Queen Tenchi's startling suggestion that the Earth join the Republic of Manticore cut across all of the conversations, the meeting dropping to near silence. All their eyes turned to Ryouko and Ayeka, the two rulers who would have to make the next decision.
"I think I like it," Ryouko finally said to herself thoughtfully, pushing her long mane of light blue hair backwards.
Ayeka nodded her agreement, "As do I." She looked over at Queen Serenity and asked, "Do you have any objections?"
Lady Mars opened up her mouth to say something, then closed it when her Queen forcefully elbowed her in the side. "As long as you protect the sovereignty of the Moon Kingdom, I have no problems with it," the Queen said diplomatically.
"That's all I was going to say," Lady Mars muttered softly.
"Maybe so," Serenity murmured back with a slight smile, "but I suspect you would have put it in somewhat blunter terms."
Mars smiled wryly, "True."
"The Moon Kingdom has been our friend and ally for many years," Ryouko said calmly, "and we have no interest in changing that in a territorial grab."
Tenchi smiled slightly, her long dark hair flowing past her shoulders. "I take it that we're all in agreement?" she asked.
"Indeed," Serenity nodded.
"Let's get the oath swearing done, then," Ryouko said, walking over to where Tenchi stood. She looked around, "Who wants to be the witnesses?"
"I will," Funaho spoke up gravely, with Washu also chiming in with her agreement.
"Thank you," Tenchi smiled.
"Place your hand over your heart," Ryouko instructed her quietly. "Do you swear, by the honor of your family and of your bloodline, not to raise rebellion against the Republic and people of Manticore?" she asked formally.
"I so swear," Tenchi said as she met Ryouko's catlike eyes directly, her purple tinted eyes clear of guile and deception.
Serenity smiled wryly, "Time to start negotiating again." Several questioning glances were thrown her way and she explained, "The Moon kingdom is now a little sovereign bubble in the middle of Manticore space. We need to define that bubble, sorry to say."
"Washu?" Ayeka looked over at Ryouko's mother.
"Yeah, I can handle it," Washu agreed. She looked over at Ryouko, "You mind?"
"I was about to ask you myself," Ryouko agreed. She looked over at Serenity, "You might as well bring down Lady Mercury, too. That way they can define the exact size of the Moon Kingdom's territory to the last micron."
"Now I get to break the news to the planet's population," Tenchi said softly, the look on her face showing that she wasn't looking forward to it.
"It'll be all right," Funaho said comfortingly to her granddaughter. They looked remarkably alike, these two dark purple haired women with the dark eyes. She smiled gently, "In fact, I think I have an idea on how to soften the blow..."
The announcement that came a few hours later was politically masterful, the commentators would all agree. Tenchi presented the joining with Manticore as the uniting of two long separated families, of becoming part of something that by rights they should have been a member all along. Of the imperial ambitions of Noboyuki she spoke none at all, and it seemed likely that he would become merely a footnote in history.
Standing beside Tenchi as she made her broadcast was Funaho and Masaki, her two grandmothers. They seemed to bring both a sense of gravity and gentleness to the proceedings, and it was clear that they cared for the young ruler that they had just met.
"So what happens now?" Serenity inquired as they stood together on the launching pad nearby Tenchi's palace. A Moon Kingdom vessel awaited their queen, while Ayeka and Ryouko planned to take Ryo-ohki.
"Minagi has agreed to stick around with Swordbreaker and half of the fighters," Ayeka said, "just in case any Earth ships haven't received the surrender order."
"And in case Tenchi decides to pull a fast one," Ryouko noted. The others gave her curious glances, "I like the lady, but I don't know if I trust her just yet."
"Fair enough," Ayeka admitted.
"I'm glad that Washu and Yume are also staying behind, helping the Moon Kingdom restore our ships and defenses," Serenity noted. She smiled slightly, "The young lady who helped save the Palace, Mitsuki, what's happening to her?"
"Minagi has offered her a position on Swordbreaker along with her being our Galaxy Police liaison," Ryouko said, "I think she's going to accept." She chuckled softly, "And where Mitsuki goes, Rhione is soon to follow."
"They seem much in love," Ayeka agreed. She smiled slightly, "My mothers are also staying for a while, to get to know their new granddaughter a bit better."
Serenity raised an eyebrow, "Aren't you worried?"
