Disclaimer- Ryoko, Tenchi, and all other related characters and material belong to Pioneer entertainment. They do not belong to me, nor do I claim any such ownership. All other unrelated material does belong to me. ^-^

Chapter 5: The Battle of Ages
By: Spectre

An eerie ominous silence fell over them all, sweat poured off their brows like bullets escaping the barrel of a gun. The twin warriors stood their ground, rigid and ready for attack, their hearts pounding within their chests. Before them the stolen image of Kagato smiled, controlled by the spirit of Kiseichu. As his lips curled an evil laugh escaped them, echoing through the cavernous walls.
"And what of the GTDF? Why not let them join your futile attempts, that is what they came here for isn't it?" Ryoko's teeth grinded together as a low growl escaped her lips. He was taunting her, trying to make her loose her cool. She knew from experience, that that didn't take much; she had to hold on as long as she could, for Tenchi. Kiseichu turned his head to look over at the officers, grouped together in the corner, unable to produce any sort of attack without their weapons. As he scanned over their faces, his grin grew wider; his face gave off an impression of his prediction of the acts that had separated them from their leader. "But what is this? What of the young Ichiro, I do not seem to sense his presence. It's too bad really, I was looking forward to killing him myself, but it seems that someone has done that for me." Ryoko's eyes widened with fear as his face turned back to her, beaming with evil delight. "Wouldn't you say...Ryoko?"
"R-Ryoko, what does he mean?" Tenchi's skin grew cold as a wave of chills ran down his spine with each word. He hardly noticed his absence, but then of course, he never did like Ichiro anyway. Now when he looked around he finally noticed his disappearance in the ranks. His lips trembled, trying to from his words while the thought sank into his mind. Ryoko was a ruthless space pirate, he knew that, but ever since she came to live in the ranch, she had never dared to do anything remotely like that in front of him. Could she have? Had she really...? His mind raced, he wasn't sure what to think, instead, he waited for her reply, praying to here her deny it all.
Ryoko stood there, the rage building up overflowing and mixing in with the surprising presence of fear. The fear that had swelled within her so many times before, the fear that she would lose Tenchi forever. Before she could answer and stiff voice broke in, laughing slightly between his words.
"Ah, so you haven't told him! Tell me Ryoko, why do you keep this boy in the dark? Is there something to loose, something to be lost between you?" Then, she snapped, the anger took over, the rage swelling up, controlling every movement in her body. She had no control, tears streamed from her eyes as she screamed in the night. The awesome power of rage and emotion let loose and propelled her forward, sword ignited and poised in front of her. The energy backflow sent a powerful blast behind her, nearly knocking Minagi off her feet and flying into the wall behind her.
Immediately Kiseichu ignited his sword on firmly held it in front of him, just in time to clash with Ryoko's, sparks sent flying from the impact, raining upon Tenchi and the rest of the onlookers around them. As the tears streamed down her face all the hate within her conformed to words, sobbing as she spoke.
"BASTARD!! I'll KILL you! I swear it!" An evil hiss rumbled within his throat, forming a low-pitched laugh, chilling her bones.
"Ahhhh, struck a nerve did I? Perhaps I should dig deeper, maybe he'll give himself up...for you!" Ryoko growled and pushed herself further, leaning the clashed blades closer to Kiseichu's face, singing the hairs on his head. Still, his grin did not flinch; his laugh only grew louder. "Tell me Ryoko, could it be...love?" Ryoko's eyes, once clenched with rage shot open in an instant, the single word dug deeper into her heart than any blade ever could. As her emotions sunk in, her grip and stance slowly loosened, drawing the blades back over to her side. "That filthy human weakness you call an emotion? I've heard of your escapades before in the past Ryoko, this is not like you. I would never expect you to fall for such a disgusting plague upon man!"
With that, Ryoko's will was suddenly broken, snapped apart by the taunting words of her opponent. With her strength failing, Kiseichu's blade broke free from it's tight grip and crashed forward, sending Ryoko flying back, a sharp burst of blood spurting from the gash forming across her shoulder.
"Ryoko!" In a reflex, Tenchi began to move forward to help her, but was sharply pulled back. As he looked over his shoulder he saw Washu's firm grip on his shoulder, and a stone look on her face. She didn't even have to move her head, Tenchi knew what she was going to say. Even though he didn't like it, he had to let her fight for her own. Inside himself, the fear grew, he felt for her as he did the rest of them, even though she could be a pain sometimes, he was not about to let her die.
