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Chapter 18 Main Chapters Chapter 20

No Need For Another Houseguest

Mihoshi says to Yukinojo, her ships computer, "Hey, let's have the theme song for this chapter be 'The World' from '.hack///SIGN'!"

"There are only two forward slashes in '.hack//SIGN', Officer Mihoshi," Yukinojo points out.

"Oh yeah, that is weird," Mihoshi nods. "Anyhow, we'll do that song, because it's very mysterious." Yukinojo dutifully begins to send the song, and adds, "I am obligated to point out that Dragonwiles owns neither 'The World' nor '.hack//SIGN' however many slashes it may have."

"Are you sure you have to say that?" Mihoshi asks, uncertain.

"I am only a computer who cannot follow the complexities of intergalactic copyright law. I simply do as I am told," Yukinojo informs her.

"OK, whatever you say. Just be sure to turn the volume up!" Mihoshi tells Yukinojo. Yukinojo dutifully turns up the volume.

Mihoshi sat up quickly and looked around her, then wished she had done none of those things. The pain on the side of her head felt a lot worse when she did that. After remaining still a few moments, the pain was bearable, so she determined that the wound was not as serious as it could've been. It seemed to have been bandaged as well.

She looked around the room again, moving only her head, and slowly, to reconfirm her first impressions. She was lying on a couch. Near her head was Princess Sasami. In front of her, Ryoko was leaning against a wall with her hands clasped behind her head. Princess Ayeka was standing to Mihoshi's side, and next to Princess Ayeka was the Earthling, Tenchi.

"Hey, are you all right?" Tenchi asked Mihoshi, his brow furrowed with concern.

"I think so," Mihoshi said, putting a hand to her injury, then drawing it away, exclaiming, "Ouch!"

"Officer Mihoshi, what happened to you?" Ayeka asked.

"Well, when I got off the bridge, after it had ejected, I tripped and hit my head on a rock. That's how this happened," Mihoshi explained coherently, touching the injury and drawing her hand away again with an "Ouch!"

"I meant," said a nonplussed Ayeka, "why did your ship crash in the first place?"

"Kiyone and I were chasing hardened criminals across the solar system, when, uh, when," Mihoshi paused. "Did someone ask me a question?"

Ryoko burst out laughing.

"That is so mean!" Sasami scolded Ryoko. "I'm sure it's just because she had a concussion."

"She's not usually this bad," Ayeka allowed, "but still...Mihoshi, where is Kiyone?"

Mihoshi's face brightened. "Oh yeah! Kiyone went off in her mecha to chase one of the criminals who left the main ship! She'll probably come here once she sees Yukinojo is gone." Mihoshi suddenly remembered one of her duties as a Galactic Police officer- to signal her fellows when in need of rescue.

To Tenchi's surprise, Mihoshi removed a large cotton puff from the hip of her uniform, and when she had done so, it morphed into a red cube. She began to manipulate it, rotating subsections of it like a Rubik's cube. "I need to contact Galactic Police headquarters immediately to request emergency assistance!" She completed her work and stared at it. "Is it broken?" she wondered aloud, then reconsidered, "Maybe it's the other way." She reversed the series of rotations she had just made. "No?" Mihoshi inquired despondently. "Well, maybe it's like this and this or this way?" She rapidly began to try more and more combinations.

"Do you know how to work that?" Tenchi asked Ayeka under his breath. She replied in an undertone, "No, and I doubt she does either." Tenchi nodded, "Yeah, there's no reason Ryoko would know." It wasn't what Ayeka had meant- she had meant that clearly Mihoshi didn't know how to work the thing.

As Mihoshi tried more combinations on her cube, things suddenly began to change in the room. Instead of standing near Tenchi, Ayeka found herself standing closer to Ryoko- having moved several feet in the blink of an eye, without making any sort of noise. While Ayeka was recovering from this shock, Mik entered the room, scampering on his ferretlike feet- then he was suddenly moved to midair in the middle of the room, and his feet splayed awkwardly before he landed with a hacking noise of surprise.

"Stop that, are you crazy?" Ryoko said angrily, taking a step towards Mihoshi.

"Are you all right, Mik?" Sasami asked, running to Mik and cuddling him.

