Outlaw Star Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction ❯ Of Princesses and Space Pirates ❯ Chapter 9: No Need for Escapes, Part 2 ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

I do not own the rights to any of the characters in this fanfic, nor do I claim to. The idea, however, is mine, so enjoy!
AN - After too long of a wait, here's the second part! I wrote the beginning of this so long ago, in my original author's note, I was talking about my Christmas story. *major sweatdrops* Has it really, really been that long since I last updated?? I'm so sorry! I've been dealing with some really heavy stuff lately, so hopefully writing will help keep my mind off of things…. Sorry! On to the fanfic.
Of Princesses and Space Pirates
Chapter 9: No Need for Escapes, Part 2
Sasami's legs pumped as quickly as she could manage, as she continued to flee from Jim, who still pursued her. Her lungs burned for oxygen, and her heart beat wildly in her chest. She stumbled over an upturned piece of concrete, but that only slowed her down for a split-second. She couldn't stop - not if she wanted to get away.
She had become aware that Ryo-oh-ki was no longer behind her, and that Jim was quickly catching up to her. She grimaced as sweat trickled down into her eye, and she brought a hand up to quickly wipe it away. "I'm tired," she thought wearily, choking back a sob. "Please, just stop following me…"
"Sasami, please stop!"
"Leave me alone, Jim," she screamed back. Looking ahead once again, she noticed a bridge come into view. However, she was also running at a much slower pace, and Jim's footsteps sounded closer and closer. She ran harder as she began crossing the bridge, and as she got to about the middle of the overpass, she tripped and fell to the ground. As she lay there, with tears filling her eyes, she heard Jim's footsteps stop once he reached her. "Are you happy now," she asked, pushing herself up to her knees, and settling back onto her legs. She turned her head away from him, staring out at the many buildings of the transit station.
Wordlessly, Jim knelt down beside her, and just stared at her. "This isn't how it was supposed to be," he began quietly, after several moments of silence. "I… we were only trying to help you get back home; back to your life."
"You don't know anything about my life," Sasami replied bitingly, quickly turning her head back around to face him. "Did it ever occur to you, or to Gene that maybe I don't want to go back home? I've had so much fun just being with Ryoko! I don't care if I never see my family again!"
“What? Why? I don't understand," Jim stated with a confused frown.
"Of course you don't," she replied, as the tone in her voice began to soften. She watched as Jim reached forward to grab her hands, pulling her up with him as he stood.
"I'm sorry," he apologized. "We should have just been straight-forward with you from the beginning. But we didn't think-"
"That Ryoko and I would go along, right," Sasami asked, cutting Jim off. "I mean, with a… a bounty on Ryoko's head, there wouldn't have been any chance that she would have gone along with you willingly." She slipped her hands out of his, and took a step away from him. "And she would have never of let you take me, either. Not without a fight," she continued, as she began to back away from him.
"Sasami, wait-"
"Just let me go, Jim. Please," she begged. Slowly, she turned around and stood with her back to him. "Ryoko will find me, I know she will. And we'll be just fine!" Taking a deep breath, Sasami began to walk away, when a pair of arms wrapped around her from behind.
"Please, Sasami," Jim choked out, his voice sounding on the verge of tears. "I can't lose someone else I care about in this place! Don't walk away from me!"
Suddenly, a sensation swept over Sasami, and for some reason, Jim was standing in front of her. He was looking out at the buildings of the transit station, his hands loosely gripping the railing of the bridge. "Jim," she asked uncertainly, although he didn't seem to hear her. It was then that she realized time had somehow frozen, as she still felt Jim's arms wrapped around her body. Stepping away from him, she turned, to see that he hadn't moved an inch. He was frozen. "What…"
"Hanmyo," the other Jim spoke suddenly, gaining Sasami's attention. "Where are you? Did you forget our promise?"
