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Chapter 17 Main Chapters Chapter 19

No Need For The Ruins Buster

1274 A. D.

"I'm Nagi, the greatest bounty hunter," Nagi introduces herself languorously, "and I've been paid a large bounty to be your DJ for this episode. The song is the ominous music from 'Independence Day.'"

Nagi was calmly eating in the mess hall of her new spaceship (a top of the line, heavily armed yacht) when to her astonishment a small white shape entered through the wall. Within seconds, of course, Nagi had a firm grasp on her whip and had stood to face the intruder, which showed every sign of floating unheeding through the opposite wall, and quite possibly right out of her spaceship again. The alien had entered through the wall about a meter above the ground, making an odd sound, although the wall was entirely whole. The alien had somehow passed through it as though the wall didn't exist, and was now floating calmly by.

Nagi quickly tried to determine where it had come from and what it wanted. She was in deep space, on the outskirts of civilization, heading at superluminal speed for another planet, where hopefully she'd either find another bounty or get an idea on where to find some. There was no place nearby the alien could've come from. Its speed relative to her ship meant that it must be capable of superluminal speeds as well. It was also clearly capable of survival in vacuum.

It opened red eyes and slowly dropped to the floor. Instead of moving through the floor, it alighted, and it began to walk. Clearly it was constrained by gravity. Nagi allowed herself a small smile. If it was solid sometimes, it wasn't invincible all the time.

The alien's steps faltered, and it collapsed to the floor, but Nagi didn't entirely trust this. It could be playing dead, or be some sort of diversion. She couldn't identify this alien with any certainty, so it might be highly dangerous.

She found herself torn, however. The creature had broken no laws she knew of except entering her ship uninvited. This was a capital offense, but the creature was possibly in need. There was a sort of camaraderie among space travelers, especially regarding helping a fellow traveler in need. The dangers posed by space travel were real and deadly. Those who refused to help their fellow travelers in need tended to be the sort of scum she hunted every day.

The alien slowly reopened its eyes and looked straight at Nagi. A few moments later, Nagi started as an image suddenly appeared in her mind- it was the alien's own face, as the alien had once seen it in a mirror. The image was gone, and Nagi tightened her grip on her whip. It was a telepath. That made it more dangerous. Although, if this was an attack, sending these first-person perspective memories was an odd way to do it. More likely it was trying to communicate, for the moment.

The creature transmitted more thoughts, and Nagi received them unwillingly- she saw a redhead humanoid feeding the alien. She saw a brown alien very like the white alien currently on her ship, and a cyan-haired humanoid giggling as the white alien and brown alien hopped about. The cyan-haired humanoid called the white alien "Ken-ohki." Nagi was startled to see in the next image not only a Juraian, but the famed criminal Lord Kagato, who had disappeared some time ago. The white alien flung itself at Lord Kagato, and for the first time, some of Ken-ohki's emotions were received by Nagi. She felt Ken-ohki's horror and anger as he was thrown into an airlock. There was a quashed feeling of sadness, buried in incredible rage as the brown alien of his species, the female, shoved him in the airlock. As Nagi viewed this memory, a thought associated with the female streamed from Ken-ohki to Nagi, "Traitor!"

With this thought, Ken-ohki suddenly seemed spent. He wearily laid himself down upon the floor of Nagi's ship.

Nagi made her decision. There was no room in her life for a pet. Ken-ohki, however, was clearly sapient. He could be a partner. At the moment, she had no idea how he could help her, but one never knew when a superluminal, vacuum-hardened, telepathic, albino cat rabbit might come in handy.

"You'd better just be hungry, not injured," Nagi told Ken-ohki vocally, "because I'm not much of a doctor. And you'd better be able to eat the food we've got, because the edge of known space doesn't have culinary variety."

Ken-ohki meowed softly in affirmation.

1285 A.D.

"And who is the third cousin of Princess Sasami?" Kagato asked Ryoko.

He could've made her give the correct response, but within an hour of taking her over eleven years ago, he'd learned it was tiring to make her do every little thing himself. He'd found it much easier to quash all her actions which were contrary to his will. She had been stubborn, but eventually she'd learned he wasn't to be trifled with. After that, he began a more formal education program, much of it based here in this makeshift classroom on Souja. Ryoko was a terrible student, but she needed this knowledge if she was to be of any use to him. She had to be able to act with some autonomy, and needed some information to make decisions and fight effectively. At times he wondered why he bothered. She still showed little promise though she now was roughly fourteen or fifteen and proceeding steadily through pubescence. It was unlikely she'd ever be of much worth. A stunted chrysalis made a weak killer wasp.

The green luminescence sheathed Ryoko's eyes, eclipsed her natural yellow iris and black slit of a pupil. It had been so forever, or so Ryoko thought. She remembered nothing of Washu, or of Ken-ohki. All she could recall was years of training, and merciless, cruel condescension, from Kagato. She could only hope that he had not made her as he claimed he had, for he treated her like garbage. Even as he taught her to fight, taught her navigation, taught her science, taught her of the Juraian royal family, he taught her that she was a monster, and a weak, pathetic one at that. She hated him for saying these things, and for treating her like he did, but she knew of no counterarguments, nothing to prove him wrong, no one besides Ryo-ohki who thought her of value. Ryoko had no trust in Kagato, but he controlled her mind, and there was nothing she could do but live with his incessant belittling of her, and weep inside her mind where only Ryo-ohki could hear and comfort her.

Ryoko answered Kagato's question correctly, with the swiftness that he expected.

