Kaii was happy that he was in the cloaked shuttlecraft right now; considering how pissed both Rei and Makoto were, he didn’t think he would have survived delivering the news to them face to face.
“So, our plan is fucked, is what you’re saying?” Makoto growled.
“No,” Kaii said, cautiously as he went over some of the readings on his console. “I can determine where they are, I just cannot beam you guys directly to them.”
“Why not?” Rei asked, a little less angry than Makoto, but still angry. “All three of them have micro transport enhancers implanted on them.”
Kaii sighed. “I know, I know. But there is apparently a very solid meta energy field up where they are, as well as a subspace dampening field that’s disrupting our targeting sensors. Till we can bring down, at least the meta energy field, there’s nothing we can do.”
Rei and Makoto, who were up on the ship, in the transporter room, with the remainder of the NSO teams and a few Marines who were going to help and destroy the Kuno base, looked to each other glumly.
“I guess the Captain and them are kind of on their own for now,” Rei said, as she turned to Makoto.
Makoto looked to Rei, very unhappy at the current situation.
“I’ve moved Bravo to the area near the Captain’s signature,” Kaii added. “They’re going to try and pass on the message that they need to bring down the field,” he explained.
“Aye,” Rei said, watching the clock in the transporter room with trepidation.
Ranma-chan kicked Tatewaki Kuno away for what was probably the fifth time since they beamed back. He had yet to untie them, which she was finding annoying, not that it was really mattering. Kicking the crap out of the Blue Thunder seemed to be just as easy tied up as it was untied.
“Captain---disbursement---need---down...” Ranma-chan heard in her ear. The distracting static-filled noise was enough to allow Tatewaki to get the upper hand and get a good glom on her.
“Oh, my Pig-Tailed goddess!” Tatewaki cried. “You have no idea how long it’s been since I have held you!”
“Not long enough,” Ranma-chan glowered as she managed to flip around and send Kuno flying. Akane grumbled as Ranma-chan’s maneuvers caused her to get jostled around a bit. Tatewaki, upon hearing Akane’s partial whimper came running back, arms wide open.
“Oh! Akane Tendo, fear not for I haven’t forgotten thou!!!”
Both Ranma-chan and Akane sent Tatewaki flying through the cave. The kick managed to rip part of the ribbon, allowing Ranma-chan to slip out, and eventually freeing both herself and Akane.
“...cannot--beam---field---down...” Ranma-chan heard in her ear again.
“Ranma?” Akane asked.
“I’m hearing a partial transmission from I assume the ship,” Ranma-chan whispered, looking around. “I think there’s a dampening field up we need to take down before the assault teams can beam in.”
Ranma-chan took Akane’s hand and the pair walked along the cave for a moment before running into a bruised Tatewaki.
“Kuno,” Ranma-chan smiled. “We were just looking for you,” she lied.
Tatewaki cocked his head slightly. “You were?”
Akane turned to Ranma-chan. “We were?”
Ranma-chan nodded. “Yes. This doesn’t look like your house. Where are we?”
Tatewaki nodded. “Indeed, we are not the weak, yet devilishly attractive Kunos from your world, my beloved pig-tailed girl and Akane Tendo. You are in the Noble Hive of the Kuno Collective, a collective of Kunos that spans over trillions of light-years and multiple universes!”
Tatewaki cackled wildly as both Ranma-chan and Akane rolled their eyes. Kuno continued, “This is our temporary, yet noble, base since our idiot brother destroyed our spaceship while fleeing the jerks from Starfleet.”
Ranma-chan tried to feign ignorance. “Okay...”
“I understand if this is too much for you to comprehend,” Kuno nodded, grabbing the two women, and hugging them tightly. “After all, you are just females, but alas, you’ve shown how truly smart you can be by seeking me, the great and honorable Tatewaki Kuno, out for clarification.”
Akane clobbered Kuno, hard. Ranma-chan smirked before squatting down to Kuno’s remains. “It seems pretty interesting. Can you give us a tour?”
“Upon my...” he mumbled, still bleeding slightly from Akane’s shellacking, “...slight regeneration, I shall take you on a grand tour.”
