The Speed of Light

Upon entering the house, Tenchi shouted out "Tadaima," to notify his father of his presence-assuming he was at home anyway. Since there was no response, he surmised that his father was, in fact, out. Tenchi then told the girls to make themselves comfortable in his living room while he made tea.

Tenchi had been mulling things over and decided that the women that he just found were not who they said they were. He did not know where they came from, but their odd colored hair seemed quite natural, instead of being colored. As far as he knew, Washu was human, but she had planted a seed of doubt when she divulged the idea that she was Ryoko's birth mother. Considering how old Ryoko was, it was next to impossible that Washu was human, if she was who she claimed to be.

The other girls were obviously from another world, which both excited and frightened Tenchi. He had understood that they were not simply having car trouble by their dress, and by noticing that the railing used as the boundary of the road had not been broken. Tenchi was slow at times, but he certainly was not dumb. He knew something was up, but just was not sure what that "something" was.

That, ultimately, is why he brought the girls over. He wanted to know the truth and knew that the people of Tokyo would not react well when faced with the problem of extraterrestrials. Had his own life not already become so odd, he likely would have felt the same. Either way, the authorities were not who needed to be notified about these beautiful, yet strange women. Tenchi felt that, somehow, this was all connected to Ryoko's legend and his family. Why he should feel that way, he was not sure, but there had been far too many coincidences in the past few days.

First, Ryoko becomes a student at his school. Then her mother is apparently a new teacher at said school. All of that immediately followed by a strange group of girls swimming in the waterfront. He had also overheard some people talking about strange lights heading towards that very area. No, these women were not your run in the mill Japanese women.

Tenchi brought out the tea to one of the quietest rooms he had ever entered, and Tenchi was a quiet guy himself. The women all murmured thanks and, for a while, everyone sipped their tea in relative silence.

After a while, Tenchi said, "So, car trouble?" The four newcomers nodded, silently. Tenchi continued, saying, "I don't buy it. I heard tales of strange lights in the evening sky near the waterfront. You were swimming in the water front. Oh, and the railing was all in tact. So, tell me, where are you really from and why are you here? Please."

There was more silence for a second or two and then, "I am Ayeka and this is my sister Sasami. We are members of the Jurai royal family, who were headed to this planet, before these two viciously attacked us without warning." She said all this very quickly and agitated gestured in Mihoshi and Kiyone's direction.

Mihoshi still looked a little bit shellshocked, so Kiyone defended their actions first, saying, "That's only part of the story, and we hardly attacked without warning. Well, technically. You simply did not answer our communiques!" She was trembling with suppressed rage. The gall of these two fugitives!

"We were simply doing our jobs as Galaxy Police officers, considering you two are both fugitives from your home planet. You're enemies of the emperor!"

Ayeka looked like she had been slapped in the face, and several wooden blocks appeared around here while electricity crackled. This caused everyone, including her sister, to back up.

Regaining her self-control, Ayeka somehow made those blocks and the electricity disappear. Well, that's how it appeared to everyone but Sasami and Washu, who was secretly familiar with the power of the Jurai royal family.

Taking a deep breath, and trembling in a rage of her own, Ayeka said, "THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! We have always been loyal to our family-to our father!" She stamped her foot for emphasis, "You Galaxy Police officers have been given false information! We are REFUGEES!" The word seemed torn from her against her will. She even seemed to wilt a bit afterward.

The rage passed, being replaced by a strong sense of melancholy. It actually seemed to descend upon the room, chilling everyone to the bone. Her reaction and statement were so powerful, that Kiyone was suddenly questioning the information she had been given. Mihoshi and her had been told that Ayeka and Sasami had made an attempt on the knew emperor's life. The new emperor, Kagato, had come to the throne after a strange illness killed most of the Jurai royal family, a family known for their longevity. According to the higher ups, Kagato had every right to the throne. Why then, would Ayeka claim that they were refugees. What are they running from, if not the law?

Mihoshi was thinking along similar lines, though she was noticing that she was getting hungry just a bit more. She sighed inwardly, maybe thoughts like that are why Kiyone is always mad at me. She quickly chose to regain her focus. Was their information faulty? Why would they be given false information? Why the order to shoot their ship, if they don't respond to hails? It was all very curious.

Sasami ran and threw her arms around her sister, in an attempt to console her. She felt it was helping, but only just so much. Where was the sister she had known for so many years? Could people change that quickly? Was anything sure in this universe?

Tenchi held up his hands in a calming fashion and said quietly, "I feel as though you both are saying something true, but there are parts missing. I doubt that it's your fault, and I want you to know that I will help you-ALL of you-any way that I can."

"Now, since we know who you guys are, I'll make a couple introductions" he paused, how do you introduced the "demon" your family once imprisoned for sport?

Ryoko decided to just get it over with, but keep it as simple as possible. "I'm Ryoko, and that's really all you need to know." The others nodded and then waited for the rest to speak up. However, Ayeka and Kiyone eyed Ryoko in a manner that indicated they were trying to place exactly where they might know her from. Tenchi wondered if they were somehow familiar with one another.

Washu took this moment to display her unique charm, or what she believed to be her charm. After all, she was nearly an infinite being, as long as she has lived. She surely was more important in deciding such matters. These people were clearly children, when it comes to her.

"I'm Washu Hakubi. Nice to meet you. I only have one itsy, bitsy request," Washu said, "Please, called me 'LITTLE WASHU,' I won't answer you otherwise!"

Again, there was silence, but of a different sort. Everyone, except for Ryoko and Tenchi, who had already been told this, had a look on their face that indicated sheer disbelief. Who does that?

Tenchi sighed inwardly, and felt incredibly thankful that the atmosphere was becoming a little more comfortable. He took a moment before saying, "My name is Tenchi, and I want to help you all, as best as I can." Hesitating, Tenchi wondered silently about the prudence of even getting involved. However, Tenchi has always been of a tender-heart, and could never leave people who are so obviously out of their depth alone. Plus, he owed Ryoko. Washu was more of a mystery, but she too was of alien origin. She had to be, if she was Ryoko's mother, as she had said.

"I do not think that any of this was by chance. I feel like this is all, somehow, connected to a choice I made last summer. To make a long story short, Ryoko was once imprisoned by my family for many years. I...Well, I let her go. This was only a few months ago, and my entire life has changed very quickly since then."

"Something, is up and I do not have any clue, as to what that is. I've no idea." He stopped there and then said, "Please, stay with me as long as you need, while we figure all of this out. Ryoko, where are you living, now?"

Ryoko's eyes widened and her heart fluttered. She still could not figure out why that was nearly her stock reaction to this young boy. She betrayed none of this on her face, though Washu heard her thoughts loud and clear. "I was adopted, actually. The family has been really wonderful. I should...I should go back and let them know I am alright." She stood up to leave, and there came a knock at the door.