RuroKen Star Wars

(ROUGH DRAFT)

A Rurouni Kenshin / Star Wars crossover fanfic by Raberba girl

Episode I - Himura Kenshin Meets a Strange Droid

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Tokugawa Empire had grown corrupt and oppressive. A fairly small but extremely determined band of warriors, calling themselves the Meiji Rebel Alliance, rose up to oppose this evil government, in a series of wars that came to be known as the Bakumatsu, short for, "The end is near, bakufu!" An important rebel, Princess Kaoru, had obtained vital information that could lead to the downfall of the Tokugawa government's most fearsome weapon, a battle station with the ability to destroy entire planets. Pursued by the most feared of Emperor Shishio's agents, Darth Enishi, Princess Kaoru's ship was soon overtaken and battered by the imperial starfleet...

0-0-0

The YA-10 unit awkwardly dodged laser fire, wishing for what felt like the millionth time that it had real joints and flesh to work with instead of this stupid artificial body.

"Yahiko!" a desperate voice hissed.

The YA-10 unit turned curiously. "Princess," it said in a voice that managed to convey confusion and concern through the robotic monotone. "What are you doing here? You should be headed for the escape pods!"

"No, dummy, that's your job," she insisted, grabbing him by one metal arm and dragging him into hiding. "Now hold still while I upload this to your memory; I've already wiped it from the ship's computer system."

"P-Princess," the droid gasped when the data had been stored in its memory circuits. "You mean you're trusting me with something like this? I'm not even human!"

"Could have fooled me, shorty," she said affectionately, then shoved him toward the bank of escape pods. "Now get going, there's no telling when the Edo troopers will find me."

The droid's eyes pulsed rapidly in a way that would have been called passionate if it was human. "Just stay alive, princess," it told her firmly. "I'll get someone to rescue you, even if the only one I can find is me."

"Will you just get going?" she hissed, in order to cover her tears. Then she ran out to distract the enemy soldiers while the little droid made its escape.

Down on the planet Tattooine, over which the space battle had taken place, a good-looking man with a clear face and long red hair was going about his chores on the moisture farm where he lived.

"Kenshin! Keeenshin!" his (adoptive) uncle called.

"What is it, Uncle?" he called back.

"Buncha travelin' merchants. Come help me pick out a new droid!"

Himura Kenshin rose from the laundry he was working on and untied his sleeves. Coming up to where his uncle waited just outside the farm, he glanced over the line of droids curiously.

"Now, they say these here droids are all in peak condition," Kenshin's uncle murmured in his ear, "but ya know how it goes. Use your intuition thingy on 'em, will ya?"

"Hai," Kenshin agreed, and walked down the line, sensing out which of the droids would be most suitable for their needs.

"Hey," one of them suddenly spoke up. "Is that supposed to be a sword?"

Kenshin stared at the YA-10 unit in surprise. Droids did not often speak unless directly addressed. "A shinai, yes. This one does not carry a steel blade."

"Huh," the droid remarked. "Kind of a pansy then, aren't you." It cursed, which gave Kenshin a shock. This droid was not acting normal. "I need a real man to save the princess, not some spacey farm boy!"

"Um...are you really a droid?" Kenshin asked cautiously. "And what did you mean about a princess?"

"Kenshin!" his uncle called from down the line. "Ya found a good one?"

Kenshin looked into the droid's metallic eyes and came to a decision. "This is the one, Uncle." So he led the little droid away as his uncle conducted the transaction.

Later, as Kenshin was cleaning and repairing the YA-10, he curiously tried to see if he could make conversation with this odd machine. "So how did you end up with the merchants, little one?"

"I'm not little!" the droid insisted hotly. "I'm Yahiko, and I got kidnapped by those stupid things when my escape pod crashed in the desert."

Kenshin paused, startled at the droid's assertion, but then remembered that some owners liked to name their personal droids. Perhaps this Yahiko had been highly valued by its previous master. "I see. How troublesome for you, little- er, Yahiko. Where did your escape pod come from?"

