Outlaw Star Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction ❯ Of Princesses and Space Pirates ❯ Chapter 9: No Need for Escapes, Part 3 ( Chapter 11 )

[ 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… Enjoy!
Of Princesses and Space Pirates
Chapter 9: No Need for Escapes, Part 3
Kiyone sat in a chair, drumming her fingers against the armrest in an impatient manner. She, Mihoshi, Tenchi, and Ayeka sat in the waiting room aboard the naval port that they had followed Duuz and Valeria's ship to. For what seemed like the hundredth time, she glanced down at her watch and sighed. That had been over two hours ago.
Their accommodations were great; there was no denying that. But, their treatment was a result of Ayeka's royal status, no doubt. The room they were in was just like any of the other waiting rooms other crewmembers waited in, however the difference was that they had tea brought to them, to "keep them comfortable." There was a huge viewing window that faced out towards the docking area, where all ships were stationed while they were being inspected. Kiyone stared out the window, where a sleek, golden ship, one among many different others, was docked.
"Kiyone?" Glancing up into the reflection of the glass, the dark-haired woman saw Tenchi standing behind her. Turning around, she smiled slightly. "We've been here for a long time," he continued, scratching behind his ear. "Do these types of inspections usually take this much time?"
"They aren't supposed to, no," Kiyone answered, a frown coming to her face. "But I think they're doing this because of our falling-out we had." Pausing, she shook her head. "They're taking this small misunderstanding, and blowing it way out of proportion."
"I assure you that is not the case." Duuz's deep voice sounded from the door, and Kiyone cringed slightly. Releasing yet another sigh, Duuz narrowed his eyes in her direction. "It's always the same with you GXP-types," he continued, sneering slightly. "I can't stand you people, with your greater-than-thou attitudes."
"Duuz, please," Valeria commented lowly, resting her hand on his massive shoulder.
"Have you found out anything yet," Ayeka asked. "I fear for my sister's safety. It's dangerous out in space, and even Ryoko can only do so much to protect Sasami." Kiyone glanced at Ayeka from the corner of her eye, surprise etched on her face. Had she actually heard Ayeka express some faith in the rouge space pirate?
"Princess, the only promising leads are reports of supposed sightings of a vessel on a resource planet known as Sentinel III," Valeria answered. "If you'll look here," she continued, as she pointed to a screen mounted upon the wall, "you'll see a few images of this vessel."
"Oh my goodness, I can't believe it," Mihoshi exclaimed, as she, Tenchi, Kiyone, and Ayeka gazed upon the images. Ayeka gasped, and her hands flew to her mouth as tears welled in her eyes. "That's Ryo-oh-ki," Mihoshi continued. "That's Ryoko's ship!"
"It definitely does appear to be," Tenchi stated thoughtfully. "There's only one other ship that looks like that, to our knowledge."
"Where is this place," Ayeka demanded. "We must get there immediately!"
"If you would just be patient, there's more to tell," Duuz grunted, gaining a warning look from Valeria in the process.
"This vessel," Valeria continued, "is no longer present on Sentinel III. However," she quickly amended, as Ayeka was about to speak, "there were reports on the satellite planet known as Blue Heaven that a similar ship was also spotted there."
"Is this Blue Heaven where the ship can be found, then," Ayeka questioned, wringing her hands together nervously. Valeria shook her head apologetically, and a crestfallen look crossed the Juraian princess' face. "Then, where-"
"With this man, apparently," Duuz interrupted, as another image appeared on the screen, revealing a red-haired man. "His name is Gene Starwind, and he's an Outlaw. We've had trouble with this one in the past."
"Outlaw," Tenchi questioned. "Is he a criminal, then?"
"No," Kiyone answered. "Well, not in the sense you're thinking. An Outlaw is pretty much a freelance bounty hunter or space adventurer. It depends on the Outlaw." Pausing, she looked at the two other officers. "I take it this Gene Starwind knew about the bounty on Ryoko's head?"
"Apparently, he was tipped off by a successful broker on Heifong," Valeria answered. "But Gene Starwind is not a criminal, by any means. He actually helped us out once, when-"
"That's enough, Valeria," Duuz cut her off. "Do not try and vouch for that scum. He's no better than a pirate, if you ask me."
"So, um," Mihoshi began, gaining their attention. "Does this Gene have Ryoko and Sasami in his custody?" Smiling, Valeria nodded her head.
"My guess would be that yes, he does," she stated.
"But how can we find him," Tenchi asked, frowning slightly. "What will he do with Ryoko, and Sasami?"
