Chapter Eighteen

“No Need for an Assault”


            Three ships met in the dark of space in an orbit of a burnt out world several light-years from planet Jurai.  Two galaxy police cruisers were docked with the spherical Capsule Corp vessel.  All the members of the different rescue teams and the Jurian royalty were gathered on the main deck of the capsule ship.  Most of them looked ragged and worn except for the Sailor team that looked oddly refreshed and tanned.  The others growled internally at their cheery moods.


            Kiyone walked in from the docking collar and held out a data pad.  “Well folks, it’s official.  We’ve been blamed for the death of the royal family of Jurai and all GPD forces are on search-and-destroy along with the whole Jurian armada.  So what do we do now?”


            “Why don’t we just show them that the Royal Family is okay?”  Sailor Venus asked.


            “Because,” Washu answered.  “We would be shot on sight before we could explain everything, and I’m sure Kagato would have covered his bases well enough to keep us from simply coming clean.  He’s trying to line up everything he can against us.  The threats he threw at us before will be nothing compared to the forces he’ll have waiting for us between here and Jurai.”


            “So what?”  Ranma commented as he cracked his knuckles.  “Nothing is going to stop me from getting Akane back.  We just bust in and kick his butt before he knows what’s happening.”


            “It won’t be that easy.”  Asusa stated as he stepped forward.  “Since Ryoko assaulted our planet all those years ago, we’ve improved our defenses one thousand fold.  We will have to get past all those walls before we can even begin an assault on the palace.”


            “Then we’ll have to face the palace guard and all the Jurian knights before we can get to Kagato” Yosho added.  He was again in his elder disguise.  He and Pan had decided to keep his secret for a while longer for Ayeka’s sake.  Of course they had no way of knowing that Ryoko and she had made up their differences in a rather unique way.  At the moment, Pan stood by his side holding a straight face, holding off the urge to put her arms around the Jurian prince.


            Misaki stood up and smoothed her robes.  This was not the vacant woman who showered affection on all things cute; this was the head of Jurian Military.  Her posture was straight and tall.  “You are all correct with your assessments of the situation.  We will have to divide our forces once again to get into the palace.  One group will be the distraction and try to take out as many knights as they can without killing them while the other team will try to sneak in and confront Kagato.”  She turned to the gathered Sailor Senshi.  “If you are truly the warriors of the moon kingdom, then you should have power greater than the knights.  You will be the diversion team.  You will take with you Shampoo, Ryoga, Uub, and the Galaxy Police women.”  She turned to Washu.  “Lady Washu, I would like you to accompany them.”


            The redheaded scientist shook her head.  “I regret to say that I will not.  There is something I need to do while all of you are making your attack.  I cannot tell you what it is, but you all will have to trust me that it is vital to the success of this battle.”


            Misaki nodded.  “I trust your judgment.”  She turned back to the others.  “The rest of us will make the assault on the palace.  Since most of us of the strike team call the palace home, we have the best chance of getting to Kagato undetected.  This only leaves one question.”


            “How do we get past the million or so ships blockading the planet and the new defenses that were designed to keep even Ryoko out?”  Tenchi spoke up.


            Misaki nodded.  “Correct.”


            “Couldn’t Ranma just teleport all of us to the planet with his instant transmission like he took us to Antarctica?”  Pan asked.


            Ranma shook his head.  “I need to be familiar with the terrain or have a powerful signature to lock onto.  I’ve tried locking onto Akane or Sasami, but their being masked from me.”


            “If did, we no in good place to be diversion.”  Shampoo added.


            Ayoko stood up and walked past everyone and looked out the forward view port.  Everyone watched her back as she crossed her arms and tapped her foot.  At last, she turned around to them with an arrogant smirk on her face and chuckled.  “It’s easy.  I’ll break through the blockade and become the focal point of Ranma’s teleport.”


            Everyone looked at her in alarm.  Tenchi walked up and put a hand on her shoulder.  “Are you sure?  They’ve had 700 years to prepare defenses against you.”


            She smiled a tender smile at him for his obvious, but misguided concern.  “They made those defenses for Ryoko.  Not Ayoko.  Also, as a Jurian princess, I know most of the defenses.”  She put a hand on his cheek.  “But there is something I need from you.”


            “Anything.”  He replied.


            “Your balls.”


            “GACK!”  His eyes bugged as he staggered backwards a couple steps and everyone in the room’s eyeballs bugged out.  “But you’ve already had that this morning!”  Everyone else in the room face faulted.


            She smiled mischievously.  “No, my dearest, I need the remaining two gems on the Tenchi-Ken.  I’ll need all the power I can get.”


            He nodded and took out the Tenchi-Ken, held it out towards her, closed his eyes, and willed the remaining gems to be given to the space pirate/princess.  The two gems disappeared from the sword hilt and reappeared on her left wrist and throat.  She closed her eyes and inhaled as she felt the long forgotten power seeping into her again.


