Tenchi Muyo: Conquest! One's Own Honor: Final
"Oh my god," Honor Harrington breathed out, standing on her flag bridge as the admiral junior grade waited.
"Bleek," Nimitz agreed, the treecat holding on to her shoulder to peer out into space.
Eighth fleet was spread out on the front lines, now reinforced to have the numbers to hold the line if needed. And they had, fighting off both Jurain tree ships, Galaxy police crews and many of the allies of that great star nation, not yielding this vital forward point, keeping the route open to launch an attack on the Jurai homeworld itself. The strain was telling on the ships, field repairs and battle scars marking them, but to those who knew they were badges of honor.
"Glad to see us?" Ryouko asked with a grin. The blue haired ruler of Manticore stood on the bridge of the Washu's Revenge, the massive vessel leading several of the boxy craft that were the latest products of Manticore and Griffin's shipyards. More seriously she said, "You've done a hell of a job out here the past few months, thank you."
"Ma'am," Honor nodded, "my crews' thank you."
"Are those what I think they are?" Captain Michelle Henke asked, the dusky skinned captain looking at the vessels eagerly.
Washu chuckled, the small, redheaded scientist nodding, "They're ready, crews too."
"Then we're finally ready," Honor murmured.
"Come aboard the Revenge," Ryouko said quietly, "we're organizing a captain's meeting. It's time to get ready to end this."
Not long after Honor and Michelle walked the corridors of the Revenge, heading to the main conference hall, Nimitz cradled in Honor's arms "It's strange," Michelle murmured as they reached the doors, "how long ago it feels since we were here."
"As long as you're with me," Honor murmured, "it could have been forever."
With a blush of pleasure Michelle followed Honor into the conference room, eyes sweeping the table. Both familiar and several unfamiliar faces were at the table, a sign of the rapid promotions that had been going on in this time of war.
"Welcome," Kiyone looked up, her long black hair falling down her back. She looked good in her Manticore uniform, having clearly settled in to her new role on Ryouko's staff.
"Yo," Minagi nodded, but the blue haired young woman's face was grim. Her lover Nagi had been sent on a mission to Jurai months ago and had quite simply vanished. Her determination to find out what happened positively radiated off her, as did her anger.
Ryouko looked up from the head of the table where she was in conversation with Washu and Yume. "About time," she grinned, moving to take her seat. Around the table men and women sat a few junior officers leaning up against the walls. Seriously she said, "You've done the hard work out here, keeping Jurai bottled up here, good work."
Honor actually blushed, seemingly at a loss for words.
Washu looked amused, the little redheaded scientist taking pity as she activated the monitor. "We've kept our research projects under tight security," she explained, "so many of you in this room don't know al the details of what we're hauling."
"Or at least nothing but the name," Titan commented, the brown haired young woman smiling.
"Bleek," Nimitz sounded amused.
"Starting from designs from the Griffon Navy," Washu showed images of a small, agile strike craft, "we've designed a powerful space vessel that crews one and is far more maneuverable than any larger vessel."
Minagi smiled slightly, "What took the longest was getting the assembly lies going and training the pilots, really. That and modifying transports to carry them."
"How effective are they going to be?" Michelle asked, leaning forward intently.
"Yohko?" Ryouko nodded to the young woman.
Yamamoto Yohko nodded, her long hair and almost catlike eyes giving her an impish look. "We took our first few fighters out on a test run in a remote border skirmish," she related as she stood casually in front of the assembled captains, "there were just four fighters and three cruisers against six Jurain third generation treeships."
Minagi grinned, "None of the treeships escaped."
"What's the tactical doctrine for using the fighters?" Honor asked intently, "How long will we have to shake down our combined fleets?"
"A week," Ryouko answered. She sighed and waited for all the protests to die down before continuing, "I know that's not long, but one of the best advantages we're going to get is keeping the fighters a secret. The longer we delay the attack, the more likely that Jurai or the Galaxy Police are going to find out about them."
"We'll get it done," Yohko said firmly.
"I notice you just mentioned Jurai and Galaxy Police," Michelle noted, "does that mean what I think it does?"
Kiyone nodded with a grin, "Most of Jurai's allies have formally declined to help them defend planet Jurai." She paused, her eyes filled with a kind of regret, "The only major hold out is Galaxy Police, and it looks like they'll be there till the end."
"After all of this is over someone is going to have to take a serious look at how deep Jurai was in with the Galaxy Police," Yume noted from where the scientist sat by her lover Washu, "I still can't believe the Marshal would go to war for them."
"Let's not get too overconfident," Ryouko looked around the room with steely eyes. "We'll be facing first generation treeships alongside the best of the Galaxy Police, ships that are more powerful than anything our fleet has fought before," she reminded them.
Honor surprised herself by speaking up, "Maybe so, but I'm confident in our people." She paused, meeting Ryouko's eyes, "And confident in our leader."
"You got that right," Minagi grinned, noting with some amusement that her sister was the one blushing, this time.
"All right, all right," Ryouko quieted down her captains again. "Everyone head back to your ships," she said, "we have a week of simulated combat runs with the fighters to go through." As the captains filed out she called, "Honor?"
"I hope I didn't mess up your speech too much," Honor said softly, Michelle lingering nearby, "I don't normally give in to impulse like that."
"Couldn't have planned it better myself," Ryouko answered. She smiled, "No insult intended but I plan to be on the Revenge during the assault. You've been in command of the system up to now, so I thought you should know."
"Washu's Revenge is the best place for you to be," Honor said frankly, "especially if this gets as hairy as I think it will."
"You think it's going to get nasty too?" Ryouko said.
"This is Jurai's last stand," Honor answered frankly, "if it gets desperate they're going to throw everything they have at us."
"About what I thought," Ryouko agreed. She looked over at Michelle a second, then back at Honor, "Did I ever tell you I was attracted to you when we first met?"
"Eh?" Honor blinked, confused by the sudden change of topic.
Ryouko laughed softly, "I hope Captain Henke knows what sort of prize she has." With that the Empress left, still chuckling to herself softly.
Later that night Honor and Michelle lay in bed together, talking softly. "I still can't believe she said that," Honor murmured, cheeks flaming.
"That's because you don't understand how attractive you are," Michelle answered. She toyed with Honor's short brow hair, "What do you think will happen?"
"I don't know," Honor admitted, "but I'm hopeful we'll win."
"I mean after that," Michelle answered.
"Defeating Jurai's fleet is only the start," Honor said, "Ryouko then gets to fight the harder war to win over the people." She paused before adding, "I almost think our job is going to be easier."
"I wouldn't go that far," Michelle chuckled. She cuddled close, "No matter what happens, I'm glad that I have you."
Honor held Michelle to her, breathing in her scent, "Me too."
Outside in the suite Nimitz curled up in front of the door, a disgusted look on the treecat's face over being locked out of the bedroom. "Bleek," he grumped and lay down to sleep.
Notes: the story continues in Tenchi Muyo Conquest, hosted on and the My intent here was to get into the backstory of Tenchi Muyo Conquest, most of it told from Honor Harrington's perspective, and I think I've managed pretty well. I'm still thinking of doing a story after Conquest, too, but it's not coming any time soon.