Morning in the dingy apartment that serves as the base for Tokyo's most feared defenders of Law and Order, Ukyou & Kodachi, Freelance Martial Artists. Kodachi is disinterestedly holding a fishing rod, the line hanging in the goldfish glass that is labelled "Rufus". Ukyou is equally bored, throwing her fighting spatulas into a dart board, then retrieving them for another round over and over again.
Suddenly the phone rings. Kodachi, who is sitting right beside it on the chest of drawers, swivels about and reaches for it immediately.
Kodachi: [yells] I got it!
With lightning reflexes and pinpoint precision Ukyou throws a spatula and nails the sleeve of Kodachi's nearly skin tight leotard to the wall. Before Kodachi can free herself, Ukyou jumps across the room and cannonballs into her, knocking the breath out of her. She snatches the receiver.
Ukyou: Yes? Yes. Yes. Yes? Yes! Yes.
Kodachi: [pulling at the spatula] I love it when you play "Yes-man", Ukyou.
Ukyou: [into receiver] Yes. Holy jumping junebug! We're on our way.
Ukyou replaces the telephone handle on its cradle. Kodachi has freed herself from the wall in the meantime.
Kodachi: Was that the commissioner?
Ukyou: Either that or a telephone salesman with a really large stock of criminal activities to go. There seems to be a crime wave overrunning the Nerima district.
Kodachi: Oh goody, let's go out and participate.
Ukyou whacks her over the head amicably.
Ukyou: We're on the side of Law and Order.
Kodachi: Oh. Okay. Let's go.
She throws the fishing rod out of the window.
Kodachi: Rufus wasn't biting today anyway. I think he's on to me.
They exit the apartment. As they walk down the hall, the next apartment door opens and a young man with a pigtail looks out.
Ukyou: Why, look. It's our weird but friendly neighbour Saotome.
Kodachi: Hello, weird but friendly neighbour Saotome.
Ranma: [annoyed] Look, you two, do you always have to bang against the walls like that? There's hardly a day were we don't have a picture fall and break. And the ol' tomboy always gives me trouble about it.
Suddenly Ranma is female. Behind her stands Akane with a bucket.
Akane: Who's a tomboy now?
She boots Ranma clear across the hall and out of a window where she goes sailing towards the horizon. Akane slams the door, and Ukyou & Kodachi resume their way down the hall and descend the stairway.
Kodachi: The Saotomes are a truly strange, twisted and violent couple. I respect that.
Standing in the doorway of their house, arms akimbo, the two intrepid martial artists survey the streets around them. A picture of desolation and destruction lies before them. There are large holes torn into the facades of almost all nearby houses, car wrecks are parked by the streetside and most of the lampposts along the street are either bent in the middle or torn clean off.
Ukyou: Well, nothing conspicuous here.
Kodachi: Nope, looks just like we left it yesterday evening.
They walk down the street, looking left and right for evildoers.
Ukyou: Well, the commissioner seemed worried, so we'd better seek out the root of his consternation.
Kodachi: And then I can blow it up in a never before seen spectacle of destruction and pyrotechnic carelessness!
Ukyou: [grandly] You may... if you're good.
They pass a vaguely Ukyou-shaped hole in the wall. Kodachi jumps up and down excitedly.
Kodachi: Oh, I'll be good! I'll be good!
Next to the pair a man crosses the street, ignoring the signal of the pedestrian crossing. Ukyou casually flings a lump of her special Okonomiyaki batter at his face. The man falls to his knees, clawing at the gooey substance, while Ukyou & Kodachi walk away unconcernedly.
Man: Aaaagh! My eyes! It's sucking at my eyeballs!
As they pass what seems to be an outline of Kodachi, made of razor sharp throwing spatulas sticking in the wall, Ukyou stops and turns her head as if to identify a noise.
Ukyou: Wait. Something's not right. I smell... evil.
Kodachi: You should try changing in the Girls' lockers sometime. I'm sure someone could lend you a deodorant.
Ukyou: Ha. You crack me up, Kodachi. I meant I was picking up the unhealthy harmonics of bad karma being created. Something evil is happening even as we speak.
Ukyou follows her feeling of uneasiness down a sidestreet.
Ukyou: Come, let's find the center of this evil, it is bound to be the cause of the commissioner's call for help.
Ukyou: And then we can destroy it utterly.
They round a corner, turning onto a larger street.
Ukyou: Don't you have anything to declare besides "Cool"?
