Envy has a plan.

He would dare call it a brilliant plan, but nobody's asked him, and he's not the type of supervillain to maniacally gloat to himself. It's a good plan though, as it'll unload all his frustrations over losing to Ranma, nearly getting killed on Ling's orders, and Greed's continued existance. If it all works. He doesn't have any doubts on that, though. Pulling off massively contrived plans is what homunculi do best!

The first step of The Plan requires a simple ingredient: One Akane Tendo, mostly harmless fiance and kettle-wielder. As she's normally accompained by her martial artist fiance, Envy has gone into stealthy stalking mode. As part of The Plan, however, he's not tracking her as his normal adorable self. Not tonight. No, the maid pushing the handcart down the hall to Akane and Ranma's room at their quaint Dublith lodgings is definitely female, wears her dirty blonde hair short and spiky, and has a somewhat snake-like appearance. 'Martel' stops at the door and knocks gently at the door, "Room service!"

Akane Tendo EEKS!!! She leaps straight off the corner of her bed, rigid from head to toe. Why? Because, as nice as the lodgings are, she's SLEEPING IN THE SAME ROOM AS RANMA. It just isn't decent! What if he has a dream about being evil? Being evil at Akane! What if he sleep-gropes her!!! Not proper! Not decent! And she's been as skittish as a doe ever since she found out. Not that she's told Ranma why she's so jumpy. She just shoots him dirty looks every now and again, as though to say 'Just TRY it, buster!'

And until he gets to be a psychic, he'll probably never understand why Akane can be all cheers and yays and you did it way to gos one minute, then horrendously touchy the next. "I'll get it! You stay right there, you!" she points an accusing finger at the poor innocent boy.

And Ranma sleeps right through this little display of paranoia. Snoooore. He's sure not losing any sleep over it.

If Envy ever did that, they'd have to shoot him. Repeatedly.

However, with Akane and Ranma staying in Dublith for the while, it's only plausible to note that Shampoo decided to stay as well. Reason: Ranma stay, I stay. Nyah.

Of course, she kept her eyes peeled on the two just in case something was happening between them. *coughcoughmostlikelynocoughcough* Shampoo leans against a wall that's hidden from view in the main corridor, hearing 'Martel' call out and the voice of Akane herself. Hm?

Envy is not the FMA cast's serial groper. That's Scar. This homunculus is a perfect frond-haired gentleman. (Unless the grope would be so totally worth it.)

'Martel' waits for Akane to open the door, looking as harmless as a hotel maid can be. Thanks to Amestris's anachronistic streak, she's even wearing the full petticoat, apron, and lacey mini-hat. "Is there something wrong?", she asks at the shriek. Great, did Greed get the same idea he did? No, something else must be up - aha, the boyfriend is in the room too. ... Uh oh. Quietly, she grabs something from within the cart...

"Ah...no no, everything's fine! Eh heh heh!" Akane waves her hands. Great, people heard her. That wasn't her intention! All she wanted to do was get a nice night's sleep, surrounded by various blunt instruments to be brought down on Ranma's head the moment he tried to pull something funny.

But then, something occurs to her. Something that didn't occur to her until just now. "I don't think we ordered any room service, actually..."

Ranma mumbles something incomprehensible in his sleep. "Ngh... foot... football practice... won'lose, doughboy..." He's starting to wake up; one hand reaches up to rub at his sleepy eyes.

The Amazon takes a peek around the corner, eyes narrowing. What going on, Shampoo wonders, clingling to the wall. She's inconspicuous, really! Like ninja! And she's doing a pretty good job at it!

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... well, nothing at all. Carry on.

Kururu is out on another information-gathering quest. So many worlds, so much intel to gather, so little time. He thought about inventing a time machine that would give him all the time he needs, but he tried that once before. Trying to fight a version of yourself that's from five minutes in the future is nothing but a huge headache. Stupid time travel.

Kururu flies on his little hovering platform through the skies. His anti-barrier is activated, making him nigh-invisible to everyone except people with super sense, or otherwise have the ability to see stealthed or cloaked things. Also, strapped to the yellow Keron's back is a gun. But not just any gun, oh no, a SEKKRIT gun. Yes. Ku ku ku.

Thump. That's the sound of a snake-chimera's head hitting the door. Room service? Oi, Envy you're already getting careless! "My mistake, cleaning service. Sorry, it's been a long day," she whines pitifully. There. Nice recovery. Who would expect an attacker to whine and moan about her day! "All the sheets and pillows and some shark-haired guy had this massive party down on the third floor..."

Akane isn't so sure about this. "Er...we were just about to turn in, actually...but the room's all yours when we check out tomorrow morning." Something about the situation stinks like fish rot. She just can't seem to put a finger on it, though. "Welp. Good luck with that party guy, sounds rough!" Akane's not entirely unsympathetic, after all. At the sound of Ranma's mumbling, Akane glances back over her shoulder to regard him silently. He really is kind of cute when he sleeps...

Ranma slowly sits up straight, stretching and yawning. "Man. What a weird dream. An' I think you were in it." He rubs his eyes again. "Whatcha doin', gettin' room service? Better not overdo it, y'don't wanna get fat." Yeah, he's still half-asleep, or he wouldn't have said that. At least it implies she isn't fat now? ...He's probably still doomed.

Akane Tendo successfully targets Ranma Saotome with her Have a bedpan! (at least it's clean!) action.

Shampoo perks at Ranma's voice, her facial expression changing to a smile. Maybe she can go in on the people there, suprise them and whatnot. It will be normal for her standards. Why not? Let's make things difficult!

"Aiya! We having conversation?" The Amazon marches in, a hand up in the air in greeting. She beams, plotting behind that smile herself. Hee.

She's not buying the story. Martenvy stops himself from banging his head against the door again. He doesn't need a headache this early in the plan! "OK, I'll be back in a couple hours," the maid answers with a resigned sigh, and pushes her cart over towards the next room.

Time for the fallback idea. She knocks and calls "Cleaning service," on the other room's door, then quickly pulls a sack from the cart and tiptoes her way back to Akane's room. A sparkle of alchemy later, and the room key forms in her hand, which she silently uses to sloooooowly unlock the door and just as sloooooowly push it open. Just her luck too, the last maintenance guy here oiled the door...

Kururu's hovering platform descends near the hotel. He just needs to find some people to investigate, anyone at all. What are the odds that he's actually going to find some GIFTED people in this area anyway? So he may as well scan some random Pekoponians and call it a day.

Still invisible to the naked eye, Kururu's platform floats around the window of Ranma and Akane's room. He's peeking in, peeker! Martial Arts people might sense something wrong, but Kururu is still very much invisible. And for now, occupied more with watching a little scanning device in his hand, than the people inside.

Akane Tendo's expression is flat as her hand falls back to her side, clean bedpan flung, idiot taken care of. "And I suppose I was the doughboy," she remarks dryly. "Or maybe the linebacker? You're such a jerk, Ranma Saotome." Agh, a Shampoo!!! Where did SHE come from?! Akane bristles a little, just because she's never sure what to expect when the Chinese Amazon shows up. Either she'll be perky and cute and harmless, or she'll brainwash Akane. AGAIN. She just hopes the truce from the fight is still in place. "Hi, Shampoo. Come on in," she shrugs.

Thwap, thud. Ranma's response is lost forever, seeing as there is now a bedpan with a Ranma's-face-shaped dent in it. He pries it off and mutters, "Uncute," before WAH sudden Amazon appearance. "Uh, h-hey there, Shampoo. How's it..." He frowns and glances out the window briefly. Thought he felt something weird for a second, but there doesn't appear to be anything out there.

She's magical, that's what she is, magical! Shampoo preens a little, showing her superior Amazon side with a smirk, quickly changing it to her happy beamy face again. "Akane such nice girl, inviting Shampoo into room," she says in her bubbly accented tone, bowing her head some as she proceeds inside. Ah, there's Ranma! Yay! "Nihao, Ranma~! So nice to see you again, yes?" With this, she also feels a twinge of something funny going to happen. Hrm.

None the less, she is, like the Linkin Park song title, One Step Closer.

Slowly but surely, inch by inch, 'Martel' silently creeps like ninja, holding the sack open in front of her as she gets several steps closer to Akane. When what should appear but - ohcrapeveryonesawake. They'll see her too! If only there was some conveniently placed distraction...


That'll do. Whether or not anyone buys the Conveniently Placed Distraction, Envy goes into motion. The burlap sack is roughly thrown over Akane's body in one move, she's thrown over Martel's shoulder in the next, and in the third she's racing back to her cart to dump her (hopefully) disoriented hostage.

Martel the Snake has sacked Akane Tendo for a 9 yard loss. Yoink!

Kururu is happily scanning the occupants of the room, totally unawares of what Envy/Martel is planning.

Scan of Akane: Normal. Just a normal Pekoponian. Oh, there's some high athletic ability, higher than average that's for sure. But nothing special. NEXT!

Ranma and Shampoo give Kururu a bit of pause. They both SEEM normal, but something odd is coming up on the scan. Something the scanner obviously doesn't know what to process, but even though it comes up as garbage, it's there. Interesting, perhaps he could keep an eye on these two until he sees what their secret is.

Then there's Envy/Martel. Kururu stops. Stares. Looks away, looks back. Stares again. He's getting nothing but garbage. There's some slight traces of Pekoponian in the scan, but the rest of it is pure garbage, the scanner can't pick him apart at all. He'll need to fine-tune the scanner and spend some more time scanning in order to get it figured out....


Wait--- what? Kururu checks his anti-barrier. Nope, still in place. Did that Pekoponian just see right through him? Lucky guess? Either way, Kururu is just a bit stunned, and watches as Envy snags the normal girl of the lot. "Tch, I hate being left out on these things." Kururu takes out a coin and flips it. Heads he goes after the girl napper, tails he has some 'fun' with the people remaining here...

WhatwhatWHAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?! Disoriented? A little. ANGRY? Hell yes! It's one thing to be kidnapped by a guy, but entirely another to be kidnapped by a girl! And Akane is seething as she struggles, kicking her (puffy) legs, fighting to push the sack off of her. "HEY! What's the big idea, you witch?! You take this off RIGHT NOW or I'll stuff YOU in a laundry bag bound for a mysterious destination point!" Like the dumpster.

Giant yellow frog? So that's what he was sensing! Ranma immediately -- waaaait a minute, this is a distraction, isn't it? He turns toward the voice at the last second, just in time to see the maid take off with an Akane-sized bag over her shoulder. "Wh--hey! Get back here with my -- uh -- with Akane!" He bounces into the hallway, briefly running on the wall before he flips to the ground and takes off after Envy.

What the? Shampoo turns to look, blinking. Well, there is a yellow frog outside the window. Fancy that.

Waaaaaaaaaaait a minute.

