Tenchi could not believe his luck, "Of all the places to go and she picked this one." He sighed heavily as he stood in line with Ryoko for a ride. This place he was at was similar to the fairs and amusement parks of Earth, but was contained on an entire continent on this world. The world's name he did not remember but Ayeka had said that after all the strange things going on back home on Earth they needed a break. The break she suggested was that they all go to this place an interstellar carnival, and just have some fun.
Since Ryo-Ohki could only hold so many in her it was decided that they go in Ayeka's ship since it was nearly full-grown. Washu had used her knowledge as well as Tsunami to accelerate the growth of Ry-Oul her space ship after it was destroyed so long ago. All of the girls had wanted to go and Tenchi and his father came along as well. Tenchi of coarse as the girls would not leave without him and Nobuyuki just to see something off earth for once.
Before they left Tenchi had somehow got Ryoko to agree to not fight with Ayeka and despite the many things the princess did to upset her she would not fight. Mainly it was for the prize that she said she wanted if she did not fight. Tenchi had already said to her, "anything you want, just no fighting," before he even thought about what she might ask for. And now here they were, standing in Line for the Tunnel of Love, Tenchi clad in black pants and a nice shirt clad also in a light jacket. Ryoko wore one of her favorite dresses that Tenchi had to admit she looked good in, but he was scared to tell her that. As she promised she had not fought with Ayeka for the entire two-day trip to the planet, she had not even said one cross word or even lifted a finger against Ayeka. For most of the day here nothing had gone wrong either, at least until she asked to collect on his promise.
As a boy he had gone to several carnivals and he had seen rides like this but being so young he was more interested in the other rides, but now he seemed doomed to ride this one, and with of all people, Ryoko. It wasn't that he hated her, but it was more of the thought of what she might do in there. He had to admit that since merging with Zero she had been much different and he felt different about her too, but he did not think it was love.
She and he had crept away from the others while they stood in line for a ride and he was surprised that Ayeka did not notice them leave. But now their turn was drawing close and he felt a dread building in him about it. Some girl in line behind him was going on about all the scary things in there and how she planned to hold onto some boy beside her to protect her. He could only imagine how Ryoko would use that to her advantage and hold on to him.
"Tenchi?" Ryoko's voice pulled his attention back to the present. "It's our turn."
"Huh, oh yea," he said weakly then climbed into the small craft with her. Immediately she leaned against him and the ride started. "This could not get any worse," he thought darkly to himself.
The ride started out slow and at first flowers and beautiful scenery surrounded them. But that soon changed. The images became darker and scarier, and he recalled how the girl in line had said that she was going to hold onto someone during those parts. And just like he feared Ryoko leaned her head against his chest. One thing his mind was able to latch onto as they rode through the tunnel is that this time she was not crushing him, merely resting against him. And while his mind considered the change he felt her move suddenly. His first thought was, "oh no," then changed to "what?"
Ryoko sat up straight and peered ahead of her with her face blank and emotionless. Tenchi soon heard something it was a laugh. Something seemed to be familiar yet distant about it. As they rounded the corner he saw it, the thing that was the fiercest creature in this tunnel. The thing that caused women to shriek and snuggle up to someone for protection. It was Ryoko. Before him baring their way was a lifelike replica of Ryoko. He watched as the image's hand glowed and then moved as if it tossed something. Behind him there was an explosion and he looked to see a replica of a building catch fire and collapse.
For her part Ryoko felt empty and alone. She has just come face to face with the most horrific thing that people could imagine and it was her. Nothing the replica did caught her attention, instead she stared straight ahead at the image of her. "I'm a demon," she thought darkly. Emptiness, loneliness and many other things began to well up in her as tears started to form. So wrapped up in her emptiness she did not notice the ride had ended.
"Excuse me miss." Said one of the ride attendants.
"Ryoko," Tenchi whispered to her. He called to her a few more times before attempting to lift her out of the seat himself. They had been sitting there for several minutes before he had come out of his thoughts and she had been there longer. Behind him were a number of angry patrons hollering for her to move.
Her keen ears soon heard the voice of a girl in line; "Wow that demon at the end must have really scared them. I was scared to death of it the first time…" The girl continued on but Ryoko broke down into tears.
"Ryoko," Tenchi's voice called again. Tenchi had felt horrible at this, he had said before that this could not get any worse but it steadily was getting worse. He felt like cringing away from himself at how horrible he felt for what he had thought would happen. Now he wondered how it must have been to find that people thought you were so evil and mean to make that. "Come on lets go somewhere else."
"No!" she shouted at him. The suddenness of her shout caused all to stop and look at her. "I'm just a demon, you saw it…" her voice cracked as tears flowed. She teleported to just above the ride and hovered there in the air surveying those around her, he wondered what she would do next and he feared that things might get even worse.