The droid suddenly turned very cautious. "Oh, you know...from a spaceship."

Kenshin's hands stilled again, and his eyes narrowed. "There was a space battle earlier today. The suns blocked out any visuals, but the instruments at Aeris Balamb picked up evidence of it."

"And what makes you think I had anything to do with that?" Yahiko burst out frantically.

Kenshin smiled. "So you did have something to do with it?"

"Urk..."

Kenshin patted the droid's head comfortingly. "Whatever you used to be mixed up in, Yahiko, it's over. You belong to this one's uncle now."

'That's what you think,' Yahiko thought silently.

0-0-0-0-0

Kenshin was usually the earliest riser on the farm, since he liked to have time to practice with his shinai before the workday started. On this particular morning, however, he was nowhere to be found, since he had discovered that the new YA-10 unit was missing.

"Oi! Oi, little- Yahiko!"

The droid made a frustrated hissing noise from one of its valves, then turned to find Kenshin zooming up in a speeder. "Hi," it said cautiously.

Kenshin quickly hopped out and moved to block the YA-10's path. "What are you doing, Yahiko? You can't leave the farm."

"I just did, didn't I?" the droid pointed out.

"Um...well, yes, but droids are not supposed to run away."

"And yet here I am. Hey, you think you could just kind of get back into your speeder and drive away?"

Kenshin crossed his arms and tried to glare at the droid, but his lips ended up melting into an amused grin instead. "My uncle paid good money for you, Yahiko. This one cannot stand by and watch you waste his investment."

The droid's eyes suddenly flashed in distress. "Look! Behind you!"

Kenshin sighed and shook his head. "Now Yahiko, you cannot honestly expect this one to fall for-"

WHAM

Kenshin crumpled to the ground, felled by a blow to the head.

0-0-0-0-0

"Stupid prison cell," Kaoru fumed, giving the wall one last, frustrated kick. It was like being locked in an illuminated tin can - there was nothing to break the smooth, shiny monotony of metal walls on all sides except a raised alcove that presumably served as a bed, a compact waste removal fixture in one corner, and an air vent that she had already broken her fingernails trying unsuccessfully to pry open. She was getting thirsty, but not desperate enough to drink out of the toilet; that was the only source of water. Despite her growling stomach, it was no use even thinking of food, either; in that respect she was entirely at the mercy of her captors.

Actually, in every respect she was entirely at the mercy of her captors.

Letting out a deep sigh, Kaoru pressed her back against the wall and slid down it until she was sitting on the floor. "Someone hurry up and rescue me already...or else," she added, now addressing her own brain, "come up with a successful escape plan. Either one of those would be really, really great." She sighed again. "Any time now."

0-0-0-0-0

Kenshin groaned, wondering why it hurt so much to wake up.

"Careful there. You have a lump on that thick skull of yours; you'll probably feel woozy for a few minutes."

Kenshin very carefully opened his eyes and sat up, amazed to find himself in a little house rather than wherever he had been attacked. He blinked blearily and focused on the YA-10 recharging in a corner, then on the imposing cloaked figure sitting nearby, drinking sake.

"You...you're Hiko Seijūrō!" Kenshin blurted. "What are you doing here?"

"Isn't that my line?" the annoyed swordsman retorted. "It's my house you're in, in case you hadn't noticed."

"Ah...right."

"What were you doing out there anyway, you idiot? Don't you know there are bandits and slave-traders in that area?"

"This one was looking for the YA unit," Kenshin said ruefully, pointing at the droid. "It, er, ran away."

Yahiko's metallic eyes flared to life. "Yeah, looking for someone like you, Hiko-sama. After the way you sent those bandits packing? I've got to ask you, sir - please rescue my mistress, Princess Kaoru of Alderaan's Kamiya clan!"

Hiko swore.

"The princess again," Kenshin mused. "Are you saying that the lady is in trouble?"