The purple-haired Cat-girl turns quickly away from the window to see that 'Martel' has just come and gone...with Akane. All the time! "Aiya, not again!" she shouts, starting to run after the other three, two and one being held, etc. Yellow frog can either wait or chase. Open choice.

Envy actually didn't see any giant yellow frog on a hoverpad, he just thought it was something better to use than 'Hay a distraction!' Just exactly where he got that idea from, though, he can't seem to recall as he's too busy racing the laundry cart to the service elevator like a bored cart-racing Wal-Mart employee.

"Hey, nice thick legs ya got there, honey! The boss loves those!" Does Martel really talk like that? Envy can't remember off-hand, but as long as it doesn't sound like him, he should be fine. "Here we are! Fifth floor: Hardware, electronics, cute little gifts for the boss going..."

The elevator door's closed. The floor indicator is stuck on '2'. "... down?" Uh oh.

Fine. You want to play like that, Fate? Envy can play. Akane is hoisted over his shoulder again, and with a concerned look back down the hall, he kicks the nearest hotel room door open and ducks inside, slamming the door behind him.

A blast of anger explodes from the sack, incinerating the entire hotel room!

At least, Akane wishes that would happen. Unfortunately, being angry has so far yielded no particular benefits in battle. Thick legs?! THICK LEGS?! "At least I don't have a fat blubbery lip!" she retorts hotly, kicking and squirming over the "woman's" shoulder. "Let go of me!" So she can kick your @#4.

The coin comes down tails, Kururu decides to mess around with the poor remaining Pekoponians. But, unfortunately for the intelligence officer, by the time he reaches around and grabs the gun that's on his back, both Ranma and Shampoo have left the room.


It's not going to be THAT easy, Kururu gives chase, hovering inside the building and down the hall after them. Luckily the long halls give him a clear shot at Ranma and Shampoo for just a moment. Kururu takes aim with his gun, and fires, the blast large enough to encompass both of them. As for the effects? Gee, that's a good question. Kururu's not even sure what this gun does, to be perfectly honest! Thus the purposes of testing. It's nothing so violent as to injure them, though. The resulting transformation might be a bit distracting.

That's assuming it hit them at all. If they rounded a corner in time, well, perhaps some poor hotel worker got nailed instead...

Kururu misses Ranma Saotome with his Random Transformation Effect! Ohnoez action.
Kururu misses Shampoo with his Random Transformation Effect! Ohnoez action.

Ranma Saotome skids to a halt at the door just after it slams shut. "Oh, no ya don't!" he shouts, bringing a foot up to kick the door open -- but a sound at the edge of his hearing grabs his attention. "Waugh!" Ranma leaps up and clings to the ceiling, and a blast of energy burns through the space he left behind. "Geez. What the heck was that?"

Meanwhile, at the end of the hallway, a koala is crawling out of a pile of clothes and looking quite bewildered.

To think that Kururu was harmless. The blast sound is heard, and Shampoo knows that's bad. She lets out a squeal as she dodges, flipping nowhere near the spot of the other door. She stays in fighting stance, facing Kururu. "Aiya! What you think you do? Crazy frog!" Maybe she'll just handle Kururu and let Ranma do the rescuing. Team up!

It's good for Ranma and Shampoo that their attention is now in the direction of the mad scientist. Because, right at that moment, 'Martel' and her squirming sack run out from a door just behind Kururu. How did they get down there so fast? "Fat blubbery lip!? Why I'll-" Hey, there really is a giant yellow frog on a hoverpad, and the martial artist, and the Amazon. "Ohshi-", she yelps and keeps on running, entering the room across the hallway and slamming that door shut behind her as well.

"Rrrrrrrrrgh!" Akane fumes, jounced blindly along. In a stupid laundry sack! This is so humiliating. "You'll WHAT?! Fight me face to face? Psh! You don't have the GUTS!" If this doesn't work, then...nothing will, at least from Akane's end.

Wait, it wasn't just a dis--never mind that! "There she is! Somebody stop that maid!" Ranma drops off the ceiling, bounces off something below, and lands right in front of the door Envy jumped through, which he promptly opens and runs into.

Several moments pass, before Ranma emerges from a door halfway down the hallway. "...where'd they go?"

Ranma Saotome successfully targets Kururu with your Successful Head-Bounce? action.

Aiya, Ranma so oblivious sometimes. Shampoo sweatdrops, tilting before shaking it off to keep the chase up. "Shampoo getting sick of this, and it only started!" she comments. She jumps over Kururu, deciding that it's probably for the best right now.

Kururu blinks and checks the gun again, as he sees a Koala climb out of a pile of clothes where a hapless hotel worker just stood. "Hmmm? Now I remember what this gun was..."

Here's the story, awhile ago Kururu went and invented a bunch of differently themed transformation guns, but he didn't label them all with what exactly they DID. So he's had to test them out the hard way. By blasting random things and noting what they turn into.

But this isn't a 'turn into a Koala' gun, no it's a bit more than that. It's the 'Turn into what you Love/Fear' gun. Currently it's on the 'Love' setting, as that hotel worker absolutely adored Koalas (so cute!!!). Kururu, though, flicks the dial, putting it on setting #2, Fear. Then takes aim at Shampoo. "Just having some fun, ku ku ku..." He replies to her.

Unfortunately he fires just as Ranma jumps on his head, and as Shampoo runs past him as well. So his chances of hitting her are slim, now... but y'never know. He MIGHT get lucky and have the shot reflect off of a random mirror.

Kururu successfully targets Shampoo with his Turn into what you Love/Fear blast! Setting 2! Misdirected action.

'Martel' opens the door across the hall from Ranma, and slaps her captive on the rear for added rage points. "No fighting, I can't bruise the boss's-" Snake-like eyes meet big boy eyes and everyond discovers that FMA villains can sprout oversized sweatdrops too. "Not again!" The evil maid backsteps quickly from where she came and slams the door closed.

Akane's eyes widen in shock. Eee! What the what the what the noooooo!!!! Her tush is off limits! "WHY YOU DIRTY ROTTEN EGG-SUCKING MAGGOT! HOW DARE YOU! AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'NOT AGAIN' ANYWAY?! PUT ME DOWN RIGHT THIS INSTANT! I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW..." Etcetera. Etcetera. ...Etcetera. Envy's going to have a really hard time hiding anywhere with a girl that noisy.

Ranma freezes for a split second, before he runs after Martenvy. Right into the door. After a brief moment of 'my poor abused face', Ranma pulls back, yanks it open, and rushes after them.

See Shampoo. See Shampoo run after Ranma and Envy. See laser beam. See it bounce off a random but well-placed hallway mirror. See laser beam hit Shampoo.

"AIYAAAAA~~!" She poofs, clothes suddenly getting loose on her. What is happening?!?

Still running, she finally does catch up after Ranma.


Kururu hmms, and shrugs a bit. Targetting needs some work, but otherwise this gun could provide QUITE a bit of amusement. Quiet a lot indeed. Kururu can't help but wonder what would happen if he used this on Natsumi... but it would HAVE to be when Giroro was out on an errand. Else the danger simply wouldn't be worth it, not one bit.

Kururu finds someone else to shoot, he just wants to make SURE of the gun's effects. Oh hey, Ranma. He may be running from room to room, but Kururu can fire as soon as he steps out into the hall again!

Nevermind that mirror in the back, there.

The door in front of Kururu opens, and a bewildered Don Knotts walks out, scratching his head. "How did I get here- OOF!" Ol' Don is barreled over by 'Martel', who isn't even slowed down as she races across the hallway. "Will you shut up, girl? You're giving me a splitting headache..." Slam!

Ranma leaps out of a door at the end of the hall and into the one to the left of it...

...and emerges behind Kururu, being followed by 'Martel'. He yelps and ducks under the hoverthingy to get away -- and then he stops. He turns around and points dramatically. "Wait a minute. I'm the one chasin' you!"

'Martel' pauses, then grins disarmingly. "You know, that's right, isn't it? Ah-heh-heh-heh." 'She' promptly darts into an open doorway before Ranma snaps out of it.

Ranma takes off at full speed into the door Envy just used, and after a few moments, he comes out again at the end of the hallway, right in front of that surely-unimportant mirror. "Where'd they go this time?" he wonders aloud, glancing back and forth...

At this rate, Shampoo kitty will just be there, jumping out of the useless clothing to bound after Ranma. She keeps mewing. MEwmewmew!

3... 2... 1... FIRE!

Kururu is aiming for Ranma, but instead he nails the mirrir on the other end of the hallway. And following typical cartoon logic, instead of being absorbed by the mirror, or vanishing, the shot is reflected back at Kururu at full strength. And it had time to re-target on the Keron, too!

Suddenly Kururu is a tad too big for the hovering platform, and falls off of it. Where the Keron once sat is now a small, slightly tanned, blonde haired girl in a short skirt.

For Keroro Gunso fans, Kururu has become Angol Mois. The sweetest, most pure-hearted girl, and the one person Kururu absolutely cannot stand. You know that thing where a characters face is draped in shadow, with blue vertical lines covering it, signifying being totally creeped out? Yeah, Kururu has that one.

It only takes a few moments of pure, absolute, dumbfounded terror before Kururu grabs the gun, and the hovering platform, and runs off down the hall without saying a word.

Must get back to lab. Must reverse-engineer the gun right away. It'll only last an hour or two bue he CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG! Darkness fading, purity taking over, can't stand it...

'Martel' and package finally pop out of the door next to the elevator. *ping* "It's about time," she mutters, adjusting her package one last time to make sure Akane doesn't slip off her shoulder now that victory is close at hand. The door opens, and she's about to step inside when a distraction occurs in the form of a little blonde-haired girl scampering where the frog had been.

"... Cute," she notes, then steps into the elevator. "Going down!"

Akane is confused, and frustrated, and more than a little resigned to the fact that she's not going to be able to do a darned thing to help herself in this situation. She's pretty sure she heard Ranma's voice. Was he giving chase, then? He didn't seem to be having much luck, since she's still in the sack! "Why are you doing this anyway? Where are you taking me!" Akane demands.

"Oh, no ya don't!" Ranma yells. Wait, did he already use that line earlier in the chase? He thinks he might have. Well, no matter! He rushes down the hallway toward the elevator --

Feels a pressure on his torso. Seems he's picked up a passenger. With claws. And fur.

A beat.

"AAAAAAAAAAUGH!! Getitoffmegetitoffme!" It's too bad Kururu isn't around any more to see the stunning success his ray gun has had. Ranma's still running toward the elevator, but only by random chance, as he flails and attempts to get the cat off him without, y'know, touching it. Ew.

Shampoo clings with her little claws, mewing and annoyed by this ordeal. I WANT BACK TO NORMAL! STUPID FROG!