Shampoo had been in this position way more often in the last three years than she cared to remember. She awoke to once again find herself tied to a chair and unable to move. There were a couple of Kuno drones nearby, keeping an eye on things, and George sitting at a table, working on a hypospray.
“Why Shampoo tied down?” Shampoo asked.
George stopped his work and turned around. “Oh hey,” he smiled. “I’m glad to see that you’ve finally woken up.”
“What you want from Shampoo?” Shampoo asked.
George finished his work on the hypospray and walked over to Shampoo. He slowly brushed some of the hair from her neck before running his fingers up and down it.
“I don’t have any intention of hurting you,” George said, softly. “This nanopathogen isn’t permanent, and - assuming you don’t resist it - won’t cause any damage to your neural pathways.”
Shampoo tried to move her head away, but George grabbed her forehead and pinned her head against the back of the chair with one hand as he injected her with the other.
Once he was done, he walked over to his chair and sat down again, after turning it so it faced Shampoo.
“What that?” Shampoo growled. “Love potion so Shampoo be willing?”
George laughed. “No. It’s actually something far more devious.” George waited a moment before leaning back. “How much do you weigh?”
Shampoo glared at George.
“We have a lot of people from this universe captured and assimilated. You’d like to deassimilate them, I’d be happy just killing them. Cooperate with me, or I’ll have them go find a few to kill.”
Shampoo narrowed her gaze at George. “50 kilogram-” Pain shot from the front of her head, irradiating downwards through her body, causing tears to well in Shampoo’s eyes as the Sisko’s XO did everything she could to keep from screaming. After the pain subsided, Shampoo looked to George as he sat watching her, grinning widely.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “It’s a nanopathogen that causes great pain and various other neurological issues when you lie.” George scooted his chair closer to Shampoo. “Tell me, how much do you really weigh? It’s okay. You still look great, and obviously, it’s all muscle mass. There’s no reason to be ashamed,” he smiled, his eyes moving up and down Shampoo.
Shampoo gritted her teeth before finally responding. “56 kilo-” Shampoo’s eyes went wide, a smile started to creep onto the side of her mouth.
George laughed. “Why lie about six kilograms?” he asked. “Women. Sheesh.” He noticed the almost euphoric look on Shampoo’s face. “Oh, right, yes the pathogen also does some shit to reward you when you tell the truth.”
“How?” Shampoo asked.
“I don’t know,” George said. “Well, I probably do. We assimilated it from some people. The point is, you are now going to tell me where the real Shampoo is, where exactly your ship is so Nephrite and Kunzite and capture it for me, and where the rest of your people are on the planet so we can get rid of them.”
Shampoo shook her head, the pathogens releasing very pleasurable endorphins as Shampoo spoke, “No. Shampoo die before Shampoo betray ship.”
George sighed. This was going to be a lot dirtier than he was hoping.
“And this is my bed chambers,” Tatewaki said, showing a very, very frustrated Ranma-chan and Akane where he regenerated.
“You’ve already shown us this,” Akane grumbled.
“Three times,” Ranma-chan added.
“I just wanted to make sure you would know where it is, in case you wanted to have a pillow-fight or needed someone to read you a bedtime story,” Tatewaki said, trying to hold the women, but failing as they kicked him into a wall.
Ranma-chan noticed an assimilated citizen walking by carrying what looked to her to be an anti-matter converter. Ranma-chan motioned to Akane and the pair, before Tatewaki had a chance to pull himself out of the wall, took off following the drone.
It was a long and winding walk, but finally, they followed the assimilated citizen down to what could best be described as the engineering level of the cave. Ranma-chan pulled a small tricorder out of her pocket and ran a scan as Akane looked around a bit.
Inside the large, hollowed-out room, there were dozens of assimilated citizens working on building a small scout ship. With that looked to be several dozen alcoves that contained Kuno drones. All around the walls of the cave were junction boxes and conduits that led into another room.
“There’s a lot of power being generated from that room,” Ranma-chan whispered to Akane. “I bet that’s where the field is being generated.”