Kodachi: When in the course of human events it becomes necessary-
Ukyou: [interrupts] I think I prefer "Cool".
Finally they stop before a large building.
Ukyou: Ah, this seems to be the headquarters of the Church of Kasumi.
Kodachi: You mean those nuts who believe that a sweet young homemaker from Nerima is really the incarnation of some Norse Goddess of the Present?
Ukyou: Exactly. You know them?
Kodachi is busily uprooting a large sign that is planted in the lawn before the house.
Kodachi: I think I bit one of their door-to-door pamphlet pushers once.
Ukyou: Kodachi, I'm shocked. You would really sink your teeth in the warm and succulent flesh of a peaceful missionary of love, understanding and good cooking?
Kodachi: Tastes just like chicken.
She is hanging upside down from a tree, trying to read the sign she just turned over.
Kodachi: Look, it says that their headquarters here is an exact replica of a typical Scandinavian building from 200 AD where their goddess would be worshipped.
They look at the building. Despite the sign's proclamation it is not a long, low-slung, wooden hut with a thatched roof, but a towering, large, gothic mansion, a cross between a medieval European cathedral and something you'd expect to see in Gotham City. But it's painted in warm, friendly colors.
Ukyou: Their reference material for that time period must be a little faulty.
Kodachi: [hisses at a squirrel] Perhaps the Vikings ate it.
Ukyou: Let's go in and have a look.
Kodachi jumps out of the tree and they approach the building. The huge doors are not locked, nor is there some kind of watch. Looking around the huge entrance hall, Ukyou quickly locates a side corridor that leads into the living quarters of the building.
Ukyou: We'll sneak into their changing room and appropriate disguises.
Kodachi: Great! Then we can peek at unclothed women!
Ukyou: Baka! You don't even like women. You're one yourself.
Kodachi: Oh, yeah, right. I forgot.
The door of small locker room opens and the heads of the two martial artists poke in, looking around.
Ukyou: All seems to be clear. Let's sneak in.
Kodachi: [tiptoes in after Ukyou] Sneak, sneak, sneak.
They force open two lockers and pull out some robes as they are worn by the novices of the Church of Kasumi.
Kodachi: Hey, Ukyou! Hey! Hey, Ukyou!
Ukyou: What is it Ernie, I mean Kodachi? [turns to her]
Kodachi: Look, I'm an elephant!
Somehow she has attached one pantyhose leg to her nose and is wearing someone's bra on her head to simulate large ears.
Ukyou: I don't think they have many elephants in this community. Perhaps you'd better disguise yourself as something less likely to cause comment.
Kodachi: OK, I'll be a dangerously insane martial artist inna religious costume, then.
Ukyou: That's better.
As soon as Kodachi adjusts her costume, our two heroes step out and continue their search through the vast building. They wander through many halls, full of weirdly objects of worship.
Kodachi: [pushing a valuable Buddha figure off of its pedestal] Ukyou? Sometimes I get these weird urges to do strange and destructive things, just as if an evil entity was taking over my brain, forcing me to act as its puppet. I feel like I am going crazy.
Ukyou: Kodachi, you are crazy.
Kodachi: [brightens up] Oh good, that's okay, then.
They walk through an arched doorway into a large, open space. In an immense, cathedral-like room, there is an expansive kitchen, where currently someone is working on a rather foul-reeking meal.
Kodachi: Oh, look! It's our violent but married neighbour Saotome. Let's say hello.
Ukyou: No, let's not shed our disguises yet.
Kodachi: OK, can I blow something up instead?
Beyond the kitchen range, there is a large, clear space with an altar, where currently a handful of C-Kas worship their goddess, who is sweeping, humming to herself.
Kasumi: Could you move a little, please? I need to sweep that bit of floor.
Disciples: She spoke to us! Blessed are we! Hail the goddess Kasumi!
Kasumi: [laughs] My, you are so funny.
While Ukyou systematically searches the room, Kodachi sidles up to Akane, who is messing up an area of the kitchen pretty thoroughly.
Kodachi: Hello, violent but married non-neighbour Saotome. I am a normal worshipper of Kasumi, who is not a martial artist in disguise, infiltrating this building.
Akane: [distractedly] That's nice. Hmmm, 'add two eggs', it says. I wonder if you're allowed to break the shells. No, better be careful and put them in gently. Ranma always says I cook too violently.
Kodachi: When do you add the strychnine?