Oh, yes, he does need to leave that clue. 'Martel' grins snake-like, and not having to shout with Ranma her way, answers, "Why? Because Greed runs this town, and what Greed wants, Greed gets. Don't worry, he's a real gentleman-"

Pause. What. The. Hell. The maid stares at Ranma, and only when she realizes that he's still coming this way in feline fury, does she quickly slam the elevator gate close and flip the controls to 'Down'. "Whew! That was close!"

Akane goes rigid. And in her mind, a shadowy figure looms over Akane with a wicked smile, ripping away her blouse as she shrieks. "Heh heh heh! You didn't believe that 'gentleman' line, did you?"

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!!!" Akane shrieks, her voice echoing in the elevator shaft. Poor thing. Victim of a wild imagination. Sounds like a certain alt, doesn't it?

WHAM. Ranma careens off the closed gate and skids down the stairs in a panic it's not letting go it's still on him it's going to claw him bite him tear him apart with all the rest of them

On the ground floor, the door to the stairwell bursts open. Did Ranma just outrun the elevator? Entirely possible. He skids to a halt in the center of the lobby, customers stopping to stare as he stays perfectly still.


Ranma Saotome switches armor modes to Cat Fist.

Shampoo jumps off Ranma soon after the run-in with the door, short mewing in response to Ranma's change in metality. Whoops. That wasn't suppose to happen...

She'd help, but she's quite useless right now. Frumping, the kitty goes around and down the stairs as well, boucing in step.

The elevator opens...

... and its empty. What. You think Envy was going to run through the center of the lobby with a screaming girl in a sack?

Back on the second floor, the elevator door is pried open from the inside, and 'Martel' steps through with a huff. She doesn't hesistate in picking up her special package from the roof of the elevator car and re-slinging her over her shoulder. A beat, then 'Martel' reaches over to where her charge's face should be and try to stuff some sack in her mouth. "There. Now maybe I'll get some peace and quiet." Not likely if Akane's smart enough to spit it out. A window lies open nearby and beyond that, escape and victory!

Akane spits it out. She's not an idiot! She's panicking, and petrified, yes! But not stupid. And if Ranma doesn't get to her fast, she shudders to think of what her future holds. Such a terrible fate for a young girl! "RANMA!!!" she cries out, unaware that at this very moment, Ranma is most likely ruining the upholstery of the hotel lobby as cats are wont to do.

Ranma trots over to the empty elevator, sniffing at it curiously. Nice smell, nasty smell, both gone. The boy takes a moment to stretch, leaving scratches in the lobby floor with chi-formed claws, then bounds out the front door, while patrons all over watch him with varying levels of bewilderment. Outside, he crouches and scratches his ear (with his foot, naturally.) "Merowr."

The other kitty bounces in, stopping short of the elevator. Shampoo mewmews, pawing the air to get Ranma's attention. Unfortunately, it's not working now that he's being a cat himself and all, ignoring everything else for himself and his needs. Oya. Shampoo flateyes.

There. Envy's out the window, down the fire escape, into the back alley, and... nobody's following him? He'll take that bonus! "Your boyfriend's got cat problems, girl," Martel notes without any hint of over-confidence. No need to be all villainous about it, its supposed to be just business, after all. "I'll bet he's too busy sneezing up a storm to save you right now. That'll just make my job easier!" Another slap on the rear - so totally worth it - and the maid vanishes into the Dublith shadows.

Part one is complete, now on to part two. All according to plan.

Having made his escape with the fair puffy-legged maiden, Envy fled down a darkened alley to his steam-powered getaway car. "Home free," 'Martel' cheers happily as her package is dumped rear-first into the backseat. She grabs the open end of the sack to draw and tie it close, though obviously Akane might have different ideas about that. "Now just sit tight, and no backseat driving!"

Akane Tendo does NOT have puffy legs!!! Where do these idiots keep getting that kind of opinion?! Naturally, Akane never stops struggling. 'What Greed wants, Greed gets. Don't worry, he's a real gentleman.' Those words keep ringing through her tormented brain over, and over, and over again. Brrrrrrrr! It sends a chill down Akane's spine!

More chills are earned at the sound of a car door being opened. This can't be happening! Where did Ranma go?! Why isn't he still chasing? Is he all right? Did something terrible happen to him?! "Oof!" Akane is momentarily stunned as she's dropped. But feeling a hand brush against her leg as the homunculus reaches for the opening, Akane rams her heel outward in open retaliation. Doesn't matter if her kick gets through or not...she hopes it does. "You're not going to get away with this!" she growls, her face hot with anger, embarrassment, and the difficulty of breathing while crammed in a sack.

    Not much time has passed, but Kururu works quickly. Reverse-engineering his transformation guns is a tricky process, but not impossible. In this particular case, sheer 'urgency' made him work faster than normal. You could say, state of desperation?

    In fact, Kururu never even left the area, he just found a secluded place to work. Now that he's back to normal, he's back on the trail. Gun slung over his back (with the safety on!) and his scanner out and active. Kururu could care less about the others that were at the hotel, but that one person that his scanner couldn't pick apart is far too interesting to just ignore. So Kururu zips above and across the area, with his anti-barrier on (double strength, no mishaps this time!), trying to find that jarbled, garbage signal again. If nothing else this should be an interesting way to kill an evening...

"Heh." 'Martel' catches the foot easily and shoves it right back inside the sack, and quickly draws and ties the end before Akane gets any more ideas. "I picked a winner today. Greed does like 'em spunky!" With that out of the way, she's free to remove the maid outfit and reveal the tank top and combat pants underneath. Its an unsophisticated way for a shapeshifter to switch disguises, but Envy needs all the details in place to make sure nobody suspects he's the mastermind.

A few moments later, a black Amestrian sedan passes underneath Kururu with a familiar fat-lipped woman at the wheel. The car swerves out into the street, heading in the direction for the outskirts of town.

Akane Tendo bristles, fuming in the back seat of the car. If Greed wants spunky, then...he definitely got the right girl, which Akane doesn't like. Not one bit. She's been a tomboy pretty much all of her life. Even when she tried not to be, she couldn't help it! Then what should she do...?


~Right. As if THAT would work,~ she scowls. But on the other hand, it's worth a shot, right? And if he starts getting handsy, why, she'll show HIM why it was a mistake to kidnap her!

    Click, beep beep beep! "Hnnmm?" Kururu glances at his scanner with interest. The signal's faint, but it seems to match what he picked up last night. Though it's moving away fast. He quickly glances downward and spots the car the signal seems to be coming from. "Bingo, kuuuu ku ku ku..."

    The Keron quickly takes off after the car, keeping a decent distance above it. The anti-barrier IS working, but he's not going to risk being seen just in case. For now he'll follow along and see where this leads. If he gets a chance to apprehend this individual for study then he'll do it, but if not, he won't waste /any/ time getting out of trouble if he gets into it. He's brilliant and resourceful, but not brave enough to stand up for someone he never even met (and rarely even for someone he HAS).

A short, but bumpy, ride through the streets of Dublith later, and the sedan arrives at Ye Olde Abandoned Factory. (Hijack Something Valuable Or Kidnap Someone Important? We'll Leave The Light Off For You.) Envy pulls the car inside one of the better-kept buildings and parks just inside the doorway. The sack o' Akane is re-slung over his shoulder, and he carries her deep inside the darkenened building, past numerous broken windows and forboding pieces of moldering machinery. They finally arrive at the floor office, and 'Martel' gently places her cargo on the floor so Akane doesn't get any bad knocks on the head. He wants to scare her, not kill her!

Its then that her abductor finally unties the sack and pulls it away from Akane's body. The room is relatively clean, if dark and depressing. Envy made sure to clear out all the debris and anything someone might cut or otherwise hurt themself, or him, with. There's a single gas lit gas light hung from the ceiling, a pair of wooden chairs, and a simple table already stocked with fresh fruit and drink. 'Martel' slings the empty sack over a shoulder with a sympathetic smile, and idly tosses a knife over and over in the other. Hint, hint. "You've had a rough morning, so sit down and have some breakfast."

Akane Tendo eyes the knife. Not out of fear...but thinking how she might be able to use it. Or at the very least, get it away from Martel. She's just a woman, after all. And Akane has no qualms whatsoever over attacking a kidnapper. It was a mistake to ever let her out of that sack! Akane stands to her feet, brushing down her skirts, smoothing her ruffled short hair. She takes two steps towards the table, head held high...then suddenly she launches herself at Martel with a flying jump kick. "YAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!"

Akane Tendo hits Envy with her Mistake! attack.

    Kururu's platform comes to a stop above the warehouse. He saw the car go in, and nothing has come out. So she must be hiding in there, then? Good. If she wasn't expecting to be followed, then that gives Kururu an advantage.

    He lowers the platform down to a window, and searches for a way in. He doesn't even need to be able to open a window, he just needs to find a hole....

    See that knife in Martel's hand? Its there so that good little damsels will realize they should sit down, shut up, and eat their food.

Much to Envy's growing regret, Akane is not a good little damsel. She timed her kick just right, and 'Martel' slams into the wall as her tossed knife falls harmlessly to the ground. "Dammit, girlie," the chimera hisses, stumbling for the door as she catches her breath. He might not beat her there, but perhaps his form has its benefits. If Envy can get Roa's strength with his body, than he should get Martel's amazing extendo-limbs as well. Both arms shoot out at the girl in an attempt to coil themselves tightly around her body. "Hold it!"

The factory's seen better days, so there will be at least one Keron-sized hole not just in a window but in the roof as well.

Envy stuns Akane Tendo with his Get Over Here! action.

"Eek!" Akane grits her teeth, doing her best to force her arms away from her body, to break free of the serpentine hold she finds herself in. It's so.../so/.... CREEPY! Brrr! Brrr! How did the woman /do/ that?! She twists from side to side, trying to ignore the roiling of her stomach at the boneless arms snapped securely around her.

    Actually finding a Keron-sized hole is a stroke of luck. Kururu was really looking for a hole of any size at all, so he can use the shrinking device installed on his platform, but hey, why waste the energy on doing that? It might have shorted out the anti-barrier, anyway.

    Kururu descends inside and begins to observe the scuffle. "Hmmmm?" He mumbles to himself. "A Pekoponian and an unknown varient, some sort of struggle, eh?" Meh, doesn't really concern him. He takes his scanner back out and gathers more readings on 'Martel'. But still frowns. "Tch, no matter what, I can't get any specifics, to actually find something my scanner can't interpret? Interesting..."

"Will you stop that!" 'Martel' grunts and gradually retracts her arms, dragging the struggling Akane back towards her and the nearby wooden chair. "I'm a snake chimera. I come with all sorts of neat little tricks, so you're not going to get away easily!" Will the girl take the hint? Not likely, which means Envy might have resort to being a little rougher than he would've wanted to. Not that he'll mind too much~ <3

Akane Tendo grrrrrrrs, digging her heels in an attempt to slow Martel down. "I don't care what you are!" Her fists quake at her sides, itching to get in a punch. She'll make that fat lip fatter yet! "It might not be easy, but I *will* get away!" That's /right/. She doesn't need Ranma to save her, she'll do it herself!