"Well, no...unless you call being captured by Darth Enishi trouble!"

Kenshin gasped. "En...Enishi?" For a moment he seemed shocked, then he looked at the floor, fidgeting in distress. "What should this one do...?"

"Hmph. I have an idea." Both Kenshin and Yahiko looked at Hiko in surprise. Hiko clapped his hands resolutely on his knees and got to his feet. "Get up and show me what you can do with that shinai."

"Oro?" Kenshin picked up the light wooden sword that had been placed by the bed in which he woke up. "This one has some small skill in the art of the sword, but bears arms now only in defense of the farm. Unfortunately, circumstances have not-"

THUNK

"Um," Yahiko spoke up. "Maybe you should have aimed somewhere else...that would be his second head injury of the day."

"Oh," Hiko muttered. "Forgot about that."

Kenshin moaned from where he lay sprawled on the floor. Hiko was just leaning over him to check if he was really okay, when the young man suddenly shot upward in a blur, scoring a hit on Hiko's jaw.

"Heh, not bad," the swordsman chuckled nastily, backing away with his sword up. "But let's see how you can handle this!"

Yahiko watched the two combatants with interest, recording the moves in its memory on the off chance it might one day gain the mobility to re-create them.

Several blows later, Hiko laughed as he stood over the groaning Kenshin. "Try and top that, idiot."

"This one did not start the fight," Kenshin reminded him painfully.

"True. However, you have convinced me to give you something I've been saving for a while."

Kenshin sat up, wincing, and watched curiously as Hiko took something out of a storage chest and then brought it over to him. "It's called a sakabatō."

"How interesting," Kenshin said politely as he inspected it. "This one always thought that swords were sharper on the curved edge, not the other way around."

"They are. Which is why this backwards moron of a weapon suits you perfectly, in my opinion."

"Very nice," Kenshin said dryly, trying to hand it back. In the process of doing so, he noticed something surprising. "Wait...why does it have this one's name on it?"

"'Cause it's yours."

Kenshin's mouth dropped open. "Pardon me?"

"What the heck am I gonna do with a useless sword like that? It's yours, kid. Someone dumped it with me a long time ago, asking me to give it to you. Seems like now's finally the right time."

Kenshin stared at the reversed blade with amazement and significantly heightened interest. "Who entrusted you with this?" he asked.

"A droid."

"Oro?"

Hiko rolled his eyes. "In any case, you've got an actual weapon now, which might, you know, come in handy while you're helping me rescue the little robot's princess.

"Oro!"

"Oi," Hiko said severely, "you and that master of yours cheated me out of a successor once, and you're not gonna do it again."

"But...this one..."

"Get up, we're going to start your training on Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū."

"Hiten...pardon me?"

0-0-0-0-0

Several old geezers were sitting in a conference room on the Death Star, gloating over the battle station's invincibleness.

Darth Enishi got annoyed and choked one of them.

Let's return to the pretty guys now, shall we?

0-0-0-0-0

Kenshin was so busy steeling himself to break the news to his uncle that he was leaving the planet that he didn't even notice the smoke until he had parked the speeder and had been sitting there for a while.

"How long do you think it's going to take him to notice that his home's been blown up?" Hiko asked Yahiko conversationally.

Kenshin stared at him, startled, then out at the blackened remains of the farm. He didn't even notice vaulting out of the speeder or running towards the house; the first thing he was consciously aware of remembering was stopping dead at the sight of a burned corpse lying among the other debris.

Kenshin said nothing.

But his eyes turned very cold and hard.

And his hand tightened on the sword.

0-0-0-0-0

Kaoru surged to her feet and glared when a bunch of Edo troopers came crowding menacingly into her cell, followed by the huge black form of Darth Enishi. "Come to pay me a visit?" she said in a burst of false bravado. "How sweet of you, Enishi, but I'm afraid I'm not up for company at the moment."

"What did you do with those Death Star plans you stole?" Enishi demanded, getting right to the point.

"I ate them."

"You- Wait, what?"

