Part 1
Shaule Sachs

Version 0.1 draft

Author Notes:

(1) This is an Alternate Universe story...

(2) Ranma 1/2 characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi and are used solely for the entertainment and, hopefully, enjoyment of her fans. Other characters are created by me as well as the plot.

     It was a forest the likes of which existed the world over. There was nothing to distinguish it from any other groups of trees save the two man in shinto monk outfits that busied themselves with setting up camp as night fell across the sky. Each seemed to flow without any wasted movement and with a precision that spoke of a lifetime of companinionship.
     The two were only distinguishable when one looked closely at them. One was obviosly a young man, sixteen or seventeen in years, by the strength of his figure, youthfulness his face, and the darkness of his hair and yet, his eyes led a knowledge beyond his years and a sorrow of one who had see too much. The other was equally obviously old from the greying hair, the stiffness of his movements, and the wisdom lines etched on his face. His eyes too held sorrow and knowledge beyond human understanding.
     The old man, 'Sensei,' Teacher, by Name and Function, who held a simple wooden staff with a stylized dragon on its top, addressed the young man saying, "So, my apprentice, the Time has finally come."
     The young man, the Sensei's apprentice, held a newly forged katana in his lap asked, "Must it, Sensei?"
     Sensei smiled and replied, "For everything, there is a season. It is now the season for the hatchlings to leave the nest and fly on their own."
     The young apprentice sighed and muttered, "Hai, Sensei."
     Sensei's smile grew as he replied, "Just because a hatchling must leave the nest, doesn't mean he can't come and visit his aged old Sensei..."
     The young apprentice began to protest that his sensei was old but Sensei brushed the protest aside with his hand as he continued, "I am old. My season will soon be over while yours will soon begin. Just as you may visit me, don't be surprise that I may come and visit you."
     The apprentice returned his sensei's beaming smile back reluctantly as he simply said, "Hai, Sensei."
     Sensei's features grew thoughtful for a moment and then he asked, "You must created your own identity outside of being my apprentice, my son, and to begin that identity you need to use your name."
     The apprentice reluctantly nodded his head to his sensei's words and then said in a quiet voice, "Hai, Sensei."
     "'Ranma' is a fine name," Sensei said. Seeing his apprentice's sour look he added, "It will give you a link to your Past..."
     With a touch of anger in his voice, the once Ranma Saotome replied, "'Ranma Saotome' is dead! His baka 'father' killed him seven years ago trying to 'teach' him the Neko-ken by throwing him into a pit of starving cats over and over again instead of spending the decades required to learn it properly. No, even 'Ranma' is dead to the World... Only I remain..."
     There was a touch of sadness in Sensei's eyes but he didn't reply to his apprentice's words, especially since there was a lot of truth in them. Instead, Sensei looked to the fire that sat between them. In a soft voice almost dreading the answer, Sensei asked, "If only 'you' remain... what are 'you?'"
     Without hestiation, the young apprentice responded, "Rekka..."
     "Wild fire," Sensei echoed the translation in sadness.
     The newly named Rekka nodded his head.
     Both understand the signifiance of the name and what it truly meant. Sensei could only sigh and feel sadness for the difficult road his apprentice had set for himself. The conversation fell into a calm silence as both looked into the campfire, one to see the Future, and the other to remember the Past.
     "And so where shall 'Rekka' begin the 'cleansing' of the World?" Sensei asked.
     "In Tokyo," Rekka replied. "Where it all began."

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