Outlaw Star Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction ❯ Of Princesses and Space Pirates ❯ Chapter 2: Beginning of an Adventure ( Chapter 2 )

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

I do not own the rights to the characters in this fanfic, nor do I claim them. The idea, however, is mine. Enjoy!
AN - As I mentioned in the prologue, this will be AU-ish for Outlaw Star, and a mix of Tenchi Universe and the OVA. The events that took place in Outlaw Star still have happened, so in a way, this takes place after that. Just a word of warning, so as not to confuse anyone!
Of Princesses and Space Pirates
Chapter 2: Beginning of an Adventure
Pitch blackness… All around him was a thick, choking darkness. He couldn't see anything more than a few feet in front of him. Despite his character he found himself afraid, frightened at what had become of him, scared of what had happened to him. He began to hyperventilate, when a voice spoke out to him, calming his nerves. The soft, lilting voice of a woman spoke, beckoning him forward.
"So, you've finally come to your senses. Come to me. Come to me."
"Who's there," he demanded, his voice wavering. He stumbled forward unsteadily into the darkness, and then stopped. It was then that he realized he was standing. That he was walking. His whole body began to tremble and his knees buckled as he collapsed to the ground.
"It's okay, big brother." The new voice that spoke to him was familiar, and he looked up, hopeful. "You're not alone anymore," the voice continued.
"H-Harry," he asked tentatively. A figure stepped out from the dark, and the shadows shifted, revealing to him the familiar face of his brother. "Harry!"
"Ron," Harry smiled, kneeling next to his brother, as a light illuminated underneath them. "We're together again, Ron. We've become the MacDougall brothers once again."
Ron looked down at his body. Hadn't he been killed? Hadn't Gene Starwind killed him in their final standoff in the Galactic Leyline…? He stared down at his hands, and they shook. "Harry," he began. "How are we alive? Where are we? Is this Hell?"
"No, Ron," Harry smiled, a strange look in his eyes.
"Then how do we have our bodies," Ron screamed, his anger suddenly replacing his fears. "We were killed Harry. Killed!"
"Let me be the older one," Harry began, as he embraced his brother. "If only for a moment, Ron." The two stayed like that, until yet another voice spoke out.
"Uh huh, uh huh… I see that you're awake. Yes, it's about time that you woke up. Yes, yes, about time." The two brothers looked up to see an aged man standing before them, his arms crossed behind his back.
"Gwen Khan," Ron spat angrily.
"Ah, yes," Gwen replied. "I see you're surprised to see me here. Yes, yes. Indeed, it is surprising."
"Help me stand, Harry," Ron stated. As Harry helped him stand on shaky legs, he heard Gwen tsk in contemplation.
"My, my, this will not do," he babbled, his eyes shifting from Ron to Harry, and then back again. "No, no, this will not do. Your body is still weak."
"What in the hell are you talking about, old man," Ron demanded.
"Old man? My, what rude manners," Gwen exclaimed. "Rude indeed. I'm now the smartest man alive thanks to the power of the Galactic Leyline. You owe your gratitude to me and the Maiden."
"Maiden," Ron asked, confused. "You mean Melfina?"
"Melfina… No, not Melfina," Gwen stated, shaking his head. "Melfina is but an avatar to the true Maiden of the Galactic Leyline."
"She was the one who brought us here, Ron," Harry explained. "She's the one that gave us another chance to live."
Ron took in their surroundings for the first time, a surprised look appearing on his face. "You mean this…"
"Yes; the heart of the Galactic Leyline."
The three men turned their attention to a woman that appeared in a column of light. With the strange markings on her face, she was eerily beautiful. She had light brown hair, which seemed to appear red at times from the lighting, and dark blue eyes that seemed to flash violet. As she moved forward, the black, form-fitting bodysuit she wore could be seen, lost momentarily in the folds of her cape when she moved.
"There she is. The Maiden; the true Maiden," Gwen uttered in an awe-filled whisper. "She, who grants every desire."
"Gwen Khan," she spoke, casting an icy gaze on him. "These are the MacDougall brothers you spoke of?"
"Yes," he answered. "Yes. When they appeared to me, they were a mess. Quite a mess. However with the knowledge you bestowed on me, I was able to create far superior bodies for them both."
"This knowledge," she stated, a wry smile on her face, "pleases you, does it not?" He nodded his head, his eyes widening slightly behind his glasses. A frown replaced her smile, and she slowly raised an arm. "It is desires akin to yours," she continued, "which keeps me imprisoned here."
"S-supreme Maiden," Gwen stammered, stepping back.
"Call me Goddess," she corrected, energy pooling in her hand. "I no longer have a use for you, Gwen Khan. That which I have bestowed upon you, I take away."
"Nononononono," he screamed as energy from her hand struck him. His head lulled to the side and his eyes glazed over, as he crumpled to the ground.
