Becky's Burger Emporium Fiction, Programming and Mayhem

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Independence Day: Chapter 2, They Signal.
Rebecca Ann Heineman

Based on the film "Independence Day" By Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, Ranma 1/2 and the characters therein are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. 801 T.T.S. Airbats characters created by Shimizu Toshimitsu.

I don't own these characters. Please don't sue me, kill me or make me eat live worms.

July 1st, Late morning.

Taki Fujiyama was examining the latest set of plates of the planet Jupiter. He was looking for any new moons to add to the growing list of discoveries that astronomers worldwide were making recently on the largest planet of the solar system. He checked the first plate and found nothing unusual. He checked the second plate, the third plate and then broke for lunch.

He sat in his chair downing his sandwich contemplating his existence. He
had been working at the Tokyo Bay Observatory for several years and had
only discovered a single asteroid and confirmed the sighting of a comet.
He hoped that someday he would find something in the heavens that he
could name after his cat that wouldn't be forgotten over the annuals of

"Four years of college so I can sit looking at the stars." He said to
himself. He smiled since he wouldn't have it any other way. "I like it!"
He rolled his chair back to the lit table with the photographic plates.

He picked up his magnifying glass and held it onto plate number four to
examine Jupiter. He silently wished the funding board would approve of
his request to get digital recording equipment so he wouldn't need to
spend his scant funds on film and developing solutions. He could increase
his output, save money and maybe even hurry up and discover something.

Taki squinted at the circle that was Jupiter. The normally perfect sphere
had a chunk taken out of it and looked like a crescent moon. He pulled up
plate number three and saw that Jupiter had a tiny fragment missing. It
was something that he missed when he looked at it the first time.

He grew concerned and went to plate number five. Jupiter was partially
eclipsed by some large object. He made some calculations on where the
object would be now and cursed that it was only visible at this moment on
the far side of the earth. He pulled out the sixth and final plate and
noticed the object was already past Jupiter with only a tiny fragment
obscuring the distant world.

He double-checked his calculations based on the observations. The object
wasn't moving laterally. It was Jupiter that moved aside but the object
appeared stationary. There were only two conclusions that could be made.
The object was either moving directly away from Earth or it was moving
directly toward it. Earth didn't launch anything that could be this
object so the only remaining option was something unthinkable. A large
bead of sweat crept down the back of his head as he grabbed his
telephone. He needed confirmation of his findings.

Ranma stormed into his classroom dressed in his traditional Chinese shirt
and black pants. He had a look of anger on his face and growled at Akane
as he sat down. Akane snickered back in response. Ranma had to sneak into
the men's locker room to obtain a jock strap since Akane had conveniently
forgotten to pack a pair of boxer shorts in the grocery bag of clothes.
Ranma was never going to be caught wearing women's underwear in male form
by choice.

A dark cloud hovered over Ranma as he simmered in anger. Anger directed
at his close call at coming to school as a girl. Anger at his father to
pretend to be someone he's not. He felt even more anger for not being
able to be who he truly was in front of his mother.

Hiroshi walked up to Ranma to cheer him up. "Hey there! What's up?"

Ranma huffed. "The usual stuff."

Daisuke nudged Ranma to get him to lighten up. "What? Got another fiance
you lady killer?"

"As if I need another one, I've already got enough problems with the ones
I've got."

"Well Ranma, I've got something that might cheer you up. Check this out."
Hiroshi pulled out of his book bag a schematic diagram of a complicated
electrical circuit.

"What's this? Your art project?"

Hiroshi's eyes glazed over. "Twenty fours of the Playboy channel right at
your fingertips."

Ranma kept his head pointed at the diagram then raised just his eyes to
look at Hiroshi's spaced out features. "The Playboy channel? What's

Daisuke's slapped his own head in shock. "You don't know what the Playboy
channel is? Have you been living under a rock?"

"No. I've been living on the road for ten years until I got tied down
with that uncute tomboy sitting over there. So what's this channel all

The two perverts whispered together in a ritual of male bonding. "Girls!
Lot's of girls and little clothes."

"Why would I care about girls? They're nothin' but trouble!"

Hiroshi gave a smirk. "Don't tell me that you're not interested in girls
Ranma. Just think about it, girls on TV showing you everything."

