Chapter 2:

A Walk in the Park

Eight Years After our last chapter:

The docking bay:

Sighing heavily, Kagato steeped out of his vessel, and onto the solid ground of the landing pad. It's good to be home, he noted happily as he looked around the area at all the intricate machines which lined the Academy's launch area. Nearly Eight whole years, pausing from his stride to the door, the white skinned youth rubbed his face. Eight years out in space studying stellar formations, and cosmic occurrences. I hope the data I gathered about that super nova will impress the professor. All her messages lately have been very brief, and distant, as if she no longer cares about my work. Reaching the door, the white haired youth was stopped by an even younger man, a young black-haired student, who was working at the port to earn some money to stay at the academy. "Yes, what is it?"

"Don't you want your equipment, and luggage?" the younger man asked sounding almost hesitant.

"Send the equipment to Professor Hakubi's lab, and the clothing to my room. My name is Kagato." He said in his most stately manner.

"Ah, Little Washu's lab. Right away sir," the young student said, clearly impressed by the white-haired man's status with the professor. "So you're Kagato, huh?" the assistant to Washu merely nodded his agreement. "Well, let me tell you, you are in for it!"

"I can handle myself," Kagato declared. "Just do your job!" With that, and his forest green cloak whirling behind him, Kagato stormed out of the room, angered by the younger man's words.

"Geez!" the dockworker muttered. What's his problem? I was just trying to give him a warning about that kid, or whatever she is, of Washu's. But fine! Let him learn the hard way!

Nearing Washu's Residence:

Imagine the impudence of that first year cadet! The white skinned man fumed, storming up the hall. Thinking I would need a warning on how to behave around the professor! Doesn't he know who I AM! Why I… pausing mid-thought Kagato stopped dead in his tracks. "Oops," he muttered embarrassed to himself, placing a hand on the back of his head as he chuckled. "Almost walked passed the professor's door." Turning, the young man's scientific eyes noticed something they had overlooked before. The door to Washu's quarters was open, only slightly, but nonetheless, it was open. I don't think I've ever seen her leave the door open before, unlocked yes, but never open. Something must be wrong….

With slow movements, the white haired youth opened the door, peering inside the house. He was even more afraid to note that no one was home. How odd indeed, he repeated to himself. "Hello, is anyone…"

Sadly Washu's assistant never managed to finish his inquiry, as something suddenly smacked him in the side of his head, causing him to lose his balance, and topple into the hallway. What followed next chilled the young man to the bone. A horrifying noise, like a demon being summoned from Hell, suddenly filled the quiet air, and the yellow-eyed man felt two objects collide with his chest. Closing his eyes from the sudden pain, the injured youth tried his best to rise to his feet, but he was surprised to note that whatever had struck him, was also pinning him to the floor.

"So Docto Cway! You thought you could get to mommy's stuff while she was in hew wab, huh?" a tiny feminine voice said, with a terrible speech impediment, as if something was holding its tongue.

Opening his eyes, Kagato saw what had struck and pinned him. Beside the fallen youth was a plunger, the obvious weapon which had been hurled into his head, and standing triumphantly atop him was a little girl, with long spiky silver hair, and a suit of armor fashioned from pots and pans, as well as a piece of cardboard which was the bulk of the armor. "I know you." He whispered, still in pain from her attack. "You're R-"

"Ryoko!" an older, more refined voice shouted from further inside the dark residence. "Get off him this instance young lady!"

"Noooooo!" the little girl whined, spinning about while still standing on the fallen scientist. "Auntie Ayshisca! Docto Cway is mommy's enenenemy! I'm posed ta watch the house so he don't steal nuffin." Ryoko declared with a stomp of her foot to accent her point, causing Kagato to grunt in pain.

"Well young lady, that's not Dr. Clay, that's your mother's friend, Kagato. Remember I told you he was coming home today?"

"Oh…" the golden-eyed child said, having forgot about that fact. "Sowwy, Ka-ga-to." Leaping off the fallen man, who unleashed a thankful sigh of relief, the little girl smiled at the woman she called aunt. "Can we pway space warrio again? I'm gonna be Wee ohko, the pace piwate!"

With an angered snarl on her face, the Jurain noble grabbed the little girl's ear. "Oh No you aren't! You're supposed to be taking a nap! Now go back to bed, or I'll tell your mom you were being bad, and you won't be able to go to the park later."

"You're mean! I hate taking naps, and I hate you!" the little child said running off toward her room as Kagato slowly staggered back to his feet. As she reached the door, the little girl had covered her eyes, to catch her tears, and didn't seem to see that her door was closed.

