"MOUKO TAKABISHA!" "WRATH OF THE FLAME DUCK!" "BREAKING POINT!' "I AM THE BLUE THUNDER OF FURINKAN HIGH!" "SHERIFF LOBO!" "SHAFT! HE'S A BAD MUTHA!" It was a typical day at Ucchan's Okonomiyaki. At least this time Shampoo hadn't added marujuana to the okonomiyaki sauce again. Ukyou dived behind the counter as all the chi attacks went off at once. A few seconds later, the counter was just about the only thing left. The entire building had been vaporized. The store and everything Ukyou owned, except for one purple wrap around, a set of black tights, one bra, one set of panties, her shoes, her hair riboon, her giant spatula, and her bandolier of combat spatulas, had been annhilated. Various male martial artists, now butt naked, were strewn through the wreckage. As Ukyou stood up, for a moment, all she wanted to do was kill. Kill them all. Death to those who had destroyed her store. She rushed out, and only indecision on who to behead first saved the life of any of them. While she hesitated, torn between so many possibilities, she began to calm down. There were better ways to deal with this. Ukyou might not be as good a businessman as Nabiki, but you could profit from anything, even disaster, if you only put your mind to it. The first step was to get the bucket from under the counter. Quick splashes of water turned two of the offending men into a duck and a pig. She put the pig in a box and mailed him to a pig refuge in New York (the state). She put the duck in another box and mailed him to the pig refuge too, making the return address somewhere in South Africa, just in case it bounced. She took Kunou's wallet, extracted all his ready cash, gave him a reciept for the damage he had done, then dumped him in a passing garbage truck. Happousai called for sterner measures. She lit up the wreckage of her grill and made a long rectangular okonomiyaki, then covered it with sauce to make a prayer strip, then stuck it to his head. By now, she was starting to cheer up. Happousai went into a bag for later disposal, after she carefully labelled the bag as toxic waste. The black fellow, who she thought was some American detective, was a little trickier. She had never seen him before. The first step was taking his gun and tossing it down what had once been the toilet. She found some paper wrappings and made him a sort of diaper, so he at least wouldn't be butt naked when he woke up. Finally, she took off her top and wrapped it around Ranma's waist so he wouldn't be butt naked either. Not that she minded seeing him naked, but she knew it would embarrass him. She sat down on one of the low, charred tables and waited for him to wake up. Ranma groaned, rubbed his head, and sat up. He blinked, stared at Ukyou's chest, then blushed and turned his head aside. "Uh...Ucchan...why aren't you wearing a shirt?" "Because you're wearing mine and you destroyed all the rest of my clothing, that's why." Ukyou tapped her foot. "You and your little friends levelled the place." Ranma looked around. "Hey! I didn't start it!" Her voice was hard. "I now have no clothing except what I'm wearing, no store, no job, and no possessions. I have enough money in the bank to buy a little clothing, but basically, you've wiped me out." "I wasn't the only one!" She sighed. "I know. But now I'm homeless, jobless, and almost clothingless. And the others don't care. I can badger them until the end of time, and at best they MIGHT apologize." Ranma stared at the ground. "Yeah." Silence. "Well, you can come stay with me for a while. Maybe we can con Kunou into rebuilding your store." Ukyou brightened. "Thank you, Ranchan!" She jumped over and hugged him. Things were looking up. ******************* Ukyou's New Job by John Biles ****************** Things weren't going too well for Arby's first japanese franchise. The problem was that beef cost too much, nobody in Japan was used to eating roast beef sandwiches, and you don't go somewhere like Arby's if you're rich. As a result, morale was down, business was low, and the manager, Kimiko, was about to pull her hair out. She actually did pull some of it out when the entire staff all came up to her and said, "We quit!" "Why? HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME?" "Dressing us up in Playboy bunny outfits to attract more business was the last straw," one of the men said. "This is worse than when I worked at Burger Pope and had to dress like a nun," one of the women said. They all walked out and Kimiko sat down at the table and cried and cried until the floor was an inch deep in water. A splashing noise attracted her attention. She looked up and saw Ukyou, who was looking at the floor. "Pipe burst?" Ranma was nearby, standing on a table. Kimiko nodded. "Yes, of course. Can I help you?" "I don't suppose you're looking to hire a cook?" "YES! I need someone to man the register too." "Does it require calculus?" Ranma asked. Kimiko blinked. "Not that I'm aware of." "I can do it, then." Kimiko stood up and bowed towards the small wall shrine with a tiny statue of Arby's founder. Thank you, kamis. You have saved us! "Okay, first thing to do is to get rid of all this water." It was the first time Kimiko had ever seen someone mop without actually touching the floor with their feet. ***************** Ukyou, Kimiko, and Ranma sat on the counter and