Ryoko's Nightmare: *1
The Masaki House:
Dust settled all around her, as Ryoko peered down at the figured on the ground below. Her enemy was dead. Tenchi was no more, killed by a blast from her own hands. With each passing moment, more and more of the space pirates reason and self-control vanished, replaced a blinding rage at having to kill the body of the man she loved more than anything else.
As the cold air caressed the savage space pirate's skin, she began to soar downward, her eyes glowing red with hatred as she focused on her next target. Selecting him based on his appearance, and because it caused an emotional response to see him.
The man below did not seem very old, perhaps no older than 17, his long black hair whipped in the night's wind as did his long, white, royal looking robes. Clutched tightly in his hands was a weapon she would always recognize, the master key, where he gems had been imprisoned, when she was locked in a nearby cave for 700 years by a man who looked exactly like the figure below. Looking into his eyes as she raced toward him, her hands ready to tear him to pieces, Ryoko saw that his own eyes mirrored her own. Their golden hue seemed to broadcast the terror in his heart as she advanced, yet there was more to it than just fear, there was also something else. Something that said this battle would hurt the two of them deeper than any physical weapon ever could.
Despite her hearts warning, the cyan-haired woman plowed forward with reckless speed, prepared to obliterate the man who held the same name as her ancient enemy. However, as she reached an arms length away the golden-eyed youth reacted, and the enraged woman winced in pain. Looking down, Ryoko's eyes immediately identified the source, as a long blade jutted from her throat.
At that moment, the rage began to wither in her eyes, yet her body continued in vain to attack the horrified young man, who held onto the Tenchi-ken with all his might. Slowly she could feel her gems, the source of her powers, be taken from her. As this happened, the lithe woman remembered everything she had lost to her insanity. Leech, he killed Tenchi… took his body. He killed Ayeka, Kiyone, Mihoshi…he was going to kill Yosho, my son…. Leech took so much from me, that I couldn't let him take him too. Now… now my own son ahs to kill me, just like his great-grandfather had to, over 700 years ago…. Were it not for the intense pain, the lithe woman would have laughed at this thought, how her own destiny was to die, here and now, on the end of her son's blade. As her conscious faded, the young man before her said one final thing.
"I'm sorry," he gasped, his knees visibly shaking despite his best attempts to control them. Ryoko tried to smile, to assure her son that it was not his fault, however at that moment she felt her body go limp, as everything faded into darkness….
Ryoko… a heavenly, yet innocent, voice whispered into her mind. It was the voice of a young girl, one who meant a lot to the silver-haired woman. Ryoko?
Grunting the lithe woman's eyes fluttered open, expecting to find herself on the ground outside her home, what she saw was quiet different. Standing so close their noses nearly touched was a glorious vision of a woman. The figure's body seemed to glow with a soothing passion and her short blue hair, and large pink eyes made it obvious who it was. Are you awake? The figure asked, tears welling in her eyes.
"Sasami…" Ryoko said hoarsely, her voice sounding as if she hadn't spoken in years. "I had that terrible dream again," the cyan-haired woman groaned, knowing the other woman knew what one she meant. Yet the pink-eyed woman said nothing, instead she merely smiled mischievously smile, and helped the lithe figure up into a sitting position.
As she did, the golden-eyed woman finally was able to see where she was. It was marvelous room, with light beaming downward from the small trees located throughout the ship. This must a Jurain vessel… Ryoko realized slowly as she saw how the trees seemed to sprout up from everywhere, some even growing on floating platues with small waterfalls trickling over the edge of their platform. In the center of the room, just behind the glowing woman with blue-hair, rested a massive tree, which irradiated light from deep within itself. As her eyes became better adjusted to the odd lighting, the golden-eyed woman realized the size of her surroundings, as she could not see the sides of the ship, since only darkness existed in the distance. Feeling something uncomfortable beneath her, the lithe woman shifted, looking below her, a block of wood for a bed? No wonder I was so uncomfortable… These Jurian's sure don't know how to sleep. Barely a second after this statement was though, the busty space pirate made another discovery. She was nude, and had no idea how she had gotten that way. What in the world's going on?
