Subject: Part one of a cute little Generation X/Ranma 1/2 story I dreamed up
From: Harvey Torrance Griffin
Date: 8/25/1995, 10:32 PM
To: fanfic@andrew.cais.com

	I intend to have this officially posted to both r.a.a.s. and
alt.comics.fan-fiction, and chapter two ready for preliminary reading, by
this time next week.  I thank all who were willing to give me feedback on
the rough draft (especially Hitomi), and plan to complete the entire story
over the course of the year as academic obligations permit.
	<deep breath> Here goes. . . .
______________________________________________________________________________
			          \ / 
			Ranma 1/2: X-Change Students
				  / \
			
			A Fan-Fiction by H. Torrance Griffin


			Ranma 1/2 created by Takahashi Rumiko
			Generation-X created by Scott Lobdell & Chris Bachalo
			X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
_____________________________________________________________________________
Night; late July; Nerima district; Tokyo, Japan:

	The young man, the boy really, wandered aimlessly through the 
streets clad in an old fashioned yellow shirt, dark brown trousers, 
and a yellow an black bandanna.  The evening was quiet (for a change) and 
nobody was on the street to note the youth bent more under the weights on 
his mind than the mass of the large backpack surmounted by a bamboo 
umbrella.
	A smile curled his lips and his eyes sparkled as he thought of 
the mortal incarnation of kindness and beauty that was the only joy in 
the ruin that was his life, then his face darkened as the one person 
responsible for the current state of affairs in his existence came to 
mind.  Son of a thief, coward, stealer of bread, three-timing bigamist, 
accursed magnet of misfortune, destroyer of lives, abuser of piglets; the 
crimes of this man could scarcely be counted for their number and 
variety; and to add injury to insult this person was a continual thorn in 
the side of the woman he adores above all else!
	Tears glimmered on his cheeks as he bared his large, near 
fanglike canine teeth and howled to the passionless stars:
	"<SAOTOME RANMA I WILL CRUSH YOU!!!!!!>*"
	(* <> = translated from the Japanese)
******

	As the shadowy figure on the nearby rooftop saw the youth's 
actions in minute detail (due to the light-amplification systems in her 
binoculars), she could not help but hear his words and wonder to what 
extent this plan was thought out.  She hesitated for a moment as she 
lowered the eyepiece, recalling the rumors of unusual occurrences in this 
area of the metropolis; then shrugged off her doubts (this could not be 
any worse than what the gaijin who asked this favor of her deal with on a 
regular basis), picked up the bow and one of the adamantium tipped arrows 
at her feet, nocked them, drew the string to her cheek, and released.
****** 

A week earlier; a telephone connection:

	BRRRIIIIINNNGGGGGGG
	"'Lo." a gravely voice answered.
	"I take it ye've been told of the readings Charles started tracin’
a few weeks back" a man with a thick Irish accent responded without
preamble.
	"Yeah," the first man replied, "if I remember right, Charlie got a
general fix on the signal an' talked some o' his contacts into
investigatin'."
	"These bio-readings are unlike anything either of us have seen," a
cultured female voice interjected, “definitely terran, but they aren’t
even close to anything in the database here, at Westchester, _or_ at Muir.
	“Th’ fact that they did nae show themselves f’r more’n a nanosecond
at a time did nae make it easy.” said the second man, “it took us _this_
long t’ track them.”
	"There's more'n one of 'em," the first man noted, and they seem t'
be concentrated 'round a local high school; that much we know."
	BREEP BREEP
	"Hold it for a moment," the woman interrupted, "someone's on the
other line.  It's her?  Excellent, I'll connect her."
	CLICKT
	"*yawn* I just got your message," a younger, somewhat sleepy female
voice said, "you said it was important."
	"Yes," the older woman said, "we need to determine exactly who or
what we are detecting and to be honest we need both of you to help."
	"I'm still na' sure about this," the second man complained,
"picking up children at random and takin' them halfway across the globe
does na' sit well with me."
	"I have been in touch with our main contact in the area," the older
woman countered, "and her research has narrowed the possible candidates
for recruitment to little over a dozen, all of whom are at least in their
mid-teens."
	"I agree with Irish," the gravely voiced man said, "for all we know
Chuck's gear could've shorted out.  Besides, we have other things to worry
about."
	"Sorry, but I think you're wrong on this one," responded the young
woman, "none of us are molecular bio-chemists,; and we have a
responsibility to contact and warn these people before some madman gets
their hands on them.  If we are wrong, if they are simply normal kids,
then they will just have a normal exchange program trip; _right_ Ms 'Head
Administrator'."
	"Urm, correct;" the older woman responded somewhat nervously, "but
that is where we need your help.  Personal attention and instruction by
one familiar with their language and culture is something I believe would
be useful but nobody on staff is capable of providing."
	"So y' want me to babysit the new kids." the rough voiced man
stated bluntly.
	"Actually I was thinking more along the lines of main instructor
and administrative liaison," the older woman corrected, "and we will need
a housemother/resident advisor without separate academic obligations as
well."
	"Who, me?" the younger woman jested half-heartedly.
	"We've eight candidates f'r the 'exchange program'," 'Irish'
stated, "an' it's t' begin in three weeks if any o' them accept the
invitation."
	"I got business t' take care of," said the rough voice, "but I'll
make it."
	"*sigh* I'll hop the next supply flight," the young woman promised,
"_after_ I get some sleep."
	CLICK
	"Well," the remaining woman said, "all that remains to be done is
to inform the children that they will have some new classmates for a few
weeks."
	"I'm still na' sure about this idea." stated Irish.
	"They are eight Japanese high-school students," she countered,
"what could go wrong?"
	"Famous last words, Frost." the rough voice observed.
	CLICK
******

A week after the conference call; Nerima district:

	THUNK
	The musings of the yellow clad youth were rudely interrupted by
the sight of an arrow embedding itself in the brick wall at his side mere
centimeters from his face.  Cursing himself for his inattention, he drew,
opened, and crouched behind his umbrella in a single swift movement as he
pivoted towards the source of the apparent attack, apparently expecting
the parasol to shield him from whatever additional projectiles were aimed
at him.  There he waited in vain for any sign that would reveal his
assailant's location for several moments, only to rise, bump his head
against the arrow, notice the note impaled on same which read '<To Hibiki
Ryoga>', and remove the thick envelope attached to the arrowhead by a cord
for closer examination. 
	Within said envelope the wanderer found, among other things, 
several forms requesting general personal information and a letter 
written in neat kanji on fine stationary with a western letterhead.  
Stepping into the glow of a streetlight, the boy curiously opened the 
letter and began to read:
	Dear student:
		You have been invited to attend a special summer exchange 
	program at the C. F. Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.  Here 
	at the new Snow Valley campus in Massachusetts, U.S.A., you will 
	receive high school credit in Social Studies and English while 
	learning first hand about life in this nation among an elite 
	student body from both the United States and other nations around 
	the world. . . .

