A fanfic by Rob Kelk.
Fujishita Kosuke created Aa! Megami-sama (and Taiho Shichauzo!); Kajishima Masaki and Hayashi Hiroki created Tenchi Muyo! I'm merely borrowing their characters and situations.
I'm using the OAV versions of the respective stories for inspiration, with a dash of both manga for background flavour. Especially note that if you've only seen any of the TV versions of Tenchi Muyo!, Mihoshi's behaviour in this fanfic will seem to be out-of-character; she is a much less incompetent character in the OAV series.
This fanfic is also archived at the rec.arts.anime.creative archives.
Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Epilogue
"Thank you for your help, Professor. Unfortunately, I cannot allow you to help anyone else in the same manner, so I must ask you to remain as my guest."
"Or your prisoner."
"If you will not remain on this ship willingly, you will remain here in captivity, yes. You created a most effective prison when you created the other half of this ship."
"I was expecting you'd try something like this. Did you really believe I'd create a dimensional pocket that I couldn't leave at will? My daughter and I are leaving. Now." And the two of them teleported away.
"Don't think you can escape from me that easily, Professor. I have plans for that 'daughter' of yours. I will carry them out. The Juraians have a saying: 'You can run, but you can't hide' ..."
Two thousand Galactic Standard years later ...
Morisato Keiichi was housesitting for his dormitory roommates while they went for lunch. He had called a half-dozen different fast-food places for takeout, with no success, and
was about to dial another number when the phone rang. "Hello?"
"This is the Galaxy Police Relief Office. For your own safety, please move away from your outer wall immediately." The line went dead.
Keiichi looked at the phone. What was that all about? he asked himself. He was about to call another fast-food place when he heard an odd noise. Suddenly the nose of a spaceship came through his mirror! Luckily, Keiichi wasn't hurt by any of the flying glass, or by any pieces of masonry from the wall behind the mirror. He left his dorm room and saw the spaceship's airlock door in the hallway. Kami-sama, please let whoever's in there be friendly, wished Keiichi with all his heart.
The airlock opened, and out stepped the most beautiful woman Keiichi had ever seen. She was taller than he was (but wasn't everyone?), with dusky skin, baby-blue eyes, long wavy blonde hair, and a figure to die for. She was wearing what looked like a uniform of some sort. "Gomen nasai," she said tearily, but in perfect Japanese. "Ano ... do you know how to fix my spaceship?"
If you listened very carefully, you could have heard a sigh from the Heavens. One more telephone call, just one more, and he would have called Her ... But the chance had been lost.
When he regained consciousness, Keiichi saw two of his sempai talking with the Dean of Students. While he couldn't make out what the Dean or Otaki-sempai were saying, he could
hear Tamiya-sempai's loud voice quite clearly. "I'm tellin' ya again, it wasn't our fault! Da Motor Club does alla its experiments in the clubhouse, not in da dorm! C'mon, dean!" The Dean of
Students said something, to which Tamiya replied, "Well, I guess ya got a point there. Yo! Morisato! You awake yet?"
"Yes, Tamiya-sempai," replied Keiichi weakly.
"Good! Pack yer stuff - ya gotta move out while they fix da buildin'. Da Dean has made arrangements fer ya to stay at dat old temple over in Bokuto district, but ya gotta fix it up with electricity yerself."
"What??? Why do I get stuck with some place that far away?"
Otaki walked over to Keiichi. "Because you were out cold when everyone else took all the good places, Morisato-kun. Don't worry; Tamiya and me'll be over tomorrow to help you get settled in." He helped Keiichi get to his feet before rejoining the others.
They all filed out, leaving Keiichi alone. It wasn't until then that he noticed the spacecraft was gone. Maybe I dreamed it all? he wondered.
Suddenly the woman from the spacecraft appeared in a flash of light. "Hello, Morisato-san," she said as she tucked a pink cube into her hat. "My name is Kuramitsu Mihoshi, and I'm a detective in the Galaxy Police. I'm really, really sorry about ruining your home, sir!"
"Oh, that's all right," replied Keiichi with a forced smile. "I was starting to get tired of living in a dorm anyway. How did you know my name? And what happened to your ... um ... spaceship?"
"I heard those other people use your name while you were unconscious, and I moved my ship to pseudospace so nobody would see it. Oh, could you do me a really big favor? You see, you're the only person on Earth who's seen me so far. Could you please, please, please not tell anyone that I'm from outer space? I'd get in trouble back home if too many people on your world find out about Galactic society."
Keiichi thought for a moment. "Sure. Nobody would believe me anyway, so I may as well keep quiet."
Mihoshi looked relieved and happy. "Oh, thank you, Morisato-san!"
"Please, call me Keiichi."
"All right, Keiichi-san. And you can call me Mihoshi! Umm ... could you do me another favor?"
"I guess so."
"I need a place to stay. Could I live with you while I figure out how to fix my spaceship?"
Keiichi's thoughts were a blur. This gorgeous woman just met me, and she wants to move in with me! What'll my sempai think? But she's an alien! This could be bad! But this could be good, too, since she's trying to hide from everyone anyway ... His only spoken words were, "All right."
Mihoshi smiled, showing Keiichi a beautiful set of teeth. "Oh, thank you thankyou thankyouThankYou!!!"
Keiichi applied all of his willpower and kept his thoughts on his immediate situation. There would be plenty of time for daydreaming later. "So, can you get your spaceship out of ... pseudospace ..." (Mihoshi nodded as he used the correct term) "... only from here, or can you make it come out somewhere else?"
"Oh, I can get at it from practically any place within eighty kilometers of here. Don't worry, Keiichi-san; my spaceship won't cause any problems for the construction crew."
"That wasn't what I was worried about, Mihoshi-san. If you make your spaceship appear here, your secret will be revealed to everyone in Tokyo. You want to get to it from someplace secluded if you don't want everyone to know you're an alien."
Mihoshi blushed slightly. "Oh, right! Silly me ..."
"So, tell me again where we're going?"
"Well, I think you're supposed to follow this road for another kilometer, then turn left at this intersection." Mihoshi showed Keiichi the map.