    Ah! Finally! Confirmation on some readings. Straight from the horse's mouth. Snake's. Chimera's. Whatever.

    Kururu busily writes up a new entry into his scanner, 'Snake Chimera'. Well, that should help if he ever comes across ANOTHER individual with a make-up like this. Chimeras, huh? He's heard of them, but this would be the first time he's ever come across one. Fascinating.

    And now, he's left with a dilemma. What does he /do/? In times like these, Kururu is guided not so much by any moral code, but by what he thinks would be the most FUN. Sit and watch? Or interfere? Hmmm...

Such a display of defiance brings a smile to Martel's lips. "Heh, I haven't hosted someone as scrappy as you in a long while! If that's how you want it, then I'll be your gracious host, girlie." One arm lifts Akane right up off the ground and sits her into a chair, while the other uncoils and reaches over for some silk cord in the corner. "Now sit tight while I buckle your seat belt," the chimera chirps with her best friendly stewardess simle.

Akane Tendo hates you so much. She furrows her brow and huffs, grumpy to the core, as she's forced to sit. At least she got in /one/ good kick. Pity she couldn't make it two, or three, or ten. She scowls mutely over her shoulder, then tosses her head with a snippy 'Hmph!'

    Kururu's hovering platform descends a bit lower, and frowns as the normal girl gets tied up by the so-called chimera. Well that's /boring/. He'd really rather not reveal himself right now, but if he cannot actually capture the chimera on his own, then he should at least get to have a bit of fun.

    Luckily he's a frog that's almost always prepared, due to the law of coincidental plot devices. Kururu hits a few buttons on the small control panel of his hover platform, which blasts the back of Akane's chair, hitting the rope and severing the knot.

    As far as Akane is probably concerned, Martel is just a crappy rope tier.

Martel steps back and admires her quick and dirty handiwork, when it suddenly falls apart right in Akane's lap. "... What."

Akane Tendo is out of the chair faster than you can blink! She shucks off the disintegrating ropes as she whirls around, smirking dangerously at Martel. "Now how about a fair fight, woman?" If Martel can even manage such a thing. (Envy sure can't, but she doesn't know it's him.) She pushes her feet apart, squaring her shoulders. "You're going to seriously regret what you've done!"

Akane Tendo successfully targets Akane Tendo with her Battle Stance! action.

  Oh crap. 'Martel' just stands there, staring blankly at Akane as the thought of Ranma seeing her bruised and broken body runs through his head. Sure, if everything works out, he'll blame Greed. With everything turning pear-shaped as it is, what if they found out Envy was behind all of this? Dizzy would find out, then Orihime, and then...
  Maybe Inoue really was on to something with just "being good". ... Nah.

  The moment passes and the chimera readies her own battle stance, and... launches an arm over to pick up the fallen knife. "Sorry, playing fair is for pansies. Now is this really worth getting your pretty face all scarred up for?"

Out of sight, Envy's free to be more himself. Akane can't see him leap from the machine to machine, using his inhuman agility to steady himself as he readies for the next leap. Next time, though, he'll use Dolcetto's form. Men's bodies are much easier to balance!

He can sense that Akane's close, that can only be her shuffling and fumbling about in the darkness. Envy pauses as a little demoness from Oregon lays an evil idea inside his head, and 'Martel's grin widens from ear to ear - just before it transforms into a more shark-like smile. Oh ho ho.

A few more leaps later and 'Martel's voice is now well on the other side of the factory, "I know you're over here...."

Akane Tendo swallows hard, and continues tip-toeing forward with both shoes in one hand, her other closed tightly over a fallen bolt. The edge of her hand continues to brush alongside the wall as she searches desperately for signs of a door. If she can just get outside, then she knows she'll be fine. Someone will see her, and hopefully help her. ~This Greed guy should hire smarter goons,~ she grumbles internally, edging, edging, edging along.

'Martel' is silent now, there's no stray sounds at all coming from within the factory. Did she give up the hunt? In any case, salvation appears to be close at hand for Akane, for there's a small sliver of light visible around the corner. The one would expect from an outside door.

Unbidden, a gleam of triumph lights up Akane's face. Not too much further, now! Still, she could be wrong. Best not to take too many chances. She turns and throws the bolt as hard as she can, sending the object pinging loudly off of an old, worn-down shell of machinery. She's over there! Go check! She knows she's going to disturb the sliver of light when she walks past it, so if she diverts Martel's attention, it *might* go unnoticed.

No response? Maybe the chimera's completely on the opposite end of the building now. Or maybe she didn't buy it. Maybe she's hiding right in that shadow right next to the door...

... Or not. There's nobody there. You're home free, Akane!

Akane Tendo holds her breath for a long moment, keeping perfectly still. Where did she go? ...No matter. That's definitely the door! All right, then. No sense waiting any longer. Akane has to be brave, and GO for it! And if that snake-woman tries to stop her, well! HEH! She'll be sorry! Akane lunges for the door, pulling it open with all of her might. Here comes freedom! Here comes victory! Here comes looking smug as Ranma gapes in awe to see that Akane was fully capable of rescuing herself!

Here comes a tall man with sharp features, a toothy shark-like smile, Lennon sunglasses, and wearing black leathers and ... a Hawaiian shirt and a Panama hat? "Look what my loyal lackey left me," Greed coos from just outside the door as he lowers his eyes - and his shades - down at Akane. "Martel sure knows how to pick a winner!"

Envy fully heals Envy with his Regeneration Time action.

Envy switches armor modes to Standard Form.

Akane Tendo stiffens, taking a step back and raising her arm as though to ward off that lecherous stare. Loyal lackey...? Then this must be Greed! Akane's lip curls back in disgust, anger and fear conflicting in her eyes.

Guess which one wins out?

If you picked anger, you get a cold star for your forehead! Akane immediately slams an uppercut at Greed's jaw, before attempting to dart past him. "I don't have time for perverts!!" she shouts.

Akane Tendo hits Envy with her SHORYUKEN! attack.

Who the heck taught this girl how to fight? She's even more dangerous than her boyfriend! 'Greed' doesn't even have time to shake out the stars from his eyes when Akane, Destroyer of Homunculi tries to dash past him. "Pervert? You hardly know me," he whines playfully. He would knock her into the door frame, but Envy's pretty sure Greed hates harming women, so he'll just have to play that way too. Perhaps if he just grabbed her in a vulnerable spot...

Envy misses Akane Tendo with his Princess Upperarm Grab (What, You Expect A Grope?) stun.

<OOC> Kururu says, "No no no, Envy. You incapacitate a girl by grabbing their wrists, not upper arm."

Envy misses Akane Tendo with his Princess Wrist Grab (Thanks, Kururu!) stun.

<OOC> Alphonse Elric dies
<OOC> Ranma Saotome says, "Attagirl!"
<OOC> Kururu says, "You just fail, Envy. :P"
<OOC> Envy :(
<OOC> Akane Tendo dies laughing!
<OOC> Ranma Saotome imagines Greed!Envy flailing randomly trying to grab Akane and just... failing completely.

Oh no you don't! Akane's eyes flash as she sees the hand, stretching forth, fingers grasping for her vulnerable and maidenly body. No no no NO NO NO NO! "EEEEEEEK DON'T TOUCH MEEEEEE!" Akane screams. Her hands instinctively seize Greed's wrist, and with the power of adrenaline, Akane grits her teeth...lifts him overhead, and SLAMS him down onto the ground. And if that works, he'll get a foot in the face as she tramples him and runs away. "HELP!! PERVERT!! RAAAAAAAAAPE!"

Akane Tendo misses Envy with her NO TOUCH attack.

As the haze in Envy's head evaporates, he comes to notice that no, that's not her arm he's trying to reach for. There's an uncomfortable beat as his mind tries to process WWGD (What Would Greed Do), and then Akane elects to help by screaming her damn fool head off and grabbing his hand. The shark-faced thug doesn't budge, in fact he raises his eyebrows with a predatory smile. "I like this dance, now watch me shake my groove thang~" Tug is countered with yank, and if Envy's successful, he'll have pulled her over into his embrace with a strong arm wrapped around her waist. And maybe a hand cupped over her mouth if she keeps screaming. He's starting to get a migraine again.

Envy stuns Akane Tendo with his Get Over Here! (Please?) action.

Akane Tendo tugs. ...I said, Akane Tendo tugs. Rrrrrrrrrrgh! Why isn't he budging?! Why is he so impossibly HEAVY? A sinking sense of dread settles in her stomach, and she gets the feeling that there's something very, very strange about this person she's fighting. Immediately she lets go of his forearm, intent on dashing away. Her foot barely hits the ground before she's grabbed and jerked backwards, thudding against Greed's chest. /No!/ "HELP!" she cries out, just before her screams are smothered by the homunculus's hand. She struggles valiantly, her fist harmlessly thumping against the arm that ensnares her waist.

You called? Ranma Saotome isn't usually much for dramatic entrances, but this time he's managed it, passing by the area as Akane let out that yell. "AKANE!" he shouts in response, leaping off the fence and landing before the pair. "Let her go!" he growls, whipping a foot up in an attempt to show Greed the nutritional value of those sharky teeth of his.

Ranma Saotome gets a glancing blow on Envy with his Hands Off My Fiancee! attack.

Meanwhile, in the shadowy shadows of the rafters above, a certain yellow alien frog continues watching, like he has been all this time. "Tch..." He murmers to himself as Ranma enters. "Another challengers enters the ring to resuce the girl, eh? How boring." He was just starting to enjoy things again, he she gets rescued NOW his fun will be over.

Envy knows there is one simple truth. Somewhere, out there, way in the Great Beyond, Fate is laughing at him. That can be the only explanation as to why Heroic Boyfriend has just now shown up out of the blue for the rescue. He would also have to boot him in the chin too, just after he got booted before. Life is so unfair!

The only good news is that the kick merely has 'Greed 'flinching, and his grip on Akane doesn't let up an inch. "Do you mind?!", he spits angrily. "I wanted to have some private time with the lady! Now if you'll excuse me..." Yoink! Sharky speeds off back into the building with the girl still in his grasp. As he ducks and dives through the maze back to the back office, an odd sense of deja vu crosses Envy's mind. Oh yeah, he did chase the traitor around Karakura High like this once, didn't he. Good times, good times...

"Rmmma!" Akane exclaims with joy, seeing the very person she most wanted to see at this exact moment. She flinches at the kick, closing her eyes tightly just in case she somehow gets jerked up to block the blow. This doesn't happen, much to her relief. He's here! He found her! She's so hap--

Yoinked! So terrified! Noooooooo, she doesn't WANT to have some private time with the lecherous creep! Akane kicks and twists, uttering muffled protests every step of the way.