"Ryoko!" the young man shouted hoping to avert a tragedy. Yet his words were too late, the little girl, still wearing her home made armor, ran into the wall, and continued going. "I…ah…"was all the young man could say as he looked from the wall to Ayshisca. "What just happened?"

The mauve-haired woman laughed lightly, "I guess you didn't know about Ryoko's powers."

"Powers?" he said confused looking back at the doorway to the child's room, becoming unnerved as he saw her face, peering out from the door.

"WHAT!" Ryoko screamed sounding rather annoyed, her eyes red from crying.

Chuckling weakly, the young man spoke. "Do you want me to take you to the park later?"

"Will you buy me an ice cweem?" the little silver-haired girl prodded, tilting her head slightly as she looked at him.

"Sure, I will, but only if you be a good girl and mind your auntie," pausing the young man smiled at the Jurain noble, finding great amusement in that statement, "Ayshisca."

"Kay, I will." She said still casting him one last glance with her teary eyes, before slipping back into her room.

Moments Later:

"You know, that was really nice what you did for Ryoko," the woman with purple eyes said picking up a knocked over table, or a destroyed planet as the 'dread space pirate Ryoko' had called it.

"Oh it was nothing," he said waving off her compliment as if it was nothing. "I just don't like to see women cry." Standing there for a few more moments, the silence between them soon became awkward, "So what are you doing here," he asked deciding to end the uncomfortable situation.

"Well, as you probably don't remember from all those letters I sent you," the young lady declared. "With you gone, things have been changing quiet a bit around here, and one of the changes is Washu asked me to help her out around here."

"Congratulations," Kagato said in shock, holding out one hand. "I didn't think she would take on a second assistant."

"She didn't." Ayshisca said simply. "I just figured she might hear more news about you, before me, so I volunteered to baby-sit for those first few months after you left, and after a while, I got used to helping out on occasion. So here I am. Ryoko can be a handful at times, but she has a good heart."

"Yeah, she sounds like a riot," he commented rubbing his still sore neck and chest, "but why does she have a lisp? I would figure Washu could cure that."

"Yes, she could if that was merely the problem, but…" the young woman seemed embarrassed to say it. "Well, for some reason, Ryoko has no sense of taste. So every month, Washu gives her a shot in the tongue, with a substance that she hopes will one day stimulate Ryoko's taste buds so they'll work. Sadly, no change has happened yet."

"Poor kid," Kagato, said looking at the door to Ryoko's room. "I bet she gets picked on a lot for that, kids tend to be cruel and all."

"Yes, her powers, lisp, and overall boyish attitude, make it hard for her to have any friends." The mauve-haired noble stated sadly. "It's another reason I stick around here so much, I remember what it was like to grow up in a fancy place, with no friends."

"Well isn't this a touching scene?" a nasal voice declared behind them.

Spinning quickly the two youths noticed what would appear to anyone else to be a young girl, with a wild mane of red hair, walking into the room. It was, of course, none other than the resident super-genius, Washu Hakubi.

"Welcome back, Kagato, have fun in deep space?" the emerald-eyed woman said with a grin, as the young man opened his mouth to answer, the little woman continued to speak, "So, Ayshisca, did Ryoko cause you too much trouble?"

"No more than usual, Little Washu…." The noble woman said with a polite bow.

"Well that's good," the short genius said, stretching her tiny frame to its limits. "Man that Clay really gets on my nerves. He spent the last hour trying to tell me why his latest theory of quantum physics is more precise than my own, but all I heard was nonsense, and drivel." Shaking her head, the little scientist grinned at the newcomer to her home, looking at him predatorily. "So, Kagato, would you like to see what I've been doing while you were gone? I found a very fascinating use of the Masu cells we collected. Did you know that if you combined them with a mineral based substance you get…." Pausing the red-haired woman smiled, "Well why don't I just show you, but first let me call Ryoko."

Closing her eyes, Washu seemed to lose herself in concentration, if only for a moment. Finally, after many long moments, her large eyes opened. Glaring at Kagato the little genius seemed upset about something. Yet before the young man could ask what, there was a hiss of matter being rearranged before Ryoko appeared beside the angry looking mother, with a hurt look on her little face. "Ryoko what did I tell you about using language like that?"

"I'm sowwy mommy," the little girl said, her golden eyes contorting as they filled with water. "I didn't mean it…." Shuffling her feet the small child seemed very saddened by whatever she had sad. "But can I pwease go to the pawk? Mr. Kagato promised to buy me an ice cweam."

Taking the silver-haired child's hand in her own, the young scientist began walking towards what appeared to be a broom closet. "I don't know if Kagato wants to spend time with someone with a mouth like yours Little Ryoko. But if you're good, then maybe I'll still let you go. Right now mommy has a present for you."