"Um, Mihoshi-san, that's not a road."
"Really? How can you tell?"
"All of the blue lines on the map are waterways."
"Oh. Well then, we can't go that way, can we?" The two of them pored over the map for a minute, distracted only by the radio in a car that drove past while they were parked. Keiichi looked at the width of the car and the width of the road, and considered how lucky they were that he had pulled over to look at the map.
After many hardships (all right - after getting soaked by a brief shower), the student and the detective finally reached the old temple. They swung open the gates with a
"death or glory" spirit, looked at the building, and said in unison:
"We're going to live in this dump???"
Keiichi sighed. Mihoshi, though, pulled that pink cube out of her hat and started twisting it as if it was a Rubik's Cube. A few flashes of light later, there were some strange crab-like devices moving around on the temple grounds. Mihoshi looked at Keiichi's puzzled expression. "They're repair robots from my ship. They should be able to fix up this old place!"
Keiichi watched as the devices climbed over the temple walls, leaving perfect surfaces behind them. "How do they work?"
"I don't know, Keiichi-san. I just know how to use them."
By the time the sun rose, the old temple looked like new.
The two new roommates finally finished unpacking their belongings. Keiichi had brought along his clothes, mechanic's tools, and other personal effects, and had spent a sizable
fraction of his savings on a futon and other essential furniture. Mihoshi got her clothes and some other equipment from her spacecraft, including a small fusion power plant, a western style bed, and a
big-screen television that Keiichi managed to adapt to receive Japanese broadcast signals.
Keiichi sat down and looked around the main room. "Well, this place looks quite comfortable now. Don't you think so, Mihoshi-san?"
"Oh, yes, Keiichi-san" replied Mihoshi as she watched the premiere episode of Sailor Moon R. "This place is sooo homey! I could just stay here and watch your planet's TV shows all day ..."
"Mihoshi-san, I thought you wanted to try to repair your spaceship! You can't do that if you spend all your time in front of the television."
"Oh, I tried this morning. I burnt out the repair robots fixing up the temple. There's nothing I can do now except send out a distress signal, which I've already done. So I may as well just watch television all day until I'm rescued."
Keiichi manfully hid his anger. "I can't afford to buy food for both of us and go to school, Mihoshi-san."
"Oh, don't worry about that, Keiichi-san! There's plenty of food in storage in my spaceship! I'll even share it with you, if you'd like!"
It was Keiichi's turn to blush. "Oh. I'm sorry, Mihoshi-san. I thought you were just going to be a freeloader, and that wasn't right of me."
Just then, the door opened. "Hello? Is Morisato Keiichi here? Oh, there you are, big brother!"
Keiichi stood up and walked over to the person at the door. "Megumi! What are you doing here?"
"Looking for you, silly!" Megumi made her way into the building. "I heard that you had to move out of your dorm, so I thought you might want some company for a while while I got ready to start college. We don't want you getting lonely, do we?" Just then, she realized that Keiichi wasn't alone. "Oh, I'm sorry; did I interrupt something?"
"Not at all! Mihoshi-san and I just finishing unpacking."
Megumi looked at Keiichi, then at Mihoshi, then at her brother again. "She's living with you, big brother?" Keiichi nodded. "Wow! And you didn't say anything about having a girlfriend in any of your letters home! What other secrets are you keeping from me? Huh? Huh?"
"Well, I'm not supposed to tell anyone that I'm from outer space ... Oops. Please forget I said anything!" Both of the Morisatos stared at Mihoshi, who started to cry. "Please???"
"Keiichi, could I talk to you? Alone?"
"Umm, yeah, sure. Excuse us please, Mihoshi-san." Keiichi and Megumi stepped into the hall, closing the door behind them.
"Big brother, why are you sharing your home with a nutcase?"
Keiichi thought for a moment, then decided he may as well face the music. "Mihoshi-san isn't crazy, Megumi. She really is from Out There. I'm lucky I wasn't killed when her spaceship crashed into my dorm."
Megumi stared at her brother for a moment.
"I see. You're both crazy."
"Come with me, little sister; there's something you should see." He lead her to the utility closet and pointed to a device on the floor. "Have you ever seen a fusion-powered electricity generator before?"
"You have now. It belongs to Mihoshi-san."
"Wow. She really is from outer space ... Who else knows?"
"Just the two of us, little sister. Please don't tell anyone, not even Mom and Dad, okay?"
Megumi nodded. "Sure, big brother. Who'd believe me, anyway?"
"Oh, thank you, Morisato-san!" came a happy voice from behind them. "You and your brother are so nice! You're willing to keep my secret for me!"
The siblings turned to face Mihoshi. Keiichi found his voice first. "How long have you been standing there, Mihoshi-san?"
"Just for a couple of seconds, Keiichi-san. I came to tell you there's a big crowd at the door. I think I recognized some of your sempai in the group."
Keiichi moaned. "I forgot they were coming over ... Oh well, let's go introduce the two of you to my friends. Megumi, you're welcome to stay, but you'd better choose a room now before the guys trash it. Mihoshi-san ..."
"... please don't tell anyone else where you're from!"
They had become used to living in the old temple. Keiichi had asked to stay once the dorm had been repaired, and both the city and school administrations had agreed (as long as he was willing to
maintain the buildings and grounds). Living there had its advantages, after all. There were no loud dormmates to cause a distraction the night before a big test, the yard was big enough for Megumi to
practice her softball pitching, and Keiichi didn't have to worry about annoying anyone when he tinkered with his motorcycle. Most importantly, there wasn't anyone else around to pry into the
Morisatos' roommate's activities. This was especially good that one summer day ...
"You really don't have baseball on your planet?"
"No, Megumi-san. It's a really fascinating sport, though; I think I'll take it back with me when I leave."
"You mean 'if you leave', don't you, Mihoshi-san? Big brother told me you sent a distress call off just after you crashed here, but nobody's come to rescue you yet. You may be stuck here."
"Don't say that! It just takes a while for a signal to get there from here, that's all! I'm not going to be 'stuck here' ..."
