Chapter 4 of my InuYasha sci-fi fanfic. Truth be told, I was tempted to wait several more months before updating this, mainly because I was mad I didn't get the reviews I was expecting. Normally, when people say they like your story, the author would expect them to say so in the following chapter.

But I'll let it go. I just lost sight on my reasons for writing this fic. Lynn-Minmay-imouto-chan fell in love with it, so that's reason enough to continue with it. Plus, I just wanted to write a really good InuYasha science-fiction, I don't see many of those. Also, I wanna get those one-thousand-plus reviews I see other fan-authors get!

Straight up, everyone, if you like the story and you want to see more, please TELL ME! Reviews encourages authors to keep going!

Alright, my call-to-action speech is over. Onward with the science-fiction/ fantasy/ action-adventure and whatever other genre I can think of! Have-a-little-faith-in-me-san, thank you a million for giving me the ultra-empowering review I wanted and needed. Because of that, I dedicate this chapter to you!

Enjoy!


Bakudai Kakera
Chapter 4

Kagome looked out through the windows as the ship sailed on through space to the pirates' home planet. She saw a few other spacecrafts come up the path; a luxury cruise ship caught her attention as she anticipated the pirates' reaction. The pirate ship came in sight and the cruise ship immediately readied its defenses for attack.

Ryo signaled for them to be at ease; they were in no mood for looting and terrorizing. The cruise ship's crew, as well as their captain, looked puzzled as such as thing was unheard of. They stayed on guard, thinking it was a trick but saw the pirates had almost completely passed them by and made no attempt to attack. The captain found the situation strange, but was no fool to provoke them to wrath.

Kagome watched as the cruise ship sped away. She didn't understand the pirates' behavior, thinking maybe they'd want to loot for the fun of it. They went about their business, tending to whatever duties they had as if all was well. However, since Koga had fallen ill, the atmosphere inside the ship was quite melancholic. The pirates trying their best not to let it affect them.

Kagome walked about aimlessly. She didn't know how long it would be until they reached their destination and decided to get familiar with the ship. As she turned a corner, Kagome found one of the pirates mopping the floor, whistling a merry tune. He seemed a little older than the others, appearing in his early forties.

He glanced up and found her staring at him. "What ye ogle at, young lass? Ne'er seen a swab swabbin' the deck?"

Kagome blinked, apologizing for her rudeness. "No, it's just everyone else around here looks down, but you're kind of cheery."

The pirate straightened up, his features softening. "Ah, ye wonder where me concern for the captain Koga be, do ye? Well, tears and lookin' downcast ain't gonna help 'im none. The captain be avertin' the path to Davy Jone's locker many a time. A strong one he is and will recover in the best shape, he will."

He smirked proudly but Kagome could see it was a false face. Seeing that shesaw through him, the pirate sighed in defeat.

"I be poor at hidin' the truth, eh lass?"

Kagome looked sympathetic. "I know you're all still worried about your captain, sir. Men don't show it like women do, but you still worry."

The pirate gave a little smirk at her concern. "Indeed ye don't affiliate with Kikyo. Ye are too kindly opposed to the brazen demoness."

He quickly finished up his work and leaned on his mop, looking down at the cleaned floor.

"Aye, ye speak truthfully as I do false. I worry greatly for the captain Koga. I fear for him as well." His voice grew quiet.

"But it's okay, right? He's a very strong demon who's lived through a lot, he'll be over this very soon." Kagome beamed with hope.

The pirate wanted to accept her optimism but shook his head and waved his hand, dismissing the statement.

"Nay, lass, nay. I speak falsely again. The words were merely to give me comfort. The captain Koga spoke the same words many a moon ago, not willin' to be brought down by any force. In actuality, he grows weaker and weaker with each cough, and the full blown attacks wreak devastation upon his body. The captain coughed a great deal, but ne'er before had he brought up blood such as what we had just seen. I be fearful Koga will not be much longer for this world, I do."

The pirate looked up and found Kagome's hand on his shoulder. Upon questioning her, he found he had been trembling at little and she just tried to calm him some.

"Many thanks for your kindness. Well, I shan't be dallyin', young lass, much more work than this." Tipping his cap to her, he took his mop and bucket and went off to his other duties.

Kagome continued her tour of the pirate ship, watching as others passed by. She came across the kitchen, trying not to be so amused that its interior was so elaborate and shiny whereas the rest of the ship was not.

"No wonder they're all so built." Kagome joked to herself. "I bet they eat very well."

