One

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.


It was summer.

And summer meant rain.

Lots and lots of pouring rain.

It rained on the fields.  It rained an the trees.  And most of all it rained on two figures trudging through the soggy ground.

The one in front was a young girl dressed in a manner unsuitable for such weather.  The water dripped from her bangs and her braided pigtail.  Behind her plodded a giant panda that was carrying a large backpack.  It pulled something out of that backpack, looked at it, then ran up to the girl.  It tapped her on the shoulder, then pointed towards a house in the distance.

***

“The derivative of sine is cosine.  The derivative of cosine is negative sine.  The derivative of—” Goten looked up from his textbook; someone was at the door. Who would want to be out here, the middle of nowhere? Goten wondered as he hastened to answer the urgent knocking.  And in this kind of weather?

“Goten-kun!” Chi-Chi called.  “Who’s at the door?”

Goten could not do anything except stare.

Sometime later, his mother came to his rescue at last.

“Goodness!” She exclaimed.  “Come in, quick! Before you catch cold!” She hurried the two in without giving either a second glance.  She threw two towels at Goten to give the guests, then rushed into the kitchen to serve the soup she had cooked to help Goten through his studying.  “What in the world were you doing out there?” She set down a steaming bowl of soup for the girl and for the—panda?

***

Among the busy of Satan City stood Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane.

“Is it closer?” Kasumi asked.

“I’ll need to check,” Akane pulled out a Dragon Radar.  “It’s—” the monitor went blank.  “damn!”

“You don’t need to be so vulgar, Akane,” admonished Nabiki.

“That stupid radar,” Akane murmured.  “It’s lucky I didn’t smash it into the ground.”

“Let me see it.” Akane handed the radar to Kasumi, who examined it carefully.  “Hmmm.”

“Can you fix it?”

“No, but look at this,” Kasumi pointed to a small logo on the radar.  “It says ‘Capsule Corp.'”

“So what?”

“So,” Kasumi responded, “if we find this ‘Capsule Corp.’, our problems are solved.”

“I’ll bet that guy over there knows where it is,” Nabiki pointed to someone standing at a bus stop down the street.

“Why?” The other two asked.

“Look at the logo his jacket.”

***

Trunks looked at his watch again: the bus was now five minutes late.  He would get home so much faster if he flew, but he was supposed to act ‘normal’ around such a large crowd.  He ground his teeth in frustration.

Of all the days for the bus to be late. A million things still had to be done when he got home, whenever that would be.

“Excuse me, sir?”

“What?” Trunks turned, annoyed.

“Do you know where ‘Capsule Corp.’ is?” The most beautiful girl he ever saw inquired.

Trunks opened his mouth to reply, but no sound came out.

***

“Oh, my.” Chi-Chi glanced at the panda.  “Is that your pet?”

“Not exactly,” the girl replied.  “But don’t worry, he won’t hurt you.” She glanced around the room and noticed the four star Dragon Ball.  “You have a Dragon Ball?”

“Yeah,” Goten replied, sitting down to eat as well.  “How do you know about them?”

***

“Um, sir?” Kasumi asked, concerned.

“C—Capsule Corp.?” Trunks managed to stammer.  “Yeah, I know where it is.” At that moment, the bus arrived.  “Follow me.” Some of the other commuters glared with jealousy at the young man who had three attractive young ladies at his side.  Trunks managed to look out the window, barely keeping the sisters in the corner of his eye.  When the bus reached its destination, he turned to them.

“We get off here.” He led Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane through the main entrance of the office.  “Is the President in?” He asked the clerk at the front desk.

“No; she went shopping with Mrs. Son.” The clerk motioned for Trunks to come closer.  “Sir…you’re not dating all three of them…are you?”

“Of course not! I’m not dating any of them! They’re just customers!” Trunks turned red.  “Please, come in,” He said to the three.  He escorted them into the living room of his house.  “Sit down a moment; I’ll be right back.” He ran into his room, changed into something a bit more respectable, then came out.  “Welcome to the Capsule Corporation.  My mother is not home yet; may I be of any help?”

When Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane got over their shock, they showed him the busted Dragon Radar.

“Where did you get this?”

“Well—”


(Two months earlier)

“Hurry, Ranma! We’re going to be late!” Akane, running at top speed, dragged a sleepy Ranma by his pigtail.  As she rounded the corner of Dr. Tofu’s office she crashed into someone.  Ranma, carried by his momentum, smashed into her back and the three landed in a heap on top of two more people.  “Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” She asked after disentangling herself from the group.

“Sorry,” the girl that Akane ran into apologized.  “It’s just that we’re in a really big hurry.” She took something out of her pocket and dusted it carefully, then pressed a button.  “Phew,” she sighed when the monitor lighted up.  “It still works.”
“What is it?” Ranma looked intently at the object.
“A Dragon Radar,” she answered.  A dog dressed in a ninja suit pulled at the girl’s pant leg and shook his head.  “It’s okay, Shuu,” She reassured it.

“What’s it for?” Akane asked.  The girl opened her mouth to answer, but the dog shook his head again.  She ignored it.

“It picks up the signals given off by Dragon Balls,” The dog growled, and when the girl didn’t respond, ran over to the short blue creature that had been squashed at the bottom of the pile and tried to wake him, to no success.

“What’s a ‘Dragon Ball’?”

“Well, if you gather all seven of them, a giant dragon will appear and grant a wish.”

“Mai!” The short blue creature, who had now come to, scolded.  “Keep your big mouth shut!”

“Did you say, ‘a wish’?” A funny look came across Ranma’s face.