One girl spoke up pointing a trembling finger at Ryoko, "She looks just like the demon. Many of those around her gasped and the guy beside her tried to quiet her by saying that it was just a coincidence.
In a loud voice Ryoko told everyone present, "I am not a demon."
Tenchi then did the thing that he would wish later he could take back, he called her name a little too loud, "Ryoko, calm down."
Realization dawned on the crowd and several screamed, one foolish soul yelled above the rest, "She's the demon Ryoko!" More screams ensured and people began running for their lives, more than half of the peoples around suddenly vacated their spots running in terror. Tenchi took a look at them then focused on Ryoko. He could see the pain and anguish on her face as people fled in terror from her.
He at first thought she would attack but to his surprise and now terror she announced, "I'm leaving." She looked to the sky and mentally called fore Ryo-Ohki. In the distance the Demon ship Ryo-Ohki lot out a mournful wail and came speeding to them and she hovered above them all. Of those that were left some fell to the ground crying in terror and others that regained their ability to move left as fast as they could.
"Ryoko no!" Cried Tenchi. Ryoko looked down at him and said a silent goodbye and then left, her ship cried out mournfully then raced off into the air. Even after she had left the mournful cry of Ryo-Ohki could be heard echoing across the park.
Tenchi hit his knees weeping over what had just happened. He had at first not wanted to be here and especially not with her, but now that she had left he felt his heart had been ripped out and trampled on the floor. He could vaguely hear someone calling for security and he felt a great emptiness inside him now as well. As people screamed and ran from the place anger filled the emptiness inside him. He felt a hand placed on him and someone saying, "Sir, security is on the way and they want to speak with you."
He stood and faced the crowd; his eyes filled with the hate that welled up inside him. Turning he darkly regarded the attendants. "Good, tell them this ride is closed." They looked about confused for a moment before he added, "Permanently."
Reaching into his coat pocket he pulled out the master key, the sword called Tenchi. A blue blade appeared out of it and the attendants stepped back. With a quick slash the car fell to pieces before him. But as he regarded the ride he noticed that he seemed to be growing taller. Looking down confirmed that he was not growing but rather floating in the air. His other hand was burning by now and when he looked and opened his hand a bluish ball appeared there. A dark and menacing grin appeared and he lobbed the ball at the ride.
As the ball tore through the supports and rails explosions were heard and metal was rent in two. He flung several more orbs at the ride before stopping and looking at the hilt to his sword. In the hilt remained her two gems. Taken from her by Yosho over seven hundred years ago. "Take me to her," he commanded of them then he too vanished.
When he disappeared he did not see or hear Washu calling for him as she was running towards him. She was followed closely by Ayeka, Sasami and Mihoshi. The four had reached the platform just as he vanished from before them. Washu had started trying to find them the moment Ryoko heard her image laughing. But at first she could not tell where they were. When Ryo-Ohki suddenly left them she began frantically trying to locate them.
What tipped them off were the panicked screams from patrons as they said a demon was in the park. She had gone up the path that people had run down in hopes that it was not too late. Ayeka was running behind her, as was Sasami. Mihoshi had not realized they had left at first but she soon caught up with them. Washu was running the fastest ahead of them, but when the explosions started she ran faster. The sounds were not the typical sounds that her daughters' energy blasts made; these were much more powerful and terrible. She had got there in time to see Tenchi floating in the air destroying a ride smiling darkly in a way that was not him at all, but she did not see her daughter nor could she feel her now.
So now Washu was on her knees with the two princesses flanking her on either side. None were smiling in this happy place. Mihoshi was looking around trying to find out what happened. She heard some people telling the guards that the demon Ryoko had appeared and then vanished. Then this other demon more horrible destroyed the ride. As she heard more she was soon ale to piece together this other more horrible demon was in fact Tenchi.
One of the larger guards approached her, "What do you know of these demons did you see them?"
She was silent at first and soon said, "I did not see any… I just kind of got here and… well I don't think they were demons."
"Yea right." He then addressed the other girls. "Do you know anything about those two?"
Ayeka was still stunned over this, as she would not have thought it strange to have Ryoko destroying things, but Tenchi? Her ears picked up a familiar laugh as things got strangely quiet. She looked over to see a mechanical Ryoko laughing menacingly and her eyes were glowing. This she thought was strange as anytime she had insulted Ryoko the pirate had dome massive damage to things around her, but this time it was Tenchi. As she stood there contemplating things she heard him finally after he had repeated his question several times. "Huh, oh… well I know them, at least I thought I knew them."
"You four are coming with me then." He then had them surrounded by guards and removed from there and taken to someplace where he hoped to get more information. But even as they left reporters arrived and began asking many people accounts of what happened. Before the four girls were escorted away many galactic reporters had spread the word that the demon Ryo-Ohki was flying through space with two demons inside, one was Ryoko and the other was a nameless male that caused massive destruction.