Keiichi looked at his two roommates. He wanted to forestall a crying jag before it started - they were getting tiresome. "How long should it take for a signal to get to the Galaxy Police, Mihoshi-san?"
Mihoshi thought for a moment. "The signal should be reaching the nearest outpost any day now, Keiichi-san."
"Well, then there's nothing to worry about, is there? Megumi, why don't you go in and start cooking dinner?"
The younger Morisato gave her brother a dirty look. "It's your turn to make dinner, Keiichi."
Mihoshi stood up. "Keiichi-san, Megumi-san, please don't fight! I'll make dinner."
"No you won't! You're our guest!" The three of them went inside together, arguing about whose turn it was to cook.
Mihoshi's distress signal hadn't quite reached the Galaxy Police yet. That didn't mean that nobody had heard it, though ...
"You're sure a signal came from this system?"
"I was hoping we could hide from him here, but if there's a FTL transmitter down there, he'll be along eventually. Damn it! Why couldn't we have stayed with Mom?"
"Hey, that wasn't my fault! But that's not important now - we have to find someplace without any transmitters to draw his attention."
"It is? Well, then, all we have to do is turn it off, and there'll be nothing to call him here."
"Who cares what happens to them? If they're stupid enough to get shipwrecked this far out, that's their problem. It's the two of us that I'm worried about right now."
"Don't give me that! We're pirates, remember? We don't give a damn about the law!"
"Absolutely not! And the longer we argue about it, the bigger chance he has of finding us! Now let's get going ..."
"Lunch was pretty good, Keiichi-san! Thanks for making it!"
"Yeah, big brother - you've really got the hang of making instant ramen. I couldn't have boiled the water better myself."
Keiichi glared at his sister as they raked the lawn. "Very funny, Megumi. If you don't like the meals I make, you're welcome to take over in the kitchen all the time ..."
"Oh no you don't! You aren't getting out of kitchen duty that easily, Keiichi. We agreed that we'd take turns, and we're sticking to that agreement!"
"Please don't fight, Keiichi-san, Megumi-san!"
"We're sorry, Mihoshi-san. We shouldn't be upsetting you."
"It's not that - if we don't get back to work soon, I'm going to miss the final episode of Irresponsible Captain Tylor!"
"You're worried about missing a ... What in the world is that?"
Keiichi and Mihoshi looked to the sky. "Oh, it's just a spaceship coming in for a landing. I wonder if they're here to rescue me?"
"Aren't they being a little bit obvious, Mihoshi-san? You said that you'd get into trouble if too many people here found out about Galactic civilization. Shouldn't they care about that, too?"
"You're right, Keiichi-san. This may not be a good thing ..." Suddenly, Mihoshi's bracelet started beeping, and a small holographic display appeared above its gem. "Oh, no!"
"That's the space pirate Ryoko! We have to do something!"
Keiichi and Megumi looked at each other. "What can we do, Mihoshi-san?"
Mihoshi thought for a moment. "Not much, Keiichi-san ..."
Megumi tugged on her brother's sleeve. "Keiichi, is it my imagination, or is that spaceship going to land here?"
"Oh, no! We'd better get inside, Keiichi-san, Megumi-san!"
All three of them ran for the temple. They got the door closed just before the ship landed. The ship's shadow fell on the ground and the building, making the surroundings as dim as their hopes to live to see tomorrow. But then the shadow vanished ...
"What just happened?"
"I don't know, Megumi-san."
"Maybe they moved their ship into pseudospace."
"If they had, it would have registered on my wrist display, Keiichi-san."
Suddenly the walls of the temple shook, and a strange noise came from outside. "What was that?" screamed Megumi.
"Ryoko is firing on us!" answered Mihoshi, at the same volume.
Keiichi relaxed as the walls shook again. "It looks like Ryoko's attack is pretty weak, if it can't get through a wooden wall. Why are you so afraid of her, Mihoshi-san?"
"I don't understand, Keiichi-san. Her blasts can cut through anything short of Galaxy Police hull metal." Mihoshi thought for a moment. "Of course! When I had my ship's repair robots fix the temple, I must have forgotten to tell them they weren't repairing a ship! They put a layer of G.P. hull metal on the outer wall! No wonder they burned out during the repair job!"
Megumi looked at Keiichi as the walls shook again. "That's lucky for us ..."
Suddenly the blasts stopped. Mihoshi and the Morisato siblings looked at each other, none of them daring to say anything.
"Hey in there!!! Turn off your beacon and I'll leave you alone!"
"Beacon?" the three of them said as one.
"Yeah, your beacon! This is ridiculous - we're coming in!" Suddenly there was a tall, attractive woman in the room with them. If you ignored the spiky cyan hair and yellow slitted eyes, she could pass for human. A small brown animal was perched on her shoulder. "Hi there. I'm Ryoko, and this here's my spaceship, Ryo-ohki." She pointed at the animal.
"That's your spaceship?"
Ryoko turned to Megumi. "You're a local, aren't you, little lady? Yep, Ryo-ohki really is my spaceship." Ryoko turned away from Megumi and looked at the others. "I'd really like it if you'd turn off your beacon. You see, we're looking for a place to hide where we won't be noticed, and the beacon's just going to draw attention to this system. We're trying to hide from ..."
"I know exactly who you're hiding from, Ryoko." Mihoshi stepped away from Keiichi and drew her pistol and badge. "You're under arrest for multiple counts of piracy, theft, and destruction of private property."
"Wonderful - she's a cop." Ryoko smiled. "Okay, little girl, you've got me. What now?"
"I take you back to Galaxy Police Headquarters, of course!"
"Riiiiight. How are we getting there?"
Mihoshi thought for a moment. "We'll take your ship."
Ryoko tickled Ryo-ohki under the chin. "How about it? Will you let this girl fly you to the Galaxy Police so she can lock you up?"
Ryoko's smile grew wider. "There's your answer - she said 'no'. Any other bright ideas, missy?"
Mihoshi started to cry.