"Put them in my mouth, chewed 'em, swallowed 'em," she lied confidently.

After a moment, Enishi regained his composure. "No you didn't."

"I sure did."

"They have to have been on a computer disc or a chip or a hologram. You can't chew on those!"

"Well...maybe I skipped the chewing part."

"Grr! Someone fetch an x-ray droid."

"I'm afraid that the Death Star plans have already passed through the entirety of my digestive system," the princess said primly.

Darth Enishi thought a moment. "Someone needs to go on sewage-combing duty." He eyed his troopers, who shrank back.

"W-We can have a droid do it," one of them suggested in a quivery voice.

"We could," the dark lord agreed. "But I really enjoy the idea of giving this assignment to someone I really don't like." A brilliant idea occurred to him, and he turned back to the princess. "I really don't like you," he remarked.

Her eyes widened in horror. "No, wait, I was lying! I never ate the Death Star plans." She paused. "My dog did."

0-0-0-0-0

"This one suggests that we look for a ship in Aeris Balamb," Kenshin suggested. The two of them (three, if you counted the droid) stood on a hill overlooking a certain scummy, villainous space port. "Mos Eisley is not very...law-abiding."

"You think I don't know that, after living here even longer than you have? There would be too many questions in Aeris Balamb. We'll blend in quite nicely with all the other fugitives in Mos Eisley."

Kenshin frowned. "Fugitives?"

"Edo is after the droid, which carries the blueprint of their new battle station," Hiko pointed out. "Which means they are probably after us now, too. Why else do you think your uncle's farm was attacked?"

"..."

Yahiko nervously edged away from the look on its new master's face.

The first sign of trouble was when they pulled into Mos Eisley and were stopped by an Edo trooper. "Where did that droid come from?" the trooper demanded.

Kenshin was opening his mouth and Yahiko was just leaning forward to provide two different answers, when Hiko cut in with a third. "None of your business."

The Edo trooper leveled his gun at Hiko.

Hiko punched him in the face.

"Drive on," Hiko directed. Kenshin did so, after a last wondering look at the trooper now sprawled on the ground.

"Nice shot," the droid said admiringly.

The cantina Hiko directed them to did not allow droids, so they had to leave Yahiko outside to throw a temper tantrum alone. Kenshin stared around in distaste as they made their way through the crowded, murky room. "Not the most reputable-looking establishment," he commented in a low voice.

As if to prove his point, a couple of thugs came marching up. "Hey, redhead," one of them growled menacingly, shoving Kenshin against the bar. "We don't like your type here."

"Yeah, gaijin. Get lost!" snarled the other.

"Erm...gentlemen, if you would be so kind as to-"

"Leave the kid alone," Hiko suggested, already sitting at the bar and reaching for the drink he had just ordered.

"You gonna make us?" the right-hand goon challenged, all eight eyestalks curling angrily.

Hiko shrugged, looking bored, and took a sip. The thugs cackled gleefully and turned back to their prey.

"Please don't make this one hurt you," Kenshin pleaded.

"Don't worry 'bout that, pretty boy!"

Hiko drank some more of his beverage and then pulled a face, ignoring the mayhem and howls of pain that were suddenly occurring just beside him. "This is NOT sake."

"Ah, please enjoy special Mos Eisley recipe!" the barkeeper offered nervously. "Very famous, good brew! On the house!" The creature squealed and ducked when Hiko flung the cup at his head.

"'Special Mos Eisley recipe' doesn't explain why it's PURPLE!" Hiko roared. Then he turned and snapped at his companion, "You finished yet?"

"Quite," Kenshin said coldly, sheathing the sakabatō and dusting off his hands. He side-stepped the downed thugs delicately enough, only to slip on some loose fangs that now littered the floor.

Hiko rolled his eyes. "Ever the idiot," he sighed, and went off in search of a suitable captain.

