“Batman,” A voice snarled as a fist impacted with a punching bag. “Batman!”
The crowd erupted at the mention of the mysterious vigilante’s name.
Suddenly, with a slash of purple flame, the punching bag exploded in a shower of sand and simulated leather.
The enthusiastic crowd gasped in shock and fell silent (Or at least a little quieter).
“BATMAN!!!” Iori Yagami fumed as the flames covering his hands died down. “Why am I fighting some masked vigilante? It’s a complete waste of my skills!”
A Gothic attired Iori of the Yagami Clan seethed in anger at the very idea of wasting his precious time in such a manner.
“Calm down Iori,” Terry Bogard laughed. “I never knew you to be such a whiner.”
Sitting on a bench in the workout room, the young fighter dressed in street clothes and a red baseball cap with a long ponytail of blond hair tightened the laces on his tennis shoes and stood to face the angry Orochi-blooded fighter.
“And look what you’ve done,” The leather creaked on Terry’s black fingerless biker gloves as he cracked his knuckles and jokingly chuckled. “Now we’re gonna need a new punching bag.”
“Shut it Bogard!” Iori snapped, glaring at the other fighter from underneath the long bangs of his flame red hair. “When I’m through with Batman I’m coming after you two.”
“And what makes you think you can beat Batman?” Ryu, the fighter in the tattered white gi and red headband said without any hint of sarcasm.
“You’re joking, right?” Iori laughed.
“Not at all,” Ryu said. “After all, he’s Batman.”
“Oh please!” Yagami scoffed.
“No, really,” Terry agreed. “He’s one of the world’s best martial artists, a detective of the highest caliber, and is in peak mental and physical condition for...anybody really. And now you’re facing him in one of the most brutal, sadistic, and dangerous matches ever used in sports entertainment.”
“Hell in a Cell,” Ryu simply stated.
The crowd’s roaring approval could be heard even in the training room, deep within the bowels of the massive arena. Having two great fighters like Iori and Batman go at it is one thing, but this startling announcement brought the anticipation to a whole new level.
“I envy you Iroi,” Terry said. “It’s going to be one great fight.”
“Indeed,” Ryu calmly agreed.
“Big deal,” Yagami snapped. “He may be a decent fighter, but he’s never faced anything like me. As for ‘dangerous sports entertainment matches’, I have that covered as well.”
With that, Iori turned to the door and headed out of the large exercise room.
“See you two later,” Iori snarled without looking back. “That’s a promise.”
“So,” Terry smirked as smiled as soon as Iori disappeared from view. “How do you think he’ll do?”
“Fair,” Ryu answered plainly. “He might win, he might not.”
Terry stared quizzically at Ryu for only a moment before busting out in a loud chortle.
“You’re a very bland guy, you know that?”
“I find that actions speak louder than words.”
“Let’s see how loud your actions get in our match tonight,” Terry said offering a handshake in the spirit goodwill and sportsmanship.
“Yeah,” Ryu agreed taking his hand and returning the gesture. “I think we’ll make some noise.”
* * * * *
“There you have it!” Jim Ross cheered. “The opponents are all fired up for two of this evening’s four main events!”
“First up,” April said. “Ryu and Terry Bogard go one-on-one to fight for the honor of seeing which school of martial arts is the superior and to see who is top dog in the world of street fighting!”
“It’s Shotokan vs. Hakioku Saken!” Hiroshi hyped. “Tonight in the ring!”
“Then, it’s Iori of the Yagami Clan against the one and only Dark Knight, Batman!” J.R. proudly announced. “And this confrontation will take place within the ominous steel structure suspended above the ring.”
“Hell In a Cell!” King chimed in. “This one’s gonna get brutal!”
“And we wouldn’t have it any other way!” Daffy chuckled maniacally.
Poised high above the ring, a twenty-foot tall steel cell hung ominously in the air. Supported by cables and guidelines, the steel mesh structure looked like it could cover the entire ring, including a couple of feet on the outside.
“You think we would’ve noticed a thing like that sooner,” Daisuke stated blandly.