"Your knowledge will return to you, only if it is my desire," she continued, staring emotionlessly down at Khan's still form as she lowered her arm. She turned away from him, and towards the MacDougall brothers. "I do, however, have a use for you now."
"Anything for you, my Goddess," Harry exclaimed, kneeling before her and grasping her hand in his. Ron watched his brother, and then looked into the woman's face. The regal air about her permeated the atmosphere as she gazed back at him.
For the first time in his life, Ronald MacDougall knew his place, and he didn't like it.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
"Where are you old man! Get out here now!"
She didn't know what had drawn her to this place. What were the reasons for being at the shrine? Perhaps it was the same force that had driven her actions in the past… She didn't really care for the reason why. All she knew was that she wanted to put an end to the feud that had harbored over the last 700 years. She wanted to face him. As she drew a breath to yell once again, she heard the shuffling of feet. She spun around, and there he was, standing before her. A sneer crossed her face as she stared at him.
"Come, Yosho. Let's finish what we started. Fight me!"
Her eyes were drawn to his lips as he spoke, and she saw, before she heard, what he was saying. However, once it registered what it was he was saying, she snapped. Her beam sword appeared suddenly in her hand, and she leapt blindly towards Yosho, lashing out at him. All her sword met with, was a powerful shield. And it angered her even further.
"Are all Juraians cowards," she demanded, jumping away from him. "Fight me!"
But all he did was stand there, and then he spoke. And as he did, she watched his guise fade away. Before her now was Lord Yosho of Jurai, not Katsuhito Masaki.
"I will not fight you like this," he stated. "Not when you are like this."
"Then why have you transformed," she challenged. "You want to fight me just as much as I want to fight you, don't you? Admit it!"
"I knew this would one day transpire," he continued, ignoring her question. "From the day you reentered my life, and laid eyes on Tenchi, I knew it."
"He has nothing to do with this!" She shook her head, trying to block out what he was saying.
"You wanted to fight me, to kill me, so you could have a reason to leave here and never return, guilt-free."
"It's not true," she whispered, lowering her head as her arms went lack at her sides. She didn't notice as he was walking towards her… Or was it that she didn't care? She jumped as she felt a pair of arms wrap around her shoulders, however she made no move to stop the man, who was once her enemy, from embracing her.
He began speaking again and as she listened to his words, she began to cry. The beam sword that was still in her hand slowly dissipated, and her shoulders shook with silent sobs. Once her tears subsided, she pulled away from him slightly, taking notice that he was once again Katsuhito.
"Old man, I…"
She pulled away from Katsuhito completely, wrapping her arms around herself. She looked down towards the stairs, and saw a familiar head of pinkish-red hair running up towards the shrine. Sighing, she turned to look at Katsuhito again.
"Old man, tell Washu… Tell her not to worry about me." Throwing one last glance towards the stairs, she slowly lifted up into the air.
"Ryoko," Katsuhito spoke, causing her to stop. "We all must find ourselves in some way." He looked up at her, their eyes locking. "When you find yourself, return here."
"I don't know if I can." Tearing her gaze away from his, she floated higher into the air, phasing away as the shadow of Ryo-oh-ki in her ship-form fell over the shrine…
Ryoko slowly began to stir from sleep, and she opened her eyes groggily. She brought her hand up to the wetness on her face, wiping away the remnants of her tears. "Damn it," she laughed harshly. "I'm being weak." Rising from her seat, she heaved a heavy sigh. Something had roused her from her sleep, but she didn't know what.
"Meowr, mreow." Ryoko smiled as dozens of diamond-shaped crystals nudged at her back and arms.
"It's just you and me now, Ryo-chan," she stated softly. "The way it should have always been." She placed her hands on one of the larger crystals, conjuring a view-screen. "Ryo-oh-ki, status report." Several images appeared on the screen, and a sad smile crossed Ryoko's face. "It looks like we're far out of Earth's solar system. There's no turning back now."
She continued typing at Ryo-oh-ki's controls, calling up maps of the ship's status, as well as several stellar maps, to pinpoint their location. "Well, it looks like we're near a relatively remote satellite planet, Ryo-chan," she stated. "We should be there in a few-"
Her sentence was cut off as she heard a muffled noise. She looked in the direction of a few boxes strewn in corner, which now, she realized, was strange. She hadn't loaded anything onto Ryo-oh-ki, in her haste to leave Earth. She slowly walked towards the corner, and as her beam sword appeared in her hand, the crystals of Ryo-oh-ki began flying at her.
"Ryo-chan, stop it," Ryoko cried out in surprise, as they circled around her. However the crystals kept pushing her back, away from the boxes. She reached up and grappled with one of the crystals, shaking it roughly. "Damn it, Ryo-oh-ki! What has gotten into you?"
"Mreow, meowr!"
"No, Ryoko, stop," a voice cried out. Ryoko looked towards the boxes, as a figure slowly stood up, and her jaw dropped.
"Sasami! What are you doing here," Ryoko exclaimed.
