice "by separate negotiation with legitimate national governments."
2052: Paneurope continues to fragment. US military remains preoccupied by unrest at home and secret preparations for South American invasion.
2053: US signs treaties with various Paneuropean successor states, creating puppet governments. US invades Nova Brasilia, meeting unexpectedly heavy resistance from Brasilian and other South American forces.
2054: Overextended US withdraws entirely from South America, abandoning Amazon Combat Zone. France and Ukraine rebel against puppet governments. "Crash of 2054." More rebellions in Europe. In North America, Quebec and northern California rebel. All US troops called home. Some units stationed in Europe refuse, either making common cause with local governments or remaining as independent military overlords.
2055: US collapses into dozens of local governments. Revolutions spread in Europe. UPS peacekeeping forces dispatched to Hawaii, California, Seattle, Santiago, and other US Pacific coast cities, as well as along the Russian Asia coast become centers for re-establishing order.
The future stories I'm thinking of fall into six distinct periods: The Birth of the Earth Federation, Interplanetary Adventures, Interstellar Exploration, The Bug War, The War with the Empire of Jurai, and The Collapse of the Empire.
The Birth of the Earth Federation: This covers the very near future, less than two decades, and has two stories: the marriage of 'Yasuko' to the Crown Prince, and the war with China and defeat of the Jade Emperor.
The first story would be titled The Children of Martha. The title comes from a stanza of the Rudyard Kipling poem in homage of engineers, The Sons of Martha that would start the story:
They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they dam'-well choose.
As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's days may be long in the land.
The story would center around Ranma and Akane's relationship as Ranma makes final preparations for the wedding, the Senshi (except Ami) shutting down their civilian lives so that they can focus on training — individually, together, and in conjunction with 'Yasuko's' new imperial regiment of Amazons and stranded Confederate soldiers — in the years leading up to the China War, and the Jade Emperor and Pluto's Great Game. It has a cameo by Belldandy, when the rest of the gang meets her for the first (and perhaps the last) time.
The second story doesn't have a title (or any beyond the first), but covers the China War. It opens with the first strike across what had been the border with North Korea before China annexed it, with Ranma and Yasuko desperately trying to get the children to the southern Korean coast and safety even as the Senshi fight against invasions of Vietnam and Japan itself. It then covers the creation of the United Pacific States (seed of the future Earth Federation) and taking the war to China and the Jade Emperor.
Interplanetary Adventures: This period is a few decades longer than the first and slightly overlaps it, since Japan didn't allow tense international relations then a desperate war with China to interfere with its first steps into space. It has three stories: Minako's return to Venus, dealing with the Gray Men of Mars, and the war with the Overlord of Jupiter.
The first story has Minako returning to a Venus inhabited by the insectoid and reptilian descendants of the 'demonic' armies that had invaded as Beryl's allies, and were stranded when the gates prematurely closed. She is there with Makoto and one of Ranma's and Akane's sons to investigate a zone where any airship entering vanishes without warning — a zone that seems to be roughly centered on the palace where she grew up in her previous life.
The second story deals with Mars. Mars was hit by three invading other-dimensional armies, the Gray Men (stretching the label 'Men', think the invading aliens of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds), then Green Men (ERB's Barsoom), and the White Apes (also Barsoom, only sentient and better organized with an empire of their own). All four races survived the Fall, but the terraforming of Mars hadn't been complete and has been slowing reverting ever since, with only the massive canals the Red Men (human survivors, also think Burrough's Barsoom, right down to genetically engineered to be oviparous) succeeded in digging before their technological base largely collapsed. The Gray Men live in underground cities, but had started to raid the Red Men cities after Japan established diplomatic and economic relations. Now, an alliance of Red Men city-states, Green Men tribes, and the UPS sets out to deal with the threat from below once and for all.