The man they finally found was a somewhat odd character, with his spiky black hair and almost totally white clothing that did not seem to match the cantina's seedy atmosphere...except for the Kanji rune for "evil" on his back. He leaned back cockily in his chair with one knee perched against the edge of the table, as a beautiful woman with long black hair sat demurely beside him. "Captain Sagara Sanosuke," he introduced himself shortly. "My partner here is Megumi. Also known as Megu-baka."

Megumi calmly hooked a foot around one of the two chair legs that were still in contact with the floor, sending Sanosuke crashing to the ground.

"Woman!" he howled up at her. "You better be running for your life before I get up, or else- urk!"

Megumi smiled charmingly at the potential customers across the table, her upper body perfectly still as she jabbed a heel into her partner's gut. "We are at your service, sirs."

Kenshin sweatdropped.

Coughing and glaring ferociously as he got to his feet, Sanosuke muttered, "I'll get you later" into Megumi's ear before climbing ungracefully back into his righted chair. He blew out an annoyed breath. "So. Trip to Alderaan, huh? What kinda cargo we talkin' here?"

Hiko responded as if there had been no interruption. "Only passengers. Besides myself, there is only my idiot apprentice, a droid..." He suddenly leaned forward, glaring more menacingly than usual. "...and no questions asked."

The captain grinned. "What is it, some kinda local trouble?"

"Yes, you would know all about that, wouldn't you, Sano," Megumi smirked.

"What are you implying, woman?" he growled at her.

Calmly ignoring him (since she knew he knew perfectly well what she was talking about), she looked at Hiko and agreed, "No questions. Though if you're wanting us to steer clear of Edo, that will up the price."

"Perceptive female," Hiko grumbled.

"I was getting to that," Sanosuke huffed, then got down to the really interesting part of their transaction. "How does 10,000 sound to you?" The smirk on his face was meant to be goading, though Kenshin only frowned and Hiko's expression did not change.

"2,000 now. Fifteen when we reach Alderaan."

Sanosuke froze. His companion quite successfully resisted the temptation to shoot him urgent, meaningful looks. "Um," he finally said. "That's, uh, that's a deal."

Hiko rose, and Kenshin quickly followed his lead. "We have some business to take care of first, but we will meet you again within an hour."

"We're at docking bay 94," Megumi supplied when she realized that her companion was too busy drooling at the thought of their payment to answer. "The ship is called the Sagara Falcon."

"Fastest ship in the galaxy," Sanosuke broke in proudly.

"Great. Fine. See you then," Hiko cut him off, his voice showing a distinct lack of interest.

However, nothing could dampen Sanosuke's spirits at that moment. As soon as the two swordsmen were out of sight, he turned to Megumi and exclaimed gleefully, "17,000!"

"2,000," she corrected. "Who knows if we'll ever see the other fifteen."

"That's way more than we owe Jin-e!"

"You owe Jin-e."

"I can use the rest to, like, totally re-outfit the Falcon!"

"You're not listening to me at all, are you."

"She is going to be so sw33t when I'm done with her!"

Megumi sighed. "Since I'm likely to get more attention from the Falcon than from you at the moment, I'm leaving to get her ready."

"She'll be, like, the fastest ship in the universe!" Sanosuke daydreamed on, not even noticing when Megumi left.

He did notice, however, when a slightly unsteady sword point suddenly appeared in front of his face, and an ugly, raspy voice began to cackle. "Well, well, well, if it ain't Sagara Sanosuke. I believe you owe my boss money, heh heh heh!"

Sanosuke glared. "Gohei, you slimeball. Get that sword out of my face."

"Then you'd better pay up quick," the aging thug taunted, moving the sword tip closer with the intent of poking at the captain's throat.

Sanosuke punched the blade away with one hand and simultaneously used the other to deliver an upward thrust at Gohei's jaw, knocking him back a few steps. It wasn't hard, since the old guy, despite his size, was long past his prime.

"You'll pay for that," Gohei snarled, and made to attack him, but Sanosuke caught the blade between his hands and kicked his assailant in a nasty place.

