Tenchi Muyo: Conquest! One's Own Honor: Nine
"She's gone where" Honor demanded, the brown haired woman in a crisp captain's uniform glaring at the officer whom had been assigned to keep an eye on Ryouko.
"She's gone down to the planet" Tremaine answered, the young man visibly pale under Honor's gaze"I couldn't stop her, ma'am."
"Marvelous" Honor did her best not to curse, but it took some effort.
"Bleek" Nimitz scolded her gently, the eight legged treecat clinging to her shoulder.
They were orbiting a minor world bordering on Jurai’s sphere of influence, intending to try to open up a dialog with the planet's rulers. Ryouko was realistic enough to know that making allies against Jurai would be wise, no matter which way things developed between Manticore and Jurai.
Things went bad almost from the start, of course. Despite much of the region being unclaimed space the planetary government claimed the Manticore ships had entered sovereign territory, then without warning they had launched an attack on Honor's division of ships. Fighting defensively Honor had held the line even as Ryouko took Ryo-Ohki ahead to try and communicate with the planetary government.
Obviously, it hadn't gone well.
"What is a Jurai heavy cruiser doing here" Honor frowned, noting the ship that hung in orbit nearby their own ships.
"I think that's the root of the problem" Tremaine admitted"it looks like they were here to negotiate with them first."
"And when the planetary government saw us coming they panicked" Honor realized. "And Ryouko is..."
"Fighting, I believe" one of the new officers spoke up, Lieutenant Hunt"she took a squad of Manticoran marines down with her."
"Hail the Empress" Honor ordered.
Yuri nodded, the black haired young woman working her controls. A moment later she reported"Contact established, ma'am."
Ryouko appeared on the main screen, her long blue main slightly messy and a few smudges on her cheeks. There was a wild grin on her face as she said"Too bad you missed the start of the fun"
Honor had to remind herself a officer did not scold her commander in chief, no matter how much she wanted to. Instead she asked"What's your situation"
Ryouko laughed"I got tired of sitting up in orbit watching things go crazy down here so I thought I'd take steps." She paused"The civil guard, police and military are all fighting for access to the few space transports available, so things were getting a little hairy for the citizens."
"Understood" Honor nodded"but be aware there are Jurai forces on the planet, too. I'd really like to avoid starting a war, if we can."
"We're already in a war" Ryouko paused"informally." She turned her head, eyes narrowing before she barked"Got to go." With that the image was gone, space swirling around them.
Honor had a bad feeling about this and ordered"Hunt, can you get a image of where Ryouko is down on the surface"
"Aye aye" Hunt answered, the image on the screen changing as he used a combination of sensors to cut through the atmosphere to the planet's surface... and saw a pitched battle going on.
Ryouko was in the middle of the planetary forces, red energy blade cutting down everyone who took a shot at her. The Empress of Manticore fought like a warrior born, dodging attacks then returning to defeat any who dared oppose her. Then they saw another figure fighting the planetary forces, leading a band of figures through fighting until their paths finally crossed.
"Tell me that isn't who I think it is" Honor sighed.
"Sorry to say I can't do that" Tremaine groaned out"that's Ayeka, the first Princess of the planet Jurai."
Ayeka was dressed in formal diplomatic robes, now a bit battered by her attempted flight from the world. Long violet hair flowed down her back, her eyes a more delicate shade of purple. The two women looked at each other a moment then Ayeka ignited her own golden energy blade and turned to face Ryouko in battle.
"Washu is going to have kittens" Honor murmured as they watched them leap into battle.
"Bleek" Nimitz sounded amused.
Back and forth they fought, Ayeka surprisingly holding her own against Ryouko's skills. It was hard to see their faces but both almost looked like they were enjoying the battle, testing each other's strengths and weaknesses. Back and forth, relentlessly, then suddenly the screen went white!
"Orbital weapon's discharged" Hunt reported grimly.
"Target that cannon" Honor barked"then get me an image of the surface back"
Tremaine was at his weapons station, swiftly getting a reading on the enemy weapon's platform. "An antique laser weapon" he reported, firing their main batteries to destroy the device. A single shot sent it swirling away as a puddle of molten wreckage even as he targeted and destroyed the rest for good measure.
"Ryouko" Honor asked crisply.
"She's fine" Hunt sighed in relief.
Honor looked to the screen then blinked in surprise at the image there. Ryouko held the Princess Ayeka safely in her arms, the two standing at the edge of the crater the orbital weapon had created. They stood there for a few moments, both of the women clearly a little stunned by the turn that events had taken.
Then the battle caught up with them again, and they were separated by the sudden crush of people. Ayeka looked up from her band of diplomats, saw that Ryouko was looking at her, and the warrior raised her blade up in a grim salute to Ayeka. Gravely, Ayeka did the same for Ryouko, and then they were gone.
"I'll be damned" Tremaine muttered softly.
"Contact the planetary government" Honor said crisply"or whatever is left of it. Tell them that if they attempt deliberate regicide again we'll have to bombard the planet from orbit." Honor felt the eyes of her crew on her and smiled"We know we don't do that but considering Manticore's less than stellar reputation they won't risk it."
"Yes, ma'am" Yuri grinned.
"Transport sphere" Hunt reported"heading for the Jurai ship."
"Looks like the princess and her people are leaving" Honor noted.
"Should we try to..." Tremaine asked.
"No" Honor was firm"despite everything we're not at war with Jurai." Mentally she added, 'Not yet, anyway.' Aloud she continued"Get ready to receive Ryo-Ohki, please."
It wasn't long before Ryouko was striding the halls of the ship, Honor, Ryo-Ohki and Nimitz following. "Who was that young woman" Ryouko asked, a thoughtful look on her face.
"You don't know" Honor blinked in surprise.
"Would I be asking if I did" Ryouko sighed. She walked a bit stiffly, her uniform a little battered but she appeared unhurt from the conflict.
"Sorry" Honor smiled. "She looks like the first princess of Jurai, the Lady Ayeka, but I'll need to run a visual match from records to be sure."
"Ayeka, huh" Ryouko murmured thoughtfully. They walked along a few moments"Have someone prepare a full briefing on her for me."
"Why" Honor asked warily.
"I think" Ryouko answered calmly"I have an idea."
To be continued...