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Sailor Ranko: Tunnel Vision: Chapter 12, The Joy Of Working.
by
Rebecca Ann Heineman

Ranma 1/2 and the characters therein are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. Based on "Sailor Ranko" by Duncan Zillman and "Twice in a Millennium" by Kevin D. Hammel.

I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or make me upload chapters to FanFiction.net without checking them.



Sergeant Miller was rather impressed with the people who just arrived. Men from Black Ops and the Pentagon were collected in the conference room. Other men were busy checking the room for bugs with scanning equipment. Whatever these men were here for, it was really important and secret.

Miller was even more surprised when the men were ready for their meeting, since they brought in Corporal Gonzalez. Gonzalez had a large cardboard box with him. Miller was escorted out of the conference room and back to his office by the guards. Miller sat at his desk and wondered just what did Gonzalez find in the desert that warranted this much attention. He hoped that he would get some credit for this.

"Corporal, we have reviewed your files and are granting you emergency Top Secret clearance." The lead interrogator read from a prepared statement. "You understand that what is discussed in this room stays in this room. Disclosure of information we discuss can and will be punished as treason."

Gonzalez got wide eyed. What does a mini-skirted fire girl have to do with this? "I understand."

"Please be seated." They began the debriefing. Gonzalez gave them the contents of the box with photos, maps and a log of all times and dates of the practice runs. The men shared the information among themselves and made small talk and murmuring. They appeared to be pleased with the information in front of them.

The questioning and evidence examination took over three hours. Finally, they decided to include Gonzalez on the plan. They informed him about the fact that they suspect these people are from Japan and that they are quasi-human or alien.

The squad leader of the Black Ops team spoke, "We are going to need you to assist us. You have information about these people's movements. You will be on the team helping us deploy the squad."

"What is the mission goal?" Gonzalez questioned.

"We are going to attempt to capture one or more of these people. If they are human or quasi-human, we can capture them."

"There are more? I only have proof of one."

"The information is classified. We believe that there could be as many as a dozen. We will be bringing twenty sharpshooters into position to prevent us from being overrun."

"Sharpshooters?" Gonzalez was worried; he didn't want to see anyone get hurt.

Another Black Ops member spoke, "Tranquilizer darts and steel cable capture nets. We want them alive."

"You can count on me. They arrive between twelve hundred and sixteen hundred hours. They leave between sixteen hundred and eighteen hundred hours."

A map was slid over to the Corporal, "Which location is the most likely for them to arrive?" The leader asked.

Gonzalez looked and the map. "Area two. Tomorrow, they will probably be in area two."

"It's settled. We take positions and encircle area two starting at eleven hundred hours. We'll put scouts at the other four locations in case they appear somewhere else." The squad leader moved to a Pentagon official, "Make sure that we have a Japanese translator with Top Secret clearance available."

The meeting broke. Gonzalez went to his office and had a smug look on his face. He was probably going to get a huge promotion for this. He just hoped that things wouldn't fall apart. That would suck.


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"Mr. Saotome! Time to get up!" Nabiki was going to enjoy today. She gave a light kick to a sleeping Genma who instinctively blocked while still asleep. "Today is your first day on the job." Nabiki had an evil grin on her face.

"Huh? What job?" Genma barely was awake.

"Why your job as the janitor at the Itabashi Spice factory. That job." Nabiki kept smiling.

Nodoka woke up and nudged her husband to keep him from falling asleep again. "Dear, when Ranma was here, you woke up at five every morning to train. Don't pretend you can't get up."

"I didn't get a job." Genma got up and stared at Nabiki.

"Why yes you did." She held out a map and instructions to get to the factory. "You report at the gate at nine o'clock. Oh, and you'd better not be late for your first day as the factory's janitor. They don't like that."

Genma was not excited about this. Nodoka got his uniform from Nabiki and laid it out for him. "I would have gotten a job on my own."

Nodoka smiled, "Nabiki was so thoughtful to save you the effort. Now I'll make breakfast and you do a good job." She left to go to the kitchen.

Genma grumbled. He would have rather taken a security officer job. All you had to do was watch TV monitors and they pay you. A janitor had to actually get dirty. It wasn't a job for a trained martial artist.

Genma got dressed. Nabiki didn't miss a thing, the uniform fit perfectly. He went downstairs.

Kasumi saw Genma come to the dining room to eat breakfast. "My, how sharp you look today Mr. Saotome." She beamed her contagious smile.

"Yes, he looks dashing doesn't he?" Nodoka was pleased with her husband.

Genma was served breakfast and after devouring it in record time, he went out the front door. Nabiki was waiting for him at the front gate. She handed him another copy of the instructions on how to get to the factory. "It case you forgot your way." She gave her all-knowing smile.

Genma realized that his plan was foiled. He took the directions and went towards the bus that would take him to Itabashi.

