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Chapter 2 Main Chapters Chapter 4

No Need For Alien Abduction

Ryoko says into a studio microphone, "I am Ryoko. I don't really need much more introduction, do I? Right, so your theme song, I think I'll play, hm, oh, here we are. Apparently there was a new 'Star Trek' movie released, and since this chapter involves an evil alien invading and abducting someone, then I think the music that plays when Nero or his ship arrive would be good for our theme song! Oh, and I'm supposed to let you know," Ryoko sighs and continues, "that Dragonwiles does not own 'Star Trek,' its music, or the character of Nero." Glad that she's finished with the official portion of her duties as DJ, Ryoko presses a button and the ominous music begins to play.

Tenchi took off his shoes after doing the morning chores. He could barely believe that just yesterday he had not only been crossing swords with the demon who lived in the cave, but had actually survived the battle. Ryoko was stronger and faster than he was. She could fly, and at the end she had melted into the ground like mist--no, like she wasn't even there! Why was he still alive then? Why hadn't she beaten him?

He sat down with his father Nobuyuki and grandfather Katsuhito for a normal, quiet breakfast. "Tenchi," his father asked, "did you happen to see a bright light over near the old tree last night?"

"No, Dad," Tenchi told him, "after fighting with Ryoko, I was so tired I went to sleep almost immediately."

Grandpa finished a bite and told Dad, "You must've been drinking again."

Nobuyuki looked at him in puzzlement. "Of course I was! I was drinking with you, like we always do!"

Tenchi had learned to ignore their idle disputes, and continued eating unconcernedly.

"My son fought a demon yesterday!" Nobuyuki was protesting. "What's so unreasonable about seeing a tree glow last night?"

Ryoko's head suddenly appeared in the middle of the table, facing Tenchi, and wished him a cheery good morning. Tenchi courteously yelled in return and scrabbled backward on all fours for several meters.

"Tenchi!" Katsuhito reprimanded. "Invite the young lady to join us for the meal!"

Nobuyuki's chopsticks remained on the table where he'd dropped them.

Ryoko turned a suspicious eye on him, but kept her tone light as she replied, "No thanks, I already ate."

"At the little bed and breakfast down the road?" Nobuyuki asked, fumbling for his lost chopsticks.

"No," Ryoko shook her head, though her neck was still in the middle of the table, "I feasted on the wonderful sight of sun, trees, moon, and of course Tenchi!"

"Huh?" Tenchi muttered. He noticed that everyone was staring at him. "Oh yeah," he said, feeling incredibly, incredibly foolish. "I haven't introduced you properly. Dad, Grandpa, this is Ryoko. Ryoko, this is my father and grandfather. Ryoko and I were trying to kill each other yesterday."

Ayeka Masaki Jurai stared sadly on the bridge of Ryu-oh. She appeared to be looking at the starfield going by, or at the interior of her spaceship, which looked more like a park or a garden than a spacegoing vessel.

In reality, all she was really seeing was the remembered, hateful face of the fool she would have to wed someday. Seiryo was a fool, arrogant and shallow, with a particular gift for belittling others. Ayeka knew that her grandmother had seen it. When Lady Seto had that particular expression of disgust on her face, it meant she had found a rich fool in a position of power.

Ayeka did not allow herself to fantasize about her grandmother using her influence to break the engagement. Bleak as the prospect of marrying Seiryo was, the Juraian nobility's other suitable matches had worse character flaws. Her father wasn't wrong when he said that Seiryo was the best man for her, simply trying too hard to make the best of a bad situation. Ayeka had to marry a noble because she had to have a noble heir. It was part of the price of becoming the ruler of Jurai whenever Father should happen to pass away.

Azaka, a cylindrical, loglike robot, turned to her. "Princess Ayeka, we're receiving a transmission from Funaho!"

Ayeka returned her attention to the present, replying, "She didn't have to come all this way. Please, let me speak with her." What was on Queen Funaho's mind?

Azaka corrected her, "No, Princess Ayeka, it's not your brother's mother, it's your brother's ship!"

"What?" Ayeka cried aloud. "You're certain of this, all of you?"

Kamadaki, a robot similar to Azaka, confirmed, "The transmission is a long-range, one-way communication which matches Funaho's identification protocols, and Funaho identified herself by name."

Ayeka tried to still her heart, to think rationally. "One way?" she said aloud to Ryu-oh. "Why wouldn't Funaho let me talk back? Never mind. Ryu-oh, where is Funaho, and what did my brother say?"