"A PWESANT?" the small youth squealed, bouncing up and down excitedly as they walked, "what is it mommy?"

Opening the broom closet door, the mother-daughter duo walked inside as if it was completely natural. "You'll see… just wait a few minutes more." As the door swung shut, the numerous guess of the excited youth could be heard echoing from within.

His mouth gaping open, Kagato slowly looked over at Ayshisca as his mind tried to take in the strange events he had just seen. "What just happened? I mean how did she just call Ryoko, and what's with that closet?"

"Oh, didn't I tell you," the purple-eyed woman laughed, knowing she hadn't. "Washu and Ryoko are mentally linked, and that door there isn't just a closet, for Washu, Ryoko, and anyone else she allows in, it's the entrance to her subspace lab."

"Subspace? But her lab is on decks 7 through 12, it's the biggest one on this station. Why would she need a bigger one than that?"

Smiling politely, the Jurain noble motioned towards the door, "trust me you'll see. Now we'd better hurry, this is definitely going to be interesting."

Washu's Lab:

Being a scientist at The Academy, Kagato had boor witness to a multitude of amazing events, but all those things he had thought so grand now seemed insignificant as he walked down the small flight of steps, and gazed upon Washu's lab. It was bigger than anything he had ever seen, indeed anything he could ever imagine, so enormous it seemed one could easily get lost. Yet at the same time everything also seemed to make perfect sense, every wire, tube, and bolt, nothing was without its use. Truly this was the ultimate laboratory, one where a person could experiment and uncover the universe's secrets without any form of distraction. At that moment, the door behind them shut and disappeared. The pale skinned youth suddenly felt his chest tighten as he realized he was now lost in this tremendous lab, with no way out, and no idea where he was.

However just when it seemed that all was lost a familiar voice snapped him out of his fears. "Kagato, Ayshisca, we're over here. By the gardens."

Washu…he noted, as he took the young woman's hand, and raced towards the source of the noise. Almost the instant he began walking, Kagato stopped. Somehow he had reached his destination. There stood Washu, watching her daughter play with a strange dark purple, almost black, egg. "Miss Washu," he began, then with a shake of his head, "Little Washu, this lab…it's amazing! How…?"

"What this old thing?" the red-haired woman replied with a nasal laugh. "It's nothing really. I'll show you the specs sometime, or a least how to move around in here. "But anyway, how do you like my newest invention?" She asked motioning towards the happy child at her feet.

"An egg, but how is that-?"

With a quirky smile, the young woman swiftly kicked the egg in her daughter's hands, causing a spider web like crack to appear on one side of it. "MOM!" the little girl complained, "you bwoke it!" Ryoko's eyes foretold what was to come, as large wells of water appeared at the rim of her eyes. Just as the golden-eyed youth prepared to unleash her terrible cries, the egg in her hands shook violently, so that the silver-haired child had no other choice than to drop it immediately. At that moment, all eyes turned to watch the twitching egg, and nearly a second later, something burst from the side, something furry. It was a leg, a long furry leg with a white paw, which was quickly followed by second leg. With two legs out, the strange looking egg righted itself, and in an explosion of purple egg shards, the creature was free. Sitting, looking tiny and frail before them was what looked like a brown rabbit. It's long ears hung to the ground, as it's new eyes tried to focus on the silver-haired woman in front of it. Opening its tiny mouth, this strange creature looked prepared to speak.

"Mya?" it asked, walking for the first time on it's little legs towards Ryoko.

"Mommy!" the little girl screamed, too scared of this strange monster to move. "What is it? It's not gonna eat me is it?"

"No, silly," Washu laughed picking up the tiny fur ball by the scruff of its neck. "Ryo-Ohki would never eat you. She's much too nice for that. Isn't that right, little one?" She asked, holding it delicately in her hands as she rubbed it against her face.

"What's a Wee-oh-Ohki?" the little girl asked, forgetting her fears as youthful curiosity took over. "Can I hold her? Pwease?"

"Sure you can, but be gentle with her," the young mother proclaimed as she handed the newborn Ryo-Ohki to her daughter. "She's yours now. So you take good care of her, okay?"

"Wewwy? All mine!" as she said this, the little cabbit's eyes popped open, it's golden eyes meeting the silver-haired woman's. "WHOA! She's got the same coloh eyes as me!"

"And she's also linked to you, just like mommy is. So you better stay out of trouble, or Ryo-Ohki will tell me all about it. Now why don't you go get your new friend something to eat, okay?"

"Kay!" the little girl exclaimed, running between Kagato and Ayshisca as she made her way to the door.