The third story has Ranma, Akane, and three of their children taking an extended 'vacation' masquerading as a tramp merchant family making a run to the asteroid belt in order to get the oldest of the three away from the court and hopefully salvage her. They didn't expect to be boarded by pirates — and neither they nor the pirates expected to be in almost the direct path of the Overlord of Jupiter's secret fleet as he tries to preserve his own 'sandbox' by devastating Earth and the UPS's colonies on the Moon and Venus.
Interstellar Exploration: Think Star Trek combined with Alien or Predator. When Beryl's invading extra-dimensional armies were stranded, on some worlds they overwhelmed the human inhabitants. On some, the humans managed to defeat them. On yet others, neither managed to defeat the other. On all the worlds, the infrastructure needed to maintain civilization was smashed, sometimes dooming the inhabitants when that infrastructure was needed to maintain life support or grow the crops needed to survive. And not all the invading armies were 'humans in costumes', some were truly alien. So in the centuries following a slowly uniting Earth's return to interstellar space after four millennia, the explorers can never be sure what they will find in each new solar system — ruins on dead worlds, civilizations anywhere from Stone Age to Interplanetary, alien races from almost human to the bizarre, or things that attack in the night or out of the shadows.
I've come up with one story for this era, of the first scout ship sent to another solar system and was the crew (including Ranma and Akane, disguised and along for the ride as journalists) find there — crystal towers that aren't quite as devoid of life as they first appear. Think a combination of the nasties from Barbara Hambly's Darwath trilogy and the Fuzzies from H. Beam Piper's books on the same.
The Bug War: It's been several centuries since Earth moved into space. In that time much of what had been the planets of the Moon Queendom's, colonies, allies and protectorates has been explored, and a loose alliance of starfaring planets has formed with a Senate for talking out differences (like a much-simplified UN) and a Patrol for combating piracy and looking after the smallest independent settlements. But the current system is coming apart under the strain of the question of how to handle colonies — and on the fringes of known space a new enemy is making itself known. The Bugs have found them.
For this setting, think Heinlein's Starship Troopers and David Weber and Steve White's In Death Ground and The Shiva Option. For this story arc I'd generally use the timeline from Hero Games' Alien Wars RPG setting book but the Bugs from the Starship Troopers RPG. The timeline covers around 75-100 years and ends with the defeat of the Bugs and the establishment of the Empire, with its capitol on what had been a depot world on the edge of Bug space, the survivors of the fleet that had put paid to the Bugs for a military, and Usagi for an empress.
I have only the beginning of one story figured for this one, with Akane and Ranma's relationship having hit a really rough spot. Akane's on Earth pursuing an acting career, and Ranma is on the fringe with the children (human and nonhuman) and her lover — on the same planet that the Bugs hit first.
The War with the Empire of Jurai: Another period centuries down the line. By the time the Empire of Jurai reaches the border of the Empire, the Empress Usagi's realm is the largest star nation the Empire of Jurai had ever encountered in its millennia of existence. Even centuries earlier it would have still have consolidated whatever resources were necessary and then some and overwhelmed the Empire in one massive push. But Jurai, always hidebound technologically (a reaction to the destruction of the Moon Queendom and all its allies and many enemies by unknown technology), has been calcifying in other ways as well even as the infighting has been getting worse. The result is that no one can acquire the needed resources and carry out the full assault while simultaneously guarding his or her back from bureaucratic backstabbing. Things get scary a few times, but Usagi manages to hold her empire together long enough for Ami to make the breakthrough that allows the Imperial fleets to outmaneuver the Juraian ones and mount deep raids that eventually push the Empire of Jurai to collapse. With the Empire safe from external enemies for a thousand years, Usagi hands the throne to one of her many children, and she, the Senshi, and the Queen Mother (as Ranma had long since come to be known) and her faithful companion all disappear from public knowledge.
I never developed any storylines for this, but when/if I did the first story would open with the following quote from one of my favorite SF series:
When it came to the subject of empires, Belisarius had distilled two simple pieces of wisdom:
First, every empire that ever existed or would exist always thought it was the end-all and be-all.