"He'll probably return to Heifong with the bounty," Valeria ventured. "And exchange them for the bounty reward. However, it's a simple matter to track them down." Pausing, she motioned with her arm towards the door. "If you'll follow me this way," she trailed, exiting the room. The two GXP officers and their charges quickly followed after the blonde woman. As they walked down the corridor, another Special Forces officer escorting two men paused to salute his superior. Valeria nodded, and continued down the way. As Ayeka began to follow, she glanced over at the two men, and locked gazes with one of the two. He looked at her with a superior look on his face, causing her to narrow her eyes in his direction. He reminded her a lot of Ryoko, though his cyan locks of hair were a darker shade, and his eyes were an amber color.
"You can take these two to this room," Duuz's voice broke through Ayeka's thoughts, as he spoke to the Special Forces officers. Turning back around, he sent a glance down at Ayeka. "Let's keep going, Princess," he barked, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
"S-sorry," she stammered, his tone lost on her. She sent a glance over her shoulder towards the man, as she began walking once again, and he winked in her direction, before disappearing inside the room. "Um, Officer Duuz," she began tentatively. "Who were those men?"
"What does it matter," he responded. "They were just other pilots, passing through this checkpoint. Now keep moving along."
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"So let me get one thing straight. The two of you already know each other? And you both have lived with Sasami for the past year or so?"
"Yeah, that's right," Washu stated. She looked at Gene, who had spoken, and smiled slightly. They were seated aboard the Outlaw Star, in a conference room. Sasami, Ryoko, and Washu sat together, while the crew members of the Outlaw Star were positioned around Gene. Taking a sip of her drink Gilliam had prepared earlier, she continued, "You catch on quickly, don't you?"
"Don't get smart with me," Gene snapped. Crossing his arms over his chest, he looked at Ryoko before speaking to Washu again. "You say that she's your… daughter?"
"Yes, she's my precious Ryoko-chan!"
"Something like that," Ryoko stated at the same time Washu spoke. Scowling in Washu's direction, she turned to Gene. "She created me. I'm just one of her many projects. She just happened to take a liking to me, for some strange reason."
Glancing up, Melfina looked at Ryoko. "So… you're an android… like me?"
"No, Ryoko's more human-like than an android," Washu answered. "Ryoko and I share similar DNA."
"This doesn't make any sense," Aisha exclaimed, still sour from her defeat. "You said you created her… but she's not an android? Then what the heck is she?"
"Well, I am a genius," Washu boasted with a laugh. "I created Ryoko with my ovum, and a creature known as Massu."
"Massu," Jim exclaimed after a moment's thought, causing Washu to look at him. "Aren't they supposed to be extinct?"
"Perhaps now, they are," Washu stated thoughtfully. "And I suppose I could very well have the last remaining members of the species in my laboratory."
"This is all good and interesting," Gene began dryly. "But I want to talk about the bounty. Why did you even place it on Ryoko's head, Washu? Were you just looking to find her?"
"I told you before," Washu sighed, "I'm not the one that put the bounty on Ryoko's head. It was the Juraian Royal family."
"If you were living together, why would your family think Ryoko kidnapped you, Sasami," Jim asked.
"Well," Sasami trailed, as she glanced at Ryoko. "I-"
"It's a long, detailed story, kid," Ryoko interrupted. "Let's just say I don't get along with the Juraian Royals, except for Sasami."
"Actually, I was present when Lord Azusa decreed that the bounty be placed," Washu stated. "And so was Princess Ayeka."
"Ayeka was there," Sasami exclaimed. "Why does she even care?"
"Well, she was very concerned about you, Sasami," Washu replied. "And she took those concerns to your father."
"I should have known she would tell Father of my disappearance," Sasami said bitterly. "And I bet she made it sound like Ryoko did kidnap me! Is that what happened, Washu? Is that why Father placed the bounty on Ryoko's head?"
"Sasami, you have to understand that she was just worried about you," Washu began. "She tried to get the King to reconsider his decision, but when he heard that Ryoko was involved… Well, there was no changing his mind."
"So, is she back on Earth, now?"
"Earth," Gene asked incredulously. "Do you mean that backwater planet in the Milky Way galaxy?" Sasami glanced at him, frowning slightly.
"Earth is a nice planet," she exclaimed.
"Uh, sorry," Gene apologized sheepishly.
"To answer your question, Sasami, no," Washu continued. "Actually, Ayeka defied your father, in order to go out and search for you herself. Kiyone and Mihoshi are accompanying her, as well as Lord Tenchi." Ryoko looked at Washu sharply at the mention of the boy's name.
"Tenchi… is with them," she asked.
Washu glanced at Ryoko, quirking an eyebrow, as she spoke, "Yes, he should be with them." She paused and studied Ryoko as a far-off gaze entered her golden eyes. "They asked me to accompany them, as well," Washu continued, speaking to Sasami. "But I refused, and that's when I took it upon myself to find you, before anyone else did." She drank the rest of the contents of her cup, and then continued, "You disappeared at such an inopportune time, Sasami. I have… concerns. And when I confided to Azaka and Kamidake my concerns, they insisted on helping me. The rest, they say, is history."