"Tsunami?" the busty space pirate inquired, indicating the room around the two of them, as well as her current state of undress. Although she had never been here before, Tenchi had told her the story of awaking in place like this, after Kagato nearly killed him, many times. *2
"You may call me Sasami, or Tsunami, whichever you prefer. I realize my appearance must seem strange. Since the last time we met, I was only about 13, when last we saw each other." The radiant woman admitted, trying to sound as comforting as she could to the waking woman.
"What are you talking about," the confused woman asked interrupting any further explanation, holding her head in one hand as she looked over her companion. "We've met lots of times since you were that little. For one, there was my wedding, where you and Ryo-Ohki were flower girls*3," she began holding up her other hand, which had been steadying her, to keep score. Without her hand for balance, the lithe space-pirate began to wobble, and soon had to move her hand from her head to the table she had been resting on. "Then there was the time we met after Tenchi had been poisoned, and we thought it was Kagato's doing, but it turned out to be Blackshire's plot.*4" At the mention of the two villains names, the glowing goddess began to fiddle with her hands, fear creeping into her eyes. "Oh, and then there's that thing I have nightmare's about all the time, where Leech came and killed Tenchi. Then he took Tenchi's body and tried to steal my gems powers. Fortunately you all showed up and helped. Of course, Mihoshi, Ayeka, and Kiyone died, and my son had to run me through with the Tenchi-ken to stop me when I went mad after killing Leech in Tenchi's body, but, he was stopped….*5" Pausing to recollect her thoughts, Ryoko shook her head sadly, "Finally there was the time we went to the Universe of Delight to kill Blackshire, and save Tenchi's life. I don't think I'm dead, so we must have done it, but I don't remember anything after meeting Tenchi's ghost on the Ebon Shard, what happened? *6"
For long moments, the light blue-haired woman said nothing, merely fiddling nervously with her fingers. Her wedding? Kagato, or even Blackshire, poisoning Tenchi? Leech? A son? What is she talking about? Looking up, realization and sadness filled her eyes as she looked at her naked friend. It's as I feared. "Ryoko… I don't know how to say this… but… none of that happened. You aren't married to Tenchi, and you definitely don't have a son with him. As a matter of fact, I-"
"What are you talking about!" the cyan-haired woman said, jumping to her feet, which nearly caused her to topple. "Of course I'm married to Tenchi! I remember it crystal clear, and…"
"No, it was all a dream," the azure haired woman proclaimed turning away lest she start to cry from the horrible news she was about to deliver. "You have been here with me for the last twenty years. Ever since the Ebon Shard exploded."
"It didn't explode," the enraged woman declared, "I know it didn't, because I killed Blackshire, then I went back to Ryo-Ohki, took off to Earth and passed out. When I woke up Tenchi had been watching over me, and he proposed to me!*7"
"I know that's what you think, but it didn't happen," Sasami admitted, having feared this day for many years.
"That's enough!" Ryoko growled, struggling forward to grab the robed figure by the shoulder and spin her about. "You've always liked playing games, and so have I, but enough is enough Sasami! This joke of yours is just plain sick. Now cut it out!"
"If it's a joke, why are you so weak, and why is your voice so raspy? Do you think that what ever happened on the Ebon Shard did that to you? NO. it came from sleeping for 20 years. I'm not lying to you, and I only wish it was a joke, but it's the truth."
At that moment the two women's eyes met, and the golden-eyed demoness inhaled sharply. Her voice was still raspy when she spoke, but there was also a new element was added; the new emotion was that of pain. "No… I lived a lifetime with Tenchi, and now… now you're telling me it was all a dream. A wonderful dream, but still it wasn't real…?"
Swallowing hard, the pink-eyed woman did her best to explain the situation. "All those years ago, when the Ebon Shard exploded, you were still on board. We tried to wait for you, but the force of that eruption threw Ryo-Ohki towards the Earth." As she told the tale, Ryoko looked up appearing ready to ask something, yet Sasami placed a slender finger over her mouth, "please, let me finish. You need not worry, although shaken up quiet a bit. Everyone was fine."
