TENCHI WAKUSEI, BOOK ONE: "NO DREAMS FOR TENCHI"

By Joe Meadows (gpabn@yahoo.com)

NOTA BENE: This novel (comprising 24 chapters, a Prologue, and an Epilogue) is a sequel to the "Tenchi Muyo Television Series" ("Tenchi Universe"), with some "Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki!" original OAV series characters and elements included where--in the author's opinion--they don't conflict with "Tenchi Universe." For example, in order to flesh out a family background for Ayeka and Sasami, rather than create new characters, I used the existing parental figures of King Asuza and Queen Misaki from the OAVs. In order to bring the Galaxy Police more into the story, I re-instated the Grand Marshall as Mihoshi's grandfather and used an existing character from the Tenchi Muyo mangas, Chief Tor Bodai. And so on.

AIC and Pioneer LDC, whose kind indulgence I am counting on, own the copyrights on the original Tenchi Muyo characters. The character of Chief Tor Bodai was created by Hitoshi Okuda for the Tenchi Muyo manga series and is also copyrighted by AIC and Pioneer LDC. All truly new characters are my creation. Those characters and the actual story are copyright 2002 by yours truly. The lyrics for both versions of the theme song for "Speed Racer," the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album, the Beach Boys' "Surfing USA," the theme to "The Brady Bunch," and "That's Amore" are copyrighted by their various owners. The events that comprise the "Tenchi Universe" series are discussed in this novel; consequently, spoilers lurk within. Be warned. Please check out the "Chapter Notes" at the end of some of the chapters. Feedback is very welcome! I can be reached at gpabn@yahoo.com and thanks for taking the time to read this novel.

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PROLOGUE

No Need For Nightmares

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When you dream, no one can hear you scream...even on the planet Jurai.

However, neither a scream nor a sound of any kind could be heard throughout the dimly lit, richly draped halls of the Juraian royal palace. In the wee hours during the mid-year solstice, all the occupants of the palace, the members of the supremely powerful and influential Jurai royal family and their numerous servants, retainers, employees, unwanted distant relatives, and other hangers-on, should have been asleep.

Most were. But two were not.

In the royal apartments, located in the heart of the soaring and massive palace, King Azusa and his Queen (actually, his second Queen), Misaki, were wide awake. They had performed this vigil for several nights now, and the King, for one, was not happy about it.

The rug covering the parquet floor was a exquisite, priceless heirloom, woven of the finest material, irreplaceable. But the King mindlessly trod that carpet, back and forth, all but wearing a furrow through it. The Queen looked at her lovely carpet ruefully, but she knew she could not stop the King from pacing the room. She spoke:

"Perhaps it shall not happen tonight, dear."

"Perhaps."

"Perhaps it was just a phase...as that nice Doctor Pangloss said."

"That quack said that? I have good reason to worry, then!"

Queen Misaki smiled knowingly, fondly, at his brusque words. "Husband, you really do not need a reason to worry...for you to worry." She regarded the barrel-chested regent with the great power and the greater love for his people warmly. "You carry the Galactic Union on your shoulders...and your family as well."

The King responded with a sound that could have been a chuckle. "I don't know what's worse sometimes, Wife--the Union or the family!" He looked at his Queen and then actually smiled. "I really didn't mean that--about the family, that is. Of course, if your Uncle Takai could perhaps be persuaded to visit some other relatives..."

She gave him a look that stated definitely: Don't go there.

The King didn't go there. His second wife was a lovely woman, mostly, except when riled, and she was most protective of her less useful family members. When his normally sweet and obliging wife was on a tear, he had no wish to be within the vicinity. Besides, the Queen was pregnant with their second child and she was definitely not one to provoke during such a time.

Protective...that reminded him why he was pacing the night away.

"I'm just so worried about her. It isn't natural."

"Everyone has bad dreams, Husband."

"Night after night? Week after week?"

The Queen's face, usually serene and beautiful, suddenly reflected the strain she too had been laboring under all these weeks. "Yes, it is troubling. I worry about her, too."

"At least you admit it, Wife! Those doctors, pooh-poohing our concerns. "Indigestion"! I'll give them indigestion! As if that were the only cause for nightmares. Oh, yes, there was also her "unsuitable reading material." She isn't reading anything that I didn't read as a boy, aside from those silly romantic stories."

"She does not find them so silly, dear," the Queen replied with a tiny smile.

"Of course not. She's just a child and hasn't grown up to find out what all that silly romance counts for in the real world."

"As you say, Husband." The Queen grimaced suddenly. "Ooof!"

The King turned to face her swiftly. "Our second child?"