Ryu-oh answered sadly, "Princess, your brother was not present on the transmission. It was simply Funaho, and somehow she scrambled the standard location-identifier settings. I only can tell the general region the transmission came from." The spaceship paused, overwhelmed by grief for Ayeka's brother.

Ayeka put her hand to her mouth. "Oh no. Ryu-oh, don't start that again. You know I can't believe that he's dead. Please, tell me what Funaho had to say."

"She reports, to any receiving Juraian vessel, that Ryoko has been released from confinement. There is no further content," Ryu-oh replied grimly.

"Ryoko," Ayeka frowned and clasped her fist. "Ryu-oh, please take us to your best guess of Funaho's location, at top speed."

Ryu-oh noted as she changed course, "It's some distance off our route. By my calculations, Funaho's signal originates from the protected zone!" Ayeka put a hand to her lip in deep thought and worry for her brother. She was also worried for the people of Earth. They had no idea what powerful evil Ryoko could work.

Ayeka's little sister Sasami wandered onto the bridge. Noting the tension, she asked, "Ayeka, is something wrong?"

Ayeka turned to her and said seriously, "Sasami, stay with your pets for the next few hours-"

"I already gave them all their nutrients!" Sasami complained. "I wanted to talk with you!"

"It's too dangerous," Ayeka said firmly. "Ryoko is on the loose, and I need you to stay in the less vulnerable parts of Ryu-oh." Sasami gave a sad acceptance and returned to her animals.

Ryoko finally decided to fully appear beside the table, and bowed deeply to Tenchi's father and grandfather. "I'm so glad to finally meet you in person, Nobuyuki Masaki, Katsuhito Masaki." Katsuhito replied, "A pleasure to meet you as well." Nobuyuki nodded, "Oh, indeed. I'm so proud of my son, fighting a real demon and finally bringing home a pretty girl for us to meet!"

Ryoko blushed slightly and put her hands to her cheeks. "Oh, I don't know what to say," she smiled.

"How do you know our names?" Tenchi asked in consternation. Ryoko shrugged. "It's easy when you consider I've been watching your family for 700 years. Still, it was nice of you to introduce me. Now I feel like part of the family!" She snapped her fingers. "Speaking of family, you wouldn't happen to have your heirloom on you? That rusty old sword?"

"Oh no, not in the house!" Tenchi shouted. "I don't want to fight in here!"

Ryoko advanced on him, phasing through the table. "Why fight?" she inquired, "You could just give it to me. In fact, I'd even give the sword back- all I want are the gems. I'd have my property, you'd have Yosho's. It's only fair."

"No way!" Tenchi refused, reaching towards his belt- and remembering that the sword was still upstairs in his room. "Don't bother yourself," Ryoko flew upwards, "I'll get it!" she assured him as she phased through the ceiling.

"That's nice of her, going to get the sword for you," Nobuyuki commented.

"Dad, if she gets all her gems back, she'll have all of her power! She hasn't changed a bit that I can see, she'll try to destroy everything again!" Tenchi argued, although he doubted his words even as she said them. It surely would've been easier for Ryoko to steal the sword and blow up the house instead of showing up at the breakfast table and make showy introductions.

A horrifying scream made Tenchi and everyone else leap to their feet. Ryoko suddenly teleported into the room, clutching her hand. "Tenchi, your sword hurt me," she gasped.

"Are you all right?" Tenchi amazed himself by saying. Ryoko turned a smile on him. "Oh, I'll live, Tenchi darling. The security field on it won't let me touch it, so could I ask you a favor? I have to get my gems back. Would you please give them to me?" Tenchi made guttural noises and rubbed the back of his head.

"Tenchi, please!" Ryoko begged, "a horrible alien is coming, and I have to save you all from her!"

The sensing equipment had detected something, noted Kiyone Makibi. It was relatively large, it was inbound, and coming very quickly.

She opened a communications channel to her partner. "Mihoshi, let's intercept it at the border of the solar system."

"Um, OK!" she agreed brightly. "Yukinojo, please plot the course." Yukinojo, her ship's computer, replied, "Of course, Mihoshi."

Kiyone was mentally overviewing the firepower of their spaceships Yagami and Yukinojo combined, wondering if they could halt the incoming object if it came to a fight. Yagami's equipment now signaled that it had identified the incoming object, and Kiyone sucked in a breath. It was Ryu-Oh, a sentient Juraian battleship that partnered with Princess Ayeka. What could a princess be doing here? It answered the question of whether the object could be stopped, though. In both rank and firepower, they were exceedingly outclassed.