	Ryoga carefully read the glowing description of the American
school and the special academic/exchange program that it had offered,
taking careful note of the apparent signatories of this unsolicited
invitation:
	Charles Francis Xavier: President & Founder, Xavier Institute of
Higher Learning
	Sean Cassidy: Headmaster, C. F. Xavier School for Gifted
Youngsters
	Emma Frost: Head Administrator, C. F. Xavier School for Gifted
Youngsters
	N. A. Logan: Chairman, Department of Japanese Studies, Xavier
Institute of Higher Learning

	"<Wait a minute,>" Ryoga muttered to himself, "<I don't go to 
school, do I?>"
******

Late the next morning; Kuno Manor; Nerima district:

	"<A letter for you Master Kuno,>" the diminutive black-clad ninja
informed the handsome young man as the latter finished a lavish breakfast
(fortunately not prepared by his sister), "<from a school in America.>"
	"<Ah, I shall excuse your tardiness in removing the soiled dishes
from mine sight for this service on my behalf Sasuke.>" the youth
commanded as he absentmindedly opened the thick envelope.
	"<An exchange program?>" he began, rapidly becoming more animated,
"<Conducting my studies amongst scholars from across the globe?! 
Wonderful!  Word of my brilliance and prowess have truly reached to even
the furthest of the barbarian lands!  Surely I, Kuno Tatewaki: the Blue
Thunder of Furinkan High, have been selected as an ambassador of the
Rising Sun Empire to bring civilization and culture to the young of these
gaijin realms!>
	"<No,>" Tatewaki continued after a moment's reflection, "<this is
far too great a stroke of good fortune to be merely the bounty of the
gods, for they would not see fit to grant mine every whim and desire lest
slacken my efforts and cease to maintain mine own vast abilities.  I see
the hand of one whose own plans would benefit from my presence in a place
so far from the land of my residence. . . .  OF COURSE!!  This must be
some plot of that accursed sorcerer Saotome to lure me away in order to
entrap and enslave the fair Akane with his dark magics as he has the
lovely Pig-tailed Girl without fear of my valorous efforts holding him in
check!  You are sly and wily mage, but the Blue Thunder's wisdom doth
pierce your twisted schemes!>" 
	"SASUKE!!!" barked Kuno, "<I wish to learn of what transpires
within the Tendo Dojo immediately!  Go!>"
	"<Yes, Master Kuno.>" the ninja responded as he dropped the stack of
fine china and leapt to obey.
******

Evening that day; C. F. Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters; Snow Valley, 
MA  U.S.A.

	"Why here Mr. Cassidy?" enquired the bespectacled young blonde,
"Why not the mansion at Westchester?"
	"Fer their safety Paige," answered a fortyish red-haired man with a
familiar Irish brogue, "these children may na' have _any_ powers at all. 
If the mansion is attacked they could be hurt, 'r even killed."
	"'Sides Hayseed," added the young Chinese girl with short, tousled
hair and a pair of large mirror-shades pushed up on her forehead, "we're
tryin' to be halfway subtle about this; like, as in not screamin'
'PROFESSOR X WANTS _YOU_' the second they hop off the plane.  Even if none
of them tries to get into the basement, havin' the Hand or a few Sentinels
drop in for coffee an' property damage or the entire staff disappearing in
a private spyplane might strike then as a wee bit suspicious, don'cha
think."
	"Point taken Jubilation," noted a very attractive brown skinned
North African teen, "but the question of living arrangements has yet to be
addressed Mr. Cassidy."
	"There are no other dorms available Monet," observed the young
shaven-headed black man, "so they will probably be staying with us,
right?"
	"*sigh* That was what I was going t' discuss with ye' next Everett,"
conceded Cassidy, "there will be eight students at th' most, an' with
Kitty arriving at th' end o' th' week we will need room f'r four boys and
five girls.  I know 'tis an imposition, but how may o' ye' is willing t'
have a roommate or two f'r a couple o' weeks?"
	With surprisingly little reluctance for the most part, all save
three of the assembled students gave their assent, and soon all eyes were
on were on Monet St.Croix, Angelo Espinosa, and Jonothon Edward Strasmore.
	"*sigh* Very well, I can make room for one more I suppose." Monet
finally said with an air of surrender.
	Jonothon simply glared at the rest of the rooms inhabitants from
beneath his mop of curly brown hair for a few moments.  He said nothing
due primarily to the gaping hole filled with crackling psionic energy that
extended from his diaphragm to his hard palate.
	#I value. . . my privacy.# said a voice with a distinct cockney
accent in the back of the minds of all present.
	Angelo did not speak either at first, instead grimly watching the
loose grey skin and flesh on his arms ripple and flow at his will.
	"I thought you was plannin' to be subtle about the mutant bit," he
finally said coldly, "why would you wan' to stick 'em with me"
	"Well mainly because of your infinitely charming personality
Angelo," Paige responded with a touch of sarcasm, "but the prospect of
fitting five people into Everett's room didn't hurt.
	"Besides," added Everett, "this may not be a training camp for
mutants, but that doesn't mean that they are, how would Ms. Frost put it,
'persona non grata'."
	"Fine," Angelo finally said sharply, "just don't expect me to play
'big brother' or 'pet mutant' for 'em, got it?"
******

Fifteen minutes later; Headmasters office; X.S.G.Y.

	"Well _tha'_ was relatively painless," Sean Cassidy said to
himself, "things'll be a touch crowded, but at least we won't have t' put
people in the halls.  I'll have t' remember t' contact Yukio t'night and
make certain of some o' these names, I'd rather not be callin' these
children bathroom products if it c'n be helped.  *sigh* Sean, what were
ye' _thinking_ when ye let Charles an' Emma talk ye' into this madness." 
	He methodically lit his pipe, and began to look over the
preliminary notes he made on probable room assignments:
	Angelo Espinosa
		Mousse*        (17)
		Kuno Tatewaki  (18)
	
	Paige Guthrie
		Kuonji Ukyo    (17)
		Tendo Akane    (17)
	
	Jubilation Lee
		Katherine Pryde (R.A.)   (18)
		Tendo Nabiki             (18)
	(Why did _I_ get stuck with all the old people!!!)
	
	Monet St.Croix
		Shampoo*   (17)

	Everett Thomas
		Hibiki Ryoga    (17)
		Saotome Ranma   (17)

	* = Double-check name!
	Assuming all 9 students attend.
	Subject to change upon request (within reason).

	#I suppose I could count me'self lucky,# Cassidy thought, #at least
I _know_ the man I'll be roomin' with (why Emma has a room t'erself I do
na' know)#
******

Early afternoon, Tendo Dojo, Nerima district:
	"Ranma," the young woman with apron and a long ponytail over one
shoulder called as she entered the courtyard, "<are you back here?>"
	She did not notice the fairly handsome young man in a tank top and
shorts and sporting a very distinctive braid at the base of his skull
lower himself by his legs from the tree next to her.
	"<What's up Kasumi?>" he blurted when his head was directly behind
hers.
	"<Good afternoon Ranma-kun,>" Kasumi said cheerfully as she turned
around and handed him the thick envelope, profoundly unmindful of the
boy's sudden appearance and bat imitation, "<a school in America just sent
you a letter.>" 
	As he opened the package and read the introductory letter (never
bothering to shift position), Ranma scowled at the thought the thought of
spending any more time on academic pursuits than he did already (what use
was this knowledge to a martial artist anyway?).  After the initial
annoyance however, he began to contemplate the relative boredom that had
accompanied his vacation (it had been some time since he had gone on a
training trip, apparently his father/sparring partner had grown fond of
air conditioning).  Then his thoughts turned to the numerous poisonings,
assaults, beatings, attempts at mind control, and (usually unsuccessful)
outright abductions which his suitors and fiancees subjected him to on a
regular basis (not to mention what he had to deal with from his rivals for
same), and that made up his mind.
	Presently, he flipped to the ground and walked into the main house
where a long-haired older man in a brown gi was playing shogi (a
chess-like game) with a large panda.
	"<Y'know Pop,>" Ranma announced, "<I think I wanna check out this
exchange program.>"
	"<That's nice son.>" read the wooden sign the panda held up in one
paw as it concentrated on the board. 
	"<Saotome Ranma: international scholar,>" said the young woman with
short brown hair, an identical envelope in her hand, and a bemused smirk
on her face, "<why do I find that concept amusing?  I am _definitely_
going, if only to see this.>"
	"<You've been invited as well Nabiki?>" the older man enquired as he
turned towards her (giving the panda an opportunity to creatively
rearrange a few pieces on the board). 
	"<Me too Daddy,>" said a teenage girl with short blue-black hair as
she absentmindedly dusted powdered cinderblock from her off-white gi with
her free hand, "<even the plane tickets are paid for; and this 'Xavier's'
sounds like fun, even if _he_ went along.>"
	"<I do not want you to go unless Ranma does, Akane.>" pronounced
Tendo Soun, "<This place is on the far side of the world, a foreign land
with many dangers.>"
	"<And who better to protect you . . . .>" read the now attentive
panda's sign before he turned it around.
	"<. . . than your fiancee.>"
	Akane's face began to redden as she drew breath to protest mention
of her not-so voluntary engagement, but before she could speak Ranma
jumped to her defense.
	"<Come on,>" Ranma began, "<she can handle herself just fine.>"
	Akane began to smile.
	"<And who'od want to bother an ugly tomboy like her anyway?>"
	THWACK
	SPLASH
	"<jerk.>" Akane muttered as she dropped the table with which she
swatted Ranma out the way he came in and stormed upstairs.
	"*sputter* KAWAIIKUNE!!!" shouted a distinctly female and profoundly
miffed voice from the carp pond in the courtyard.
******