"As well we should, young'un! A wolf pirate must be well nourished for looting and pillaging!"

Kagome was startled by the loud voice and was gently moved to the side by the cook as he entered the kitchen. He was a tall fellow, heavyset with a big Buddha belly. The cook looked down at Kagome, who smiled up at him nervously with a teardrop. He chuckled and patted her shoulder, a broad smile on his lips.

"Don't worry, little missy. I'm the gentle one here, I'm not rough like the others. Well, unless you try to take my dinner away! AHAHAHA!"

The cook's bellowing laughter made Kagome a little more nervous, but eased her at the same time. She started to leave as he got started cooking for the crew, when she stopped and asked where the captain's quarters were.

"It's down the hall right outside the door here. It's the fourth door at the end of the hall to your left. Why? Do you wish to see the captain, missy?"

The cook saw Kagome's compassion for him; he made the captain's favorite dish and gave it to her to give to him. Kagome followed his directions and as she reached the end of the hall, peeked around the corner. She found Hakkaku leaving the room. He sighed heavily, his face dark and downcast. Hakkaku bowed his head, uttered something under his breath. Kagome watched quietly as he walked down the hall, hearing him sniffle.

He must've been praying. Kagome thought sadly.

She approached the door and very carefully opened it. The room was dark and looked like a hospital. All kinds of medical equipment filled the shelves along with various medicines, herbs and notes for different remedies. There were even several amulets and magical charms accompanied by two spell books on a table beside the shelf. Kagome stared at them all.

"Koga must be very sick for all this to be here. Is he as bad as that pirate said?"

"Worse."

A quiet raspy voice startled her from her audible thoughts. To her side was Koga, his hair let down from its ponytail, and laying atop a bed of silk coverings, his head resting on a large soft pillow. His blue narrowed eyes glowed dully in the dark as they peered at Kagome. Koga's glare softened when he saw her looking a little scared.

"Don't worry, I won't bite you." Koga said feebly.

"I don't suppose you could even if you wanted." Kagome replied softly.

She sat beside his bed when Koga turned away, trying his best to suppress another cough. Kagome was about to offer the food when he went into another hacking fit, blood dripping from his hand covering his mouth. Koga heaved fiercely, wiping the blood with a fresh cloth beside him. Kagome saw five others in a bin at the head of his bed, all of them heavily stained red. Koga hunched over, his face grimacing tightly as he tried to regain his breath.

"Does it hurt badly?" Kagome asked in pity.

"Like hell." Koga managed to answer, falling against onto his pillow.

He glanced to his side and found Kagome offering him the dish, noting her smile.

"I thought you might be hungry. The cook told me this was your favorite."

Koga eyed her and the food, then turned away. Kagome blinked in confusion; she had heard his stomach rumble and indicated he was hungry.

"Captain?" She asked, hinting.

"No."

Kagome questioned him but Koga repeated his answer. She put the bowl aside and checked for a fever, moving his headband out of the way. He stared up at her, wondering where she got the gall to do that, then tried not to blush at Kagome's soft hands.

"You've got a bad fever." Kagome concluded. "You've got to eat, otherwise it'll get worse."

Once again Kagome presented him with the food again, but Koga held up his hand in refusal.

"I don't want it."

Kagome stared, wondering, then listened his voice. Earlier, the captain's voice boomed with power, lively amidst his illness. Now it was listless, almost destitute.

Koga took note of Kagome's silence. He saw she was still there, looking at him.

"You're not offended, are you?" He asked, wondering why she had such a pitiful look in her eyes.

Kagome shook her head. "No, you don't sound well. I know you're sick, but your voice just now...

"It sounded as if you've lost your will to live."

Kogafell silent.

"You've got good intuition."

Kagome was shocked. "What? Why? Why would you want to die?"

Koga looked back at Kagome curiously, intrigued by her sudden concern for him. Kagome misinterpreted his visage, thinking he was annoyed.

"I'm sorry if I'm getting on your nerves. That's just unsettling to hear." Kagome apologized. "Why do you want to die? You're a captain. Your men need you."

Koga answered solemnly, "I've been like this for a while. My men don't need a burden for a captain. I'd have said dead-weight but that would've gotten you uptight again."

Koga paused again, thinking he felt another coughing fit coming and tried to force it down. He waited a couple of minutes, then calmly exhaled when he thought it had passed.

I'm gonna regret that. They always come back worse. "I'm alright before you ask... I suppose you've been wondering how I got like this?"

