FATORA: Attention scum! Scum... pay attention! You are nothing!

Featuring Alielle and Fatora- behold, superiority!

ALIELLE: Hi! And welcome back to the royal bedroom! Today, we
have for you another beautiful story of love and affection...
FATORA: Well, that's quite enough of that. Let's make some money!
ALIELLE: Oh yeah. Seeing as we get to do a short introduction before
each story...
FATORA: I've decided to put this time to good use! Advertising my
brand new line of Heavenly Fatora products! Off you go, Alielle!
ALIELLE: El-Hazard, Tenchi Muyo, Slayers, Oh My Goddess, 801 TTS
Airbats... what was that last one?
FATORA: Oh, Sergeant Mitaka, you will be mine... carry on.
ALIELLE: All these anime have one thing in common- hot springs!
FATORA: Hot springs are fun, and provide many unmissable
opportunities to see attractive female acquaintances in the nude. And
now, thanks to Heavenly Fatora Products, you can have your very own
portable hot spring resort!
ALIELLE: Be the envy of your friends and neighbours! The Heavenly
Fatora Portable Hot Spring Resort is so easy to set up!
FATORA: Simply use the special industrial pneumatic drill and length
of hose to attach the kit to your nearest geothermal vent.
ALIELLE: Disclaimer- The Heavenly Fatora Corporation assumes no
responsibility for your proximity or otherwise to geothermal vents.
FATORA: So purchase your Heavenly Fatora Portable Hot Spring
Resort now! And every day can be a brief nudity day!
ALIELLE: Disclaimer- Brief nudity may not apply to customers with
Cartoon Network.
FATORA: Excellent. Now, back to our story. Alielle?
ALIELLE: Last time on The Adventures of Alielle and Fatora, Miss
Fatora swore she'd get even with her rival, Princess Formyka. Even
though Formyka IS cute, with lovely red hair and...
ALIELLE: Will Fatora get the better of Formyka? Find out now...


"Princess, I have something very important to give to you."
Fatora shielded her eyes from the morning sun and rolled over in bed.
"Alielle, can't you see I'm tired?" she moaned. "It's early. Don't you
ever stop?"
"I'm... not Alielle, princess," the voice said nervously.
That's a point, thought Fatora. The voice didn't really sound like Alielle,
come to think of it, and by the feel of things Alielle was still in bed,
asleep. So who was this?
Fatora squinted up through the unwelcome light and saw... a man.
A man!
In her bedroom!
It was surprising how quickly a shock like that could get you wide
"What are you doing here? This room is off-limits to men! How dare
"I... I... I only came to deliver your mail, princess. I was instructed to
bring it to you in person," the man panicked. "Don't hurt me! I'm one of
your staff!"
"That can't be right," she said, raising an eyebrow. "I don't have any
male staff. My servants are all female. Not that I'm discriminatory, you
understand. It's just that men suck and I'd much rather be surrounded by
women. So how do you explain your presence here?"
"I'm actually a temp... a lot of your usual staff are off sick."
"I don't know why they keep catching colds," sighed Fatora, shaking her
head. "Maybe it's got something to do with those new regulation
uniforms I gave them. I suppose they are a little skimpy... Anyway,
where's my mail? I'm expecting a very important package today."
"There's no package, princess, just a letter for you. And one for Miss
Ralielle. The man handed two letters to Fatora.
"No package?" she complained. "They said twenty-eight days. Damn
specialist catalogues. I'll have to get on to the company."
"If you tell me what the package is, I could make an enquiry with the
postal service," the man offered.
Fatora shook her head decisively. "I wouldn't want to make you blush."
"Well, if there's anything else I can do..."
"Thankyou, you've done quite enough. I'm sure the sight of me in my
underwear will be sufficient fuel for your sick male fantasies for many
years to come..."
"Actually princess, I'm gay."
"Are you?" Fatora replied, her tone almost congratulatory. "Oh, well...
in that case, I won't fire you. Just try to stick to Rune's end of the
palace. Dismissed!"
The man hurriedly left. Fatora prodded Alielle in an attempt to wake her.
"Rise and shine, girl wonder. There's a letter here for you. Looks
Alielle blinked her tired eyes as Fatora deposited the letter on her lap,
then set about opening her own.
Alielle immediately recognised the writing on the envelope. It was from
Mother. She turned to Fatora, who was examining the contents of her
letter with disbelief.
"What does yours say, Fatora?"
"I can't believe this... apparently, I'm being accused of sexual
discrimination! Somebody claimed that my selection procedure for
servants was unfairly weighted towards female applicants. This is your
union pestering me again, Alielle. Will they ever leave me alone?"
"They're not taking you to court, are they?"
"Oh, a few bribes should take care of things. So... who's yours from?"
"Just my mother," Alielle smiled. "I haven't heard from her in a while."
Fatora sat up decisively. "Well, I feel like a shower. Want one?"
"Not just yet," she replied. "I think I'll stay here for a while and see
what my mother has to say."
"Suit yourself," Fatora said, jumping out of bed. "I'll see you later."
As Fatora left the room, Alielle carefully opened the envelope on
removed the letter.

'Dear Alielle,
How is my special little girl? I do hope that you and your friend Fatora
are in good health.'
Alielle couldn't help but break into a smile on reading this. That was
mother. Of course, she was aware of the full extent of Alielle's
relationship with Fatora, and was quite proud that her daughter had won
the affections of royalty. But she could never find an appropriate term to
describe their relationship, and until she did, 'friends' was all they would
'Your sister Aspielle has a lovely new boyfriend who we all got to meet
last week. I hope we'll get to meet Fatora soon, as we've been hearing so
much about her.'
Alielle shuddered, thinking of the almost infinite number of ways in
which Fatora could offend her unsuspecting parents. She'd have to think
of an excuse to put that off.
'Parnasse tells us that his new job will bring him to Florestica soon. I'm
sure he's looking forward to seeing you again.'
Parnasse? Oh, that was all she needed.
'As it's almost Damach, we've been busy preparing. It's a shame you
won't be able to spend your first Damach with us, but...'
Her eyes drifted off the page. Damach? Already? Surely not. Somebody
would have mentioned it.
But, then again, Damach wasn't widely observed in Roshtaria. Why
would anybody have mentioned it?
Okay, there was no need to get worked up about it.
Why, all she had to do was find a calendar and work out how much time
was left.