“She didn’t say a thing!” The creature said.

“But, Lord Pilaf” The girl looked hurt.

“Quiet! You’ve already said too much! We’re leaving!” He gestured to the dog, then began to leave.  Ranma placed a hand on the girl’s shoulder.

“Good luck,” he said.

“Thank you,” She replied, then hurried off to join the other two.

“Come on, Ranma!” Akane urged.  “Do you want to stand out in the hall again?” Ranma smiled.

“School can wait.”

“Why?” He grinned even wider and pulled three Dragon Radars out of his pocket.


“—and so we decided to look for the Dragon Balls.  Until we came to your house, we didn’t have much luck.”

“I see.” Chi-Chi noticed that the neither the girl nor the panda had not yet touched their soup.  “Why don’t you have some some soup?”

“We’d love to, ma’m—” the girl began.

“Call me Chi-Chi.”

“We’d love to, Chi-Chi,” the girl paused, as if she was trying to think of something, “but we can’t stand hot liquids.  Do you mind if we drink it cold?”

“No, not at all.  Here, I’ll put it into the fridge so that it will cool faster.” Taking up the bowls, Chi-Chi headed towards the kitchen, then remembered something.  “By the way, what’s your name?” The girl seemed to hesitate, just as she had a few moments ago.

“Ranma,” She replied after a long silence.  “Ranma Saotome.”

Ranma? Interesting name for a girl. Goten thought, but kept his mouth shut.  By now, the rain had stopped falling; Ranma noticed this, and got up, and bowed towards Chi-Chi.

“Well, since it stopped raining, we will be on our way.”

“Don’t you want to have some soup first?” Chi-Chi was still holding the bowls.

“Yes, but we’re in a bit of a hurry to find the rest of the Dragon Balls.”

“I’ll help you!” Goten volunteered.  “If it’s all right with you, mom.” He added.  Chi-Chi was about to remind him that he still had to study, but stopped herself.  The girl would need to be protected, and this would be a great chance for Goten to get acquainted with her.

“Sure!” She said, to Goten’s surprise.  “But I think you really need to ask Ranma if it’s okay for you to go along.” Goten turned to Ranma.

“Well, I do need some help.” Ranma looked towards the panda, who shrugged.  “I suppose so.” Goten managed to suppress a shout of joy.  He had wanted to get away from all of that studying for a long time.  In addition, looking for Dragon Balls was always a great adventure—and he had a feeling that doing so with Ranma would be even more interesting.

“All right! Thanks!” He shook Ranma’s hand.  “Just let me pack a few things.”

***

“We hadn’t found anything yet, and now the stupid thing is broken!” Trunks examined the Radar with care.

“I think it’s just needs new batteries.  Just a minute.” he ran into his room, grabbed the new pack of batteries he had intended for his walkman, and ran back.  He took out the old batteries and inserted the new ones.  The Dragon Radar beeped, then seven dots showed up on the screen.  “There!”

“Thank you so much!” Kasumi gushed.

“No problem,” Trunks replied, blushing.  It was at this moment that Bulma came home from her shopping.

“Trunks, could you give me a hand with—” she saw the three ladies.  “Never mind.” Trunks rushed up to help her nonetheless.

“Could you stay for a few more minutes?” He asked Kasumi.

“No problem.”

As Trunks helped his mother put away the enormous amount of food necessary to feed three Saiyans, he explained to her what brought Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane to their home. “So,” Bulma put another container into the freezer, “why are you telling me all of this?”

“I want to help them,” Trunks gave his mother a pleading look.  “May I?”

My son is an adult now, but he still respects me. Bulma thought, smiling to herself.

“What about the company?” She reminded him.  Even though she was willing to support Trunks in whatever career decision that he made, Bulma hoped that he would become the president of the Capsule Corporation once she retired.

“Oh, come on, ma!” Trunks begged.  “Even you don’t work anymore!”

“Well—” So much for that idea.

“Please?”

“It is summer,” Bulma mused out loud.  “And looking for Dragon Balls can be dangerous.” She smiled again.  It was through her own adventures with the Dragon Balls that changed the course of her life forever. “I’m not the one you need to ask; it’s those ladies.”

“Is that a yes?” Bulma nodded.  “Thanks!” Trunks hugged her and ran back to the living room.

***

Meanwhile, Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane were discussing their great luck.

“Wow! The son of the president of such a big company!” Nabiki breathed.  “He must be rich!”

“And he’s cute, too,” Akane added.

“But Akane, what about Ranma?” Kasumi teased.

“Nobody needs to know!” Akane answered, blushing.  “Besides, Ranma always manages to get himself engaged to another girl, so why can’t I like someone else?”

Trunks re-entered the living room, clearing his throat to let them know he was coming.  “Here are some more batteries, just in case the Radar doesn’t work again.”

“Thank you,” Kasumi took the batteries.  “I think we’ve bothered you long enough.” She stood up and motioned to her sisters.  Trunks stood and stared as the sisters made their way out of the building.  Finally, he mustered enough courage to chase after them, stopping briefly to grab a case of capsules.

“Wait!” He called as he ran.  He caught up with them just as they were about to leave.  “Can I come with you?” He asked.

“Huh?” The sisters looked back, puzzled.

“To look for the Dragon Balls,” Trunks explained.  “I have a lot of experience.  I might be able to help.”

“Hmm.”

What a nice young man!

I’m gonna be rich!

Ranma, eat your heart out!

“Sure!” Kasumi, Nabiki, and Akane replied at the same time.

“Okay, then! Let’s go!”

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