Ryoko and the Morisato siblings finally gave up trying to get Mihoshi to stop crying, and left her alone in the front hall. They had a quiet discussion out on the engawa -
Ryoko learned about Mihoshi's plight, and Keiichi and Megumi learned who Ryoko was running from.
"Wow." Megumi was impressed with Ryoko's story. "It's incredible that somebody that powerful actually exists. And you say he's looking for you?"
"Yeah," sighed Ryoko. "But it's not just me and Ryo-ohki that he wants - the bastard's looking for Mom, too."
"Where is your mother, Ryoko-san?" asked Keiichi.
"Dunno." Seeing the surprised looks on her hosts' faces, Ryoko quickly added, "She and I split up a couple of hundred years ago. Mom thought it would make it harder for him to find us. So far, she's been right. Of course, Mom's always right ..."
Megumi interrupted Ryoko. "Nobody's right all the time."
"Mom is. She is The Greatest Scientific Genius In The Universe ..." (the way Ryoko said it, the Morisatos could hear the capital letters) "... and she always knows what's best. I just wish I could see her again, but I can't even start looking for her as long as he is looking for us!" With that, Ryoko put her fist through the table. "Oh, sorry. I'll get you another table, okay?"
"Don't worry about it, Ryoko-san," replied Keiichi as he wiped the sweat from his forehead. "What's a table or two between friends?"
"Friends?" Ryoko had a strange look on her face. "I've never had a friend before. We've always had to keep running away from him, taking odd jobs just to stay alive and stealing food when we couldn't find a job, ..."
Megumi put her hand on Ryoko's. "Well, that changes as of today. You're welcome to stay with us for as long as you want. Isn't she, Keiichi?"
"Of course she is. Um, of course you are. Um, ..."
"Big brother gets tounge-tied sometimes, Ryoko-san," whispered Megumi with a smile on her face. "Sometimes I think he should find a girlfriend somewhere - that'd give him some self-confidence!"
Ryoko thought for a minute, then turned to (the red-faced) Keiichi. "Would you excuse us for a moment, kind sir?" The look on her face could have melted a statue's heart. "I'd really like to speak with your sister quietly ..."
Keiichi took the opportunity to escape from his embarassment with some dignity. "Sure! Why don't you two stay here, and I'll see if I can get Mihoshi-san to stop crying! Bye!" And with that, he walked into the wall beside the door, cursed under his breath, then walked through the doorway.
Ryoko turned to Megumi. "I've got an idea that'll solve both our problems."
"'Both our problems'?"
"You want your brother to find a girlfriend, and I want that cop to stop thinking of trying to take me to G.P. Headquarters. Why not put the two of them together?"
Megumi was shocked. "Keiichi ... and Mihoshi-san?"
Megumi looked straight into Ryoko's eyes. "Why not, indeed ..."
As we all know, the third episode of this series starts with a short scene set in the Heavens. But since Skuld isn't in this story ...
"Isn't there anything you can do about this mix-up, Urd?"
"Belldandy, there's no such thing as an expert on timeline restoration. Most of us can change them around quite easily, but even Toltiir can't put them back to exactly the way they were before the changes."
"Are you sure? Have you asked him?"
Urd gave her sister a stern look. "Bell, after what our sister did the last time we visited him, he's not about to do us any favours. Especially when it comes to changing timelines around."
"So what you're saying is that, unlike every other timeline's version of myself, I don't get to spend my life with Morisato Keiichi. Correct?"
"That's about right, sis."
"Drat." Belldandy turned to leave, then turned back to her sister. "Who was responsible for this change, anyway?"
"I'll tell you if you promise you won't go looking for vengenance."
"Tokimi. She's still interested in that boy, and she wants to know how his friends would act in other circumstances. You just got caught in the fallout ..."
Back in the Mortal Realm, a certain Scientific Genius was feeling quite proud of herself. She finally had the ability to stop him from hunting her daughters and herself.
Now, all she had to do was find her daughters ... Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. "Yes? Who's there? Come in!"
The door opened. "Excuse me, Director Washuu, but the Chief wants to see all of the department heads in his office."
"That's convenient - I wanted to see him, too. Tell him I'll be there in five minutes."
"Yes, ma'am." At that, the Galaxy Police officer turned and left.
Washuu made sure that a certain top-secret cargo was being loaded onto a certain fast spaceship, then shut down her workstation and reported to the Sector Chief of the Galaxy Police. She was the last department head to arrive.
"Thank you all for coming on such short notice. We have a slight problem." The Chief placed his paw on a palm-reader, and the wallscreen behind him lit up. "This ship was spotted by Tracking Marker 233-B-47, but only when the ship was practically on top of the marker. This image was taken at a distance of 10,000 meters."
"Could we see the ship on a lower maginfication, sir?" asked the head of Station Security.
"This is minimum magnification, Ohsa."
The Ranking Detective was the first to recover. "Where is the ship headed, sir?"
"Right towards us, Kiyone."
"Sir." Washuu was unusually subdued. "I recognize that ship."
"You do? How?"
"I built it."
"Don't tell me that it's that ship?" Washuu nodded, and the stress level in the room doubled. "Are you saying that he is on his way here?"
"Yes. And we all know why. I have to leave."
The Sector Chief sighed. "We're going to miss you, Washuu. Take the Yakage - it's the most powerful battleship we have here."
"And one of the slowest," replied Washuu. "I'd rather use the Otoroshi, if I can - it's the fastest patrol ship we've got, and speed will serve me better than brute strength in this case." Besides, I've already loaded my cargo onto the Otoroshi, she added to herself.
The Sector Chief thought for a moment. "Very well. However, I'll have to ask you to do me a favour ..."
"What can I do for you, Chief?"
"The Marshall's granddaughter went missing five months ago. Yesterday, we picked up a faint distress beacon from the Earth system - would you check it out, please?"
"Earth, huh? That's as good a place as any to go ... Sure thing, Chief. Say, aren't they about ready for a permanent presence?"
The Chief looked at his notes. "I believe you're right, Washuu. If Mihoshi is on Earth, have her set up a substation instead of coming back here. Dismissed, everyone." As the department heads got up to leave, the Chief added, "and good luck, Washuu-sensei."