Ayeka opened communications with them from the maximum range. "I am Princess Ayeka Jurai," she introduced herself formally.

Kiyone responded smoothly, "We're the Galactic Police Patrol for the protected zone. My name is Kiyone Makibi, Detective First Class."

Mihoshi finally responded to the signal. Her hat had a large green tea stain on it, which tended to hold the eye as she introduced herself, "Detective First Class Mihoshi Kuramitsu reporting!" Kiyone was stricken.

Princess Ayeka was startled a moment, then recovered herself. "Pleased to meet you both," she told them. "Have you been able to ascertain the location of Ryoko yet?"

"Yukinojo, who's Ryoko?" Mihoshi inquired. Her ship's computer replied instantly, "Space pirate Ryoko disappeared approximately 700 years ago. She has an outstanding warrant for theft, grand theft, theft of priceless cultural artifacts, theft of technological artifacts, arson, piracy-" Mihoshi commented, "Wow, someone like that is just a few light-seconds from us and we never knew?"

"You didn't get the message?" Ayeka asked in surprise. Mihoshi shrugged. "We aren't allowed to intercept transmissions from Earth, if you're talking about the shiny Juraian comminque last night. I wish our communications equipment made pretty beams like that, but ours are totally invisible!" Ayeka simply nodded. Kiyone was just glad that she hadn't mentioned that they had reported it to headquarters as being extremely anachronistic and likely pointing to alien interference on the planet.

Kiyone had read a good portion of Ryoko's file by now- it rated Galactic Most Wanted. Kiyone was most drawn to what was unknown about Ryoko-- point of origin, species, age, parentage-- and the information which had been redacted as classified-- possible motives, accomplices, and certain selections from the crimes committed section. Then she noted the date.

"Princess Ayeka," Kiyone announced, "Ryoko's file will soon be deleted and her crimes expunged from all records, pursuant to the statute of limitations."

"How soon?" Ayeka asked, taken totally off guard.

"Oh, about now," Mihoshi told her. The files which all three women had been viewing promptly disappeared.

"Why is this happening?" Ayeka whispered in utter shock. Azaka calmly answered, "The Council established the statute of limit--." Ayeka shook her head, "But after all Ryoko did, we can't just forget about it, why are we doing that?" Kamadaki told her, "The statute--" Ayeka muttered, "Please stop."

Mihoshi inquired, "So, do you like the protected zone so far, Countess?"

"Yes," Ayeka said uncertainly, staring at Mihoshi, "but I'm a- oh, never mind." Her face shifted back to formality, and she had made a decision. "You two may continue your patrol. Do not inform anyone at all of my presence. Thank you both for your hard work." She signed off and several seconds later sped past them, on a heading for Earth. Kiyone held her breath, but there was no need to worry; Ayeka had activated the proper storming levels to prevent Earth from being able to detect Ryu-Oh.

Kiyone felt uneasy. Under any other circumstances, she would've reported back to headquarters immediately despite those last few words. Kiyone, however, knew that this land actually belonged to Jurai, and their word was thus law.

In the Galactic Police Academy, she had learned that about 700 years ago, after Ryoko's pirate attacks had weakened the Juraian space fleet, King Azusa had asked the Galactic Police to take over patrols of the protected zone. Jurai's fleet had since been rebuilt, but King Azusa preferred not to disturb the status quo here, for fear of endangering Earth or its isolation from galactic civilization.

Mihoshi was happily watching galactic television and snacking.

"Mihoshi!" Kiyone angrily shouted at her partner as soon as Kiyone established a private channel between them. "How could you possibly get a stain on your hat?"

"Well," Mihoshi explained, "I had just set my hat down on the table when you told me something was coming, and I didn't expect the communication would occur so quickly. When I reached for my hat, I knocked over the teakettle, and my hat got soaked." She looked like she was going to cry. "Now I've got tea in my hair!"

Kiyone let out her tension with a sigh. "All right, go ahead and take a bath. I'll keep watch." Mihoshi's sniffles slowly stopped as she said, "Thank you, Kiyone! You're such a good friend to me!"

Ryoko began to fidget. "I think we're too late," she said, walking to a window and craning her head upwards. "Yes, we're too late," she confirmed. She phased through window and wall simultaneously, and continued walking outside. Tenchi ran upstairs, grabbed the sword, and ran outside.