"It's not my business, but I was curious." Kagome answered. "I'm sure a pirate wouldn't tell their business to just anyone."

Koga flashed a weak smirk. "For someone who whipped Kikyo's ass, you're quite humble, Kagome, was it?"

She looked down at her hands, nodding. Something about the captain and his smooth voice made her face flush pink.

"Yes, you remembered?" Kagome tried to think of something to say.

"You hollered it so clearly it rang in my ears." Koga joked, thinking it'd lighten the atmosphere.

"Me and my men weren't always pirates. We lived on a planet called iImakaou as tribespeople. We were a rough bunch but overall we were a peaceful people; we didn't go around looking for trouble. Then the Queen Bitch showed up and tried to take over our world. It'd have been one thing if she had simply forced us all off the land, but she went about killing everyone in her way. To hell if they were willing to live as her servants, Kikyo didn't even find them worthy of that. Needless to say war broke out since we weren't gonna take that. We fought like hell, but in the end, we lost. Those that had survived flew into exile underground.

"Kikyo abandoned iImakaou after not even four years. We found out that she wanted the planet for its resources for her empire. iImakaou was also well-known for its jewels and precious stones; she took them for her own wants. Those four years of living in hiding were harsh and many died. We scrounged whatever resources were left behind, built a craft and searched for a new place to live. When our food and supplies ran low, we started looting to survive. We never killed our victims; I swore never stain my hands with innocent blood. I wouldn't be like Kikyo.

"Anyway, back to your question, we crossed paths with Kikyo some years later and decided to get revenge for our suffering. We raided her mothership and did battle. Her soldiers killed many of my crew but it seemed like we had the gods' favor. Seeing as we took out a lot of them, it seemed that way. But then they set a massive fire and retreated to their escape pods, Kikyo had set her ship for self-destruct. My men made it back to our craft and were about to take off, when I saw one of my firstmates, Ginta, was missing. Without a thought for my own safety, I went back on Kikyo's ship and found him in her quarters under a pile of equipment that had fallen on him. The room was filled with smoke so I barely saw him. I got him out just as the stuff in there exploded. We got back to our ship and hightailed it outta there just as Kikyo's mothership detonated.

"Several days later, I came down with a fever and was bed-ridden for two days. For a month after that, my body was so stiff and sore I could barely move around without help. I was fine after that, with no ailments for three weeks. I had thought that was the end of it, but it was all just beginning...

"At first, it just felt as if my throat was just dry, but it worsened. A cough, another some time later. This went on for eight days. Then I started coughing so bad I couldn't breathe. When I started hacking up several ounces of blood at a time, I was convinced I had some kind of disease. Hakkaku and Ginta were brought up as doctors and medicine men in our tribe and tried to cure me, but they couldn't even decipher what I had. My symptoms acted too sporadically and spontaneous. My men began to fear for my life and sought out other doctors. Each time I got near one, my symptoms toned down and were dismissed as signs of a minor infection. They would later come back, ten times worse than before. Five years have gone by since then."

Koga paused after talking so much, trying to further suppress another cough.

His hair covered his eyes, "I'm not going to live much longer. I'm only getting worse; I'm wasting away by the hour. I have no desire to stay and be grievance. I already spoke with Hakkaku. When I die, he'll take my place as captain. I can do nothing further for my crew."

The room fell silent again. Koga figured Kagome was saddened with his decision. He started to speak to ease her mind when he found she was at the table mixing medicines together.

Koga sighed. "Medicines won't do me any good, Kagome. This disease repels any I take. Whatever you're making isn't going to help me."

Kagome continued mixing. "If your desire is to die, captain, I've no choice but to respect it. Just the same, I can't allow you to die in pain."

She handed Koga a small bowl with vapors streaming from it. Kagome smiled to herself when he sniffed the liquid and looked at her curiously.

"It's a remedy my grandmother taught me. It'll soothe your throat and at least make your coughing less painful." Kagome said, hoping it would be of some help to him.

Koga stared at Kagome. The look in his eyes was soft and warm, and for once second... seemed longing. Koga blinked in embarassmentwhen hesaw her raising a curious eyebrow at him. Realizing he was staring, he lowered his eyes to the bowl, looking at the liquid inside.

"Thanks for you company, but I'd like to be alone now."

Kagome nodded, heading toward the door.

"Captain?"

"...What?"

"No one wants to be a grievance to anyone they care about. I understand your reasons for wanting to die, but I have to say they're very one-sided."