“Yeah!” Hiroshi absently agreed. “As good as Iori is, all those things Terry and Ryu said about Batman are absolutely true. Iori has got his work cut out for him,”
“Looks like,” Daffy yawned.
“Hey,” Hiroshi pondered. “What did Iori mean by he’s ‘Got it covered’?”
“Well,” J.R. admitted. “I have no idea.”
“But before we get to those,” April cheered. “We have a lot of other action packed matches to get through first!”
“Like the Bra and Panties Match!!!” King squealed. “I can’t wait!!! It’s next!”
“You said it!” Daffy drooled. “Woo hoo!”
“But first,” April interjected. “We have another match to get through.”
“That’s right April,” J.R. assisted in changing the subject. “This next fight is the highly anticipated duel between Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and the young Tenchi Masaki!”
“Wait just one cotton picking minute!” Daffy said. “Didn’t we already have a sword fight?”
“Not like this one!” Hiroshi shouted. “Instead of metal and wood, these two use unique swords with blades of pure energy! Is that cool or what?”
“Sounds dangerous,” April argued.
“Must be,” Daisuke said. “This match is also being held ‘Off-Site’.”
“Luckily,” J.R. stated. “I’ve been told we are going to be joined by an expert on light and energy swords for this next match.”
“An expert?” April asked. “Who?”
A bouncy, adventurous tune filled the arena and the crowd cheered as the lull in the action ended. Several of them raced back to their seats, wishing they had gotten up earlier, and decided to hold it.
“This must be our expert now,” Daisuke said, unenthused.
A young swordsman, last seen fighting over food in the cafeteria, appeared in the entranceway on the stage and started down ramp. His long bishonen blond hair flowed behind him as he walked towards the ring with a wide and confident smile on his face; which caused several young girls in the audience to swoon as he passed.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” The Announcer cheered, finally having something to say. “Please welcome Gourry Gabriev!”
The pieces of black metal armor covering his light blue shirt and darker blue pants clanked slightly as he marched down the ramp to the ring. The unusual black armor on his shoulders and chest vaguely resembled football shoulder pads.
“Gourry?” Daisuke blanched. “We throw the word ‘expert’ around way too loosely these days.”
Nonetheless, the expert made his way to the ring and climbed through the ropes. Once inside, he grabbed the ornate black hilt of his broadsword and pulled it out from its brown leather scabbard. Just as casually, Gourry pulled a small pin from the sword’s hilt, causing the metal blade to fall to the mat.
“What’s he doing?” King asked, laughing slightly now that Gourry has apparently disabled his own weapon.
But then Gourry struck a dramatic pose, as if to lunged forward with his blade-less sword.
“LIGHT COME FORTH!!!” Gourry suddenly shouted.
There was a collective gasp among those who watched as, with a blast of power, a bright blue blade of jagged light extended from the hilt, creating an impressive sword made of energy. Gourry stood in a ready pose and waited for his opponent to appear.
“Uhh...Gourry!” Hiroshi called into the ring.
“Huh?” Gourry deftly responded, looking around for the source of the voice.
“You’re not here to fight someone!”
“No,” Daisuke said calmly. “You’re here to do guest commentary.”
“Yes!” All the commentators answered as one.
“...Oh!” Gourry replied sheepishly as he sweatdropped, retracted his energy sword and replaced the metal blade. “Right! Sorry about that!”
Unphased, Gourry stepped out if the ring and walked to the commentating table.
“Welcome Gourry!” April said cheerfully as Gourry put on his headset and pulled out his chair. “Are you ready for this?”
“You bet!” The swordsman smiled as he sat down. “I’ve been studying all kinds of sports trivia to get ready for this!”
“Really?” Daisuke asked in amazement. “You studied?”
“Yeah! I know lots of interesting stuff now!” Gourry said proudly. “Like, did you know Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig’s disease?”
“Wow,” Hiroshi responded in awe. “Talk about ironic!”
After a beat, Daisuke spared a look at Gourry and Hiroshi then turned off his Game Boy.