"Little Washu!" a new voice shouted, "What is going on? I can't work with such conditions."

Rolling her eyes into head, the little genius shook her head sadly. "Oh I'm sooo sorry. Did we disturb you?"

"Fortunately I was merely taking a break," the owner of the voice said, as he stepped out of the shadows. He was a young man, with white hair, long flowing robes, and a bizarre headband. His eyes were cold, calculating, and seemed to take in everything around him. About the young man's face was a cloth, which covered the lower portion of his face and entire throat. Bowing the brisk newcomer, looked directly at Ayshisca, "always a pleasure Lady Ayshisca."

"Yakage…" the mauve-haired woman murmured, bowing her head out of politeness. "You're looking… well."

Ignoring the young woman's comments, the steel-eyed man focused completely on Kagato. "And who is this young man? A new challenger for me?"

"Hardly," the red-haired genius laughed. "He's Kagato, my assistant."

"Ah…" Yakage nodded continuously, reaching to his face with one hand to pull down the cloth over his face. As the cloth fell, his smile stood out easily. It was the grin of a winner, smug and confident. "Welcome back, Kagato," he said offering his hand to the young man. "I look forward to working with you."

"Right…" the young man began, taking the strange scientists hand in his own, both men squeezing as hard as they could.

Coughing into her hand, the emerald-eyed genius interrupted the struggle for dominance. "So, Yakage…" she began, "is the sword ready yet?"

Hearing her request, the sword master quickly released Kagato's hand, yet never took his eyes from his adversary. "No. Not yet. There is still much to be done…" Breathing deeply, the red-eyed1 man looked up towards where the lab's ceiling should be. However the sheer size of the workshop made seeing it's limit impossible. "I have to be going. There is… something… I need to attend to."

Rubbing his hand tenderly, Kagato watched the strange man leave. "So…" he breathed, flexing the hand he had used to shake hands with Yakage. "Who was that?"

"A helper of mine," the diminutive genius shrugged, putting her arms behind her head before turning to leave. "He's making Ryoko's sword," she added as if it were the most obvious answer.

Casting Ayshisca a confused look, the pale-skinned youth prepared to ask one of the thousands of questions that ran through his mind.

Sensing his distress, the violet-eyed woman held up one slender hand stopping him before he could get started. "It's rather late, pretty soon Ryoko will have to be put to bed. If you'd like we can go for a walk in the park, then I can tell you what's been going on since you left." Nodding his agreement, the pale skinned youth smiled at his cherished Jurain noble.

"Oh, shoot!" Washu said, slapping her forehead as she turned from the gathered friends. "I forgot I told Ryoko to feed Ryo-Ohki, which means she's going to the refrigerator!" Nearly an instant later the little woman bolted, trailing after her daughter with all her speed.

"Why is Ryoko eating from the refrigerator a problem?" Kagato asked with a raised eyebrow.

"It's not eating that has, Mrs. Washu-"

"LITTLE WASHU," a nasal voice screamed from far away.

"Washu concerned," she amended, "it's what Ryoko might drink that's the problem. You see, she bought a fine bottle of Saki for your return, and Ryoko wants to taste it. She's been trying all week now."

The Kitchen:

Standing before the massive food container, Ryoko scratched her chin carefully as if she were about to solve a great mystery. "Now, let's see Wee-Oh-Ohki…" she said to the little furry critter at her feet. "What should we feed you?"

"Mya…" the small animal remarked, barely able to open its eyes as it tried to follow her new master's voice.

Throwing open the door, the silver-haired child quickly began going through the contents, tossing food aside as she decided against each object. Finally, the young daughter of Washu stopped on a small orange cylinder shaped vegetable. Sniffing the orange vegetable the tiny cabbit licked its lips in anticipation as she slowly leaned forward prepared to devour this enticing food.

"Ew!" Ryoko shrugged, snatching the morsel away just as Ryo-Ohki's teeth bit down, narrowly avoiding every piece of her cherished food. "You don't want that wee-oh-ohki. We need to get you some-fing weawwy tasty, not cawwots! No one wikes those."

Suddenly the golden-eyed girl saw something that made her eyes glow, reaching forward she grabbed a bottle that was far too big for someone her size to be carrying. "Here, we go, Wee-oh-Ohki! Some of mommy's saki! This is good, I think…."

"No saki for you, Little Ryoko!" a voice said from behind the sneaky child. "Not until you're older."

"But mom…" the little child whined, stomping her feet loudly on the ground, as her mother, who was barely taller than her, snatched the precision item from her grasp. "I just want to taste it. Besides Wee-Oh-Ohki wants some too!"

