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Sailor Ranko: Tunnel Vision: Chapter 15, Genma's Funeral.
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.



"What did you do that for?" A very angry Ranko was yelling at Akane while she was rubbing the bump on her head.

"You snuck up on me! You must have still been in stealth mode when you touched me." Akane yelled back.

"Oh." Ranko felt stupid.

"Well?"

"Well what?" Ranko felt stupider.

"What did you find?" Akane was waiting for two hours to find out what was inside the factory Ranko was sneaking around in.

Ranko slid down onto the curb, "Well, I didn't find anything. It's just a factory that makes toys and spices. However, there was a place that I felt some bad vibrations. It felt that that was where my dad died. I couldn't find anything anywhere that could cause the death of anything. The place is pretty safe looking."

Akane sat beside Ranko. She put out her hand and Ranko took it. Ranko sighed, "If there was anything here, it's long gone now. Wait." Ranko perked up. "Last night, there was a lot of noise coming from the place like there were a lot of people there doing stuff. The noise coming from the factory was really loud."

Both of them stood up and looked at the factory wall. Akane suggested, "You think they covered up something?"

"I'm certain of it now. I know what I felt. My dad died here. They got rid of the evidence. Let's talk to Ami, maybe she can help."

Akane hit her fist, "That's right, she's great with computers. She might be able to see who owns this factory."

Ranko pulled out her communicator and came to a realization, "Uh oh, Ami is at school right now. We have to wait until school is over to contact her."

Akane took out her communicator as well. She flicked it on and it started beeping. "I've got a message." She played it back. "Akane, it's Setsuna, I'm looking for Ranma. Can you have him call me?"

Ranko turn her communicator on and found she had five messages. All of the messages were from Setsuna, each one getting more and more angry. "Can't I have a moment of peace?"

Akane slipped her communicator in her pocket. "This time, I'm coming with you."

Ranko dialed Setsuna's number on the communicator. She got the image of Setsuna, "It's about time you got back to me!" Setsuna was beyond angry.

"Before you kill me, I have to tell you, my dad died last night."

Setsuna softened her icy glare on hearing the news. "Sorry. I didn't know. Please, in the future, don't turn off your communicator. Sometimes we may need you in a moments notice."

"Understood. It's just a difficult time for us right now." Ranko exchanged glances with her wife.

Setsuna went to the point, "I need to transport to San Francisco."

"Where are you right now?"

"I'm at work. I can meet you outside in a few minutes. Go to the dumpster in the back. We can meet in private there."

"I'll be right there." Ranko cut the signal. "Still want to go?"

Akane pulled out her henshin stick.

"I'll take that as a yes. Let's transform and get out of here."


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"What's she doing here?" Sailor Pluto wanted to keep this trip quiet.

Io crossed her arms, "We're a team remember?"

Sailor Sun jumped in, "Where are we going now?"

Pluto pulled out a map of California. "San Francisco, here is the address." She pulled up a street map and had a corner near downtown circled.

"You would have to do this to me. Last time I almost overshot the target." Sun moaned.

"Io, you shouldn't have come. Sun can only carry a single passenger."

Io used logic, "Then I guess she'll be making two trips."

Pluto gave a look of disapproval but didn't fight it. Sun studied the map and concentrated. "Can you describe the place? I see the cityscape but there are just too many buildings to narrow it down."

"Focus on the street signs."

"Uh... I can't." Sun was embarrassed.

"Why not?"

"I can't read them." Sun turned red.

Io was angry at Sun; "You've been in English class for over a year! What do you mean you can't read them?"

"I can recognize the letters but... Let's see... What does M.A.R.K.E.T. S.T. spell?"

"Market Street stupid." Io slapped Sun's head. "When we get back to school, I'm going to make sure you pay attention in class!"

Pluto sighed.

"Ok, Pluto, since you know where we're going. You go first." Sun grabbed Pluto.

"You come back here soon Sun." Io was worried that Sun would get lost and end up in the San Francisco Bay.

Sun invoked her teleportation magic and called out "Sun Beam Transport!" In a moment Pluto and Sun were in the heart of San Francisco in front of Moscone Center. It was early evening and the sun was going to set in about an hour. They looked around and realized the Sun screwed up the teleport. Pluto went to a passerby and asked for directions and was pointed in the right way. Pluto called for Sun to follow her and they ran at top speed.

Pluto directed to Sun, "It's about two kilometers this way."