"It's my fault, Ryoko," Sasami stated. "Please, don't be mad at Ryo-oh-ki!"
"What are you doing here," Ryoko asked again. "How? How did you get here?"
"I didn't want to stay with Ayeka anymore," Sasami stated quietly. "I hate her."
"You don't mean that, Sasami."
"I do!" Sasami gasped slightly, lowering her head. "It's not fair, what happened to you. Ayeka shouldn't have attacked you, and Tenchi shouldn't have blamed you! They made you want to leave, and I hate them both."
"Sasami," Ryoko sighed, running a hand through her cyan-colored hair. "Why didn't you just go back to Jurai, then? Why are you here?"
The younger girl looked up, tears brimming in her eyes. "I thought… since we had such fun together, that I could just go with you! So I had Ryo-chan let me on, when she transformed." Tears began to fall down her face, as she looked at Ryoko. "You don't want me here," she asked in a quiet voice.
"That's not it, Sasami," Ryoko stated quickly. "It's just that-" She glanced at the girl and sighed again, trying to collect her thoughts. "It's just that, I don't even know where I'm headed right now! I just had to get away. I had to get away from everything."
Sasami sat down on the ground with her legs folded underneath her, and she hugged onto one of the Ryo-oh-ki crystals. "What will you do with me, then?"
"Well," Ryoko began slowly. "I'm not going back to Earth."
"And I don't want to go back there either," Sasami quickly interjected. "And I don't want to go home to Jurai. I just want to stay here with you, Ryoko. Please?"
"It could be dangerous… I am a space pirate, you know."
"You're an ex-space pirate," Sasami exclaimed. "And I don't care how dangerous it is! We can protect each other from anything!"
Ryoko closed her eyes briefly, and opened them once again, looking down at Sasami. "It might not always be fun like on Tenrei, Sasami," she began. "And I know I might regret this… But you can stay."
"Oh thank you, Ryoko!" Sasami lunged towards the older woman, hugging her tightly and knocking the wind out of her.
"Okay, okay," Ryoko wheezed, pushing the energetic girl away slightly. "I need you to listen, Sasami. You might not like the things we'll have to do to survive. But it's necessary, until I can… think of a more permanent situation for us."
"I won't complain, Ryoko, I promise."
"Alright," Ryoko stated, ruffling Sasami's hair and smiling for the first time. "A princess and a space pirate, eh?"
"I guess so," Sasami exclaimed.
"Meow, mreow!" Ryoko and Sasami looked at Ryo-oh-ki, then at each other and laughed.
"Yeah, we're partners," Sasami exclaimed, standing next to Ryoko as she took control of the ship once again. "Well said, Ryo-oh-ki!"
"Where are Azaka and Kamidake, anyway, Sasami," Ryoko asked curiously, directing the ship towards their destination.
"Oh, I didn't have time to get them, too," she replied. "I had to leave them behind!" Ryoko made a face, causing Sasami to laugh. "Don't worry, Ryoko! I'm sure we'll be able to contact them some way."
Ryoko watched as Sasami ran to the front of the ship, looking out the window towards the planet they were approaching. Her stomach began to tie up in knots, however she pushed aside the feeling. "I'm glad to have you along, Sasami," she stated quietly.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The El Dorado safely emerged from the gravity pull of the Galactic Leyline, and immediately reentered into a sub-ether stream. Inside of the impressive ship, Harry MacDougall piloted the ship from within the cylindrical navigation center, while Ron sat at the pilot's chair.
"The ship is amazing, Ron," Harry stated. "She's twice as efficient… And I get to pilot it, just like Melfina pilots the XGP."
Ron didn't reply, and kept his eyes ahead, on the view-screen.
"What is it, Harry?"
"How are we supposed to find our target? Where do we look?"
"We have one other, more pressing matter to attend to, first."
"But, Ron. Her Ladyship said-"
"I don't care what she said, Harry," he interrupted.
"You saw her power," Harry argued. "She'll do to us, what she did to Gwen Khan. She gave us a chance to live again, Ron. She can take that away from us. We shouldn't challenge her."
Ron sighed, rubbing his temples. "Don't worry, Harry. We'll do what she asked us to, and treat this like any other contract." He paused, turning around in his seat to look at his brother. "Who are we, Harry?"
"The MacDougall brothers."
"That's right, and we answer to no one," Ron replied. "But we do owe the Goddess a certain degree of gratitude."
"So we'll search for the girl?"
"Yes, we will," Ron answered. "But that's just it - we'll have to search. We'll have to take the Maiden's word that we'll only know who she is, once we come across her. We might as well take care of Gene Starwind, first. We know who he is."
"I suppose so, Ron… You won't hurt Melfina?"
Ron smiled. "Of course not, Harry. You'll finally have her, like you always wanted, and I'll get my revenge on Gene for all he's done to us."
"Where should we head for?"
"Sentinel III," Ron replied, an evil sneer appearing on his face. "Gene Starwind will pay."
To Be Continued…