Fatora straightened her hat and walked back into the bedroom.
"Alielle, have you seen my orange shoes? I feel like orange today."
No answer. Fatora looked over at the bed. Alielle had gone, leaving the
sheets in disarray.
She shrugged, and noticed a pair of brown shoes on the floor. Well,
brown was almost orange. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she
pulled the shoes on, and noticed Alielle's letter behind her. Clearly,
Alielle had left the room in a hurry. Could something be wrong?
Possibly, although a more likely explanation was that Alielle had spied
an attractive female servant passing the room, and gone to investigate.
She crossed the room and stepped out onto the adjoining balcony. It was
a nice day. Not too hot. A pleasant breeze was blowing from the west.
Yes, she was in a good mood today.
"There she is!"
Fatora looked down. Nanami, Shayla, Afura and Miz were below her,
looking up in anger. What was their problem?
"Good morning!" she called down. "Lovely day! Can I help you ladies?"
"You've gone too far!" Shayla called back. "You pervert! Anyone other
than a princess would have been locked up by now!"
"What's this about?" Fatora shouted, bemused.
"You know what this is about!" Nanami retorted. "None of us have any
"Oh. Is that a... fashion statement or something?"
"Don't play dumb!" Shayla fumed. "You stole our pants, admit it!"
Fatora laughed. "I had nothing to do with it." She paused as she realised
something surprising. "Hey, wait a minute. I really DIDN'T have
anything to do with it!"
This wasn't her doing, although admittedly, it was exactly the sort of
thing she'd do. Well, Nanami and Shayla, definitely. Afura, quite
possibly. But Miz? Who'd swipe Miz's pants?
A palace guard approached the small congregation below her.
"Excuse me, your holinesses. We believe there is a thief in the palace.
Princess Rune reports the theft of certain... garments."
"Fatora, how could you?" Afura responded, shocked. "Your own sister?
Have you no shame?"
"It wasn't me!" Fatora insisted. Bang went her good mood. "Do you
want me to write it down for you? It wasn't me!"
"Hi Fatora!" another voice called. Fatora looked down to see that the
group had been joined by... oh, not her...
The most sincere and irritating of rivals.
Princess Formyka.
"She did it!" Fatora shouted. "I bet it was her!"
"Don't try pushing the blame on someone else!" Shayla relied.
"Right," Formyka agreed. "Whatever it is I'm accused of, I didn't do it."
"What's that you're holding, princess?" Miz asked suspiciously.
Formyka glanced down at the underwear she'd forgotten she was
holding. "These? Oh..."
"My pants!" Nanami cried. "It was you! You..."
"Miss Jinnai," Formyka smiled nervously, "I happened to... find these
pants... somewhere. I took it upon myself to... return them to their
rightful owner." She felt around in her pocket and produced another pair.
"Are these yours, Priestess Shayla?"
"You... PERVERT!" Shayla screamed.
Fatora turned away from the balcony and walked back into the bedroom.
Behind her, she could hear a series of explosions and the sound of
Formyka screaming.

Alielle exited the store and found herself swept along the street by the
non-stop stream of other shoppers. Florestica was busy today. Alielle
usually enjoyed the excitement of city life, but on days like this, when it
was too crowded for her liking, she found herself thinking about home.
She wasn't a native of Roshtaria. She was born in Kosm, a small town in
the neighbouring kingdom of Dorusland. It was a quiet town, close-knit
and ultimately pretty boring, but it was where she had spent most of her
life, and she often got homesick despite her interesting new life in
Florestica. Whenever possible, she would return home to visit, but she
couldn't do this as often as she would have liked- partly because of the
distance, but also because she was afraid to leave Fatora alone in case
she offended somebody and started a war.
Most of all though, she missed her family. Her mother, cheerful and
affectionate; her father, good-natured and, ironically, a little over-
protective. Even her eight sisters and six brothers. The town may have
been small, but the Ralielle family alone generated enough chaos to fill a
She should be back there now, really. She never imagined she'd be
spending her first Damach in a foreign land. Not that she usually gave
religious matters that much thought- that was evident from the fact that
she had only just discovered that Damach started today. It was more a
matter of culture. Her parents were no more devout than she was, but
they'd always observed Damach, and there was never any question that
she would too.
It was going to be tough, though. Some parts in particular. But at least
she had Fatora. She'd understand.

Makoto looked up from the ancient text he was attempting to translate as
Fatora entered the library.
"Good morning, princess."
"Oh, it's you. Having fun?"
"Well," Makoto started, "I've managed to find some texts which I'm
pretty sure pre-date the construction of the Eye of God. I'm searching
through them for references to technology of the day..."
"I'll assume that's a yes," she replied.
"What are you doing here, princess?" Makoto asked. "I don't see you in
the library too often."
"Me? Oh, I'm in and out of here all the time," Fatora said, scanning the
shelves. "One cannot truly claim to have lived without having sampled
at least some of the literary greats." She pulled a book from one of the
"Makoto smiled with curiosity. "I had no idea you had an interest in
"Check it out." Fatora passed her book to Makoto, who read the title and
"One Hundred and One Sexual Positions For Acrobatic Female Lovers?
Is this the kind of stuff you read?"
"Read it?" she laughed, taking the book back. "I wrote the introduction!
Anyway, glad to see you're having a productive day."
"Not too productive," he said, shaking his head. "Earlier this morning I
had to go shopping. It, uh, seems I completely ran out of underwear."
Fatora winced. "Eew! Formyka took YOUR underwear too? What is
wrong with the woman?"
"You don't like Princess Formyka, do you?" Makoto observed. "To be
honest, that surprises me. She seems like the sort of person you'd get on
"Why? Because she's a perverted, sex-crazed deviant?"
"Well... pretty much."
"You're mistaken," Fatora snapped. "I have standards. Not her. She'd
screw her own grandfather if he wasn't dead. And even that might not be
enough to stop her in principle. Come to think of it, maybe that's why
they had him cremated..."
Makoto decided not to give that matter too much thought. "But why do
you dislike her so much?"
"Because she's always making herself out to be better than me. She's
always... comparing sizes. It's so embarrassing."
"Sizes? Of what?"
"Harems. She has fifty women and fifty men, all hand-picked. And me...
I have... well, I guess there's Alielle, but other than that..."
"You know, Fatora, size isn't the most important thing in the world."
Fatora sneered. "You men say that a lot, don't you?"
"It's true!"
"Makoto, my dear boy, in your case, I doubt size would make any
difference at all."
"Uh... thanks," Makoto said, trying to work out whether or not Fatora's
comment was meant as a compliment. "How come you don't have a
harem anyway?"
"Of course, I'd like one," Fatora sighed. "What girl wouldn't? But
Roshtarian servants have one hell of a powerful union. You wouldn't
believe the amount of paperwork a harem generates in this country. I just
don't have the time. Formyka has it easy over in Styrenia, the bitch."
"It sounds to me as if the two of you are fighting over nothing," Makoto
commented. "Perhaps you should try to get on with her."