Second, none of them were. Few of them lasted more than two hundred years, and even the ones that did never went more than a couple of centuries without a civil war or other major internal conflict. The human race just naturally seemed to do better if it avoided too much in the way of political self-aggrandizement. The notion that history could be "guided" was pure nonsense. Better to just set up something workable, that contained as few conflicts as possible, and let human potential continue to unfold within it. If the underlying society was healthy, the political structure tended to sort itself out well enough to fit whatever the circumstances were.
—Flames of Sunset by David Drake and Eric Flint
The Collapse of the Empire: Another few centuries, and the fault-lines of an ever-expanding Empire are showing, the central elites growing untouchable and the fringe worlds growing more and more resentful. When an emperor that had planned to decentralize the power and authority of the Throne in order to bring government closer to the people (and keep it more manageable) is assassinated and replaced by one intending to keep things as they are with an expanded (and expensive) military to enforce the status quo, the fringes erupt in rebellion. Some core world would revolt, if they had a chance in hell of pulling it off, so they settle for subtle sabotage. The still-existent Youxia Order that Ranma founded splits over the question and goes to war with itself. And someone is hunting the hidden Senshi and their familes. This is the time for the lovers of Star Wars. This one ends in a few decades with the collapse of the Empire and the rise of the Federation.
I don't have any stories for this one, either, but wanted to start the first story with a few stanzas from Horatius, by Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lord Macaulay:
Then none was for a party;
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
And the poor man loved the great:
Then lands were fairly portioned;
Then spoils were fairly sold:
The Romans were like brothers
In the brave days of old.
Now Roman is to Roman
More hateful than a foe,
And the Tribunes beard the high,
And the Fathers grind the low.
As we wax hot in faction,
In battle we wax cold:
Wherefore men fight not as they fought
In the brave days of old.
Ranma's New Style
Ranma is Ranma, after all, so she never stops exploring the possibilities of her new style even when she has to devote time to learning court/diplomatic/social etiquette (something she loathes, and those she meets in such settings sometimes come away with the impression that she isn't taking the situation — and perhaps them — seriously) or acting out her "courtship" with the Crown Prince.
Ranged Attacks: She never does figure out how to project emotion-clean ki as a ranged attack. She does, however, figure out how to combine Amaguriken-level speed with the Amazons' no-space to throw things really hard, really fast. And a community effort comes up with a variety of things to be thrown, from knives, discs, and lead balls to flash-bangs and grenades. Like Green Arrow, she has one for every occasion. However, since Amaguriken speed requires muscle memory, she can't switch load-outs without a period of practice to become accustomed to her new options.
Hand-to-Hand Combat: The original Saotome branch of the Anything Goes School was focused on aerial empty hand combat and naturally emphasized dodging over parrying, leaving anything beyond the basics in parrying/blocking, power/strength and weapons to the Tendo branch.
However, there are problems with that when people are shooting at you (as Ranma learned during the fight in Apocalypse Tokyo) or if you are protecting someone else. As well, being able to form a shield from ki increases the effectiveness of blocking and reduces risks. The shield can still be overpowered by a strong enough attack, though, and being able to sense incoming attacks makes dodging easier, so the new style emphasizes parrying/blocking and dodging equally.
The same ki used to create shields can be spread over the entire body. This will reduce the strength of the shield considerably, but adds to strength and reaction speed.
The sonar-like ability to sense ambient ki does not improve much beyond its basic function, except some extension in range, but essentially allows 360-degree 'vision' for shapes and movement, very useful when fighting against multiple attackers and with an ally.
Finally, the ability to form ki into any hand weapon desired mandates weapons training across a broad range, though more advanced students will have their own preferences.
Mental Abilities: An immediate danger sense has already been mentioned but it is directional only, giving no hint of the nature of the threat. A highly advanced student of the Art can combine the danger sense with Amaguriken-speed to parry incoming ranged attacks, but that's just showing off when a shield works just as well with less effort.