Saying nothing, the small genius merely looked down at her daughter with a look of disbelief for long moments. Finally she shook her head. "I promise when you get older, you can have as much to drink as you want. Now isn't it time for you to go to bed?"

Pouting, Ryoko shook her head, holding her breath so her cheeks puffed out. Shaking her head sadly, the young looking genius pinched her daughter's cheeks. "All right, that's enough. It's way past your bedtime! Now move it, little Ryoko!" Pulling her daughter behind her, the diminutive genius grumbled as she did, as the tiny cabbit bounced after them slowly.

An Hour Later: Ryoko's Room:

The tiny child smiled, as she slept, no longer troubled by the demons, which had begun to haunt her dreams as of late. Instead of a scary cave, where she was completely alone in the cold darkness, the silver-haired girl found herself sitting beside a stream. "Where is everybody?" She asked, her tiny voice crackling as she began to draw her knees into her chest. "Weeoh-Ohki? Mommy? Where are you?"

"HEY YOU!" a voice, almost as young sounding as Ryoko's exclaimed from behind the frightened child. "What are you doing here?"

Scrambling to her feet, the golden-eyed girl glared at the owner of the voice, prepared to fight if she had to. To her surprise, it was not one of the usual boys from the park who stood before her, but someone completely different, and totally new to her. Unlike the other kids on the station, who had nasty inferiority complexes, and were viciously cruel, this young boy seemed to radiate peace. Yet of all things, this brown-haired kid's eyes seemed to catch Ryoko's attention most, when she looked into them, she no longer felt the need to prove how tough she was, or how much she knew. When the golden-eyed daughter of Washu looked into this mysterious kid's eyes, she felt happy and peacefully, something she never felt.

"Are you alright? You looked hurt. Why are you by the cave? Don't you know a demon sleeps in there?" the young boy asked, climbing down the bank of the hill to reach the silver-haired girl.

"I can come to the park, anytime I want, dummy!" she proclaimed crossing her arms over her tiny chest proudly, "and my mommy's Washu, so you better be nice to me, or else."

"Or else what?" The boy said, completely confused as he scratched his head. "Are you lost? Cause this is the Masaki shrine territory, not the park. The park is on the other side of town." He told her, pointing away from the cave.

"Oh yeah right, now I get it! You and the other kids are pwaying a trick on me! Well it didn't wuhk. I'm going to go get my mom, and then you'll all be in BIIIIG trow-bull. You just wait and see!" Sticking her tongue out as she pulled one eyelid down, the rude child stuck her tongue out; just to make sure her threat seemed real. "So there!"

"'Kay," The mysterious youth merely laughed, as he nervously placed a hand behind his head. "You're weird, and you talk funny. What's you name?"

"I'm Wee-Oh-ko!" the little girl snapped angry that this boy, who had looked so nice at first, was giving her so much trouble.

"OH…" the brown haired boy said, trailing off at the end. "Well, Wee-oh-ko, I guess I'll see you later then. Next time, if you wanna play, just come to the house."

"My name is not Wee-oh-ko!" she roared, her head growing larger than his body, "It's Wee-oh-ko! I just can't tawk wight 'cause mommy poked my tongue! You big dummy head!"

"Oh, okay then. My name is Tenchi Masaki," he said with a polite bow, "and even though you're weird, I still kinda like you. Come back later if you want, okay?" At that moment the young boy looked over his shoulder as if he heard something. "Uh Oh! That's grandpa! You better run, cause if he finds us here, we'll be in big trouble. Well, I'll see you later, Weeo-ohko." With that said, the young man ran as fast as his tiny legs could carry him, away from the small river, leaving the little girl all alone once again.

"Tenchi…" she said, as her dream world suddenly collapsed around her. It was time to wake up.

Washu's Room:

Laying in her bed sound asleep was Washu, a small trickle of drool pouring from her mouth as she snored loudly into her pillow. It was a rare event in the Hakubi household when the diminutive scientist could get a moments piece, and rarer still when she could sleep. Sadly this newfound peace and joy was about to come to a crashing halt.

"MOMMY!" Ryoko shouted with all the power of her small lungs, causing the red-haired scientist to shoot up from her bed and onto the floor. The red-haired scientist sat, now wide-awake and alert, on the floor clutching her heart as if she were suffering from a heart attack.

Using all her motherly patience, the young looking scientist gritted her teeth as she smiled at her daughter. "What's the matter, Little Ryoko? Did you have a bad dream?"

"Uh-Uh!" the spiky haired child said shaking her head frantically from side to side, causing it to sway side to side. "I had a reawwy, reawwy good dweam! Wanna here about it?"