Get on with Formyka? Ludicrous, Fatora thought as she paced along the
corridor. They were rivals. For their relationship to be anything other
than that would be a flagrant contradiction of the basic laws of nature.
What if they WEREN'T enemies?
Fatora and Formyka united...
No force would be able to stand against them. Together they could form
a royal seduction squad so powerful, even the most committed
heterosexual women would stand an even chance of being converted.
Women like... Shayla-Shayla...
The thought of a real-life lesbian Shayla was so beautiful, it caused
Fatora to forget what she was doing and collide with an oncoming
"Oh! Please accept my apologies, your majesty!"
"My fault entirely," Fatora smiled as she looked down at the young
woman. "I don't believe I've seen you before."
"No, princess," the woman replied. "I've just started working here."
"Really, now?" Fatora's smile turned into a grin. "Well, it's always a
pleasure to welcome new staff into our little family. If there's anything I
can do to help, don't hesitate to ask. I want your time here to be as...
comfortable as possible." She gently put her hand on the woman's
shoulder. "Why don't I take you on a personal guided tour of some of
my favourite parts of the palace?"
"I'd be honoured, princess," the woman responded, a little surprised.
"Hey! Fatora!" a voice called out from behind. Fatora knew, without
having to turn around, that it was Formyka.
"Nice servant," Formyka noted. She leaned in to the servant and
whispered- "She's only trying to get in your pants."
The servant blushed profusely and backed away. "Please... excuse me,
princess!" she blurted out, and beat a hasty retreat.
"What did you do THAT for?" Fatora hissed at Formyka. "She was a
sure thing!"
"Oh, Fatora, can't you take a joke?" Formyka laughed. "Or is she really
the best you can do? You take everything so seriously, don't you?"
"The seduction of women is a serious business!" Fatora answered.
"Only for somebody like you, who has to put serious effort into it,"
Formyka gloated. "Face it. Compared to me, you're an amateur."
"Nonsense! I could've INVENTED debauchery!" Fatora fumed.
"Okay, okay," Formyka nodded. "Then I propose a test. I challenge you
to sleep with an agreed number of women, and provide documentary
proof, by the time I leave in two weeks."
"You're on!" Fatora folded her arms. "And how many women exactly?"
"As you're a beginner I'll set the limit low. Let's say... three."
"Three?" Fatora could hardly suppress her amusement. "I've done more
than that in one night! With a whole two weeks, I can afford to take my
time. You might as well proclaim me victorious now!"
"Don't forget, your little friend Alielle can help," Formyka smiled
"Well, yeah..." Fatora agreed. She then turned around and started
heading back down the corridor. "I'll see YOU later!"
When Fatora was out of sight, two small figures, one female and one
male, stepped out of the shadows. Formyka's two favourite servants,
Number One and Number Two, ran over to join her.
"Wow, Lady Formyka, your plan is working perfectly!" said Number
Two, his eyes full of admiration.
"I can't believe she agreed to it," Formyka sniggered. "How could she
be so dumb?"
"It's because she doesn't have the infinite wisdom and intelligence that
only you possess," Number One smiled.

Princess Rune set about opening the package before her. The top half of
the label was torn, but it appeared to be intended for her.
She opened the box, took a look at the contents and almost fainted.
"Fatora! I think this must be for you!"

"Hey, Alielle, my package came after all!" Fatora grinned proudly.
"They just sent it to Rune by accident. Oh, we're gonna have some fun
with this..." she placed the box on the table. "So, where did you
disappear to?"
"I was shopping," Alielle replied, looking a little distracted.
"You weren't buying new underwear too, were you? If Formyka took
yours as well, I'll have to..."
"No, I needed, um, candles."
"Candles?" Fatora responded, perturbed. "Well, what you spend your
money on is up to you." She opened the box and looked with some
disappointment at her purchase. "Damn. This thing looked a lot bigger in
the catalogue."
"Fatora," Alielle started apprehensively, "did, um, you know that
Damach starts today?"
"Damach?" Fatora tried to remember where she'd heard the word
before. "Oh, I know. Isn't it some sort of foreign religious thing?"
"Well, it's actually my religion. Damach is two weeks of reflection
and... things. It happens every year."
This was news to Fatora, but she didn't want to appear ignorant, so she
decided to play along. "Yeah, I remember it now. Damach."
"So... you know what it involves?"
"Oh, absolutely. Praying, that kind of stuff," Fatora bluffed.
"Fatora, you don't really know, do you?"
"Well, not... completely. What does it involve, then?"
Alielle hesitated. "First, I, uh, can't eat before sunset."
"Well, and... I'm not allowed to have sex."
Fatora's eyes grew to something approaching twice their normal size.
"No sex? For two weeks? Is that physically possible?"
"Fatora, I..."
"I don't remember any of this happening last year!"
"This is the first year that I'm old enough to participate. A person's first
Damach is very important."
Fatora frowned. "You might have given me some advance warning."
Alielle frowned back. "Nobody's asking YOU to take part. It's me that's
doing this, not you." She looked away and sighed. "I was hoping you
wouldn't be like this."
"Like what, exactly?"
"You know what I mean."
Fatora looked at Alielle awkwardly. Alielle was right of course. She was
being selfish. But she couldn't help it. This turn of events was
unexpected to say the least.
"So... you're definitely going through with it, then?"
"Well of course I'm going through with it!" Alielle sighed. "Fatora,
could you at least pretend to be supportive?"
"I AM supportive! I'm very supportive!" Fatora insisted. "Never let it be
said that I, Princess Fatora, would not assist her lover in a time of
spiritual crisis. What do you want me to do?"
"Just don't tempt me," said Alielle, shooting an accusing glance in
Fatora's direction.
"That's all?" Fatora replied. "Oh, I can manage that."