	The shriveled form which hid itself in the rafters quietly
listened to the exchanges in the house below and began to drool at the
thought of the scores of statuesque, large-breasted western women that
would no doubt be within reach of any who went on the journey mentioned.
******

	A pale lavender cat with purple ears and paws listened to the
conversations within the house with an oddly human degree of interest from
it's perch atop the stone wall surrounding the dojo.  When the exchanges
ended with the impact of heavy wood (table) on flesh (Ranma), the cat
resisted the impulse to hurry to the point of impact and scampered away
with a purposeful air.
******

Simultaneously; Athletic field, Furinkan High School:

	#This news is of considerable importance,# thought the black clad
figure as he sprinted across the grassy field, #Master Kuno will be
pleased to gain knowledge of Saotome's plans, unfortunately the Mistress
may also wish to be informed of this . . .#
	The fly ball from the nearby little league game abruptly beaned
Sasuke on the head and drove him to the earth in mid-stride.
	# . . . later.# he concluded as he lost consciousness.
******

Mid-Afternoon; Nekohanten (a small chinese restaurant); Nerima district:

	"[So where have _you_ been?]*" enquired the diminutive crone
counting the earnings of the noon rush from her perch atop a gnarled
wooden cane.
	(* [] = translated from the Cantonese dialect)
	"[Just out for a walk Great-Grandmother,]" answered the beautiful
teenage girl in classical chinese garb walking out of the kitchen, "[the
lunch rush was over and Mousse was here to clean up, so I just went out to
get some fresh air.]"
	"[I see.]" commented the crone in a tone that turned the response
into 'yeah, right'. 
	"[Anyway Shampoo,]" continued the old woman, hopping to the floor
and towards the girl with a thick envelope in hand, "[a letter from some
American school arrived for you today.
	Shampoo sat down and started to dry her luxurious purple hair as
she opened the envelope with her free hand, only to drop the towel as she
read the letter within.
	"<Xa-vi-er?  This same place Ranma go!>" Shampoo exclaimed, lapsing
into broken Japanese.
	"<Son-in-law has been invited as well?>" the old woman asked
flawlessly. 
	"<Ya, Ranma go, Nabiki go, and *grr* Akane go;>" Shampoo explained,
"<Shampoo like to go, but no understand why invited.  Shampoo no student,
no even citizen.>"
	"<That would explain this.>" the crone stated, handing Shampoo an
arrow borne message with the arrow still attached.
	"[Cologne, is Shampoo going somewhere?]" a long-haired youth wearing
ornate robes asked a potted plant as he scrubbed the floor. 
	"<Get back to work, Mousse!>" barked Cologne, "<and put on your
glasses!>" 
	Meanwhile, Shampoo closely read the brief not she was given:
		Just so you would know, I heard rumors that you guys might 
	be illegal immigrants, so I did some checking and found out that none 
	of you ever applied for a passport and Immigration’s been after you for 
	months.  I talked an associate of mine into hacking into their 
	computer system to throw them off the sent; she did one better and 
	processed applications for Japanese passports in your names.  All you 
	need to do is drop off some usable photos at the drop box on the back 
	of this note and you will get the passports in a couple of days.
		Good luck.
		A Friend.

	“[An interesting combination of truth and falsehood, I must admit. 
I assure you child, I would have known if those bureaucrats tried to act
against us and dealt with the problem long before any would-be benefactors
learned anything.]” Cologne stated, noting the doubt in her descendant's
eyes as she comprehended the note, "[I have already been in touch with my
own. . . contacts at Immigration, this is no trap, someone has actually
broken into the computer system from outside with the express purpose of
solidifying our legal status in this country.]"
	"<Shampoo no like this,>" Shampoo pronounced, "<arrow note for
passport and letter for America school come at same time.  It too. . . 
too. . . .>"
	"<Too convenient.>" concluded Cologne, "<At least five people
invited to a 'student exchange program', four of them martial artists, and
two of them not even students.  I do not know what this 'Xavier' wants
with you, or why he has gone through such trouble to assemble such
warriors from so far away; but there _is_ an ulterior motive of some sort
here, and I cannot be certain if your continued safety is part of this
person's plan.>"
	"<NOOOOO!!!!!>" howled Mousse as he miraculously located Shampoo and
clung to her with all his might, "<Don't leave me here as you go into
danger!  I cannot let you go to face death on the other side of the
globe!!  I would suffer a thousand centuries of torture, die a million
horrible deaths if only to spare . . . .>"
	"<You no want Shampoo go Great-grandmother?>" Shampoo asked after
silencing Mousse with a quick elbow to the head.
	Cologne hurled Mousse's limp form into the street, leapt onto the
table, drew herself to her full height, and looked the seated Shampoo
directly in the eye before she spoke again.
	"<Quite the opposite Great-granddaughter,>" she said, "<you _must_
go to this school, if only to protect my future son in law from harm (it
is not as if that weakling Akane could do so. . . .).>"
	"<But. . . .>"
	"<No buts child, business around here is more than slow enough for
me to handle on my own for a few weeks.  _If_ I am wrong, if this is no
more than a free trip and an english course, then you may enjoy yourself.
	"<Shampoo,>" groaned Mousse as he dragged himself through the front
door, "<don't. . . go.  Must. . . protect. . . .>"
	"*sigh* [It would be more trouble than it is worth to keep him
here.]" Cologne muttered to herself as she pulled a second envelope from
her tunic and tossed it onto Mousse's semiconscious form over Shampoo's
vocal objections.
******