"But why didn't everyone come get me? How did I end up here," the golden-eyed space pirate asked, quickly interrupting the story.
"They did search for you, but Tsunami found you first. You were seriously hurt, as well as unconscious. I don't think you had more than a few seconds left to live. But she brought you here, inside herself, to heal. It is also why you are naked now, as your clothes were nearly completely destroyed in the blast. What you had left had to be removed so you could be treated properly."
"But aren't you both Tsunami and Sasami?" the lithe woman once again blurted trying to piece this mystery together.
"We are, now. But then we were the same, yet not assimilated," the pink-eyed woman proclaimed. "It took five years for me to heal your wounds. The three gems you wear were causing continuous problems, for some reason they saw my healing powers as an attack upon your body, and would not allow me to heal you quickly. The day your wounds were finally healed, was the day my spirit and Tsunami's became fully as one. For a time I left, and as soon as Sasami had the knowledge of where you were, she demanded we come here. You see Tsunami had not told anyone where you were, as all her time, power, and concentration were spent watching over you. When we, or should I say I, returned you were still not awake despite the fact your body had healed. The wounds you suffered had been so great that you had entered into a coma. Seeing you… I, Sasami, however you feel comfortable with it, vowed to not leave this place until you were able to leave on your own. So for the last fifteen years I have watched over you. I did not want to get the hopes up for the others, so I told them nothing, and because of that fear much has changed, like Tenchi-"
Holding up a hand, Ryoko stopped the goddess's words. "IF that's all true, then why didn't Washu, or even Ryo-Ohki, find me? She should be able to find me anywhere I go thanks to that link between us."
"I am not sure," the blue-haired woman admitted. "Much has changed, and I think Tsunami's interference blocked that link. Thus, like the others, Washu counted you as dead. Of course since you were never found, she still prays you will show up."
Smiling broadly the lithe woman stood tall as she looked at her companion, "well it's time to answer a prayer. I'm better now, so we might as well get going!" Swinging her arm, the naked space pirate indicated that she was to be followed, despite the fact she had no clue where she was going.
Coughing lightly in one hand, Sasami pointed towards her friend, "that's a good idea, but don't you think you should put on some clothes first?"
"Hmm?" Ryoko asked dazed, before looking herself over. Her spirits returning, the seductive woman placed a hand on her hips, smiling sensually, "well… I suppose I could, but it seems like a shame to cover all this," she proclaimed indicating her entire body, "up. Do you have anything around her in my size, and of course, my style?"
Allowing a smile to break through her depressed visage, the assimilated woman made a quick hand gesture towards the busty nude woman. Almost instantly a dress, looking exactly like Ryoko's infamous tartan and blue striped one, appeared in front of her. "I've been sewing this while you were unconscious. I actually started on it while I thought you were dead, and I was on Earth with Tenchi and Ayeka. It helped pass the time. Life on Earth sure is boring with out you there, Ryoko."
Holding the offering before her, the golden-eyed woman quickly examined it. Impressed by the quality, as well as the stitching, the lithe woman began to slide on her new outfit. Barely a fraction of a second later, with her new clothes on, the silver-haired woman began to shift at her waist, as if her muscles were sore. "Sasami, dear…" she began with a grunt, "you based this dress off your sister's measurements, didn't you?" Pausing in her stretching, the seductive woman rubbed her chest tenderly.
"Yeah, why? Is something wrong?" the blue-haired princess asked confused. "I mean it looks long enough. The colors are all right… I… oh," she stopped realizing her mistake.
"So you noticed too," Ryoko nodded.
"Yeah, I forgot you're a little… better endowed than Ayeka," Sasami laughed, rubbing the back of her head. "Sorry…."
"I prefer to say your sister is flat," the busty woman grumbled, waving off her apology, "but I guess that's a little rude. Don't worry, either way, kid. We'll just go shopping when we get home. Because, and I don't mean to be cruel, Sasami," Ryoko began stepping forward to take hold of Tsunami's robe, "but you Jurian's really have no fashion sense at all. Those robes might be nice for a boring little princess like Ayeka, but you don't look good in all white. Tsunami perhaps, but you'll always be little Sasami to me."