Daisuke piped in. "Hiroshi, why would he care? If he wants a girl he can
just look in the mirror. Besides your box doesn't work anyways."

"It does too!"

"Does not!"

"Does too! I just need to get the bugs worked out of it that's all."

Ranma separated his friends from their pointless argument. "Hey! Hey!
Hey! You mean to tell me you actually got this piece of paper to work?"

Hiroshi snatched the paper from Ranma's desk and neatly folded it away.
"I put it together last night and got it working this morning."

Diasuke wanted to rub it in. "Working? Yeah right. The picture had all
that distortion and the sound didn't work."

"There was a carrier wave imbedded in the H-Blank signal. I just have to
filter it out. It's probably some new anti-piracy scheme."

Ranma was confused. "Whoa! H-Blank? Speak Japanese will ya?"

"H-Blank, Horizonal Blank, did you sleep in electronics class again?"

The tardy chime rang and the other students sat down at their desks.
Ukyou came in and waved at Ranma then sat in her seat. Hiroshi slipped
his schematic into his book bag. "I'll fix it tonight. Stop by my place
if you want to check out some real cute girls."

Ukyou's eyes twitched. She quietly thought. "If he wanted to see a cute
girl, all he has to do is turn around."

Akane snubbed Ranma. "See if I care."

Miss Hinako entered the class and sat on a stool. "Now is everyone ready
to learn?"

The class answered. "Yes teacher."

"Good. Now here's a book of my favorite ponies. Look at the nice little
pink one."

The phone rang in a tiny observatory in the middle of a Kansas field.
Mark Stratton was a retired machinist who was spending the rest of his
days looking at the stars. The building that housed his telescope looked
like it should fall apart if the wind achieved over ten kilometers per
hour, but the look was intentional to ward off thieves. Inside, was a set
of some of the most advanced amateur astronomy equipment money can buy
without government intervention. It was one of the perks of winning the
New York state lottery five years ago.

"Hello. Mark here." Mr. Stratton was in his early thirties, dressed
casually and enjoyed the good life. He had already discovered dozens of
comets, asteroids and even a tiny new moon of Saturn. He was known the
world over in the field of astronomy. "Yeah." He pulled out his keyboard
while he placed his feet on his desk. "Gimme the coordinates." He typed
in the settings to redirect his telescope to the current location of
Jupiter. "Doomsday asteroid? Yeah right, you've been watching too many
movies. Gimme a minute."

Mark set the computer to take a high-resolution digital picture of the
night sky. In moments, the image was on his twenty-two inch flat panel
display. "Ok. Now what am I looking for? Uh huh." He blew up a section of
the image. He magnified it again. "I think I have something but it's
reflective properties suck. Might be an asteroid." He took another
picture but with the infrared and the ultraviolet spectrums being

"Woah!" A large dot appeared near Jupiter. "Ok. Looks like we got a live
one. Let's see where you're going." He blew up the image to get a good
look at the object. It was a perfect circle, too perfect in his mind. He
programmed the telescope to take a picture of just the object itself and
determine its location.

He worked for twenty minutes solid. Taki didn't care if the phone call
was costing him a fortune. Every passing moment made him more excited
about the find. The asteroid was over five hundred kilometers across and
was going to pass Earth very closely. Taki wasn't prepared for the news
he was going to get.

Mark checked his findings refusing to believe they were correct. "Uh...
Taki, we've got big trouble here."

Taki untied his hand from the phone cord that he tangled himself with as
he played with it while waiting for confirmation of his find. "What?
Don't tell me it's going to hit the Earth."

Mark let out his breath when he accepted the truth. "I've clocked our
friend here. It's slowing down."

"Say what?"

"I'm forwarding this to NASA as soon as I hang up. This thing is
traveling far faster than anything I've ever seen and it's slowing down
at an incredible rate. At this rate of speed it will be within Lunar
orbit in less than twenty-four hours.

"Twenty four hours? From Jupiter's orbit?"

