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Sailor Ranko: Tunnel Vision: Chapter 14, Investigation.
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.



The Scout meeting has held at the Outers home. It was rather boring. Setsuna didn't have anything to say. Rei's fire readings only showed chaos and destruction, but nothing to even give a hint as to what caused it.

Ami brought up that someone had tried to hack her computer. The other Senshi didn't think that was a big deal since hackers attack anything that had a CPU. Makoto joked that hackers could take over her VCR if they were smart enough to set the clock on it.

As a group, they were very uneasy. They were used to having everything completely cut and dried. Without even a name to go with their enemy, they felt helpless and useless. They agreed to meet in a few days at Rei's temple so that they could try a fire reading as a group. The meeting wrapped up for the evening.

Ami was getting ready to go home when Setsuna took her aside. "Ami, I need you to do some research for me."

Setsuna drove Ami home, they went into her bedroom and Ami set up her Sailor Scout computer. "Ok, what do you want me to get information about?"

Setsuna pulled out of her briefcase the 'My Puppy'. "For starters, who made this?"

Ami looked at it and smiled, "It's so cute!"

Setsuna didn't want Ami to lose focus, "Yes, it's cute, but I want to know about who made it, where it was made and when."

"Shouldn't be too hard," Ami looked at the box it came in. "Hmm, well it was made by 'Omni-Consumer Products'. Uses two AA batteries with storage for four extras. It's Model number D-45, series 102. We'll start there."

Ami started typing and pulled up the company history for Omni-Consumer Products. It was a huge American corporate conglomerate. It was based in Detroit Michigan, and was founded twenty-five years ago. She got stock listings, news bites, corporate biographies, and other mundane information. Setsuna read everything and picked apart every little detail. This company was similar to the one she was looking for, but it was not the same firm. Omni-Consumer Products made consumer goods. Nothing looked like it had military use.

"Well, that's the first division of the company." Ami was tired; the company was so huge that it was going to take several days to go over all the divisions of the company.

"You're kidding me. A company can't be that big!" Setsuna got a chill. A company of this size could possibly hide what she was looking for.

"Oh, yes it is. It has divisions for toys, games, robotics, medical, computers..."

Setsuna froze. "Computers? WHAT CPU's DO THEY MAKE!" She shouted that into Ami's ear.

"Hey! You are going to hurt my hearing. Give me a moment." Ami kept typing and pulled up the computer section. She got the list of PC compatible systems they sold. They carried both Athlon and Pentium based systems. They also made a PowerPC based workstation for the server market.

Setsuna was frustrated. "Do they make custom microprocessors?"

Ami went back to the keyboard, typed a few keywords and found that they do make custom computer parts, but nothing specific. Ami asked, "A company like this can probably make any custom parts. Can we narrow this down?"

Setsuna bit her lip and hesitated. "Neural net processors. Do they make anything like that?"

"Are you ok? Have you been reading science fiction novels? No one has one of those yet. Give them about thirty or forty years."

Setsuna gave an icy stare to Ami. Ami knew that Setsuna meant business. "Ok, one neural net processor coming right up." She searched the entire catalog, company tree, and even patent applications. She found nothing. "Well, any more bright ideas?"

Setsuna just sat down. She must have been barking up the wrong tree. She picked up the little robot puppy and wanted to throw it out the window for leading her on a wild goose chase. She got an idea. "Ami, do you have some AA batteries?"

"I think so, I keep them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. I'll go check." Ami got up and went to the kitchen.

Setsuna studied the little puppy. It was indeed cute. It was just a simple toy, nothing more. She lifted up its little ears, looked at its black eyes and silver body. It was undeniably cute.

Ami came back with a little plastic bag filled with batteries. She gave it to Setsuna. Setsuna pulled out some AA batteries and inserted them into the neck of the little dog. They go in the neck and out the back. They thought of everything.

She found the power switch and turned it on. It whirred a little as batteries were digested. The eyes came on and it went, "Woof woof" and wagged its tail.

She put it down and heard its mechanical sound it made as it walked. She listened carefully. There was something familiar about the sound it made as it walked. Setsuna couldn't figure out where she heard that sound before if she ever did. The dog acted like it wanted to lick her. She picked it up and nuzzled its nose and looked directly at its eyes.