Clasping her hands excitedly in front of her, the silver-haired woman shook her head, "Well enough chit-chat, let's get going. The lithe woman danced around the room, humming happily to herself, as her thoughts focused on the reunion to come. As the golden-eyed woman pranced around the room, Sasami couldn't help but laugh to see her friend who had been hurt and weak for so long, now acting like her old self. I can't wait to see Tenchi, my Tenchi, and not some Tenchi from another Universe, alive and well. All those terrible things that Leech did never happened, which means I still have a long time to spend with my Tenchi. A very long, happy life, and … wait a minute! "Sasami…" she paused, "Tenchi is still alive, right? I know you said he lived through the Ebon Shard's explosion, but is he still there?" Before the azure haired woman could respond, Ryoko grabbed her arms, shaking her back and forth frantically. "Tell me! Does Tenchi still have a tree on planet Jurai, due to his link through you?*8"
The pink-eyed woman stood shocked for several moments. How did she know that? I only learned it when I came here after I merged with Tsunami…. "Yes, he's still alive and well, looking like the day you left him. I've been watching him, Ayeka, and the others. They are all fine. But how did you know about…?"
"Call it a lucky guess," Ryoko admitted releasing her friend suddenly. "It was something you revealed to me in my dream, when Tenchi and I were married."
"I see," the young goddess said, her face looking rather flushed. With a quick hand motion, the blue0haired woman called open a gateway before her. "I think it's time to go. This portal leads back to actual space. You'll have to fly back to Earth from there. But I must warn you that things have changed quiet a bit since you left."
"I know things change." The woman in the tartan and blue striped dress laughed. "but I'm not worried. I know my Tenchi will still be waiting for me when I get there, and we'll have a chance to lead a normal, real, life together. One without weirdo's like Blackshire, Kagato, or Dr. Clay, getting in our way." Feeling her energy returning, the lithe woman floated towards the doorway to space. "Come on, let's go home Sasami!"
Yet the tall goddess did not move. Instead her expression became somber and downtrodden. "I am not going, Ryoko." She declared suddenly, "I've been here for too long. I am not ready to go back, not yet anyway." Stopping, Sasami looked away as if lost in some horrible nightmarish fantasy.
"Okay then," the slender woman proclaimed, a little concerned, "what will I tell everyone when they ask where I was. I can't really say where, without pointing to you that is."
"Just tell them it was Tsunami saved you, and that's where you've been." The younger princess of Jurai replied, putting a hand over her eyes so her tears wouldn't be seen. Looking at the crying woman, then the portal, Ryoko shook her head, before stepping forward to stand beside the blue-haired woman. Hugging her with one arm, the lithe woman held her once little friend close.
"Come home to us soon, Sasami," she whispered. "I'll make sure they keep a spot for you at dinner. When you get back I'll cook you up my specialty. After all, I can't have my flower-girl eating scraps."
Laughing, the emotional woman embraced the other tightly, "and what is your specialty?"
"I don't know yet," Ryoko chuckled, "but I'll find out, and you can try it." Releasing the pink-eyed crier, the busty space pirate stepped back, and with a slight bow of her head, floated backwards, until she met the portal and disappeared back into reality.
Taking a deep breath, the younger Jurain princess continued to laugh while wiping away tears from her eyes. When her tears were gone, the young girl clenched her fist into tight balls. Ryoko… she happily thought. You were always my friend, and you still are. I just wish you hadn't been in such a hurry to leave, since there was so much I needed to tell you. It's true I don't know exactly what happened on Earth while we've been away, but I know what happened before I, Sasami, left, and now…. With a final sigh, Sasami stepped forward, looking into the portal at the Earth as the gateway closed. "I'm sorry… Ryoko. I really am…."