Ryoko shot back and flung her arm up to her wound, holding pressure upon it to try and stop the flow of crimson blood that leaked from her body. Her hand soon became soaked in the liquid and began to divert the flow down her arm and into her sleeve, chilling her skin at the touch. The pain ripped through her body as she held her sword forward with her remaining arm. She could not give up, no matter how shattered her body or will was, she would not let any harm come to her beloved.
"700 years sealed on Earth has given you some disgraceful characteristics Ryoko. Have you no honor to face me full force?" Ryoko gritted her teeth, her sharp gasps of air trying to push away the pain that pulsed from her body.
"Bastard! You should be the one to talk about honor! Facing us in a disguise!" Kiseichu scowled, raising his free arm glowing green with energy. As his anger grew, direct bolts of the same energy shot from his limb striking the ground before Ryoko, and forcing their way through he left leg, shattering bone and muscle tissue on it's way out. Once again the pain swelled over her and she fell to the ground, blood already flowing around her.
"Fool! I have no physical form...well, one that your primitive minds can handle anyways. I borrow my forms so that I can maintain my power, I may be an energy vacuum but my powers do dwindle. As will yours," an evil smile formed on his face as he moved closer, manipulating the ground so that the earth beneath her rose up and clutched her close, holding her just above the ground and pinning her arms by her side, "Just as soon as I suck the life out of you and your body grows cold and limp."
"NO!!" Tenchi had had enough, he didn't care what happened to him, he would allow no more death to surround him. Clutching the sword that bore his own name, Tenchi lunged forward, racing up behind the terrible figure he had already fought and killed once before. A flash of light shot through the air as Tenchi came into contact with what felt as a brick wall. As he touched it, a shock of energy shot through his body and sent him flying back to the ground.
"Normally I would gladly welcome your interference since you are the one I desire at the present time. But now things have gotten, how should I say, personal. You understand don't you?" Tenchi gritted his teeth as Washu helped him up, wiping away the blood that dripped off his lip.
"Damn you!"
"Such strong words young man...for now I will increase the power of my shield so if another attempt is tried the shock will no longer allow you to live, so I suggest you wait your turn." Once again Kiseichu turned back to his opponent, blood dripping down her chest and leg, the life nearly gone from her. "It's quite a pity, to destroy such a powerful and if I may say, beautiful an opponent as yourself Ryoko. Perhaps on different terms..." Just then Ryoko raised her head and spat in his face.
"Go to h-hell..."
"A trooper to the end. Very well then." Kiseichu raised his sword to the horror of the onlookers outside the shield locking them out from the battle. Off the side Minagi's mind was plagued with a wash of memories from her past, tearing her apart. The tears streamed from her face as her emotions came to light. Her and her mother never really gotten along quite well, for some strange reason that she still wasn't quite sure of. She had always tried to reach to her, but she always felt so distant no matter what she tried.
"I'm so sorry." Minagi's head, shot up as her mother's weak voice filled her head, sounding from their mind link that she also shared with Ryo-oh-ki and Washu. "I-I should have realized how poorly I've treated you."
"R-Ryoko?" She could hardly believe the words that she was hearing, her mind pondering what it may mean.
"Please, promise me something."
"Run...run away. I can hold him just long enough for you and Ryo-oh-ki to..."
"Please, Minagi. Take Tenchi and the others and go!"
"Mom, I can't."
"You have to!! Dammit don't argue with me just go!" Minagi's eyes teared up and her hands began to tremble. Then she lifted her head to the image in front of her and the anger swelled up within her.
"No! I won't let this go on any further!!"
"Minagi no, d-don't!" But it was too late, Minagi let her emotions take control of her and she lashed out, drawing her sword and teleporting past the shield and into battle. Just as her body rematerialized behind him, Kiseichu wheeled around and clashed swords, sending Minagi ricocheting off and into a defensive stance on the ground.
"Oh, must we have these continuing interferences. You're only delaying the inevitable."
"We'll see about that." Before he could react a Minagi doppelganger came up from behind him and slashed a deep gash through his back, ripping his torso in two.
"AHHHHH!!!!" As the sword left him, his body swirled away into collective off green dust. Fear struck Ryoko's eyes as the doppelganger recombined with the original, their swords extinguished and ready to deactivate the shield.
"Minagi, watch out!" But she was too late, by the time her daughter turned around, Kiseichu had already drawn his sword ready for attack behind her.
"Your not the only one who can produce 'shadows' my dear!" A great fierce lunge sent Minagi leaping back, just enough to avoid Kiseichu's blade. Drawing her own sword, the two ensued in an epic battle, the sound of the two great swords clashing rang out through the air. Battle cries echoed through the mountains and great leaps and bounds were taken within the boundaries of the energy shield that surrounded them.