The eyes! She looked at the deep red glowing eyes and saw something familiar. It was out of a dream. Hotaru mentioned that the shadows had red eyes.

"Ami. Who made the eyes for this little puppy?" Setsuna slowly looked at Ami and gently put the dog down.

"The eyes? Got me. I'll have to take the dog apart and see the part number."

Setsuna without a word turned the dog off and reached for a small screwdriver from Ami's pencil cup. She took about five minutes to gently remove the plastic panels from the head to expose the cameras that doubled as eyes. "It's part number CS-10325." She looked at the CPU; it was an Advanced RISC Machines ARM-7 processor. It was same CPU that a Gameboy Advance had. The CPU was nothing special.

Ami was truly weirded out by Setsuna's obsession with the dog and its parts. She did a parts scan and found no one made a camera or a doll eye by that part number. Most parts from Omni-Consumer Products started with OCP and then a dash followed by letters and numbers. CS was something she hadn't seen nor can find anywhere in the parts catalog.

"I guess it's a custom part that OCP bought from someone else." Ami sat back in her chair. She was tired; all this detective work had seriously cut into her study time.

"I know you're tired. This is important to me. Can you find out who made these eyes?"

"It's going to take some serious digging. I might even have to do a little hacking. But I won't be able to get anything to you tonight." Ami was really getting tired and started to yawn.

"Ok, but please when you get a chance. I really need to know where the eyes came from." Setsuna was about to leave and stopped. "Could you put the puppy back together again? Give it to Usagi, I heard she wanted one."

Ami frowned, "Ah, I wanted it!"

"Ok, you can have it. Thanks for your help." Setsuna smiled and left.

Ami thought about it, she sent off an email to Unimo. He usually knew useless information like this. Maybe he can find where you can order part CS-10325.

Ami called it a night and went to bed. She'll reassemble her puppy in the morning.

Setsuna was driving home. She felt she was getting closer. She felt that the last pieces were coming together. She felt like screaming. If she was right, they didn't have much time left. She turned on the radio and turned to a news station. "CHINA THREATENS TAIWAN WITH MILITARY ACTION", "CONGO AMASSING AN ARMY", "UNITED STATES IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA FOR CHECHNYA POLICY", "PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT PUTS DOWN REVOLT".

Setsuna turned off the radio. They really didn't have much time left.


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Sailor Sun beamed over to Furinkan High school. Then she passed out. She forgot that teleportation at night was a bad idea, but Akane called her on the communicator completely distraught and demanded that she come over immediately. Fifteen minutes later, Akane's sobbing woke her up and she found herself in her wife's arms.

"Akane! What's wrong?" Sailor Sun was a little scared at how intensely Akane was crying.

"It's... It... It's... AHHHHH!" Akane buried her face on Sailor Sun's shoulder.

Sailor Sun looked around and saw that no one was watching, despite the noise volume, she changed back into Ranko. "Please tell me what's the matter?"

Akane looked at Ranko with empty eyes. She lifted her gaze over to a small grove of trees. "He... He's... He's over there."

"Who? Dad?" Ranko felt a terrible chill go through her spine. "What's wrong?" She got up and Akane started to weep again.

Ranko walked very slowly over to the trees, her Senshi sense told her what she was going to find. As she approached, she felt her blood run cold. She pushed aside a bush to get a view inside the grove.

Her father lay there with some sort of canister next to him. She can already sense that he was dead. She didn't need to touch the body to know that he didn't have a pulse. Her Senshi sense told her that getting closer was dangerous. "Dad?" she whimpered. "Oh dad." She fell to her knees and sat there for a few minutes.

She slowly got up and sat next to Akane. Akane reached out and held Ranko and they both wept together.

Minutes went by. Ranko got up and asked Akane for some change for the phone. She walked to the phone and called the police.


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The police cordoned off the entire forest area. The police questioned Ranko and Akane for over an hour. Ranko had to tell them that she was Akane's cousin to avoid telling the police about the part-time female curse.

Once the coroner arrived, things got out of hand. They took the two and locked them in an ambulance. A hazardous materials team was brought in and scrubbed down the entire area. Ranko was furious when they had her strip and hose her down. She was both embarrassed at being naked and female, and deathly afraid that they would use hot water on her.