A silence settled over the group, before Gene spoke.
"So, Washu," he began, "you mentioned that you still needed our help?"
"Well, yes and no," she began. "I need to use the XGP."
"I told you, no one is gonna pilot this ship but me!" Gene paused, and then turned an accusing glower at the woman. "Wait a second," he stated. "What did you just say? What did you call the Outlaw Star?"
"The XGP, of course," Washu replied nonchalantly. "That is the name I had intended for the most efficient ship in all known galaxies. It is my creation, after-all."
"Don't bullshit me, lady," Gene spat angrily. "The Pirates and the Space Forces created the XGP. It's a fact."
"And they got that technology, when excavation crews took the plans for the ship at an excavation site on Planet Dragon," Washu replied calmly. "The discovery of the Leyline is the only reason they even built this ship in the first place. By doing so, they set fate into motion prematurely."
Eyes narrowed, Gene leaned forward slightly. "I don't believe you."
"Oh, do you want proof, then," Washu challenged. Crossing her arms, she leaned back into her seat. "Gilliam, Leyline project command input. She who laughs last, laughs best."
To the surprise of the crew of the Outlaw Star, the miniature versions of Gilliam ceased movement, and the emergency lights suddenly flashed on. Warning bells sounded, and a timer displayed on the console screen.
"Emergency self-destruct mode, in commencement," Gilliam's voice spoke out. "Please evacuate the premises. This vessel will explode in 120 seconds."
"Gilliam, this isn't funny," Gene snapped. "Cut it out now!" When he didn't get any sort of answer, he faced the main control console. "Gilliam!"
"It's no use, you know," Washu spoke smugly. "In lock-down mode like this, not even Melfina, who controls many of the inner workings of the ship, can stop it."
"Washu," Sasami stated worriedly. "Stop it!"
"I think that your point has been made, Lady Washu," Azaka echoed. "Keep in mind, the Princess' safety…"
"60 seconds remain before this vessel will self-destruct," Gilliam's voice spoke again. "It is advisable for all personnel to evacuate."
"Alright, then," Washu stated, a satisfied smile on her face. "If it is Lady Tsunami's will, it shall be done." Almost immediately, the countdown warning lights dimmed back to normal, and the sound of the bells resonating ceased.
"Ok, fine," Gene stated. "So you created the XGP. Why do you need it?"
"I have to return to Planet Dragon, to put my worries at ease," Washu explained.
"Lady Washu," Gilliam began, "I can save you the trip. The planet lay in ruin, now. It experienced a major tremor, not too long ago."
"That may be so, but I need to see it with my own eyes." Standing, Washu crossed her arms behind her back. "I will need your navigational skills, of course, Melfina."
"I'll do everything I can to help."
Washu smiled, and turned in Aisha and Suzuka's direction. "I'd like the two of you to come along, too."
"Why do you need our assistance," Suzuka asked.
"In case I need protection. The trip may be dangerous." After a pause, she continued, "Can I count on you two?"
Glancing at Suzuka, who simply nodded, Aisha exclaimed, "Sure!"
"Good, it's settled then," Washu said, turning towards Sasami. "Princess, you and the others can wait here, at this transit station. I'm sure you can use a good rest, for what may or may not lie ahead."
"Wait," Jim exclaimed. "You're already taking half the crew… Why don't we all just go?"
"I… have my reasons," she answered, glancing at Sasami.
"If it's protection you need, then I should go," Ryoko exclaimed, speaking forcefully.
"I need you to protect Sasami."
"She has Azaka and Kamidake," Ryoko protested. "She doesn't need me." Pausing, she turned to Sasami. "You don't need me, do you," she asked.
"I…" Sasami trailed, unsure of how to answer. A nagging feeling was persistent in her subconscious, and she couldn't shake the feeling. "Yes," she confirmed strongly. "I need you here, Ryoko. Please…?"
Ryoko remained silent, as she crossed her arms in thought. "Ok then, Sasami," she stated, and then, turning to Washu, added, "but you, hurry back. There's something I need to talk to you about."
"When I get back, then," Washu confirmed. "Now, if you don't mind. Ladies, gentlemen… get off my ship. I have a trip to make."
Gene frowned, sending a glare her way. "You may have created the idea for this ship, but it's my ship," he grumbled. Snatching up his overcoat, he added, "Don't forget that. Let's go, Jim."
Jim, Sasami, Azaka, and Kamidake followed Gene, and as Ryoko turned to follow them, Washu called out to her.
"Oh, and Ryoko?" The golden-eyed woman turned her gaze upon Washu, and the red-haired woman smiled. "Don't talk too much, ne?"
