Project: Ranma prologue
By Darkness and Light(

Disclaimer: Pokemon, its characters, story and associated trademarks are properties of their respective owners. I in no way claim these characters as mine nor have I made money from it.

     Giovanni regarded his underling coldly. "Are you certain that this will work?" The scientist in question shifted nervously, cold rivulets of sweat running down his back, and glanced back and forth. Around the two, technicians scurried to accomplish their tests, moving faster then necessary because the boss was here. This was the secret lab located in the heart of Team Rocket Headquarters, anyone who slacked wouldn't be fired, they would be executed.

     Much like how someone who failed would. The scientist shuddered as the memory of his predecessor's demise. The screams continued for almost two hours after he was thrust into that barren, steel walled room. No one knew what happened, but the Beedrills had been unusually calm for several weeks to come.

     He licked his lips as he cleared his suddenly dry throat. "In theory, the Subspace Inverter will work. A person sending a Pokemon through a computer converts their Pokemon into an electrical signal. The receiver takes that signal and reconstructs it into a Pokemon. In the past, encryption and the genetic coding of a Pokemon prevented us from intercepting the transmission and stealing Pokemon. Any attempt to intercept a signal sent it back to the sender where the Pokemon was restored. However the Subspace Inverter intercepts the signal in its halfway stage between conversion between a computer signal to a Pokemon. Subspace is indefinite and interchangeable. We interfere with the receiver so the Pokemon is sent back to the sender. When it reaches the halfway state we can substitute the subspace of our converter with their subspace so it materializes here bypassing the encryption."

     His breath caught in his chest Giovanni dismissed him with a wave of his hand. "If I wanted a lecture I would have asked for one." His body quivered as he awaited the result of the bosses displeasure. Silently he cursed the two bumbling idiots who had upset the boss so much. Jessie and James were just two spoiled brats who's money got them onto Team Rockets. Their latest failure at the Team Rocket run Earth Gym had cost Team Rocket several good Pokemon and the building itself, although how they had managed to destroy an entire gym were beyond him.

     "How goes the preparation?" He began to breath again as the conversation moved into safer subjects. "We are proceeding smoothly." He swept his hand over to where several technicians were working on a large metal pod as he continued, "At any time now we will be ready to begin the test runs." As he finished, one of the men working on the pod stood up and tossed a thumbs up to another technician in a white lab coat. "Ah, the final checks are now complete. We can start now."

     The two of them retreated to the safety of the control booth as the technicians picked up their tools and exited the room. Several scientist in lab coats took positions in front of consoles and begin to work. "Initial test activated. Target confirmed and locked, main Team Rocket Pokemon archive. Begining transfer countdown. 10... 9... 8... 7...

     Across the compound, two figures crept through the deserted hallways, clumsy in their attempts to be sneaky. The first figure paused as it halted before a door as it waited for its companion to catch up. The second figure tiptoed up to the first and paused as it leaned over to the others head. "Jessie, are you sure this is a good idea?"

     Jessie turned to stare down her companion. "Of course it is James, we can't capture Pikachu as we are now. Koffing and Ekans just aren't strong enough and the brat and his friends have more Pokemon then we do. The boss won't mind if we borrow a few Pokemon, and when we give him Pikachu, all will be forgiven."

     James sighed as he glanced around. He knew the boss wouldn't like this. Capturing Pikachu would earn them some favor, but they had failed so many times that sometimes he wasn't sure if capturing a hundred Pikachus would calm the boss's anger. "I don't know about this Jessie."

     A much smaller figure materialized out of the shadows and wacked James across the side of his head. "Quiet." hissed Meowth, his eyes flashing in anger. "If you are any louder, someone will hear us and we'll get caught. We have to capture Pikachu." His eyes grew starry and his voice became wistful. "And when we do, the boss will make me top cat again."

     Fire danced in Jessie's eyes as she whirled on the both of them. "Quiet the both of you. Stop your complaining and follow me." The three shadowy figures hunched over and slipped though a door marked "Main Pokemon Archives."

     "...2 ...1...activate." The opposite room was flooded with light as the machines cracked with energy. Finally the power died down, the blinking red light replaced with steady green ones. "Test complete. Test subjects successfully transferred."

     The metal pod in the test room hissed as steam was released from gaskets. The hatch creaked then swung open and two Pokemon, a Rattata and a Tauros stepped through. A smile danced over Giovanni's lips as he reguarded the two Pokemon.

