The Great Rivalry

A Ranma ½ fan fiction
© 2009 by gsteemso

Chapter 1

You know the anime episode where Ryoga acquires a female piglet as both passenger and, the joke runs, love interest? Well, it didn’t happen quite so simply in the manga-verse…


A farm, somewhere a hundred kilometres north of Tokyo, Japan:

Ryoga growled inwardly, and dragged his enormous backpack further into the thick bushes with his strong piggy teeth. He would have growled aloud, but there seemed to be other humans hunting for a piglet in these parts, not just the usual rural predators. Being eaten because he was in his cursed form didn’t appeal at ALL.

With considerable effort, he opened the pack and extracted a very special thermos from within. It was the only one he’d ever seen that could be opened without the aid of opposable thumbs yet still be secure, and he’d spent way too much money buying it the previous week. With a quiet sigh of relief, he knocked it over onto himself and resumed human form, thanks to the still-hot water within.

Some minutes later, he was approaching the farmstead from the other side. He was two or three kilometres from the bush he’d been under, without having apparently walked more than a few hundred paces, which was so commonplace for him that he didn’t even notice. Suddenly, a small pale blur shot out of the trees to his left and impacted hard on his arm. Unhurt, he looked down at the crumpled form of… a small pinkish-white pig?

Well. That was a new one.

He picked the pig up, noting absently that it was a female, and frowned as he heard the (he now realized) swineherds calling to one another in the middle distance. Well, that explained that, anyway. Struck by a surge of fellow-feeling, Ryoga carefully transferred the unconscious pig to the inside of his backpack, just under the top flap.

A little way down the path, Ryoga encountered the hunting party.

“Hey kid, have you seen a pig?”

“No, sorry… Say, how do you lose a pig? Aren’t they enormous and weigh like half a ton or something?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” the farmer grumped. He didn’t want to admit to having been outsmarted by a pig that small. This damn kid in front of him seemed a bit nervous, which could be construed as somewhat suspect behaviour, but he was way too annoying to keep talking to. “If you see a pig, even a little one, can you tell someone up at the barn there? Thanks.” The farmer continued on past, scanning the undergrowth.

“Whew,” Ryoga sighed quietly in relief. Best to keep moving lest he get splashed again; he really didn’t want to be near these guys as a pig again, and he’d already used up his emergency supply of hot water.


Half an hour later, twenty minutes’ walk from Mornington Crescent Tube station, London, England:

Ryoga glared at the passing traffic and the street puddle he’d just been drenched by. Where the hell was he now? If he didn’t know for a fact he was still on the same landmass as Tokyo, he’d swear he was in another country. At least people were driving on the correct side of the road here, not like that hot dry city with all the freeways, palm trees, air worse than Tokyo’s, and sporadic distant gunfire. Ryoga hated that place; he’d been nearly eaten more often there than he had in that other hot dry place, that wide-open flat dusty one with all the lions and the peculiar-looking trees. Give him an honest animal predator any day; they were a lot less stubborn than the hominid variety.

Dragging his thoughts back to the present, Ryoga assured himself that somehow, this was probably all Ranma’s fault.

His attention back on more current events, he couldn’t help noticing that the pig in his pack seemed to have woken up. After a moment’s disoriented squirming, she found the edge of the flap and squeezed herself out into the open. She looked around, then back at him with surprise. «Uh, hi. Where are we?» she asked him, in dulcet and unexpectedly articulate porcine oinks and grunts.

«I can understand you?!» Ryoga boggled. Never having encountered another pig while in pig form before, he was quite surprised. He wondered if Mousse and Shampoo could understand other ducks and cats when in their cursed forms.

«Well, duh,» she said drily. «That’s not an answer, you know.»

«Uh… I think we’re somewhere up north,» ventured Ryoga cautiously. He didn’t want to admit, even to an animal, that he was utterly and hopelessly lost. A thought struck him, then. «Hey, are you a curse victim too?»

«A what?» asked the other pig in confusion.

«Never mind,» Ryoga muttered morosely. «Here, can you help me with this?» He siezed a strap on his backpack and began laboriously dragging it further from the puddle.

«What do you want that big human-thing for?» the white pig asked in puzzlement. It seemed pretty nonsensical to her, unless… «Can we eat it?»

«Only if you’re a goat,» he replied absently, before giving a brief “Bweee!” of surprise as he and his backpack disappeared down a steep embankment. They tumbled right under an ornamental wrought-iron fence into a huge privet bush, which quivered violently from the impact.

«Where’d you go?»

«I’m fine… this nest of sharp pointy rocks broke my fall,» came Ryoga’s answering groan, somewhat woozily. The white pig joined him inside the bush a few moments later, finding him again just as he extricated himself from under the pack. Thank goodness for the Breaking Point training, Ryoga thought, not for the first time. The white pig watching him in bewilderment, Ryoga dug out his firelighting supplies and managed to warm up enough rainwater to change back.

Her little piggy eyes got huge. What the HELL? “Bwee?”



Latest revision as of Sat. 2009/11/14