            Funaho, slightly worried, stepped forward.  “Are you sure that you will have sufficient power?”


            Ayoko smiled her arrogant smirk again.  Out of apparently nowhere, she pulled out a small rod and twirled it in her fingers.  “If they thought Ryoko was bad,” her face seemed to darken.  Wait’ll they get a load’a me.”


            “That’s a henshin pen!”  Sailor Moon shouted.  “How did you get one of those?”


            Ayoko smiled at her.  “Hadn’t you heard?  I’m Sailor Jurai, long lost warrior of the East Moon Kingdom.  I’m back, and I’m ready for action.”


            “So how are we going to separate if Ranma just puts us all on the planet in the middle of all their troops?”  Kiyone asked.


            Ayoko turned to Ranma.  “Do you think you could teleport the entire ship?”


            He thought for a second.  “Maybe, but I’d be useless for a little while until I rested up from using that much power.”


            “Use the Senzu beans!”  Pan threw in.   “Just transport the ship, pop a bean, and then transport the assault team!”


            Ranma nodded.  “It could work, but I’d still need a focus inside the palace.”


            Ayoko smirked.  “Leave that to me.  I’ll leave two signatures.  The first will be for the ship and the second will be for the strike team.”


            “How will you manage that?”  Asusa asked.


            Before their eyes, Ayoko split in two separate versions of herself.  “I have ways of being beside myself.”


            Funaho cleared her throat.  “Be that as it may, do you think that these girls will have enough power to take on the Knights of Jurai?  They will need someone with them that knows how they fight and can take them out.”


            Yosho nodded as he gestured to the planet in the view screen.  “That’s why we are here.  We are going to collect the last two members of our team.”




            A couple hours later, Yosho, Pan, Asua, Ranma, Tenchi, Ayoko, and the two wooden guardians were going through the caves of the planet below.  They wound their way through the caves until they at last came to what appeared to be a room hewn from the rock.  In the middle was two platforms with what appeared to be two open caskets behind them.  In the caskets where what looked like men carved into the stone.


            Asusa turned to his son.  “How did you know this was here?  I never knew the location of this shrine.”


            Yosho took a couple steps forward.  “In studying to be the best warrior on Jurai, I found references to this place.  A little further digging in the deepest, dustiest libraries of Trantor, I found the location of this planet.


            Pan stepped up beside him.  “So what is this place?”


            He turned to her with a solemn face.  “This is the resting place of the two greatest Knights of Jurai.”  He turned his gaze two the two ancient guardians.  “It’s time.”


            The two wooden cylinders seemed to nod and then float forward and came to rest atop each of the circular platforms in front of the caskets.  The main lenses on the guardians ignited in bright blue and red lights.  Lightning arced around the room as they powered up with everything they had.  Everyone watched in awe as the energy filtered back to the two figures cut into the stone behind the platforms.  The stone seemed to change shades until the colors became more life-like, faces taking on flesh tones, and their clothes turning into whites, red and blue.  At last the power drained completely from the guardians and two men came forward around them.  They both wore white robes, similar to Ayeka’s battle dress, but the colors were predominantly white.  The first was an older man with blue eyes and grey hair.  His robes were trimmed with blue while his red-eyed, red-haired companion’s was highlighted in red.  They both came forward and knelt before the Juraian royalty.


            The older one looked up to them.  “First Knights Azaka and Kamidake,” he nodded to his companion, “reporting for duty.  We have returned like we promised when Jurai needs us the most.”


            Yosho stepped forward.  “Rise knights.  It is time to fight once more for your emperor.”


            Some more ceremony followed until they all started heading back to the surface.  Yosho noticed that Pan had stayed behind.  He went back and found her alone running her hand over one of the guardians.


            She turned to him when she felt him come up to her.  “What of them?  Are we just going to leave them here?”


            Yosho sadly nodded his head.  “They gave up their lives so that could revive the legendary knights.  They will always be remembered for their sacrifice.”


            Pan nodded sadly.  “It still seems wrong to just leave them here.  They’ve been with you guys a long time.”


            The first prince of Jurai walked up and put an arm around her waist.  “We will be back for them.  Don’t worry.”


            She smiled as she turned into his embrace.  She looked around him to make sure that no one else was around and then looked back up to him.  “Turn off the illusion.”


            He shrugged.  “Why?”  He asked, but still dropped the illusion and returned to his true young form.


            “Because..”  She pulled his head down and kissed him with all the passion she had.  She released him and they both sharply inhaled.  “Now put your makeup back on, and get ready to kick some galactic butt.”  She released him and followed the others out.


            He chuckled as he redonned his disguise and followed after her.