Akane, in awe of everything around her, nodded slowly and followed her husband-wife around the metal catwalk that separated the alcoves from where the scout ship was being worked on. The pair slowly moved into the second room, ducking some sparks shooting off from a junction box in the process.
The room was dimly lit, little more than the light from the consoles and the glowing coming from the field generator sitting in the middle of the room.
Ranma-chan ran to it as Akane moved to try and find a light switch. Ranma-chan grumbled to herself in frustration as the console kept beeping at her, non-compliant.
Akane finally found a light switch and flipped it on. She then gasped at what she saw, back behind the main power station.
“What?” Ranma-chan asked.
“They’re using a person for power...” Akane said, walking over to the semi-transparent tube and seeing if she could get it open.
Ranma-chan looked up and towards Akane before walking over. She gasped herself when she looked into the tube and saw Beryl covered in electrodes, wires, and prongs jabbing her in various areas.
“I bet if we disconnect her, we’ll pull down this field,” Ranma-chan hypothesized.
“Might kill her too,” Akane sighed.
“Well, we can’t help her if we can’t beam her out,” Ranma-chan shrugged, yanking the cords that went to the tube out of the nearest junction box.
Sparks flew everywhere, knocking both Ranma-chan and Akane over and back a few meters. Panels in the room began to explode and kick out sparks and fire. Alarm klaxons began to sound, and lights began to flash.
Ranma-chan quickly ran up to the tube with Beryl in it and opened it. The woman’s breath was short and labored. Ranma-chan pulled out one of her transport tags and attached it to her.
“Saotome to Kaii,” Ranma-chan whispered.
“Yeah, Captain, we have you,” Kaii replied. “The disruption field is down.”
“Good,” Ranma-chan smiled. “I’m sending one to the safe house for medical treatment.”
“Aye,” Kaii replied. Ranma-chan activated the transporter.
“So,” Kodachi called from the doorway. Ranma-chan and Akane turned to see her and an innumerable number of Kodachi drones with her. “You are not the wretched pig-tailed girl from this universe, but rather the wretched pig-tailed girl from my universe.”
Ranma-chan nodded. “We cannot allow you to harm this world any more than you already have.”
“You give yourselves far more credit than you deserve,” Kodachi cackled. “The Kuno Collective is divine. We have no other option but success.”
Ranma-chan rolled her eyes. “We’ve defeated you buffoons three times. Once even in this story already. Just give up, come to jail. George liked it.”
Kodachi smirked. “George likes your ship’s first officer,” she said, turning away. “I’ll be back for your corpses later.”
“Captain, the calvary is beaming in,” Rei reported.
“Hurry, please,” the unarmed Ranma-chan said as she and Akane started to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the hordes of Kuno drones.
George felt a little concerned with what was going on here. He asked Shampoo a question and the purple-haired amazon clearly lied about the answer as she cried out in pain. That was to be expected, the pain part. What wasn’t expected is the fact that George felt bad about hurting her.
It wasn’t because he had feelings for her. He didn’t. Could it be that all his time he spent with the Starfleet jailers and Federation officials in the various jails he had lived in over the past two years had turned him into a soft-hearted pansy?
George growled. “No,” he said to himself. “That can’t be,” he continued as he walked over and looked at himself in a mirror. “I shot that well-dressed buffoon with the roses with no issues.”
“Who you talking to?” Shampoo asked.
“Please be quiet,” George requested. He then stomped his feet in frustration. “No! Shut up! That is the proper thing to say!” He turned to Shampoo. “Shut up!”
Shampoo glared at him. George whimpered. “Please?”
Shampoo looked to the adopted Kuno sibling oddly as George ran to a sink and threw water into his face. He was getting very concerned now. He knew his killer, blood-thirsty instinct was still in him.
“Yeah,” he said to himself, looking up and towards Shampoo. “Yeah, I can kill. I blew up the ship and killed a bunch of your friends and that blonde with the short skirt.”
Shampoo smiled and shook her head. “No, George fail. We beam her back, as well as our people before ship go boom.”
George’s eyes went wide, hoping to see Shampoo wince in pain. Instead, she moaned in pleasure.
