THREE PRINCESSES...

Author: Daferge

Disclaimer: Tenchi Muyo! is copyright AIC/Pioneer Ltd.

All respective characters are property of their original owners. All original characters and ideas are property of the author.

. . . . . . . . . .

Chapter 01... Let the play begin...

( An alternate Reality...)

Long ago, on a small backwater planet, on the very edge of the known galaxy, there lived a human male, with a receding hair line, a small beard and mustache...

Unlike others of his race, who ran around fighting and killing each other, he tended to sit quietly, writing poems and stories called plays...

Then he would gather together a group of like-minded people, who would get dressed up in strange clothing and then recite the words he had written...

This taking place on a large raised wooden stage, usually before large crowds...

In his time, he became rather well known, considering having never traveled more than a 100 miles from his birth place...

As time passed, his words and plays were written down, to be preserved, so that future generations could also read and enjoy them..

And so it came to be, that although long dead, his name became well known beyond the very shores of the rather large island kingdom, where he had been born and lived his whole life...

His name became known to the four corners of that small planet...

The English playwright and poet, William Shakespeare...

. . . . . . . . . .

But, as with all great men, there were questions, mysteries that were left unanswered...

It seem that there were some who wonder if a single person could have truly written all of the 38 plays and 154 sonnets that survived and were said to have been written by him...

How was it that a single person was able to use such a confusing language as English, which was a mixture of a number of other languages and still manage to express himself?...

Did some one else do the writing, or at least, some of it?...

There are even some who though that the real poet might have been a female, rather than male!...

And in such a troubled time, where had he come up with the ideas and inspirations for some of his plays?...

Did the most famous playwright in the history of the planet, in fact, have help?

? ? ? ?...

Well, maybe some help!...

. . . . . . . . . .

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

( A tavern, London England, 1588... )

An elderly gentleman, with white hair and small wire-rim glasses had been sitting at a corner table for some time, but unlike others he wore odd robes...

He had been observing the quiet crowd, drinking ale from a mug, every now and then making odd symbols on a piece of parchment (1), with a feathered pen (2)...

A young man, dressed as many of the others in the tavern were dressed, had been watching him for some time and after some thought, made his way across the room to the table...

" Good day, to ye, sire... "

The elderly male looked up and smiled...

" And good day to you... "

The younger male smiled back and nodded his head...

" I note ye putting ink to skin... Be ye a man of the cloth?... "

The elderly male smiled, he knew that his garments were similar to those worn by some monks of the faith known as Christianity...

He motioned to the bench on the other side of the table and the younger male joined him...

" I come from the island kingdom of Nippon, which is far to the east, beyond ancient Cathay, which is known to some as China... "

. . . . . . . . . .

He continued to smile as the younger male studied his garb...

" I am Katsuhito Masaki, a priest of the Shinto order... Til recently, I watched over a small shrine that an ancestor had set up, long ago, to protect the local people from a very powerful and wicked demon... "

The younger male leaned closer, absorbing every word...

" Recently I have been traveling around, taking in the wonders of all these foreign lands and writing down my experiences... However, I was recently informed that there has been much fighting in my homeland and I must now carefully make my way back... "

In recent times, religion had been the banner under which many wars had been fought in the, so called, civilized world of the West...

It was also why he was so long and far from his home, even by boat it would take a very long time to make the journey...

And he was on foot, the common mode of transport in this age...

Only the wealthy could afford to travel upon horseback or in carriages, which also tended to attract unwanted attention...

. . . . . . . . . .

He studied the young man...

" And you?... "

The young man stood, waved his hat and bowed...

" I, sire, am Shakespeare, William, son of John, of Stratford-upon-Avon... "

Putting his hat over his heart, he continued...

" Husband of my beloved Anne and sire of four, a son and three girls... "

With that he bowed again before he sat back down...

" I am, as of this day, without employment, also observing the world and looking for inspiration... "

. . . . . . . . . .

The priest smiled and looked that the young man...

" Inspiration?... How so?... "

The young man looked around before leaning closer...

" I have, since early years, done rhymes and such... And I be told there are those who make fair living by such, in the larger towns... Such as here in London town... "

The priest nodded, back home such was also true, the young man continued...

" When I be younger, my mum once told me, at my birth the midwife had a vision... "

The priest looked closer, for he had heard that the church in Rome still considered visions as sign of witchcraft, which tended to be treated harsher than robbery or even murder...

" A vision?... "

The young man looked around before continuing...