Wh--hey! No fair running! "Hell yes I mind! Get back here, dammit!" Ranma immediately gives chase, bouncing off walls rather than go the entire way actually running on the ground. He's not keeping up too well -- Envy's already been through the building and knows where to go -- but he hasn't been left behind yet.

'Greed' makes it to the office door well before Ranma does, though, and he scampers inside and quickly deposits his squirming charge next to a steam pipe. Akane the Mangler has to be kept out of the way, and a conveniently appearing pair of handcuffs are used to secure her wrists to the pipe. A wink and a lick of his chops later, and the thug is back outside the office, dashing headlong to where he can hear Ranma charging in from.

This was totally not part of the plan, but, as usual, Envy's going to have to improvise the rest from here on in. At least he'll have time to think while keeping the boy busy!

And so, the kidnapper goes out to fight the rescuer, leaving the kidnapee unattended. Don't these thugs ever get the hint that doing that is a BAD IDEA, and that any little unforeseen thing can screw up their plans?

Like Kururu, for instance, who has gotten bored just watching the standard 'rescue' event play itself out. The Keron lowers his hovering platform closer to where Akane is handcuffer (still invisible, of course) and ponders what to do. He could free her, but he's already given her one freebie already. Hmm... what will make this situation as entertaining as possible?

Ranma skids to a halt as 'Greed' comes running at him suddenly, arms empty of tomboy. "What'd you do with Akane, jerk?" he demands, dropping into an offensive stance. For once, he's waiting for a response before he strikes.

"I put her someplace where she won't kick my ass!" 'Greed' allows himself a moment of frank honesty before proceeding with the beatings. Its offense versus offense as he starts with a couple free swings at Ranma's jaw while he gets all chatty. "No wonder you made a mockery of Envy! Your fiance beat you into shape!"

Envy critically strikes Ranma Saotome with his And Now It's My Turn attack.

Above Akane, a voice rings out of nowhere. "Myyyyyyy, such a perdicament you're in, eh? Ku ku." Kururu doesn't make himself visable, so Akane is stuck trying to pick out where the voice is coming from in the darkness. "Girl gets kidnapped, girl gets rescued, it's all so mundane. You put up a good fight earlier, though, too bad it wasn't good enough. The maiden should never rescue herself, after all."

Whoever is behind that voice must be BEGGING to be clobbered.

Ranma takes a fist to the face, but doesn't even blink. He snickers at the honesty at the beginning, but scowls by the end. "Hey, Akane's got nothin' on me, buddy. Lemme show ya -- !" Ranma ducks in close, punching his palm before he goes for a quick one-two shot to the ribs, one punch on each side.

Ranma Saotome misses Envy with his I have no idea how familiar this is attack.

Akane Tendo recoils with a shudder at the parting look on Greed's face. Ew! EWWWWWWWWW!!! She struggles momentarily with the handcuffs, but it becomes clear pretty fast that she can't slip her hands free, nor is she capable of busting metal with sheer brute strength (believe it or not). She can hear the sounds of battle, which might explain why she looks so angry again. "THAT'S NOT TRUE, YOU JERK!" she roars at Ranma's claim. She's beaten him a few times! When she had power-ups of some sort. But normal hand-to-hand...well...okay, she has to give him that one.

But before Akane can sigh too deeply, she hears a voice. A very annoying voice at that. "Grrrrrrrr... Who's there?!" she demands, struggling anew. "What do YOU know!"

There he goes, aiming for his chest again. So predictable. "Please," 'Greed' weaves back and to each side with the punches, then follows Ranma's moves with a uppercut straight to the boy's jaw. "I saw Envy's fight on Pay-Per-View. Try something new for once, kid!"

Inside the homunculus's head, plot damage control kicks in and the wheels start to spin...

Envy gets a glancing blow on Ranma Saotome with his Tiger Uppercut! attack.

Ow, right in the same spot he hit just a minute ago. Who's being predictable? Of course, since it hit, the joke's on Ranma. "Fine, see how ya like this one!" Ranma brushes a bit of blood from his lip and swings his foot out to smash into 'Greed's' kneecaps, one after the other.

Ranma Saotome misses Envy with his Kneebreaker attack.

Despite Akane's anger, she gets nothing but mocking giggling in return. "Kuuuuuu ku ku, I know that I practically handed you a chance to escape earlier, which you incompetantly blew. To think I wasted some energy on my rope-disintegration gun...." Kururu mocks, revealing his earlier involvement. "I've watching most of this fiasco from the start, so I believe I have every right to say that you have a particular skill at being a damsel in distress. And damsels..." Kururu trails off, his voice darkening a bit.

"...should wait quietly on the sidelines! Ku ku!" Suddenly a shot is fired, and a light blue laser is reflected off the walls, and smacks into Akane. Don't worry, no adverse transformations with this one, it's mild compared to Kururu's other inventions. This is Kururu's Cosplay gun, currently set at 'Damsel in Distress'. Suddenly Akane is wearing a long, pink, flowing dress, compelte with poofy shoulders and a pointy hat with a ribbon on the end. Oh, and a handkerchief mouth gag. That was Kururu's own addition. She was too noisy. Kururu activates one final device, which projects a screen of Ranma and 'Greed' going at it, from one of the several cameras he had set up outside. "So sit back and watch the fight, and see your hero win. ..or lose, whatever. Ku ku."

Akane Tendo stares in shock at the shimmering folds of pink that sheathe her legs. Puffed sleeves! A stupid hat! ARGH AND A GAG! How is she supposed to raise a fuss with that?! Although, Akane has always wanted to wear a dress like this. She's not a tomboy entirely by choice, and she'd love to show a more feminine side. Not bad... A shame it'll probably be spoiled by Ranma and whatever stupid remark he has to say. If he wins, that is. Akane flinches for his sake as the monitor appears. ~Come on, Ranma... I'm counting on you!~

Each move to avoid the kick has 'Greed' looking like he does a little jig. A mischevious mind who happens to have a camera handy could splice it togetherinto a proper jig for uploading to the Internet. (A move Envy would highly endorse.) The last hop is finished with a silent spin around Ranma's side and a flying kick to his back that should send the boy flying past the office door. Maybe he can distract him with the Helpless Girlfriend!

Envy hits Ranma Saotome with his Say Hi To Akane For Me! attack.

This isn't going so well, Ranma thinks as he flies through the air. He needs to try another course of attack. Maybe if he -- train of thought paused for collision with door. Ranma slams through the office door, shattering it into little pieces that go flying, and slams into a nearby desk, finally stopping. "Ow, somebody get the number a' that truck?" he mutters, pushing to his feet. Then he sees Akane.

And what she's wearing.

"...pffffff... AAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!" Ranma clutches his stomach as he cracks the hell up at her pink ensemble. "Oh, oh man, Akane! Ya just... ahahahaha!" He shakes it off, though; can't be forgetting about the fight! "Later, 'Princess' Akane. Yer knight's got a shark ta take care of!"

Ranma quickly ducks out the door again, not even realizing the implications of the joke he just tossed off. Or maybe too embarrassed to admit them. Either way, he's coming up on 'Greed' again, bringing the back of his fist up at the homunculus's nose.

Ranma Saotome hits Envy with his BACKHAND attack.

Kururu's about to say more, but he pauses to look at the 'screen'. "Hey, is he about to fly right through the---" CRASH!!

A piece of debris flies up into the air and smacks Kururu's hovering platform with deadly accuracy, causing it to crash through a window and down onto the ground outside. The anti barrier deactivates, and a slightly crispy and bruised frog is lying face up, with his glasses broken. "Glasses... glasses..." Kururu mutters, switching his broken pair with a clean one. "Tch... lucky shot." Kururu stands up, and flips his hovering platform over to try and start it up again. He's going to miss all the fun if he stays out here!

Kururu may find, as he tries to start up his platform, that a shadow's fallen over him. If he has a sixth sense, he might also get the vague feeling that there's firepower being pointed at his back-

Giroro shoulders his bazooka and blinks, too surprised to glare angrily (instead, he's just glaring neutrally, as is his wont). "Kururu? What the hell are you doing here?" The red Keronian looks the mad scientist frog up and down, and his eyes narrow. "... what trouble are you getting yourself into now?" he growls, standing back and generally making no effort to help.

Akane Tendo is one pissed-off princess. Partly so because Ranma just pointed and laughed at her. What's so funny?! She's scared, and tied up, and may very well lose her purity if Ranma doesn't win this fight!!! BIG JERK!!! But on the other hand, he called himself 'her knight.' Hers. Did he really mean that? It keeps her anger on a gentle simmer as she debates, blinking, and looking puzzled with a furrowed brow. At least she's settled down.

'Greed' winces with the sound of each crash and collision. "I don't even know my own strength," he comments casually as he struts over to the debris-strewn doorway, fully intending to catch Ranma either gawking or trying to free his girlfriend. Either way he'll have a free shot.

That's when he sees Akane. ". . ." Greed removes his glasses, polishes them clean, then puts them on again to double-check. ". . . What."

Disbelief gives way to a new feeling, as he eyes the 'princess' up and down. Before she was cute, but now... so helpless, so pink, so... "Adorable..." The homunculus's lips quivers, his eyes quibble, and - he's rudely backhanded by an impudent boyfriend. Ow!

"No bair," Greed growls as he sends another heavy boot directly into the small of Ranma's back. "I wub abmiring ba scebery!" He can be just as good a fighter if he's a paraplegic!

Envy gets a glancing blow on Ranma Saotome with his Thib Ib Fob My Nobe! attack.

Kururu doesn't seem to flinch as he senses Giroro behind him. Yes he can tell there's a bazooka pointed at him. When is there NOT a bazooka pointed at him when he's dealing with Giroro. But he knows he's not going to shoot, because Kururu is the higher-ranked officer, and Giroro will only shoot if Kururu gives him good reason, and he's not feeling THAT mischevious today.

"Just having a little fun, ku ku ku..." Kururu replies, finally reactivating his hovering platform, and anti-barrier. "A few Pekoponians and Pekopon Varients are in the middle of a typical 'rescue the maiden' plot in there. It's amusing, so I'm watching." And interfering when he sees fit. "They haven't seen me, so cool your jets, and stay out of my way." Kururu then flies back up into the window he was just knocked out of, to resume watching the fight.

Adorable? Her? "Wh -- a -- y --" Ranma sputters. "Well -- cut it out! She ain't yer fiancee, got it?" His hand lashes out in a series of fast attacks -- wait, no, he's only jabbing at 'Greed' with one finger. Why aren't those punches instead of little pokes?

Answer: Ranma finally started paying attention the last time Cologne jabbed his pressure points.

Ranma Saotome misses Envy with his Hold Still a Minute stun.