“NO!” George growled; the idea of the ship being lost for naught. He ran over and grabbed Shampoo by the shoulders and shook her a bit. “Then tell me, are you the only one from your ship who swapped out with their counterpart?” George blinked a bit, suddenly realizing what exactly could happen if his idiot siblings captured the Starfleet Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo by mistake.
Shampoo smiled at George. “Yes,” she said before grimacing in pain.
George looked at Shampoo softly. “Why... why would you lie when even a lie would give away the truth and it would hurt you so?”
Shampoo looked up to George and grinned. “To keep bastard from having satisfaction of breaking Shampoo.”
George stared at Shampoo for a moment before the power suddenly cut out, being replaced by dim, flickering emergency power. He quickly dropped the wall in his head that he erected to keep the mind-numbing lunacy that was the other two Kunos out so he could find out exactly what was going on.
“Oh fuck,” George sighed as he walked over, grabbed a rifle, and headed for a door.
“What about Shampoo?” she yelled at him as he walked out the door.
George didn’t answer and left Shampoo alone, still strapped to the chair, in the poorly lit room.
“I’m going to go see if I can find my darling Ranma,” Kodachi said, as a phaser shot flew over her head.
Tatewaki nodded as he ducked a phaser blast himself. “I should go and see if I can find the real Akane Tendo and Pig-tailed Girl.”
“I’d really rather neither of them defiles our noble hive, dear brother,” Kodachi glowered, as she pulled a drone in front of her as a shield, protecting her from a phaser blast. Tatewaki snarled and pulled out his bokken, which ended up having the tip being shot off by someone’s rifle blast.
“If... If that sorcerer Ranma Saotome can come, so can Akane Tendo and the Pig-Tailed Girl!” he countered.
Kodachi sighed and nodded, wanting to get away from the phaser fire. “Okay.”
The pair shook hands and prepared to beam out.
“Unable to transport, relay station disabled,” the Kuno computer informed them.
“That’s quite inconvenient,” Kodachi stated.
“You there,” Tatewaki called to a drone. It quickly ran over to him and saluted. “Climb the Tokyo Tower and fix the transporter relay station. Post haste!”
“I SHALL FIX THEE!” it declared before running about two meters and promptly being destroyed by fire from several different Starfleet guns.
“We might want to find George,” Tatewaki suggested.
“MOKO TAKABISHA!!!!!” Ranma-chan screamed, causing an enormous chi blast to radiate outwards from her hands and impact about three dozen drones at once, annihilating them. Akane looked over Ranma-chan’s shoulder as the panting redhead took a knee to try and catch her breath for a moment.
Some of the surviving Kuno drones peaked into the room from the doorway before deciding it was safe to try and advance on Ranma and Akane again.
“I think maybe you should go back to the ship,” Ranma-chan whispered.
Akane wrapped her arms around Ranma-chan’s midsection. “I think we’ve had this conversation before,” she replied, holding onto her tightly. “I’m not going anywhere without you.”
Ranma-chan smiled, turned around, and kissed Akane. “I do love you, my precious wife.”
Akane’s eyes went wide as she felt something poke her in the back.
“Ranma, no,” she pleaded. “I want to stay and help you.”
“I know you do,” Ranma-chan nodded as she hugged Akane as tight as she could. “But we’re running out of time. The ship needs to go back.”
“I’m not going back without you!” Akane said, trying to pull away from Ranma-chan.
“You have to,” Ranma-chan said quietly, pushing the button on the tag she stuck on Akane’s back.
Akane beamed away, swearing at Ranma as she did. Ranma turned, killed a couple of drones then sat down.
“Where the hell is that backup?” she growled as she looked at what looked like a never-ending blob of drones moving in the door.
“They met a lot of resistance,” Kaii replied. “They’re moving your way, Captain.”
Ranma-chan sighed. “Advise the safehouse to send Commander Saotome back to the ship. Also tell them to pass along my apologies to her.”
“Yes sir,” Kaii replied.
Ranma-chan hopped up and quickly applied a multi-target Kachü Tenshin Amaguriken to a few drones, killing them. She picked up a couple of swords and began swiping at a few more, the thought going through her mind that at least she wouldn’t have to worry about dealing with how pissed off Akane would be once she got back to the ship.