“Alright, now I’m getting something to drink.”
“Bring me back an extra large Mountain Dew!” Hiroshi called after his departing partner.
“Forget it,” Daisuke yelled back.
“The Bra and Panties match is the one after this one right?” King asked, looking back and forth from Hiroshi and Gourry.
“Yes,” J.R. answered. “Why?”
“Hang on Dai! I’m coming too!”
“King!” April shouted.
“Oh well,” J.R. sighed, much more used to King’s antics. “We now take you to a random abandoned space station where Tenchi Masaki is waiting to face-off against Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker in our second Off-Site match of the night!”
* * * * *
Thousands of light-years away, the afore mentioned abandon space station floated in orbit around a strange planet. The dark interior of the station was a vast collection of hallways and corridors of abandoned alien technology. The only life onboard the station was two men standing in the grandiose main hall.
One, a young man with dusty blond hair in black tunic, pants and boots. He held the high tech hilt of his famed lightsaber.
“Now I understand Luke Skywalker is one of the few remaining members in the order Jedi Knights that once policed a galaxy far, far away,” April narrated.
“I guess so,” Gourry told her. “His impressive skill comes from his mastery over the Force, which partially guides his movements and grants him many other abilities.”
The only other person on the station, a Japanese teenager of seventeen with short black hair and a rat tail, stood facing Skywalker wearing an outfit that looked like a cross between Japanese ceremonial garments and something from a Shakespeare play...with a headband and puffballs. In his hand he held the ornate ivory hilt of his sword.
“I heard Tenchi Masaki is descended from the royal family of an intergalactic empire,” April said. “How good is he?”
“His skill with the sword comes from extensive training,” Gourry replied. “But his true powers are a mystery even to him.”
“This is so cool!” Hiroshi drooled.
“Weird costume though,” Daffy uttered.
“We don’t have to do this,” Luke Skywalker said and slowly waved his hand in front of Tenchi.
“I know we don’t,” Tenchi replied.
“We can end this peacefully,” Luke suggested and waved his hand again.
“Yeah,” Tenchi agreed. “I’d like to think we can.”
“All you have to do is forfeit,” Luke stated.
Tenchi took only a moment to process Luke’s proposal.
“Not a chance,” Tenchi said. “What are you doing with your hand anyway?”
“Hmm,” Skywalker chuckled and lowered his hand. “Nothing. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Skywalker was trying a Jedi mind trick!” Hiroshi exclaimed. “It’s designed to manipulate and control the weak minded!”
“So you’re saying it’d work well on you then?” Daffy smirked.
“The determined young Tenchi is many things,” J.R. said. “But I wouldn’t call him weak minded.”
“Just really indecisive from what I hear,” April smiled.
“I don’t really want to hurt you either,” Tenchi confessed.
“That’s not what I said,” Luke corrected. “Do you still want to go through with this?”
“You bet!” When Tenchi switched to a ready stance, the blue blade of his ornate ivory sword ignited and extended to its full length.
“Alright then,” Luke matched his rival’s stance and the green blade of his lightsaber lit into existence.
“Since we don’t really want to hurt each other,” Tenchi suggested. “First one to disarm the other is the winner, agreed?”
Luke Skywalker spared a look at his cybernetic right hand, the original having been lost to his own father.
“Sounds fair,” Luke said.
“Let’s go!!” Tenchi shouted and charged forward to meet Luke’s first attack.
As the energy blades of their weapons struck one another, a shower of sparks flew from the bright flash of light created at the point they touched.
Luke then returned the attack, creating another brilliant sparkle of energy.
Both combatants began to trade parries with ever increasing speed, until they where in full combat with dangerous weapons of pure energy.
“Both weapons are dangerous, there’s no disputing that,” April admitted. “But what differences are there between the lightsaber and Tenchi’s sword?”
“As weird as it sounds,” Gourry stated. “Tenchi’s sword is actually named the Tenchiken!”
“What’re the odds of that?” Hiroshi asked.
“Augh!” Daffy yelled.
