AN - Hey, this chapter was a LONG time coming. It's actually not the last chapter, just one of the hardest to write and everything seemed to come first. Not a good excuse, I know :X I want to thank those of you who sent me encouragement in the form of reviews and favorites. Thank you, I hope this makes you thirsty for the next one.
Tonight was the best night of his life! Standing with her back to him was the cutest, most beautiful, girl he'd ever seen.
He'd stayed back with his mother at first, listening to the subdued salutations and letting himself be introduced to the family he had never met. They didn't stay outside long. Soon they trailed into the house and were lead into a large kitchen. At first his only thought was of the wonderful smells emanating from the place until she popped out from behind a corner.
When she looked up upon their entry Souta's world stopped dead. It took an elbow in his side from his uncle to shake him enough to his senses to introduce himself. As he deeply bowed there was a merry bell of laughter, and a mischievous glance between the two older men in the room.
His fate was sealed.
Souta though red-faced let himself be nudged forward onto a high stool. He didn't notice anyone else leave the room. All he saw was her sunny smile, her cheerful humming, and those cute bouncy pigtails.
Suddenly his hands were warm. Looking down he found there was a steaming mug of fresh tea between them. Trying to account for how it got there he looked up to find her starry eyes staring straight through him. Words were non-existent for him and though he could tell she was talking he could only make out one thing.
Her name is Sasami~~
The world was a sea of flooding information to Washu. Most of which she knew and controlled but tonight as she furiously communicated with her database she had to admit she was surprised. Ryoko's stats filled the right screen's downward flood, and the power recordings from the woods filled the left.
Ryoko currently had a near zero power level. It was dangerously low and Washu already had the computer setting up the lab's recovery tanks while she reviewed the rest of the information. The situation boggled her. HER! The greatest scientist in the Universe. And that doesn't happen. So she typed on flying fingers and read the dual waterfalls of information. Until something hit her in the face.
It happened to be her own hand.
How did I miss that! There were three distinct powers in that field. Then suddenly one explodes and they all go down to zero. The male we found must be the third power but this isn't possible for a human either.
She turned around from the keys to glance at the man while he was making small threats at Tenchi. There was just no way that he was from off world, and yet the power charts said he had been a pillar of energy in that field. Non-human energy. It shouldn't be possible for two humans to have a tenth or even a twentieth of that kind of power but as she double and triple checked the data there was nothing to dispute. And as the woman who was Tenchi's aunt was herded into the room by Lord Katsuhito Washu's mind was going a mile a minute.
Let's start with getting them all in recovery tanks. Maybe that will give me the answers if this talk doesn't.
Tenchi took a deep breath in. He really didn't want to lie to anyone, and yet the truth was not only forbidden by galaxy law it was so out there he wasn't sure if his mild aunt could believe him even if he did tell all.
As he was about to start Washu turned around fully and he was spared.
"Tenchi, before we start we need to get all three to the tanks in my lab. They are highly drained of energy, and covered in small injuries."
"Feh, serves that demon bitch right to get purified."
The man hunched in the bubble spoke up.
"But we aren't going anywhere. I don't need your help and I'm certainly not letting you fucks do anything to Kagome."
His grandfather coughed, "I understand your hesitancy young man, however you have nothing to worry about. Technically we are her family, and while you are in that condition, there frankly isn't anything you can do about it."
"In fact I think it would be a great idea to move the entire group there. It will increase the believability of some parts of the story which we have to tell."
"But grandpa, the Galaxy Po…"
His grandfather turned and winked.
It took a few seconds for Tenchi's stressed brain to figure it out, "…can't hear inside another dimension. Right."
Suddenly his mood was a little brighter; he didn't have to try to lie to his aunt and cousins. He could finally tell someone everything and because of the lab they could prove it all.
He got up with a small smile and helped his Aunt do the same. She gave him a questioning look.
"I promise we'll explain everything in the lab, Aunt Hitsuko. Just please try to be open minded. It's going to be a long and wild story."
His Aunt hesitantly nodded and watched Tenchi pick up her daughter before she moved to follow the rest of the group as they filed through a door that looked like it lead to a broom closet under the stairs.
But under the stairs there were no brooms, as she walked through the frame she felt a slightly cool sensation and then she was looking at a very large space filled to with machines, shelves, blinking lights and the odd cuckoo from somewhere deeper in.
Hitsuko followed the group around a corner and was surprised to see a glass wall which looked to be part of a vast aquarium. But it was dark and nothing seemed to be inside so she kept moving. The next thing she saw was the group convening around some machines that looked like a cross between a blender and a light bulb. Ryoko was already floating inside one. As she came closer she could see Inuyasha excitedly shaking his fist at everyone from inside his energy bubble.