At this rate, she didn’t think she’d be able to get back to the ship.
She was starting to wonder if this was what it was like for the NEO teams when he sent them over to the shipyard in The Badlands. Attacking what seemed like a never-ending stream of enemies. Ranma-chan had to think with the power flickering, there was no way the Kunos were still replicating drones, so eventually, they would have to run out.
“RANMA!!!!!!!!!!” a voice yelled.
“IT’S CAPTAIN YOU YUTZ,” another yelled before a clunk is heard.
Ranma-chan looked up to see the six Kuno drones who were coming at her get shot in the back, and Makoto and six marines, led by Ryouga who was rubbing his head, storm in.
“Captain,” Ryouga said, looking towards Makoto, grumpily, “are you okay?”
Ranma-chan nodded and moved towards the group. Makoto pulled a rifle off her back and tossed it to her captain.
“Where’s Aka-” Ryouga started before cowering as Makoto raised the butt of her rifle again.
“He brings up a good point,” Makoto said, turning to Ranma-chan. “Where is Commander Saotome?”
Ranma-chan smiled a bit at Ryouga’s reaction before patting her old rival on the shoulder. “Akane’s been sent back to the ship already. She’s safe.”
“Good,” Ryouga smiled.
Makoto smiled as well. “The NSO teams are running around, killing drones, deassimilating people, sending them through the safe house to be randomly deposited around town, and planting charges,” she explained. “Once we capture the three Kunos we’ll light this place up so bad that no one will ever be able to see what happened here. The seismic activity of Japan will make the explosions unnoticeable.”
“Good. Where’s Shampoo?” Ranma-chan asked.
“What does that mean, Commander?” Ranma-chan grumbled.
“I’m not sure if any of the teams have found her yet,” Makoto replied, checking a PADD. Ranma-chan ripped the PADD from Makoto’s hand and began to look it over. She scowled and began to move off. “Find the Kunos,” Ranma-chan barked as she headed for the door.
“Where are you going?” Ryoga asked.
“To find my XO.”
Tatewaki was concerned that he had lost track of his sister. He was also concerned that he had lost track of himself. He wasn’t quite sure where he was, nor was he sure which way George was. Not that it mattered anyway since he couldn’t see where he was going. Every two or three seconds, the lights would flicker on and off, either sending Tatewaki into a wall, tripping over one of his dead doppelgangers, or off the end of a catwalk.
“Curse the public utilities of this time,” he said. “This would not be an issue if the great and noble House of Kuno ran the lights.”
Tatewaki tripped and fell. He looked down and noticed that he had tripped over a large, spatial charge.
“Now this is certainly not something that should be in the middle of the hallway,” he commented.
Rei, Shelton, and Parker slowly tiptoed up behind Kuno. Rei poked him in the back of the head with her rifle.
“Be you friend or foe?” Tatewaki asked, not turning around.
“I poked you in the head with my gun, what do you think?” Rei replied.
“You sound female, you could be either.”
Shelton chuckled, amused. Rei growled, not amused. “I am foe.”
“Then I am afraid I have no time in which to offer you my company,” Tatewaki lamented. A couple of dozen Tatewaki drones beamed in behind Rei and company and began their slow march. “If you decide you wish to date with me, and join the noble collective, then we may rethink our arrangement,” Kuno said, moving off.
Multiple gunshots rang out, the second set of NEO officers deciding to deactivate the silencers on their rifles for effect. Tatewaki made it about one meter before stopping again, Rei’s rifle again poking him in the back of the head. Kio also walked up and poked him in the stomach with her rifle. She smiled coyly as Tatewaki looked at her in fright.
Kio had taken the blueish nano-robotic goo that the Kuno drones expelled as a kind of ‘blood’ and used it as warpaint. She had a rather interesting design on her face that glowed eerily when the lights flickered just right.
“Do you wish to date with me?” Tatewaki finally sputtered out.
“Part of me does,” Kio said in a deep, sultry voice as she moved the barrel of her rifle around Tatewaki’s groin. She fired once, the bullet missing his body by centimeters; the round firing into the ground, sending Rei leaping into the air as the bullet came within centimeters of hitting her foot.