“While Luke’s lightsaber is a technological wonder built by Skywalker himself, it is just a weapon that has been used by all Jedi Knights,” Gourry expounded. “But the Tenchiken is a totally unique magic sword, like mine! Tenchi has a bond with his sword on a lot of different levels. In fact, no one outside of his family can try to use it without receiving a nasty shock.”
“Hold on Professor,” Daffy blurted. “Just how do you know all of this, anyway?”
“The Internet,” Gourry said.
“Hmm, is that right?” Daffy muttered in response. “Go figure.”
Blue flashed against green. Green against blue. Sparks flared and electricity cracked each time the beams of solid energy clashed against one another. As the two noble combatants fought across the grand hall, neither Tenchi nor Luke paused in their trading of offensive and defensive maneuvers.
Knowing his opponent would eventually use his special powers to gain an advantage on such even ground, Tenchi used the first chance he got to break away from the fight and head up the nearest set of stairs.
However, Skywalker knew his young rival’s plan to gain some high ground and raced to closely follow him up the steps.
As soon as Tenchi reached the top step, he turned to take a warning slash at his pursuer, and sliced through the steel stairs in one clean swipe.
Skywalker leaped as the stairs collapsed from beneath him, falling dozens of feet to the floor with a thunderous crash. The momentum of Luke’s jump carried him as he flipped over the head of the Juraian prince, and landed on the catwalk behind him.
“Very good,” Luke smirked. “You’re learning.”
“Actually,” Tenchi confessed. “That was an accident.”
Suddenly, Tenchi Masaki leaped onto the thin railing of the catwalk and deftly ran passed the Jedi on the narrow beam. Tenchi leaped off after a dozen more feet and faced Luke Skywalker from the other side, now leaving the Jedi Knight trapped between his opponent and a rather nasty fall.
“Now I’m learning.”
“And Tenchi turns the tables on the veteran Skywalker not once, but twice!” Jim Ross shouted.
“He’s certainly impressing us here tonight, J.R.,” April stated.
“Tenchi’s got some mad skillz alright,” Hiroshi said. “But Luke’s still got the force backing him up!”
“Did you just say ‘mad skillz’?” Daffy asked.
“You are pathetic.”
Meanwhile, the fight continued across the heights of the catwalks in the random abandoned space station. The crisscrossing metal pathways served as a perilous battlefield as Luke and Tenchi fought across them. Every so often a support pole would be sliced through and the entire walkway would dip to the side.
Despite nearly toppling over the side several times, Tenchi and Luke, to their credit and the amazement of the millions watching at home, never stopped the action!
(Shameless plug: Read more EMW!)
Luke kept Tenchi on the defensive for the most part and pushed the younger man backwards through the maze of heightened steel.
Eventually, Tenchi maneuvered his way to a narrow hallway off to the side and was followed closely by Skywalker, who continued to lay down the offensive as he stepped from the grating to a solid metal floor.
Immediately after Luke stepped off, a loud creaking preceded the entire network of catwalks falling to the floor in a hail of grating and twisted metal.
“These two are going all out!” J.R. shouted.
“Things are getting really dangerous!” Hiroshi screamed.
“And that’s the way we like it!” Daffy cheered.
Despite the narrow confines of their new surroundings, neither fighter slowed their pace as both swords burned through the steel walls on both sides like butter.
Not wanting to be trapped with his back against a wall, Tenchi ducked into the first door he came to. It was a maintenance room with just enough room to maneuver and fight.
Steam hissed inside the countless pipes running up and along the walls of the room as Luke stepped in, only to barely block the blade of the Tenchiken as it came down upon him.
“And Tenchi finally puts Luke back on the defensive!” J.R. stated.
Tenchi and Luke made their way further into the room, the crackling of lightsabers and the hissing of steam pipes echoing loudly.
Suddenly, Luke purposely swung wide, missing Tenchi and slicing through one of the many steam pipes, sending a blast of scalding vapors between the two.
As steam filled the room, the Juraian prince and Jedi Knight separated and waited. Soon, separate blue and green glows made each young hero’s silhouette the only thing visible among the haze.