Nabiki went back inside and just as she predicted, the previous directions were laying under the dining room table. "So predictable. Just like his son." She smirked.


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The bus ride was short. Itabashi was next to Nerima. Genma got off and walked a short way to the Itabashi Spice factory. He did a double take when he got there. The place looked imposing with a very high wall surrounding the complex and only a single metal gate allowing entrance. He thought about saying he lost his way, but that only make his wife mad. She might get another katana and demand him to commit seppuku. Genma accepted his fate and went to the entrance. The guard there confirmed that he indeed had a job and pointed him to the main doorway.

The factory was totally automated. Numerous assembly lines were mixing chemicals in large vats. Only two lines were open and completely visible pouring powders into little glass jars and placing them into spice racks. The other ten lines had large retaining walls and shields that obscured the view of the machinery contained within.

The automation was so complete, that robotic forklifts moved the merchandise onto the trucks. No human intervention was needed anywhere on the lines. There were only four employees in the entire factory floor just monitoring the state of the machines. Genma was the fourth employee.

He stood there in awe at how modern the plant looked. Nabiki mentioned that it just opened so it wasn't that surprising. A supervisor approached and took Genma to the janitor's closet. Genma was overjoyed with what his job entailed. He got to ride a small street sweeper and simply made sure the bags were kept clean and empty. It was almost as easy as watching TV as a security guard.

He asked around and found that they make spice assortments for sale in local supermarkets. He found it odd that there was this much demand for spices in all of Japan to need a factory of this size. He was told that they ship worldwide and that they can barely keep up with their quotas.

Genma didn't mind. It was an easy job and he loved easy money. He sat on his little street sweeper and gave it a spin. Then he gave it a twirl. Then he bumped into a wall. Then he almost killed his supervisor. He almost got fired.


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"Oh man, you have got to be kidding me Nabiki!" Ranma did not like the news he was getting over the phone. "Fine. I'll deal with it." He hung up and sat down at the kitchen table to sulk.

Akane came up him, "What did Nabiki want?"

"Well, we've been cut off. No yen. So you and I will have to get part-time jobs to make ends meet."

"Well, we couldn't leech off my dad forever. Sooner or later we were going to have to make do on our own."

"We could move back to Nerima." Ranma was looking for any excuse to not be employed.

Akane sat down, "Or maybe not, remember, we are here in Juuban so we can be closer to the other Senshi. You know, I kind of like not having to listen to your dad complain or Nabiki snapping photos."

Ranma smiled, "Or Shampoo trying to cart me off to China."

Akane smiled back, "Or Kuno trying to cart me off."

"Or Kodachi carting me off."

"Well, I guess we'd better be getting jobs then, unless you like Kuno coming after you. Right pig-tailed girl?" Akane giggled.

Ranma got up to go to the newsstand. "I'll get the want ads."


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"Sigh." Ranma was having no luck in getting a job. Too young, too inexperienced, or they wanted full time work that would interfere with high school. The only jobs he found that fit in his schedule was being a waitress. He was not thrilled at being a female to get a job. He sadly was qualified to be a waitress, since he was roped into working for Ukyou for a whole month to pay off gambling debts because of the gambling king.

Akane had better luck; she was able to get a job at a clothing boutique but only for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It was only eight hours a week, but it was money.

Ranma was lying on the couch debating if he should change and apply as Ranko at the sushi bar when there was a knock at the door. He opened the door and found the stern face of Setsuna.

She looked around, "Is Akane here?"

"No, she should be home in about an hour. She's at the boutique."

"Good." Setsuna pulled out her briefcase and went to the dining room table. She pulled out a map of Colorado and unfolded it. "I need to go here." She transformed into Sailor Pluto.

"If you say so." Ranma pulled out his stick and transformed into Sailor Sun. "I think its daylight there."

Pluto looked at clock on the wall. "Not for another two hours."

Sun groaned. "Where are we going exactly?"

Pluto pointed to the map, "We are going to the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center. We will need to land outside of the area to avoid detection."

Sun raised her eyebrows, "WHAT? ARE YOU NUTS?"

"Quiet down, do you want to tell your neighbors who you really are?" Pluto pointed to the map at the area marked Cheyenne Mountain Colorado. "This is where I need to go. I need to check something out."

"Ok, Ok. I'll take you. What is there? That place sounds important."

"It's the United States Strategic Air Command Headquarters."

Sun now was really wondering if this were a good idea, "Why would you want to go there?"

"I need answers." Pluto sighed. "I have to find out. The answer is there."

Sailor Sun studied the map. She concentrated on the location and focused her teleportation magic. Places she had been before was easy, but a new location required deep concentration for her to teleport. "I think I got it. Is it a military base in a mountain?"

"Yes, it is."