"You got yourself blasted out of the window, and you're telling me that they haven't seen you yet? Ch'," Giroro growls and crosses his arms, shaking his head. "No finesse at all." He twitches as Kururu jets off, his lip curling further to reveal serrated fangs. "-- and what's with that damned attitude?! You dare call yourself a military man?! Rrrrgh..."

Giroro trails off, muttering to himself, and promptly straps a jetpack to his back out of hammerspace before following the yellow frog up. He'll be keeping an eye on Kururu and keeping him out of trouble, ooooh yes.

"What? A man can't enjoy a truly magnificent sight?", Greed sniffles. Whether its from being newfound adoration of Akane, or a little leftover spillage from that last shot to his nose, he's still not sure. "A vision of adorable beauty, all wrapped up in pink and not shrieking up another migraine? And what's with all the pokes?" There's no effect on the homunculus, as he had shifted juuuuuuuuust a little to his left before so that the whole sequence was thrown off. "If you want to poke a guy, here's how you do it." Wham. Fist, meet chest!

Envy hits Ranma Saotome with his POKE attack.

Ow, dammit, this guy is strong. Ranma's already starting to feel all the hits. "Vision of -- man, you better get yer prescription changed!" He'd better step it up a notch -- Akane will never let him hear the end of it if he doesn't manage to rescue her. Ranma goes into a spin, lashing out with powerful kicks any place his feet can find Envy's body.

Ranma Saotome misses Envy with his WHIRLWIND combo.

"Keep your belt on." Kururu mutters as Giroro follows him. "That was just a lucky shot, a piece of debris hit me." As for Giroro's military comment, Kururu doesn't respond to it, but Giroro should know full well where Kururu stands on military code. He only pulls rank and follows it whenever it suits him, and right now it doesn't so he's just off duty or whatever. So there.

"Keep yourself hidden, whatever happens here really isn't any of OUR business, unless we can make it more fun to watch of course." Once Giroro sees Ranma that may change, but it's not like Kururu knows of, nor cares about, any past meeting between the two.

Envy can sense the frustration and fury building within Ranma, having become quite familiar with that feeling over the past few months. Its then that he decides to try mimicing his fellow homunculus's best trick. "You can't win, kid," 'Greed' sneers as his body is suddenly enveloped from toe to head in a solid black carbon casing. "I have the Perfect Defense!" A very perfect defense, indeed, for he's able to go toe-to-toe with Ranma and, in a simultaneous and almost choreographed exchange of punches and kicks, avoids any of the blows crumpling the carbon and thus ruining the charade. Ranma, however, might not come out as unscratched.

Envy juggles Ranma Saotome with his Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better~ o/` combo.
Envy juggles Ranma Saotome with his Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better~ o/` combo.
Ranma Saotome breaks Envy's combo.

Giroro DOES know full well where Kururu stands on military code. That's not going to stop him from grumbling about it until his long-dead bones are bleached by the sun. "Don't teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, I know well enough to keep myself hidden," he shoots back- before double-taking. "And what do you mean, 'we' making it more fun to watch?!"

Before Giroro can elaborate, his attention's drawn to the action. "Him?" The Keronian narrows his eyes at... at whatever the hell's going on in there. Oh, he's definitely met Ranma before.

Akane Tendo shivers. It's a little flattering to be called adorable. She just wishes it had come from another source! And Ranma is NOT helping. Akane bristles, growling behind her gag and shooting dagger-like glares at the viewscreen. See what happens when you make fun of your helpless fiancee? DO YOU SEE?! You begin to suck!

Ow, ow, ow, ow, what the crap was that? He's turning into some sorta giant rockman! Ranma skids backward as the blows knock him almost off his feet. He can't take many more hits like that. Breathing heavily, Ranma moves in and lashes out at full Chestnut-Fist speed, sending dozens of light punches at Envy's 'armor'.

Ranma Saotome hits Envy with his fall down already damn it! attack.

"Hmn? You KNOW that Pekoponian?" Kururu asks, mildly interested. He decides to take his scanner out again. Ranma is still giving off some strange, unreadable signature Kururu can't identify. Scanning the newcomer, Kururur stops, and frowns. These signals are AWFULLY close to the woman who was here earlier, save for some slight difference. Is he a 'snake chimera' too? Somehow, Kururu thinks something is up, this warrents further investigation.

"Interesting, ku ku..." Kururu turns back to the Corporal. Glasses GLINTING. "So, Giroro, what do you want to do? Whoever that Pekoponian is, he's fighting to save his girl. It's a man's battle, or whatever you want to call it. Even if it looks like he's about to lose brutally..." The show is, at least, good.

'Greed' obliges Ranma's wish by falling with the blows and slamming back-first into the concrete. It was a better option than standing and letting him crush the 'Perfect Defense'. He shouldn't notice the repairs that will go on behind the homunculus. The boy definitely won't notice if the ensuing flailing kick to his solar plexus knocks the wind out of him!

Envy gets a glancing blow on Ranma Saotome with his OK, I'm Down, Now What? attack.

"Aah.. I've seen him around a few times," Giroro replies gruffly, dropping the usual venom as if he's forgotten who he's talking to. "Him and a lot of people from his alternate Pekopon are able to fight with the same kind of crazy energy that Tamama does, energy blasts and all." He tightens his grip on the bazooka at the memory of that ludicrous power. "... though it comes with some sort of unexplainable physical handicap." Giroro's not likely to forget that, too.

Giroro erks at Kururu's glasses-glint. "Wha--?" He takes a closer look at the situation, his experienced eyes assessing it almost instantly. Dear lord, Kururu's right. Giroro grits his teeth and doesn't answer for the moment, as if he's wrestling with something.

Ranma Saotome doesn't let up for a moment, linking his hands and raising them up to slam down into the homunculus's chest, before he can stand. He's slowing down, clearly damaged badly. It doesn't look like he'll be able to exchange more than a couple of strikes before he drops for good...

Ranma Saotome hits Envy with his Ranma Smash Foolish Shark attack.

Not good enough. Envy's still on the ground and wide open for a follow-up attack. One good strike and the show's over. "Time's up," the thug sighs as the Perfect Defense dissolves away, just as Ranma's blow thunders right into his chest. Crack. Gee, that's a familiar sound. Crack his rib, he'll have to crack Ranma's skull right back. "Nngh. There goes my insurance rates!"

Envy gets a glancing blow on Ranma Saotome with his Headbutt! attack.

"An interesting world, eh? I'd like you to give me all the information you have on it, perhaps I'll spend some time observing the place. Ku ku." Kururu is largely uninterested in Ranma's fate. Though if the Pekoponian lives through this it might just prove that he's a worthy subject to study. Just wait till Kururu finds out his secret...

As Giroro looks like he's about to dive in himself, Kururu places his platform between him and the action. "Hold it. I know what you're thinking, Mr. Soldier, but don't bother. These Pekoponians aren't our comrades, so we don't need to risk being exposed and choose a side to help one of them." Even if Kururu nearly did reveal himself earlier just to get a few giggles, but that's entirely besides the point. "If you want to make sure he lives, we could probably see to that, but the fight is his." It's always much more fun to watch the hero get beaten into paste, instead of saving the day.

'Greed' slams his forehead right into Ranma's face, and Ranma ducks backward in pain, but still manages to grab at his opponent's head. With a yell, the martial artist attempts to smash Envy right back into the concrete again.

Ranma Saotome hits Envy with his Last-Ditch Effort attack.

Envy hopes that whoever redecorated his captive was also kind enough to leave some aspirin. Ow! "If its any consolation," 'Greed' growls, as he uses all his strength to toss Ranma off his body, "I'll be a perfect gentleman with your girlfriend! Now get the hell off of me!"

Envy hits Ranma Saotome with his GTFO attack.
Ranma Saotome has been knocked out!

Akane Tendo utters a muffled cry of despair for Ranma as he's hit, and hit hard. He's...he's losing! He can't lose! Not like this! Tears start to sting her eyes, and Akane shakes her head as she struggles to hold them back. It's not that she's scared of Greed running away with her to his chateau d'amour...though she's afraid of that too...but who's to say Greed won't kill Ranma if he wins? ~Get up...y-you dummy...fight him! FIGHT!~

"I guess... I will," Giroro grates out, half-unwilling to tell Kururu anything. But given that he's as curious as Kururu is about Ranma's bizarre world, the surest way he'll be able to get any information at all about it would be to, yes, give information to the undisciplined unmilitary mad scientist.

As Kururu blocks him off, Giroro glares back for a few moments-- "Ch'."-- before backing down. As much as he hates to admit it again, Giroro knows that the other Keronian is at least partially right. "We'll see," he says shortly, turning to watch as the beating in progress continues.

The bazooka doesn't come off his shoulder, he's still tensed up, and a bead of sweat trickles down the side of his head as Akane's yells reach his ears, but at least Giroro remains still.

'No, damn it, I can't lose, I hafta save --' WHAM. Ranma slams into the wall headfirst, dropping onto his feet, blood dripping down from his hairline. His arms lift up into a fighting stance, and then --


If 'Greed' gets up the nerve to approach him, he'll see the boy's eyes have gone blank. He's passed out standing up.

'Greed' waits for a couple moments, then finally drags himself off of the ground and walks over to where the boy's standing. He waves a hand in front of the boy's face a couple times, then breathes a very heavy and much relieved sigh when there's no reaction.

There. Now we're even.

With a jaunty step, the homunculus saunters back into the office, where he gives Akane a cheerful wave as he grabs a bottle from the table. "I'll be right back~", he coos, heading right back out. Oh no, he's gonna clobber Ranma with the bottle! How fiendish!

Or he'll just leave the bottle of rum on the ground next to Ranma's feet. "This is for when you wake up. Good fight, kid."

Now for the last detail. 'Greed' re-enters the office, holds a single finger to Akane for her to wait just a liiiiiiittle more longer, and then calls to the ceiling, "Whoever did this? Thanks! I love the outfit, it fits her beautifully! Now, can you at least tell me where you got it from?"

Nah, Kururu isn't answering Greed. Though if he pushes the issue he may just get a pretty pretty Princess outfit himself. "Well, lucky for the Pekoponian his opponent seems merciful, eh? Ku ku." What an interesting evening. And it's probably not even over, if Greed gets away with Akane the chase will begin anew! What fun!

Kururu is, of course, doing nothing to stop Greed. Rob himself of another night of entertainment? Perish the thought. Instead he turns around and flies out the window. It shouldn't take him too long to find Greed and the girl again if he wishes, how many other people would give of a signal like HIS?

"I suppose," Giroro admits grudgingly, eyeing the bottle and the lack of continued, post-KO violence with something akin to approval. The military Keronian also doesn't do anything as Greed goes to claim his prize; seeing how Ranma fought, Giroro has a feeling that taking back the girl might not be too difficult for one with that kind of fighting spirit.

