Apologies. I had hoped to have this out much sooner, but I was ambushed by a family vacation. I kid you not. The 'rents simply showed up and said to pack my things, we were going. Granted, it's absurdly easy for me to get time off at the start of the year (and they know it) but well...
Anyways, long story short, I spent the last week and a half on the beach, checking in occasionally through the hotel's wifi.
On another note I spent a lot of my time thinking long and hard about things, and using the first few days to come to a hard decision. Not that decision, I'm finishing this come hell or high water. But about the archive site.
I've asked that the copy there be taken down.
The reason for this is mostly that this fic isn't done. In fact, I don't even think that home can really stand on its own two feet as it is. For a part of it, there are things I've thought of later that would have been really nice to put into the early parts of the fic, and some things in the beginning which were just plain wrong, or oopsies on my part, even back to Ranma's introduction to the other forwards. The backdrop to that scene is wrong and I can't believe that no one called me on it.
Other things are the sub-plots. I'm kinda surprised that no one's asked about ye old bridge bunnies, vice, or Zafira (please, please don't take this as an invitation to start). These people are doing things, but they're strictly sub plot stuff, and I need to get the main story down before I can weave these things in correctly.
Last thing are the fights. Ranma especially. Remember back in the beginning of Home where I'd said he'd devised some new maneuvers - and then never mentioned them again? Yeah. I either need to do something with them, or just edit that out entirely. Either way, I'm going to need to rewrite most of the fights in there. Pretty much the same thing with his magic. I need to use it more often, and not just penny-ante it into the fights. I know I've talked about the power limiter and the lack of fine control without a device, but that doesn't mean it should be non-existent. There's a lot of work to do there as well.
This is a rough draft with a lot of work ahead of it, especially behind the scenes. But hey, it's not all doom and gloom. I'm reasonably happy with F&P (which means I'll likely just edit out that god damned swallow crap (what the fuck was I thinking? Anyone? I can't really remember).
Anyways. Have some more of it.
"Get up, you oaf." Kohtelias Merirosvo kicked Isanta Sammakko solidly in the ribs.
The currently (but presently temporarily) imprisoned crime lord stirred, his mumblings completely unintelligible as he did so.
Her eyes narrowed. "I'll not say it again, you idiot. Get. Up."
The rotund man rolled onto his back and stared blearily up at her. "Iza not goins nowheres. Is kippin out"
Koh snarled and lit a ball of flame in her hand, bringing it closer to Sammakko's face, the man flinching from the heat. "You're going. Or else I'll have no more use for you, hm? But I can't have you squealing, can I? Maybe I'll just melt youf face off."
Isanto scrambled around, getting to his feet in record time. Though he apparently had a point as he swayed unsteadily û he was entirely too exhausted to serve as anything other than a distraction. Gritting her teeth, she reached into her robe and removed a small gem û it wasn't like it would matter in a few hours.
The gangster snatched it out of her hand the moment he sighted it. "Briny Seas!" It was the only thing she could make out in the sea of gibberish to follow.
"Anchor's Away!" The gem yelled triumphantly, turning into a large, double-bladed axe, vaguely anchor shaped, chain wrapped around his arm, before Sammako himself was engulfed in greenish light, revealing a pirate outfit.
"There," the prelate sighed, inwardly furious that she'd had to give up her main hold on the man, "you have your precious device." She was more irritated though, that even with years of experimentation, it just wouldn't work for anyone else. They wasn't anyone with both high enough power and a water specialty in their organization. "Now follow. There's less than half an hour until we must be at the vault. We must retrieve the Viahtaa from the vault and eliminate the enemy scouts before the time is upon us."
Sammakko eyed her back for a moment before following her out, pondering whether or not to betray her. If she was right, then there were only one or two more days left in their agreement anyway. Or maybe the Viahtaa would be directly both powerful enough and controllable enough to make it worthwhile to steal.
Either way, he had to follow to find out.
The queen of Azulia rushed through her apartments, throwing on a loose robe as she did so, determined to figure out just who or what was assaulting her palace.
She burst out the doors intent on finding the guardsmen, when she was taken in a rough grip. Glancing to either side, she noted that they were her own guards in their distinctive black and blue. "Unhand me at once!"
Neither guard answered her, and they simply hauled her away. "I will see the pair of you killed for this," she growled.
"Oh, don't be too hard on them, Queen Heretic," came the smiling voice of the Helig bishop. "They can hardly be expected to obey the excommunicated, after all." The smile turned into a smirk, and she gestured to what seemed to be a shining white halo over her head, which reached out with tendrils and touched the guards, who had halos of their own appear briefly, tendrils reaching down from those into their heads. "They are simply showing their devotion."
And with that final word, one Anya now knew to be a spell, a mass of tentacles flashed out into her own head, and she grimaced as she fought them off, shaking her head violently. With one final effort, she shook them off, and collapsed in the guard's hold, panting.
The white haired girl smirked sardonically. "Well, it seems you do have some fight in you after all, heretic. No matter. One way or another, you will open the vault and give me the Viahtaa."
"No," hissed the queen, "I will not. The public will hardly accept this û and you can neither control them all, or maintain your hold on the guards indefinitely, at which point you will be executed for high treason."
"Treason?!" Vaalea snarled. "It is you who commits treason, heresy aside. The time comes with the dawn. The enemy will be upon us and you would deny us the Eye of the World, that which shall give us the might under Lider to fend them off?"
"Superstitious nonsense," the queen spat. "If you truly believed that, you'd have informed people ages ago, gotten ready."
"Oh, we are ready," Bishop Kirkko grinned. "All we need is the Viahtaa and our faith. Lider will provide the rest. He shall summon our anointed warriors to defend us, and thus will our civilization be saved."
"Surely you can't-"
The girl cut her off with a wave of the hand. "No. I'm through discussing matters of faith with a heretic. Follow." This last was directed to the guards that were holding her. They dragged her along after them.
Anya Vonalzo wished bitterly for the days of the warrior queens of old. There wasn't a lot she could do against the guards and the Bishop in these days of politicians.
Next time: Kool Aid man breaks the mexican stand off, massive melee ensues.