"Well I…" Washu began, but never finished, as her daughter suddenly could not contain her excitement.

"First I was at a wiver, but I was aw awone, and you and Weeo-ohki weren't there! Then I got scawed, and I started to cwy…"

"There, there, my little one," Washu groaned, still wanting to sleep, putting her arm around the excited child. "It's okay now, I…."

"NO! MOMMY I'M NOT FINISHED!" Ryoko moaned throwing Washu's arm off her. "Anyway, I was abowt to stawt cwying some more, and then this boy came up and said," at this point the little girl's voice changed, becoming much too deep for the man she was portraying. "HEY YOU! What are you dowing heah? Then I looked at him and said…."

Washu sighed, closing her eyes as she focused on her daughter's thoughts. While the little silver-haired child continued to chatter away unendingly, the red-haired mother quickly learned all the details of her daughter's dreams, in a much quicker fashion. "That's nice dear," she said interrupting her daughter mid sentence. "Why don't you tell me the rest over breakfast, okay?" At that moment the emerald-eyed woman yawned loudly. "Now, go back to sleep. If you're lucky, you might get to meet that nice boy again."

"YAY! I can see Tenchi again!" Ryoko shouted picking up Ryo-Ohki, who had rested beside her through this odd night. "Isn't that gweat, Weeoh-Ohki?" The miniscule cabbit meowed, in what was supposed to be confidence, yet only sounded like a weak murmur, as she nodded her head. Grabbing her mother in a tight embrace, Ryoko closed her eyes, trying to force herself to sleep.

After a few blissfully quiet moments. "MOMMY!" the little girl screeched again.

"What is it now, Ryoko…?" Washu asked placing a pillow over her head. "Mommy really needs to get some sleep."

"But Mom… I can't go to sweep, and if I do, how will Weeoh-Ohki go too?"

"Remember I told you that you, me, and Ryo-Ohki all share a telepathic link. You should be able to share each other's dreams. But do my a favor, when you see this kid again, ask him if he wants to marry you…." Then maybe I can get some sleep, Washu moaned mentally.

"Weally!" the little girl shouted excitedly. "Cool! That's a good idea mommy! But don't you wanna meet him fiwst?"

"I'll see him at the wedding…." The super genius stated fully covering her face with one of her pillows, in a vain attempt to drown out her daughter's constant questions.

Suddenly there was silence, enough to worry the diminutive super genius. Peaking out from under her pillow, the emerald-eyed scientist was confused to see Ryoko pick up the little fur ball named Ryo-Ohki, and quickly hop off of the bed.

"Where are you off to, Ryoko." Washu said in a voice, which showed she was about out of patience.

"To my womb." She said as if it was obvious. "Weeoh-Ohki and I can't go to sweep if you keep waking us up wiff all that noise, mom. G'night!"

A few seconds later a light shutting of the door was the last sound Washu heard before she shook her head and fell asleep, wondering how long this joyous event would last.

Outside The Science Academy:

Standing outside the glass was a woman, wearing no protective gear at all, except her Jurain robes as she stood in the vacuum of space. Her short blue hair circled her hair like a blue halo as she moved about, more of an astral projection than a real entity. She wasn't sure why she was there, or even why she was doing this. All she knew was it was making the little girl, with the weird gems in her wrist, very happy.

Normally I wouldn't be here to watch such a child, but there is something about this girl. Washu's girl, that makes me want to know more about her. Why did Washu create her, and why would she give a child her gems? It makes little sense. Maybe I am just getting paranoid in my old age, Tsunami thought with a bit of a smile, realizing how foolish that statement sounded coming from her. Yet I feel as if she will play a role in the future of Jurai, and of the universe. She will be connected to events much larger than herself, and may even have a hand in changing the fate of the outcome. Not only that, but her dreams…. She is somehow reaching into the future, making contact with it, but not like the Jurains, or even myself, who merely see a vague image. She is looking at the real future. I would put an end to all this here and now, if it was not so intriguing.

Casting her eyes at the red-haired woman sleeping on the other side of the glass pane, Tsunami smiled. Is this how you feel when you study, Washu? I suppose there is nothing wrong with her having happy dreams, she is not harming time in anyway. Not by connecting to a young man's dreams. Still I can't help but wonder…. Shaking her head, the Jurain goddess smiled faintly one last time. "I suppose I will simply have to watch these two." Having made her declaration, the mighty goddess disappeared. Gone from mortal sight and detection, but never far away.

