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Introduction: Fools Rush In Where the Gods Won’t Meddle

A Ranma ½ story
by Dragon Claw

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.


Toltiir, god/kami/demon/spirit of “mischief” cringed. That voice…

Well, ‘Pucky’, it’s been a long time.

Oh, NO!!

As an elder god, Toltiir had dealt with beings of great power for millennia. Dragons ran from him, gods invoked him (usually after too much mead), and spirits tried to stay out of his way for fear of centuries of discomfort from bad jokes.

That he was slightly unhinged, and thus fearless, was an assumption everyone from Asgard to Niflheim made, parallel to “The sun will come up tomorrow (barring Ragnarock).”

But there WERE things that the kitty… disliked coming in contact with. The Knights of The True Fiancée, Urd’s Experimental Potions, Akane’s Cooking; things of a magnitude of stupidity and horror that would make anyone or anything with an individual bit of sentience cringe.

But this was a real pain, an individual so great in power that it caused his whiskers to tremble.

Goodness, Puck. You never call, write, invoke… It’s almost like you’re avoiding me.

A @^^#&@ self-insertion called Anoth Vortex.

He/She/It was one of those creatures that popped up from time to time, forged by a particularly strong will or focus. They were usually fast, physically strong, unbelievably powerful, and did what they could to ‘solve all the problems’ in a place, usually by defeating the bad guy or forcing some ones feelings to be unveiled.

Vortex… didn’t.

He thought of himself as an avatar of the Six Pillars of Reality, never mind that they were conflicted in nature, and as such enjoyed promoting Life, Death, Creation, Destruction, Order and Chaos. He would protect the princess one day, and kill the king the next.

And by his personal definition, he was long-lived but mortal, meaning that he could guide his destiny and the destiny of others.

That was considered bad. He was effectively of both sides— he could guide destiny by its nose and was very strong, but since he was still defined as limited and mortal, the normal fail-safes for his kind were ineffective.

Hoping to head off any sort of confrontation, Toltiir plastered a strained smile on his face and looked up at the tall, impressive— they always were— armored and robed form of Anoth Vortex. Then he looked around, irritated by the sudden dramatic music blowing in the wind. “Vortex, old boy! Sorry ‘bout that. Been rather busy lately.”

Yes, I heard.

Toltiir wilted under that tone. He had seen comets that were warmer. Why the heck was he pissed off?! He was normally relatively easygoing, when he wasn’t causing trouble. What had happened?

I HEARD that you had a cool game going around Mimir’s Well and couldn’t bother to tell me! What is this ‘bet’ and ‘Ranma’ I have been hearing about? Hmm?

Oh, shit. Vortex was very ‘into’ the mischief gig too, something of a rival, but when he lost at manipulation games or was excluded, well, “white holes” (think mini-Big Bang) caused by his attacks diffusing in space were usually the result of a mild temper tantrum.

Wait just a minute.

“What’s RANMA? Where have you been?”

Poke.284923. Nice place to visit, and some of those “Pokémon” creatures are kind of cute. I really wish I had noticed this anime quadrant earlier, a mere four years is insufficient to fully comprehend it. Oh, and before that I was trying to help some kids on Ani.2197 beat up alien slugs, but they got all angsty and, well, I just couldn’t take it anymore. So answer the questions already.

Sighing, Toltiir stated, “Well, Ranma— full name Ranma Saotome— is a powerful mortal martial artist who has the curse ‘may you live in interesting times’. He also is cursed to change genders in water, based on temperature, causing interesting romantic complications and challenges. The Bet was basically taking all the alternate timelines based upon the story and making small changes to them. The point was to get the largest change in overall storyline with the smallest ripple of interference. Some of the results were quite interesting. The prize was that the winner’s line got to retain its integrity.”

Placated for the moment, Vortex appeared to mull over this information. Nodding in satisfaction, he said, Interesting, very interesting, I’m sorry that I missed it. By the way, who won?

Believing the worst was over, and Vortex wasn’t going to try carving planets into pieces like the last time he was truly peeved, Toltiir made a mistake. He answered.


Instantly the calming reversed, and the air around Vortex began to crackle. WHAT? That two-timing bitch?! Computer! Data dump original time line designate ‘Ranma Saotome’ Query: What.

An electronic stream of data suddenly appeared before Vortex from the holo-projector on his right ear, going by at one thousand frames of data per second, the maximum setting.

A tiny sweat drop formed upon Toltiir's head as he stared at the focused and glowing form before him. Was he still pissed that Titania had gone to play dimensional chess with Aries two hundred thousand years ago, as opposed to Chinese checkers (mortal version) with him? For being several million years old and with numerous reincarnations, he sure could be a baby.

Then he was gone.


A few minutes later, the shit hit the fan.


To be continued.

Author's notes: Okay, so I am borrowing from the best. It's called paying homage, so please don't be mad.

Anyway, I am completely blocked on my work for "What Could Be, What Should Be", so I decided to play around with this a bit. I am a great fan of Metroanime's "The Bet" concept, and was sorry to miss entering it. I hope no one minds this little bit of work. Believe me, all will become clear in the next chapter. Really, I swear.

Chapter 1
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