Mihoshi sneezed. Maybe someone back at G.P. Headquarters is talking about me? That would be nice ...
"Mihoshi? Hey, Mihoshi! Stop daydreaming!"
"Oh, Ryoko-san. I'm sorry."
"It's all right. So, tell me again what we're watching here?"
"It's a local entertainment show called V Gundam."
"Hmph. Not very realistic, if you ask me."
"True, but Earth people don't know any better ..."
Just then, Megumi wandered in, with Ryo-ohki on her shoulder. "So, you like carrots, do you?" asked Megumi as she fed one to her passenger.
"That's good! Oh, hi, Mihoshi-san, Ryoko-san. Say, Mihoshi-san ..."
"Why is there a light blinking on the top of that box?"
The two aliens turned to look at the device. "Oh, goody! The Galaxy Police have finally picked up my distress beacon!"
"Then you don't need it any more, right?"
"Ryoko-san ..." Mihoshi's words were cut off as Ryoko created an energy sword and split the beacon in two. The light stopped blinking. "Hey! That wan't nice!"
"So what are you going to do about it, Mihoshi?"
"The only thing I can do," she replied as she got out a book and a pen. "I'm just going to have to add 'destruction of public property' to your warrant when we get back."
Oh, man ... She's still hung up on taking me in. Ryoko looked at Megumi, who nodded slightly, then turned back to Mihoshi. "Hey, Mihoshi ..."
"... I think Keiichi said he wanted to see you out in the garage."
"I think he might be ready to give you another driving lesson," added Megumi. "Don't keep him waiting ..." But Mihoshi was already out the door. "Well, that'll keep them together for a while."
"Yeah, but I'll probably have to straighten out your motorbike again, Megumi."
"Probably." Megumi sighed as she thought of all the abuse her bike had taken. "But it's worth it, if we can get the two of them to notice they like each other ..."
"'Like'? I thought we were going for 'love'!"
"Give it time, Ryoko-san, give it time ..."
Ryoko crossed her arms. "So you both think we should take it slowly, do you? I guess I'm out-voted, then." And she floated off to her room.
Mihoshi was sitting on the ground, rubbing her knee. "Ouch! Why does that always happen?"
"It's because you're not balancing properly on the motorcycle, Mihoshi-san," replied Keiichi. "You have to keep your center of balance over ..." He noticed that Mihoshi wasn't paying attention to him. "Mihoshi-san? Mihoshi-san??? Mihoshi!!!"
"Huh? Oh, I'm sorry, Keiichi-san! I was just looking at that spaceship in the sky."
Keiichi turned around and looked in the same direction as Mihoshi. "Another one? Mihoshi-san, shouldn't you send a signal to it?"
"Oh, right!" She did something with her bracelet. "There. Goody! I was afraid I had missed it!" The ship was getting closer. "But it wasn't out of range when I signalled it! Ummm ... is it going to land here?" Keiichi took a few seconds to realize what Mihoshi was saying. Then they both got up quickly and ran for the house. "Ryoko-san! Megumi-san! Another ship's landing!"
"Oh, great. I suppose I'm going to end up going to jail after all." Megumi looked at Ryoko, who continued, "it's not like Mihoshi has any reason to stay here, is it?" She continued in a whisper, "I knew we were taking things too slowly."
"Oh, Ryoko-san, I'm sorry." Just then, there was a knock at the door. "Well, that's probably whoever was onboard that spaceship. Come in!"
The door opened to reveal a teenaged girl with spiky red hair, wearing a Galaxy Police uniform. The Morisatos smiled politely and Mihoshi bowed, but Ryoko and Ryo-ohki stood with their mouths agape. The girl looked around as she started speaking. "Hi there! Somebody call for a lift? So it was you, Mihoshi-san! Well, I've got some news for you ... Oh, my. Ryoko!!!"
"Mommy!!!" Ryoko rushed into Washuu's arms.
"'Mommy'???" asked Keiichi, Megumi, and Mihoshi.
"... And that's why I look so much younger than my daughter." Washuu sipped her tea as the rest of the people present (excepting Ryoko, of course) considered what they
had been told.
Mihoshi was the first to react. "That's terrible! If only you could have done something about it at the time, Washuu-san!"
"Well, I couldn't. So let's never mention it again, O.K.? And call me 'Washuu-chan'. Now, Mihoshi-san, ..."
"... the Galaxy Police think it's time to put an officer in the Earth system full-time, and since you're already here, you're it. Let me fix your spaceship up for in-system work, and you'll be all set!"
"But ... But I wanted to go home."
"Let me put it this way: If you leave now, you're going to have to put my little girl in jail, and she wouldn't be able to protect herself there. You're not going anywhere until Ryoko, Ryo-ohki and I deal with him."
Mihoshi looked striken. "But that means I'll be here forever!"
"Yeah, Mom," added Ryoko. "You said there wasn't anything we could do against him."
"Not quite, Ryoko-chan," smiled Washuu. "I said there wasn't anything we could do then. But we can now! Take a look at what's in the cargo hold ..." Washuu lead Ryoko to the Otoroshi, with a curious Megumi tagging along.
Keiichi turned to Mihoshi. "It looks like you're going to be here a while, Mihoshi-san. Feel free to stay here as long as you like."
"Thanks, Keiichi-san! Now I need to ask another favour of you. Since I'm going to be staying here, I need to make contact with the local law enforcers. Could you give me a ride to the nearest police station?"
"Of course, Mihoshi-san. When do you want to leave?"
"Would now be a good time?"
"Why not?" And the two of them left for the local police station.
As Keiichi and Mihoshi left, the others made their way into the temple, carrying some odd equipment. "Mom, are you sure you packed enough stuff?" Ryoko asked sarcastically.
Washuu's reply was completely serious. "It'll have to be, Ryoko - we don't have time to make any more."
"'Don't have time'?"
"Oh, did I forget to mention that? He saw me leave Galaxy Police Headquaters."
Ryoko went pale. "How long do we have?"