The decontamination was complete and they got very simple robes to wear while they waited to be released. Ranko demanded her clothes back, but they were already burned. Akane was just as upset about this as Ranko. Akane bought her blouse from the boutique only a few days ago.

The police took the two to the police station and gave them clothes. Both were given simple schoolgirl style dresses like the ones worn at Furinkan High. Ranko asked for a set of boxers for underwear, but had to settle for girl's panties. "Oh, that is so you Ranko." Akane smirked.

The police took Ranko alone to the interrogation room. A police office started the questioning, "Are you aware of any criminal connections that your uncle had?"

Ranko thought, "Uncle? Oh, yeah, I'm Akane's cousin." She said aloud, "No, not at all."

"What was your uncle doing at the school?"

"I don't have any idea. He was late coming home and we came looking for him. Akane found him and I came right over. Can you tell me, what happened to him?"

"Well, it appears he was poisoned. Whatever he had with him was very toxic." The officer knew exactly what was in the canister, but he was hoping to get some information from Ranko.

"Poisoned? How?" Ranko was rather surprised. She was expecting that he had been beaten to death in combat.

"Don't know yet. We were hoping you could tell us. Did he handle chemicals?"

"I think he used window cleaner or furniture polish." She was thinking of things a janitor would use.

The office grilled Ranko for over an hour. He was satisfied that she knew little if anything at all about the Yakuza connection or the money found on his person. Her description of him was not very flattering, so the deceased fit the profile of a thief. The evidence collected so far leads to that conclusion.

The officer bowed and took Ranko out of the interrogation room and to the main lobby. Akane was waiting there. "Did they tell you want happened to dad?" Ranko asked.

"No, they just kept asking me if Mr. Saotome dealt drugs or had something to do with terrorists. "

"Drugs? Terrorists?" Ranko was now confused. She thought of what she saw, there was an empty canister and the police told her that he was poisoned. What was in that canister?

"Akane, did they tell you how he died?"

"They said he was poisoned." Akane began to gently cry.

"They said the same to me, but they refused to tell me what the poison was." Ranko was both angry and grief stricken. She simply held her wife and sat there in the lobby.


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Ring! Ring! The phone at the Tendo dojo rang at quarter past four in the morning. Soun slowly got up and answered it. He spoke for a few seconds and dropped the phone to the floor. He sat up in a daze. He picked up the phone again, "Are you sure it's Genma Saotome? Positive? Have you identified the... Oh, Ranko did."

Nodoka was standing in the doorway. She couldn't sleep since Genma and her son were missing. She heard the conversation and didn't want to believe what was being spoken.

Soun hung up the phone. He looked at Nodoka, "Mrs. Saotome, Genma, I'm so sorry."

Nodoka fainted.


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Soun arrived at the police station to claim his daughter and 'cousin'. He was escorted to the morgue where he made the official body identification. They told him that they would release the body in a few days due to the nature of the case. The police took Soun and subjected him to the same grilling that they did to Ranko and Akane.

Later the three of them took a long walk back to the dojo. None of them said a word. Ranko and Akane held each other tightly during the whole way.

When they got home, the Soun went to bed and Ranko and Akane went to Akane's old room. They collapsed from exhaustion. Shortly thereafter, Nodoka peeked in on them. Even though it was Ranko in bed with Akane. Nodoka saw her son. She was happy to see her son home.


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Hiroshi and Daisuke arrived at Furinkan High School to find that it was closed for the day. Principal Kuno was in front offering free haircuts and shooing away students saying that there was a little problem in the back.

They thought, just another wacky day at Furinkan High and went home.

Ukyou was curious about the school closing, she snuck around, and saw the police tape in the back. She asked one of the policemen and he told her that Saotome was involved. She decided to go see if this had anything to do with Ranma.

Sometime later, Ukyou arrived at the Tendo Dojo and she knocked on the door, "Hello, anyone home?"

Kasumi came to the door. She was not wearing her patented perma-smile that she usually wore. In fact, Ukyou was taken by surprise to see a sad look on Kasumi's face. Ukyou took a step back, "What happened Kasumi?"