Koga glanced up at Kagome, her words tugging at him. "How do you figure that?"

"Your feelings are told from your point of view. How can your men think of you as a burden or a dead-weight when they went out of their way to try and find a cure for you? I talked with one of them and he was very worried about your condition. He tried to hide it, but I could hear him sound asif he would cry. As I was walking here, I saw Hakkaku saying a prayer for you, he was little more open and let outhis tears."

Koga remained silent.

"I can tell you're a great man, captain. Your men know it too; that's why they don't want to lose you. When your time comes, then nothing more can be done. In the meantime, you should stay with them a while longer."

She said her piece and left the room. Koga still said nothing, but was touched by those kind words. He drank the medicine, finding its sweet peppermint taste soothing.

Kagome walked down the halls, resuming her tour of the pirate ship. She came across a room, appearing to be an indoor garden with thick glass windows giving a grand view of space. Wanting to give her feet a rest, Kagome entered and sat under an oak tree, looking the stars.

Hakkaku walked in the room, carrying a large plate of barbequed meat and grumbling about the cook making fun of his mohawk. He shoved a rib into his mouth when he saw Kagome. He gave a casual greeting and sat next to her, placing the plate beside him. The delicious smell of the meat caused Kagome's stomach to growl. She remembered she hadn't eaten anything since being kidnapped.

"You hungry, Kagome? Have some." Hakkaku offered, seeing she couldn't keep her eyes off the plate.

Kagome thanked him and wolfed down half the meat. The wolf pirate stared incredulously as she ate, and when she finally got her fill.

"I'd have lost an arm in there!" He exclaimed.

Kagome caught herself and apologized for eating so much. Hakkaku thought nothing of it; he was happy he had enough to spare. Ginta later dropped in on them, teasingly asking if he was "interrupting anything".


Captain Ueda hurriedly made his way to Queen Kikyo's throne roomas ordered. She had sounded rather angry about something and he dared not provoke her further. Her doors opened upon his arrival.

"Enter, Captain." The queen summoned.

Ueda did as ordered, walking down the long red carpet. Kikyo's eyes were cold and still, her face like stone; the captain felt a jolt in his spine but retained his composure. He stopped before her throne and bowed.

"Her Majesty summons me?"

"Yes, she does, Captain." Kikyo's voice contradicted her appearance.

An icy smile curled her lips. "Be at ease, Captain Ueda. I am in good spirits now. Come."

Kikyo lead him into another room where she hadrelocated the Shikon no Tama. The jewel rested on a red silken pillow atop a crystal pillar. It glowed vividly upon Kikyo's arrival. Captain Ueda watched as the queen caressed and worshipped the jewel, asking it if had missed her. The Shikon no Tama's glow slowly flashed twice, as if answering her. It then turned red with swirls of black for five seconds and returned to its original pinkish white.

"I see," Kikyo uttered, pleased. "It is finally finished."

She looked behind her and found the captain standing idly by. Kikyo called him to stand beside her; he would have a better view of what he was to see.

"I beg your pardon, exalted one," Ueda spoke subserviently, "But why has her Majesty chosen this captain for the privilege of being in the presence of the Shikon no Tama? I am most unworthy."

The Shikon no Tama hovered above Kikyo's palm, shining. Kikyo smiled euphorically as the jewel communicated with her.

"In regards to your question, you are my most faithful and trusted servant. Those who have served me so devotedly earn my trust. As for you, Captain Ueda, I decided you deserved a reward for diligence in carrying out my will within my empire.

Ueda smiled humbly and bowed, "I am most honored, your excellency. What is it her highness dubbed me worthy to witness?"

"My gaining more power." Kikyo responded with a devious grin.

"The Shikon no Tama has decided to grant me the ability to see all through its eyes. I have regained my telepathic powers in a sense. Tell me, Captain, do you recall the skirmish between your men and the wolf-demon pirates five years ago?"

"Yes, my queen. That dog, Koga, indulged in mocking me for our defeat." Ueda hissed at his new nickname "Captain Asswipe"

The queen's chuckle brought him out of his seething. "Would you like to see the wolf captain suffer for taunting you?"

"I would, Majesty. Any being that would taunt the great monarch, I would love to see them die." Ueda emphasized.

Kikyo's wicked smile grew.

"Then you shall receive your wish, loyal captain. I have heard years ago that wolves are holders of some mystical powers. I am unfamiliar with this myth, but I assume they're to be discovered upon catching one. I plan to see for myself if such a myth is true."