Tatewaki fell over, unconscious.
“He fainted,” Parker noted, checking his tricorder.
Rei glared at Kio before tagging Tatewaki and sending him to the Sisko’s brig. “You could have just tagged him.”
Anthony was hopping around behind Kio. “Yup. She sure could have. Bad Lieutenant! She needs to be punished, that’s for sure! For now, though, we should go and check this area for more people, just in case.”
Rei cocked her head a bit. “Sure, meet us in grid six in ten minutes.”
“Should be plenty of time,” Anthony’s head nodded feverishly, as he grabbed Kio’s arm and pulled her away.
“Are they...” Parker asked Shelton.
Shelton looked to Parker with a stupid look on his face. “Really? Do you have to ask?”
“I guess not,” Parker sighed as he began to walk off with the group. “Everyone’s with someone but me.”’
“Well,” Shelton moved closer to Parker, “I’m not busy later if you wanna-”
“WHAT?!” Parker screeched, causing Rei to stop and look to the pair and Shelton to start laughing.
“Dude, you are really, really stupid,” Shelton said, patting his friend on the head before the group resumed their walking, Parker scowling at Shelton all the way.
Makoto, Ryouga, and their small group of marines were meeting little resistance now. A nice change considering what they had met when they got there. Wave after wave of either Kodachi or Tatewaki drone. Now it was just a few dozen. And they were easily destroyed.
Their phaser rifles, set to remodulate after every couple of shots were working in random enough frequencies that the Kunos were not able to adapt to them. And even if they were, a remodulation or two was all it took to get things working again. It was convenient how similar the Kunos were to the Borg.
“HALT!” a woman’s shrill voice called out to them. “Are you those rapscallions who caused all this chaos?”
Ryouga and Makoto turned to see Kodachi and a few dozen Kodachi drones walk up to them. The marines drew their weapons but didn’t fire yet. Kodachi looked Makoto and Ryouga over, before gasping.
“I KNOW YOU TWO!” she glowered. “You are the ones who dared impugn upon my plans to assimil-errr-wed my darling Ranma Saotome two years past!” Kodachi ripped her dress off and stripped down to her leotard and began to spin her ribbon. All her Kodachi drones did the same, causing several of the Starfleet marines to scratch their heads, trying to understand the oddness that was going on in front of them.
“We beat you before, and we will beat you again,” Makoto snarled. “You may as well just surrender now.”
“A Kuno does not know the word surrender!” Kodachi screamed, jumping into the air flying at Makoto with ribbons, pins, and hoops twirling. All five marines, Ryouga, and Makoto shot her, in midair.
Kodachi dropped like a lead weight to the ground.
“Maybe you should invest in a dictionary,” Ryouga smirked, trying to do his best ‘witty, action hero accent’, whatever the hell Ryouga thought that would sound like.
The entire group stared at him till he slunk his way to the back.
“She’s alive, barely,” a marine noted.
The drones cried for a moment, bowed their heads in respect, then charged the group. The battle against the drones didn’t last much longer than the battle against Kodachi. Makoto tagged Kodachi and had her sent to the Sisko’s brig, notifying them that she would need medical care as well.
“I’m going to see if I can help the Captain,” Makoto said, moving off.
“What about us?” Ryouga asked.
“Find Rei and see if there’s anything else they need you to do, otherwise go back to the ship,” Makoto instructed.
Ryouga wanted to object, as he wanted to help Ranma as well, but Makoto was gone. he sighed and began to move off.
“Uh, Captain Hibiki?” one of the marines called out.
Ryouga turned and looked to the marines in a doorway opposite of him. The Marine motioned for him to come where they were. Ryouga turned and noticed that he was about to walk down an open elevator shaft.
“Right,” Ryouga chuckled nervously. “Coming! Anders, you have point.”
George was beginning to wish he’d kept that wall up. He now had a clear picture of what was going on in the facility.
They were fucked is what was going on.
“Is there any way you can help us?” George pleaded into the communicator.
Nephrite cleared his throat. “Kunzite is still very hurt. I am weakened from our last encounter. As well, we...” Nephrite spoke softly, “we have been advised to no longer work with you.”