"Before he gets here? Three weeks, unless he did something to the ship I built." Behind them, Megumi gasped. "So you're all going to have to get busy and learn how to use this. If you want to make it through the next month alive, that is ..."
Mihoshi had little trouble convincing the local police that she was a law-enforcement officer with the Galaxy Police. All she had to do was demonstrate how her "control cube"
worked ... (Unfortunately, half of the Tokyo Police scientists would end up going quietly insane trying to understand the principles behind Mihoshi's equipment. But that wouldn't happen
until after the end of this story, so it doesn't really matter.)
The Tokyo Police reviewed Mihoshi's application to join the force in a liaison capacity, and did the only thing they could reasonably do - they accepted it and gave her an office in Bokuto Precinct, with all the other misfits.
The Terran and alien officers were quick to befriend each other, and the Morisato/Kuramitsu residence quickly became a gathering place for Bokuto's off-duty police. This fit in well with Washuu and Ryoko's plans to train a force capable of surviving the conflict they knew would be coming within the month ...
"... and that's how you repair the anti-gravity generators! Any questions, Kobayakawa-san?"
"Not just yet, Washuu-chan. I have to try to understand what you've told me so far before I can ask about anything else."
"Oh, of course. I keep forgetting that you don't have the technology base to fully understand my work!"
Just then, Mihoshi entered the garage. (It was lucky for Washuu that she did, because her pupil was almost angry enough to let her partner know just what the scientist thought of Earth-people ...) "Oh, there you are, Miyuki-san! The Chief wants to see you!" The Earthling excused herself and left the garage. "And Ryoko-san was looking for you, Washuu-chan! She said something about one of the devices you gave her going off. Did you build some sort of explosive device for your daughter? Because if you did, I'll have to see your hazardous materials permit ..."
"Stop babbling, Mihoshi!"
"That's better. Did Ryoko say which device triggered itself?"
"Uhmmmmm ... yes, she said it was the one in the blue metal box. Hey, what's wrong?"
Washuu swallowed before she answered. "That detector only goes off when he is in the same star system."
"You mean ... Oh, NOOOOO!!!" Mihoshi screamed, then fainted.
Mihoshi awoke to see Keiichi leaning over her, and Megumi standing behind him. "Where am I?"
"You're in your room, Mihoshi-san," replied Keiichi. "Ryoko-san brought you in here a few minutes ago."
"Why'd you faint, Mihoshi-san?"
"Oh, Megumi-san! It's terrible! He's almost here!" The Morisatos stood there, frozen with the shock of the news. "There's no time to lose! We have to get ready!"
At that, Ryoko teleported in with an armload of equipment. "Mom thought you'd probably want this stuff. Where should I put it?"
"On my bed," replied Mihoshi as she got off it.
Keiichi turned to Megumi and Ryoko. "Umm ... Would you mind leaving the two of us alone for a few minutes?" The two ladies looked at each other, smiled, and left. "That was easier than I expected ..."
"What is it, Keiichi-san?" Mihoshi asked.
"Mihoshi-san ... ummmmm ... Well, when I saw Ryoko bring you in here, I thought something terrible had happened."
"Something terrible has happened, Keiichi-san! He is almost here!"
"That's what Washuu-chan said."
"We have to get ready, then. But before we do ..."
Mihoshi waited for a moment. "What is it, Keiichi-san?"
Keiichi took a deep breath. "Mihoshi-san, I thought something bad had happened to you. I realized then that I ..."
"That you ...?"
"... that I was growing fond of you."
A doubled shout of "Yes!" came from just beyond the door, along with a "Mi-yah!"
Keiichi opened the door to find Megumi, Ryoko and Ryo-ohki, all with their ears to the wall. "Do you mind!?"
"Not at all, Keiichi," replied Ryoko. "That's why we're here!"
"Would you mind leaving us alone!?!"
"Sorry, big brother, but we can't do that. Washuu-chan wants us to get that gear ready right away."
"All right, all right. Let's get this stuff sorted out, then."
"Keiichi-san," interrupted Mihoshi, "thank you for caring about me."
Keiichi blushed. "What are friends for, Mihoshi-san?"
"Well ... If we're this close, can I just call you 'Keiichi'?"
"Yes!" "Yes!" "Mi-yah!"
They both glared at the others. "That's enough out of you three!"
"Awww, Keiichi ..."
Meanwhile, Washuu was trying to explain things to the off-duty officers visiting the household. "We've run out of time. He's here."
This puzzled the Earthlings. "'He'?" "Who are you talking about?" "What's going on?"
Washuu looked annoyed for a moment, then spoke up. "I'm talking about the person who's been hunting for me and my daughter for the last 2000 Galactic Standard years; the one who forced Ryoko-chan into hiding here and sent me running to the safety of the Galaxy Police; who will stop at nothing to make sure the secret knowledge I shared with him doesn't get told to anyone else."
Suddenly there was a bright light and a humming sound behind the gathered humans, which stopped a few seconds later, revealing a tall man wearing distinctly non-Terran clothing.
Washuu looked at the man, and continued. "The man who's standing behind you right now. Damn - if I only had two more days, I would have been ready for you."
"And it's a pleasure to see you too, Washuu-sensei. It's been far too long since we last met," replied the newcomer with a slight smile.
"On the contrary, it hasn't been long enough."
One of the police officers stepped between the two aliens. "Excuse me, but why are you here? Washuu-chan told us that she already built a ship for you."
The newcomer smiled. "That ship is very powerful, young man. It's so powerful, in fact, that the mere possibility that Washuu-sensei might build another puts my position at risk."
Washuu pushed the officer out of the way and faced her adversary directly. "Tell you what - I'll promise never to build another ship like that one. Okay?"
"Unfortunately not, sensei. That promise won't stop you from building a better ship. Besides, the ship is less important than the plans I have for your daughter. I'll have to ask you and Ryoko to come with me." And he placed his hand on Washuu's shoulder.
The police officers gathered around moved in quickly. "Hey, buddy, they don't have to go with you if they don't want to."