"Jin-e's got no class, hiring decrepit goons like you," he sighed, tossing the sword aside and strolling past the said goon, who was rolling around on the floor in pain.

Sanosuke hurried to the docking bay, meaning to sneak off before Jin-e could find him, but he stopped short the moment he set foot in the room.

Megumi stood planted firmly on the ship's entrance ramp, arms crossed and eyes blazing as she faced down Jin-e himself, who was flanked by more minions. "I told you already, he's not here," she was growling. Then she caught sight of Sanosuke behind the others.

Jin-e, picking up on the little flicker of surprise on her face, immediately turned and grinned his nasty grin. "Well, now he is," he chuckled. "Good to see you again, old friend."

"I'm no friend of Shinsengumi rejects," Sanosuke growled. Then he ran a hand through his hair and sauntered toward them, trying to look casual. "Look, Jin-e, I've got your money, so you can quit crowding my ship now, eh?"

"I'll leave when I have the money, not you," Jin-e said meaningfully.

Sanosuke gritted his teeth. "The money's not in my pocket, for cryin' out loud. If you just wait 'til I get back from this next job-"

"Not good enough, Sagara," Jin-e cut in. "Now, here's the deal. It will take about four or five minutes for your girlfriend here to suffocate to death when I use my interesting little technique on her. The money is going to be in my hand before that time, or-"

"Extra," Megumi cut in. "You'll get a 15% bonus for the wait."

Jin-e gave her a calculating look. "Will I, now. Just what kind of a job is this, anyway?"

"The hush-hush kind of job," she said at once, going into flirtation mode. Stepping up to him with a seductive smile, she absently traced around his shoulders with one finger as she said beguilingly, "Now, sir, don't you think a mission that would pay so much would have a bit of secrecy about it?"

He grabbed her by the throat, effectively cutting off that approach; Sanosuke yelled and surged forward, only to be grabbed by five thugs.

"I quite agree," Jin-e whispered hotly into Megumi's disgusted, frightened face. "So no questions asked - for now. But your promises had better come through, because I do so hate women who lie." Then he gently released her and began to walk away...only Megumi was still desperately gasping for air, clutching at her throat and turning desperate eyes to Sanosuke.

"Jin-e! Let her go!" Sanosuke shouted at him, tugging furiously but unsuccessfully against the arms that held him back.

Jin-e paused, then turned very leisurely toward the captain. "Hm? Oh, silly me. I almost forgot." He raised a hand, and Megumi suddenly collapsed to her knees, coughing violently. Sanosuke ran to her as Jin-e and his people left the docking bay.

"Megumi! Oi, Megumi!"

"Fine," she rasped. "'M fine..." She swallowed and glared up at him, still interrupted by coughs. "But I'm - gonna kill you, Sagara, - before I let you - borrow money - ever again!"

0-0-0-0-0

Kaoru was dragged up to a viewing deck on the Death Star, and as soon as she saw Alderaan floating peacefully in the black ocean of space, she got a really, really bad feeling.

"Hello, princess," said a random evil geezer. "And how are you enjoying your stay?"

"It's lovely, except the food sucks. Oh, and so does the hospitality, and the housekeeping, and-"

"Where is the rebel base, princess?" the Evil Geezer asked calmly.

"What base?"

Evil Geezer struck her across the face. "Don't play dumb, princess. We know perfectly well that you are a Meiji spy. I suggest you answer our questions - that is, if you don't wish to see your home planet become reduced to a cloud of dust."

For a moment Kaoru felt like she couldn't breathe. Then her eyes flicked to Darth Enishi, who was skulking in the background.

"Told you you'd rather dig through poop," he said smugly.

"Oh, but you're so much better suited for the job," she snapped back automatically, though her mind was racing.

"We are waiting, princess," Evil Geezer demanded with cold impatience.

Kaoru stared at him a minute before dropping her head and whispering, "Dantooine. They're...they're on Dantooine."