"Mr. Saotome passed away last night. We don't know what happened yet." Kasumi bowed her head and went back to the kitchen. Ukyou just bowed her head and walked towards the front gate. She heard a gentle sob. She went outside the gate to the street and saw Nabiki sitting on the sidewalk holding her knees with tears in her eyes.

"I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Saotome." Ukyou was curious, she knew Nabiki would probably cheer or at least show no emotion if Genma was to fall over dead. She didn't exactly like Mr. Saotome.

Nabiki only gave the hint of crying, but it was obvious she was in mourning. "I am too."

"Do you know what happened?"

"Nobody knows. The police won't say."

"The police? Was he murdered?" Ukyou had a thought of martial artists going too far.

"I don't know, and if I didn't send him on that job, maybe this wouldn't have happened." She then hid her head in her knees.

"Job? He had a job?" It's been a long time since Genma had a job. Ukyou couldn't remember him having a job.

"Yes, I got him a job and I think it happened on the way home." Nabiki didn't want to talk anymore. "I want to be alone for a while."

"I understand. If you see Ranma, tell him..." Ukyou thought about it. "Tell him that I wish him well. And I'm sorry to hear the news." Ukyou didn't think that was very good, but she just didn't know what to say.


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Setsuna called Ami in the morning before Ami went to school. She hadn't gotten any new information for her about the eyes. However, she did do some research on the hacker who tried to get into her computer. The ISP that the hacker used was "Information Unlimited". Normally, this wasn't important except that it was a division of Omni-Consumer Products. She brought it up to Setsuna since she seemed to be trying to make connections to that company.

Setsuna asked for the address of the ISP and Ami gave it to her. Setsuna wanted to take a trip to San Francisco.

Setsuna tried to call Ranma on the communicator. She wanted another ride on the Sailor Sun Taxi service. She was rather annoyed that he was not picking up. She punched in the code for Akane's communicator. It was off as well. She called their apartment and got no answer. She was going to have to give them a lecture on making sure they were available in case of a real emergency.


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Ranko awoke in Akane's old bedroom. "Now I know how P-Chan felt." She smiled.

Akane muttered, "P-Chan? Have you seen him?"

"No, I hadn't seen him." She wondered where has pork butt been anyways?


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Ryoga and Akari have been inseparable since they got engaged. They spent every waking moment together as a perfectly happy couple. Grandfather was pleased, he was so happy for his granddaughter to have found someone that would take good care of her.

Ryoga from time to time would freeze and go into a bit of depression. He still couldn't get it out of his system that he should give in to happiness and discard his despair. He was so used to living in a world of pain that happiness took some getting used to. He looked at the smiling face of Akari, "What did I ever do to deserve someone like you?"

"No, silly. That's not the question at all." Akari beamed.

"It isn't?" Ryoga was confused.

"No, the question is. What did I ever do to deserve someone like you?" Akari placed her hands on his face and kissed him.

Grandfather later that day spoke with them about the wedding arrangements. They were going to have a simple western style ceremony at the farmhouse. It was time to send the invitations, pick out the wedding dress, and pick the tuxedo. As a typical groom, Ryoga didn't care for much of the wedding plans while Akari poured her heart into making this the perfect ceremony.


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Ranko and Akane woke to the ringing of the telephone at ten o'clock. Soun answered it. The two of them realized that they would have to go back to Juuban to get a change of clothes since they didn't bring any extras. They were stuck in the schoolgirl outfits the police gave them. Akane didn't mind and she chided Ranko that girl's underwear was not that bad since she was a girl right now. Ranko begged Akane to keep a thermos of cold water handy in her purse, just in case.

Ranko and Akane went downstairs to eat a late breakfast. Akane noticed that they already missed school, "Dad, can you write us an absence note so I can take it to school tomorrow."

"Oh... Of course Akane." Soun was in a zombie like state. The events of the last twelve hours were still affecting him.

Ranko asked, "So who called?" She was hoping the police had called to give some news about the circumstances of her father's death.

"That was the Spice Factory. They wanted to know why Genma had not come into work today." Soun was not himself. He just started into thin air.

"I was at that factory last night looking for him. It was a huge place." Ranko thought of her dad's nature. "I wonder if they stored something there that they shouldn't."

