By JD Fielding
Warning: It is imperative that you read No Need For Heroes before endeavoring to read this piece of fan fiction otherwise you will not understand the story!
Note: Tenchi Universe is the property of Pioneer Inc. and all those who created such a charming and dramatic anime series of which I have no claim to. Any created characters however, do belong to me.
Chapter 1--Whispers in the Dark
He stood quietly in the darkness, a lone figure upon the bridge of some large ship. He listened intently, waiting for some sign that he was utterly alone. Satisfied by the silence, the man started forward, a loud clang exploding in the open space with every step he made, each movement wracking his body with pain, Pain he wished to be free of, and if everything went according to plan, would soon be.
The man gave out a small cry as an intense pain shot up his spine, stopping him in his tracks, causing him to lean heavily upon a large metallic stick held tightly in his right hand. He cursed the disease that afflicted him. Cursed the doctors who told him his suffering was untreatable, incurable, lethal. He wanted to live! Wanted to breath fresh air once again. Return to his former self: Handsome, strong and healthy. Not some shell of a man betrayed by his body.
Absently the man touched his forehead, his fingers brushing against a metallic band that was cool to the touch. He slid his hand across the band stopping at a jewel as black as the darkness that surrounded him. All his hope and salvation rested on this stone he wore. The jewel began to glow an unearthly shade of red. The man slowly lowered his hand and closed his eyes, listening to a voice only he could hear.
He tilted his head, focused intently to the seductive voice that began to whisper in his ear.
The kenshin is close now. So close. Can you not sense his presence?
The man nodded slowly, enraptured, completely unaware that another had entered the room.
So close now. The voice continued. Soon you will have all that you desire. Glory and the throne of Avinor will be yours for the taking.
At this the man gave a wicked smile. He need only get within a few feet of the kenshin and his power would restore him and give him what he needed to take back what had been stolen from him: Rule over the planet Avinor.
The man's eyes opened, his smile fading when he heard a strong feminine voice call out "Lights!"
The room instantly flared with light, illuminating two figures of contrasting sizes and appearances. For the woman was tall and olive skinned, with bright blue eyes and dark flowing hair that hung in straight lines around her pretty face. The man she eyed in concern however was smaller, pale and painfully thin with cropped hair the color of snow.
He shifted slightly, turning his head to reveal a golden metallic band wrapped around his forehead. The red glow from the stone had dissipated leaving only a black jewel encased in it's center . His dull gray eyes stared straight ahead, not registering the woman who approached him.
"Spying on me again Alyssia?" He spoke in a slow, even tone, his features revealing nothing of what had just transpired.
The woman slowed her stride stopping beside the man who turned to face her.
"What are you doing in here Koba? " She asked in alarm. "You should be in your room resting."
Kobe smiled softly. "I was restless Alyssia. My salvation is close at hand and I.." His voice broke. Beads of perspiration formed upon his face. Short, raspy breaths escaped from his thin lips as he fought for air. Koba's balance began to falter causing him to tilt towards Alyssia.
The young woman stretched out her hand, clasping Koba's arm firmly, steadying him. "Brother please. You should be resting, not wandering around in the darkness."
Koba clenched his jaw, straightening his slender frame with the help of his walking stick. "You forget sister, darkness is all that I see." He said heatedly, finding his voice.
Alyssia released her grip and shook her head as she silently watched her frail sibling push forward toward an enormous window showcasing a large planet orbited by two small moons the color of dust. She wanted to help him, but knew his pride wouldn't allow for it.
Koba stopped within a few inches of the window and held out a shaky hand, pressing his palm upon the fortified material. "Tell me sister," He spoke slowly. "Which room are we currently in?"
Alyssia's brow furrowed as she studied her brother in concern. "We are on the bridge." She answered. "Why do you ask?"
Koba frowned. "I have no memory of how I got up here Alyssia. Is that not strange?"
Alyssia said nothing, waiting for him to continue.
"I am so tired Alyssia." He added, his face a mask of concentration. "Tired and weak. And I am afraid. Afraid to move. Afraid the each breath I take may be my last." He paused for emphasis as a rattling rush of air left his lips.
Alyssia watched him in pained silence.
"Such a strange thing, fear." Koba continued. "Strange what it will make a person do, the lengths one will go to be rid of it. It is my fear of death that has brought us here to Calbon. To the kenshin's home planet. With his power I will be restored to my full strength and I will reclaim the throne of Avinor."
Alyssia frowned. As much as she loved her brother, she did not like his method of restoring his health. "Are you sure the kenshin will help you? Those thugs you hired to attack Calbon have caused more than a few deaths. You know I don't approve of this Koba. The council would not approve of ..."
Koba snapped his head toward her. "It was the council who did this to me! The council who ordered me banished from the planet for fear I would infect others! Those fools have no idea what it's like to waste away, to be unable to walk in open air, to see only darkness!" Koba snarled furiously.
Alyssia stiffened, falling silent during his tirade. He had been quick to anger ever since he became infected with this dreaded disease. But this latest outburst frightened her. Any prolonged stress to his body could kill him.
As if reading her mind, Koba quickly relaxed his features. "I am sorry." He apologized softly, turning back to the window. "And you are right. The council would not approve. The deaths suffered are unfortunate but necessary." He added with a wave of his hand.