"That's it!" Washu snapped her fingers and brought up her computer tapping on the keys furiously. The thought had just popped in her mind as she pondered the dimensions of the shield before her.
"Washu, what are you doing."
"Something I can't believe I didn't think of earlier." Tenchi leaned over her shoulder, his mind trying to make out the technical gibberish produced on the transparent screen.
"That shield her had produced is one way, in theory. We can't get in but they can come out, unless he triggers some sort of signal to lock themselves in. But he can't hold it for long if he wants to reserve his power for the battle right?"
"Uh...I guess."
"So if I hack into his brainwave signal, I can somehow trigger the locking mechanism permanently to lock him inside! They don't call my the universe's cutest genius for nothing ya know!"
"But then how do we get Ryoko and Minagi out then?" Washu stopped typing and grabbed her chin in deep thought.
"Good question." Her mind pondered the situation for the slightest second, being the greatest genius in the universe she didn't have to think long before an idea came to her. "THAT'S IT!!! Oh Mihoshi!"

Finally the two clashing titans broke from the slues of battle, nursing wounds on almost every part of their body. However, Kiseichu's own power had not left him the slightest, not a bead of sweat left his brow, instead a large grin swelled on his face.
"What's the matter, that human form growing weak on you? Ha, ha ha!"
"I'm not through yet. Only when I cease to breath will I stop!"
"HA! I don't know whether to call it determination...or foolishness." Just then right in front of his eyes, Minagi and Ryoko disappeared from their places, leaving him alone in his self-claimed battlefield. "What?! How..." When he turned his head toward the onlookers outside his shield the first thing his eyes came contact with was the smiling face of Washu, clutching Mihoshi's control cube on one hand and helping Ryoko stand with the other. Filled with rage Kiseichu lunged at the shield only to be thrown back by a large bolt of energy. "What, m-my shield!!"
"You know, it's a wonder what the universes greatest mind can do with one little control cube, hehe!"
"I applaud you Washu, it's not easy for me to admit that you are the first person to use my own power against me."
"Oh my, thank you so much, you know your approval makes it all worth while!" Washu quickly turned her head as an anxious Tenchi raced over to Ryoko's side.
"Enough Washu, let's just figure out what we do with him now!"
"It's obvious isn't it? We can't simply destroy him; that would take a large amount of energy to dispel his! I mean, come on, he's an energy vacuum. Our best bet, is to play fire with fire. I've got something back in my lab that will suck his energy dry!"
"NOOO!! DAMN YOU WASHU!!" Without any form of warning, Kiseichu summoned the remaining amount of energy he had and forced it into his sword (or rather Kagato's sword.) Next, he sent the blade flying, crashing down with a greater fury than that of any storm on earth; a fury so great it shattered the shield and sent a large burst of energy off flow out within a mile radius, sending Tenchi and the others flying to the grown like toys. "It's not over yet!"
"It is for you!" In impulse, Tenchi grabbed the master key and left Ryoko's side, ready to fight to the death if necessary.
"Lord Tenchi no!" Washu rushed out in front of him just in time to stop his suicide mission. "You can't beat him! Not even Ryoko could defeat him! Besides if you use your Juri energy we will all die!"
"But we have to do something!"
Off to the side as she listened, Ryoko's attention was brought to her own power, the power given to her by her gems. Even though she only had one, she knew quite well what she could do. Her mind raced as her heart pumped within her chest, pushing more blood out of her wounds every second. She could heal it with her powers, but, that would leave her open to Kiseichu's vacuum. Then something popped into her mind, something she had never felt before, only now did she realize what she had to do. Slowly she stood up, her face focused and fused upon the moment as she walked passed Tenchi and back into battle.
"What is she doing? Ryoko STOP!!" Tenchi and the rest of the onlookers could only watch, waiting for the next wave of attack to send Ryoko flying back into a lifeless heap on the earth, as they waited, the tension grew stronger.
"Coming for more eh? Well, I guess I could use a little more entertainment before my feast." Kiseichu stuck his left arm forward and dispelled a large blast of green energy that swirled around his hand before thrusting forward.
"RYOKO LOOK OUT!" But she didn't even move, not a muscle nor a nano-meter to the side to avoid the blast. Instead, it hit her dead on with a large surge of smoke that surrounded her as if a great beast came and swallowed her up.
"Ha, ha, ha! Such a pity, she was quite amusing. Now, Prince Tenchi, I trust we will have no further interruptions..."
Suddenly, a gust of energy flow swirled around her body pushing away the smoke left from Kiseichu's shot, a powerful blast surging around her. Deep within her mind, she called upon the mind link with her daughter, summoning her power to merge with her own. Willfully, Minagi gave her strength away, and with all the energy left from her body, she fell limp into Tenchi's awaiting arms.