"She gave her word," Ryouko noted. She grinned suddenly, "And my mothers-in-law can take care of themselves, believe me."
"They'll be fine," Ayeka agreed, having made her farewells to her mothers earlier.
"Myah," Ryo-ohki agreed, munching on a carrot at their feet.
The Moon Kingdom ship sent some signal, and Serenity made a face. "Time to go," she shook both Ayeka and Ryouko's hands. "Thank you, for helping my Kingdom and neutralizing the threat that Earth presented us," she said gently.
"It was our pleasure," Ryouko smiled wryly.
"We were glad to help," Ayeka murmured.
The tall blonde walked away from them, pausing a moment before she entered the ship. "You offered once for the Kingdom to join Manticore," Serenity smiled, "I'll think about it."
"Huh," Ryouko murmured as Serenity's ship rose up, quickly disappearing into the distance, "Well, what do you know..."
Ayeka gently put her hand on Ryouko's arm, "We probably should get moving, too."
"Right," Ryouko bent down, picking up Ryo-ohki gently by the scruff of the neck. "Go, Ryo-ohki!" she cried, flinging the cabbit up into the air. The little furball expanded, shifting from flesh to organic crystal until a starship in black and red floated above them.
"Myah!" Ryo-ohki projected a transport beam, pulling Ayeka and Ryouko inside of her. They zipped to the palace to pick up Sasami, and then the vessel broke from Earth's atmosphere to reach the moon. Kiyone and Minagi boarded there, along with a few others, and they waited a few moments before the fighters arrived.
"Connect us to Swordbreaker," Ryouko ordered, and a few seconds later Minagi's face appeared on the screen.
"Hey, sis," Minagi gave a little wave. Behind her Mitsuki stood, and not far from her Rhione waited serenely. "We'll keep an eye on things here for a bit."
"Thanks," Ryouko nodded. "I don't expect there to be any trouble, but I'd rather be safe," she explained. A little grin, "I'll send Nagi over here once we get home, too."
Minagi grinned sheepishly, "I'd appreciate it." She paused, "Hey, Kiyone?"
"Yes?" the dark haired officer answered, a slight smile on Kiyone's face.
"Keep Ryouko out of trouble while I'm gone," Minagi smirked.
"I'll try," Kiyone answered dryly.
Ayeka snickered softly at that. "Please watch over my mothers," she said softly, "as much as they'll allow you to, anyway."
"We'll do our best," Mitsuki spoke up. Her red hair was growing in rather scruffy, but oddly it seemed to suit her. "Have a nice trip, all."
"See you in a few weeks," Ryouko agreed as the fighters moved into position around them. Ryo-ohki extended her transit field and shields around the few fighters, there was a momentary falling sensation in the passengers and they were off.
Kiyone, Mihoshi, and Sasami soon left the bridge, but Ayeka and Ryouko stood there together in the grand chamber. Ayeka relaxed against Ryouko's shoulder, the slightly smaller woman softly sighing her contentment.
"It's been an interesting few months," Ayeka finally murmured softly, "is it always this exciting in the Republic of Manticore?"
"This is nothing," Ryouko's voice was clearly amused as she continued, "you should see when it's actually exciting."
"I walked right into that one," Ayeka punched Ryouko in the shoulder, but she was smiling. They looked out into the void together, the other- space of hyperspace all around them. "So what happens now?" she asked.
"Well," Ryouko smiled, "I intend to take you bellow later and..."
"Not that," Ayeka blushed, even though she didn't sound displeased with the idea. "I meant to the Republic, now that you've taken both Jurai and Earth?"
"We rebuild," Ryouko's voice was gentle, "both Jurai and Earth need assistance. We'll bring both regions of space into the fold, helping establish the quality of life and codes of law that Manticore is well known for."
"And the conquest?" Ayeka asked softly.
"I'm a warrior, Ayeka," Ryouko answered quietly, "if something nasty shows up on our boarders, spoiling for a fight, we'll be ready." She smiled, "But if you're asking if I intend to go on any more military adventures, then no."
"Really?" Ayeka looked up at her in surprise.
Ryouko took advantage of that upwards motion, kissing her and slipping her a bit of tongue. They reluctantly separated and she smiled, "I don't need to go looking for a battle when I've won what I most wanted."