He turned to regard her. "It certainly took you long enough to learn all of the members of the Juraian royal family," he said in a voice that might've been talking to himself, but was made loud enough for her to hear. He now increased his volume and addressed his next statement more obviously to her. "I'm tired of having to make allowances for your deficiencies. You understand that I won't compensate for your weakness today?"

"Yes, Kagato," she said, bowing her head but allowing a slight frown to appear, a symptom of the incredible anger she felt almost whenever she saw him. He did not see the frown, and he didn't have the ability to see whatever was in her mind, or Ryo-ohki's mind. Ryo-ohki was the only person who could see all of Ryoko's mind.

"Proceed to your target immediately," he ordered, turning away from her and stalking towards the bridge of Souja.

Ryo-ohki leapt off of Ryoko's desk and phased through the floor and hull of Souja. Once clear of the ship, she transformed into her spaceship form. Ryoko teleported out of the room and, guided by Ryo-ohki, appeared on Ryo-ohki's bridge. Immediately they headed for a far off star system, where there were said to be some ruins that dated to before the founding of the Juraian Empire. Kagato set his course for another planet, where it was said that there were more pre-Juraian ruins.

When Ryoko arrived at her target, she told Ryo-ohki to open fire on every spaceship in the system, just as Kagato had ordered her when he planned the mission weeks ago. Some of the vessels exploded immediately in response to a single beam from Ryo-ohki, while others were merely disabled. The destroyers that tried to respond to this sudden threat found themselves unable to lock onto Ryo-ohki as she swiftly dodged and wove. The destroyers established formation and fired their beams nearly randomly, hoping that by catching Ryo-ohki in a crossfire they could manage a lucky strike.

Ryoko cackled wildly, "Get them, Ryo-ohki! We'll overpower this place in no time!"

Ryo-ohki did so, and using the knowledge Kagato had taught Ryoko, found strategic weaknesses in their armor to multiply her incredible power even further. The formation of destroyers was soon little more than space debris.

Ryoko laughed even louder. The power she was experiencing was incredible. So, she was a freak, was she? Weak and tiny? Then look how pitiful these insects who opposed her were! They scorned her, every living being other than Ryo-ohki scorned her, but look how weak these beings were in the end. With every enemy she defeated, her revenge for her isolation and for the exile the rest of the universe had imposed on her increased. If everything in the universe hated her, then best to stay on the path of destruction, and exult in her own power. As they entered the atmosphere of the planet, Ryo-ohki screamed a tremendous, triumphant cry, totally in accord with the spirit of her friend.

Ryo-ohki screamed through the atmosphere, using her powerful beam weapons to utterly ruin any planetary defense systems that dared to engage them. What few hits these systems scored on Ryo-ohki were almost negligible in comparison to the strength of her natural armor. Within minutes, she slowed and hovered over the target city.

Immediately Ryoko teleported inside the museum that Kagato determined was the location of the relics he desired. The guards, terrified, sounded the alarm.

One guard, the captain in particular, looked at Ryoko, horror-struck. The intruder resembled his own daughter somewhat- just a young girl, barely in her teenage years.

Three of the other guards surrounded and rushed her, brandishing their metal nightsticks. Ryoko flew towards one, which he hadn't expected, and grabbing the arm which bore the nightstick, swung him in a semicircle and released him so that he was flung against a wall. She had turned to face the other two guards, forming an energy saber in one hand. Ryoko skewered one guard in the throat with a saber. She didn't cry or even flinch as the other guard caught her full on the shoulder with his nightstick. Instead she struck his head with her other fist. The captain felt another kind of horror as he saw the intruder's green glowing eyes and bloodthirsty smile.

Ryoko turned to the display case to her right and phased her arm through its transparent but dense surface. She grabbed the relics inside and phased them out with the rest of her arm, ignoring the klaxon of alarms that her action triggered. Examining her loot, she mentally reported to Kagato.

"I thought you'd be leaving by this point, Ryoko," his disappointed thoughts returned to her, "wouldn't have thought that backwater garrison such a challenge. Return to the rendezvous point immediately."

Ryoko howled in rage which Kagato couldn't feel, but she dared not disobey. His orders were an unwelcome reminder of the reality that his was a power greater than hers. Someday, however, she would grow strong enough that she would crush his arrogant visage once and for all, and then there would be nothing left that would be able to torture or disparage her.

Thus did Ryoko and Ryo-ohki disgorge all the bile from the wounds Kagato had given them upon countless others in the galaxy.

Next Chapter

"Do you have to use such vivid imagery?" Nobuyuki asks, feeling somewhat ill.

"There, there, do you see? She's a vicious criminal! This is exactly what I mean!" Ayeka refers to the events which have just unfolded.

"But what with Kagato controlling her mind, there are some extenuating circumstances, right?" Tenchi suggests.

Mihoshi, at center stage, announces, "I'm going to be the newest resident at Tenchi's house, and for some reason that makes Ryoko and Ayeka mad. Gee, that's odd. They helped me so much when I was in trouble after Yukinojo crashed! Well, I guess I'd better do what I can to keep law and order around the house." She covers her mouth with her hand and yawns, "Or take a nap." After a moment she adds, "The next episode is No Need For Another Houseguest."

Continuity with Dragonwiles

Dragonwiles reposes in state in the library of his lair. Looking up from his book, he greets, "Welcome to this special segment, in which I give a few brief continuity notes."

"How did Nagi and Ken-ohki ever meet? I don't know, although I can't recall actually researching the topic. So I made up something I liked. Aren't fanfictions great?"

"And about the exact nature of Kagato's mental domination, and Ryoko's crimes- I made those up too. Just keeping the record straight." Dragonwiles winks before returning attention to the book.

Chapter 17 Main Chapters Chapter 19