     "Excellent. Prepare the Subspace Inverter to begin intercepting Pokemon around the world. His eyes flickered as he bent to examine a monitor, a gleam of satisfaction in his eyes. "Ah, here we are. Intercept this Ninetails and focus our detection equipment to evaluate it's power level."

     The technicians fingers were a blur as they flew over the keyboard. "Target confirmed and locked, Cinnabar Island Pokemon Center. Beginning transfer countdown. 10... 9... 8...

     Meowth glared at his companions as he paced about the Main Achive Room. "Hurry up, whats taking so long?" There was a low hum from the electrical generators behind them, designed to handle the massive power demands of the Team Rocket Main computer. James turned and glared back at Meowth. "I'm working as fast as I can." He returned his gaze to the screen, mumbling to himself, "So many choices, so little time...ah perfect, a Venusaur. That should take care of that electric rat."

     He began to type furiously on the keyboard, the computer beeping as it processed the request. In a few moments it beeped as final time, falling silent, as a Pokeball fell from a slot into Jessie's waiting hand. She smiled as she examined it.

      "Lets see what we have, Venusaur go!"

     The Pokeball spun as it bounced off the ground and split open. A massive figure emerged. The Venusaur looked around before it focused on the trio. "Venus!" James walked up to it and extended a hand. "My name is James. I am your new master." Jessie glared at him and stalked foward. "Now hold on just a minute, I am Venusaur's new master, this was my plan and you were the one scared of coming in here."

     As the two humans bickered Venusaur's eyes narrowed and his squat head lowered. Meowth edged away nervously, glancing towards Jessie and James. "Uh, guys? I don't think Venusaur here is too friendly."

     "Venusaur!" The two jumped at the rumbling growl and eyed the plant-Pokemon whose eyes glinted. A half dozen vines snapped out and wrapped themselves snake like around the two humans. "Venus!"

     James yelped as the vines began to squeeze. "Meowth, help us!" Meowth eyed the remaining tentacles that had not wrapped themselves around the duo as he back up into the generators. The Venusaur lumbered around and bellowed at Meowth. A hail of razor sharp leaves spiralled towards Meowth who screeched and lunged away. The blades continued to spin and sliced through metal and wiring, shooting ups showers of sparks. Meowth whimpered as the room was plunged into darkness.

     "An power surge is coming from sector F-27. Energy spikes are spreading though the power grid." The technicians eyes flickered between several monitors flashing with red warning messages. "Pulses flowing backwards, we can't stop it!" He whirled to another console and began to pound several buttons franticly. "Target is silent! The Subspace Inverter is out of control." Giovanni simply stood there, seemingly unaffected by the chaos around him.

     A bald heavy set man critically examined his ten year old son before a pit of yowling cats. "Today I am going to train you in the greatest martial arts technique in existance. Are you ready boy?" The young child nodded his head vigorously. He didn't understand why father had wrapped him in fish sausage or gathered all those cats, but he must have a reason. Pops told him that they couldn't return home until he became a worthy heir to the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. He would do anything to become the greatest martial artist ever.

     Suddenly, with a grace that belied his size, Gema rushed foward and shoved Ranma into the pit. He cupped his hands to his mouth as he called out, "All right, don't let me down son."

     For a minute he heard nothing but the snarls of the cats and the pitiful crys of his son, then a ruby light flashed from the pit. Finally, now that the boy had learned the Neko-ken, he would be unbeatable! Peering over the side of the pit, he saw nothing but cats. Cold sweat slicked his forehead, icy spears of fear stabbing him in the back. How was he going to explain this to Nodoka?

     The technician spun around and looked at Giovanni. "Wait! Contact re-established! Phasing in target now." Giovanni gave the scientist a level stare."

     "Openning the hatch, now."

     Steam once again filled the room as the gaskets openned. When the steam disappeared, a young boy was lying unmoving in the pod, massive cuts and slashes pouring blood onto the steel floor. "What is that child doing there? What is it?" The technician frowned as he read the analysis. "This makes no sense, sir. The sensors register the subject as both a human and a Pokemon. The computer is classifying him as a cat type Pokemon and rating of level 20. The sensors must be malfunctioning, sir."

     Giovanni shook his head in disgust. "Dispose of him." Two men in the back Team Rocket uniform entered the pod and as they started to grab the young boy, his eyes snapped open. With a savage yeowl, he lashed out at them, his hands curled into claws. The men screamed as bloody gashes appeared on their bodies, then collapsed to the floor, their lifeblood pouring out. The child blinked in confusion, staring at the crimson splatters on his clothes and hands, unaware of the blood on his face.