"What is happening? T-to much power!" Kiseichu flung an arm up to block the energy off flow that pulsed from Ryoko's surging body. The ground beneath him began to give way under his feet, slowly pushing him further back as he desperately tried to shield her power. "No! This isn't possible!!" A bright flash of light emitted from the smoke and a blast of wind sent it flying out in all directions, blinding all within 1000 feet. Then all grew silent, a blue pulsing light still shone through the smoke that had only begun to dissipate. Finally, the parasite lowered his sleeve and peered onward to his opponent, his eyes widening in fear and shock.
"N-No, it isn't possible! It can't!!" In the great shock of it all, Tenchi nearly dropped the weakened Minagi resting in his arms, his knees ready to buckle and fall under him.
"How can she...?" The words left him, as if the very life and being was sucked from him. As her looked forward to where Ryoko once stood, a bright blue glow shone...emitting from three light hawk wing shields as the ones her produced during the battle with Kagato. The entire group was dumbfounded, they dare not move, nor did they have the physical will to. The pure puzzlement within their minds froze their bodies still. Ryoko herself had changed, her blue and pink dress and vest had vanished, in it's place lay a skin-tight black and silver battle uniform. The pattern was unlike the one of her own red and black uniform, but still bore a striking resemblance. Her eyes shone a bright white, glowing with power, and her hair stood up on end changing to a jet black right in front of Kiseichu's eyes; a glowing symbol appeared on her forehead resembling one of her gems surrounded by a distorted sun.
Finally the dust had settled and the light hawk wings faded, their task complete, Ryoko's power brimming over what she could have normally accomplished with all three of her gems. This time, it was Kiseichu's turn to be filled with fear. He had never faced the power of Juri first hand before, and it indeed was a magnificent sight. The sweat poured from his brow as he tried to gather himself together and hide his terror.
"Well, quite impressive Ryoko. I did not know you were able to produce Juri power. Even if it is not the power of the Jurian prince Tenchi it still will be a great use to me."
"You won't be going any further. Your terror ends now!" Without a second thought Ryoko drew her sword, which now was larger and had turned into a lighter shade of yellow, the tip of the blade sparking off large amounts of energy. This hilt of her sword had changed, and had now branched off as did Minagi's only hers wasn't quite as large. With her new sword ablaze as with the fire in her heart, Ryoko lunged toward him, her teeth clenched together in a horrible battle scowl. This time, the swords did not clash, instead, Kiseichu's sword was extinguished on impact, cutting a path right through the bade and directly through the mid section of his body.
"ACCCKKK!!!" The blood poured from his mouth as the blade cut through him each nerve pulsing with pain signals to the brain. Behind him, Ryoko remained in her battle stance, stone faced and sword still ablaze with all the fury of her power. "NOOO!!! This can't be!!!!" His cries left unfelt, no emotion, not a tear was shed for him, while his body dematerialized around him, dissolving into dust and spreading away into the air. "This isn't over...*cough* not by a long shot. You will all pay dearly!! I will destroy you and everything you hold dear, you will never forget my name!!" His final words were frightening, a chill ran down everyone's back as the last remaining particle of his being disintegrated into nothingness. As this happened Ryoko's energy returned to normal, her hair shone a light silver once again and her blue and pink outfit reappeared on her body. It was over, the terror, the violence...at least for now.
Just as her eyes stopped glowing with energy, a large flash of light pulsed through the air, brighter than anything either of them had ever seen before. The energy vacuum had lost its energy and had collapsed within itself, the light appearing just in front of where Ryoko was standing. It took everyone by surprise, but giving them just enough time to shield their eyes from it, everyone but Ryoko. The demon let out a sharp shriek as the light burned into her eyes, sending pain directly to her nerves so that she collapsed onto the ground.
"Ryoko!" Tenchi rushed over to her side just as the pulse subsided, holding her up in his arms against his strong shoulder. "Ryoko, are you ok?" Tears rolled down her cheeks, her speech weak and soft, and her body trembling all over.
"I-I can't see..."

End of Part I

Well, it took me a while to get this chapter the way I liked it, (and I hope you like it too) but Part I of Visitors is finally finished. Quite a twist on the ending there huh? Now I am sure that I am going to get some nasty replies like "YOU DUMMY!! RYOKO CAN'T PRODUCE LIGHT HAWK WINGS!!! YOU SUCK!!!" however, if you watch episode 13 of the OVA series, it really does make sense. SO BACK OFF!! ^-^;; Anyways, I have to finish my third chapter of Anatomy of Koi before I start part II so you just have to be patient. -Ansa