Three

Title: Dragon Ball Ninbunnoichi
Plot, or Lack Thereof: The Nerima Wrecking Crew go Dragon Ball Hunting
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization and major differences in setting and tone between series.


“This is great.  Just great,” Ranma picked herself off the ground.  The usual case of after being scared witless like that, she would be in a state of total shock and mumble for several minutes.  Today, however, she was more upset over the theft of the Dragon Balls than her unpleasant encounter with a feline.  “I knew that old bag was up to no good.” She actually dared to use my weakness against me like that! How base! Ranma wanted to wring Cologne’s neck—if she could ever get her hands on the sneaky Amazon.

“Why do you want the Dragon Balls, anyway?” Goten asked.

“Uh.” Ranma didn’t think that Goten would believe her without some visual proof.  “Can I answer that later?”

“Okay.” Goten sensed the uneasiness in Ranma’s voice again.  “But if getting the Dragon Balls is that important to you, I can get you another Radar.”

“Really? Where?” Goten picked out one of the capsules his mother had made him bring along (now very glad that Chi-Chi had insisted he obey) and produced a car.

“After you,” he opened the door for Ranma, who (more or less) accepted Goten’s chivalry.

***

“How did you do that?” Kasumi managed to ask.

“I used my energy,” Trunks answered.

“It’s sort of like Ryouga’s Lion’s Roar Shot,” Akane explained when Nabiki looked puzzled.

That technique! I think I’ve heard about it before. “Are you a martial artist?” Trunks wanted to know.

“Sort of,” Akane blushed.  Trunks could swear that ‘P-chan’ squealed glared at him, making him even more convinced than ever that he had seen that piglet somewhere before.

“Hmm.” Trunks glanced at his Radar again.  “As soon as we find a clearing, we can get to the next Dragon Ball.”

Once again, Trunks devoted one hand to the hovercraft and the other to the Dragon Radar.  As he rounded a turn, the hovercraft lurched, throwing everyone forward.

“Hey, watch it!” Akane demanded

“That wasn’t me.” Trunks replied.  “I’ve piloted with one hand millions of times just fine.” The craft lurched again.  “That definitely wasn’t me!” Trunks took his other hand off of the steering column.  “See?”

“It really isn’t Trunks.” Nabiki looked out the window.  “We’re being attacked by—oh no!” She screamed in horror as the biggest spatula she ever saw flew at them and cut off one wing of the hovercraft.  She screamed again as the hovercraft dove towards the earth and Trunks unsuccessfully tried to control it.

“Is everyone all right?” Trunks asked after they crashed.

“You will be once you hand over that Dragon Ball,” Replied the girl who stood above.

“Ukyou?” Akane exclaimed in shock and anger.  Ukyou made a little bow.

“In person,” She pulled out her spatula and waved it threateningly.  “Now, hand it over.  My Ranma-chan is waiting.”

“Uh…” Trunks looked at Akane.  “I thought Ranma was your fiancée.”

“He is,” Akane answered through gritted teeth.  “But he somehow managed to get himself engaged to her too…”

“His father sold him to her for an onamyaki cart,” Kasumi explained with a cheerful smile.

Really.” Trunks raised an eyebrow.  Boy. Mom wasn’t kidding when she said real life can be stranger than fiction.

“Really.” Ukyou tightenend her grip on her spatula.  “For the last time, hand it over.”

“Why don’t we work together?” Trunks suggested.  “Since both of you are going to ‘wish for Ranma’, so to speak,” He didn’t know how true that statement was.

“Work together?” Ukyou raised an eyebrow.  “Would you share your girlfriend with anyone?”

Suddenly Trunks was hit several times from all around, hard.  Each of those attacks hit a pressure point, and he was paralyzed.

When the stars cleared from his vision, Ukyou was gone, as were the Dragon Ball and Radar.  And the extra batteries.

Konatsu Kunoichi handed over the things he had taken from Trunks.

“Excellent.” Ukyou smiled in satisfaction.  What great luck! Two already! I was right in guessing who else would be seeking the Dragon Balls; in a matter of days they’ll find the other five for me.  Then, at long last, Ran-chan will me mine!

***

“Ooh!” Akane clenched her fists, trying not to let loose her usual storm of words.  That idiot Ranma! Running off without me like that! This is all his fault! “When I get my hands on that—”

“Now, now Akane,” Kasumi scolded gently.  “You must learn to control your temper.”