"Jim, what is it," Sasami asked, walking slowly over towards him. She watched, confused, as his shoulders sagged forward, and his grip tightened on the railing, until his knuckles turned white. Sasami heard the shuffle of feet, and when she looked over to see who it was, she saw Gene walking across the bridge. He stopped once he reached Jim, and began speaking quietly with him as he ran a hand through his hair. Listening to his words, Sasami watched Jim respond nonchalantly. He placed his hands behind his head, and began walking away. "Jim, wait," she exclaimed. Reaching out her arm, she placed her hand on his shoulder, and suddenly, she was engulfed in his memories.
"Hi, I'm Hanmyo. What's your name?"
"I'm Jim. Jim Hawking." Sasami watched as a blush crossed his face, as he stared at the dark-haired girl, who appeared to be his age. She smiled at him, and genuine intrigue danced in her eyes.
"Jim," Sasami asked. "Is this who you were waiting for? I don't understand. Why am I seeing all this?" However, the two didn't seem to hear her, as they continued to talk to one another. The scenery changed once again, and she watched as Jim and the girl, Hanmyo, ran together hand-in-hand, enjoying each other's company. Hanmyo stopped running, however, when two cats jumped down in her and Jim's path. She let out a soft sigh, as she turned to Jim.
"I have to go now."
"Aw… so soon? I was having a lot of fun."
"I was, too!" Sasami watched as Hanmyo suddenly leaned forward, and kissed Jim on his cheek, causing the boy to fluster. "Will you meet me here again tomorrow?"
"I wouldn't miss it!"
"It's a promise, then."
"So, is this what happened, Jim," Sasami asked him, as Hanmyo ran off. "Hanmyo never showed up?" Again, he did not seem to hear her, and as he walked towards her with a happy smile on his face, he passed right through her. She closed her eyes with a start, and when she opened them again, she was inside some sort of hangar. The sound of running caught her attention, and suddenly, Hanmyo came around the corner. "Hanmyo, can you hear me," Sasami asked, as the girl walked right past her, and towards her ship. Sighing, she followed the girl into the vessel. The two cats jumped into identical orbs on either side of the pilot's seat, where Hanmyo took her seat. Sasami watched as some sort of lines connected to the two cats, and suddenly, the one with black fur spoke.
"You shouldn't get so preoccupied." Hanmyo looked over at the cat, an apologetic look on her face.
"I know, Kemi, sorry."
"You have a very important mission, Hanmyo. You need to stay focused." Sasami looked over with wide eyes at the white-furred cat, after he had spoken.
"I am focused, Mata. The mission will come first. All I need to do is disable the Outlaw Star… and kill Gene Starwind." Sasami shook her head in disbelief, however she was distracted as Kemi spoke again.
"Well, you shouldn't have made that… date with that boy. You don't have time for such things." The black cat gingerly licked her paw, and seemed to shake her head in disappointment.
"And if you were going to make plans, you could have checked with us first, at least."
"Please don't scold me now. What are the Outlaw Star's stats?" Mata seemed to concentrate, before he spoke.
"She hasn't launched, yet, but she is preparing too."
"Then let's get ready, too." Hanmyo put her helmet into place, and her hands flew across the console expertly. "I do have an appointment to keep."
"Wait, Hanmyo, you can't," Sasami exclaimed. "Jim's aboard the Outlaw Star, too. You'll hurt him!" She reached out in an attempt to touch Hanmyo, however she stumbled, and found herself aboard the Outlaw Star. "Oh no…"
"Gene, here they come again!"
"Aisha, Suzuka, get ready!"
"Jim, no, wait," Sasami shouted, rushing over to where the boy sat. However, Jim was staring down intently at the screen before him, barking out instructions on how to defeat their opponent. She began to feel helpless, and tears stung at her eyes. "Hanmyo's in there, Jim," she screamed. "Jim!"