“WHAT?” George screamed. “BY WHOM?”
“Queen Metalia,” Nephrite sighed. “She’s aware that Sailor Moon is not dead, the crystal we were given was a fraud, and apparently once Beryl was rescued and taken out of your ‘poor-man’s magic’ field, the Queen could tell you were using her as a battery,” Nephrite spoke a little more sternly now. “She’s apparently not cool with that, without her consent.”
George rolled her eyes. “Fine,” he stated. “If you guys hadn’t mucked things up and just made a nice, small portal big enough for just our ship, Starfleet wouldn’t have followed us, and we’d be fine.”
“You say that,” Nephrite growled.
“How smooth did stuff go our first two days?” George argued. “You were even scared about us backstabbing you because of our power,” George growled. “You know, we were going to, but then didn’t because you guys seemed like such a good bunch,” he lied, crying a bit. “Guess now I know to trust my gut and just backstab everyone.”
“George,” Nephrite started but is cut off as George closes the channel.
“Moron,” George growls as he wipes the fake tears out of his eyes. He then moves back down the corridor and looks around. As far as the eye can see there are dead or dying Kodachi and Tatewaki drones on the ground. There appear to be spatial charges attached to the walls and the support beams. He looks out a window to where the scout ship is being constructed.
“It’s gone...” he mumbled.
“Yeah,” Ranma, who had gone and found some hot water to make sure he was male for his final battle, said from behind George. “We beamed it out into space and the Sisko has destroyed it.”
George inhaled and exhaled deeply.
“I know you didn’t mind jail,” Ranma said. “Just surrender peacefully and I am sure we can get you back where you were, doing whatever it was that you did that got you awarded ‘prisoner of the year’ twice in a row.”
George thought back to jail. He thought about Shampoo and about how he’d apparently allowed his softer side to guide his decisions here.
Maybe that’s why they were where they were?
Could this all be his fault?
Ranma blinked before starting to backpedal as George charged him. George grabbed ahold of Ranma, and the pair went crashing through a wall, Ranma losing his grip on the rifle Makoto had given him in the process.
Shampoo turned her head and saw the pair come through the newly created hole, and George quickly stand up, grab Ranma by his pigtail and fling him across the room.
“RANMA!” Shampoo screamed.
“Ow,” Ranma mumbled as he came to a landing in the middle of a bunch of metal, glass, and electronic bits and pieces.
George walked over and picked up two swords from a couple of dead Kodachi drones that were lying nearby.
“Everyone keeps telling me what I should do and how I should feel, Captain,” George growled as he threw one of the swords at Ranma. Ranma quickly skittled out of the way of it, the sword missing his man-parts by inches. “Not a single person, though, has told me to be myself.”
“That because yourself is nuts,” Shampoo stated.
George laughed as he swung his sword at Ranma. Giving the Captain an impromptu haircut as Ranma barely dodged the attack.
“That’s true,” George said, taking another swing. “But who’s to say nuts isn’t okay?”
“Normal people?” Ranma asked, kicking George in the stomach, hard enough to slow George down for a moment. George coughed and stumbled backward, giving Ranma enough time to pick up the sword George had thrown at him and stand.
George grumbled and took several slashing swings at Ranma, but now that Ranma was on his feet, he was easily able to dodge the attacks.
“RANMA!” Shampoo yelled.
“What?” Ranma asked, turning to Shampoo.
“Shampoo don’t want anything,” Shampoo said, shrugging a bit. “Just always see in movie tied up girl yell hero name while he fight.”
“It’s kind of distracting,” George groused.
Ranma nodded. “It really is.”
Shampoo sighed and motioned for a copy of Marie Claire that was sitting on the ground. “Could you...”
“Oh, I got it,” George smiled, picking up the magazine and setting it on Shampoo’s lap.
“Page 31, please,” Shampoo asked.
George nodded, then realized this was exactly why he was in the position he was in. George growled at himself and threw the magazine across the room, but before he could move away from her, Shampoo headbutted George, sending him backward, with Ranma charging at the youngest Kuno, his sword in position to impale him.