The crackle of water vapor burning against heated energy blades over took the hissing of steam until, suddenly, the green glow disappeared.
“Luke turned off his lightsaber!” Hiroshi stated the obvious.
“He’s using his mastery of the Force to give him a huge advantage in the steam,” Gourry observed.
“Oooo...Stealthy,” Daffy sarcastically slurred.
As seen through the steam, Tenchi’s silhouette turned back and forth as if trying to determine which side Luke’s attack would come from.
As spontaneously as it had vanished, the green glow returned behind Masaki and swung downwards.
A loud crackle and bright flash preceded the steam instantly evaporating to reveal the Tenchiken held behind Masaki’s head, blocking Luke’s attack.
“Amazing!” April vociferated (Pretty fancy word, ain’t it?). “Tenchi managed to scout and block Luke’s attack even through the fog!”
Tenchi bolted for the door, slashing another pipe as he ran past, halting Skywalker’s advance and once again filling the room and hall with a thick cloud of steam.
“Tenchi seems to be doing a lot of running in this match,” April observed. “What do you make of it Gourry?”
“He’s defiantly changing his normal tactic,” Gourry said coolly. “But it has nothing to do with his bravery. Against an opponent who has an advantage like the Force, it’s pretty smart of Tenchi to bait Luke into his attacks and keep him guessing.”
“And it’s pretty smart of you to even notice things like that,” Daffy sneered.
“Thanks!” Gourry smiled.
Daffy Duck, for the first time ever, sweatdropped.
As Tenchi raced out of the fog, he found himself in a large empty room with reflective tiles and a picture window filled with stars, replaced the far wall. Masaki would have recognized it as a ballroom if he hadn’t quickly turned and faced the obscuring mist.
As soon as he saw the familiar green glow, Tenchi released a high kick into the fog, but found his kick blocked by the hilt of Skywalker’s saber as he stepped from the haze.
Tenchi leaped up and simultaneously kicked Luke’s hands with his other foot and used the Tenchiken to strike the lightsaber, nearly knocking the weapon from Luke’s grip.
“And Tenchi goes for the win, but just couldn’t get it done!!!” J.R. shouted.
“Kid’s smarter than he looks,” Daffy said.
Wasting no more words, Luke regained his grip and lunged forward, forcing Tenchi to the middle of the room.
With a renewed vigor, both combatants attacked with a controlled fury and disciplined intensity.
Sparks flew and lights flashed in rapid succession as Masaki and Skywalker ceased playing around and truly got down to business.
“Looks like lessons are over!!!” Hiroshi shouted. “Now Luke’s trying to take Tenchi to school!!!”
“That was, without a doubt, the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” Daffy declared.
In the blink of an eye, Luke managed to strike a bare part on the hilt of the Tenchiken. A bright flash engulfed the sword and forced the two combatants back as both the lightsaber and Tenchiken flew from their hands to opposite sides of the room.
“Whoa!” J.R. exclaimed. “Both Tenchi and Luke have been disarmed!”
“So who wins?!?” Hiroshi asked. “Does anybody?”
“I don’t know,” Gourry comically pouted in frustration.
“Does that count?” Tenchi pondered, secretly wanting the match to continue.
“No,” Luke simply replied.
“Good,” Tenchi said.
Without missing a beat, both men held their right hands out to their weapons, which raised off the ground and flew through the air, activating instantly in their hands and allowing each young hero to block the other’s attack with a brilliant burst of clashing energies.
“And the match continues!!!” Hiroshi shouted. “Just when it looked like a stalemate, both Tenchi and Luke used telepathy to call their swords back into their hands just in time!!!”
“Now I didn’t think Tenchi even had telekinesis,” April confessed.
“He does, but it’s pretty limited,” Gourry said. “He has other powers that are a lot cooler and really amazing!”
“Like what?” J.R. asked.
“I...don’t know really.”
(Wow, that’s the first mass commentator face fault I’ve ever seen!)