Had they not been in space, the explosion of Hanmyo's ship would have shaken the Outlaw Star. And as a cheer rose from her crew, Sasami could only stare out at the wreckage in horror. Tears fell independently down her face, as the conversation Gene and Jim had on the bridge echoed through her head.
"So this is where you were, Jim. You ran off so suddenly when we landed, and you've been gone all day. Is it about that girl?" Jim nodded his head. "I see. You know, Jim, these things happen sometime. She could have just been delayed, or-"
"It's okay. Some things just aren't meant to be."
"I'm just a kid, anyway. Who needs girls, when I have a great friend like you?"
Sasami snapped back to reality, as Jim's arms dropped from around her. He hung his head, ashamed, as he tried to hide his face from her. "You should leave now, Sasami," he sniffled. He looked up at her, frowning as he saw the tears falling down her face. "Go," he yelled suddenly. "I don't want you to be unhappy! I don't want you to hate me!"
"I don't hate you," she yelled back. "I just didn't… I didn't understand why you lied to me." She paused, taking a step towards him so that she stood in front of him. "But I think that I do now." She leaned forward, wrapping her arms around him.
"I'm not going anywhere, Jim," she said quietly. She pressed closer to him, and he returned her embrace, hugging her tightly. As they stood together on the bridge, a cloaked figure came walking across the overpass, heading directly towards them. Jim noticed the figure first, and pushed Sasami behind him protectively.
"There's no need for that, I assure you," the figure spoke in his deep tone. Sasami stepped from behind Jim, watching the figure warily as he knelt down on one knee. "Princess, I'm glad to see that you're safe." As he stood back up, he pulled his hood back to reveal his face. The wind ruffled his gray hair, and Sasami's face lit up with a smile.
"Azaka," Sasami exclaimed, running to the older man and throwing her arms around him. "I knew you'd find me!"
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"You… you…" Ryoko repeated, causing the red-haired woman to laugh.
"Wait, what's going on here," Gene demanded suspiciously.
"Damn it, I should have known, Washu," Ryoko exclaimed. She sat up quickly, and Washu stood up from her squat as Ryoko stood from the ground. Ryoko's eyes flashed with anger as she lashed out at the genius, grabbing her by the front of her shirt. "This is your doing, isn't it?"
"Now, I see you're a little upset, Ryoko-chan, but you need to settle down."
"How can you stand there and tell me to settle down," Ryoko demanded. "I will not calm down!"
"Well," Washu began, "then, I guess I should warn you that acting so excitable does has its' side affects." Washu smiled slightly as Ryoko's anger eclipsed, and she snapped once again.
"What the hell were you thinking, giving them a device that disabled my powers," Ryoko exploded. "Were you even thinking of the consequences of what could have happened?" Energy began to crackle around her wrists, however it seemed to go unnoticed by the angered woman.
"Ryoko, dear-"
"Were you in on it, with the Juraians," Ryoko continued, interrupting the genius. "What could possibly be in it for you? Did you forget that they've shunned you in the past? Have you forgiven and forgotten that, huh?" She gritted her teeth, as the electricity became painful. "What did you do to me?"
"Well, I am a genius," Washu boasted. "The restraints may have been broken, however the effects won't wear off for a bit longer, I'm afraid." She suddenly grew serious, as she looked at Ryoko fully. "Not everything is about you, Ryoko. You were very inconsiderate when you just up and left. Did you even stop to consider how I would feel, with you just disappearing?" She smiled, as the anger disappeared from Ryoko's features, and a somber look replaced her scowl. "I didn't think so. And did you stop to consider how Sasami would feel, after she had so much fun with you?"
"No," Ryoko began quietly, "I guess not."
"Tell me, Ryoko," Washu began. "Has anything strange been happening to Sasami lately?"
Ryoko's eyes widened, as she stared at Washu in wonderment. "She… summoned the Lighthawk Wings," she began, and then, jerking a thumb in Gene's direction, she continued, "to protect him from getting killed."