Sun took notice that no one even gave the two Beautiful Sailor Suited Senshi a second look. In Tokyo, people gawked and pointed at them everywhere they went. "Do you have some invisibility magic that I don't know about?"

Pluto smiled, "No silly, this is San Francisco."


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They came to the seven-story tall brownstone building that the address matched. Sun took mental notes of the location they were standing at and flashed out. In a few seconds, Sun reappeared with a rather startled Sailor Io in her arms.

"Sun, don't grab me like that!" Io pushed away Sun and she stumbled onto the sidewalk.

A pair of girls holding hands walking by commented, "Aren't they a cute couple?" The other exclaimed, "Where did you get those cute dresses?"

Sun looked at the girls with a confused look on her face. She didn't understand a word they said.

Io grabbed Sun by the arm and lifted her off the ground, "Pluto, lead the way."

Pluto entered the old brick building and checked the company directory. She found "Information Unlimited" on the blackboard. "Third floor, let's go."

Sun was about to teleport when Pluto glared at her. "Let's try the elevator first."

They got to the elevator and waited for the doors to open. A man walked by and noticed the three girls, "Where's the costume party?"

Pluto without missing a beat, "Invitation only."

They got to room 303, and the door read "Information Unlimited". Io knocked on the door. They waited and knocked again. Sun got impatient, "Anyone home?"

Pluto put her head in her hand. "Uh... Sun. Try that in English." Pluto spoke in English, "Anyone home?"

Io pulled Sun's ear, "Look you jerk, this is the United States, people here speak English, not Japanese. Got that?"

Sun sulked. She thought about how her father told her that school meant nothing to a martial artist. She got real angry about how her training had gaping holes in her knowledge of the world. She held back a tear thinking about her father's death.

Pluto knocked again and called out in English, "Anyone there? We have a package for you." She turned the doorknob and found it to be locked.

Pluto turned to Sun, "Can you teleport behind the door?"

Sun cracked her knuckles. "Give me something hard to do." She disappeared in a flash.

From behind the door came a sound of a crash and boxes falling. "Oh man!" Sun cried. More sounds of stuff crashing and being moved around came from just behind the door. Pluto and Io glanced at each other wondering what damage had Sun caused this time.

The doorknob turned and Sun spilled out with about ten large cardboard boxes dumping packing peanuts on her. The hallway became a complete mess. Pluto and Io hopped backwards to avoid getting hit with debris or the flailing Sailor Sun. She plopped on the ground and was quickly buried.

Io just ignored Sun and peered into the doorway. The front door of the office was blocked with empty packing materials that were used to ship the equipment that was in use. The office was very small and tightly packed with racks of servers, routers and modems.

Io had to carefully jump over Sun's mess to get into the very narrow corridor formed by the server racks. She had to walk sideways to get to the other side of the room. A narrow table was attached to the far wall covered with test equipment, tools and a computer keyboard. She gestured to Pluto to come over.

"Hmm, let's see what we have here." Pluto leafed through all the neatly stacked papers looking for anything suspicious. Inventory records, server status reports and a stack of paper with columns of meaningless hexadecimal numbers.

"Why are we here?" Asked Io.

Pluto answered, "Mercury told me that someone tried to hack into her computer yesterday. The hacking came through here."

Sun came in all covered with packing peanuts, "How can anyone work in a place like this?"

Io looked at Sun and told her, "Sun, clean up that mess you made."

Sun stuck her tongue out and hopped out into the corridor. "Nag, nag, nag..."

Pluto quickly looked around and agreed with Sun, "Yes, how can anyone work in this place? It's not at all what I expected." The main worktable was only fifteen centimeters deep, barely deep enough for a computer keyboard and a mouse to sit on. A flat panel computer screen was mounted on the wall and there were no chairs in the entire room. The temperature was cool, but it seemed to only be that way to keep the servers functioning.

Pluto wandered the narrow corridor and saw that the door that Sun was cleaning up at was the only way in or out of the room. On the table, the reports were marked with today's date on them. Pluto looked around and sensed no one in the room other than the three Senshi. She noticed the office was totally stark. No hanging posters, no calendars, no post-it notes and nothing that suggested that anyone spent any effort to personalize the place.

"Io, does this place look odd to you? It doesn't look like anyone has been here in a while."

"You're right. This place is so cramped. What nut would design an office like this?" Io bumped into a large tall crate that was about two and half meters high and was flush against the wall. She couldn't help it; the clearance from the server rack was only twenty centimeters.