"I forgot how to make the distress call work!" Mihoshi began to bawl. "Now Kiyone's going to be really mad at me, and we can't get rescued for months-"

"Wait a minute, what just happened?" Tenchi asked in astonishment, looking around the room.

"That cube changes space," Ryoko said angrily, "and it certainly isn't a child's plaything." She reached forward to take it.

Mihoshi held the cube away from Ryoko, protesting, "Hey, that's mine! You wouldn't steal from a police officer, would you?"

"You're a danger to everyone with that thing!" Ryoko countered, reaching for it again and again as Mihoshi changed its position.

"That's enough!" Ayeka said sharply, and the two looked at her. "We need to figure out what to do with Yukinojo before some human finds it!"

Mihoshi stood up off the couch, and Ryoko managed to grab the cube, but Mihoshi was stronger than she looked. Mihsohi was able to hold on to the cube just long enough to return it to her hip, without even realizing Ryoko had a hold on the cube. The cube morphed back into a cotton puff. Ryoko tugged at the puff to no avail.

"Ryoko," chided Sasami. "We need to help her, she's hurt!"

"She's going to hurt herself with that thing," Ryoko disagreed.

Mihoshi announced, "I'll need to go back to Yukinojo and activate the cloaking device! That'll prevent the people of Earth from finding it. I bet they'll just put the crash and the broken trees down to a meteorite impact!"

"A large hot pink meteorite?" Ayeka grumbled. Tenchi walked over and said quietly to her, "I bet nobody saw it come down- it's a small town, and not many people are out in the heat of the day. Nobody'll know it wasn't a normal meteorite."

Ayeka sighed. It wasn't really as though she had any better ideas.

Tenchi stretched his legs. Less than an hour after he had returned from the forest where Yukinojo had crashed, it looked like he'd be returning there.

Ryoko saw this, and stepped forward. "Don't trouble yourself, Tenchi. You've done enough for this unworthy woman. I'll get her back to her precious ship. At least there she won't rearrange the spacetime continuum of your house."

"Uh, Ryoko, where did Yukinojo crash anyway?" were Mihoshi's final words as Ryoko took an ungentle grip on her and teleported them both away.

Nobuyuki entered the house at that moment and asked, "I thought I just heard someone new. Tenchi, have you got another girlfriend here?"

"She just left, but yeah," Tenchi affirmed as he stepped towards the stairs. "One of the Galactic Police officers we told you about, Mihoshi. Her spaceship just crashed. I think we might need to get another room ready."

"Anything to help an officer of the law!" Nobuyuki readily agreed. "Gee, I sure hope her friend crashes here too!"

"Dad!" Tenchi shook his head as he headed up the stairs to get a room prepared.

Sasami hurried into the kitchen, "I need to get another serving of food prepared for dinner!"

Capt. Nobeyama looked with despair at the reports on his desk. Mihoshi's report was voluminous as usual. Not only that, but he'd had to file numerous other reports in response to Mihoshi and Kiyone's reported sighting of an alien communique, evidently of Juraian origin. He was just glad no one had insisted upon a closer investigation. It had been decided that the communique was a matter for the Juraian government to investigate, and the Juraian government probably wouldn't bother to investigate. Probably it was some old technology leftover from a Juraian colonization effort made thousands of years ago, and if the technology was still in repair, it was so organic-looking that the Earthlings wouldn't realize what it was.

Nevertheless, the captain had to read through the remainder of their reports with great care, scrutinizing every detail for something that could spoil the isolation of Earth from galactic civilization. He might be stuck reading this report for another week.

The captain was glad Mihoshi and Kiyone had managed to stop the robbers who had invaded the protected zone today. Since they hadn't delivered any prisoners or recovered loot, he supposed they'd had to use quite a bit of destructive force. Better that than Mihoshi or Kiyone being hurt. He imagined Mihoshi's next report would be full of the many, many details of the fight.

He was glad Mihoshi and Kiyone weren't scheduled to check in for another three months.

Kiyone looked over her rations and air supply again as the Venusian winds blew outside her emergency survival habitat. It looked like she'd have enough for the probable amount of time that she'd need.