Tenchi almost stopped in shock. He hadn't been sure Ryoko was telling the truth about an alien arriving, and he certainly never expected that an alien ship would be able to hover some twenty meters over his house without making a sound. Nor had he expected anything that flew through space might look like an elegant wood sculpture.

Returning his gaze to the earth, he saw Ryoko facing off against a beautiful young woman, with long flowing purple hair and pink eyes. She appeared to be dressed in some sort of purplish fighting robes or light armor, and her face bore threatening black war paint.

In Tenchi's opinion, this vision of loveliness and danger was rather spoiled by the incongruous existence of a pair of two-meter tall wood cylinders, one on either side of her. Their wood finish gleamed spotlessly, and their girth was impressive. Both had tripod feet on their bottoms and a colored forward-facing lens near their tops. Each bore a different work of ornate calligraphy, one done in red ink, the other in blue ink, matching their respective lenses. They were impressive in their own way, but they seemed entirely unsuited to either combat or decoration. He saw that Ryoko was of a different mind, as she kept watch on both the woman and the logs.

Looking closer, Tenchi saw that the purple-haired woman was also surrounded by a cluster of smaller logs that were vaguely reminiscent of Azaka and Kamadaki, though they had no tripod feet, calligraphy, or lenses.

"Monster-woman, it's been such a long time. You haven't blown anything up in seven centuries," the purple-haired woman mocked Ryoko.

"Spoiled brat," Ryoko spat back, riled, "it's been such a long time. You're still in the same place you were seven centuries ago- single and ugly."

The purple-haired woman growled at this, then looked slantwise at Tenchi without moving her head. She seemed to be considering the situation. Her eyes suddenly snapped forward again and she ordered, "Take her alive!"

Tenchi blinked as the logs responded, "Yes, ma'am," and tilted forward, flying towards Ryoko. She fired bolts of red energy at both of them. Shields materialized out of thin air around them, but they cried out in alarm. Their mistress immediately commanded, "Fall back!" They responded "Yes ma'am!" and retreated, taking protective stances in front of her, but she ordered "Further back!" This time, instead of peppy, their "Yes, ma'am," sounded disgruntled, but they subsided behind Ayeka's back.

Ayeka eyed the small logs surrounding her. The shield network couldn't suppress Ryoko's firepower; it was a waste to keep it up. She ordered its dissolution, and the small logs teleported back to Ryu-oh.

With the path clear between them, Ayeka and Ryoko tensed and watched each other carefully. Tenchi wondered if he should do something, but he wasn't sure whose side he was on. Neither of them seemed to particularly want him involved in the fight in any case.

Ryoko ignited her saber as Ayeka took a deliberate step forward. Ayeka then propelled herself forward like an arrow or a comet. Ryoko launched herself through the air at her as well. Just before they met, Ayeka took something small and wooden off of her belt, and a blue sword extended from it, one which looked similar to the blade of Tenchi. Ayeka aimed a sweeping strike at Ryoko's head in the same motion as drawing her sword, but Ryoko blocked it with her own saber. Ayeka planted her feet on the ground, knees bent, and thrust her left hand towards Ryoko's midsection. Ryoko caught Ayeka's hand with her left hand while still hovering in the air. Ayeka twirled her wrist, spinning her blade so that it detached from Ryoko's saber and aimed itself at Ryoko's wrist. Ryoko teleported away, freeing Ayeka's left hand.

The logs shouted, "Princess!" and "Look out!" as Ryoko reappeared above Ayeka's back. Fear appeared on Ayeka's face as she twisted around and only barely avoided Ryoko's saber thrust to the head. Ryoko bared her teeth in frustration, then curled her lips in a hungry smile. She said slyly, "Ayeka, I'll bet you're wondering about what happened to your dear half-brother, aren't you?" Ayeka was livid as she swung her sword at Ryoko, who flew higher to avoid it. "My brother," Ayeka corrected Ryoko tightly.

"I know where he is. I have watched him for seven centuries. If you ask very politely I might tell you," Ryoko continued mockingly, hovering now in sword reach, now out of it. Tenchi wondered why the purple-haired woman didn't fly again- perhaps it was a greater strain for her than for Ryoko.