She smiled beatifically. "Yes. The child will kick...but ever so gently."

The King hesitated. "I am sorry...that it pains you." For just a moment, his voice seemed muted, his manner unsure. Like most men, he seemed nonplused by the miracles--and the miseries--of childbirth.

"Never mind, Husband. It is just what all that silly romance counts for in the real world."

King Azusa stared at his wife for a long moment. Then he shook his head fondly. Despite her appearance of uncomplicated domesticity, the Queen was the equal to him, and no mistake. Then he asked, "Shouldn't you be sleeping, Wife?"

"Ohhh, I am not so fragile, Husband. The doctors say I should remain active."

"Quacks!" the King snorted. "Well, those quacks have had their day. One more instance of those nightmares and I'm taking action. The Galaxy Police will listen to me this time and they will act--finally!"

The Queen viewed him with concern. "Yes, Husband, you can use your influence to make them act. Perhaps to even make them act quite precipitously. But what if you are wrong? Many young children of high birth attend the Lyceum, from planets all over the galaxy. We have had no word of other...similar situations."

"There's no need to speak so delicately, Wife. You mean, no other poor children have been afflicted--at least as far as we know!"

"Exactly. It seems rather...rash...to blame a wonderful program designed to prepare children of distinction to assume their roles in society. The Lyceum also serves to bring children from different worlds together, which is beneficial to the Galactic Union. And the Professor is so highly regarded."

"So was Professor Washuu Hakubi, if you'll recall!" King Asuza began pacing again. "Those naps the child takes...every day at that place, she says...yet she never wants to take naps during the day when she's with us. That means something."

"What, dear?"

"I don't know. But something!"

"You are working yourself into a rage, Husband," the Queen warned.

"Yes? Well I've had enough sleepless nights. I think I've earned this rage." It was more than loss of sleep than enraged him. As King of the First Family of the Galactic Union, the fountainhead of the mysteries and fantastic powers that the heavens had reserved for the royal house of Jurai, he could fairly be called the most powerful man in the galaxy, perhaps even the universe. Yet he felt powerless in this case--seemingly powerless to protect his own. It galled him, immeasurably.

"It will not help her for you to lose your temper, dear," his wife told him quietly.

He stopped pacing. Then, as so many people had recommended to him (including that quack, Pangloss) he took a long, deep breath. It helped, perhaps, a little.

"I know," he admitted. "It's simply that--"

His words were cut off by a thin, ragged scream.

Again! The King of Jurai scowled terribly.

It was not an ordinary scream. It was a childish scream, a helpless scream--a scream that the King and Queen had heard too many times before. To the Queen, it was desperate, heart-wrenching. To the King, it was a scream that could only be wrenched from a child by a horror that walked by night, which could not be avoided, and could not be escaped.

For a big man, the King moved swiftly, striding out of his chambers and down the dim corridor. The rich draperies adorning the walls fluttered at the swiftness of his pace. Yet, as quickly as he moved, his wife was just a step or two behind him, regardless of her rather prominent pregnancy.

The royal couple paused at a door. Another scream erupted. Cursing, the King wrenched open the door and bulled inside, his wife close behind.

Inside, the chamber was spacious and beautifully furnished, with the soft pastel colors and intricate lace and frippery that a young girl loved. Its occupant lay on the curtained bed that dominated the chamber. Her small face was pale and beaded with perspiration. She shook and groaned, wearily, dreadfully.

Her two Guardians, Azaka and Kamidake, round wooden cylinders of profound loyalty and massive weaponry, hovered around the child's bed. Their pilot lights flickered with agitation.

"Please, Princess...wake up! Please wake up!" Azaka said.

"The Princess suffers! We can do nothing! It is not fair!" Kamidake added.

King Azusa knew how they felt. However, unlike them, he had hands and arms to first shake a child back to wakefulness and then to try to comfort her as she sobbed. Finally, he turned the now gently weeping little girl over to her mother.

He stood. "I'm calling the Galaxy Police now. They will take that cursed Lyceum apart, stone by stone, and yes, that blasted Professor too, or they'll think the heavens have fallen upon them! I'll go to the Grand Marshall, if I have to. I'll go to the High Commissioner! Or I'll send in the Royal Yeomen! I'll get action!"

With that pronouncement, the King strode out. He did have enough presence of mind in his rage not to slam the bedroom door behind him.

Watching him depart, Queen Misaki held her weeping young daughter, who pressed against her mother, snuggling against her mother's soft form and against the softer bulge in that form that would eventually become her little sister. The Queen stroked the child's deep purple hair.

"Don't cry," she murmured. "Don't cry, Ayeka."