" Aye... She says she saw me, full grown, surrounded by many words and said I would be known where 'er my father's tongue be spoken... "

. . . . . . . . . .

There was a gleam in the priest's eye, for he too had a way of sensing things...

And he could see the old woman's words would likely come true...

" Then, what are your plans now?... "

The young man stared at the table...

" I came down to London looking for work... But there be none, if you're not of a local guild... I guess I will have to head back up north, to Birmingham, per chance... Or York... "

" And if you had funds?... "

A bright smile appeared...

" I would get ink and parchment... To try my hand at verse, sonnets perhaps?... "

" Perhaps even a play?... "

The young man's smile brightened...

" When, with confidence, I can put the right words to parchment... "

. . . . . . . . . .

The priest nodded, it had been quite some time since he'd met an honest man...

Reaching into his cloak, he pulled out a small leather pouch and set it upon the table...

The young man's eyes widened as he heard the sound of metal coins clinking...

He waved a hand before him...

" Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry... "

The priest smiled and shook his head...

" Neither a loan nor borrow... But a commission... For a play... "

" A play?... "

The priest thought for a moment, thoughts of his sister and their family history came to mind...

" I see a tragedy, about a couple, star-crossed and ill fated... "

The priest sighed, as old memories came back...

" A story of Families fighting for power, Drama, a tragedy of love that can not be... "

The young man nodded, his eyes beginning to glow...

. . . . . . . . . .

Smiling, the priest continued...

" I did recently pass through ancient Rome... How does the name Romeo sound for the hero?... "

The young man consider it and nodded his head...

" But who is the love of his life?... "

To the priest, several names came to mind at once, but none were local sounding...

As the young barmaid passed by, the priest waved her over...

" Help ye?... "

The priest smiled...

" Perhaps you can... What might your name be, fair maiden?... "

She smiled at him...

" Juliette... but every one calls me, Juliet... Why?... "

The priest smiled and handed her a small silver coin, almost a whole weeks wages...

" Nothing... Thank, you... "

Giggling, she turned back to other customers...

. . . . . . . . . .

The priest handed the young man a piece of parchment, a quill pen and a small bottle of ink...

" Romeo and Juliet... "

The young man wrote this down...

" The tragic story of two star-crossed lovers... "

The young man continued to write, then looked up...

The priest smiled...

" You now have the title of the play... You have an idea of the story... It is now up to you to write it... "

The young man looked up as the priest stood, collecting his things together...

" But... This commission?... How soon do you wish the finished work?... "

The priest just smiled back...

" When it is finished... "

The young man was confused...

" But how do I get it to you?... "

The priest's smile brighten...

" Do not worry... If you finish it, I'm sure it will find me... "

. . . . . . . . . .

As the priest left, a very confused young man stared at the small pouch of coins in one hand and the piece of parchment in the other...

From it's weight, there must be several months, if not almost a year's wages in the pouch...

Looking at the parchment, shadows of images began to dance through his mind, images that had for so long haunted his dreams...

With the money, his family would be taken care of and he could truly start to follow his dreams...

The next time he went to Christian Holy Trinity church, he would have to give special thanks...

But, he wondered if thanks were passed from one religion to another religion?

. . . . . . . . . .

All the Galaxy's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...

( The present... )

Some where in sub space, two females stood before a large number of open screens...

One showed no emotion, the other just smiled...

. . . . . . . . . .

( Some where... )

Within the galaxy, there was a dark room with a large stone table in the very middle, surrounded by chairs...

Usually these seats would be occupied by figures, cloaked in dark robes that hide their features...

At the head of the table was the only padded chair, a pistol resting on the table...

It was there for more than just show...

The figures spent their lives living in the shadows, it was why they were still alive...

When one plots against the most powerful people in the galaxy, the Juraian Royal Family, the shadows were your only friends...

At the moment, things were quiet, nothing was happening and so there was nothing to report...

But soon, things would start to happen...

Soon, things things would begin to heat up again...

. . . . . . . . . .

The players begin to step upon the stage...

. . . . . . . . . .

( The Royal Palace... )

The sun was bright, the sky clear and 2nd Queen of Jurai, Misaki Masaki Jurai, was sitting on a bench, under a tree, watching over the dozen children who had recently been made wards of the Royal Juraian Family...

The children were taking a break in their studies to be outside, playing on the freshly cut section of grass that had recently become their play yard, carefully watched by the Queen and a number of their tutors...

The 1st Queen, Funaho Masaki Jurai, had been sitting there too, until she had been called away to answer a call, in her role as Inspector General of Information...