     The technician hit a red button and an alarm began to klaxon. Black suited men began to pour into the room, their features obscured by shadow. The young boy hissed and lauched himself at the men.

     "It's incredible, his power has increased to level 40. His Pokemon type is shifting so fast we can't keep up with it." Giovanni watched in interest as the monitor flicked, changing from first a Hitmonchan to a Graveller, then to an Eevee. He stared intently, eyes narrowing and his lips drawing into a hard line, at the child who was tearing Team Rocket's finest to shreads.

     Swiftly, he rose to his feet, and strode over to the door separating the control booth from the test room. "Call back the guards. I will deal with this myself." The door slid open, a small gust of wind pulling at Giovanni's coat as the air rushed into the lower pressure of the test room. The feral child eyed Giovanni warily, his blood covered hands held before him.

     "Boy, who are you?" The boy watched Giovanni, his eyes guarded, as he spoke. "I'm Ranma Saotome of the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts." Giovanni smiled at Ranma indulgently. "Such a long title for such a small boy." Ranma bristled at the condecending tone. Smoothly Giovanni continued, ignoring Ranma's obvious anger. "Very well, I am Giovanni, leader of the Viridian Gym and Team Rocket. You are strong boy, very strong. But you can be stronger. I can make you much stronger." The Ranma's eyes flickered and unconsiously his hands began to lower. Giovanni continued, his steady even strides pulling him closer to Ranma until his face was mere inches from the childs. "Join me, and I can make you the most powerful person in existance."

     The Ranma licked his lips, his eyes burning with desire. "I...I accept." His eyes began to glaze over, exhaustion taking its toll, and his eyes closed as he slid motionless to the floor.

     ...dible. Its absolutely incredible. His evolutionary potential is limitless. He could conceivably emulate and duplicate any Pokemon's powers in existence." The rasping voice broke through the haze blocking Ranma's thoughts. The incoherent murmuring clarified itself as awareness returned to Ranma. He blinked, black spots fading from his vision, as he examined his surroundings.

     He was in a spacious room, the steel walls giving it a harsh sterile look. Several people wearing white lab coats walked around, checking monitors and displays. A man in a long white coat, a goatee of black hair on his chin, turned and smiled toothily at Ranma.

     "Ahhh, so the subject is finally awake."

     Ranma blinked as his hand encountered a hazy ruby field. Gazing through it gave the world an eerie red tint. The thin scientist rubbed his hands together, a tinge of hunger in his voice as he continued. "Ah yes, fascinating how a Pokemon containment field blocks the passage of your molecules." He extended a thin skeletal finger to adjust his dark glasses which was slidding down his nose. "But enough of that, lets begin shall we?"

     Ranma spun around in a crouch at the sound of a mechanical whirling behind him. One of the panels on the metal floor, indistinguishable from the others, slid aside silently as a platform rose to waist level. An azure stone upon the platform, slightly pocked with pin sized holes, began to glow with a blinding light. Ranma screamed and his body began to shudder and shake.

     A sadistic grin twisted the scientist's scarecrow face, his lips curled back in unrestrained glee, as Ranma's body thrashed back and forth, partially obscured by the blinding light around him. Finally his movements slowed to twitching then died. The scientist eyes gleamed as the glow began to fade. "Lets see how the water evolutionary stone affected you."

     When the light vanished, a weak bundle of limbs was curled up into a ball. The scientist raised a single eyebrow, noting that the subject's hair was now a bright firey red instead of its previous raven black. Besides the change in hair color, the subject seemed unchanged, although he seemed a trifle smaller, his clothes a little baggy and ill-fitting. No matter, a detailed scan would reveal more about the subjects evolution.

     He pressed a button on the gray console before him, machinery whirling faster as it began its analysis of the subject. The machine paused for a second before a monitor began to fill with data. The scientist glanced over the test results, his eyes widening in shock as he absorbed the information. The boss wasn't going to like this.

     Beneath the arctic fascade, a raging infero burned within the powerful leader of Team Rocket. He watched as his head scientist scurried to the side of his newest toy, you could almost see his mind scramble to place the blame on someone else. Fool.

     Two guards jumped, as Giovanni spun around and stalked away, not daring to breath lest they catch his attention. When the boss was in a foul mood, it could be fatal to attract his notice.

     The disaster with the Subspace Inverter had resulted in the loss of several...resources. However, the results of the last test had been most interesting. Perhaps he wouldn't need to recover Mewtwo after all. But intriguing as the child's abilities were, they were expendable. Nothing could be allowed to interfer with the plan. Nothing.

End prologue