Fatora sat dejectedly at a table in the Shinonome Diner. Eventually,
Nanami approached her.
"What do YOU want?" Fatora asked grumpily.
"Well, I was going to take your order, but if that's your attitude..."
"I'll have some of your finest non-alcoholic wine, and something with a
ton of chocolate in it. And give me a break, I'm having a bad day."
"I notice Alielle isn't here," Nanami observed. "Is everything okay?"
Fatora shrugged. "Alielle's acting very strangely. She's turned into some
sort of religious fanatic. Obsessed with participating in the festival of
something or other."
"A smile crossed Nanami's lips. "Alielle's religious? That's the first I've
heard of it."
"Yeah," Fatora nodded. "You think you know someone, and then... she
says she's not going to have sex for two weeks!"
"Wow. For Alielle, that's dedication. So what are you going to do?"
"Well," Fatora pondered, "I'll just have to get my sex elsewhere for the
time being. I'll probably go for servants. Have to make it at least three...
Formyka challenged me to sleep with three women in the next two
weeks, so..."
"My God," Nanami said, astounded. "I'm shocked..."
Fatora continued. "I know. She really is underestimating me, don't you
agree? I mean, come on. Three women? Three?"
"That's not what I mean," Nanami frowned. "What about Alielle's
feelings? It's going to be hard for someone like her to manage no sex for
two weeks. And if she sees you messing around with other women,
how'll that make her feel?"
"Hey, it's her decision!" Fatora protested. "It's not like I'm asking her to
do it. If you ask me, the concept of depriving yourself of pleasure for
religious purposes is stupid, stupid, stupid. That's why religion causes so
many wars. All the followers are so pent up with sexual frustration."
"What you THINK doesn't matter."
"I'm a princess! And I think you'll find that what I think ALWAYS
Nanami shook her head. "My point is that whatever your opinion, you
should be doing more to keep Alielle happy. Do you have any
comprehension of how fortunate you are?"
"Fortunate? Well, I..."
"You have someone like Alielle who stays by you despite your multiple
personality flaws. You maintain a relationship without ever really trying.
And I've never once heard you tell her that you love her. You think this
is going to last forever? Sooner or later, even Alielle's gonna get fed
"How dare you suggest that my relationship is anything other than
perfect! Alielle is well aware of my feelings towards her. She doesn't
NEED me to prove it with silly gestures. Besides, I have a competition
with Formyka to think about..."
"Oh, I see," said Nanami. "Fatora, what do you think is more important?
Alielle or this feud you have going with Formyka?"
Fatora paused. "Um... well, I don't really..."
"If you can't answer that question straight away then maybe there isn't
any hope for your relationship," Nanami said sternly.

Fatora did her best to ignore Nanami's words as she walked up to the
bedroom that night. What did Nanami know about love anyway?
Someone who channelled all of her sexual energy into pining after an
unobtainable, uninspiring boy. Fatora had been with Alielle for well over
a year now, and, she told herself, knew her better than anyone.

So it was with considerable surprise that she discovered that her
bedroom had been extensively redecorated.
There were candles everywhere- covering every available surface- and
some of them, Fatora noted, were perilously close to flammable fabrics.
But the most noticeable difference was the bed- or, more precisely, beds.
Where there had been one bed there were now two. On the far bed,
Alielle was kneeling, apparently unaware of Fatora's presence, and
repeating a mantra to herself-

"For the coming of the light we pray,
The great manifestation of all things obscure,
With light comes truth and happiness."

Alielle recited this several times over, and then noticed Fatora.
"Oh, Fatora. I was just... well, you probably wouldn't be interested.
Where have you been?"
"Just out and about, nowhere special." Fatora glanced around the room.
"I see you've been busy."
"I... didn't think you'd mind," Alielle said. "Since you said you were
okay with it, I decided to decorate the room in the traditional way."
"And the two beds?"
"It's just in case I get tempted," Alielle justified. "It's... difficult, Fatora.
You wouldn't believe how much more inviting sex becomes when you
know you can't do it. I'm scared that I won't last the full two weeks..."
"Well, whatever happens, I won't judge you. If you can't stick it out,
there's no need to be embarrassed. Hell, if you want to quit tonight,
again, that's fine..."
"Stop it," Alielle frowned.
"What?" Fatora asked innocently.
"You want me to fail don't you? You'd be much happier if I just forgot
about this whole thing, wouldn't you?"
Fatora paused. "Is there a way I can answer that question honestly
without pissing you off?"
"I'm going to bed."

Fatora lay unhappily in her single bed and stared up, as she always did,
at the blackness. Or, at least, it was usually blackness. On this particular
night, however, the darkness was punctuated by the light of the candles.
"Alielle, can we put out the candles now?"
"It's just that they kind of make it difficult to sleep..."
"The candles have to stay lit for the whole of Damach, or else the lights
won't come. At least, in a spiritual sense."
Fatora replayed this statement a few times in her head, and decided, on
reflection, that it made no sense at all. Alielle suddenly seemed very
She turned over and closed her eyes. Stupid religion. Alielle could be so
weird sometimes.
'You think this is going to last forever?' a voice said in her head.
'Sooner or later, even Alielle's gonna get fed up.'
That's... ridiculous, Fatora told herself.
There was a time, before Alielle came into her life, that Fatora had been
really quite paranoid. This older, obsolete version of her was now all but
gone. But, just occasionally, a swift kick of paranoia was precisely what
she needed.
What if... Nanami was right? Could it be possible?
She had never thought about losing Alielle before because the concept
had never seemed even remotely plausible. But now, thanks to that small
part of her which remained true to her old self, she had a momentary
glimpse of that possibility.
A little nervously, she looked over to Alielle's bed. Alielle was curled
up, facing the wall, the candlelight illuminating her body in a most
curious way. It suddenly occurred to Fatora that, in this special light,
Alielle looked more beautiful than ever.
I can't lose her, Fatora thought.