Secrecy was essential for the patrols of the Galactic Police in the protected zone, but as Capt. Nobeyama had warned them when they were assigned this post, it made a rescue particularly difficult. In order to prevent the Earthlings from finding out about aliens, she and Mihoshi always had to keep their storming levels high enough to prevent Earth from detecting them, and were limited in the amount of transmissions they could make. Only in case of emergency were they allowed to make an unscheduled transmission from inside the zone. Unfortunately, Kiyone's only means of doing so was very badly damaged.

Could it be repaired? Kiyone knew she had plenty of time to find out. She looked through the set of repair components and set to work.

Ryoko and Mihoshi teleported back within a few minutes of leaving, and reported that the cloaking device had successfully hidden Yukinojo's wreckage. Nobuyuki had taken it upon himself to tell Mihoshi that Tenchi was getting a room ready for her upstairs.

"She's staying here?" Ryoko asked angrily.

"Oh, uh, thank you," Mihoshi said, greatly heartened. "I didn't know what I was going to do!"

"No problem," Nobuyuki told Mihoshi as he tried to smile and avoid Ryoko's glare. His resultant expression was one of discomfort.

"Really, monster woman, I thought you weren't a criminal any more," Ayeka said mockingly. "What have you got against this upright defender of the law?"

Nobuyuki took this opportunity to leave the room.

"Don't you dare try and pull your high and mighty stuff on me," Ryoko pointed at Ayeka, "I know you're not happy with this either."

"Sasami and I are guests here. We don't see any need to criticize who else is invited to stay. Even if they are," Ayeka looked Ryoko up and down, "reprehensible."

"You said it yourself, I'm not a criminal," Ryoko sneered. "I've been all sweetness and light. You're just out to slander my character."

"Calm down you two!" Mihoshi protested, standing between them, and spreading her arms so as to hold an open palm towards both. "Friends shouldn't fight like this!"

"What?" Ayeka asked in astonishment. Ryoko agreed, "Mihoshi, Ayeka and I aren't friends. We're really more the opposite. You do know the word for the opposite of friend, right?"

"Of course I do, rival!" Mihoshi answered immediately.

"Not what I meant," Ryoko said slowly.

"Oh, you meant stranger!" Mihoshi laughed at her misunderstanding.

"I meant enemy!" Ryoko snapped.

"Are you sure?" Mihoshi asked, looking between them.

"How could we not be sure?" Ayeka asked incredulously.

"Well, maybe you should become friends," Mihoshi suggested. "You could still fight, but then you'd just have to say you're sorry afterwards!"

"That seems a little," Ayeka paused, and then decided on the word, "simplistic."

"Loony is what it is," Ryoko commented, then floated over to the couch and sprawled on it. Ayeka and Mihoshi remained standing, awkwardly.

"Uh, Ryoko," Mihoshi began to ask, but Ryoko was feigning sleep. Mihoshi asked Ayeka in a undertone, "What did she mean done enough for me?"

"What are you referring to?" Ayeka asked, raising her eyebrows.

"Just before Ryoko took me back to Yukinojo, she said Tenchi had 'done enough for me.' What did she mean?" Mihoshi restated her question, her confusion over Ryoko's words evident in her eyes.

Ayeka explained seriously, "Lord Tenchi found you unconscious in a stream of water. You could've drowned in a few more seconds if he hadn't pulled you out."

Mihoshi blinked. "I did? He did?" she asked in a small voice.

She sat down slowly on a nearby chair. She smiled. "He did?"

Ryoko opened one eye. For some reason, the tone of voice Mihoshi had just used seemed dangerous. Ayeka wasn't quite sure what she thought about Mihoshi's reaction, but it certainly wasn't rubbing her right.

Next Chapter

Kiyone looks at Dragonwiles and complains, "Is this fair? At all? I'm stuck on Venus in an emergency shelter, eating packaged rations, and she gets to live in a house, eating homecooked food?"

"No, it's not fair, but don't worry about that. Your turn will come," Dragonwiles assures her.

"Her turn for what?" Ryoko asks suspiciously.

"I didn't say, did I?" Dragonwiles says in a pompously mysterious voice.

Yosho comes forward and says, "In the next chapter, we'll see the rise of Kagato and Ryoko as the greatest pirates in the galaxy, and the actions all of us will have to take as a result. The doom is coming closer. The next chapter is No Need For Supercriminals."

Chapter 18 Main Chapters Chapter 20