Mid-afternoon; Tendo dojo

	He had been prowling the upper level of the Tendo home ever since
he found his way out the bathroom late that morning , fearing to ascend or
descend lest he never find his way back here, the area he felt certain his
destination was located.  As he searched for the chamber he desired, a
shadow fell over him and he wheeled about to face a familiar figure
towering over him, staring off into space with an annoyed scowl.
	"bwee?"
	The titaness turned her gaze downward at the utterance, and a
broad smile spread across her face.
	"P-chan!" Akane half shouted as she picked up and hugged the tiny
black piglet with the yellow and black bandanna around his neck, "<I
haven't seen you in weeks!  I was afraid Azusa managed to get her hands on
you or worse!>"
	P-chan visibly shuddered at the memory of his time spent in the
hands of the uber-kawaii half of the Golden Pair as Akane turned around
and walked back into her room (they were directly in front of it)
	Akane walked back to her desk, set P-chan onto same, and began to
re-read the invitation to Xavier's and the enclosed confirmation forms.
	"<I hope they allow pets at this school,>" Akane mused half to
herself, "<or I'll have to leave you here or *giggle* hide you in my
luggage.>"
	"Bwee?" the pig responded, slightly confused.
	"<Oh, I never had a chance to tell you.>" Akane answered, "<I've
been invited to a school in America for a few weeks.>"
	"Bwee!"
	"<I know, it came as a surprise to me too.  The brochures just
arrived today for me, Nabiki, and of all people Ranma!  This place sounds
nice too, almost too good to be true; now where did I put that . . . aha,
listen to this. . . .>"
	P-chan listened to the recitation of the contents of the letter
with an oddly human intensity, and my the time Akane read off the
signatures at the bottom he was crying tears of joy.
******

Simultaneously; Ucchan's (a small restaurant); Nerima district:

	"<So you're going to the 'States for a while Ranchan?>" the young
woman with a large bow on her head asked Ranma with a slightly worried
look on her face.>"
	"<Yeah Ucchan *munch*,>" Ranma replied between bites of okonomiyaki
(think cross between omelette and pancake), "<some school named *chomp*
Xavier's invited me for a few weeks *gulp*, figure it couldn't hurt
*chomp* and Kodachi, Mousse, Shampoo, etc. will definitely be out of my
hair *munch* for a bit.>"
	"<I see.>" 'Ucchan' said softly as she idly fingered the bandolier
of small spatulas she wore across her traditional chef's attire, "<Do you
know if anyone else is going?>"
	"<Lemme think, nobody I know of 'cept for me, Nabiki, and Akane;>"
Ranma explained to his childhood friend, "<but I just got the letter this
afternoon, so for all I know Kuno could be coming.>"
	KRAKOOM
	"SA-O-TO-ME!!!" a familiar voice bellowed from outside the doorway,
"<I have learned of your plot to spirit the fair Akane to the gaijin
realms and I, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High, shall not stand idly by
as your schemes reach fruition!  Come out and submit to the thrashing you
have earned, mage; you cannot escape my vengeance, for I shall pursue you
to the end of the earth for you crimes!>"
	"*sigh* <Speak of the devil.>" Ranma groaned.
	"<Just head out the back Ranchan,>" his companion commanded as she
unslung the gigantic solid steel spatula from her back, "<I'll teach this
clown to threaten you (and in _my_ restaurant of all the nerve . . . .>"
	"<Uh-uh, I don't hide behind anyone, _especially_ from this idiot.>"
	"<But>"
	"<Hey, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.>" Ranma said as he
ducked around the chef and leapt out the door. . . into the sudden
thunderstorm.
	The proprietor of Ucchan's sighed and placed a filled teapot on a
convenient spot on the griddle as she noted the daily stack of mail she
was busy reading when Ranma showed up.
	"<Pig-tailed Girl!!>" shouted Kuno from outside, "<you have escaped
Saotome's sorcerous imprisonment!!!  Come to me that I may better defend
your fair form from->"
	POW
	"<Pig-tailed Girl I love yoooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. . . .>"
	Kuonji Ukyo ignored the commotion outside and reopened the thick
envelope addressed to her from the C. F. Xavier School for Gifted
Youngsters. 
	#You're not losing me that easily Ranchan.# she thought.
******

Evening; A street corner; Nerima district
	
	A shadowy figure carefully established the overseas phone
connection at the public telephone and awaited the voice he expected with
equal parts dread and apprehension.
	"Yes?" answered the coldly inhuman voice on the other end of the
line.
	"W-well sir," the shadowy form stammered nervously, "the readings
were accurate, the source of psionic power you have been tracking _is_ in
this area of Tokyo."
	"I could have learned that much from here, what else."
	"Th-the bio-readings are more dispersed than w-we believed, sir. 
I-it is unlikely that there is any single source."
	"So instead of one with great power, there are many of lesser power
here.  These readings are new to me, completely unlike any mutant
bio-signature I've had the pleasure of seeing; I intend to examine the
sources of this power personally at close range before other 'concerned
parties' become aware of them.  Go and positively identify a few of the
_multiple_ sources, then report back to me; do we understand each other?"
	"B-b-b-but sir," the figure in the booth said, fearful of the
consequence of failure no matter what the cause, "that could take weeks; 
and the longer I'm here, the greater the chances of-"
	"Don't worry my good man," the inhuman voice on the other end
interrupted, "just so long as they are not aware of the _sinister_ nature
of your mission, _they_ will be no danger to you."
	"Y-yes s-sir." the figure said, extremely aware of the emphasis on
the reference to those he was seeking as opposed to that which he obeyed.
******

Two weeks later; Logan International Airport; Boston, Mass., USA:

	"Ah guess mah timin' could've been better Paige" said the tall,
slightly homely young man, "but things've been a bit quiet and Ah figured
on dropping in on mah baby sister.  'Sides, Ah'm a little curious about
these _ex_-change students Professor Xavier talked y'all inta takin' in."
	"Apology accepted Sam-oneechan," Paige Guthrie replied as she
looked at her older brother from behind the thick Japanese textbook she
insisted on bringing from the school, "no need for the bad puns."
	"'Kay, so where's the plane already?" Jubilation Lee grumbled
impatiently, "I manage to talk the bookworm an' 'Her Royal Perfection'
into tagging along and they're nearly an hour late!"
	"Relax Jubilee," Everett Thomas chuckled, "are you that eager to
check out the imported beefcake?"
	"Yeah right."
	"Take it easy people," said the slightly plain young woman with
curly brown hair as she walked towards them, "the plane's been delayed due
to 'unexpected turbulence', it'll be on the ground in a few minutes."
	"By the way, 'Cat, where'd the other old people disappear to?" 
asked Jubilee.
	"Jubilation has a point Katherine," Monet St. Croix added while
gazing though the large window she was leaning by, "one would think that
the instructors who agreed to summon these children would be courteous
enough to meet them personally."
	"If you must know _Mademoiselle_ St. Croix," Katherine replied,
more than slightly annoyed at Monet's arrogant tone, "Frost is waiting
downstairs, Sean is having lunch with his daughter, and Logan has been
held up and will meet is at the school.  And who are you calling old
Jubilee?"
	"Don't take it personally Kitty," Sam said as he approached,
"accordin' to Paige's E-Mail (yes, Ah finally got that thing t' work) Mony
treats _everyone_ like-"
	"In any case," Monet interrupted, "our guests' flight is making
it's final approach, you may want to prepare to greet them."
******