"Ok, sure," she replied, a confused expression crossing her face.
Washu watched her go, and then turned towards the three women. "Well, shall we go, ladies," she asked, slipping into the captain's seat.
"I'm ready when you are," Melfina smiled. Slipping down into the navigation center, the capsule rose from the ground, opening up to reveal her in her readied position.
"Alright," Aisha exclaimed, jumping into her own seat. "This just better be worth our time."
"For the both of us," Washu mumbled softly, as her hands ran expertly over the controls.
From the ground, at a safe distance, Gene and the others watched as the Outlaw Star rose into the air. He stared up into the sky, until it was a speckle in the sky, and then gone. Heaving a sigh, he turned to the others. "Well, what now," he asked.
"We should get something to eat," Jim suggested, blushing as his stomach growled loudly.
"But where are we going to stay," Sasami asked, voicing her concern. Ryoko thought a moment, before she spoke.
"Knowing Washu, she's already reserved a room for us in the hotel," she answered. "We might as well check it out."
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"Harry, how long are we going to wait," Ron asked. He sat with his long legs crossed, and he sent his younger brother a pensive look.
"Not much longer now, Ron," he answered, turning away from the computer console mounted on the wall. A line extended from his wrist, into the computer. Information scrolled down the screen, as he was searching for what they were there looking for. A beep sounded, and Harry's head quickly snapped around. A slow smile crossed his face as he read what was displayed on the screen and his smile melted into a satisfied sneer. "I found it, Ron."
"You found the Dragon Sphinx key," Ron asked, sitting up.
"I did."
Both men turned to look as the door slid open, and a Special Force officer stepped into the room. He took one look at Harry, and quickly pulled his gun. "What are you doing over there," he demanded. "Step away from that console right now!" The line slowly retracted back into Harry's wrist, as he slowly raised his hands into the air and backed away from he wall.
"Hey now," he stated calmly. "I wasn't doing anything." Harry suddenly charged at the man, with an energy beam emerging from his hand. He ran the officer through, and as the other man gasped for air, Harry pressed his cheek against the other man's cheek. "But I can't have you running off to your superiors, now can I," he whispered into his ear.
"Wh-wh…" the man choked. The sound of his blood gurgling in his throat cut off his words. Harry smiled, withdrawing his sword from the man's chest. Ron watched with a raised eyebrow, as the officer doubled over, and Harry stepped aside, allowing him to fall, lifeless, to the ground.
Ron stood effortlessly from his seat, as Harry spoke to him. "I'll go and retrieve the Dragon Sphinx key. You, make a distraction."
"Sure, Harry," Ron shrugged. He watched as his younger brother bolted out of the room, and slowly followed him. As he exited the room, he glanced down both directions of the corridor. Choosing a direction, he proceeded to walk the way he had seen Duuz, Valeria, and the GXP officers go. Pulling a device out his pocket, he pressed a button, and explosions could be heard in another area of the station.
The explosion rocked through the ship, traveling through the ship, and eventually reaching the main control room, where Duuz and Valeria had led Kiyone, Mihoshi and their passengers.
"What was that," Valeria asked, steadying her balance as she grabbed hold of the console. She glanced from the corner of her eye as Duuz stepped up behind her, placing his hands on the console, on either side of her. "Duuz, what-" She cut off her own sentence, gasping in surprise as blood trailed down his arm. Turning slightly, she watched as he fell over. "Duuz," she exclaimed, kneeling down next to him.
"How touching," a male's voice spoke from the door. Turning her head, Valeria saw Ron standing in the doorway, his gun still smoking from the shot he had injured Duuz with. Due to the loud explosion, she hadn't even heard him come into the room.
"Keep quiet," he interrupted, "and no one else will have to get hurt."
"Freeze right there," Kiyone exclaimed, aiming her gun at him. "Under GXP code RP6748, I'm placing you under arrest for bringing potential harm upon innocent individuals, through acts of terrorism. Drop your weapon, and place your hands in the air!"
Ron smiled at her, and fired his weapon.
"Kiyone," Ayeka screamed in horror, as the shot hit the officer in the abdomen, causing her to stumble. Without her summoning them, Azaka and Kamidake appeared before her. Tenchi drew his sword, and Mihoshi pulled her weapon, aiming it at Ron.
"Y-you," she shook with anger. "Drop your weapon now!" She was distracted as Kiyone fell over, and her aim faltered. However, the sound of Ron's gun humming as it gathered energy caught her attention, and as she straightened her aim once again, he fired off another shot.
To Be Continued . . .
Author's Note -
I apologize for the long, wait - once again. This chapter was a filler-chapter, at best, but necessary. The next chapter should be a turning point, in more ways than one… but at the same time, I hope I'll be able to keep all characters in character, and I hope you'll enjoy what's to come!
Until the next time!