"Ah I see, Majesty." Ueda chimed. "You plan to wear his skin as a cloak to gain whatever powers he may possess."

Kikyo teardropped and stared in space as that was not what she had in mind. She regained her wicked visage when she reconsidered it.

"Not my exact sentiment, but at the same time, a very good suggestion. You may have the pelt as a trophy if you so desire." She enjoyed seeing Ueda's anticipation as the glowing jewel allowed her a view of Koga lying asleep in his bed.

"There is something else I require of him."

"Will you shut up, Hakkaku! I dropped a meinin there! I didn't even see the handle!" Ginta hollered in embarrassment.(A/N: one mein equals twenty-five cents)

"You nearly gave your mama a heart attack, Ginta! When you stand on the toilet,watch what you're doing. Don't flush yourself into the next county! HA HA!" Hakkaku taunted, laughing louder ashis comradefumed.

Ginta glanced at Kagome and found her trying very hard to hold back her laughter. A few snickers escaped her when she met his comical frown.

"Who's side are you on anyway, Kagome?"

She let out her laughter. "I'm sorry, but that's too funny!"

Hakkaku rubbed it in more. "Isn't it though? He'sour villageidiot!"

"At least I didn't get wasted on plum wine during the New Moon Festival and ran streaking in the swamp and told a crocodile his mother was hot!" Ginta retaliated, resulting in Kagome nearly dying with laughter.

Hakkaku twitched in mortification as he remembered that. Kagome listened to the two wolves slam each other with more embarrassing memories while eating another rib. She tried not to laugh too hard when they remembered putting several layers of make up on Koga's body as he slept.

"Man, did he kick our asses that day!" Hakkaku laughed.

"Yeah, then he stuck us both in the washing machine during the spin cycle!" Ginta howled.

The wolves shifted from dissing each other to reminiscing of their good times with Koga.

Kagome found it nice. "I figured the entire crew was close to the captain, but you three seem particularly tight."

Hakkaku and Ginta fell silent, their smiles weakening. Ginta's eyes blinked repeatedly as he tried to fight tears from forming. Hakkaku tried to pull the both of them together.

"I'm sorry, I must not know when to shut up." Kagome apologized, fearing she had hit a sensitive spot.

"No, no, it's not that, Kagome." Ginta spoke up after collecting himself. "It's just that's kinda the problem; the three of us are really tight-knit."

"Yeah," Hakkaku added, his tone downcast, "We're the best medics in the pack, but we never could find a cure for Koga. We couldn't even at least ease his pain."

Kagome felt for them as they looked on at space. "The rest of the crew seems like their taking the captain's ailment pretty well, or at least, they're trying to."

"We're all really shook up about Koga. Everyone else is gonna lose a great captain. Me and Hakkaku are gonna lose a great brother."

That caught Kagome by surprise. "He's your brother? Blood brother?"

Ginta and Hakkaku's faces brightened, beaming with pride. "Yup, eldest brother. Ginta and I are twins."

"I guess Hakkaku chose his mohawk so people could tell you two apart." Kagome joked. "So which one's the baby?"

"The unpotty-trained one." Hakkaku pointed his thumb at Ginta.

He sat up proudly amidst the taunt, bragging smugly. "Maybe so, but out of the three of us, I was mama's favorite."

Steam puffed from Hakkaku's head. "You're the runt, Ginta! Of course, she had to give you extra attention! That doesn't make you her favorite! Where'd you get that idea anyway?"

Ginta kept his smug grin. "I had the most sense. I wasn't likely to go streaking and bringing a crocodile into the family line."

Kagome and Ginta cracked up when Hakkaku screamed "let it go!". Ginta got even more smug and threw in several comments about his brother's "anatomy", lack thereof. Next thing he knew, Hakkaku had him in a headlock and giving him a rough noogie. Kagome watched as they got into a playful scuffle, finding it a little cute.

They look like two puppies playing...and biting each other's ears. How adorable. She chuckled.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Ginta and Hakkaku froze in place as a scream echoed loudly throughout the ship. It sounded again, even louder. They and Kagome rushed to the entrance when Ryo and three others ran down the hall past them.

"Ryo! What's going on? Are we under attack?" Hakkaku shouted.

"Hakkaku! Ginta! Come quickly! It's Koga! He's having another attack!"

They hurried to the captain's quarters. Kagome followed close behind, feeling that jolt in her stomach again and sensing evil was present.