"I love you," Ayeka sighed, snuggling into Ryouko's arms.
Ryouko tightened her grip around the other woman, "And I love you."
This isn't the end for their story, for in truth such a tale cannot be said to have an end. Ayeka and Ryouko lead the Republic of Manticore to greatness, becoming much loved by the peoples of all the worlds that they ruled. When Mitsuki and Rhione returned to Manticore it was as a wedded couple, a ceremony performed by the ship's captain Minagi. The captain herself refused to marry, Minagi and Nagi cheerfully living in sin.
The Republic of Manticore would continue to expand, but through more diplomatic means rather than using force of arms. Queen Serenity of the Moon Kingdom chose to join with Manticore, eventually, and many other planets would decide to follow her example. The benefits of joining the Republic were obvious, including both economic and military factors.
In time, Queen Tenchi of Earth would come to the Courts of the Republic, to learn of the rulers of other worlds and to formally present herself to the planet of her ancestors. Tenchi would learn much there, and have many adventures...
But that is a tale for another time...
Tenchi Muyo: Conquest! Author's Notes
A long, strange trip.. I want to thank everyone who's followed this series for this long, and I hope you enjoyed it. As you can tell from the ending I do intend to continue this later, but it'll be a while. Sometime in 2004, after I've had a bit of a break from the series...
This story actually started off simply with the scene of a victorious Ryouko arriving as the new ruler of the planet Jurai. It just appeared in my head as a whole and complete sequence, and I had to try and write it up.
Of course, I then had to start figuring out what the circumstances were that would allow that to have actually happened. Not easy...
This is an alternate universe fiction, and features an very different timeline from the OVAs, the various TV shows or the manga series. I'm going to be borrowing material liberally from all these versions of the Tenchi Muyo series in introducing the different characters and concepts I'll be using, as well as making stuff up as I go along. So if you spot a character not behaving as they normally would, it's very likely intentional.
Ryouko, in the various Tenchi Muyo series, has often been played as a rather dumb character, but in this story I'm portraying her as being just the opposite. She's a savage warrior, that's certainly true, but she's also an excellent tactician and a very skilled politician. Of course, love at first sight can hit almost anybody, and when it happened to Ryouko, she fell hard.
Ayeka, in my conception, is a bit more of a cynic. She's been raised up in a highly political environment and is the product of that world. She's both tough and proud, but is at heart a realist who will try to work within a situation that's offered her. Has rarely met anyone she considers an equal, much less someone who is now her superior, and she wasn't quite sure how to deal with it.
Yume was captured by Kagato, rather than Washu in this timeline. Kagato himself was the one who launched the attack on the planet Jurai, and was chased off by Yosho. As a free woman, Washu helped Ryouko build up the military might of Manticore primarily to help rescue her lover Yume, and she now remains on to help guide her daughter while settling down with Yume in their little love-nest. Washu is one of Ryouko's primary advisers, as well as trying to be a good mom along with her wife, Yume.
Why did Kiyone have to leave the Galaxy Police in disgrace? She decided to defy the GP to help Ryouko defeat Kagato, and for that she was drummed out of the police. Her life story, up to a point, likely matches up with that of the Tenchi TV version, more or less. She is the lead captain of Manticore's fleet, as well as a military advisor for Ryouko.
Minagi, Ryouko's twin, is right out of the manga series. She's overall a nicer person than Ryouko, but if pushed she can be quite fierce. She's in love with Nagi, and has been with her for quite a few years. Minagi is third in command in the fleet, directly under Kiyone, but she could be higher if she really wanted to.
Masaki and Funaho, Ayeka and Sasami's mothers, are based mostly on the manga versions of them. Funaho is basically deadpan but very amused, while Masaki is just genki and cute.
Mitsuki was Kiyone's partner when Kiyone helped Ryouko fight Kagato's ship, and testified against her when Kiyone came up for trial. She, along side a group of Galaxy Police ships, fought in the battle of Jurai, and was the one to decide to pull the GP forces out. She may have had feelings for Kiyone, but now is trying to be a friend. I've decided to continue to feature her, so I've made her the liaison officer between the GP and Manticore's fleet.