Akane: [frowns] Strychnine? [insecurely] I don't know. I'd better add it right away, so it's not missing later. [to Kasumi] Uh, Oneechan, where do you keep the strychnine?
Kasumi: [smiles, points] In the cupboard, right between the cleavers and the hydrochloric acid.
Akane takes it.
Kasumi: What do you need it for?
Akane: Oh, I just thought it would add a little spice to this. The recipe is so bland.
Kasumi frowns just the slightest little bit.
Kasumi: Akane, you have to be careful when adding strychnine to your food. It can cause rather strong reactions.
While Akane is distracted by Kasumi's lecture, Kodachi takes the strychnine shaker and unscrews the top. She puts it back, just before Akane turns back.
Akane: Okay, Oneechan, I won't add too much.
She picks up the shaker, gives it a healthy shake, causing the lid and all the strychnine to fall into the pot.
Akane: Ooops. Oh well, I'll have to add some more spices to cover the taste.
In that moment the pot belches up a sooty-black cloud with an evil green light shining from within, right into Akane's face, costing her both eyebrows. She coughs a bit.
Akane: I guess I have to turn down the heat a bit.
She fumbles with the controls, causing a small gas explosion and finally ending up turning the the heat to full power. A steady column of oily, black smoke comes from the pot, forming an ominous cloud in the rafters of the room. Occasionally dead bats or little sizzling droplets rain down.
Ukyou: [pops up besides Kodachi] This is it. I have determined that the content of this pot is the source of evil in this vicinity.
The fumes are starting to eat the chrome from the kitchen implements and fixtures. Akane doesn't notice anything. Her sense of smell is probably gone since the first eruption. She is busily adding more and more clashing spices to the mixture.
Kodachi: Why don't you create a diversion, while I grab the pot; then we make our way over there...
She points to a panorama window into the courtyard of the building, where a large tethered balloon sways in the wind. It is in the shape of Kasumi, smiling in at them.
Kodachi: ...and make away with the balloon. We can dump the pot into a handy toxic waste dump, or someone's swimming pool.
Ukyou: That sounds like a dangerously insane plan, guaranteed to lead to lots of property damage and mindless terror among the citizens of this peaceful city. Let's do it.
Kodachi: Or we could throw it into the sea, killing all sea life for miles around, so that fishers only have to pick the fish from the surface.
Ukyou: We'll have to see if the wind is blowing right. Let's go.
She separates from Kodachi, points towards a street window and shouts loudly.
Ukyou: Look! It's the Pope on a Harley!
Everybody's heads turn to look out. Kodachi grabs the pot and makes a mad dash across the wide, wide room towards the window. Meanwhile Ukyou proceeds to turn up the gas on all the stoves of the kitchen. When Kodachi has almost reached the window into the courtyard, she speaks up again.
Ukyou: Ah, no, it wasn't him. My mistake. Musta been the helmet.
As the others turn back, she throws a match and runs, igniting the gas clouds just when Kodachi jumps high, crashing through the glass, feet-first. Ukyou, propelled by the force of the explosion, follows close behind, vaulting through the hole on her big-ass spatula.
[Kids: Don't do this at home - Ukyou & Kodachi are trained professionals. Also they're mentally deranged]
The balloon in the courtyard is fashioned after the torso of Kasumi and in its hands it holds a large plate, that is designed to hold a payload of sweets or similar things. A banner is affixed to it, reading: "Kasumi loves you, too. Have a cookie."
Kodachi puts the smoking pot onto the plate, while Ukyou begins hacking away at the restraining tethers with her spatula.
Ukyou: Oh, o/~ I am a lumberjack and I'm okay... o/~
Kodachi: Your singing stinks, Ukyou.
Ukyou: So does your breath.
Kodachi: No, that's the dead rat I've been keeping in my pocket since I found it, last week. I think it's going a bit ripe.
The C-ka's security troops are arriving. They have frilly aprons and huge meat choppers.
Trooper1: Really, stealing balloons is not a nice thing to do.
Kodachi: Great! Just what I needed.
She jumps into the basket, lashes out with her ribbon and snatches one of the cleavers, using it to cut the last tethers of the balloon. Slowly it begins to lift off.
Ukyou: Hey, Kodachi, where do you keep that ribbon in your leotard?
Kodachi: Harumph! And where do you keep your female parts under that boys' school uniform?
Ukyou: None of your damn business!