The combination of candles and worrying meant that Fatora didn't get to
sleep for hours. As a consequence, she overslept and finally awoke
shortly before midday. Looking around, she noticed that the room had
changed again.
All of the candles had been moved to Alielle's side of the room. Fatora's
initial reaction was relief. Perhaps now she'd be able to get a decent
night's sleep.
But then, a small part of her brain suggested that maybe this wan't such
a good thing after all. The rest of her brain told it to shut up. Whatever
the consensus, half an hour later she was in Nanami's restaurant, making
what, for Fatora, was a most embarrassing confession.

"I... um... need your advice."
Nanami found it difficult to disguise her satisfaction, so she didn't. "Oh
"Yes," Fatora sighed. "I might have upset Alielle. I mean, really upset
her. She has these candles, you see, and..."
"Oh, I know," Nanami interrupted. "The Damach candles are lit in order
to summon the lights. After you mentioned the festival yesterday, I
asked Makoto to do some research on the subject."
"How come?"
"I have an interest in cultural history," Nanami said. When this failed to
convince Fatora, she added- "Also I thought there might be some money
to be made from it. It turns out I was right. Check it out!"
Nanami pointed proudly to a sign proclaiming- 'Damach Special:
Nanami Jinnai says Happy Damach to you!'
"It's an idea I'm especially proud of," she smiled. "Most of the people in
Roshtaria who celebrate the festival are immigrants from countries
further south, just like Alielle. There aren't many of them, but the
majority live right here in Florestica. Now, one of the rules of Damach is
no eating during daylight hours. Which is why, for the next two weeks,
the Shinonome Diner will be open all night, every night!"
Fatora nodded in approval. "I'm impressed. Now, are you gonna help me
or not?"
"Okay, okay. Go on."
"This morning, Alielle moved all of the candles over to her side of the
room. Do you think she's trying to tell me something?"
"Oh no," Nanami said. "This could be a very bad sign."
"Hey, I was just a little concerned. I mean, I don't think it's a cause for
immediate panic."
"No, Fatora. Don't you see? Alielle's putting up a barrier between the
two of you."
"Okay," Fatora frowned. "I think it's obvious you're making this up as
you go along."
"I am not!" Nanami insisted. "I'll have you know I'm an expert in this
"Really? And just how much experience do you have, huh?"
"I'll admit I'm lacking when it comes to the practical side of things,"
Nanami replied, "but I know everything there is to know about Romantic
Fatora blinked. "Romantic Theory?"
"Yes. Many years spent reading romantic manga have left me with a
sixth sense for the weak spots in other people's relationships. Permit me
to demonstrate with a few appropriate examples..."

One hour later, Fatora was no closer to solving her problem, but she had
learnt more about manga love affairs than most people learn in a
"I still don't get it. If this Belldandy chick has such a great relationship,
how come she never has sex?"
"I think the theory behind Oh My Goddess is a little... uh... advanced for
you," Nanami sighed. "The point I've been trying to illustrate is that you
always have to consider the other person's feelings. Think about it.
Alielle's in a foreign country, trying to live up to a tradition that nobody
here understands. Just think how lonely she must feel."
"I know, I know," Fatora nodded. "So what do you suggest?"
"There's only one solution," Nanami smiled. "You have to make
yourself a part of it. Show an interest. Participate."
"Participate?" Fatora echoed, incredulous. "Are you seriously suggesting
I voluntarily deprive myself of sex for two weeks? Apart from the fact
that I have a competition to think about, I doubt I'd be able to last that
Nanami refused to be put off. "If Alielle can manage it, so can you. And
as for your rivalry with Princess Formyka... if you truly love Alielle,
then you'll make her your number one priority."

Fatora finally found Alielle in the royal gardens, looking hungry,
frustrated and thoroughly miserable.
"Hey there," Fatora said, sitting down next to her. "What's up?"
"Is it me or do all the women look more attractive today?" Alielle asked
sadly. "I'm pathetic. One and a half days without sex and I'm cracking
up already."
"Well, you don't have to suffer alone anymore," Fatora smiled.
"Because I'm joining you."
Alielle narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "Is this some sort of plot to trick
me into having sex?"
"Not at all, not at all," Fatora continued, unfazed. "I'm not saying I'll
enjoy it, but it's enough to know I'm sharing in a part of my dear
Alielle's life."
"But... I thought you weren't interested," Alielle replied, confused.
"Oh, I was just a little surprised. But now I've had a chance to think
about it, I definitely want to take part."
Alielle wondered exactly what had happened to Fatora today. "Really?"
she probed, in an effort to check she wasn't imagining this.
"Really," Fatora replied.
"Oh! Fatora!" Alielle jumped on top of Fatora in delight. "How selfless!
I feel so lucky to have somebody so kind and considerate!"
Wow, Fatora thought. That was really easy.
"This is going to be so much more special now that I have someone to
share it with," Alielle continued happily. "Hey, on the last night we can
watch for the lights together."
"Um, okay," said Fatora. "What lights are these?"
"The lights appear in the sky every year, on the last night of Damach.
It's a tradition to spend the last night waiting for them to appear.
Unfortunately, they're not actually visible from Roshtaria, so it's more
of a formality..."
Alielle let out a little sigh. "That's one thing I really miss about home.
They're so beautiful. All green and pink and white and... stuff."
Fatora took Alielle's hand and began to lead her back to the palace. A
strange, logical calm had come over her. Why, this needn't be so
difficult. A mere two weeks was nothing, she told herself. It was simply
a matter of mental determination- and she, Princess Fatora, had a mind
of legendary status.
It is, in fact, quite possible that Fatora would have done everything in
her power to keep her promise, if it hadn't been for one complicating

Fatora had done her very best to avoid Formyka, but, alas, on the fifth
day their paths crossed, and Fatora found herself facing the same old

"Fatora!" Formyka smirked. "Tell me, how are things progressing with
the challenge I gave you?"
Fatora was about to give Formyka precise details of the orifice into
which she could insert her challenge, but Formyka continued before she
had the chance to speak.
"Only from what I hear, you've been getting less action than a Muldoon
priestess. So come on. How many women have you managed so far?"
Fatora gritted her teeth. "The royal house has no comment to make on
that matter at this time. You are invited to go boil your head."
"Don't tell me you haven't managed ANY," Formyka laughed. "Not
even Alielle? What's the matter, Fatora honey? Can't you satisfy her
these days? Hey, I know- I could give you some tips. Even better... just
leave her with me for ten minutes. I guarantee she'll be smiling when
she returns..."
"AAAAAARGH!" Fatora screamed. "I'll show you, you third rate
princess, you fourth rate debaucher, you vile fungus in the toilet bowl of
life, you... bitch!"
Fatora stormed off down the corridor.
"Whoa," Formyka said to herself. "Looks like I hit a nerve with that

"Your majesty, you're so kind," the servant smiled shyly as Fatora
showed her to the table. The Shinonome Diner was crowded tonight-
evidently Nanami's Damach Specials were very popular. Of course, the
last thing Fatora wanted to think about was Damach.
'Bad Fatora,' a little voice said. 'This is a terrible thing to do.' This
dissenting voice was Fatora's conscience- so the only person who heard
it was Fatora, and she wasn't listening.