Hours later: Ryoko's Room:

In her quiet corner of Washu's quarters, the peaceful innocent girl, Ryoko tossed and turned as she lay on her back, grunting occasionally as she squirmed under her covers. It was a ritual she had been practicing for the past several hours, one that had awakened her small friend, who lay curled up in a fluffy mass at her feet, several times. Finally in her fit, the little demoness sat up, a sour look on her face. This stinks! How am I gonna see Tenchi if I can't get to sleep? Dumb old Tenchi, why can't he just come and play with me when I'm awake! Boys are stupid!

Looking at her feet, that made little mountains with the cover, Ryoko saw Ryo-Ohki meowing happily as she slept in the warm blankets. "Hey…" the golden-eyed child whispered to her companion, who made no motion to awaken. "Wee-oh-Ohki! Wake up," she said again slightly louder, but still in a hushed tone. Growling, she showed her cat like fangs as she clutched the top of her blanket in her tiny fist. "I said…" she began, before quickly whipping up the cover, causing the little cabbit to go flying across the room, smacking into the door with a sudden thud. "Wake up!"

"Mya…." The brown-furred creature moaned, staggering around as she regained consciousness.

"I gotta pwan, Wee-oh-Ohki! Wet's go see Kagato! Mommy is asweep, so we can sneak out and get my ice cweam!" Before the golden-eyed cabbit could utter another syllable, she felt a hand grab the scruff of her neck, and heft her up. Within moments, the two were off on what in Ryoko's mind was a daring adventure for any young space pirate, to secure the precious ice cream without being caught by the GP, especially Officer Washu...

2:00 AM: The Park:

Inside the Academy, many wonderful events take place, the main point of interest being the false sky, which made the park look like it was actually on a planet, instead of out in deep space. Despite the fact that it was so late, by the standard universe time, life still continued at the park, since everyone at the academy lived on different time schedules. Some children still played, as their parents were either working on some project, or attending one of the many classes offered at the Academy.

On a park bench, near one of the many artificial hills that filled the biosphere, a young couple sat enjoying the scenery. "And that's really all there is to it," the mauve haired woman said with a shrug.

"So Washu has had that lab for over 15,000 years? Why didn't I ever get to see it until now?"

Laughing at the thought, Ayshisca merely looked at him lovingly. "Did you ever ask?"

Hitting his head lightly with the ball of his palm, Kagato chuckled. "No, I guess not." Sighing, the yellow-eyed youth felt his heart tighten in his chest. All right, it's now of never. I might as well say it and get it out in the open. "Ayshisca, there's something I need to tell you. In those years I was in space, there was one thing that keep me sane, and helped me focus through the loneliness."

"Oh," the Jurain noble smiled, turning her body to face him. "And what would that be, Kagato?"

Blushing, which now allowed his face to have some color, the assistant to Washu, coughed closing his eyes. "It was actually the thought of one woman, who I've always felt was very special to me. You see," he declared beginning to open his eyes very slowly. "I love… Ryoko!" He yelled, seeing the little girl now sitting between him and his beloved, Ayshisca, kicking her legs happily as she cradled Ryo-Ohki on her lap.

"Hewwo," the little girl said smiling happily. "Can I have my ice cweam now?"

Coming out of her shock, the purple-eyed woman quickly took in the situation. "Just what are you doing out so late young lady? I know your mom doesn't know you're up."

"But Aunt Ayshisca, I can't sweep! If I can't sweep, then I can't see Tenchi, and then I won't get to pway with him." Looking back and forth between the two adults, the little woman held up her hands in a lost expression, as if it helped sum up everything.

"Well I don't know about all that, but your mom is probably worried sick about you, Little Ryoko. All good little space pirates are in bed right now." Taking Ryoko's hand, the mauve-haired woman prepared to drag her captive home, kicking and screaming if need be.

"Just a moment, Ayshisca," Kagato announced stepping up beside his beloved. "Maybe we should let Ryoko play in the park for a while. "

"Kagato!" the mauve haired woman hissed. "Don't make me the bad guy here, you know Washu! She'll be furious if-"

"She's obviously asleep right now," he reminded his friend, whispering in her ear. "Besides if we take her back she'll just sneak out again."

"Yep, I will!" Ryoko promised, her keen ears picking up every word he said. Realizing secrets couldn't be kept from the young girl; Kagato resumed speaking in a loud voice.

"Tell you what," he smiled leaning down to Ryoko's height, rubbing her spiky hair with one hand. "Why don't you go play by the river for a little bit, so that Lady Ayshisca and I can talk."

"You'we gonna kiss, aren't you?" She said with a look of disgust. "Aunt Ayshisca, Kagato weally likes you."

As the golden-eyed youth exposed his heart to his most cherished, the white skinned man turned beet red. I can't believe… she just…. "Ryoko… dear… could you please go play now…?"