The balloon slowly rises upwards, out of the yard. Kodachi is standing on the rim of the basket, hanging precariously from the ropes of the balloon. She is blowing raspberries at the scurrying cultists below and wildly bouncing up and down.
Kodachi: I think I'll laugh insanely.
Ukyou: Please do.
She does, and small stucco works and gargoyles fall off the building, as her voice reverberates in the courtyard. Kasumi is waving them goodbye from the broken window, smiling.
Soon the balloon drifts up and away from the Church of Kasumi's building. As they float above the streets of Nerima, Kodachi is throwing off the heavy ballast sandsacks left and right wantonly.
Kodachi: Haha! Death from above! Ooohohohooohohohohoo!
Ukyou leans over the rim and calls down to the victims of the sandsacks.
Ukyou: Sorry, people. She's nuts.
Kodachi: [proudly] Yeah. Oh, look, down there! I see a crime in progress. Where is our terrible payload?
She scoops out a little of the toxic meal with a spoon, leans over the rim of the gondola and drops it. The smoking dollop of poisonous death drops out of the sky, finally landing on the head of a mugger, just about to pounce on his victim. It begins eating through his hair, then attacks the skin of his head, sending him screaming in agony.
Ukyou: Kodachi, I think I can make out the familiar shape of the Nerima Toxic Waste Dump And Children's Playground below us.
Kodachi: Great! We can land here and play.
Ukyou: I thought we might leave of our portable source of evil, corruption and destruction there.
Kodachi: No way! You're not getting rid of me that easily.
Ukyou: How do you land a balloon anyway? I know you throw off the sandsacks to rise, but what do you throw off to sink?
Kodachi: Perhaps we should have tied ropes to those bags so we could haul them back in, now.
Suddenly a loud shout sounds up from below.
Voice: Ranma no BAKAAA!
A familiar pigtailed figure rises up to our heroes' vehicle with near-supersonic speed. As it passes them, it impacts with the balloon, leaving two neatly Ranma-shaped holes in it; one between Kasumi's eyes and one at the back of her head.
Kodachi: That was our weird but helpful neighbour Saotome, wasn't it?
Ukyou: Yes it was. We seem to be sinking, thanks to him. Remind me to mention him favourably in our report to the Commissioner.
The leaky balloon rapidly loses height and plummets towards the Nerima Toxic Waste Dump And Children's Playground, where groups of innocent children happily build castles in the thin layer of sand that covers hundreds of metric tons of toxic waste. The gondola hits the ground and is dragged along by the still buoyant balloon, scouring a deep gouge into the sand, making the buried toxins fountain up behind them and splatter over everything. Finally, when the ropes of the gondola catch in the chainlink fence around the area, ripping it out, the balloon sags completely to the ground and our heroes disembark.
Ukyou: That was probably the worst landing in the history of ballooning to this day.
Kodachi: And on our first attempt, too!
An overseer comes running from the management building of the dump and begins ripping out his hair in horror, when he sees the pandemonium taking place. The waste is leaking out, running into the street and down into the sewers; screaming and rapidly mutating children are running everywhere; birds are dropping from the sky and what looks like a giant dinosauroid monster is fighting out its way from under the waste. Kodachi grabs the melting pot of fuming foodstuff and walks up to him.
Kodachi: Here, my good man; I entrust this to you. Don't spend it all in one place.
She thrusts the pot into his unresisting hands and turns away. The man looks at the scene around him with tears in his eyes, scrawls a little note on the wall besides him, then upends the pot, ingesting all of Akane's meal at once.
Kodachi: Mission accomplished, Ukyou. And I called him "My good man", too. Tee hee hee.
A muffled, wet explosion sounds from somewhere behind her.
Ukyou: Don't you sometimes get a warm feeling inside when you know you've done the right thing?
Kodachi: Yeah, but I've found that Alka-Seltzer helps.
Ukyou gathers Kodachi with an arm around her shoulder.
Ukyou: Come, Kodachi, let's get you back to your padded playpen.
While they are making their way down the road, she looks back one last time at the C-Kas who have arrived to try and salvage what is left of the balloon, as well as the catastophe squad of the fire brigade, frantically attempting to stem the flood of waste that leaks from the dump.
Ukyou: What an unlikely bunch of people.
Kodachi: Yeah, I didn't like them either.
Ukyou: You crack me up, little pal.
Kodachi: I'm taller than you, Ukyou.
Ukyou: Only physically.
Kodachi: Oh. Okay.
Back to my Ranma ½ page.