There is a common misconception, shared by many of those who
regularly encounter Princess Fatora on a social basis, that she has no
conscience at all. This is not true, however much Fatora would like it to
be. Many of Fatora's schemes require a high degree of concentration,
which will only be impeded some sanctimonious little manifestation of
consciousness popping up and questioning the ethical validity of it all.
One day, Fatora hoped, doctors would identify the part of the brain in
which conscience resided- whereupon she could have the damn thing cut
out once and for all.
Fatora's conscience was getting extremely agitated tonight. However,
she had had no sex for six days now, and her conscience was effectively
powerless against the flood of hormones that engulfed it. All it could do
was sit back and occasionally offer its opinion, and hope Fatora would
see the light.

Nanami approached the table with suspicion.
"Where's Alielle?"
Fatora looked around, caught off guard. "Oh, I... erm... I don't know.
Somewhere or other. Can we order now?"
"Who's this?" frowned Nanami.
"Why do you ask?" Fatora smiled nervously, trying to cover up the fact
that she'd forgotten he servant's name.
"Oh, you know, I just thought you'd be with Alielle tonight."
Fatora looked back to the servant. "Would you excuse us?"
She stood up and took Nanami aside.
"What's the matter? Can't I have dinner with friends without you
interrogating me?"
"Don't give me that," Nanami hissed. "I can tell you're planning on
having sex with her."
Fatora considered denying this, then decided that on balance it probably
wasn't worth the effort.
"Look," she said, "I know this might SEEM wrong, but let me assure
you that it's not. You see, Alielle doesn't know I'm going to do this."
"And that makes it okay?"
"Sure it does. Think about it. I'm not following Damach because
actually believe any of that stuff. The only reason I'm doing it is because
seeing me do it makes Alielle happy. So, you see, it doesn't matter if I
cheat, just as long as Alielle doesn't SEE me cheat. Get it?"
"My God," Nanami said. "You're an evil genius." She shook her head.
"I don't care how you try to justify it. It's still wrong."
"Oh, well, excuse me, Little Miss Moral High Ground," Fatora replied.
"Just remind me which one of us is making an obscene amount of
money out of a religious festival."
"I'm Japanese. We do it all the time. Besides, everyone's happy, aren't
"Yes," Fatora nodded. "And if my plan works, that will also make
everyone happy. I'll be on my way to beating Formyka. Alielle will be
none the wiser. And that young lady over there will have had the best
night of her otherwise dull life. Do you see a problem with that?"
"I do," Nanami said, narrowing her eyes. "What if it doesn't work?
What if Alielle finds out what you're doing? Can you imagine? The
divine Belldandy herself wouldn't be able to talk herself out of that
"Well... yeah. But my plan WILL work if you just do your job and take
our damn order."

Nanami returned to the table a few minutes later with a fake smile and
two bottles.
"Your wine," she said to Fatora. "What was it? Oh yeah. Non-alcoholic
for you, and something mildly intoxicating for your friend."
"Ssh!" Fatora hissed. She hastily took the bottles and began to pour.
Nanami moved away, but continued to observe.
"Cheers," Fatora said, picking up her glass.

Fatora opened her eyes, and wondered why she still couldn't see
Wait, there was a reason... at least, she suspected there was. Another
sensation of one kind or another- she couldn't really tell. Her brain was
rather sluggish for some reason.
Her face was pressed against something hard. Yes, that was it. All she
had to do was remove her face from the hard object, and...
She lifted her head from the table and discovered she was still in the
restaurant. Only... a few things were different. The servant- whatever her
name was- had gone. In fact, all of the customers had gone. It was light
outside. And Alielle was staring at her with undisguised concern.
"Fatora, are you okay?"
"No," Fatora mumbled. "Was I here... all night?"
"Not quite," Nanami said, walking over. "You were on the floor for a
while too. Wow, I heard that alcohol doesn't agree with you, but I didn't
realise you were THAT bad."
"Hold on," Fatora objected, quietly so as not to aggravate her ferocious
headache. "I didn't drink any alcohol. I never do! Because... well, I think
the reason is quite obvious."
"There was a mix up," Nanami said. "It seems that instead of your usual
non-alcoholic wine, I accidentally gave you something a little... um...
stronger." She held up a bottle of Old Acrisian Ridiculously Strong
Potato Wine, with a label attached stating- 'Warning: Fujisawa only!'
"Yeah," Nanami continued. "One glass of that and you were out like a
Although the reasoning centres of Fatora's brain weren't at full capacity
this morning, she was still able to put two and two together.
"You did that on purpose!" she whispered to Nanami. "You KNEW I
wouldn't be able to take that stuff!"
"So what if I did?" Nanami whispered back. "I did it for you and Alielle.
You'll thank me for it."
"I'll kill you for it!"
"What's the matter?" Alielle asked innocently.
"Nothing!" Fatora and Nanami replied together.
"Well, that's okay," Alielle said, oblivious. "Fatora, you poor little
thing." She bent down to embrace Fatora- a warm, protective embrace
which was precisely what Fatora needed right now.
"I'm very sorry about the mistake," Nanami said, continuing the
charade. "If there's anything I can do to make it up..."
"Give me food," Fatora moaned. "I'm dying. I need food."
Alielle shook her head. "Now, Fatora, you know there's no food allowed
until sunset. Come on, I'll take you home."
Fatora tried to mumble objections, but had to apply all of her strength
into standing up, so her efforts went unnoticed. Alielle led her slowly out
of the restaurant and into the unnecessarily bright sunlight.