Future visions may occur in dreams or deep meditation, but the visions are unexplained and likely fragmentary — and will be quickly invalidated, possibly to the extent that the dreamer never does learn what they were about. They also will only cover events within the same environmental ki-field as the dreamer, such as the same planet or spaceship/starship/space station.
The ability to sense ki, and the emotions attached to it, doesn't improve much beyond what Ranma has already developed (remember Ranma detecting Mu Tse on the roof of the opposite apartment building, in First Blood), though it mixes with the 'sonar' ability to read the emotions of people that are out of sight. A sufficiently skilled practitioner can learn to read something of someone's character and recognize individuals. Lie detection is not included, but sensing a target's emotions combined with training in reading body language means everyone thinks it is, a reputation that members of the Order make full use of.
No mind reading, but there is long-distance communication. However, distance is determined in part by how strong the relationship is, and only sending is possible — meaning, only adepts have two-way communication. A semi-permanent mental link is possible (breakable by either partner), but only between two Order members that are very close and the two have to be in the same environmental ki-field. A two-way link is possible if there is some sort of physical connection even if only one is an adept, but a trance state is required.
And of course, the invisibility of the Umisenken is part of the new Art, though of varying strengths. Beginners can avoid notice by living things, but true invisibility is much more difficult.
Healing: Healing without being in a trance state proves to be impossible, whether the adept is healing himself or someone else. Knowledge of anatomy doesn't the speed or effectiveness of healing — the adept is actually providing the energy and 'encouragement' for the body to heal itself — but how mentally 'intimate' the adept is able to get with the patient does. So self-healing is fastest, then most likely family and the closest of friends, then acquaintances, strangers, and finally people the adept doesn't trust. Personality also plays a part, a trusting innocent will have a much easier time than a paranoid loner.
One possibility Ranma recognized from the beginning, thanks to her study of the Moon Queendom's Life Dancers, was effective immortality — an adept will age beyond full maturity only if he wishes to, and someone trained later in life will "de-age" until the peak of the physical human condition around the mid-twenties is reached. However, this is not something that can be done for others. It would require constant physical contact, and so simply isn't feasible.
Strengthening/Sticking: This is the ability to infuse an object or living creature (including the adept's own body) with ki to increase its durability, inspired by the technique Ryoga used to turn bandanas into lethal projectiles during his first duel with Ranma. For the adept himself it doesn't work as well as a shield, not even the one covering the entire body, but it doesn't glow. For other objects touch is required, but they don't glow, either. The uses for this ability are limited only by the adept's imagination, from turning a folded-up sheet of paper into a dagger to strengthening a door or window so it can't be broken through to walking across a surface that normally wouldn't support the adept's weight.
The adept can also use this technique to bind himself to the object/creature, making it impossible to drop a weapon (though not dropping a weapon could result in a broken wrist) or fall off a mount, crawl (not walk) up a wall or walk on a ceiling.
Ranma's New Order
Ranma's initial response to her concerns about the lethality of her new techniques combined with how easy they are to learn (for her) is to treat them as a family Art, limited to her, Akane, her children, and close friends. It doesn't take her too many years to learn what she should have known from her parents, that "family" doesn't necessarily equate with "trustworthy," children change over time, and the fact that she was the mother rather than the son didn't change that. In spite of growing up with the philosophy Ranma evolved for her new Art, several children are marginal and one is very nearly a disaster before she's straightened out.
After that, with the help of the Imperial Household Ranma shifts to looking for older teenagers of both sexes with the character needed to learn the Art without abusing it and offering them the opportunity to learn — teenagers, because younger children's character isn't necessarily fully developed or revealed yet and adults have trouble learning to detect ki. (Nodoka and Doug-sensei never do learn how, though Kasumi and Nabiki manage it.)