The pirates arrived at the door, finding a crowd near the entrance. Ryo barked for them to make way for the pack doctors, then stopped when a red light shone outside the door. Ryo's instincts held him in place as he knew something was not right.

"What the hell is that-"

The light darkened blood red and Koga shrieked. Ignoring his instincts, Ryo unsheathed his sword and ran inside the room. Others followed then immediately stopped.

A dome of evil energy swirled with red and black around Koga's bed. Inside it, the captain laid, grimacing and gnashing his teeth harshly as he clutched his chest and strained in pain.

The other pirates stared in fear at the dome, their instincts screaming 'danger'. Ryo saw his captain was in pain and charged at the dome. His sword struck its surface andupon impact, Ryo was electrified by its negative energy and repelled, being thrown against the wall. He fell to the floor, unconscious, his body steaming.

Ginta and Hakkaku made their way into the room with Kagome behind them. Sensing the evil aura, they got the magic charms and spells to break the dome, but had no effect. They tried again and were repelled in the same way as Ryo, but avoided impact with the wall.

"What kind of evil is this?" The pirates exclaimed, fearful.

The dome's power grew as did its size. Upon the dome pulsing, Koga's eyes flew open and strained even harsher, his grip on his chest tightening as his pain escalated. The pirates looked on in anguish. They wanted to help their captain, but could not get near him. Shrieks escaped Koga as the red and black energies flashed. Ginta tried to figure out what exactly was happening when he looked closely.

"What...! Something's moving in his chest!" He shouted.

Everyone looked and saw something inside Koga's chestpushing against his hand, trying to escape! He pushed back to keep it down, screaming in agony as it defied him and forced itself against his hand.

"Koga!" Hakkaku screamed.

"My heart...!" Koga struggled. "Something-AHHH!- Something's grabbing my heart!"

The crew's fright heightened as blood trickled from the edge of Koga's mouth.

Kikyo stood before the red and black Shikon no Tama, tightening and slackening her fist and watching Koga writhe and scream. Ueda watched in pleasure at his queen's enjoyment.

"That looks like fun, Majesty." Ueda remarked.

Kikyo chuckled in affirmation. "It is, Captain. Try it."

The power temporarily turned over to him, Ueda made weak gripping gestures and watched Koga react. A malicious smile spreading across his face, he opened his palm and allowed Koga a break. Just when he had caught his breath, Ueda savagely tightened his fist and twisted it sharply side to side! Blood sputtered from Koga's mouth as he shrieked at the top of his lungs and was thrown side to side of the bed, his grip on his chest so tight, his claws tore into his skin!

Ueda laughed in amusementas his queen reclaimed her power.

"I told you it was fun! Five years of waiting and it has paid off."

"Waiting, my queen?"

"Yes," Kikyo explained, "I had heard of the wolf's mythical powers and wished to see for myself if the claims where true. However, it lies only within the alpha male of the pack and one must go through painstaking lengths to weaken its defenses in order to obtain its powers. So I planned this early; knowing Koga would never abandon a member of his tribe, let alone his brother, I made that underling fall confined inside my quarters.

"I had my potions burn so that he would easily intake the potion's vapors and ashes. They would then mix with his blood and ferment into a fine potion that would allow me to remove his heart, the source of the wolf's power. The ailments Koga suffered were not only to weaken him so it would be easier, but to provide me with entertainment."

Kikyo and the captain laughed maliciously.

"Enough. Our play is over. Give me your heart, wolf-demon, Koga!"

Koga's eyes widened to their fullest, his fangs gnashed hard enough to crack and he tore at his bed as his pain escalated to it highest! He was pulled off of the bed by his chest as Kikyo attempted to rip out his heart! Koga resisted the queen's malevolent power and pushed his hand down on his chest as hard as possible.

Kikyo frowned at his resistance and squeezed tightly, twisting relentlessly. The pirates watched helplessly as Koga was thrown about his bed, his screams growing weak. Kagome's thoughts ran frantically through her head, trying to think of someway to help him. Upon thinking she heared something, she calmed down and listened carefully.

Stop resisting me, vile beast. Your life belongs to me! Give me your heart!

"Kikyo!"

The name stirred the pirates. "What!"

"It's Kikyo! She's trying to kill him!"

Kagome approached the dome, her pure aura warding off its dark energy. She got inside it and knelt beside Koga; his eyes were weakly rolled up, his strength almost exhausted, blood streaming from his mouth and his breathing shallow and irregular.

The sight did everything to fuel Kagome's wrath.