	Something was wrong.
	After a long and fairly crowded cross-continental flight one would
expect a degree of fatigue and/or eagerness on the part of the passengers
as they deplane and pass through customs, but the hurried pace of the
people leaving customs to meet their relatives or go about their business
was bordering of the unnerving; and if one managed to make eye contact
with one of them, one would look into the eyes of a person that has spent
long periods in intimate company with utter terror.
	The contingent from Xavier's (with the exception of Monet, who was
still staring out the window) looked around them as the passengers hurried
around them without a second look.  As they searched the crowd for someone
who looked like a lost exchange student; Kitty noted the fortyish,
strongly built, stone-faced Japanese man with a white handkerchief on his
bald head, a small phrasebook in his hand, wire rimmed glasses on his
face, and wearing a well-worn gi.
	"Excuse please," the man said haltingly, "you are from Xavier
school, yes?"
	"<Why yes we are sir,>" Kitty said in polite (and flawless)
Japanese, "<and who might you be?>"
	"<I am Saotome Genma,>" responded the stranger in his native tongue,
"<I'm here with my son and his fiancee to make sure that they don't slack
off their training.>"
	#And help myself to some fine western cuisine.# he declined to add.
	#Fiancee?# Kitty thought as she checked the list of incoming
students, #probably an arranged thing, shouldn't complicate things _too_
much, I hope.#
	"<Ah, your son Saotome-san,>" she said after finding the needed
name, "<that would be. . . .>"
	"RANMA NO BAKAAA!!!!!!" a female voice howled from the other side
of customs, immediately followed by a hurtling podium headed straight for
Kitty and Genma.
	Genma reflexively hurled himself aside as he grabbed at the girl’s
arm and grasped nothing; unfortunately Monet was directly behind them.  As
Genma drew breath to warn the dark skinned girl of the apparent danger,
said girl casually swatted the hurtling mass of plywood and plastic
without even looking. . . and smashed it to splinters. 
	"<Gah, how did. . . .>" Genma articulate eloquently as he picked
himself off the ground.
	Kitty made a show of standing up and turned towards customs just
in time to see a Japanese teenager in chinese style red satin shirt and
black pants matching the podium's trajectory and closing in fast on her
head.  Instinctively she rendered herself intangible with a thought an
instant before she would have been bowled over.  Monet apparently remained
profoundly disinterested in the proceedings (unlike Everett, Paige,
Jubilee, and Sam); she just casually caught the boy with one arm and
cradled his wheezing form like a baby.
	"<Saotome Ranma, I presume?>" she enquired in slightly accented
Japanese as she turned to face him.
******

	A faint blue corona flared high around Akane as she charged
through customs in pursuit of her betrothed with a cry of wordless rage.
	#I tried to be calm,# she thought as her fellow passengers
scattered before her, #I hadn't said a word when that bimbo started pawing
on him, I didn't do a thing when he started that stupid fight with
Ryoga-kun on the plane, but to even _imply_ that he had P-Chan for
_DINNER_. . . .#
	Suddenly she burst into the terminal and found herself before a
large sign reading 'Xavier's exchange program' in English and Japanese and
several young westerners staring at her with undisguised surprise and
curiosity from behind same.  She stared back at them, then stared at the
large wooden mallet in her hands, and finally blushed crimson as she tried
to hide the latter behind her back.
	"Urr. . . um. . . h-hello." she stammered in her best English and
bowed as Ukyo skid to a stop beside her.
	"RANMA!" Genma yelled as he punched his son in the head, "<what are
you doing mistreating your betrothed like this!>"
	"*wheeze*" protested Ranma, still sucking wind from his
stomach-first encounter with Monet's arm.
	#Did he just say. . . .# Paige thought as she hurriedly thumbed
through the glossary in her textbook.
	"<Excuse please,>" she asked as she cautiously walked up to Akane,
"<he say. . . you. . . fiancee?>"
	"Hai." said Akane and the ponytailed, androgynous youth in a boy's
school uniform simultaneously as they glared at each other.
	"It is a long story." Nabiki told Paige as she walked up and noted
her confusion while the Akane and Ukyo began a heated argument to fast for
the gaijin to keep up.
	Monet calmly watched Paige and the brown haired youth edge away
from the eminent brawl with Ranma still cradled in one arm and trying to
catch enough breath to speak, honestly fascinated by the progression of
events.  Suddenly, something exploded through the wall beside her.  She
dropped Ranma and spun only to be abruptly slammed in the gut with enough
force to double her over, then sent sailing across the terminal by a blow
to the face.  As she slumped dazed against the wall below the sizable dent
resulting from her impact, she saw an attractive purple-haired girl her
age in a short tunic and chinese style trousers pick Ranma up in a near
bone crushing embrace, bonbori (maces with large round heads) still in
each hand.
	"<Airen, you OK?>" Shampoo murmured lovingly.
	"*aack* <Can't. . . breathe.>" Ranma responded.
	"Ai. . . ren?" Jubilee muttered, wracking her brain for the Chinese
she picked up from listening to her late parents when she was supposed to
be asleep, "geez louise, _sugar-muffin_?!?"
	"<You!  Dark Girl!>" Shampoo barked angrily as she wheeled towards
Monet, "<Ranma Shampoo's husband!  You stay away!>"
	Before she lost consciousness, Monet was treated to the sight of
her assailant being jumped by two of the remaining students.
******

	After the appropriate first-aid checks, prying apart of combatants
and introductions; Kitty, Sam, Everett, and Jubilee finally organized
things sufficiently for a head count to be performed.
	"OK, Kuonji Ukyo, *sigh* Saotome Genma, Saotome Ranma, Shampoo,
Tendo Akane, and Tendo Nabiki are all accounted for." Kitty mused to
herself, "Let's see, Kuno Tatewaki insisted on making his own flight
arrangements, but he swore that he would be at this airport an hour ago. 
I'd better have him paged."
	"Ib is Dobful de airbort 'as de rundrays inclubed in de sbeaker
sysdem, Kaderine." Monet observed around the bloodied handkerchief she
still held to her nose.
	"His plane's still on the runway?" Everett asked.
	Monet put away the handkerchief and gingerly fingered her slightly
swollen nose before explaining; "I noticed a private jet aircraft with the
Kuno family crest on the tarmac shortly before these students disembarked
I believe it is still waiting for us."
	"Could you go out there and get him Monet?" Kitty asked, noticing
the looks of annoyance on Ranma's and Akane's faces, "We should be at the
baggage claim by the time you get back."
	"Very well." the Moor replied as she levitated towards Shampoo.
	"[We will have ample opportunity to _discuss_ proper forms of
greetings,]" she calmly told Shampoo in Cantonese as she looked down at
her with the coldest of stares before flying off, "[later.]"
	#Note to self: talk to Sean and Frost about room assignments,
FAST.# Kitty thought before addressing the new students, "<Excuse me
please, does anyone know what happened to Mousse and Hibiki Ryoga?  They
were on your flight and some of you may know->"
	"<Mousse asleep.>" Shampoo interrupted.
	"<He slept through the landing?>"
	"<Shampoo make Mousse sleep.>" the warrior elaborated, smacking one
of her maces into her empty palm.
	"<She clocked him when he tried to get between her and Ranchan>" 
Ukyo explained, "<I think he should be OK once he wakes up.>"
	"I. . . see" Kitty said hesitantly, beginning to miss the normalcy
of her encounters with the Technet, "<and what of Ryoga-kun?>"
	"<He's lost.>" Ranma stated as he staggered to his feet.
	"<He has some. . . trouble with directions>" Akane corrected after
glaring at Ranma briefly.
	"<He couldn't find his way to the airport and missed his flight?>"
Kitty asked, knowing that did not really want to hear the answer.
	"<That was the weird part,>" Ranma corrected, "<we found him in
front of the terminal with the tickets in his pack.  He made it to the
plane just fine, just got lost looking for the exit.>"
	"Lost. . . on a commercial airplane." Kitty muttered in disbelief
before pitching her voice to carry, "<Alright, would you please all go to
the baggage claim, I will collect the last students from the plane and we
will all rendezvous with each other, Mr. Cassidy, and Ms Frost at baggage
claim E, understood?>"
******