"Ok, hang on. Sun Beam Transport!" Sailor Sun grabbed Pluto and flashed out.

In moments, they appeared in a small valley about 5 kilometers from the SAC headquarters. Sailor Sun collapsed sound asleep. Pluto gently carried her to the ground. Pluto was pleased that she could spend some time alone to check out the place. She bounded off to the base leaving a peacefully sleeping Sun on a bed of grass.


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Sailor Pluto pulled out of subspace a set of night vision binoculars she hid there. She scanned the front of the mountain looking for a special satellite antenna. She looked at where it should be. She stared at the place where the bunker would have been and it didn't exist. There was no uplink to the satellite. It did not exist. It never was.

She still wasn't satisfied. She scanned every antenna and structure that was visible for anything that looked familiar. Her fears were reduced immensely since what she thought that was housed here was not.

She looked for a specific company logo, a unit logo; anything to imply that it was here. She found no trace of what she was looking for.

Finally satisfied that it wasn't here, she ran back to Sailor Sun.


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"Hey sleepy head." Pluto gently patted the cheek of Sailor Sun.

"Mom, please put that sword down..." Sun muttered in her sleep.

"Wake up, we have to go." Pluto gently shook Sun.

"Oh, it's you. Where are we?" Sun zoned back into reality.

Pluto picked up Sun, "We are far from home. Home is where we should be going now."

"Ok, but you had better cough up some yen for this. The Sailor Sun taxi service is not cheap." She weakly grabbed Pluto and an instant later they were in the Saotome apartment.

"What do you think you are doing?" Akane was not amused at seeing Sailor Sun holding Pluto around her waist.

Sun slid to the ground snoring. Pluto turned to Akane and grabbed her mallet before she could get a swing in. "Akane, control yourself. You know she has to hold someone when she teleports a passenger."

Akane relaxed and put down the mallet. She remembered what Miss Hinako said about self-control.

"Can you help me tuck her in?" Akane asked.

"No problem," Pluto was happy to oblige. She owed one to Sailor Sun.

The two of them carried Sun into bed and tucked her in. Sun snored, "Yes, mom, I'll hold down dad."

Akane wondered if she should wake up Sailor Sun. She thought, "Let her sleep."

Akane went to the living room and found Sailor Pluto had already left. On the table was five thousand yen. "What's the money for? I'm going to have to ask her when she gets up what all this was about."


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Setsuna drove home. Her head was full of more questions than answers. If it wasn't in Colorado, where could it be? She was determined to find it. She was going to talk to Ami. Maybe she could help.


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Genma had bragged to everyone about how important he was in the operation of the factory. He was one quarter of the workforce. Nabiki was not impressed. She only cared about the paycheck that she already had set up to be direct deposited into the Tendo bank account. She didn't leave anything to chance.

Kasumi was curious, "What spices to they make there?"

"It's an assortment called 'Tasty Spices'. They make a lot of it. Trucks leave every hour." Genma spoke between bites of dinner.

"Hmm, I don't remember seeing that at the market. Maybe they are going to do a big promotion." Kasumi smiled.

Genma never asked at the company, so he assumed, "I think I can get some free samples."

"Oh, that would be so helpful. I always can use some spices for my cooking." Kasumi picked up the empty dishes and went to the sink.

Nodoka was happy that her husband was finally taking a job seriously. That evening she kneeled next to him as he was training in the dojo. Nodoka loved her husband. Even after all the dirty rotten things he did, she still loved him. She thought of the times that he pretended to be a panda so he could avoid having to face the fact that their child had been transformed into a girl. She thought of all the times that she was in the presence of her child and she didn't know it. She loved Ranko as a daughter. She still did. She missed her. She thought that she had far more quality time with Ranko than she did with Ranma. She got up and went inside.

She dialed the phone and called. Akane answered, "Hello?"

"It's Nodoka, is Ranma home?" Nodoka wanted to at least hear his voice.

"I'm sorry, he's sleeping right now. Do you want to have him call you when he gets up?"

"Don't bother him. I'll call again later. Please, could you tell him that I'd like the two of you over for dinner tomorrow?"

"I'm certain he would love that. See you at six, O.K?"

"Dinner at six." Nodoka hung up. She only wanted to hear his voice but seeing him in person was much better.

She went to her room and thought about the times she first met Ranko when she tried to get her out of the storm drain. She remembered when she took Ranko to buy women's clothes, the time they went to visit the Saotome gravesite, the time that the fake Ranma came to her home. She giggled thinking about the time that three girls came to her home and destroyed it looking for what they thought was an engagement ring. Her son was truly a lady-killer. She was happy her child was such a good person. He was married to a good woman. She lay down and went to sleep happy.



Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and keeps me from making that bump in the night sound you hear at midnight.

Last edited on October 7, 2002



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