played poker, since they had been open for four hours with no customers. Ukyou looked at her hand and smiled. Four aces. They're toast. She'd already wiped out Ranma, and now he was playing on loan money from her, but Kimiko was a much better player. "I bet 500 yen." Kimiko frowned, staring at her hand. She had drawn a straight right off. Ukyou was a good poker player, she knew. She glanced over at Ranma, who had displaying multiple sweatdrops. I don't have to worry about him. Nervously, she twined a lock of her long blonde hair around her finger. The front door rang, and they all suddenly sprang off the counter and tried to look responsible, which didn't work too well, even though they were all dressed in their spiffy Arby's uniform, complete with useless visor. Gosunkugi ran in. "There you are!" He nailed a voodoo doll to Ranma's cash register and set it on fire. "Now you will die in flames, Saotome!" Kimiko screamed loud enough to shake the heavens. "No voodoo magic is allowed unless you BUY something!" She grabbed the voodoo doll off the register, threw it on the ground, and poured Dr. Pepper on it. "Oh. Well, I'll have a #1 with curly fries, then." Gosunkugi said. Ukyou went to work cooking, and a few seconds later, his sandwich was ready. Ranma got it and the fries, then waited for Gosunkugi to finish emptying his wallet. Ranma swept up all the money and popped it into the register. "Hey, it's not that expensive!" Gosunkugi said. Kimiko put away her magic marker, with which she had just added an extra zero to the end of all the prices. "See?" "Well, do I get my voodoo doll back?" She handed him the voodoo doll back. "Here you go." Gosunkugi nailed it to the register again, reset it on fire and began laughing while he filled his drink at the drink counter. Ranma sighed and switched registers. ****************** "We need to drum up some business," Kimiko said. Ukyou nodded. "We could have a sale on something." "We could offer a free attack on Ranma with every meal." "HEY!" "That would get Kunou's business," Ukyou said, then looked at the pile of clothing in one corner. "What's that?" "That was the last gimmick. We dressed up the staff as rabbits. The Destiny Production Management Bureau runs a thrift shop, you see, and..." Ukyou looked over at Ranma and smiled. "Oh, Ranchan..." ************ Kimiko staggered on the high heels and reconsidered the wisdom of her plan. It was drawing in customers, but now she understood why the entire staff had quit when she made them dress like this. Given a choice between failing and having to commit seppuku and dressing like this, she'd chose dressing like this any day, though. Ukyou cooked like a maniac. It wasn't okonomiyaki, but cooking anything could make her happy. She sang a happy tune and pushed the bunny ears out of her face again. They kept flopping forward. Then disaster struck. "We're out of cheese!" For a moment, there was silence, and then the mob began to riot. Tables flew out the windows. Someone tried to commit seppuku, but failed when another person stepped on his head while trying to flee in despair. Ranma-chan fluttered her eyelashes at the mob. "Would someone please get us some cheese?" I hate this, she thought. Damn bunny outfit. Damn job. If I never see roast beef again, it'll be too soon. Silence. The entire mob rushed out, and for about a minute, all was quiet. Then they returned and a storm of yellowish substances flew over the counter. Limburger, canembert, cheddar, swiss, blue, chesire, you name it. Ranma-chan went down under the barrage, her arms twitching feebly. Soon, she had vanished under a pile of dairy products. One crisis was over, but when Ranma-chan stood and shouted, "TENSHIN AMAGURIKEN!", it was clear that another one was just beginning. ************** Kimiko hung a new banner over the front door. After listening to her two employees discuss their life, she had come up with a brilliant plan. A few minutes later, Kunou walked in. "I want the special." "What's the special?" Ranma-chan asked Kimiko. They were back to their normal Arby's uniforms, for which she was grateful. If Kunou had seen her in the bunny outfit...she shuddered. "A #3 with a special prize. I'll go get it ready." Ukyou started cooking up a #3, which was soon ready. Ranma- chan took Kunou's payment and passed him his food. Kimiko went over to Kunou and sat him down, then talked quietly with him and wrote down some stuff in a small notebook. Ukyou and Ranma didn't pay any attention to this until it was time to go home. They glanced up at the banner, which announced the special: You got a date with the cute red-headed counter girl for only 300 extra yen with the #3 special. Kimiko turned out to be quite aerodynamic. ************ Kimiko slowly dried herself out. The only way she had been able to keep her new employees from quitting was to let them pick the next gimmick. Ten hours in a dunking booth was enough water to last her for a lifetime. Especially when Ranma had spent his entire day's pay dunking her over and over and over again. Still, things were looking up. We will turn this around! She stood and shouted, "BY MY OATH, WE WILL TURN THIS STORE INTO A VIABLE FRANCHISE!" Lightning crackled down behind her, striking the puddle of water she was standing in. She flew several dozen feet. ************