With a truly villainous grin, Evil Geezer turned to give the order to fire.

"What? You can't!" Kaoru burst out.

"What were you expecting?" Evil Geezer said scornfully. "That we'd actually keep our word?"

Kaoru surged forward as if she could reach out to protect her planet, but it was too late.

0-0-0-0-0

Our Ragtag Band of Heroes had a close call when imperial troopers showed up at the last minute, then another close call when they were immediately pursued by Edo cruisers as soon as they cleared the atmosphere. Luckily, Sanosuke's boasting had not been idle, and the Falcon soared free once it entered lightspeed.

Hiko led Kenshin to the largest room on the ship (which wasn't saying much), then turned to the curious young man. "Get out your sword, my idiot apprentice. Time for some Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryuu practice."

Kenshin frowned at the repeated epithet, but did not protest, since Hiko was supposed to be his teacher now. He slowly drew out his new sword from its sheath, standing there quietly for a moment to absorb the feel of the heavy steel weapon in his hands, so much more powerful than his light shinai. He did not relish the sensation...it was awakening too many bad memories.

And yet...this blade. Kenshin eyed the reversed edge uncertainly. Would it be possible for him to learn to wield this weapon properly, to be able to stand and fight without extinguishing any more life?

WHACK

"Ow! What was that for, Shishou?"

"You sit there admiring your sword at the start of a battle, you're gonna lose something important. Like your head."

They went at it for a while, watched by an interested Yahiko, a bored Megumi, and an interested-but-pretending-to-be-bored Sanosuke.

"Blindfold!" Yahiko called out eagerly at one point.

Hiko grinned. "Excellent idea." He paused to find a helmet, which he settled over Kenshin's head, blast shield down. "Now, attack me."

Kenshin was still for a minute, then charged.

THUNK

Hiko tapped his foot impatiently as he watched his apprentice groaning on the floor. "Get up already and attack me again!"

"Hai..."

Later, Kenshin was quite tired and somewhat battered when Megumi came running in from the cockpit. "You two had better quit that and get in here - we've got a problem."

0-0-0-0-0

Evil Geezer stormed into the conference room. "She lied! The princess lied to us!"

Darth Enishi shrugged. "Not surprised. Neesan would have done the same."

Evil Geezer stamped his foot. "Grr! I hate that girl now!"

"I thought you already hated her."

"I mean, I really hate her now!"

"So you...didn't really hate her before?"

"Stop confusing me! I just hate her, okay? I will have her terminated immediately!"

"Fine, whatever."

0-0-0-0-0

Megumi hurried into the cockpit, with Kenshin, Hiko, and Yahiko right on her heels. "Look," she said, gesturing out at the view of space. "We've come out of hyperspace, and there's nothing here but an asteroid field."

"The planet friggin' disappeared!" Sanosuke yelled from the pilot's seat.

"Perhaps our location is wrong," Kenshin suggested.

"Check the coordinates yourself!" Sanosuke snapped at him. "We're at Alderaan, only Alderaan's not here!"

"Confirmed coordinates for the planet Alderaan," Yahiko spoke up from one of the control panels. "We should be able to see it from here, yet neither my sensors nor the Sagara Falcon's are picking it up."

"Someone must have blown up the planet," Hiko mused. "How inconvenient."

"How terrible!" Kenshin gasped, and Megumi's hands flew up to her mouth in horror.

"No one can blow up a planet!" Sanosuke insisted. "You'd have to have a cannon the size of...the size of..."

"The size of that thing?" Yahiko supplied, pointing to the oddly mechanical-looking moon that had appeared in their viewport.

"Yeah," Sanosuke said weakly. "Like that thing. Megumi, turn the ship around."

"I...I can't," Megumi said in surprise, stabbing at unresponsive controls.

Kenshin frowned up at the roof, wondering why the ship had begun to shake.

"Tractor beam," Hiko realized.

Sanosuke cursed, but nothing he or Megumi did was changing the ship's course. "Shut it down," he finally ordered. "And someone come up with a Plan B."