"Are you feeling any better now, sweetness?"
Alielle gave Fatora another glass of water. She was, at least, allowed to
have water- which was just as well, as without it she suspected she'd
have crystallised by now.
Fatora downed the glass in one go. "Thanks, Alielle. I think I'm starting
to recover."
"Well, you just stay there, and if there's anything you need, you just
have to ask."
"You're being very attentive today," Fatora noted.
Alielle smiled. "You deserve it. After all, you've tried so hard this past
week, and all for my benefit. I'm really not worthy of such dedication."
Fatora, to her surprise, began to feel guilty. "Don't say that."
Alielle looked guilty too. "It's true. You see, last night, when you didn't
come back, I started to worry. I was afraid... afraid that you'd gone off to
have sex with somebody." She looked to the floor. "I doubted you. I'm
so ashamed."
Fatora put her hand on Alielle's shoulder. "It's okay. I don't mind. This
is a... stressful time for both of us."
"Oh, Fatora," Alielle sighed. "You're so wonderful. I know you'd never
really go back on your promise."
Fatora thought she could hear her conscience laughing at her, although it
may just have been her hangover.

The week that followed was probably the most difficult of Fatora's life.
Alielle found it hard too, of course, but she complained a lot less. If
there were any spiritual benefits to be gained from their abstinence,
neither of them noticed. Most of the time, the were too busy with the
important business of pacing, and calculating the exact number of days,
hours and minutes until they were allowed to have sex again. Somehow,
though, they managed. Alielle was motivated by a sense of duty to her
culture, while Fatora was driven by a mixture of negative emotions,
primarily guilt.

Strangely, Formyka did not spend this time gloating. In fact, she kept an
uncharacteristically low profile. The next time Fatora met her was on the
final day of Damach.
Formyka and her servants were hiding behind an ornamental fountain,
attempting to spy on the girls beyond it. Fatora approached them, trying
to look as dignified as possible.
"Oh... Fatora," Formyka said. "You know I leave tomorrow morning.
And if I remember, you said that by the time I left, you'd have..."
"Yes, yes, yes," Fatora nodded. "Well, anyway, something happened
and I couldn't. I thought you'd want to know."
Formyka's servants could hardly contain their pleasure, but the princess
herself remained calm and courteous.
"Oh, bad luck. Well, no hard feelings, eh?"
Now Fatora was confused. "You're... not going to humiliate me because
of this?"
"Of course not. It was just a friendly challenge."
"Okay..." Fatora said slowly. "So... I'll just be off now."
"See you," Formyka nodded. "Oh, and Happy Damach."
Fatora walked away. The conversation had seemed so unreal that she
found herself checking it over and over in her head.
She walked back into the palace. Across the hallway. Up the stairs.
Along the corridor. Into the bedroom. Alielle was sitting on one of the
"Hi Fatora!" Alielle said. "Happy Damach."
Suddenly Fatora realised what had been wrong with the conversation.
"That's... what SHE said!" she gasped. Turning to Alielle, she said-
"Will you excuse me for just a second?"
Fatora tore out of the bedroom, along the corridor, down the stairs,
across the hallway, out of the palace and back up to the fountain where
Formyka and her servants were still standing.
"What do you MEAN, Happy Damach?" Fatora demanded. "Do you
mean to tell me you KNEW about this all along?"
"So what if I did?" Formyka smirked. "All it did was make the test more
conclusive. If you were really half as debauched as you claim, you'd
have found a way to have sex behind Alielle's back. But you failed, as I
knew you would. Face it, you're a serial monogamist who should leave
debauchery to the professionals."
"Your test wasn't fair!" Fatora growled.
"But you agreed to it," Formyka reminded her. "You can't do anything
about it now."
"No, maybe I can't," Fatora said. "But I can do... THIS!"
Fatora pushed Formyka backwards. She fell into the fountain with a
satisfying splash.
"Sorry," Fatora said. "I know it's very immature, but it was the best I
could come up with at such short notice."

Nanami's attempt to cash in on Damach had worked unbelievably well.
So well, in fact, that the Shinonome Diner had quickly become a
gathering place for followers from all over Florestica. Tonight, as
Damach drew to a close, the restaurant was packed with customers
awaiting the coming of the lights. 'Awaiting' was probably the wrong
word, as everybody knew they wouldn't actually be able to see the
lights, but that didn't seem to matter. One of the priestesses had even
been invited to speak at the gathering. There was a festive atmosphere
and a decidely unholy amount of alcohol being consumed, so much so
that few people noticed the incongruous presence of Princess Fatora
amongst them.
"Congratulations," Nanami said. "You managed the full two weeks. You
must be proud."
Fatora shrugged. "I feel like a virgin again."
"What? New and refreshed?"
"No, frustrated and resentful. I have to wonder, though. Why did you go
to so much effort to keep me from having sex?"
Nanami smiled. "Well, as weird as the two of you are, I know that you
love each other. You really do care about Alielle, even if you're
sometimes too proud to show it. And I'd hate to see it all end just
because you were too stupid to communicate your feelings."
"Thanks," Fatora said. "I... hey, did you just call me stupid?"
Alielle ran over excitedly. "Fatora, isn't this great? Everyone's here!"
She pointed to Shayla-Shayla and Mr Fujisawa, who were in the middle
of a ferocious drinking competition.
"What are they doing here?" Fatora asked.
"They heard there was a party with booze," Nanami replied. "Hey, I'd
better go and see if they need a refill."
Nanami began to negotiate her way back through the crowd.
Alielle pulled Fatora closer to her and smiled. "I'm very grateful,
Fatora," she said. "You didn't have to do this. Especially since you had
that competition with Princess Formyka."
"What? Did you know about that?"
"Yes, of course. Formyka told me."
"I see," Fatora frowned. "What a bitch. Well, there's no point worrying
about it now."
"Excuse me," said a voice from the front.
Afura Mann did her best to address the crowd, but it was much too
noisy. Eventually she flew about ten feet into the air and hovered there,
which seemed to get their attention.
"Right now, in the Southern Nations, the lights of Damach are
appearing," Afura said, silhouetted against the night sky. "The lights are
a symbol of mystery, of all that we have yet to discover about the
Fatora and Alielle were joined by Nanami, Shayla and Fujisawa.
Afura continued. "Even though the lights cannot be seen in Roshtaria,
they are still..."
She was interrupted by a collective gasp from the crowd. Deciding that
they probably knew something she didn't, she looked over her shoulder.
"Oh," she said, noticing the lights. "How strange."
Ripples of white, green and magenta light danced in the black sky above
them. For a short while the crowd was silent.
"The aurora borealis," Fujisawa said quietly.
"Excuse me?" Fatora replied.
"The Northern Lights. There's a phenomenon just like this on Earth."
"I wonder why we can see the lights here?" Alielle whispered.
"Well, back on Earth, the Northern Lights were usually only visible
around the North Pole," Fujisawa recalled. " But just occasionally, freak
weather conditions could take them further south. I guess the same must
apply here."
Alielle stared in awe at the display. After a few minutes of
contemplation, she turned to Fatora.
"To start with, I wanted to be back home for Damach so badly," she
said. "I was sure that nobody here would understand, and I'd have a
miserable time on my own. But instead..." she pointed to the lights, "I
was here for this. The first time the lights have ever appeared in
Roshtaria, and I was here to see it. I'm glad I spent my first Damach
with you, Fatora. You've been so patient and understanding... and now,
at last, I can pay you back."
"What do you mean?" Fatora asked.
"Damach's over," Alielle smiled. "And you know what that means..."
"Oh, I see," Fatora said, catching on. "Yeah, some of that would be
She glanced up at the sky. It was a curious sight- and, perhaps, the only
time such a phenomenon would ever be seen in Roshtaria.
"Maybe later," she said. "Let's watch the lights for a while longer."
Alielle said nothing. She just stood on tiptoes and kissed Fatora.
As Nanami watched this, something occurred to her. She quietly slipped
away into the back room of the restaurant.