It has been brought to my attention there are some possible similarities between my story and Tenchi Muyo: Alliance, written by Rann Aridorn. I have read his story, and I did enjoy it, but I'm not intentionally echoing his work. The biggest thing the stories have in common is the complete absence of Tenchi himself, as well as both being Ryouko+Ayeka shoujo-ai.
Yet another novel reference! Manticore, as well as the characters of Honor Harrington, Nimitz and Michelle Henke all come from a series of popular military science fiction novels written by David Weber. They are very good books that are strongly character driven, and I'd strongly recommend them. I'll also be doing some cameos from various science fiction anime in this series, when I have the chance to fit them in.
So why did Belldandy get picked to perform the marriage? As both Ryouko and Ayeka are queens, it's not like there's anyone in a high authority to do it. I thought of having Kiyone do it (a captain of a ship can perform marriages), but that didn't really work, either. But Belldandy is a goddess, not to mention very serene and holy, so why not her?
The Moon Kingdom is very different in this universe. The Silver Millenium Kingdom didn't fall to the negaverse, instead they beat off that attack. In the 'Conquest' time-period the Kingdom coexists with an Earth based civilization, and is ruled over by Serenity, a.k.a. Usagi.
I wanted to explain how the Manticore fleet defeated the Jurai forces so easily, so I decided to introduce the concept of their using fighter ships. That, along with the superiority of Manticore's weapons and shields, allowed them to win the day.
I had established earlier that the Galaxy Police had fought on the side of Jurai, so I wanted to feature a GP character in that episode. Since I had already featured Mitsuki, I thought she was a good choice. The pull out of the GP forces ending the battle seemed believable to me, as well...
In the prelude I tried not to contradict anything in the original 12 episodes I wrote, but if I missed anything, please let me know so I can fix it.
A note about the cameo appearances: Most of the character appearances are in there just for fun, where I'm using a 'famous' character instead of simply introducing a generic officer. I'll try to keep the cameos in character, but I may occasionally get things wrong.
Additional characters by Series! Belldandy, Urd, Skuld and Mara are from Oh My Goddess. -Their relationships are actually based around their interactions in the manga series, more or less. A relationship isn't spelled out between Urd and Mara, but it's implied...
Lum and Benten are from "Those Obnoxious Aliens."
Usagi and her Harem are from Sailor Moon. -Partially based around a very funny story by Erica Friedman called "Tuxedo Mirage." That, and we don't really know much about how the Moon Kingdom relationships work...
Yamamoto Yohko is from Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko. -I've only seen the first few OVAs of this series, but I liked Yohko so when I needed to include a fighter pilot, I used her. I'll be featuring her and her fellow pilots more often, too.
Honor and Michelle are from David Weber's Honor Harrington novels. -She's basically an 'alternate' version of Honor. I don't want to give too much away of what happens in the novels, but a lot of very bad stuff happened to her, even before the first book. In this world she fell for her Academy roommate Michelle, and has managed to avoid much of that trouble.
Kei and Yuri are from the original Dirty Pair -I've always felt that the Lovely Angels got a bit of a bad rap, so I'm not going to have them cause any massive disasters. They are a couple, something I may cover in more detail later...
Nicole, Tita and Elysse are from Plastic Little -What can I say, I like to see a happy ending. So Elysse and Tita are married, and both were recruited by Ryouko for the fleet, Tita as a captain and Elysse as a science officer. You can assume that their past matches up with Plastic Little, more or less.
Rick Hunter, Ben Dixon and Roy Fokker are from Robotech -I'm not using the Japanese name because in all honesty I don't know enough about the original Macross. He's a bit happier about being a pilot than the original Rick was. Dixon and Fokker in the next chapter are of course his flying buddies.
Rei Ayannami and Asuka Langley are from Neon Genesis Evangelion. -I haven't decided on their background in this universe, but I thought that making them the communications and tactical officers would be appropriate, considering their personalities.
Ruri is from Martian Successor Nadesico.
Minagi, Asashi and Yume, for those who asked, are from the Tenchi Muyo manga series. -I've always been a fan of the manga series, and the relationships are quite interesting. If you look hard enough you can find something in the manga to back up almost any couple you like...
Nagi, and Mitsuki are from the Tenchi Muyo TV series. -Mitsuki was the rival of Kiyone from the TV series, so I wanted to carry that over to this story line. On TV she doesn't show up too much, so I can pretty much develop her however I want to.
Rhione I just made up...