The newcomer looked at the man who had spoken. "Don't you know who I am?"
"No, I don't. All I know is you're trying to take someone away who doesn't want to leave, and that's against the law."
"Your laws don't apply to me, commoner."
"'Commoner'? What are you, some kind of emperor?"
"That's exactly who I am - the Emperor of Jurai. But you may call me Yosho."
Mihoshi, Keiichi and Megumi were doing their best to stop Ryoko from flying to her mother's side. "Ryoko-san," Keiichi pleaded, "there's no point in both of you getting captured! Don't
go out there!"
"Keiichi, he has my mother! You have to let me go!"
"Uh-uh," interrupted Megumi. "You and Ryo-ohki should be getting as far away from here as you can. Leave this to the three of us. Please."
Ryoko thought for a moment. "All right, you can try to rescue Mom. But I'm only giving you two minutes."
"That's all we'll need. Come with me, Mihoshi-san!" With that, Megumi picked up a softball-sized metal ball and a bat, tossed the bat to Mihoshi, and snuck out the back door.
Ryoko turned to Keiichi. "If whatever your sister is planning doesn't work, we'll have to rescue her and Mihoshi, too. Do you think you can handle that?"
Keiichi started to sweat. "I don't know, Ryoko-san. I hope I don't have to find out."
"You are trying my patience, Professor. Where is your daughter?"
Washuu decided to try a psychological attack - there wasn't much else she could try at the moment. "You know what children are like - she could be anywhere. Why do you want my daughter, anyway? Are you looking for another wife, Yosho? Don't tell me you're tired of that nice Juraian girl you married already!"
"I assure you, Empress Ayeka and I are still quite happily married. No, your daughter is more important than any empress could be. At least, she will be once I've finished with her ..."
Just then, Megumi's voice filled the air. "Batter Up!"
That was followed by Mihoshi yelling, "Not at me! Not at me!", then the sound of a metal bat striking a metal ball.
Washuu closed her eyes as the ball missed everyone in the crowd around her and landed right ar Yosho's feet, exploding into a shower of light. Good choice, you two, she thought as she worked free of Yosho's unmoving grasp and ran for the temple. She just barely closed the door behind her when the light stopped and Yosho regained his senses.
"So, you have some friends on the other side of the building. I should meet them," remarked Yosho as he teleported to the rooftop. (The gathered police officers took the chance to run.) He saw Megumi and Mihoshi running for the temple, then teleported into Megumi's path. "Hello, miss. Were you the one who threw that opto-neural supressor?"
"Is ... is that what it's called?" stammered Megumi. "Well, I, uh, I ..."
"I'll take that as a 'yes'," interrupted Yosho. "You cost me some time, miss, and I grow tired of throwing my time away. You'll be coming with me." At that, he pulled the tenchi-ken from his robe and hit Megumi on the head with its hilt, knocking her unconscious.
Mihoshi glared at Yosho as she produced her ID. "Emperor, I cannot allow you to take that girl hostage."
"I have diplomatic immunity, Detective. You cannot stop me."
"But I can!" yelled Ryoko as she teleported above Megumi's prone body. "Megumi's my friend, Yosho. I won't let you hurt her!"
"She's your friend?" Yosho gestured with the tenchi-ken, creating a forcefield around the three of them. "Then I'll bring her along with us so you won't be lonely."
"I assure you, my parents were married to each other many years before I was born." Yosho turned to the temple, ignoring Ryoko's punches, and raised his voice. "I'll be returning for you tomorrow, Professor. Be a good girl and don't make it hard for me to find you." And he disappeared, taking Ryoko and Megumi with him.
Keiichi sat in the corner, staring into space.
Mihoshi sat across from him, staring into his eyes. He didn't seem to notice.
Washuu and Ryo-ohki sat at the table, staring at each other. Eventually they looked up. "Hey, you two," shouted Washuu, "we've got a plan!"
"Mi-yah mi-yaaaah miiiii-yahhh!" added Ryo-ohki.
"What she said," agreed Washuu. "Hey, are you two listening to us?"
Mihoshi turned to Washuu. "Oh! I'm sorry, Washuu-chan. I'm worried about Keiichi - he hasn't said anything since Yosho took Megumi-san."
Washuu frowned, then pulled a chopstick-sized gadget from her pocket and poked Keiichi in the side with it.
"Ouch! What did you do that for?"
"Welcome back to reality, Keiichi-san."
Keiichi blushed as he realized he had been ignoring everyone. "I'm sorry. What did you poke me with, anyway?"
"One of my chopsticks. Don't look at me like that! Sometimes the simplest things work the best," replied the Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe.
"I guess so ... Does anyone have a plan yet?"
Washuu and Ryo-ohki sighed. "Okay, folks, here's what we're going to do ..."
Megumi slowly regained consciousness. "Where am I?"
"We're in a holding cell on board his ship," replied Ryoko from the foot of Megumi's bed. "How're you doing, Megumi?"
"Okay, I guess. How long was I out?"
"Around fifteen minutes."
Megumi sat up, then stood once she realized she wasn't dizzy. "What do we do now?"
"We wait. That's all we can do until he lets us out."
"Can't you teleport out of here, or walk through the wall?"
Ryoko shook her head. "I tried that already, as well as a couple of other tricks I've never shown you. The cell's too well shielded."
"But you want out anyway, don't you?" came a voice from the doorway.
"Yosho! Let her go now!"
"No. You are in no position to give me orders, Ryoko." He waved his hand, and a bubble of force surrounded the two women. "Please come with me."
"Like we have a choice?" asked Megumi.
The three of them floated down a corridor, then entered what looked to be a small park. Yosho brought the women to a holding pen beside a very large tree. "This will do nicely," he remarked.
"Taking us on a picnic, Yosho? You won't break my will that easily!"
"This is no picnic, Ryoko. This is the place I need you to be if my plans are to have any chance of success." He motioned toward the tree. "You're no doubt aware of the source of Jurai's power, Ryoko, but you cannot know of the intelligence behind it. Yes, there's a mind inside that Tree."