“GODDAMNIT!” George screamed, turning and narrowly parrying Ranma’s assault and kicking him in the back. Ranma snarled as he spun around with his sword in one hand, managing to slice George’s right arm in the process.
“HOLY CRAP! THAT HURT!” George cried out.
“I bet,” Ranma scowled, leaping at George. George spent another moment whimpering about his arm before casually stepping out of the way of Ranma’s attack and allowing him to fall to the ground.
“Fight out of anger, Ranma,” George taunted, “and you will fail,” he smiled, picking Ranma up by his neck and throwing him across the room, causing him to bounce off Shampoo.
“AIYAA!” Shampoo cried out. “Shampoo hurt!”
George shrugged as he moved around to her to look for Ranma. “I don’t think it matters at this point anyway, really.”
“Shampoo might have, eventually...”
George stopped and looked up to Shampoo. “Really?”
Shampoo smirked. “Yes?” She winced in pain.
George growled. It didn’t last long though as Ranma came up from behind him and tackled him. The pair rolled around on the ground for a bit before Ranma was again thrown across the room - George’s semi-robotic body proving to be quite the adversary for the skilled martial artist.
George picked his sword back up and slowly walked toward Ranma. “You need to die, Captain.”
Ranma wiped some blood from his face and nodded. “That makes two of us, I guess,” he said swinging at George. George simply allowed the sword strike to hit him in the shoulder, wincing as it did, before moving to try and grab Ranma again. Ranma quickly backpedaled before launching forward and firing off a blinding fast roundhouse kick that sent George’s sword flying across the room.
Ranma followed the kick with an overhand sword strike, but George managed to stop the strike with his bare hands, gripping the blade of the sword and starting to crush it, despite blue nano-robotic goo coming out of his hands, as well as red blood.
“Dammit,” Ranma swore, “Why won’t you give up?”
“Because I’m a Kuno,” George smiled grimly, pushing back on the sword. “We’re nothing if not persistent.”
Ranma nodded, “Persistent and incredibly stupid.”
George could only glare at Ranma for a second before the Captain took his free hand and drove it several hundred times in the frame of a couple of seconds into the midsection of George while screaming “KACHU TENSHIN AMAGURIKEN!”
George coughed a bit, spitting up some goo and blood, and loosened his grip on Ranma’s sword. Ranma moved him slightly, so George was facing Shampoo. George’s eyes went wide when he saw the Sisko’s first officer, smiling, next to Ranma.
“Throw Ranma into Shampoo, and Shampoo get hand free,” she said, waving her right hand around, which held one of the NEO team's handguns.
Ranma looked to George and smiled. “Shoulda chose jail.”
George shook his head. “I am who I am.” He pushed harder, trying in vain to gain the upper hand on Ranma, but it was pointless as Shampoo emptied the LA-15’s magazine into George.
Blood and nano-goo spilled everywhere as George dropped to the ground, keeping the smuggest of smuggiest grins he possibly could on his face. Ranma moved to the chair and hacked off the remaining restraints holding Shampoo down. Shampoo hopped up and glommed onto Ranma. Ranma, for once, perhaps because he knew Akane was safely locked away on the ship, didn’t seem to mind.
“Thank you, Ranma,” Shampoo said, hugging him, tears coming to her eyes.
Ranma hugged her back, then looked down at her. “I have no intention of letting anything bad happen to my XO.”
Shampoo looked to Ranma and nodded. Ranma took her hand and began to lead her out when they ran into Makoto.
“Captain! Commander!” she exclaimed. “Are you alright?” An odd question to ask two people who were covered in bruises and both their own and Kuno blood. Nonetheless, Ranma and Shampoo nodded.
“How is everything?” Ranma asked.
“We’ve captured both Tatewaki Kuno and Kodachi Kuno,” Makoto said. “We’ve yet to locate George Kuno.”
Shampoo motioned over her shoulder as Ranma smirked. “Don’t worry about him. If the place has been cleaned up, then I think it’s time we got out of here.”
Makoto looked over Shampoo’s shoulder at George’s corpse. She then nodded and followed her two commanding officers off.