Giroro lingers for a moment, watching for a few more seconds. Then, with a 'hmph', he turns to blast off himself, and trails behind Kururu.

Akane Tendo makes an angry muffled noise, inching further away from Greed, as far as the cuffs will allow. Not that it'll do any good, but at least she's making her feelings perfectly clear on the matter! She wants nothing to do with him. She doesn't want him to so much as LOOK at her, or TOUCH her, or ANYTHING!!! She can't help herself from glancing back to the screen again and again. He's standing...why is Ranma standing still like that...? He's unconscious and still...he still won't give up. Akane swallows hard. Oh Ranma...

No answer? No answer. 'Greed' frowns and walks over to his Damsel In Distress, scratching his chin for a moment before tugging down on the handkerchief. "Do you know who did all this?", he asks as he unhooks the handcuffs and just as quickly rehooks them away from the pipe. Envy's not taking any chances - this girl's dynamite!

"Of course I don't know!" Akane snaps furiously. "If I did, they'd be in PIECES right now!" Her eyes narrow as she regards Greed. He's the one that did this to her. She'll...she'll make herself so scrappy, so chock full of tomboy that, like Ranma, it'll completely turn him off! And what better way to manage that, than a snap kick right to the chin? It's his own fault for leaving her legs free.

Akane Tendo misses Envy with her If Peach can do it, so can I! jab.

She can kick that high in that dress? Wowzers! Envy ducks his head back in time to avoid yet another blow to the jaw, though he starts to find himself admiring the girl's tenacity. Those puffy legs really look good in tights, too. "I've got to hand it to you girl," 'Greed' grins honestly as he gently shoves Akane into a chair, and whips out some rope to tie her feet, "You don't know when to quit. I like that in a woman!"

Akane Tendo's legs are NOT PUFFY!!!! Argh argh argh! She twists and flails and kicks as she's dragged back into a chair, oofing as she hits the seat. And when Greed states what he likes, Akane goes 'erk!' DARN IT!!! Wasn't she supposed to try being feminine? And disgustingly so?! Gosh, she's not sure she can manage...but she'll give it a shot! "Oh! What am I going to do! Ranma, my love! I feel weak...dizzy...won't someone save me!" She flops back melodramatically.

As long as she's going to lie there, Envy will just go ahead and tie her feet together. "Uh huh," he states flatly as he works. "You kick, punch, and probably would've bitten too if given a chance, and you expect me to fall for this? I'm not as dumb as I look!" Heh. The last knot done, 'Greed' pauses, then fliips up the skirt to take one last look at those legs, then lets them drop to the ground with an eyebrow waggle. "Giggity, giggity."

A vein pops out on Akane's forehead. Ooooooooooo, she's going to KILL him if she ever gets free! KILL!!!! "HMPH!" she tosses her head indignantly, absolutely seething. At least he's making the mistake of keeping her here. Every moment they remain in this location, Ranma grows closer to waking up, and getting his second wind. He'll save her, she knows he will. She just hopes he does it a little sooner than 'just in the nick of time' because she really doesn't want this dress to get torn.

He's going to have to wake up real soon, for 'Greed' puts the finishing touches on by lifting the handkerchief back over Akane's mouth. "There. No shrieks to attract any more heroes. I've had my fill of headaches for tonight! And now," he gestures, literally sweeping the girl off of her feet and into his arms, "We're off to my chateau d'amour! Or a cheap hotel room. Either works!"

Akane Tendo's eyes are as wide as teacups. No way! This can't be happening! Her poor little heart starts thundering with sheer panic. Her gaze snaps back to the monitor, almost expecting Ranma to be gone and charging to her rescue. But he's not moving. Oh stars, he's not moving! Is Greed really going to get away with this?! Akane twists and struggles with every ounce of desperation she's got, even if it rubs her wrists and ankles (WHICH ARE NOT PUFFY) raw, her screams effectively muffled by the gag.

"Not so defiant now, are you?" 'Greed' flashes a shark-toothed smirk, then clings his damsel tight to his body. He can feel her struggle in his grasp, and sense the fear radiating from those eyes. Somewhere inside Envy, his inner abomination cackles with delight. "It's time to play," the homunculus grins, and in a bolt he's out of the office, dashing past Ranma without even pausing to have the girl whine pitifully at her would-be rescuer. He's not taking any chances this time!

When we last left our fiendish villain and the fair maiden, they were making a hasty exit from Ye Olde Abandoned Factory for a new hiding spot. 'Greed' had threatened Akane with the horror of a night with him at his Chateau D'Amour or a Cheap Motel. Gasp! To be honest, though, when he threw her into the backseat of the car and drove off, Envy really didn't have much of an idea of where to go from here. He didn't have a Chateau d'Amour nor ready access to any Cheap Motels. Oops.

So he improvised. A long drive through the dirty streets of Dublith and the scenic backroads of Amestris later, and we come to a farmhouse on the outskirts of town. The farmer and his family are off in Central on a vacation to visit the Fuhrer, so there will be nobody there to notice the shark-haired guy and his still-pointy hatted and trussed-up hostage sneak in through a back window. "Sorry if its not quite my Chateau d'Amour, but I forgot I left the keys to Dolcetto and Roa and God knows what mess those two made of the place!"

Akane Tendo shoots Envy a dirty look, because she has no idea what the heck he's talking about. On top of that...he's planning on forcing himself on her in a FARMHOUSE?! This is going to go down as the worst night of Akane's life. She's a bit tired from struggling (the whole way there! she didn't stop! NOT ONCE!), but fear is a mighty motivator, and at any insane moment she might find her golden opportunity. She can hope so, at least. She utters a dire string of not-nice things at Envy, though the gag keeps them from being intelligible.

Wow, she's still got a lot of fight in her, Envy thinks as he carries his package past the bedroom and into the dining room. Miss Akane is definitely someone fun to play with! He'll keep her in mind the next time his inner abomination gets bored, fufufufu.

Akane is, in perhaps a surprising move, gently deposited in a chair next to the dining room table. 'Greed' then secures her to the chair with enough rope to hogtie Paul Bunyan's ox, just to be safe, before he disappears back into the depths of the house. Nothing indecent seems to be planned, for there's the sound of cabinet rummaging and a tinkle of glass. A few moments later, he returns with a bottle of wine, a pair of glasses, and a candleabra. "I would have preferred a romantic dinner for two, but slaughtering my own cow would've been too messy. I hope you don't mind if we just had drinks instead?" A beat. "Oh, right." They're far enough out, Envy thinks, so he pulls down the handkerchief again. "Just keep the volume down, alright? I still have a splitting headache from all those headshots."

It's a good thing Shampoo was able to turn back to normal during the time. It sure was annoying trying to figure out when she'd be human-mode; watching Ranma in Cat Fist form for the while wasn't going to help her, then; the Amazon went off in search of where she left her clothes, running about for an hour or two almost before. Of course, by the time she went to find Ranma, he was gone.

What to do. Find him, obviously. And Shampoo did, seeing the result of the most recent confrontation the poor boy had with Greedvy. So now, she stuck with Ranma, trying to check if he was still alive. That depends, though.

There's smoke in the sky. Not a whole lot, it's faint, but it's suspicious. Especially since it seems to start above the warehouse, where the fight took place, and ends somewhere above the same building Greed and Akane are currently residing in.

Surely it is all a coincidence, Kururu would NEVER go out of his way to help someone with such an obvious clue. Clearly. It's just... a malfunction that he didn't notice. That's all, really!

....even if this WOULD mean another bit of entertainment, but that has nothing to do with it at all. Ku ku ku...

Ranma is in bad shape. But he's always been quick to recover, and the boy is at least regaining consciousness now. Life returns to his eyes as he blinks, staggering back to lean against the wall. "Ugh... geez, what the heck..." His eyes widen. "Shampoo! Oh, man, am I glad to see you! Did ya see where that guy went with Akane?" Tact? What is this tact you speak of?

The bottle of rum on the ground next to Ranma rattles, but doesn't fall over.

He's happy to see Shampoo?! Aiya! <3 Shampoo would squeal with joy and glomp him without second thoughts, but she restrains that feeling, seeing that he needs to get Akane back without any harm done to her. Besides, she'll add injuries to Ranma if she did.

"Akane gone before I even get here," the girl says with a sad smile, "Only you here, no one else." She had to do a little of her own wall-smashing to find Ranma and the others quicker, anyway. Are there no leads?!?!

SMOKE IN THE SKY BECKONS YOU!! Seriously, some Pekoponians, just can't take a hint. Or a blatent clue.

Hrm. Well, usually people -don't- trust odd smoke. But hey.

Those people aren't Kururu. Ku ku ku.

Akane Tendo does not look impressed. Nor does she look amused. She glares hotly at Greed, her dark eyes smoldering. Does he think he's some sort of Cassanova? ...He drugged that wine, she bets! Drugged it with paralysis powder, to render her helpless! ...more...than she already is... Okay, maybe not. But she still doesn't trust him! "Keep your wine," she snaps. "I don't want any!" She's too young to drink anyhow.

Outside the building, the yellow Keron is viewing the events with a special scanner. He can't really make out the dialogue, but he has a good guess about what's being said. These things are so stereotypical anyhow, so boring. He's wishing that Pekoponian would hurry up and find his way here so he'd have something fun to watch again. He already left a trail for him against his better judgement, Ranma's only lucky Kururu was especially bored tonight.

'Greed' looks up from where he's lit the last candle, and there's a twinkle as the light reflects off the tips of his serrated grin. He picks up the bottle and tsks to himself, then tosses it behind him with a dismal shake of the head. CRASH! "It was a bad vintage, anyways."

A chair is pulled right next to Akane's and the homunculus sits himself down, snuggling himself up right next to the bound princess. "Let's go straight to the next step," his voice drops an octave, getting both more sultry and slimy at once as a rough hand slides over atop of the girl's thight. "Getting to know each other. My name's Greed, I'm a homunculus, and I'm interested in gold, wealth, alcohol, and pretty women." The hand squeezes. Hard. "How about you?"

What feels like a million goosebumps flare along Akane's arms and legs, and her eyes just about pop out of her skull. The hairs on the back of her neck stand up, her lips curls back, and she leeeeeeeeeans as far away from 'Greed' as she can. Urk! Maybe she should have tolerated the wine after all! "The only thing I'm interested in is kicking your butt!" she snarls, twisting at the waist to put her shoulder between the two of them. Sure it starts with the leg, but she has a fair idea where he's planning to go with that hand. You don't get menaced by Happosai for that long and not pick up a few things about the lecherous fiends. "Don't touch me, you pervert!"

Yes, that smoke stuff has been there for quite some time, now, hasn't it? Shampoo blinks as she looks at it, but there's always something about strange stuff that takes you where you want to go...or not. "Ranma," Shampoo starts, just in case he didn't notice it yet. She stands, looking as far as she could with the trail.