Alyssia was appalled at his nonchalance. How could he say that? How could her own flesh and blood be so cold hearted to the suffering of others. " Is there no other way Koba? Could you not have contacted the kenshin yourself rather than this cruel subterfuge?"
Koba lifted his hand to his forehead, stroking the black jewel that adorned his metallic band. He had never lied to his sister before. But he could not tell her what he had in store. What the stone had in store. The dark stone he touched would take the life-force of the kenshin, transferring his power and memory to Koba. The kenshin would not survive.
Alyssia's eyes narrowed as she watched her brother touch the jewel. Ever since he had found that stone, his outbursts became more frequent, his behavior more erratic, but try as she might, Koba would not part with it. She did not like his silence. "Koba?" She repeated, her voice tinged with fear.
Koba answered some seconds later. "This is the only way Alyssia. Trust me." He answered, his voice distant. Soon , Ryan of the kenshin, your power will be mine.
A blinding white flash of light exploded high above the planet of Calbon. A large silver ship emerged from within the rapidly fading light. It was the Nozomi, the kenshin's ship. Inside the cockpit, Ryan unlocked the safety harness strapped across his shoulders and chest, giving a weary sigh as he brought his left hand up to rub his tired neon blue eyes. So much had happened within the twelve hours. Tenchi and he had tracked down the dark kenshins Kylia and Bagon, who had kidnapped their loved ones, stealing their power in an attempt to destroy the planet Jurai. The battle had been ferocious, nearly costing the kenshin his life. But in the end they had prevailed. Tenchi had destroyed the dark ones and the universe was safe once more. Or was it?
Ryan had been thrust into another crisis. One that could bring the death of billions. For Calbon was the crown jewel of the Juraian territory. Rich in natural resources, Calbon was composed of sixty percent land ( over half of which was used for farming ) and forty percent fresh water making it an ideal place to grow the food necessary to supply most of the planets scattered throughout the territory.
The destruction of Calbon's crops would cripple not only the territory but Jurai as well. And yet that had not happened. Most of Calbon's crops had been left alone.
Ryan was puzzled. If the assailants were not bent on bringing down Jurai, what was the motivation?
A sudden presence entered his senses, dark and ominous, assaulting his consciousness for a split second before recoiling into nothingness once more. Ryan scanned the darkness of space before him. The presence he had felt was old, evil and powerful. More powerful than anything he had encountered before. His gaze settled upon the twin moons of Calbon and his eyes narrowed. Ryan performed a quick sensor sweep for signs of life. The results came back negative. Everything appeared normal.
But it's not. Ryan thought in slight apprehension. Not at all.
I wish Washu was here. Her technical expertise could decipher what my eyes and feelings cannot. I wish the others were with me. I wish Ryoko.. Ryan gave a violent shake of his head. It would not do well to dwell on such things. He had a mission to complete, his wishes and feelings were irrelevant right now.
An insistent beep caught Ryan's attention. Looking down, the kenshin tapped the flashing blue button near his steering column. The image of a young man in military dress popped up on the center cockpit screen. His deep purple eyes reflecting the seriousness in his tone.
"You are in restricted air space mister. Identify yourself." He demanded sharply
Ryan gave an inward sigh, reminding himself not to take anything personally, the officer was only doing his duty. "This is the ship Nozomi and I am Ryan, a kenshin knight sent by the Juraian council to help you in your hour of need." He answered, his tone cooler than he intended.
The young man's eyes widened. "I'm..So sorry sir.." He stammered. "I meant no disrespect." He added, his pale face reddening in embarrassment. "We were told you were coming, but they didn't mention when."
Ryan gave a wave of his hand. "It is all right officer. But I am tired and my ship needs to be refueled so if you would be so kind as to give me the appropriate coordinates so I can land."
The officer looked around frantically. "Uh.. Yes sir." He replied, going off screen. Rustling paper could be heard in the background which stopped abruptly as the officer returned on screen, his cap tilted to the side, tufts of straight black hair stuck out at different angles. A piece of folded paper was clutched in his gloved hand which the officer quickly read. "Here it is sir. Your coordinates are as follows. Proceed to sector 6.35 near the city of Caladras. Captain Valader will be waiting for you there."
Ryan gave a curt nod. "Thank you lieutenant Canales."
The young man appeared startled but quickly composed himself as if remembering the kenshin was telepathic. He gave a final salute before the screen went blank.
Ryan frowned. Caladras. It had been so long since he had been to the principle city of Calbon. He had not set foot on his home world in over ten years. Not since... Ryan closed his eyes. I will not relive that memory! He told himself fiercely, clenching his jaw. The kenshin forced the thought away by focusing on the task at hand. Opening his eyes, Ryan let out a small breath, straightening in his seat. He gave the two moons one last long hard look before helming the controls. The Nozomi began a calculated descent through Calbon's atmosphere. Once through, Ryan veered right, steering Nozomi towards the city of Caladras that towered above the flat land some distance away.
Okay. I know that wasn't the most exciting stuff I've ever written but believe me it's necessary to set up the story. It will get better I promise. As before, any reviews would be good. And any suggestions would be considered. Tenchi and the gang will be in the next episode, I promise! And if you want me to bring more Tenchi/Ayeka interaction into the story let me know. Thanks.