Ayeka hissed, "Do you really think I'd deal with you after what you did to Jurai?" When Ryoko next ducked teasingly into sword range, Ayeka instead jumped, far higher than a human could, and grabbed her ankle. Ayeka's weight pulled Ryoko to the ground, and Ayeka declared, "I won't let you ruin Earth as well." She then slammed Ryoko hard into the ground. Tenchi flinched.

Ryoko simply smiled at Ayeka. "Nice move, princess. But my strong bond of love with Tenchi gives me powers your jealous little heart couldn't imagine." She kicked her leg back, and Ayeka went rocketing through the air, landing hard on her head with a scream of pain. Tenchi thought he was going to be sick.

Ryoko looked prim and put her arms akimbo.

"How on Jurai," Ayeka gasped slowly, "could you possibly," she rose, trembling, to her knees, "have a strong bond of love," she looked up in shock at Ryoko, "with my brother's sword?"

Everything was very quiet for a moment.

Ryoko began to laugh as Ayeka wiped blood from her mouth. Tenchi noticed it was red, and also that Ayeka still had her sword securely in her hand. She must've had a trainer almost as tough as his grandfather to hang onto it after that last blow.

Regaining her breath as Ayeka stood up, Ryoko explained, "No, Miss Galactic Ignoramus, Tenchi is the wonderful young man behind me," she gestured with an open palm. "They named him after the sword."

Tenchi wondered how Ryoko knew so much about his life, and the life of Yosho, and simply couldn't comprehend why Ryoko was calling him wonderful after trying to kill him yesterday.

Ayeka shook her head. "You're despicable," she said to Ryoko with a voice full of disgust, "enchanting a poor Earthling. It's a new low for you. I'm surprised you've been able to suppress your vicious nature long enough to beguile him, and haven't yet given in to your bloodthirsty passions. I had expected any paramour would lose a leg in an hour."

"It's not like that! We tried to kill each other! Well, no, I mean we're enemies, not power mowers or palate towers or whatever you said!" Tenchi called across the field to them, but both women ignored him.

After taking a few rapid steps backward, Ayeka called triumphantly, "Take him alive!"

"Yes ma'am," Azaka and Kamadaki agreed, and the horrorstruck Ryoko cried, "No!" and teleported away as well. The logs reached Tenchi just before Ryoko did. She blasted away Azaka, but Kamadaki stole up on her other side, enclosed Tenchi in a forcefield, and quickly teleported away.

Screaming obscenities, Ryoko flung herself through the air upon Ayeka, but Ayeka flew again, veering to the side, then back towards Ryoko. Ryoko turned to meet her, and Ryoko bellowed a few more swear words as she shook with rage. Ayeka's lip curled downward in disgust and commented, "That's quite vile. I'm doing this for his own good. He needs some peace and quiet to undo whatever brainwashing you performed."

Ryoko struck again in mad fury, but she was too angry to think correctly, raising her saber high overhead to smash it down on Ayeka. Ayeka skewered Ryoko in the midsection and quickly withdrew her sword as Ryoko shrieked and doubled over in pain. Knowing this wouldn't stop her for long, she cried, "Capture her!" Azaka and Kamadaki cheerfully confirmed her orders as they teleported on either side of Ryoko and extended a forcefield. Ayeka stepped back. Sure enough, Ryoko stood again and began to hammer with her fists on the forcefield, but she couldn't get out.

"Thank you, Yosho," Ayeka said quietly. "You took her gems and locked her up so we could all be safe. But where are you now?" Ryoko swore at her some more. Ayeka ordered, "We're returning to Ryu-Oh now." She teleported away, as did Azaka and Kamadaki, keeping close watch on their prisoner as she was involuntarily teleported with them.

Next Chapter:

Funaho is calmly doing calligraphy. (The woman, Yosho's mother, not the spaceship also named Funaho!) She says without looking up, "The next chapter will be about my inlaws."

Most of the cast immediately begins laughing.

Funaho looks seriously at them and inquires, "Is that amusing? Why shouldn't my inlaws be normal people? Why shouldn't I get along with them perfectly well? Why shouldn't they be brimming over with kindness from their innermost nature of goodness?"

Everyone looks around uncomfortably.

Funaho shakes her head and smiles, "Innermost nature of goodness. Not even I have that. The next chapter is No Need For Awkward Alien Inlaws."

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."

"Our solar system is referred to as a 'special protected area' in Hitoshi Okuda's manga, and I believe it has the exact same name in the OVA. However, for some reason, I prefer calling it the 'protected zone.' I just like that better."

Chapter 2 Main Chapters Chapter 4