Kikyo tried again, taking advantage of her victim's exhaustion. The dark red aura of the Shikon no Tama expanded, then clashed violently with a flicker with a bluish-white aura.

"What is this?" Kikyo exclaimed.

She blew it off, thinking it to be Ginta and Hakkaku using a stronger spell and took hold of Koga's heart again. The other aura clashed again with hers and slowly began to pry away the queen's grip.

The queen looked in surprise, and snarled.

"Almighty Shikon no Tama, multiply your immense powers and GRANT ME MY DESIRE"

The queen clenched her other fist and took Kagome's body in a crushing grip. Her body constrained, Kagome's aura dissipitated from the dome and the Shikon no Tama. She winced at the pain as the constraint tightened. Koga was barely breathing; he was using the last of his power to fight Kikyo, but his hand could do nothing more than cover his chest. Koga was lifted up from the bed again, shouting with agony as the skin above his heart began to tear.

Kagome grew enraged as she was forced to watch the horrible scene.

This is the very thing I'm fighting to prevent! I can't let Koga die! Kayura-sama, please help me! I can't let Kikyo have her way! I can't! I WON'T!

Kagome invoked her powers and with her prayer, the silver amulet reacted. It shone brilliantly as each of its seven holes filled with a white light, flashed and amplified her aura one-hundredfold! Kagome chanted while positioning her hands and fingers in rapid Shinto positions and with the final position, expelled her aura outward! The dome was instantly purified and Koga was released.

The evil energy surrounding the Shikon no Tama sparked and electrocuted Kikyo's hands! Captain Ueda distanced her and himself from the jewel as it flashed erratically before exploding into a destructive blast, demolishing the room! Ueda's shield flickered as it took a great beating from the jewel's power.

"Queen Kikyo! My queen, are you alright?" He inquired with worry as he helped the monarch to her feet.

Kikyo swayed, growling. She opened her eyes and stared at her hands, raw and bleeding heavily, smoke streaming and hissing from her burnt skin.

Ueda was horrified. "Majesty, you are injured! I shall summon the royal physician immediately!"

The captain swiftly took off. Kikyo stared at her injuries in bewilderment.

"Why...Why has the Shikon no Tama lashed me? What..?"

Kikyo recalled and saw there were two auras combined as one. It hit her; another aura had interfered with hers. There was only one person who's power rivaled her own.

"Impossible...! It's impossible!" Kikyo gasped in disbelief. "Kagome can't be...! I burned her alive! How in the bloody hell did she survive!"

Kikyo's face showed violent rage as she figured out the answer.

"Kayura...! That damned Kayura must have saved her...!"


Koga laid, regaining his breath after being freed from Kikyo's grip. He feebly looked up at Kagome and his crew gathering around him. He opened his mouth to speak, but a fierce cough came out, followed by blood. Koga's eyes rolled up and shut, falling consciousness. Again the pirates panicked, then even more so as their captain's skin grew pale. Ginta immediately checked to see what was going inside Koga's body.

His face went pallid at the readings. "There's something freaky going on with his blood!"

Kagome took a look at the machine readings and nearly panicked herself, hurriedly summoning the amulet again.

"What's going on now? I thought you got Kikyo off him!" One of the pirates yelled.

Kagome's aura engulfed Koga and served as life support.

"It's not over yet," She gravely explained, "Kikyo had created some kind of potion with his blood to take out his heart. Now that there's no use for it, the captain's blood is turning into poison!"

Kagome requested that everyone, save Ginta and Hakkaku, leave her in peace so she could concentrate. They waited anxiously for hours before she emerged from the captain's room, exhausted. It had taken most of her energy to save Koga; whatever blood that was beyond purification had to manually be drained from his body, unfortunately, it was a large amount. The wolf captain had just barely evaded death.

Several days passed. Koga had fallen into a coma and still hadn't awakened. Kagome helped care for him, praying he would live.

"Hey, Hakkaku, I just finished that upgrade in the boiler room you wanted." Ryo said walking into the firstmate's room. "Has Koga woken up yet?" His tone softened.

Hakkaku's eyes looked solemnly through his window. "He's been comatose for five days. Looks like he's going for six."

Ryo looked away, sighing in disappointment. "Damn. By the way, you may wanna check up on that woman. She's been really down since then. She was hangin' out in the control room last I saw her."

Hakkaku peeked inside the control room and found Kagome standing at the panel, starting off into space.

"Kagome?" He got her attention. "Are you okay?"