            They all said their good lucks and took to their ships.  Washu took Mihoshi’s ship, Ayoko took the Capsule vessal, and everyone else crammed into Kiyone’s ship.  They let her drive so that there were no schedule irregularities.


            The three ships unlocked their docking collars and separated.  The capsule pod and Kiyone’s cruiser took flight, leaving Washu and Mihoshi’s ship behind.


            The apparently young scientist’s best wishes went out to the others as they took to hyperspace.  The ship’s computer drone dropped his ‘head’ from the top of the cockpit.  “What destination would you desire Lady Washu. I will plot a course immediately.”


            She smiled fondly at the computer.  “Sorry, Yukinojo.  I’ll be taking the helm for this one.”  She raised her hand and it glowed with an amber color.  The robot head retracted and the ship went silent as the entire thing powered down.  When all had been put into hibernation mode, the glow from Washu’s hand expanded and enveloped the ship.  When the glow grew large enough to encompass the entire mass of the ship, it disappeared from known space!




            Several hours later and several light years away, the other two vessels appeared.  The police cruiser stopped where it was, but the Capsule ship flared its engines and charged forward.  The ship hurtled through space at the blockade of GPD cruisers and Jurian ships.  They all opened fire when they saw the ship approach.  The weapons at first bounced off the force field on the ship, but then they started to penetrate the hull as the field lost power.  At last the capsule ship exploded.


            The blockade holders started to cheer until they saw Ryo-Ohki flying out of the fire ball of the capsule ship.  The ones who remembered what happened 700 years before began to panic as the crystalline spacecraft began raining fire on the blockade of ships.


            Before they could do more than raise their defensive shields; their alarm klaxons sounded as they picked up another bogie on their screens.  Ayoko appeared in the middle of the group of ships in Ryoko’s red and black battle outfit, only this time the black tribal marks were on both sides of her face and outfit.


            “Time to really give’em a show.”  She thought to herself.  She drew her henshin rod and shouted into space, “Jurai Power!  Make Up!”   Power flooded her as she spun and transformed in mid space.  While most of the men on the ships were still distracted by the transformation, she began blasting away in several directions at once.  She weaved in and out of the formations, firing all the while.  One after another, the ships were disabled and left crippled in her wake.  She smiled when she saw the blockade had been neutralized.  She turned and started toward the planet with Ryo-Ohki on her tail.


            She hadn’t gone more than a few leagues when she slammed into an invisible wall.  She growled when she saw several log satellites start to surrounding her and her ship.  “You think this will hold me?”  She asked rhetorically.  Her eyes flashed as her aura flared.  “Royal Love Shock!”  A sphere of red lightning expanded from her center and radiated outward and destroyed the satellites.  “Fools.  Did they really think that would work.  It would have worked if I hadn’t acquired these moon powers.  She thought to herself.


            The ships from the other side of the planet began to make their appearance, but they were too late to stop her from entering the atmosphere, where they would have to risk destroying life on the planet to fire on her.


            Upon entering the atmosphere she split into her separate selves.  Now.  She thought.




            Back on Kiyone’s ship Tenchi’s eyes widened.  He quickly turned to Ranma.  “Now!  Teleport now!”


            Ranma inhaled and pulled in all the power he could.  Kaio-Ken times ten!”  He shouted as he boosted his power even further.  As his aura raged red around him, he put two fingers to his forehead and concentrated on Ayoko’s closer signature.  The whole ship and everyone on it seemed to waver in and out of existence until finally the ship was transported to the atmosphere of the planet Jurai.  The ship began to plummet under the planet’s gravitational pull.


            Ranma was panting from the effort when they arrived.  Pan ran to his side and practically force fed the last senzu bean they had into his mouth.  “Come on!”  She shouted.  “There’s no time to waste!”


            He crunched and his eyes went wide as his power and body was restored.  “That never ceases to amaze me.”  He commented under his breath.  He turned to the royals, Tenchi, Yosho and Pan.  “Everyone form a chain and let’s get going!”  They did as he asked and he repeated the instant transmission.


            “Hang on everyone!”  Kiyone shouted as she wrestled to get control of the falling ship.  Everyone pitched forward as she reduced the speed.


            The ship came to a hover about a field outside the palace.  The lower door opened and the warriors leapt to the ground below and fell into defensive positions.  Kiyone and Mihoshi jumped out last wearing GPD battle suits.


            “Where is they?”  Shampoo asked as she held her bonbari at the ready.


            “I don’t…” was all Kiyone could get out before thousands of soldiers and Jurians began to swarm around them.


            Uub looked at all the guns, swords, and other weapons that were arrayed around them.  “And we can’t kill anyone?”


            “They don’t know for whom they fight.”  Azaka spoke in a steady voice.  “We do not kill those that would be our allies when the others have finished their mission.”


            “Just like old times, eh old man?”  Kamidake smiled at the older man.  The older man just chuckled lightly in response.