"What do you mean Ranma?" Akane forgot that Ranko went to Itabashi to find Genma.

"Let's go, I'll tell you on the way." Ranko got up. Akane picked up from Ranko's demeanor that she knew something but didn't want to tell Soun. Soun didn't even notice the two walking out the back door. He just sat there.

The two human Senshi went out the back and stood behind the koi pond. Ranko spilled the beans, "When I was at the factory, I didn't sense any human or demon presence. I felt nothing. Now that I think about it, I didn't even feel the presence of the security guard I talked to."

"What did the guard look like?"

"I don't know, I talked to him on an intercom they had at the front gate."

Akane pulled out her henshin stick. Ranko smiled and pulled out hers as well. They found a place to transform and in a moment they teleported to Itabashi.


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Two Sailor Scouts appeared outside the gate of the Itabashi spice plant. Sailor Io looked at the wall surrounding the complex, "Wow, that place really is big. Nabiki told me that they only had four employees there."

Sailor Sun was disappointed at that fact, "Only four? Maybe that's why I couldn't sense anyone. They could have been too far away."

Io gazed at the building, "I sense three people. One at the gate and two deep inside."

Sun gazed as well, "I can sense them. Why couldn't I last night?"

"It's daylight now, is it possible that your powers change with day and night?"

Sun thought about that, "I don't think so, all my battle powers aren't affected by the time of day." She saddened, "I sensed my dad last night." Sun turned to the factory, "I know I sensed nothing at this place last night. I scanned this place completely looking for dad."

"Well, we just can't walk in. If they are hiding something and we show up, they will get rid of any evidence."

Sun transformed back into Ranko. "My dad taught me a thing or two about just such a situation."


========================================


Akane stood lookout while Ranko scaled a back wall of the factory. She was using Genma's stealth techniques to avoid detection. It was very difficult since the technique was best done in a karate gi instead of a schoolgirl dress.

Ranko darted between trucks and kept an eye on the security cameras. She slid up the factory back wall, Hopped onto a truck and bounced into an open window.

Ranko didn't find anything unusual in the factory. Board games, stuffed toys and spice racks were neatly stacked in a corner of the warehouse section of the building. The warehouse was mostly empty; Ranko remembered that this place was new so it made sense. She checked every meter of the place and didn't find anything that could harm anyone. She thought Usagi would go crazy over the stuffed toy assortment they had.

Using stealth, she slid over to the janitor's room. She went inside and found a small street sweeper machine and cleaning supplies. Ranko was frustrated. She started looking around for notes, papers, anything with Genma's handwriting on it for any sort of clue as to what he was doing last night. She found only a reminder note for him to get some spices for Kasumi.

Ranko thought about that and slid out of the room. She quietly went to the time clock, Genma clocked out at five o'clock. She went to the assembly line, the spice rack looked nothing like the canister her dad had.

She was about to give up when she felt her Senshi sense kick in. She felt something familiar and crawled closer to the source. She hopped to the next assembly line and saw board games coming out. She looked to the floor. There was a slight circular discoloration that was barely noticeable. She felt danger coming from the floor as if something bad happened there.

She felt her father's presence here. She knew that this was where he died. Ranko looked at the conveyer belt, the hydraulic lines, and the electric cables, anything that could somehow cause a fatal industrial accident. She found nothing, this plant had warning signs everywhere and safety shielding on all moving parts. Genma would have had to go completely out of his way to hurt himself here.

Ranko took a good look at the spot on the floor. She could almost see her father lying there. She then ducked under the assembly line and snuck out.

Akane was getting very nervous, Ranko had been inside for almost two hours and she hadn't heard a thing. Akane noticed that the factory's front gate had been quiet, no trucks came in or out the entire time she was there. She breathed a sigh of relief; she was hoping no one would notice her sitting out front of the factory for so long. She felt a tap on her on her neck and instantly she grabbed the arm and flung the intruder over her shoulder into the factory retaining wall.

A flattened Ranko appeared embedded in the wall in front of her. "Ranko! Don't sneak up on me!" She peeled off her husband from the wall and carried her away. When Ranko wakes up, Akane was going to ask what she found.



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 11, 2002



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