As the call was from Lady Seto Kamiki Jurai, the "Devil Princess of Jurai" and Queen Misaki's mother, it must be important, since she was presently leading a large task force out near the Juraian frontier...

Queen Misaki hoped her sister/queen returned soon, for as the head of the Imperial Bodyguard, she would have to leave too, to escort her husband, the Emperor, to the main palace hall to preside over a meeting of the council of Lords...

She suspected that he had her there for two reasons, to charm some members of the council and to scare others...

. . . . . . . . . .

Else where in the royal palace, Emperor Azusa Masaki Jurai sat at his desk, going over a last few things before heading to the main hall and the Royal Council of Lords...

Being Emperor of a vast Galactic Empire had it's rewards, but it also had it's responsibilities...

Having to sit and listen to a bunch of grumpy members of the Juraian Upper Class was one of it's lowest points...

It was times like this that he actually WANTED more papers to go through, just so he wouldn't have to see the faces of those idiots on the council...

As it was, he took his time...

For if nothing else, the meeting couldn't start until he was there...

. . . . . . . . . .

As for the idiots in question, they were waiting in the main hall...

Different members were taking the waiting in different ways, depending on past experiences over the past several hundred thousand years of the Empire's existence...

The younger, newer members, were already seated and going through paperwork for the session...

Of the older members, some were standing around, talking with other members...

Others members were already in their assigned chairs, but were sleeping...

And then there were the few, who wouldn't be showing up, until just before the Emperor himself arrived...

. . . . . . . . . .

One of those talking with others was Lord Negon, who enjoyed watching the reactions of the other lords to the latest adventure of their new Crown Prince...

Prince Tenchi Masaki and his three wives, especially Princess Mihoshi...

Recently he had gotten stuck playing nursemaid to some delegates from the Raynza Republic, meaning he had to sit through the whole boring meeting between them and the Emperor while no one agreed on any thing and nothing was accomplished, for about the ten thousandth time...

However, not this time...

About half way through the meeting, a door to the Royal apartments opened and in walked a very attractive tanned blonde, wearing only a towel...

It seem that the sleepy, Princess Mihoshi Kuramitsu Masaki, one of the Crown Prince's three wives had gotten lost trying to return to her room...

With a big smile, she asked the shock crowd if they knew the way back to the palace guest rooms...

. . . . . . . . . .

The 1st Queen, Funaho was the first to react and she had quickly managed to escort the wayward princess from the room...

Leaving a room full of stunned males staring at the closed door, in silence...

Within a short time, however, Lord Negon watched as the dull, boring meeting went from being suspicious to becoming very friendly,

The delegates from the Raynza Republic even agreeing to changes for a newer and better treaty...

In the end glasses were raised to a number of toasts...

To Raynza, to Jurai, to the Royal Family and especially to one Princess Mihoshi Kuramitsu Masaki...

. . . . . . . . . .

Where as Lord Negon had taken to the young Crown Prince, Lord Nagato looked for every possible excuse to show the new young prince in a negative light...

Lord Nagato had been an irritation to the Emperor's father when he was Emperor and he continued when Azusa has ascended the throne...

He had even opposed Azusa's marriage to the non-Juraian female, Lady Funaho and especially to making Prince Yosho the Crown Prince, since he was only half Juraian, by blood...

When Prince Yosho disappeared, chasing down the space pirate Ryoko Hakubi, Lord Nagato had been, secretly atleast, quite happy...

. . . . . . . . . .

However, with Prince Yosho's recent reappearance, many of Lord Nagato's long laid plans had begun to fall apart, such as his hopes to get a relative married to 1st princess Ayeka...

Also, Yosho brought with him a grandson who, word had it, was quite powerful...

Not only was he responsible for the destruction of the infamous Kagato, but had captured the hearts of princess Ayeka, the ex-space pirate Ryoko Hakubi and the grand-daughter of the Grand Marshal of the Galaxy Police, detective Mihoshi Kuramitsu...

When the grandson was named the new Crown Prince, as well as his marriage to all three females, Lord Nagato really began to feel the pressure...

Due to the recent return of the lost male heir of a deceased Juraian lord, Lord Nagato had been forced to give up the guardianship of an entire star system that he'd been trying to acquire full ownership to...

The undeveloped system was a treasure trove, just waiting to be opened...

It didn't help that it had been the crown prince who had discovered that lost heir...

. . . . . . . . . .