	Kuno Tatewaki was not in a good mood.
	Clad in his habitual samurai garb and with his bokken in his belt,
he paced the tarmac beside his family's private Lear jet impatiently,
ranting loudly all the while.
	"<. . . treatment such as this is an outrage and an insult to the noble
house of Kuno, nay to all of Nihon!  How _dare_ these heathen peasants
allow such a delay in providing us with the escort deserved by those of
our noble lineage.  Their impudence approaches that of Saotome!>" 
	"<Perhaps dearest brother,>" noted an attractive adolescent girl
with a long ponytail sitting atop the plane's wing, "<if you had told the
people at this airport we were coming they would have been better able to
receive us.  If I am not mistaken, you did not even want to file a flight
plan (would have been fun but we couldn't risk delays).>"
	"<And why should I?  Is it not the place of mere merchants and low
caste travelers to make way for the conveyance of one noble blood such as
myself?  Were this but a civilized land, I would personally thrash the
wretches that operate this facility for their incompetence;  but this is
an infidel realm, and my honor forces me to make allowances for such
barbarism.  And what of the scholars that bid me join them here?  I had
send word to the minions of this 'Xavier' that I would join them at the
place and time they appointed.  Could Saotome have stolen ahead of me and.
. . .>"
	The woman sighed and tuned him out, she knew that it would take
some time for their hosts to locate them if they remained out here, and
she did not feel like dealing with whatever security the airport would
send after them for blocking the runway (she'd take them apart with ease,
but to be less than presentable for her beloved Ranma-sama. . . .).  As
she rose to her feet and turned to seek out their hosts, she found herself
face to face with a beautiful brown-skinned young woman.
	"I am Monet St. Croix," the woman said, "and I shall assume that
you are not Kuno Tatewaki."
	"You are correct," she answered in excellent English with a
disturbing glint in her eye, "I was born Kuno Kodachi, men call me. . . 
_Kurobara_."
	"<Very well 'Black Rose',>" Monet noted mildly, "<am I to assume
that you are here to solicit a late admission to the exchange program at
Xavier's?>"
	"<I had learned of this American school from the invitation that my
brother was extended and decided to accompany him.>" Kodachi replied after
a momentary pause of surprise at Monet's command of Japanese (coupled with
the fact that she had not stood foot on the wing during the entire
conversation).
	"<This _is_ somewhat unexpected. . .>" Monet said, caught totally
off guard for the second time in less than 20 minutes.
	"<No need to worry about my records,>" Kodachi interrupted as she
handed the mutant a fairly thick manila folder, "<I stol-, er, acquired
any paperwork and information you might need well before we left.>"
	Monet casually took the folder marked '<St. Hebereke's (#Severely
drunken?!?#) Girls Academy>' and began to glance over the enclosed
records.  #Course of Study: Botany/Biochemistry. . . Extracurricular
Activities: Martial Gymnastics team captain (regional champions until last
year, most opposition never made it to the match, lost to somebody from
Furinkan oh my. . .). . . Voted most likely to graduate at the top of her
class Or Else. . . Teacher Comments: 'Kuno Kodachi has a talent for
unorthodox, but effective, problem solving techniques.' . . . .#
	"<This is an. . . interesting school record," Monet concluded as she
handed the folder back to Kodachi 3 seconds after receiving it, "<but I am
only a student here, the decision has to be made by. . . .>"
	Monet paused as her inhumanly keen senses alerted her to a
profound change in the world around her.  Her brilliant mind swiftly
identified the disturbance and she turned to face it's cause as Kodachi
gazed openmouthed in disbelief.
	Kuno Tatewaki had shut up.
	Completely.
	In mid run-on-sentence.
	Without any violence done to his person.
	The young man simply stood on the tarmac staring wide-eyed at
Monet as she rotated away from the plane to look down upon him.
	"<Surely this is some cinnamon hued angel I see before mine eyes,
the most beautiful handmaid of the westerners' deity.>" Kuno Tatewaki
proclaimed as he dropped to one knee before Monet before she drew breath
to introduce herself, "<Her bearing is that of a noblewoman, her carriage
that of an empress, her blatant disdain for the eternal laws of nature
which chain even _I_ to the earth that of a goddess; surely this is a
representative of the scholars that have seen fit to bid the Blue Thunder
into their midst, yet in what manner can I repay this beauteous one for
the honor greeting us in person rather than sending some menial to fetch
us?>"
	"<OF COURSE!!>" Kuno cried out abruptly as he leapt upwards to
embrace the young mutant tightly, "<I, Kuno Tatewaki: Blue Thunder of
Furinkan High, shall allow thee to date me!>"
	After a moment of total underwhelment, Monet casually pried Kuno's
arms from her body and dropped him to the runway.  "*ahem* <Now if the two
of you will kindly take your luggage and load it on the approaching
tram,>" Monet requested with a cold formality as she continued to hover
overhead, "<the other students and I will meet you in baggage claim E.>"
	"<I am your servant, beautiful one.  SASUKE!>"
	"<Yes, Master Kuno?>" replied a weak voice from under a two meter
high pile of suitcases and trunks.
	"<Prepare the baggage, our transportation draws nigh.>"
	Monet alighted beside the now shifting heap, lifted it above her
head with one hand, and helped the black-clad ninja to his feet with the
other.
	"<On second thought,>" she advised the Kuno siblings, "<I shall make
arrangements for your luggage, you may simply go meet your classmates.>"
	"<But such work is for->" Tatewaki began to protest.
	"<Please,>" interrupted Monet with as much congeniality as she could
fake, "<you are guests here, it is no trouble at all.>"
	After virtually (literally in the case of the males) tossing the
trio into the cart who's driver she bribed, Monet turned to the piles of
luggage and grimly calculated the percentage of her weekly personal
spending budget that would be eaten up by the payoffs needed to convince
the baggage handlers to mix it in with the JAL flight's cargo.
******

	As Kitty Pryde carefully crept unnoticed around the baggage
handlers beneath the plane, she recalled the last time she had snuck into
a JAL airliner and tried to decide whether she was more nervous then or
now.  Offering a silent prayer for her sanity, she slipped her molecules
between those of the airplane's hull and air-walked to the passenger
compartment.
	What the young mutant saw in that cabin sent her into several
seconds of stunned, disbelieving silence.  All that she saw was the
aftermath of a brawl that would have sent her mentor running for the
hills.  The walls, floor, and ceiling were peppered with throwing knives,
sword marks, spatulas, scorched areas (presumably from energy blasts of
some sort), and large dents of various (chair, mallet, mace, fist, foot,
humanoid, etc.) shapes.  Of the seats themselves few were untouched; some
were deeply slashed or cut in two, others were noticeably charred, others
merely broken from powerful blows, and not a few torn from the floor
outright and hurled across the plane.  How this craft even remained
airborne and intact, Kitty could not comprehend.
	Kitty saw nobody in the section of the cabin she surfaced in, but
she remained intangible and began to walk while searching for _any_ sign
of movement or attack.  Soon, the slight rattle of a flimsy door being
held shut by a trembling hand gained her attention and, guessing the
source of the disturbance, she turned toward the lavatory on the other
side of the cabin.
	"Are you OK in there?" Kitty asked the occupant in her most
un-threatening voice.
	The door opened just far enough for her to glimpse an asian
woman's pale face and the tray she had appropriated as a weapon.
	"<A-a-are they g-gone?>" stammered the stewardess in a small voice.
	"<All but two of them,>" Kitty reassured her, "<I'm here to take
them away, don't worry you'll be->"
	The stewardess slammed the door with a not-so-dignified squeak as
Kitty was interrupted by a frustrated cry and the sound of a lavatory door
being knocked off it's hinges.  Kitty thought about coaxing her out for a
moment, but decided to investigate the noise that came from first class
and fetch the last of the junior demolition crew.  As she picked her way
through the wreckage that was once business class, she saw what looked for
all the world like high magnification telescope lenses attacked to wire
eyeglass frames.
	"Kasumi?" an oddly accented voice asked her as she picked up the
solar cutting torches, "<what are you doing here?>"
	Kitty spun around only to see a long-haired chinese boy with a
large lump on his head clad in ornate floor length white robes squinting
at her.
	#That's probably Mousse.# mused Kitty, #Ow, he must be in worse
shape then they thought if his sight is affected that. . . .#
	The mutant glanced once at the spectacles in her hand, then at the
apparently half-blind boy before her, and abruptly placed the former on
the latter's face before he had a chance to protest.
	"<Oh, excuse me,>" Mousse said after blinking a few times and
getting a good look at the curly haired westerner before him, "<you remind
me of someone I know back in Tokyo.  Thank you for finding my reading
glasses Miss. . . ?>"
	"Katherine Pryde," Kitty told him, "<I'm from Xavier's and just
came back here to help you (Mousse, isn't it?) and Hibiki-kun weren't left
be->"
	"Excuse me," asked Ryoga in noticeably accented English, "can you
show me the exit?  I am, how you say, little lost."
	"*sigh*<And you must be Ryoga," Kitty observed as she took both
boys' hands, "<just follow me you two, and call me Kitty. . . .>"
******