0-0-0-0-0

Darth Enishi stalked up to the captured ship, unable to believe the officer's report that it was empty. "Send a scanning crew onboard," he ordered. "I feel angrier than usual today...something on that ship is making me mad."

"Yes, sir!" the minion agreed, and the dark lord stalked off again.

After knocking out the scanning crew and stealing their uniforms, the crew of the Sagara Falcon sneaked out into the open.

"How come you're not wearing one of these stupid uniforms, old man?" Sanosuke complained to Hiko under his breath.

"Because I have magic Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryuu powers, and you don't," Hiko said airily, sweeping past a row of oblivious Edo troopers. The group blasted their way into the nearest control room and locked the door, then turned to the bank of instruments lining the walls.

"Yahiko, please log into the system and find the power controls for the tractor beam," Kenshin requested. "Once we get that disabled, we'll be able to escape."

"No problem," the droid agreed, and moved forward for its chance to show off. "Looks like there are seven terminals where we can shut off the power. We only need to sabotage one of them in order to- there she is!"

The humans gave him confused looks.

"The princess!" Yahiko insisted. "I found her!"

"Kaoru-hime? She's here?" Kenshin exclaimed in surprise.

"Yeah! And she's...urk..."

"She's what? What?" Kenshin insisted.

The droid turned to Kenshin, eyes blinking in distress. "She's scheduled to be terminated."

Kenshin's eyes narrowed, and he laid a hand on his sword-hilt.

Hiko shrugged. "What a shame. Ah well, we'll let Meiji know about it once we've gotten off this-"

"I'm going after her, Shishou."

Hiko turned to his apprentice in annoyance. "What are you babbling about now, idiot?"

"Kaoru-hime," Kenshin said quietly, his stance resolute. "This one will not leave her here to die."

"We may be the ones dying if we go gallivanting off on side-quests," Hiko warned him.

"I'm sorry, Shishou," Kenshin said calmly. "This is something that must be done."

"Well, I'm coming with you," Megumi spoke up. "It's nice to see a man do the chivalrous thing, for once."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Sanosuke demanded.

"Nothing," Megumi replied lightly, tossing her hair. "Just that you're a self-centered boor. I bet you couldn't rescue a princess even if you tried."

"I'll show you who can't rescue a princess, Megu-baka!"

Ignoring the ensuing scuffle, Kenshin bowed to his master. "This one will not slow you down, Shishou. Please wait for us at the ship once the tractor beam has been disabled."

Hiko rolled his eyes.

"Yahiko," Kenshin called on his way out. "Stay here and keep alert for our reports. We might need your help."

"I can't come with you?" the droid complained, but subsided at its master's warning look. "Fine." There was an awkward pause, then the droid burst out, "Be safe, sir."

Kenshin nodded and left. He did not notice Hiko smiling a little after him before the master warrior headed off on his own mission.

To be continued...

Author's Notes: Aeris is a character from the video game Final Fantasy VII, and Balamb is a sort of city in FF8. The two or three Tattooine cities that are named in the movie aren't very helpful, since I doubt either a rural settlement or a "wretched hive of scum and villainy" would have high-tech scientific research centers. Therefore, I made up a non-existent city for the purpose.

Gaijin means foreigner; they're referring to Kenshin's red hair and blue eyes, which Watsuki-sensei NEVER EXPLAINS the origin of, considering that Kenshin is supposedly Japanese. Of course, since this is the Star Wars universe, such a prejudice no longer makes sense, but whatever. Bullies don't need a real reason to pick on someone. Or to attempt to pick on someone, anyway. :p

Megu-baka is a play on words; it rhymes somewhat with "Chewbacca," but I'm sure you all know what baka means in Japanese.

Neesan is short for Oneesan, which means "older sister." "Hime" means "princess," so using it as an honorific would be like calling her "Princess Kaoru."

Btw, Jin-e is still humanoid. He took on Jabba's role, not his looks.