"I told you I'm not getting in your dumb machine, I'll be fine by morning and so will Kagome."
He suddenly relaxed as the girl with pink hair reached through and seemed to inject him with something. Finally coming to stand next to the young girl who had sedated Inuyasha Hitsuko heard her next statement.
"There, he'll stay awake to hear our answers but I can't have him hurting himself trying to get out, or busting up my machine when he regains his power."
Hitsuko leaned towards the screen trying to read what the displays said but the characters were unfamiliar and moving down the screen like a waterfall making her somewhat dizzy.
"This machine will heal their injuries and restore their energy levels to normal."
The small girl said without turning around. Inuyasha gently floated inside the machine with a face mask as it filled with an unknown liquid. Tenchi moved toward a third with Kagome.
"Is it safe? I've never heard of a machine that could heal people like this." The girl in front of her swiveled around on a cushion hanging in mid air.
"Of course it's safe. I, Washu, the greatest scientist in the Universe, made it."
The girl had a big smile and was holding her right hand out. Hitsuko took it and lightly shook it in the western tradition.
"Nice to meet you Washu, I'm Tenchi's Aunt Hitsuko Higurashi."
She took a pause before she went on.
"When you say you are the best in the Universe, you mean…" Washu didn't let her finish, and instead held up a finger and half turned to hit a few keys before a large partially transparent screen of most the known universe popped up on their right.
"I mean the Universe, quite literally. By the way if you'd like there's a seat behind you."
Hitsuko nodded and turned her head to look and there behind her was a floating cushion the same as what Washu herself was sitting on. She took a seat and a moment to put her thoughts together.
"You aren't from Earth." It was a statement rather than a question, she'd seen enough in the lab to accept it even before the small girl replied.
"Nope. I'm actually from a planet far far away. Farther than most in this house actually."
Hitsuko looked around slowly till her brother's Father in Law stepped forward.
"I believe my part in this story should be told next. My name is Yosho Masaki-Jurai, but on Earth am I known as Katsuhito. I'm from the planet Jurai whose empire rules a large part of the universe. I was the crown prince, but I followed a criminal here to Earth." He nodded at the girl Ryoko as she floated in her machine. "I got stranded here when my ship crash-landed with hers." He paused. "You might have heard the story from my son in law, about the demon and the man riding a dragon coming down from the sky. That was me." He winked.
" So you are an alien too Mr. Yosho?"
"Please call me Dad, I am family after all. As you know my daughter Kiyone married that Nobuyuki." He nodded towards his son-in-law who waved at his sister "I allowed it under the stipulation that he and his children would take my family's Masaki name."
"Oh I never knew about that, though I did wonder why he changed his name. I guess it makes sense if your family has a royal lineage."
"Yes, I didn't want my family to forget their roots, even if we couldn't tell anyone here about it. It also put Tenchi here in line for the throne back on Jurai, even if it's somewhat remote now."
"Ah I see. I understand a little now why my brother couldn't tell me much about his new family."
"Yes, that is a galactic policy with protected planets like Earth. The rulers of Jurai feel that Earth isn't quite ready to join the rest of the universe yet, so while we are allowed to stay here due to our connection to the royal house, we aren't supposed flash our powers about or let on that we aren't native here." he said this with a glance at Ryoko and Ayeka. "It helps that this shrine is so isolated from modern areas and when the girls go into town, people just assume they dye their hair."
"I see, and you won't get into trouble for telling us?"
"Well see, I think we've established that your daughter is definitely not a normal Earthling, not to mention that young man's power level is far above a normal man's as well. I also believe we can convince the counsel that since you are related, even indirectly, that you will reserve the privacy of our presence here"
"Yes, of course. I know there are many things that people would be unable to believe or react properly to. Kagome's story is one such thing."
"Perhaps you could tell us about it if we have sated your curiosity enough for now."
"Well I am still curious about that woman who was in the field with Kagome. Is she an alien too? Inuyasha was saying something about her being a demon."
"Well sort of." Replied Washu, stepping in for the first time in a while. "Ryoko is my creation, and also my daughter. She has some pretty destructive powers, but she knows better than to use them in that manner," She coughed and continued quietly, "most the time."
"I see, so what happened in the field..."
"Was a combination of Ryoko's power, and what was until now an unidentified power that we've been tracking in Tokyo. I'm still puzzled about the third power belonging to the overprotective loudmouth, but I believe the catalyst for the energy reaction was Kagome."