            A little earlier, the main strike team materialized inside of the royal palace.  The room was a darkened domed ceiling room with four hallways leading in different directions.  The high ceiling and walls were all decorated with trees and with gold gilded leaves.  The group quickly ringed themselves facing outward, prepared for anything.


            Ranma took a quick look around the darkened room.  “So which way from here?”


            Yosho pointed down one of the halls.  “That hall goes to the main audience chamber.”  He indicated the hall next to the first.  “That hall goes toward the tree gardens, where the spaceship trees are grown.”


            The pigtailed martial artist gave him a withering look.  “So which way is it?”


            “I was hoping you could tell me.”  The old man smiled.  “You should be able to sense Akane.  We can’t sense Sasami through the power that the palace radiates.”


            Ranma closed his eyes and concentrated.  He slowly turned and pointed to the hall to the other side of the first and downward.  “She’s that way.  She’s very weak though.  We gotta hurry!”  He turned and started running down the hallway.  The group quickly followed.


            At that moment Ayoko teleported in.  “Ta-Da!  Tenchi!  You’re goddess is here!”  She looked around.  “Hey, where’d they go?”  She turned and saw Azusa turn the corner down the hall.  She smirked and flew after them.


            As the light of her aura left the room, the shadows began to creep up the walls.  They swirled around and came alive as shapes came out of the trees around the room.  The shadows swarmed around the room and flowed down the hall behind the royals.


            The group came to another domed room similar to the first.  Azusa looked around.  “I didn’t realize until now how many of these rooms in the palace look alike.”


            “It probably looks a little different with the lights on.”  Misaki quipped.  “Why are all the lights out?”


            Funaho raised a hand.  It glowed briefly.  “The control circuit has been rerouted.  I can not access the main grid.  I’d guess we’ve all been locked out.”


            Yosho nodded his head.  “Kagato has no doubt prepared for our arrival.  Let’s not disappoint him.”  An eager smile crossed his lips.


            Just then, shadows dropped from the trees all around them.  They materialized into black suited men with silver claws and silver face masks.  They were all crouched like wolverines ready to strike.


            “What are they?” Ranma asked as he set himself in a ready stance.


            Funaho glared at the dark assailants.  “They’re shadow assassins.”  She looked around at the attackers.  “Although they usually only work alone.”


            “They were all especially contracted as defenders by the emperor of Jurai.”  They all turned to see two men in black robes with pale skin carrying large black halberds.


            “Ito!  Warugi!”  Azusa growled.  “The disgraced knights of Jurai!  How dare you return to my empire!  I banished you centuries ago!”


            One stepped forward.  “You’re right, but the new prince Yosho thought that we were worth rehiring.  It seems a few of the regular knights were less then cooperative with the transition of power.”


            The other smirked.  “The new emperor had us deal with them.  They took a long time to die.”


            “BASTARDS!!”  The rightful emperor shouted.  “They were good and honorable knights of Jurai, the rightful protectors of this kingdom!”


            Ito smirked as he blew across his fingernails.  “Now they’re good and honorable corpses, just like your going to be when we’re done with you.”  He smirk turned into an evil grin.  He lowered his halberd and commanded, “Kill them.”




            In another place, another reality existing parallel to the norm, a GPD cruiser materialized into the no-space between dimensions.  Lances of light coursed between the hull plates of the ship and then the entire ship became light and decomposed into points of light that swirled around the diminutive redhead floating in the ether.


            Washu held out her hand and the points of light coalesced into her palm and faded out.  She smiled and began to glow.  Her body transformed into her adult form and her clothes transformed from the galactic space academy uniform into white and red flowing robes.


            She turned and floated a distance through the non-space between worlds.  Tokimi.”  She spoke in a firm voice.  “Come to me.”


            Nothing happened for a while.  Washu started tapping her foot on the non-existent floor.  “TOKIMI!”  She shouted at the top at her lungs.  “Come out sis, we need to talk!”


            At that a disembodied head with black eyes, brown hair that with facial features similar to Washu appeared in front of her.  “Who has summoned me?”  A far off voice spoke, but the lips did not move.


            “Can it, sis.”  Washu made a swiping motion with her hand and the face disintegrated, leaving behind a smaller version of the head with a body to match.


            “It’s been a while, Washu.”  Tokimi smiled as she stepped forward.  “What brings you to my side of the void?”


            The greatest scientist in the universe glared at the other goddess.  “We’re going to have a talk, sis.”




            Sailor Pluto and Dende sat in easy chairs at the gates of time (which is only two doors down from the room of spirit and time on Kami’s lookout) watching what was unfolding through a portal floating in the air.


            “This is totally out of control.”  Commented Pluto calmly between bites of popcorn.


            “Don’t worry,” Dende stated with confidence.  “It’s almost over.”