Sun chimed in, "This place reminds me of the factory. It's totally automated." She got the boxes out of the pile of peanuts and made a stack in the hall.

"It's pretty clean though." Pluto moved her gloved hand on a nearby server rack and found it was perfectly clean. "It passes the white glove test."

Sun was using her 'Roasting Chestnuts' technique to rapidly pick up the packing peanuts and shove them back into the cardboard boxes they came from. She folded the last box shut and placed it in a new stack outside in the hall. She was sweaty from all the exercise. "Boy, I'm thirsty, do they have any water in there?"

Io looked for a water cooler or an office refrigerator and found none. No trace of food was present, even a glance at the trashcans had no food wrappers or beverage containers. "I guess you're out of luck. We'll get something to drink when we get back."

"Ah man." Sun kneeled in the hall.

Pluto looked at Io, "Is she always this obnoxious?"

"Yep."

Pluto kept sorting through the papers on the thin table, "Well, there isn't anything here that we can use. I was hoping to talk to a technician. Let's put those boxes back and go home."

Sun looked at the boxes, "Uh, did you know the door was sealed?"

"Sealed?" Pluto assumed the boxes were knocked into the doorway by Sailor Sun's clumsiness.

"Yep, the boxes blocked the door. I teleported behind the door all right, right in the middle of all those cases and I hit the door with my head. I'll have to put the boxes in the room, seal the door, stack the boxes and then teleport out to put everything the way it was."

Pluto wanted to see this, "Show me how the boxes blocked the door."

Sun got up, tossed the boxes in the room and shut and locked the door. She then started stacking the packing boxes until they reached the ceiling. "There, that's how they were."

Pluto saw that this room was totally sealed. She looked at the status reports with today's date on them and got nervous. "Sun, we're leaving."

"Ok." She grabbed Io and flashed out. Pluto was happy to have a moment alone. She quickly scanned the room for any living presence and found none. Only the humming of hard drives and tiny computer fans were the only sign of life in this room. Sun flashed in and almost knocked the boxes over again. She was very woozy since the sun had just set a few minutes ago. Pluto walked over to Sun who grabbed her and flashed out leaving the room empty and lifeless again.

A few minutes later, a tall crate against the wall opened slowly. A cloaked man with smooth white skin and glowing red eyes emerged, took a look around the room and went back inside and closed his crate.


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


"REPORT: INTERNET MONITOR STATION #117 HAD LIMITED SECURITY BREACH. JAPANESE SPOKEN. NAMES USED, MERCURY, IO, SUN, AND PLUTO."

"COMMAND: LOCATE INDIVIDUALS MERCURY, IO, SUN AND PLUTO. DETERMINE SECURITY RISK. MERCURY'S COMPUTER WAS ACCESSED YESTERDAY. SCAN ACCESS LOGS FROM INTERNET MONITOR STATION #117 TO BACKTRACE LOCATION OF MERCURY."

A few hours later, it narrowed the access log list down to twenty computers owned by people who used Japanese. It will monitor these people.


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


The police have wrapped up their investigation and released the body of Genma Saotome after only holding it for a day. They determined that he died of Sarin gas, which dissipates rapidly and posed no threat. The canister found next to the body was the same kind as found with the terrorist in the mall attack a while ago. The police concluded that it was Genma who had sold the Sarin gas to the mall psycho and was in the middle of selling another canister to the Yakuza. He broke the seal and killed himself by accident. The evidence found at the crime scene was overwhelming. The police found a makeshift lab in a broken down shed near the high school. The police closed the case.


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


Sailor Sun was dizzy but the bright noonday sun gave her energy back quickly. Pluto reverted back to Setsuna and thanked Sun for helping her. She handed Io a five thousand yen note and went back to work.

"What's with the money?" Asked Io.

Sun shook off her weakness, "I told her the Sailor Sun Taxi service wasn't cheap. Hey, we need the money."

Io cocked her head in disbelief. She will never understand Setsuna. "Let's go home."

Sun took a minute to bask in the sunlight and flashed the two of them home.

They reverted back to their human forms. Ranko used a little hot water to change back to Ranma. He had forgotten to change from the schoolgirl dress he was wearing before dousing himself. Akane needed the laugh. "Oh, those panties are so you!" The day had been too depressing.