By Earth's Moon:
In the vast void of space, stood a woman, with long flowing silver hair, and twin golden eyes that glistened in the darkness. Taking a deep breath, despite the fact there was no air in space, Ryoko nodded her approval. It's good to be alive, and now... she grinned broadly. It's time to go home. The word echoed in her mind, causing her heart to continue to beat faster and faster with excitement. Smiling happily, the young looking woman shook her head. Tenchi must have been miserable without me, all alone in that big house of his, with only that annoying princess and Sasami for company. Well it's time to change all that…. With a final head nod, the golden-eyed woman disappeared, a hiss of dissipating mater filling the air.
Unbeknownst to her, however she was being watched as a small device resting nearby began beeping as it transmitted its information to its controller.
Galaxy Police HQ:
The Hanger: Aboard the Yagami
Inside the great starship stood three extraordinary women. The current crisis they face is one of there own making. Looking at a monitor the smallest of the three women, one with a large mane of red hair, quickly moved one hand across the keyboard, while the other typed on an ethereal version, hacking into ever system on the mighty vessel. As she did this, her two friends watched awe and admiration on her face.
Okay… Washu thought systematically. It looks like this upgrade is nearly complete. Just a few more items to check for and we'll be all set. Suddenly the little woman looked up in concern as a strange feeling came in her head. What in the…?
Still typing on her ethereal keyboard, the emerald-eyed woman looked down at her pants pocket. No, it can't be.
At that moment, the diminutive genius stepped away from her work reaching into pocket frantically. Can it be? From one of her many pockets, Washu Hakubi pulled a small monitor forth, a memento she had carried for twenty years now. Looking at the monitor upon the small rectangular device, the super genius's face soon changed to a look of shock as she dropped her device.
Suddenly the young looking scientist mouth began to spasm as it slowly turned into a smile. Ryoko… she mentally gasped. "She's back… my baby… is back," she whispered with a snorting laugh, before suddenly wiped tears from her eyes. "Ryoko's back!" she said loudly.
"What are you sure, Washu?" Kiyone said in shock, brushing away her hair, which even after all these years still retained its youthful vibrancy.
"Wow that's great," Mihoshi said, "well let me just close these programs down, and we can go see them," the ditzy blonde proclaimed, as she closed the program the small genius had been working on.
"That's good, Mihoshi, then we can…" suddenly, the little woman's joy faded as she saw what had happened. Closing her eyes, Washu rubbed them tenderly. "She shut the program down didn't she…? The one that took me all day to install…."
Nodding slowly, the teal-haired detective knew what this meant. "So I guess we can leave tomorrow then, right?"
"Yeah," the red-haired woman groaned shaking her slowly. "Until then, try not to touch anything, okay Mihoshi?"
"Right, Washu," the dark-skinned woman chimed oblivious to her error. "I'll just take Ryo-Ohki down to the kitchen, and get her some carrots."
"Ryo-Ohki!" Kiyone said, "I forgot we had her here."
Looking down at her feet, the small woman shook her head as she saw the furry cabbit down below, its golden eyes looking up happily at her as it waited for her commands. "We've waited so long for her to return…. I don't want anything to tear me from my little girl when I see her again. I'll finish this job for you as fast as I can. Then we can all go see her, and we'll finally be a family again." Wiping the tears from her eyes, the young genius stepped forward summoning her ethereal keyboard as she prepared to get back to work.
She's back, the happy mother declared. She's finally back! Looking over at the two detectives, who talked to each other in hushed tones, trying not to disturb her work, Washu couldn't help but feel proud of herself. I'm glad I decided to keep checking up on your two, and I'm also glad my new hormone seems to have worked, since according to all my scans you are still young. I'm glad to see that it worked. It won't be long now, Little Ryoko. I don't know where you've been, but that doesn't matter now. All that matters is your back my little one, and soon, nothing will keep us apart again….
At that moment, the young genius stopped looking out a nearby window in terror as she recalled what was waiting for her daughter on Earth. Damn it! She mentally cursed, slamming her fist into a console. I wish I could be there when you see what's happened. I know you're not going to like it. Please, be strong my little Ryoko….