"Well I can tell you the basics, even though I'm not sure how much you will believe even if you come from another planet. Most of the story will be Kagome's to tell for I'm afraid I have never seen the world to which she travels to."
"She travels to another world?"
"In a way. She said it's actually this world but five hundred years into the past.'
The calmness of the lab was broken by a loud exclamation from Washu.
"Travel across space and dimensions is one thing. I've developed technology to instantly cross those, but time travel is not something lightly messed with."
"Yes, well Kagome didn't have much of a choice the first time. She was pulled in by a demon."
Her Father in Law and Washu traded glances Washu spoke again.
"When you say demon you mean...?"
Hitsuko thought about the best way to explain a demon to a group of aliens.
"I suppose it would be a non-human being. From what Kagome has told me they often have animal traits and fantastic powers, some are straight out of a fairy tale. I've only heard of a few showing up in our time. Kagome and Inuyasha had to fight them off."
She stopped to think a minute.
"Mr. Yosho," He coughed interrupting her, "Sorry, um... Dad. If you arrived here about five hundred years ago you would have arrived at about the same time as when Kagome goes. Perhaps you would have met some of them."
"Hm, yes well I think I might have an explanation for who these demons were and where they went."
"Oh, I wish Kagome were awake, it's something we've talked about when she comes home."
"About twenty-five years after I crash landed here Jurai finished it's preliminary inspection of this world's progress and decided to intervene on behalf of the human beings here. Demons as you call them were a scattering of off-worlders from an arc ship that crashed here thousands of years ago. They lived alongside humans since then, but as their physical power grew stronger and the humans grew smarter the threat of war between them was big enough the council decided to step in. In order to preserve both groups the council of Jurai met with the leaders of the both groups and negotiated a solution."
"So you met with Sesshoumaru."
"Ah, no. I was not involved. I had reasons for not wanted to be found st that time." He rubbed the back of his head as Ayeka quipped.
" You mean like avoiding the throne and an arranged marriage to myself." The old man choked and laughed to cover it.
"Yes, something like that." He replied and changed the topic. "So, their solution was to offer the "demons" relocation to a world much like this one but was uninhabited. Many balked at the idea that humans could ever threaten them, but after a few displays of power, both in fighting and technologically, most of them came around to it. A few refused to go, and they either hid with Jurai's help, or they were eliminated as humans began to populate most of this planet."
"So that's where they went... I wonder what became of Kagome's friends."
"I'm sorry, I couldn't tell you. As I said those who stayed either hid, or sadly were wiped out. If they agreed not to interfere with Humans they were given help in the form of illusion technology from Jurai and the human leaders were supposed to get them inducted into human society."
"So they may still be here. She said many times that Sesshoumaru was highly possessive of his lands."
"She had many dealings with this man?"
"Hm, yes he was the Demon lord of the Western lands which included the area that became Tokyo." She glanced at Inuyasha in his tank. "He helped them when they were dealing with a half-demon called Naraku who was trying to take control over everything and cause mass destruction to humans and demons alike."
"Hm, I heard rumors of a super powerful hanyou who was defeated. They involved an artifact of great power that he coveted, and a mysterious priestess who dressed in the robes of a foreign land. Due to descriptions of her power I had assumed it was someone sent from Jurai but now I wonder."
"Yes, I believe they might be talking about my Kagome. It was her and her friends who overcame him after years of dangerous traveling in that era."
"You must have been so worried, that era was not a safe time for a human child to wander."
"Oh yes dreadfully so, but I tried not to show her that. She's always been a good girl, and her determination to do what was right guided her to go back again and again. I knew I couldn't persuade her to stop, so I sat and worried silently." She stopped and took a breath before continuing. "It was easier once I met one of her companions and more so when she told me of the powers she was developing."
"Why did she feel she had to keep going back? Even if she discovered unusual powers there were many others better suited to fight such a man. Though she couldn't have known, Jurai had been monitoring this planet for millennia and if such a man came into power they would have stepped in before too long."
"Well, I suppose she felt guilty. The artifact, The Shikon no Tama, was the reason she was pulled into the past in the first place. I still don't understand how, but it was inside of her. After it was removed it was shattered into many pieces and she decided it was her responsibility to hunt down the pieces and rid the world of it's corrupting force."
"Ah." He nodded. "The Jewel of Four Souls. It was never said how this artifact came to be cleansed."
"That's something I have to claim I don't know much about. She came home exhausted, and beat up saying she'd gotten rid of it forever. I was so glad she was home I admit I didn't Want to know what it had taken. She stayed here for a few years after that, and I thought she might have put it behind her. She only recently started going back after she graduated high school and started community college."