Back in the midst of the action, both warriors held their position, neither giving nor gaining any ground. Sparks flew from their weapons at intermediate intervals, but both refused to budge.
Finally, as if on cue, both men jumped back and eyed each other as they began to pace in a circle, like tigers in the wild.
“For what it’s worth,” Luke said, his voice ragged from heavy breathing. “You’d make a good Jedi.”
“Thanks,” Tenchi smirked, also physically worn down. “You’re pretty good yourself.”
Luke took this lull in the action as an opportunity to close his eyes and reach out with the Force to find an advantage.
Tenchi refused to attack his opponent, believing Luke to be unprepared, but didn’t lower any of his defenses either.
“It looks like a stalemate after all,” April said.
“Luke is using the Force again,” Gourry explained. “If Tenchi doesn’t attack soon, Luke just might find the advantage he’s looking for.”
“Oh goody,” Daffy drawled.
Luke reached out with the Force, using his mystical ally to see the world through his mind’s eye. Luke saw his opponent, the young Tenchi Masaki, standing ready and brimming with power, only a portion of it from the Tenchiken. He saw the room they were in, all the angles and surfaces laid out before him in perfect detail, the last of the steam dissipating in the doorway.
Try as he might, Luke found it exceedingly difficult to remained focused. Something had caught his attention, a nagging sensation from elsewhere in the abandoned space station.
He switched focus and was lead to the main hall where they began the match. Among the rubble, a medium-sized metal box with something red flashing on the front. They where numbers.
They where numbers counting down.
“Wait!” Luke shouted as his eyes snapped open in horror. “There’s a bomb!”
“A wha--?!?” Tenchi’s query was cut-off as the entire space station became a blinding inferno.
The camera feed cut out, leaving millions of horrified viewers watching only static.
“TENCHI!!!” Sasami cried as loud as her little lungs would allow; tears already beginning to stream down her young innocent face.
“WHAT HAPPENED?!?” Galaxy Police Detective Kiyone Makibi tried to comprehend the horror she had just witnessed.
Princess Ayeka sat in stunned silence. The tears welled in her eyes and threatened to mar her beauty as they already where doing to her little sister. Ayeka tried valiantly to hold it back, but soon released a scream that conveyed every known emotion of pain and sorrow, and could be heard throughout the forests of Okayama.
* * * * *
“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!?” J.R. demanded in frustration at this terrible and unexplainable turn of events.
“I don’t know!!!” Hiroshi cried, finding it difficult to do anything but stare at the horrible static that filled the giant screen.
“I thought I heard something about a bomb,” Daffy observed.
“A bomb?!?” Gourry asked, wishing there was something, anything, he could be doing to help. “Who would do that?!?”
“You’d be surprised,” April said, seemingly managing to remain calm, but still holding her notes in a furious viselike grip. Her training as a television reporter was now in high gear. “A better question is who could?”
Somewhere in the shadows, wild and insane laughter echoed in triumph; chorused by the very peculiar sound of a...rubber duck?
* * * * *
Back in the arena, the audience began to stir and whisper as they began to suspect the explosion may not have been a planned part of the show.
Seeing this, Gourry took off his headset and got from the commentating table.
“Where are you going?” J.R. asked.
“What can you possibly do?” April quickly inquired.
“Anything I can,” Gourry said, then turned to race up the ramp and to the backstage.
“Here’s hoping,” Daffy offered, honestly hoping there was something that could be done.
“Wait!” Hiroshi shouted. “The screen’s back on!”
That is the sound of ultimate suffering. It came from the heart and soul of a young woman with a mane of spiky silver hair in the main backstage hallway she stood at a monitor screen.
“RRRRRAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!” She screamed as her fist impacted with the television screen, easily shattering the device to bits.
“Please Ryoko!” Mihoshi pleaded with her friend, already sobbing uncontrollably herself. “Calm down! There’s gotta be something we can do! We have to think of something!”
“CALM DOWN?” The former space pirate raged. “CALM DOWN?!? I’LL SHOW YOU CALM!!!”