The fact that the help is coming from the Imperial Household combined with privacy concerns in Australia, Hawaii, and the other former US territories means that most of the new recruits are Japanese, but thanks to decades of war- and economics-inspired migration recruits found in Japan include Americans, Australians, Koreans, Vietnamese, and more. As members of the new Order spread out throughout the new federation, new members are more equitably spread out — especially in space, which has a higher percentage of Australians and Americans (both overjoyed to have their frontier back).
It turns out that Ranma wasn't entirely correct about the amount of ki needed for her new style. Yes, the lifesword and ability to detect others' presence and amotions doesn't require much ki, but the effectiveness of many of the techniques she develops does. The result is that much of the training of beginners focuses on building up ki reserves as well as learning techniques. On Earth most of that training takes place at the Central Dojo, but off-planet it tends to be a matter of a single master with one or two apprentices.
The name for the new order, the Youxia, comes from Chinese history and literature of knight errants, wandering the land to help those in need. The new name comes from the war with China, when a Chinese soldier asks Ranma what she and Akane are, and Ranma pops off "youxia" on the spur of the moment. The soldier survives the encounter and reports it to his superiors, and from there it spreads through the Chinese army and from there to the allies. When Ranma gives up on the "Family Art" paradigm and shifts to "investigate and recruit" instead, she keeps the name for the reputation that goes with it.
The newly-trained youxia is expected to be self-supporting, though the Order will help pay for the upkeep of apprentices. Youxia can be found in many different careers, from bodyguards to scientists, doctors to actors, merchants to planetary first-in scouts, though they tend to focus on careers that allow for piece work and travel. They may become private detectives, but not often law enforcement and almost never military (though they will cooperate with the military as auxiliaries in peacetime — a youxia's danger sense makes him a fine helmsman for the Navy's starships in combat).
Disciplines of Faith
As with many schools of Martial Arts, Ranma set out to develop a philosophy for the school she was creating and soon found herself falling in love with something she'd mostly missed growing up, the larger question of how one should live one's life and why. But she ran into an issue — too many possibilities, with different answers from different people that worked ... for them. Eventually she decided that for the most part it wasn't so much what the rules one came up with were but that one came up with them, based on experience and observation, firmly grounded in reality, and then lived by them — that it wasn't so much the Answer one came up with but being willing to ask the Question that was important. Of course there were exceptions (#7 below was vital to keep the youxia an accepted part of society rather than a threat to be eliminated). Still, when Ranma codified the philosophy she'd developed over the decades into seven precepts during the creation of the more formal Order, the focus was on each apprentice's development of a personal code rather than the end product — Anything Goes.
1. Knowledge over faith. Perception over belief: Blind, untested faith is the root of all prejudices in the world—faith in religion, faith in country, faith in truths that bear no relation to reality. Those who had opened their minds to knowledge knew the power of questions, and the sadness of ignorance. That which cannot be known does not exist.
2. Power lies within ourselves: Those who seek the divine need look no farther than themselves. Accept the power and responsibility for yourselves, your actions, and their consequences.
3. Change is the only constant: Through change we grow, leaving behind the old and embracing the new.
4. Learning is the prime motivator for change: Learning disciplines the mind, leaving it open to change. Without learning we become stale, wasted, static.
5. Without trial, complacency results: Suffering is one of the prime motivations for change. Fear, starvation, disease, all cause us to seek answers and grow. Contentment breeds complacency. Decay is the result. Suffer, and be changed.
6. All perception is flawed. Truth is relative: Your truth is not always my truth. Thus you must always seek the answers that are your own. By examining the works of others you can gain insights and ideas, but only through rigorous testing and cross-examination can real truths be found.
7. Knowledge and power is for the service of others, not one's own self-aggrandizement: History and experience shows that this is the rule that will bring satisfaction to your life, leaves behind something when you are gone, and allows you to live in peace with others.
(This comes from an old Steve Jackson Games RPG supplement, GURPS Religion, suitably modified to reflect Ranma's emphasis on personal experience rather than the scientific method and acknowledging the personal control the lethal Art requires to be socially acceptable.)