Ranma scowls and cracks his knuckles, already feeling a second wind coming on. "Juuust great," he growls. "So now we gotta track him down an' then kick his -- huh?" He pads out the hole Shampoo made in the wall, peering up at the smoke trail. It starts here, looks like? And wanders off... Hmm. "Huh. Worth a try! C'mon!" And blam, he's off like a shot.

Shampoo nods, bounding after him with her Amazon speed.

The hand just goes up and down the thigh. "Hmm. A bit thick," 'Greed' ponders, "But I always liked 'em a bit chunky!"

You're so doomed, Sharky. So very very doomed.

Next stop for the pervert's magic fingers are Akane's shoulder, as he drags her back close to him so he can have a cheek-to-cheek moment. "Awww, so cute! Even after I cleaned your boyfriend's clock, you still think you can beat me!" Any pretense of childishness vanishes with another glint from his evil smile. "After tonight, you'll forget alllll about him, don't you worry. " The Perfect Defense rises up over 'Greed's body. "Once you go black, you never go back!"

Kururu remains watching. He won't be stepping in anymore, but he is still THERE. He's already decided what world he plans on visiting next, once Corporal Giroro gives him an update, that is. Even if this girl isn't rescued tonight, he should find their world to be pretty amusing....

Of course the second Akane recognizes his mocking voice, it'll be in deep trouble, but Kururu will likely to have forgotten about that by then. Probably Akane would have too? Maybe.. but not likely.

Akane Tendo's thighs are not chunky! ARGH! Just because she works out does not mean her legs are thick! THEY'RE MUSCULAAAAAAAAR!

How does Chun-Li get away with being a sex symbol, and Akane end up the butt of everyone's stocky dwarf jokes?

"Uuuuuuuugh!!!" Akane recoils in disgust, shivering from head to toe. Argh, she can't pull away! And as he starts to transform into some sort of horrible monster, she shrieks. "AAAAAA!!!! WHAT'S GOING ON?! DIE!!!" And she headbutts him. Shame she didn't know that was carbon...

Akane Tendo stuns herself with her @_@ action.

It doesn't take too long for Ranma and Shampoo to get to the farmhouse, even once the houses fade away and they can no longer roofhop. They finally drop down by the front door, and the boy turns to the girl. "OK, here's the plan: we bust in and smash the shark guy's face in." Satisfied with this, he smashes the door in with a swift kick.

No arguing here. She still has to get back at that frog. Shampoo nods, watching Ranma kick the poor door to pieces. She then continues to follow after him silently.

It wasn't exactly carbon, as Envy doesn't have that power. He will, however, take silent thanks in Greed having such a thick skull. The Perfect Defense goes down and while Akane's dazed, he undoes all the ropes tying her to the chair. (Not the handcuffs or the ankle ropes, though. He's not suicidal.) "But enough smalltalk! Our night of romance awaits! To the Greedcave!" Whoosh! Crash! Crash?

"More visitors!?" 'Greed' looks outright disgusted as he ducks up the stairs with Akane and into the bedroom. "Wait here," he beams toothily, as he pulls the handkerchief back over the princess's mouth and tosses her on the bed. With a final salute, he races out the door and disappears into the hallway.

That's when things get wierd.

"Oi, Sharky!" It's...
"Envy? What the hell-"
"You grabbed the Tendo girl, didn't you?"
"What of it?"
"I've come to get her."
"I've called dibs!"
"Not like that, you stupid lech!"
"You want her, come get her!"

POW. WHAM. CRUNCH. The house reverberates with the scuffle, rattling the floorboards and doorways. There's finally the crash and tinkle of broken glass before a final moment of silence. The last voice is Envy's. "And don't come back!"

The door to the bedroom opens, and who should appear but a frond-haired freak in a loincloth. Make that a very stunned frond-haired freak in a loincloth, who's staring in disbelief at Akane.

He closes the door, then re-opens it, stares at Akane, then closes the door once more, and re-opens it once again. This time, however, his black outfit has been replaced by a shiny silver suit of plate mail, complete with a sword at his side, and helmet tucked under an arm. "Oi, if I knew Greed was into fantasies, I would've shown up like this!"

Akane Tendo says absolutely nothing to Envy. It's not that she's ungrateful! It's just that she's seeing a lot of pretty stars right now, and they sort of obscure anything else she might see...or here...or feel.

Ranma enters the house just in time to hear Envy's conversation with 'Greed'. He recognizes both voices from recently and a little while ago. By the time he gets up to the bedroom, though, all there is is Envy. In a suit of armor. Hey, he's pinching the 'knight' act. Ranma is acutely annoyed by this, though he can't say why. "'Scuse me for a second," he mutters, shifting Envy to the side and peering through the doorway. "Akane!"

The Amazon blinks as she also steps in, hearing the tail-end of everything. So they didn't have to beat anyone up? Aiya, too bad. Shampoo places arms akimbo, head tilted in question towards Envy's manner of style. "Strange taste, you have," she comments.

The armor jingles as Envy's shoved aside, but there's no anger as he follows Ranma into the room. Poor kid's worried sick about his girlfriend, after all. "Me?" Fronds twirls about as the shapeshifter looks oddly at Shampoo, and he gestures a gauntlet over to the princess. "I wasn't the one who did up Sleeping Beauty over there! Oi, if I'm gonna rescue the princess though, I might as well look the part!"

The swirly-eyed 'princess' stirs at the sound of Ranma's voice. It's as though her brain and body shut down to protect itself against her worst nightmares come to life, and Ranma's the safety switch that flicks on to say hey, everything's a-okay now. She stirs, blinks groggily, and glances towards the door. Oh! OH! He's here! And Greed isn't! And Shampoo, and...Ranma's opponent from the last fight? What's he doing here? She utters a happy sound from beneath her gag, and starts wriggling about again.

Ranma chuckles and moves to release Akane, starting with the gag, then prying the handcuffs open. "Geez, Akane, ya had me worried there. What do I gotta do, get one a' those satellite trackin' devices for ya?" The tone of relief in his voice is far too strong for it to sound like anything more than gentle teasing. He turns to Envy as he moves on to those ankle ropes. "Hey, Envy, was it? Thanks for the help there. How'd ya know that Greed guy was out here?" Yep, he's totally convinced.

Shampoo crosses her arms, now staring half-flat-eyedly at Envy. "...interesting." It's all she says to the homunculus for now since she doesn't really have anything else to talk about with him. She then glances over to Akane to check what Envy meant about 'princess.'


Stifling laughter isn't easy.

"I've been tracking Greed," Envy answers with more jingles as he idly buffs his chest armor. "But I wasn't able to catch up to him until he got here." He'll leave it at that for now, as his attentions are easily diverted over to the stifled laughter. "Hey, I think she looks kinda cute! ... Oi, you're Shampoo, right?" He hasn't had a chance to look the Amazon over up close until now. She's pretty adorable in her own right too. Man, this Ranma is one lucky guy.

Ranma's smart mouth only earns a nudge to the ribs from Akane's elbow. Eye for an eye, and whatnot. He was being gentle, so she'd return the favor. Besides, she really wanted out of those handcuffs! She's jibe him for being slow, or for not winning the fight the first time like he was supposed to, but honestly, she doesn't feel like it. She's grateful. And if circumstances had been any rougher on the girl, she might even *cling* to him, horror of horrors. As it stands, she just remains still, rubbing at her bruised wrists while allowing Ranma to disentangle her legs. "Yeah. Thanks," she smiles, though she blushes at his compliment. She's not quite sure if she's flattered, or wary. All the guys that proclaim her to be cute end up being stalkers that need frequent punting.

The purple-haired girl does manage to keep her giggling to a minimum, perking when Envy speaks to her again. "Yes, I Shampoo. You copy, but not too bad." She is cute, isn't she? Her eyes look mysterious for a moment before she goes back to cute, bubbly and going 'what now.' "Reacquainted, yes?"

Cute? Akane? Ranma doesn't acknowledge the compliment, just tossing the ropes aside once Akane is all clear. "Well, thanks for the help, man. We oughtta spar some time; ya did real good in the tournament fight. When ya weren't goofin' around with that shapeshiftin' of yours, I mean." He grins at Envy, then snaps his fingers as he remembers something. "Oh, speakin' of. I got the fight with that 'Zorin Blitz' chick ta get ready for. Ready ta head home, gang?"

Before they leave, though, Ranma turns to Akane. He's only now gotten a chance to really see how she looks in that dress. "Um... Akane? I just... You do kinda... I mean, pink really just ain't yer color, but, uh... other'n that..." ... He can't finish the sentence. His courage fails him, and he starts toward the hallway, blushing just a bit.

"Oi, that's what I do," the palmtree genkis for Shampoo and Ranma, removing his armor via the alchemic shapeshifting method. "Envy the homunculus, at your service!" The helmet is still in his arm, however, for he has one last idea. "If you wanna fight sometime, sure. But first - you're missing something." The obligatory Ruining Ranma's Romantic Moment comes with the homunculus dropping the helmet over the boy's head. "There, now Sir Ranma can properly carry Princess Akane out of the castle!"

Oh, they going now. Shampoo nods happily at Ranma. "Yes, I ready!" she bubbles, walking after the other two. She then pauses when Envy decides to place the helm on Ranma's head. She snrks, bursting into fits of high-pitched laughter.

Akane Tendo smirks at Ranma's sputtering, brushing at her sleeve. "Don't strain yourself too hard on my account." She hardly needs to be told how she looks in the dress. It doesn't matter, does it? She knows it doesn't suit her. She's too athletic, too short, too stocky, and not cute. Even if Envy seems to say otherwise. Akane knows how things stand! And she's not upset, or angry, or sad. That's just how it is, and life moves on. "By the way...about before, you know...I wanted to say..."

Whatever it is, it gets cut off by Envy's abrupt dropping of a helmet on Ranma's head. Whoa, that's creepy. Wasn't that a piece of Envy when it comes down to it? She looks at Ranma, then at Envy, then at Shampoo. Ohhhhhhhhh no. "I'm not hurt, I think I can manage walking," she chuckles. And then she hastily checks the ground for mysterious banana peels, since that's usually about the time something convenient shows up to make her twist her ankle.

Thankfully, Ranma isn't thinking about the consequences of Envy's shapeshifting. So he just shifts the helmet and smirks. "'Princess' Akane would kick me through a wall if I tried carryin' her around Nerima." And the spastic attempt at a compliment has fallen through. Ah, well. "Onward, then!"

So much for his attempt at creating a fantasy romantic moment. Envy shrugs, and dissolves the helmet, "Onward! I know a great ice cream parlor not far from here, too." Mmmm, chocolate parfaits...

Still giggling, Shampoo trails after Ranma, Akane, and Envy. Oh dear. What strange relations.

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