"Yep. If I were you, I'd think of a name for this thing. Something
biblical would be nice. Gotta go, I've got people to call and emails to
make." Mark hung up the phone as Taki asked more questions. Mark checked
his Rolodex and pulled out a card. He dialed the number on it. "Hello,
NASA? This is Mark Stratton. Get me Dr. Rothman. Yeah, tell him it's a
possible extinction level event. No, I'm not kidding and this isn't
candid camera. Get him on the phone NOW!"

Shampoo was resting at the Cat Cafe after her morning workout with her
great grandmother. She dreamed of Ranma as she watched her favorite
Japanese soap opera on her tiny TV in her bedroom.

"Oh Fuko. Why didn't you come back when I bzzzz...."

Shampoo fell out of her dream state then flung a bonbori at the TV.
"Stupid Japanese TV. Shampoo should buy one from Taiwan." She got up and
wiggled the antenna to get a better picture. The picture stabilized and
became clear as she held the coat hangar but fizzed out when she released
it. "Mousse!"

Mousse entered the sacred domain of his beloved. "Yes Shampoo? What can I
do for you?"

"Hold TV wire."

"You mean like this?" Mousse touched the coat hangar that doubled as an
antenna and the picture became crystal clear.

"Good Mousse. Mousse stay while Shampoo watch." Shampoo curled up to
watch the conclusion of the episode imagining the girl in the picture was
her with the hero being Ranma.

An hour later, Mousse gladly changed into his duck form to rest his wings
in his pen. He was happy to be of service to his beloved Shampoo.

Nabiki sat during lunchtime reading Forbes Japan and listening through
headphones to the financial report from the evening news in the United
States on a pocket radio. Tatewaki Kuno approached with an expectant look
on his face. "Miss Tendo, I have come to ask a favor of you."

Nabiki gave a sultry purr. "Oh Kuno baby, favors are my specialty. What
ever do you desired?"

"I desire the location of the pig tailed one. I happened upon her this
morning and she was wearing a Furinkan High School uniform."

Nabiki chuckled then held her laughter.

"I see no humor in this Nabiki."

"Sorry, I got something in my throat, please continue."

Kuno straightened himself. "As I was saying, the pig tailed one must be a
student here. I would like to know where she is being educated since I
had not seen her on the school grounds today."

"That's a little difficult. You see, she's a special case and... Well...
They make exceptions for people like her."

"The exception? What is it?"

Nabiki knew she had him hooked. She held out her open palm in
anticipation for her reward for a job well done. "Three thousand yen

Kuno slipped her three one thousand yen notes. She quickly made the money
vanish in a way that most professional magicians would have envied.
"She's in Ranma's class. Wherever Ranma goes, she goes."

"Ranma? Ranma Saotome? The enslaver of women." He produced a bouquet of
flowers from nowhere. "Now I will meet with Akane and the pig tailed
one." He ran off. "I will allow them to date with me."

Nabiki shook her head smiling at the easy three thousand yen she got.
"Should have asked for five thousand." She put her headphones back on and
got a weird annoying carrier tone. She could still hear the broadcast,
but the noise made listening painful. She adjusted the tuning knob to get
a better signal but it was to no avail. "Oh well, it was boring anyways."

The hive was getting restless. The countdown had begun and the stasis
chambers were being deactivated. Countless millions of the travelers were
awakened to begin preparation to disembark the mother ship to take
residence on their new home.

The pilots shut down the hyper drive, enabled the inertial dampers and
activated the energy to motion drive to gradually slow down the massive
craft. The lead pilot fed his thoughts into his console to command it to
display the projected course though the Terran solar system. He double
checked for space debris and waved in approval. The course plot appeared
on consoles all over the ship. Two dots flashed to show the location of
their craft and their new home with the distance between them rapidly
getting narrower. A series of vertical bar patterns appeared on the side
of the image to denote the countdown stages for Earth orbit and the other
phases of the great plan.

The pilot requested the computer to pull up images of their destination.
Realistic photos channeled directly into his mind showed a scene of a
massive redwood forest. He imagined that he was standing among the trees
breathing in the fresh clean air. The smell of the crisp air was a
sensation that was for most of the ship's occupants, only a distant
memory. He rejoiced that the memory would be transferred into reality in
only one hundred hours.

Author's Notes: Please review my story. It makes me feel oh so happy and prevents me from covering your home in toilet paper.

Last edited on February 18th, 2003

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