"I see," Washu stated, placing a hand to her chin thoughtfully.
"And, Tsunami began to awaken when we were on our way here," she continued, frowning in the process. "But Sasami doesn't seem to remember any of it."
"I didn't expect this to happen so soon," Washu mumbled, shaking her head.
"Excuse me," Gene began, his eyebrow twitching.
"What do you mean, you didn't expect it to happen so soon," Ryoko asked. "What's going on, Washu?"
"Look," Gene continued, his voice raising slightly, "I'd just hate to interrupt, but-"
"I think this should wait, until Sasami can hear what I have to say, too," Washu interrupted. "I need to run some tests on her."
"Hey," Gene yelled, gaining both Ryoko and Washu's attentions. Crossing his arms, he gave Washu an even look. "Am I still going to get paid for this? She put me through a lot of hell, getting this far. I'd better not be getting screwed over, here!"
"Well," Washu began, allowing her voice to trail.
"Son of a bitch," Gene cursed. "I knew something like this was going to happen! I knew it! Nothing Fred sets up is solid gold. My luck can't possibly be this bad…" He looked at Ryoko, as she smirked at him, and he frowned at her.
"Well, you won't get paid for the original job, Mr. Starwind," Washu began. "However, if you play your cards right, and help me out, I'm sure in the end you'll be rewarded handsomely."
"Why do you need his help," Ryoko demanded.
"I'll need the use of the Outlaw Star," Washu stated.
"Hey, wait," Gene objected. "I ain't lettin' no one pilot my ship. I'm the captain, and Gilliam won't recognize anyone else for that job unless it's a member of my crew."
"You obviously don't know anything about Washu," Ryoko laughed, scoffing at Gene's apparent ignorance.
"Well, whatever," Gene retorted. "All I know it that no one aside from me, is going to pilot that ship!"
Smiling, Washu looked at Gene thoughtfully. "We'll see, Mr. Starwind," she commented, causing him to roll his eyes. "But right now, there are more important matters. We need to go and find your samurai." Just then, an explosion sounded in the distance, gaining Gene's attention.
"Suzuka," he trailed, frowning in concern.
"Kamidake is very passionate about protecting the Princess. So, let's get going, shall we," she continued, as she walked in the direction of the explosion. "Oh, and Ryoko-chan…"
"What is it, Washu?"
"Don't think I'm going to let your choice of words slip past me," she continued, suddenly grabbing onto Ryoko's ear. "Now, what is it you should be calling me?"
"Ow, stop it," Ryoko exclaimed. "We don't have time for this!"
"You owe it to me, Ryoko-chan. You've been such a bad daughter, making your poor mother worry about you."
"Okay, okay, Mom," Ryoko exclaimed. "There, I said it! Now stop embarrassing me."
Shaking his head, Gene sent a glance down towards Aisha, where she still lay unconscious. "Uh, Gilliam," he began.
"Yes, Gene, what is it," Gilliam replied almost immediately, as he appeared from the ship.
"Take Aisha inside, will ya," he commanded. "Oh, and get in touch with Melfina. Tell her to come back to the ship, and wait here."
"Yes, of course," Gilliam replied, watching as Gene jogged in the direction Washu and Ryoko had gone.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"Azaka," Sasami cried again.
"Princess," he replied, his eyes crinkling as he smiled. He placed a hand on her head, patting her hair affectionately. "I am glad to see you well."
"I'm sorry I left without saying anything," she apologized. "It was so thoughtless of me! You must have been so worried."
"Think nothing of it," Azaka reassured her. "The important thing is that you are safe."
"Um, Sasami," Jim began uncertainly. "Who is this man?"
"This is Azaka, my Royal protector and guardian," she exclaimed happily. A thought occurred to her, as she turned to look at Azaka once again. "But, where is Kamidake? Did he not come, too?"