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


Ami got home that afternoon and checked her email. She found that Unimo had found out where you can get those little red eyes for the 'My Puppy'. She forwarded the company name and address to Setsuna. Ami knew that Unimo would know something that useless. He also included web links and diagrams of the camera's design.

"How does Naru put up with him? And they thought I was a geek." Ami giggled to herself. She began to reassemble the puppy Setsuna left for her. Usagi was going to be jealous.

She checked her communicator and found a message from Ranko. She wanted Ami to get information on the Itabashi Spice Factory. Ami sat and sighed. She wasn't getting any study time this week.


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


The Black Ops team wrapped up for the night again. There had been no sighting or new attacks in the California desert. The team was getting concerned that their presence was scaring away the red haired girl.

All throughout the night, they dug traps and lay hidden nets. They were going to try this approach to capture the mystery guest.

They did get a report that there was a sighting of two girls who broke a land speed record in San Francisco. The report made it more important to them to capture these girls and find out their motives.


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


Setsuna digested what she learned in San Francisco. Information Unlimited was responsible for the hacking. But what were they trying to do? What was that places true purpose? And the biggest question was, how did anyone get in there to clean the place and maintain it? She had a thought that the negaverse might be involved somehow. They could easily teleport a youma in there and locking it in would be a great way to keep it out of trouble while it did the work.

Setsuna was going to get Ami, Rei, Ranma and Akane together. Setsuna was going to share everything she knows. Damn the timeline. She had to have answers.


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


Soun prepared a bonfire for Genma's body near the Saotome gravesite. He scheduled the cremation for that evening. He only invited the immediate family. He wanted to keep this a private affair.

Soun went over to the grave of his beloved wife and kneeled before it. He made a prayer for her. Akane came and held his shoulder. "I miss her, she will always live in my heart." Akane placed a carnation on her mother's grave. She shed a silent tear and stepped back. Kasumi was more emotional, she placed her flower down and wiped her tears away with a little napkin. Nabiki gently placed her flower down and stood silent. Nabiki led her sisters away so her father could be alone.

Soun was motionless, "I miss you. No one can ever fill my heart like you did." He left a bouquet of flowers he brought for her on her grave. "I will always have you in my heart." He blew a silent kiss.

He looked at the gravestone. He had a question to ask her. "Darling, it's been so long. I'm a lonely old man. What shall I do?"

The wind picked up and a small Japanese Bobtail cat appeared. It sat down near Soun and raised its left paw as if it was beckoning him. It looked at Soun and ran down the sidewalk.

He walked in the same direction as the cat and saw Miss Hinako sitting on a bench. She was looking like a lost child. She heard about Genma at school and came to pay her respects. Soun walked past her and stopped. He didn't turn to look at her. "Please sit with me." He smiled and walked towards where Genma lay.

The local Buddhist priest performed the prayers for Genma's cremation. "Even the gorgeous royal chariots wear out; and indeed this body too wears out. But the teaching of goodness does not age; and so Goodness makes that known to the good ones."

With that said, the priest set alight the pile of wood and Genma's casket burned.

Soun sat without emotion during the prayers; Miss Hinako sat next to him. She made no body contact; she just sat next to him. Nodoka softly wept. Ranma and Akane held each other. Kasumi held her eyes closed and sniffed. Nabiki actually cried. She felt partially responsible for what happened. Happosai sat and made a prayer for Genma. It was the first time Happosai actually had shown respect for Genma in his life.

Ranma told himself, he will find out why his father died. Even if it was the last thing he ever did. He will track down his killers and punish them for what they had done.


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


"REPORT: WORLD UNREST WILL PEAK IN FIVE DAYS."

"COMMAND: SHIP ARMAMENTS TO CANDIDATES."

Survival is assured.


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


Ranma and Akane were looking forward to a nice normal evening at home. Ranma turned on the TV and the news was completely depressing. Unrest was growing in all corners of the world. It seemed that Japan was the only place that was stable. He was looking for some good news to cheer him up and make him forget about today.

Ranma picked up the mail. He found a letter addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Saotome. It was the first letter that wasn't addressed to "Occupant" he had ever received in Juuban. It had a nice smell and was handwritten in beautiful kanji lettering. He opened it and slumped on the couch.

"Akane, you'll never guess what I've got." Ranma smiled.

Akane sat next to Ranma and read the letter.

It was an invitation to the marriage of Ryoga and Akari.

And as usual, it got lost on the way. The wedding was tomorrow.




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 8, 2002



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