“At least my capsules are still here.” Trunks reported.

“What good are those?” Akane wanted to know.  Trunks threw capsule number 32 on the ground, and out came another hovercraft.

“Does this answer your question?” Trunks opened the door.

“But where are we going?” Nabiki climbed in.

“Home, of course.  And this time, we’ll encapsulate a few extra Radars.”

***

Goten was very surprised to discovered that his best friend wasn’t home, and was even more so when Bulma told him why.  (He didn’t notice that Ranma became very upset at the mention of ‘three young ladies’.)

“And who,” Bulma teased, gesturing towards Ranma, “is this beauty?” Ranma turned as red as a beet and said nothing.

“Ranma,” Goten answered for her.  “Ranma Saotome.”

You’re Ranma?” Bulma studied her.

“You know her?” Goten asked.

“No, but a little while ago a young man knocked on my door and asked whether a ‘Ranma Saotome’ passed by.”

“He wore a yellow bandanna around his head?” Ranma guessed.  “And he had no sense of direction?”

“Yeah,” Bulma nodded.  “Is he a friend of yours?”

Ranma shook her head.  “Not exactly.”

“I think I’ve seen that guy wandering around my house, too.” Goten reported.

“But your house is 1000 kilometers from here!” Bulma exclaimed.

Dang! That guy sure can walk! Goten thought.

At this moment, Bulma’s mother came in with a tray of coffee.

“Coffee, any—whoops!” She tripped, and the steaming hot liquid spilled all over Ranma.

“Omigosh! Ranma, are you—” Goten stopped in mid sentence.

Ranma was now a guy.

“I’m sorry.” He (he???) apologized.  “I should have explained this earlier: I turn into a girl when splashed with cold water, and hot water turns me back.” He pointed to his wet shirt.  “As you can see here.”

“Woah.” Was all that Goten could say.  “That must be awful.”

“You have no idea.”

And now all of Ranma’s strange actions and words made sense.

“Was this why you didn’t drink the soup earlier?”

“Yeah,” Ranma nodded, cleaning the coffee off of himself.  “I didn’t want to risk spilling it on me; I didn’t think your mother could have taken the shock.” Goten laughed.

“She definitely wouldn’t have.” He chuckled.  He looked at the panda, who had managed to get out of the coffee’s path.  “And him?”

Ranma took Bulma’s mug of coffee (which was still safely sitting on the table) and threw its content towards the panda. “Meet my father, Genma Saotome.”

“Did you have to do that?” Genma complained.  He tasted the liquid that was spilled on him and made a face.  “Yuck! No cream or sugar!” He looked at Bulma.  “Is this how you drink coffee?”

“All the time,” Bulma answered.  “It’s the real way of drinking it.”

“Ah, Trunks! You’re back!” Everyone heard Bulma’s mother exclaim.  “Found all of the Dragon Balls already?”

“Not really.” Trunks replied, leading in the three girls.  “We—”

A—Akane?” Ranma paled.  Akane also froze; Nabiki and Kasumi darted guilty glances at one another.  At once Ranma understood what had happened.  “You idiot!” He yelled.  “Didn’t I tell you not to follow me?”

“Who are you calling an ‘idiot’?” Akane yelled back.  “I wanted to help you get rid of your curse!”

“You’re not helping now, are you?”

“Why, you—” Akane clenched her fists, remembering Ukyou’s attack on them.

“Go home before you do something even more stupid!”

“Uh, Ranma.” Goten sensed Akane’s energy rise.  “I would shut up if I were you.”

“Go home,” Ranma repeated, ignoring Goten’s warning.

RANMA, YOU IDIOT!” A giant mallet materialized in Akane’s hand.  Before anyone could stop her, she used it to whack her fiancee out of the house, leaving a Ranma-shaped hole in the ceiling.  “Hmph.” The mallet then disappeared, and Akane dusted her hands off in satisfaction.

“A—Akane!” Trunks stuttered.

Then Akane realized what she just did.

She covered her face and ran out of the room.

“Akane!” Trunks called after her.

“Let me handle this, Trunks.” Bulma stopped her son from running after Akane.  “You two go see if Ranma’s all right.”

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