Azaka frowned as a sudden explosion sounded, and he pulled Sasami to him protectively. Jim, however, gasped, as smoke began to rise from the direction he had left Suzuka.
"Suzuka," Jim yelled, as he began running across the bridge.
"Jim, wait," Sasami exclaimed, breaking away from Azaka and running after him. "It may be dangerous!"
"Princess Sasami!"
The trio ran across the bridge, and as they reached where Suzuka had been, Ryoko, Washu, and Gene arrived on the scene, as well. The entire area lay in ruin. Smoldering craters dotted the ground, however no one was around to be seen.
"Ryoko! And… Washu," Sasami asked, shocked as she noticed the red-haired woman. "What are you doing here?"
"Hey there, Sasami," Washu replied. Before she could answer the girl's question, however, a soft mew could be heard, and suddenly Ryo-oh-ki crawled from underneath a pile of rubble.
"Ryo-chan, what happened," Sasami exclaimed, picking the cabbit up from the ground as her shock from seeing Washu momentarily subsided. Ryo-oh-ki's ears drooped as she explained what was going on, and Sasami's eyes widened in concern. "Where is Kamidake, now?"
Just then, two figures ran into the area, their swords clashing together. Both were panting with fatigue, however neither relented as they struggled to overpower the other. Kamidake gritted his teeth as he pushed against Suzuka more, but his swordplay faltered as he noticed Sasami from the corner of his eye.
"Princess," he exclaimed. However, it was a grave mistake, as Suzuka took the opportunity to overpower the distracted warrior. As she felled him, she dropped down to her knee, breathing heavily. Her mouth hung open as she took in gasping breaths of air, and sweat dripped down her face.
"You're the best opponent I've had in a good while," she panted, using her bokuto as a crutch to stand. It was then, that she noticed the others standing around. "It's you," she stated, as her eyes landed on Washu.
"It seems, that our battle is to come to a close. You were a worthy opponent," Kamidake complemented, as he stood from the ground. Turning towards the Juraian princess, and gentle smile graced his features. "I sent Ryo-oh-ki to find you, but it seems like she wanted to come back to make sure I was alright."
"Kamidake," Sasami hiccuped, as her emotions began to take over once again. She rushed towards her other guardian, enveloping him in a hug. "I'm so glad to see you again."
"Lady Ryoko," Azaka began, "we can not express enough, our gratitude that you have protected Princess Sasami from harm."
"Well, it wasn't exactly easy, thanks to a certain someone's efforts," she replied, sending a glare in Washu's direction, causing her to smile slightly.
"Gene," Suzuka began, as she regained her composure. "Would you mind explaining what's going on?"
"I'm not sure myself," he replied. "It seems that Washu has all the answers." Sighing, he turned towards the red-haired woman. "Well, I suggest we head back to the ship, now. You have a lot of explaining to do."
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"There it is, Ron," Harry spoke to his brother, as the El Dorado floated in space, trailing two ships. "The String 4, in all her glory." Ron remained silent, as an image of the Private Security Force ship enlarged on the view-screen. "The key that will unlock the Mistress' tomb is supposed to lie within that base," he continued, as the String 4 and the other ship began to dock at the naval base.
"This isn't going to be easy, Harry," Ron spoke finally. "That's a very heavily guarded naval port. On top of that, the two lead commanders are members of Angel Links."
"But we're the MacDougall brothers," Harry argued. "The power that our Mistress has bestowed upon us will ensure our success."
"That… may be so," Ron replied through gritted teeth. "However, I ran a background check on that other ship. That's a Galaxy Police vessel."
"It doesn't matter," Harry stated, his voice gaining an edge to it. "If they get in our way, we'll kill them; and anyone else that stands in our way."
Releasing a low sigh, Ron eased back into is chair. "Well, we'll go through the checkpoint as if we're traveling," he began. "And when the opportunity provides itself, we'll strike." Behind him, Harry smiled widely.
To be Continued…