"'Kay," the slender girl yapped, running off towards the hills, her pet cabbit bounding behind her merrily.

Later:

After the little would-be space pirate had ran off, the two youth's feel silent, sitting in awkward silence as each waited for the other to say something after Ryoko's interruption.

Finally it was the mauve-haired woman who spoke, ending the uncomfortable situation. "Ryoko sure has been gone a long time, don't you think?" Ayshisca declared, looking over the hill towards. Suddenly she turned her head. "Wait… I think I can hear her… sounds like she's… Oh no!" the slender woman screamed before rushing off towards the hill, Kagato doing his best to keep up.

As they reached the top of the hill, the two geniuses saw a terrible sight. There was Ryoko, surrounded by young boys who laughed and teased her for no apparent reason, making vicious comments about Ryo-Ohki and her lisp. From the distance, Kagato could not be sure what Ryoko was doing, only that her heads was bowed low, and she was rubbing her eyes with her tiny fists.

Almost as if she sensed their presence, the golden-eyed child looked up timidly at her friends. It was at that time, one of the boys walked up closer to her, to make sure she heard his cold hearted remarks. Reacting quickly, like a cobra, Ryoko lashed out, grabbing her tiny insulter by his collar, before tossing him to the ground. Like a feral beast, the golden-eyed girl pounced on the bullies chest, one small fist clenched as she glared at him hatefully, prepared to return the pain he and his comrades had given to her.

"Ryoko!" Kagato yelled angrily, having run the full distance, just in time to catch her tiny fist before she could use her terrible power against the deserving boy. "Stop that this minute. You could hurt somebody badly as strong as you are."

"But he made fun of me," Ryoko yelled, tears strolling down her cheeks as she fought with little power to free herself from Kagato's grasp.

"Little boys always do that," the lab assistant, noted flatly to her, his eyes shooting daggers at the young boys, who began to back away from the saddened girl slowly. "Just cause you're tougher doesn't mean it's okay to beat up people, Ryoko."

Picking her up in his arms, the pale skinned man sighed, as she buried her face in his shoulder to cry. "You boys better not bother Ryoko, or Ryo-Ohki again, because I have a perfect memory, and I work for Washu. You don't want to cross me. Now go home, before I call your parents!" As he said that, the last of the gathered mob of children bolted, some of the braver boys yelling threats to Ryoko about future encounters. Hearing the little girl sob and their comments, the white-haired youth felt his heart sag. Poor little girl, she's so young… and already having a rough life. I suppose life is never fair, but… If I had a god's power I'd remake reality so that girl's like Ryoko don't have such a hard life. But I'm sure her life will get better later. I'll make sure of it, he promised himself, before looking down at the sad girl in his arms as he headed back towards where Ayshisca waited. "Come on, Ryoko let's get you your ice cream, and then get you home to bed. You've had a busy day."

"Wiff extwa spwinkles?" she cried still not looking up. At his feet, Ryo-Ohki looked up sadly, hating to see her master cry.

"Sure, Ryoko. You can have whatever you want."

"How about Saki?" the young girl tried.

Catching himself just before he said yes, Kagato shook his head. "Oh no, not until you're older."

Washu's Quarter's: Ryoko's room:

"Here we are," the young man whispered, having snuck into Washu's room using a key he had been loaned from Ayshisca, used only for emergencies. Laying the sleeping girl in her bed, the white skinned man wiped his brow of the sweat that had gathered there. For someone so small she feels like she's made of stone….

As he walked away, Kagato paused to glance back at Washu's daughter fondly as she slept. He wasn't sure why, but something about the sleeping girl, who had been nothing but trouble for him since his arrival caused his heart to melt. Once again, he made a promise to himself, that he would do anything in his power to protect this little girl, whose father was anyone's guess, from all harm. After all, he told himself, as he closed the door to Ryoko's room and prepared to leave Washu's quarters. What could possibly go wrong? Still it would be easier if I had ultimate power, but whom am I kidding, I'm not violent enough to seize power, nor would I be able to control it. Still, I'll make sure I look out for you, Ryoko.

Next Time: Kagato joins Washu in testing one of her greatest projects, an awesome spaceship, known as the Soja. Also, Yakage speaks to Ryoko, after she gets hurt while playing in the lab. It seems life is going good for our hero, and that darkness will not after him after all, but they say power corrupts. As the Soja's test near completion, Kagato makes an awful discovery, one that will lead to the end of light, and the dawn of darkness. Chapter 03: Power and Control

1: Yakage is from the Manga, he combines his DNA with Ryoko's to make Minagi, and since he is Jurain I figure he would have a reddish eye color like Ayeka, Yosho, and Sasami.

2