"I see." The old man looked to Washu expectantly. Since her outburst she had been listening while looking at the hovering screens still flooding with strange symbols. She squinted a bit and then frowned before addressing him.
"I think we have some interesting talks ahead Lord Katsuhito. From what I can tell there is some foreign DNA in the girl, but the structure is strange and very diluted. It'll take some time and further testing to isolate more information. As for the boy he's about half human, correct?" She looked at Hitsuko as she asked.
"Yes. I think Kagome said his other half was dog demon." Washu nodded.
"Though the other half in no way resembles the canines of this planet. It's very interesting that a half-breed between the two species was possible." Inuyasha still mildly sedated managed a dirty look at the clinical girl. "Do you know anything else about him?"
"I'm afraid I don't know much more than that. Anything else you'd have to ask him yourself. As for half breeds I remember Kagome saying there were more than a few instances from many different types of demon."
"hm... I wonder if through the millennia they adapted to the close proximity and budding threat by evolving to be compatible with the native population. It would certainly make sense as a survival method if they unconsciously sensed the potential for humanity."
"I couldn't say, sorry. Can you tell me how Kagome is doing?" Hitsuko looked nervously at the tank in which her daughter floated peacefully.
Washu consulted the screens in front of her.
"Well I can't say anything concretely until I have more data but her metabolism is recovering with the nutrients in the tank and for a human that's a good sign."
Hitsuko thought about it for a minute and then asked a question that had been bugging her for a while.
"You said for a human, not 'for and Earthling'. Are they not the same?"
"Why no. Humans have lived beyond earth for almost as much time as they have been on it."
"I don't understand."
Washu seemed to think for a minute.
"I'll explain it this way. For as long as humans have existed as they are, as Homo Sapiens, and probably for many thousands of years before they have also been exported off world by many species."
"Many travelers found this place and took workers, lovers and even slaves as they passed through. It wasn't until about the time of the pyramids that Jurai stepped in and claimed the planet a preserve that it slowed down enough for humans here to have a chance"
"So alien abductions...?"
"They still happen due to poachers, but Jurai pursues them heavily unless they have a permit."
Hitsuko looked shocked.
The old man coughed and took over the explanation.
"There are many bi-pedal species in the galaxy who have genetically stagnated due to inbreeding or just bad luck. Human DNA for some reason is extremely convertible and half-breeds are easily conceived with close matches. Even two or three humans can rejuvenate and give hope to an entire planet that would otherwise die out slowly."
Hitsuko was shocked.
"So they are authorizing people to take slaves from this planet!"
"Oh no, the only people who abduct Earthlings by force are poachers and Jurai punishes them fiercely. They try to get people back without too much trauma, but memory altering is tricky business. Some people refuse to fully forget you understand."
"Well not everyone is as smart as Me." Washu interjected proudly.
"Anyway." Katsuhito continued, "The request to get a permit is scrutinized heavily by the counsel of Jurai and comes with the conditions that all exports go of their own will and with complete knowledge of what they can expect at their new home. Usually a life of intense luxury with a mate that has wooed them splendidly. You've heard tales of people who got married, moved far away and were rarely, if ever, heard from after?"
Hitsuko nodded solemnly.
"Well not always but many times that's a man or woman who was chosen by a visiting people in need. Jurai takes it's protectorates very seriously and only those with real need and the means to provide such conditions are allowed to even attempt to gain a volunteer."
"I see, I'm not sure I'm thrilled about the idea, but if the people are willing to go and taken care of I suppose I'm not against it on principle."
"Oh yes, human DNA is scattered all over the universe as a result. Many of the species lobby for Earth to be brought into the knowledge of the rest of the Universe but Jurai would like to wait until Earth can send units past it's own star system."
"That might not be too long then. There are probes that have been shooting far out into space for years now."
"Yes, Jurai is most likely thinking about the best timing to introduce themselves, and then the rest of the universe. I imagine mankind will be very humbled within the next century or so."
Hitsuko nodded. Looking towards her daughter for comfort and confirmation she was still there, she noticed Inuyasha's hair had changed colors to is usual silver color and his puppy ears were back.
"Oh, Washu it looks as though he's ready to come out." Inuyasha has his arms crossed and was glaring at the pink-haired scientist.
Washu looked at her screens. "Oh yes I do see an increase in power, but not as much as it should be to get back to the level he had before."
Inuyasha continued to glare at her.
"Oh alright if you promise to behave, otherwise it's another sleepy time for you Mr. Doggy-Ears. That's quite a remarkable transformation from looking almost entirely human. Ryoko's done too, she just needs to sleep so I'll get them both out. Can you carry her upstairs Tenchi?"