“EEEKKKKK!!!” The Galaxy Police Officer screamed and ducked for cover as orange energy blasts blew apart the area around her. Mihoshi ran down the hall followed closely by a hail of explosions and debris.
Soon, Ryoko tired of blowing things up and used the orange energy to form an energy blade in her bare hands and started to blindly slash at anything within reach. Coffee tables, cameras, wires, and even the brick wall fell victim to Ryoko’s fury.
“Ryoko!!!” Mihoshi tried again to reach her friend. “You should stop before someone gets hurt! Please! Stop!”
However, in her rage, Ryoko couldn’t hear the screams of the frightened technicians and staff as they ran for their lives. She couldn’t see the young woman who tripped and fell in her path, couldn’t read the nametag that read “Erin Langstrom”. Mihoshi’s warning had fallen on deaf ears, and, as Ryoko’s orange blade fell, it appeared as if an innocent would now pay the price.
“LIGHT COME FORTH!!!”
Jagged blue energy blocked the orange blade, and Gourry stepped in-between the fallen girl and Ryoko’s unbridled rage.
Without taking his eyes off Ryoko, Gourry spoke to the fallen girl.
“You should move,” He said. “Get to safety.”
The girl followed Gourry’s advice and high-tailed it to safety.
“I know how you feel lady,” Gourry said to Ryoko. “But you need to settle down.”
“WHAT DO YOU KNOW?!?” Ryoko shouted. “HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY KNOW WHAT I FEEL?!?”
“Uhhh...” Gourry pondered. “Good question.”
With their blades still locked in combat, Ryoko released the blade of energy with her right hand in order to form a ball of orange energy, one that Gourry would be unable to avoid.
Instantly, Ryoko was enveloped in flames.
Gourry took this chance to leap backward and hop around wildly screaming and trying to put out his left leg.
“Not exactly the best way to cool you down,” Lina Inverse smiled. “But it got you to stop.”
The bantam sorceress watched as the fire around Ryoko dissipated in an unexpected burst of energy. The ex-space pirate emerged completely unscathed, but with a look in her eyes that pierced Lina’s well-placed bravado.
Lina knew that look. She saw that look in the mirror the time she thought Gourry was dead. Not that she’s in love with Gourry or anything like that! No, of course not! She...uhh...she just really wanted his Sword of Light! Yeah! That’s the ticket!
“You want a piece of me?” Ryoko seethed.
“Now before you go all hack ‘n’ slash on us again,” Lina said calmly and rolled a new monitor into view. “I suggest you take another look at what’s happening out there.”
“What?” Ryoko snapped.
The screen of the new monitor revealed a field of stars where the tragic space station was once floating. It was just millions of stars and what was left after the massive explosion that claimed the lives of two good men. Nothing but stars, especially that weird looking round one floating among the debris. Wait. That’s not a star. It’s...
* * * * *
In the dead of space, two men floated safely inside a sphere of pure white energy.
The Crown Prince of Jurai, Tenchi Masaki, stood with his arms outstretched before him. Three blades of blue light levitated in front of him like the giant propeller of an old-fashioned airplane.
Tenchi himself was now draped in a samurai costume of brilliant white and sky blue with two whit sashes that seemed to flow from his shoulders.
The Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker, stood next to the boy in the ivory costume. He looked out into the depths of space, then back to the young man controlling the three-pronged formation of the Lighthawk Wings keeping them alive. He only had one thing to say.
“I guess this means you win.”
“Yeah,” Tenchi smiled. “I guess it does.”
* * * * *
“We saw what happened,” Daisuke said as he rushed back to his seat. “Well, I saw what happened, King was hanging around outside of the women’s bathroom.”
“What?!?” King squeaked in self-defense. “I saw no one got hurt! I’m glad!”
“Well,” April sighed. “That was sure exciting.”
“And what excitement!” Hiroshi cheered. “Tenchi wins in an explosive victory!!!”
“He just doesn’t get it, does he?” Daffy asked.
“Nope,” Daisuke answered.
“But regardless,” J.R. announced. “We’ll have much more action when we come back!”