	Emma Frost had a headache.
	She had decided to wait (actually Katherine and Sean came to the
decision and she found herself outvoted) in the baggage claim for while
the Japanese students were greeted by people 'closer to their own age.'
	Then the fear came.
	Waves of emotion just this side of panic connected to the flight
and associated relief concerning their survival surged from the departing
passengers with such intensity that she could do little but clamp her
psi-shields so tightly she could not even keep tabs on her students, let
alone discern the cause of the travelers' distress.
	Needless to say, it also induced a serious migraine.
	#As much as I hate to admit it,# Emma thought glumly, #there are
actually times when I _almost_ envy the headblind.#
	Effectively crippled by those around her, she sullenly observed
the luggage coming in from the international flight for any luggage that
could be identified as belonging to the incoming students.  She had
already noticed the chest labeled 'medicinal herbs by customs, the sturdy
little delivery bicycle, the yatai with the neatly stenciled sign reading
'you break this, I break you' carefully taped to the side, and the
backpack bearing the 'HEAVY' sticker when the fear around her redoubled in
intensity and slammed into her mental defenses with sufficient force to
send her staggering.  The telepath reenforced her protections as she
attempted to glean an image of the source of panic from the thoughts that
managed to seep through them only to find. . . a knot of teenagers?
	As the ambient level of emotion (as well as the number of people)
in the baggage claim dropped off, Emma unshielded her mind and sent her
psychic probes toward the still unseen youths, sighing with relief at the
presence of nothing save comparatively coherent and calm surface thoughts
and pre-vocalizations.
	#Ah can't _believe_ those guys ate so much!#
	#Believe it, I'm surprised at their restraint and manners.#
	#She's just mad because she can't cook#
	#Lord, don't let them start again.#
	#I don't know, Akane probably _did_ knock him into her, but if this
entire exchange program is legitimate I'll eat everything Akane cooks for
my darling for a month.#
	#Let's see; latest exchange rates, English IOUs, extra film . . .
.#
	#If _any_ these kids're normal, Ah'll go home and start work back
at th' coal mine.#
	#I hope P-chan's all right, haven't seen him all week.#
	#Were gonna be banned from this airport at this rate. . . .#
	#All this, _and_ Kuno's gonna be here; *sigh* look on the bright
side Saotome, least it ain't raining.#
	#Raining?# Emma noted curiously, #I wonder what significance water
has for this boy.#
	Unfortunately(?) before the telepath could probe for more
information on that last thought, things started getting. . . hectic.
	"SAOTOME!!"
	#Not _again_#
	#Oboy.#
	Ranma abruptly backflipped into the baggage claim as a few wildly
thrown bandannas sliced apart several suitcases and several throwing
knives embedded themselves in the far wall.  When he reached the apogee of
his 20 foot long bound, the weighted end of a chain wrapped itself around
his ankles and jerked him to a stop.  As Ranma slammed into the ground
Ryoga leapt toward him with his fist drawn back to slam into his rival's
head.  A second before impact, Ranma abruptly jerked himself into a
headstand and allowed the concrete floor to break Ryoga's impact; as the
second martial artist got to his feet, the other end of the chain (or more
precisely the white robed youth holding it) slammed into his back and sent
them both tumbling to the now visibly damaged floor.  By the time they
disentangled themselves and got to their feet, Ranma had already freed
himself from the slack chain and taken a combat stance as their companions
charged in to either get a better view, pound one or more of the
combatants, or prevent further property damage.  Suddenly the sound of a
woman clearing her throat pierced the minds of all present, whereupon
everybody spun towards the perceived source of the interruption, and
froze.
	It was an attractive ash blond western woman of about thirty or so
that stood before them; clad in a vest, choker, bustier, _mini_-skirt, and
thigh-length boots, all composed of pristine white leather. 
Understandably, the young exchange students stared at her for a few
seconds: the boys with various combinations of shock, embarrassment, and
desire; the girls with surprise, contempt, and envy; as their hosts simply
rolled their eyes.
	#Perhaps the riding crop is a _bit_ to much. . . .# Emma thought as
she absently tapped her thigh with said accessory.
	Emma chuckled to herself as she noticed the anger in the one of
the young women as the latter slowly turned towards the boy beside her; 
she was, however, a little surprised by both the blue corona of unfocused
psionic energy which accompanied said emotion and her rather sudden and
extreme reaction to same.
	"<WHAT ARE _YOU_ LOOKING AT, _PERVERT_!!!>" Akane screamed at her
fiancee as she grabbed him by his ponytail and slammed him into a
convenient wall.
	As the Japanese girl swung a huge wooden mallet nobody noticed her
bring in the room above her head, Emma brought her telepathic power to
bear in order to prevent further depredation of the XIHL legal settlement
fund.  While her mind was focused on this task, however, she failed to
notice the pattern of thought that was coming to full awareness within the
recently arrived luggage.
	Suddenly, the telepath staggered back as a shadowy form burst
forth from an explosion of women's undergarments and slammed into her
chest.
	"What the. . . !?!?!" Paige exclaimed as she froze in mid-stride.
	"Happosai." Akane snarled as she turned to eye the scene warily.
	Emma quickly regained her balance and gazed down upon the thing
that had struck her, finding a wizened two foot tall man nestled upon her
chest, blissfully dreaming thoughts that nearly made _her_ blush. 
Needless to say, Ms. Frost was not overly amused.
	"LET - GO - OF - ME - YOU - REPULSIVE - LITTLE - _TOAD_!!!!!"  Emma
discretely hinted, punctuating each syllable with increasingly powerful
telepathic assaults.  Surprisingly, Happosai complied with this request,
falling to the floor dazed from the onslaught.
	"<Wow. . . whatta woman.>" Happosai murmured, then his eyes opened
wide as he noted the small crowd nearby.
	"<_More_ pretty ladies!>" he cried as he leaped toward the nearest
object fitting that description (Akane) and was promptly sent hurtling
across the room by mallet express.  Undaunted, the old master rebounded
off a few walls and landed on Jubilee's chest.  She held her tongue (for a
change) and multi-colored globs of energy formed around the young mutant's
hands as she prepared to dissuade the pervert's attentions.  Happosai felt
around for all of two seconds and then hopped off with a disinterested
shrug.
	"No good, must ripen." he casually told Jubilee before looking for
more inviting targets.
	A slightly charred Happosai rebounded off the ceiling and wall
before homing in on Kitty's backside.
	"Sam, on my mark, NOW!" Kitty said just as the pervert rocketed
through her.
	Sam nodded understanding as he surrounded his fist with a glowing
field of bio-kinetic energy and intercepted Happosai with it, slamming the
old man headfirst into the ground.
	"*groan*" Happosai declared eloquently before passing out.
	"I assume I missed something diverting?" Monet casually asked as
she rode onto the baggage carousel ahead of an inordinately large amount
of expensive matched luggage.
	"_Who_ or _what_ in the world was THAT?" enquired a thoroughly
shocked Paige.
	"Perversion and lust." said Frost in a disgusted tone.
	"Happosai." Ranma commented glumly, "He was. . . um. . . teacher of
my father and Tendo Soun.  He have great strength, great. . . knowing,
great. . . urr. . . um. . . what Frost say?"
	"<I see.>" Kitty commented, "<Oh Saotome-san, you can come out from
under the yatai now.>"
	"Um, what happened to Kuno, Monet?" Nabiki asked as Genma crawled
out from hiding. 
	"<Tatewaki should be arriving right about. . . .>" Monet began while
trading angry glares with Shampoo.
	"<GREETINGS SCHOLARS!>" a familiar figure cried out from the side
entrance, "<Kuno Tatewaki has come to join you in your quest for
knowledge!  I, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High, must express my
gratitude at your willingness to tolerate the surroundings of this ill-run
aerial harbor; whose owners have not the decency to keep this place clean
and repaired, let alone greet me in the manner befitting one of my station
and house; in order to greet my personage in person.  Odd, I see naught in
this place which possess the carriage and appearance of the wise and
beautiful scholar which bid me come to this chamber.>"
	". . . now." Monet concluded, exasperated.
	"MONET!  AKANE!" Kuno bellowed as he ran towards the two, "<Do mine
eyes deceive me, for surely they must be blinded by the raw concentration
of beauty emanating from such a small area!  Fair Akane, for such beauty
and vitality to spring from the most humble of houses is a true sign that
the gods smile upon all.  Exotic Monet, surely thy grace and loveliness is
the ultimate proof that true nobility may be found in lands far from
Nihon.>
	"<I love you both so!!>" he heartily declared as he firmly embraced
both objects of his affection, "<If only the Pig-Tailed goddess which
Saotome holds captive were free to join me, then my happiness could be
complete.>"
	"Ah _don't_ b'leive Ah'm seein' this." Paige muttered, forgetting
to mind her accent for the moment.
	#And it's three for three,# Nabiki contemplated amusedly, #I
thought it was a good idea to stock up on film before leaving, the return
for that investment could prove considerable.#
	#I must admit though,# she mentally added as she thought about the
deep brown eyes she saw gazing from the window while still on the plane,
#I can't really blame him.#
	Monet's usually serene face began to twitch noticeably as she
waged a fierce war against her impulse to remove this would-be samurai's
spine with her bare hand or do some other violence to his person; Akane,
on the other hand, did not even put up a token resistance.
*****