Kagome paused before answering him. "Yeah...no."

"What's the matter?"

She sighed. "I want to stay and wait until the captain wakes up, whenever that may be. But after saving his life, it reminded me of my mission to stop Kikyo. If I don't, she'll do that and worse to others. I'm also feeling bad because I was starting to feel at home with you all. I'd feel awful if I just took off without saying anything to the captain before he woke up."

The two stayed quiet, Hakkaku trying to think of something to ease Kagome's dilemma.

"Good grief, Hakkaku! You're already red in the face! Just kiss her already!"

Hakkaku fumed in embarrassment as his brother entered the room after peeking inside. Kagome laughed as they got into another little argument, though it made her feel even worse about having to leave. Hakkaku informed Ginta of Kagome's situation. Ginta looked just as disappointed as her when Kagome's amulet caught his eye.

"Where'd you get that necklace, Kagome?"

Kagome looked down at it. "Oh, a goddess gave it to me. She was the one who had saved me from Kikyo and gave me this should I get in situation I can' handle on my own."

She held it close, thanking Kayura for helping her.

The name rang inside Ginta and Hakkaku's ears, their eyes widening in fear.

"Kagome? Did you say, 'Kayura-sama'?"

"Yeah, why?"

The two wolves' faces went blank, as did the others who happened to overhear everything. Ryo pointed at the two, saying the goddess would be angry at them for kidnapping Kagome.

"Hey, Kagome?" Hakkaku asked, nervously. "If you run into Kayura-sama, you think you could tell her we're REAL sorry for mistaking you for Kikyo and nabbing you? I mean, just put in a good word for us that we're not bad guys?"

I'd prefer if you told me yourselves, but sure, I'll forgive you.

The pirates froze at sound the voice. Outside the large window was Kayura, sitting upon a shooting star and waving cheerfully at them all. The other pirates gathered in the control room hearing Kayura was present. Kagome waved back happy to see her, then griped that the goddess had sent her on her way and failed to give her directions to Awakioa.

"I know. That's how I arranged it, Kagome."

Kagome stared. "You what?"

Kayura explained she didn't tell Kagome how to get to Awakioa because if she had, Kagome would've gone that route and would never have met the wolf-pirates. The goddess had heard the pirates' heart-wrenching prayers for Koga and sent Kagome to rid him of Kikyo's hold. She wondered why Kayura didn't do it, for a goddess it would be no trouble.

"A goddess cannot do what humans must. Your aura is still in development, it grows stronger when it is used to aid those in need. By you saving Koga, it is now at level 4 power. You'll be able to do much greater things now with less help from me. And as a bonus, you've made great allies."

Kagome agreed; the pirates did the same, not wanting to do anything to get the goddess angered. Kayura then pulled out a set of keys and hit the unlock button. Kagome's ship appeared behind her.

"On your way, Kagome." Kayura said, her tone kindly as she knew of Kagome's dilemma. "Koga has been under Kikyo's power for so long. He'll be fine after he is rested, but you've no time to waste. Be on your way to Awakioa."

The goddess gave Kagome the keys and took off on her shooting star, waving. Kagome waved back, then noticed the pirates watching in anticipation.

"Huh?"

"Wait for it..." Ryo said mischievously.

Kayura flew farther when she got distracted by a sparkling nebulae.

KLONG!

And flew into the side of the luxury cruise ship that passed several hours ago.

"I'm okay!" Kayura said, giving an "OK" sign.

The pirates broke out in laughter as the ship sailed on with the goddess stuck to it.

"You heard Kayura-sama, Kagome. You gotta go and take out that bitch of a queen!" The pirates spoke up.

It wasn't until Kayura had left that Kagome realized she still had no idea how to get to Awakioa. Fortunately, the pirates did; they flew there for the annual food and music festivals. Kagome was given a very detailed map of Kayura's domain of the universe and routes to get to the planet.

Kagome bowed gratefully to them. "Thank you all so very much for everything."

She lifted her eyes and found the pirates kneeling down to her in utmost gratitude.

"We thank you, Kagome." Hakkaku stated nobly. "If it hadn't been for you, we'd all be dead now."

"As would Koga." Ginta added, "You saved our brother and our captain. For that, we're in your debt."

Ryo stood and spoke proudly. "From here on out, you're a honorary member of our pack, Kagome!"

Kagome did nothing to hold back their cheers. Flattered, she accepted and boarded her spaceship, waving good-bye to her "pack" as she continued on her mission.