Yosho continued as if he hadn't been interrupted. "I have decided to give that mind a body. A very special, very capable body. Your body, Ryoko."
"But what'll happen to Ryoko's mind?"
Yosho turned to Megumi. "It will probably cease to exist."
Both women's faces went pale.
"I don't know if I can move in all this, Washuu-chan."
Washuu turned away from Ryo-ohki's controls. "It's only a battlesuit, Keiichi-san. You don't hear Mihoshi complaining about hers, do you?"
"That's different. She's used to wearing power armour. I'm not."
"You're the one who insisted on coming along. Stop complaining and ..."
Washuu turned back to Ryo-ohki's controls. "Already? Put it on visual." A screen lit up with a view of Yosho's ship. "Hmmm ... landing bay #3 is open. Is it a trap, or an invitation?" After a few seconds' thought, Washuu continued. "Let's do it."
With that, Ryo-ohki flew into the landing bay.
Yosho finished separating Ryoko and Megumi, and connected a lead from Ryoko's force bubble to the Tree. "You may as well say your good-byes, Earthling - she won't be around
to hear them in a few minutes."
"Ryoko! Do something!"
"I can't! I feel so tired ..."
Yosho smiled. "Good, the sedative in your force chamber's air is working. I wouldn't want you to feel any pain as your mind is overwritten."
"You ... you ... you scum!" cried Megumi as she pounded on the force bubble's inside wall.
"Now, now, miss - there's no need for name-calling. It won't be long before it's too late, anyway ..."
"Mihoshi! Hurry up!"
"Sorry, Washuu-chan!" Mihoshi started to run, then stumbled over her own feet, denting the bulkhead beside her as she tried to stay upright. The dent cut a cable in the wall, and the lights went out.
When the lights went out, the force bubbles went out as well.
Megumi pulled Ryoko away from the apparatus that would overwrite her mind with the Tree's. But she became disoriented in the dark and stumbled, hitting her head against the control panel.
The lights came back on, revealing Ryoko lying on the ground and Megumi's bleeding form draped over the controls. A few drops of her blood touched one of the Tree's roots, and everything went white.
"What's wrong, Washuu-chan?"
"It ... it's nothing important, Keiichi-san." At least I hope it's nothing important, she continued to herself. What was that feeling?
Ryoko slowly regained consciousness. "What happened?" She looked around and saw - blackness. "Where am I?"
"You're safe. This is a pocket of pseudospace where Yosho cannot reach."
A glow came into being, revealing her friend. "Yes. But you can also call me Tsunami."
"What are you talking about?"
Megumi smiled. "I had a chance to get you out of Yosho-chan's trap, and I took it. But I fell into the trap myself."
"Waitaminute! Are you saying you took my place?"
"Not on purpose, but yes, I did."
"Because you're my friend, Ryoko-san."
"Thanks. I think. Ummmmm ... Are you ... I mean, is Megumi ..."
"... still alive? Yes, I'm still here, Ryoko-san. I'm a combination of both Megumi and Tsunami. Right now, Megumi is in control, because Tsunami isn't used to being in a humanoid body. But I'll become one person once both of me has had time to get used to this."
"Uh, yeah. Whatever you say."
The two women were silent for a moment.
"Ryoko-san, I have a favour to ask of you."
"Tell everyone that I'm fine, and I'll be back in a little while." With that, Megumi/Tsunami sent Ryoko back to the outside universe.
Yosho was furious. All of his plans, all of his work, two thousand years of his life, all gone! Gone because the power went out for a few seconds!
And the girl was gone, too. What happened to her?
"Yosho! Where's my sister?"
The emperor turned to face the upstart in the doorway. "That's what I'd like to know, boy."
"Don't give me that! What did you do with ..." Then Keiichi saw the blood on the floor. "No. Oh, no. You son of a -"
"Enough!!!" Yosho pushed the air in front of him, sending Keiichi back through the doorway and into the opposite bulkhead. He got up slowly. "Your ... sister ... and Ryoko have escaped. I don't know where they went."
"They could be anywhere by now, knowing how well my little girl can teleport. Hello again, Yosho." Washuu stepped past Keiichi and into the room. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't beat this boy up too badly. He's my host while I'm on Earth."
"I left him alive. What more do you want?"
"A little more consideration of the feelings of the common folk, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Now tell me, what were you trying to do in here?"
Yosho remained silent.
"Fine, be that way. I'll just analyze your equipment and ... is that a Juraian Royal Tree? It is! Yosho, don't tell me you were trying to force a merger? It can't be done - at least, not with this equipment ..."
"You'd be surprised."
Washuu glared at Yosho. "What. Did. You. Do. To. My. Daughter?"
"Nothing - her friend got in the way."
Keiichi and Mihoshi gasped. "Megumi? What did you do to Megumi?"
"Your 'Megumi' no longer exists, boy."
Mihoshi stepped forward. "Your diplomatic immunity does not shield you from a murder charge, Yosho. You're under arrest."
"No! I haven't worked two thousand years just to go to prison! I will not come quietly! I will not come at all!" With that, Yosho sent a bolt of energy straight to Mihoshi.
Mihoshi stood surprised, looking at the hole in Keiichi's chest. "Why?"
"Because I love you ..." were Keiichi's last words.
"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! You can't be dead!!!!! I ... I never got to tell you ... that I love you too ..."
After a moment, Mihoshi looked at Washuu. "Leave."
"... All right." Washuu teleported out with Ryo-ohki.
Ryoko appeared in front of Mihoshi. "Wow - she's good. Hey, Mihoshi, I've got a message for Keiichi ..."
"Save your breath, Ryoko-san. He can't hear you any more. Yosho saw to that."
"What? Keiichi's ... dead? By his hands?!? I'll kill him!"
"No. You won't." And Mihoshi wiped the blood from her hands and limped away.
"Where am I?"
"Hello, Keiichi-san. Welcome to the afterlife."
"Afterlife? Am I dead?"
"Yes. I'm here to help you adjust, and I'll stay with you as long as you need me."
"Thank you, ... ummm ..."
The goddess smiled. "My name is Belldandy."