( Juraian Military Academy... )

The heir in question, Lord Keiichi Tanaka, known to his sister and a few friends as Kei, was sitting on a bench in the Juraian Military Academy park, chatting with a couple of female first year cadets, Haruko Natan and Mayu Rygen...

Kei enjoyed their company and the three had found they had a lot in common, including being acquainted with the Crown Prince and the Royal Family...

The girls had worried that being involved with the Royal Family might effect how Kei saw them, until they learned that not only did he also know the Royal Family, but he was a High Lord at the age of 14...

When the girls learned of the forested planet he had inherited, Mayu had asked if they could go camping some time...

Standing up tall, Lord Keiichi Tanaka had replied that he would have to ask his sister...

All three had burst out laughing...

. . . . . . . . . .

Airi Magma Masaki, chairwoman of the Galaxy Police Academy, was watch the three chat on the wall screen in the office she was using here at the Juraian Military Academy...

The Royal Family, meaning the Queens, had asked her to watch and make sure Kei settled into Academy life OK...

She smiled as the three laughed, cutting off the screen...

That settled, she looked at the small paper picture she'd recently acquired, of her smiling and holding a small baby, her great-granddaughter...

For the first time, since she'd had to return to the GP Academy, she had managed to get back to the small world where her husband, Yosho, was living...

As few knew of their marrage, she had to be very careful...

She had watched with pride as her grandson had become Crown Prince, watched from a far as he wed three very powerful females and became a legend throughout the galaxy...

However, she was already making plans to see little Mayuka again...

. . . . . . . . . .

( Galaxy Police Headquarters... )

The sister in question, 24 year old Lady Kiyone Tanaka, was sitting at her desk at Galaxy Police Headquarters, where she was known as Detective first class Kiyone Tanaka...

For almost ten years, the only thing Kiyone had, with the death of both her parents and disappearance of her 4 year old brother, had been the GP...

With his reappearance and his accepting their father's title as Lord Tanaka, she had suddenly become LADY Tanaka and things had changed...

Her office acquaintances had taken to calling her Lady Kiyone and even the upper ranked Juraian Lords who worked at GPHQ, who never seem to notice her before, were now just about every where...

So when she was summoned to the Grand Marshal's office, she thought of it as a blessing rather than worry if something had happen...

. . . . . . . . . .

Grand Marshal Kuramitsu had been watching recent events and had finally decided that if he was going to get any work done, he was going to have to do some thing...

So, as detective Tanaka entered his office, he saw the worry lines on her face and he knew he was making the right decision...

" I'm in need of a field agent for a very special mission... I also need some one I can put my complete trust in... Will you accept the mission?... "

He notice her eyes dart back to the door and a smile form before she replied...

" I accept... "

The Grand Marshal had known Kiyone's parents and had kept an eye on her for the past ten years, like his granddaughter Mihoshi, now Princess Mihoshi...

Therefore, she was well acquainted with the Kuramitsu family, especially with Mihoshi...

" I believe you've heard of Juraian Colony system 0315?... "

Planets with colony numbers tended to draw less attention than ones with names and in this case, the less attention, the better...

" Wasn't that the backwater system, on the edge of Juraian space, that princess Sasami was visiting when she was attacked?... "

The Grand Marshal smiled...

" Truth be told... She wasn't visiting... For the past several years, she's been living there... And she's not the only one living there... "

. . . . . . . . . .

( Juraian Colony system 0315... )

Katsuhito Masaki, also known to some as prince Yosho, the grandfather of Tenchi Masaki and a well known local Shinto priest, was watching his new student, Rogon, go through his exercises...

As the young boy had spent most of his life living in a guild of assassins, Katsuhito was having to take what the boy already knew and work with it, which wasn't easy...

But there was a great deal of potential there...

Although younger than his Tenchi, in some ways Rogon might be ahead...

After all, assassin training was much harder that Juraian sword training...

The fact that his guild didn't go for the usual 'accomplish the mission at ANY cost' teaching was also in his favor...

Rogon had been taught to think for himself...

It would be interesting to see the two go head to head, with Tenchi unable to use his powers...

Just as it was to see Ryoko take on Tenchi, without her powers and see him chase her all over the field, with Ayeka and Mihoshi laughing on the sidelines...

Face power-users, like Tenchi, Ryoko and Ayeka, was something he had never experenced before and would need to learn about...

. . . . . . . . . .

( Masaki house... )

As had become their custom these days, Princess Sasami, GP Detective Kiyone Makibi and bounty-hunter Nagi Katsumoro were sitting on the couch watching the daily soap operas...