The Masaki house was unusually quiet at night, as it had been for nearly 20 years. Ryoko's disappearance had brought about the beginning of this change. Yet what truly shattered the pulse of life in this household was the sudden loss of Sasami. No one knew where she was, or what had happened to her, much like Ryoko. It had been that event which sent Kiyone and Mihoshi back to GP headquarters, as the two of them had been working on finding her for the last fifteen years.
Lying alone, still and weak looking, was a solitary figure, blankets covering the quiet dreamers head as the sleeping person thought of a better tomorrow, where the entire family was together again. It was at this time, when a familiar sound echoed into the room, one that had not been head for over twenty years, the hiss of dissipating matter.
Ryoko Hakubi smiled as she gazed around the room. Some things never change. She smiled looking at the quaint, yet comfortable surroundings. Tenchi's bed still rested in the corner by the window, and a small desk was nestled near the end, while a miniature table sat beside the comfortable bed. Placing he hands on her hips, the lithe woman walked over to the bed, looking down at the sleeping form within its covers. Hmmm… now how should I wake my Tenchi? She pondered. I could wait until morning, or I could gentle rouse him, stopping the golden-eyed woman's sneaky mind quickly found an answer to her problem. Smiling proudly, the busty space pirate closed her eyes as she tossed aside the blanket, reached forward and embraced the sleeping form, holding the formerly sleeping figures head firmly between her breasts.
Mere seconds later, a muffled scream filled the room, causing the silver-haired attacker to laugh quietly to her self. Releasing her struggling victim, Ryoko slowly, and seductively, opened her eyes, expecting to see a confused, yet joyously happy, Tenchi. What she saw instead caused her to step back.
"RYOKO!" the red-eyed woman, draped in a long silky nightgown cried out, "TENCHI, Come quickly!"
"Ayeka," the golden-eyed woman snapped, "Just what do you think you are doing in my Tenchi's bed?"
Ignoring her rival's question, the first princess of Jurai reached forward to touch Ryoko's chest. Shocked to see her hand actually rest upon the other woman's bosom. "You aren't a ghost," the purple haired woman breathed happily. As Ayeka held her hand there, the seductive space-pirate noticed something strange on the silky-skinned woman's hand. "You feel real…."
"My, I didn't know you were into that kind of thing," The Sadist remarked, causing the red-eyed princess to come out of her thoughts, and remove her hand. "Nice ring," The lithe space pirate sarcastically remarked, grasping her rival's hand to inspect the intricate band a little more closely. "But to be honest, it's not really your style, little princess. It's much too fancy, not boring at all like you."
"Ryoko," the flustered woman groaned, "I never thought I would say this, but it is good to see you once again. There is so much I have to ask you, about your location, and if you have seen Sasami. She's been missing for some time now. But first let me tell you something rather important. You see Lord Tenchi-"
"I've been with Tsunami," Ryoko interrupted, releasing her rival's hand, "in a coma for twenty years…. Now what did you do with my Tenchi?"
"Ryoko," a familiar voice whispered excitedly behind her. It was a sound that she would always recognize.
Whirling about, the silver-haired space pirate was once again shocked as she saw Tenchi, wearing only his pajama's, standing in the door way with a joyous, yet stunned, look on his face. But that was not enough to stun her, what caught her eye was the ring on his left hand, one nearly identical to Ayeka's. No, it can't be…. Can it? Tenchi can't be married… she paused looking back at the confused woman on the bed behind her, to Ayeka…! At that moment, Ryoko's world came crashing down, no longer living in a dream-like reality, but experiencing a waking nightmare.
Next Time: …… Chapter 02: The Truth Revealed
*1 The Waking Nightmare Chapter 02
*2 Tenchi Muyo: Episode # 6
*3 Ryoko's Wedding
*4 Dawn of Torment Chap 1-3 (also known as Ryoko's Birthday: Part 4)
*5 Waking Nightmare Chaps 1-2
*6 Tenchi Muyo: The Final Saga Chapter 23
*7 The Blackshire Interval Chapter 03
*8 Ryoko's Wedding Chapter 03