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This morning, while discussing Halloween costumes with my wife, I found myself recalling a Ranma 1/2 fanfic I read years ago (probably in the late 1990s, but might have been early 2000s). I don't remember if I read this on Fanfiction.net, the FFML (Fan Fic Mailing List), rec.arts.fanfic, or off of one of the websites that collected such stories.

Only a few details have stuck with me after the years. An original character is introduced who seems to act as a sort of a costumed crime-fighter. I remember he had a steel mask that he wore that was just a disc with two holes for his eyes. He had a bad habit (I think he even referred to it as a bad habit of his) of introducing himself like Darkwing Duck, the whole "I am the terror that stalks the night. I am the chewing gum stuck to your shoe" bit.

As I remember it, he wasn't an awesome fighter compared to the rest of the cast (typical for ''Ranma 1/2''), but he had the advantage that, for some reason, he could not die. The two scenes I remember (they might have been the same scene) was him waking up from having been incapacitated by a broken neck and a scene where he escapes from being chained up by shaking his mask off and sending it sailing like a flying disk to hit some controls.

There might have been a scene where he was teaching the other Tendo sisters some sort of elemental martial art with a scene where Nabiki did a "mermaid kick" involving swinging both legs out in a circle while supporting herself on her hands, but that might have been a different fic I read at the time.

It might be a red herring, but I think I was reading "Ranma 1/2: Dark Raven" at the time. And... och, I guess I could read through those fanfics in the archive one at a time to see if any of them look right...

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The fanfic is Karl Rim's "Dark Half" (sometimes titled "The Darker Half").

Synopsis from the TVTropes Fanfic Recs page:

Vampires are taking over Nerima, the authorities prove useless, so it’s up to Ranma and the rest of our heroes to stop them. Contains numerous crossovers with other 90s era animes.

The figure in the mask is named FireWater (full name Jo FireWater according to their library card, formerly Jo BlueRobe). Apparently an original character.

[ When the stranger turns we get to see his face. But he doesn't have one. Instead, a smooth stainless metal circular mask is in the middle of his hood, the only features on it being two small eye slits. And on his chest seems to be the markings of four small holes ]

Ranma: ...Monster!
Stranger: Another one!

[ Ranma takes a flying leap at the stranger only to encounter a puff of mist ]

Ranma: What..

[ At the other end of the room, a swirl of mist starts forming, and a deep voice like the whail of a ghost calls out.. ]
I am the terror that guards in the night
I am the laser that burns away darkness
I am.... FireWater!+

....

Character Profile: FireWater
Very little is known about this man or woman. He keeps his identity almost completely secret and has had various of aliases. In one past life he was known as Jo BlueRobe, and at this time had a falling out with the Fang and some of it's core memebers such as PurpleCoat (PC to him), GreenCoat (GC to him), and the Fang Emperess.

He calls himself a specialist in the supernatural and investigates odd occurences, usually to combat some dark force of evil. But he and the Fang seem to have a grudge from a long time ago. It is even speculated that FireWater is hundreds of years old. He also apparently has some links with Happosai, claiming to be his teacher. He often refers to the Wandering One, some unknown cosmic entity force of good, as his mentor although the two have barely met.

It is also speculated that he has some sort of spirit transferal power which enables him to possess a host. But he is very lothe to do so, since the last thing he wants to emulate is a life-stealing vampire, even at the cost of his own life.

He seems to be a modern person who is constantly learning and mastering new skills, to advance with the times. It is known that he has cyber-punk training. Although he is a complete mystery, whatever his past, his goal always seems to be a noble one.

Powers:
The full extent of FireWater's powers has not been seen. He has deep knowledge of the occult and has mastered to the full extent, a wide variety of special martial arts techniques. His most powerful yet draining techinique seems to be his: Winged Griffin Pounce, where he summons his full energy into the form of an unstoppable giant night-blue Griffin image. It is unknown if he has any magical or other powers but it is known that he has some degree of psychic awareness and mental powers. It is known that he is not completely human.

Physical Description:
A tall seven foot man wearing plain blue robes and a shiny circular facemask devoid of any features save two eyeslits. Kind of like a cross between Lover-boy from Vampire Girl Miyu and Jason from Friday the 13th. Unlike both, he talks.

The scene where he uses his mask to escape:

[ FireWater starts spinning his head, slowly at first and then he started picking up speed. With a sudden snap of his neck he flings his circular faceplate off. It spins through the air and rebounds on one of Soun's chains and returns towards FireWater. The disc shreds through the seal on his chest. From the angle of his hood, FireWater's face is still unseen being covered by shadows.]

As to how I found it, after posting that I remembered reading it at the same time as Dark Raven (which I found via a Google search, remembering that the guest protagonist had a special attack which involved him yelling "Quake with fear" and chains went everywhere), and finding a site with bunches of Ranma 1/2 fanfics gzipped that looked vaguely familiar, I downloaded the entirety of the directory, uncompressed them to text files, then started searching for key phrases.

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