	#Ye just _had_ t' let her talk ye into havin' lunch wi' her didn't
ye Sean Cassidy.# the Irishman silently berated himself as he forced
himself to remain earthbound in his rush for the international terminal,
#Th' plane was delayed, she was here t' pick up Sam, so ye simply could
na' have sat in the baggage claim an' waited f'r the children t' arrive. .
. .#
	"Sorry about keepin' ye Da'," said the young women running along
side him as she hurdled a suitcase, "but I saw how much ye were
embarrassed sittin' 'round Frost, and ye did say th' plane was runnin'
late yeself."
	"Tis alright Teresa," Sean sighed as the two of them turned into
the entrance of the JAL baggage claim, "I jus' hope Emma did na'
scandalize the poor children too. . . ."
	Sean Cassidy fell silent as he absorbed the extent of the damage
before him; feeling nothing but shocked disbelief even as the young asian
man with a fresh footprint in his face landed at his feet, murmured
something in Japanese, and passed out.  He walked numbly into the room,
staring at the cracked concrete floor, the japanese girl looking around
with an unsettling look in her eyes, the knives embedded in the walls, the
short-haired woman slipping a small object from the charred clothing of an
unconscious dwarf and placing it carefully in her purse, the bisected
suitcases, the boy in the red shirt hiding behind the luggage carousel,
and so forth.Sean Cassidy fell silent as he absorbed the extent of the damage
before him; feeling nothing but shocked disbelief even as the young asian
man with a fresh footprint in his face landed at his feet, murmured
something in Japanese, and passed out.  He walked numbly into the room,
staring at the cracked concrete floor, the japanese girl looking around
with an unsettling look in her eyes, the knives embedded in the walls, the
short-haired woman slipping a small object from the charred clothing of an
unconscious dwarf and placing it carefully in her purse, the bisected
suitcases, the boy in the red shirt hiding behind the luggage carousel,
and so forth.
	"What. . . happened?" he asked softly, more of himself than of
anybody within the devastated room.
	"We didn't do a thing Cassidy," Jubilee babbled, "it was the new
kids goin' at each oth-"
	"RANMA-SAMA!!!!"
	Sean pivoted towards the source of the cry just in time to a dark
colored blouse and skirt flutter to the ground.  He manage to catch
glimpses of the strange girl he saw earlier clad in a gymnastics leotard
and bearing a bouquet of midnight back roses in one hand and a wand tipped
with a long ribbon in the other bound off the wall, the luggage carousel,
the odd pushcart, his head, and so forth in apparent pursuit of the
red-shirted boy he noticed earlier; laughing insanely all the while.
	As he pushed himself off the floor, Sean looked up at Emma Frost,
then the mad gymnast pulling her now firmly bound quarry close to her as
three of the other female exchange students advanced on them both with
maces, mallet, and spatula in hand.
	"These r' th' new students, aren't they." Sean calmly noted.
	"Umhm." Emma murmured in affirmation.
	"We'll have t' deal with them f'r th' next two weeks, aye?"
	"That _is_ what we promised no matter what."
	The two looked deeply into each others eyes, and came to one of
the few decisions they have ever unreservedly agreed upon.
	"Charles Xavier dies f'r this."
	"Painfully."
******

Simultaneously; Under an orphanage; Somewhere in North America:

	"So, it seems that Xavier has done the work of my servant for me."
mused a shadowy figure in an inhuman voice, "the greatest concentration of
the readings he has been tracking since I sent him to Tokyo was on a plane
headed to Boston courtesy of a certain 'School for Gifted Youngsters'.  It
_is_ unfortunate that they have been moved to this locale, none of my
current servants can retrieve them. . . .
	"Perhaps we could retrieve. . . no," the figure continued, "she is
too skilled to take alive and no use to me dead, but who else would be. .
. aha, the disciplinarian.  Different from the others, but potentially the
most powerful one yet.  If I can obtain _this_ one she could serve me well
in both the field and the laboratory. .  . but it would be foolish to try
to use one so new and untried without something already proven to fall
back on."
	Suddenly, the figure strode toward a large computer terminal and
began to access files containing labeled DNA representations.  He swiftly
scrolled though them until he had found a particular directory.
	It was labeled 'Marauders'.
	"Yeeessssss, 'something old, something new' now all I need is
borrowed and blue."
	The cruel laughter echoed throughout the complex.
******

To be continued.
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