It was the early hours before Alielle and Fatora finally returned to the
palace. When they reached the gates, Nanami was waiting for them.
"I have a surprise for you," she said enigmatically.

Nanami led the mystified couple into the palace, and up into the guest
quarters. She pointed to Formyka's room.
"In there."
Fatora opened the door to see a scene of devastation. The floor was
strewn with discarded bottles and toppled furniture. Formyka and her
female servant lay inebriated on the bed.
"What happened here?" Fatora whispered.
"I sent Formyka a little present," Nanami replied. "Six cases of Old
Acrisian. The results... you can see for yourself."
"You got her drunk on purpose? Why?"
"Well, you tried so hard to do the right thing these past two weeks. I
thought it'd be wrong to let Formyka have the last laugh." She grinned.
"Think about it. What would freak her out more than anything?"
"Oh yeah!" Fatora smiled. "Well done, Nanami. Come on, Alielle!"
She kicked a bundle of sheets out of the way, which moaned in response.
"Oh," she said, looking down at Formyka's male servant. "I was
wondering where you'd got to."

"Damn," Formyka mumbled. "That stuff is lethal..."
She opened her eyes and did her best to focus. "Hey, Number One. Get
up. We have to leave as soon as possible. Before Fatora gets the chance
She trailed off as she realised that Number One wasn't the only person
in bed with her.
"Good morning!" Alielle and Fatora said in unison.
"N... no..." Formyka stammered. "No way. I couldn't have slept with
YOU... I'd have remembered!"
"Are you saying you forgot?" Fatora asked, pretending to be upset.
"Now that's just rude."
"Not to mention surprising," Alielle added. "After all, it was Lady
Formyka's idea in the first place."
"No! This is wrong! All wrong!" Formyka said, confused. "Fatora,
look... I was drunk, okay? It must have affected my judgement. I'd never
have sex with you under normal circumstances..."
"Whatever," Fatora interrupted. "But it looks like I managed to complete
your challenge. Three women. Alielle, you, and..." she pointed to
Number One, "...whoever she is."
Formyka staggered out of the bed. "Okay, fine," she said. "You win."
She headed for the door. "Now I'm leaving. This is too weird for me."
Formyka ran out of the room. Laughter could be heard from outside. A
few seconds later she came back.
"You might have mentioned I was still in my underwear," Formyka

"It was a pleasure having you here, Princess Formyka," Rune smiled.
"Yeah, thanks," Formyka said, then turned to Fatora. "You know, you
take competitions way too seriously."
Formyka, accompanied by her servants, stomped away to the waiting
transport. Rune looked at Fatora.
"Fatora, I know it's none of my business, but there is a rumour that
"Slept with Formyka?"
"Is it true?"
"No," Fatora laughed. "I do have SOME standards, sis."
Alielle ran over. "Hi, Fatora!"
"Oh, Alielle," Fatora acknowledged. "Thank God. Now at last we can all
get back to our normal, hedonistic lives."
"There is a legend, you know," Alielle said. "If a couple follow Damach
closely, and then kiss beneath the lights... they will remain in love
"That's so nice," Fatora replied. "Unfortunately, I... had something to eat
on the first day. Sorry."
"So did I," Alielle confessed. "It probably doesn't matter. And even if it
does..." She smiled. "There's always next year."
"What? Next year? Aw, crap..."
"And the year after that, and the year after that..."


Fatora's moral of the story:
"Love hurts. And not always in a fun, dominatrix kind of way."

All El-Hazard characters are property of Pioneer/AIC. The story is
property of me- Dookychan, biographer to the princess. Nobody,
however, has yet claimed responsibility for Formyka...

NOTES: "Don't worry me, or hurry me, blow me far away to the
Northern Lites..." And if you recognise that lyric, you are cool beyond
I know this chapter took a lot longer than expected, but I had exams, and
also I wanted to get Shape of Things to Come off the ground. This story
is the last to occur before Alternative World. Chapter Six happens after
it, and will feature Parnasse and Qawoor. The title (which may change)
is "Love, Roshtarian Style." After having a bit of drama and romance,
it'll back to silly comedy for this one. Sillier even than "Protection."
Meanwhile, Chapter Seven is tentatively titled "Twisted Sister."
Thanks to all from the El-Hazard ML, to the Prince of Light for, you
know, most stuff, and to everyone's favourite proofreader, Firebird.
Until next time, just remember- "We're all susceptible to the incredible."

=Dookychan= (spookydooky@hotmail.com)
28th July 2001