All the while nibbling that tasty earth snack Sasami had fixed just before the show started, called "pop" corn...

The only one not watching was Tenchi's little daughter, Mayuka who was taking a little nap, cuddled up to Nagi closest friend, Ken-Ohki, a furry cross between a cat and a rabbit, with the ability to become a large, powerful crystalline spaceship...

Unlike Ryoko's cabbit Ry-ohki, whom Sasami had almost turned into her pet, Ken-Ohki had taken to Mayuka and become very protective...

Nagi glanced at the two asleep on Tenchi's recliner, where Mayuka loved to take her daily naps...

Nagi had begun to think taking this job of being Sasami's bodyguard and using Ken-Ohki as her taxi, might have been a mistake, but spending time with the Masaki family had made it all worth while...

Especially after watching Tenchi chase Ryoko all over the training field, some time back...

The memory brought a smile to her face...

. . . . . . . . . .

( the new Masaki house... )

Olde Sam walked around the newly constructed house, checking out each room against pictures that Ryoko's mother Washu had sent, along with detailed plans for the house...

So far, every thing seem to match up, inside as well as out...

However this one was made from star-ship hulls and was highly resistant to energy blasts...

The furnishings had been created using an experimental device of Washu's that she'd built after watching a science fiction show on the TV...

It converted plain matter into various useful items, using ultra-high resolution scans of those items...

Like the special communications unit Washu had provided, the device had been dropped off at the same time...

Washu had used her Comm-unit to send the scans for the various household furnishings...

Washu enjoyed surprises and of course, being mysterious...

. . . . . . . . . .

He smiled, Tenchi and his wives would be really surprised when they dropped by next time...

The house looked just like the one back on their home planet, with lake and woods...

One would have to look up to notice the overhead lights on the ceiling of the underground cavern...

Going to a wall unit, in the main room, he checked with his surface observation post...

It appeared that there were still a good number of Raider troops wandering around on the planet's surface, as well as their ships in orbit above...

So it might be a while before any one would be able to come visiting...

Living out in the Badlands was any thing but easy...

. . . . . . . . . .

( Aboard Ryo-Ohki... )

Professor Washu Hakubi had suspected for some time that there was some thing wrong with the sub space within the area outside Juraian space, known as the Badlands...

She was now running her fingers across her keyboard faster than the eye could see...

First princess of Jurai, Ayeka, had been watching Washu for a while, but had to stop when her head started hurting...

Tenchi continued watching, as it didn't seem to bother him...

Ryoko was at Ryo-Ohki's control panel trying to check of some thing she had noted...

And Mihoshi was being quiet, having curled up in her command chair, sound asleep...

All in all, it was pretty much a very normal day...

. . . . . . . . . .

Or it would be, if Ryo-Ohki wasn't floating in sub space, within a huge sphere, that Washu called a Dyson Sphere, which seem to be held in sub space by the energy radiating from a small white dwarf star...

A sphere large enough, Washu had calculated, to settle most of the population of the galaxy on it's inner surface...

A sphere, that until now, had only existed in the mind of an earth scientist named Dyson...

A sphere that, by Washu's calculations, was hundreds of thousands of years old...

So, why was it here?...

How did it get here?...

And how could there still be some one living there?...

. . . . . . . . . .

Ryoko had been working with the communications control ever since they had picked up the strange signal...

Slowly, carefully, she was able to zero in on the transmission...

" ... please... ...your... ...Unknow... ...or... ...ease... ...fy... ...self... ...Unkn... ...visit... ...lease... ...tify... ...r self... ..Unknown visitor... Please identify your self... "

Ryoko turned to Tenchi and the others...

" It continues to broadcast the same message, over and over again on wavelengths similar to those used back on Earth... "

Looking at Washu, who nodded, Tenchi stepped to the station and pressed a button...

" This is Tenchi Masaki... "

He paused for a moment...

" We come in peace!... "

Washu smiled and shook her head, no more science fiction movies for Tenchi...

Releasing the button, Tenchi stepped back, the signal had stopped playing...

And now a live voice could be heard...

" Masaki? Praise the goddess, the Royal Family has returned... "

Tenchi turned to find three shocked faces...

. . . . . . . . . .

With all the actors are upon the stage, let the curtain rise and the play, begin...

To be continued...

. . . . . . . . . .

Historic notes:

(1)... Parchment is animal skin that has been processed for writing paper...

(2)... Large feathers were cut and used for putting iron ink to parchment...

. . . . . . . . . .

Please feel free to comment and review for any errors...