“Stay tuned!” Hiroshi cheered...again.
“Bra and Panties!” King shrieked in anticipation. “Bra and Panties!”
“C’mon Mihoshi!” Ryoko said, grabbing the detective by the arm and dragging her down the hall. “Tenchi’s in trouble! Ryo-Oh-Ki’s back home so we’ll need to use your ship!”
“B-but Yagami isn’t ready!” Mihoshi stuttered.
“Then you better make it re--” Ryoko began, but suddenly found herself frozen in place. She remained held in place an unseen force as a figure no more than three feet tall walked into view.
“Patience you need,” Yoda said, easily containing Ryoko with his considerable control over the force. “Wait you must.”
“But they’re floating out in space!” Ryoko argued, still unable to move.
“A friend we have out there,” Yoda calmly stated. “Safe they will be. Retrieve them he will.”
“Okay...” Ryoko reluctantly agreed. “But what am I supposed to do until then?”
“Uhh...Ryoko?” Mihoshi whimpered. “Could you let go of my arm now? Oww...”
“Prepare for your own match, you should. Hmm?” Yoda suggested as he released his hold over Ryoko, who, in turn, released the hapless Mihoshi.
“Yeah,” Lina agreed. “And don’t think I’ll take it so easy on you next time around!”
“Just bring it Sabrina!” Ryoko taunted back. “I’m here to fight and not you or any mutant rain dancer or trumped-up Amazon...princess is gonna stop me!”
“Yes. Quite powerful you are,” Yoda chuckled as he regarded the ruined hallway. “Quite a mess you have made.”
“Oh right,” Ryoko said sheepishly. “Sorry about that. Uhh...how’s that girl?”
“She’s fine,” Gourry said. “A little shaken, but fine.”
“And just what is that supposed to mean Gourry?” Lina teased.
“N-nothing, Lina!” Gourry stammered. “I didn’t say see has cuter than you or anything...even if it is true.”
“Worry you should not. Taken care of this mess will be,” Yoda said. “Brought here young Masaki and Skywalker will be.”
“Fine,” Ryoko consented. “Just one question though.”
“Who the hell are you anyway? Kermit the Frog?”
The Return to Okayama...
“Oh!” Ayeka sighed in relief. “Thank goodness Lord Tenchi is alive and well!”
“Better than that, he has won!” An old man with a long gray hair and a mustache said as he suddenly appeared. Tenchi’s grandfather wore the attire of a Shinto priest, although his true identity is that of Yosho, the eldest child of the Jurai Royal Family.
“That’s my boy!” Tenchi’s father, Nobayuki, a middle aged Japanese man also with a mustache, cheered. “He’s a hero!”
“Can you believe that old man’s really your brother?” Kiyone asked the purple-haired woman sitting next to her.
“No,” The eldest Juraian princess sweatdropped. “I can’t.”
Just then, underneath the household stairwell, a perpetually pre-pubescent pink-haired mad scientist stuck her head out from the doorway of the broom closet turned dimensional portal.
“Hey,” Washu called from her lab. “Who won?”
A small furry creature that looked much like a longhaired rabbit scampered out from Washu’s lab and into the living room.
“Tenchi did!” Sasami said as she reached down to pick up the cabbit and giggled as Ryo-Oh-Ki climbed up her arm to perch herself in between the sky blue pigtails of the little princess.
“All right!” Washu cheered, then turned to yell back into her laboratory. “Dexter my man, looks like you owe me a new flux capacitor!”
“It was great!” Sasami smiled. “Tenchi used the Lighthawk Wings and saved them!”
“WHAT?!?” Washu blanched. “And I missed it? What happened?”
“There was a bomb on the space station,” Ayeka informed the scientist. “It exploded but Lord Tenchi was able to save himself and Mr. Skywalker.”
“They’re fine,” Kiyone said. “But it looks like they can use a pick-up.”
“Normally I would,” Washu said as she read the info off her shadow laptop. “But it appears a ship is already en route. The ‘Maltese Falcon’ or something like that.”
* * * * *
To Be Continued…