The immortal stirred, wakened slightly by some outside force. She didn’t want to wake up. Not yet. No. It wasn’t yet time. She closed her eyes again, blocking out the incoming chaos, only to catch the a sound that caused her eyes to snap open, her mind jarred fully awake.
She wasn’t where she was supposed to be. She wasn’t sleeping in her resting place. She was somewhere in a mind-scape, that was easy to see. But whose? And why?
The sound came again, a little girl crying. “Mama… mama!”
Backwards she fell, into the past, into the memories unbidden.
The little girl was afraid.
She’d wandered in here, and to the young mind, it wasn’t safe here anymore.
The walls were shaking, careful! The floor quivered under her feet. She
stumbled, faltered, fell.
Blood pooled into the water. Something that had never happened before. Curious, the mind reached out. What it found frightened it. Death. Cessation. The end of things that are alive.
It refused that, reaching out to the lifelight that still remained. It was powerful, this mind, and little by little the light of the child brought more awareness. Sensation. Feeling. Touch. Feel the water, feel the stone beneath her feet. Hear the voice of the girl’s mistress. Fear. Irrational, complete. Run. Run to the voice. The voice is safe.
The mind recoiled into itself. Chaotic, that. Too chaotic. Best to wait. See. Watch.
She shook her head, clearing
it of the memory as she looked around. It became clear where she was now…
she was in the girl’s mind again, a silent intruder in what she had renewed
as home. The girl was older now, but was it time? It shouldn’t be… couldn’t
The sound touched her ears again, and she spun to see the girl standing there. Tilting her head, she opened her arms, soft voice speaking. “Why, what is it? Why are you here?”
The impact of the girl’s hug caused her to step backwards. “She’s dying… I’m so scared… help her…”
Help her. Not help me. Help her.
She’d heard a plea for help
before. She’d answered. She’d known how to answer it then. But how in the
name of the highest was she going to be of any use now? Then, it was fighting.
She knew how to fight. She had power at her command, and she had used it.
But what could she possibly do? No, not her. Someone else.
Patting the girl’s shoulder, she looked up, medallions on her forehead glowing.
They’d all landed by the pond, the battle finally over. The world was saved once more. Tenchi had begun to think that it really was all Ryoko’s fault that things kept coming to attack, but the way that Ryoko had fought… and he’d hardly expected Ayeka to take that blast aimed at the space pirate. Only because she had was Ryoko able to defeat the enemy… but the cost had been too high. Ayeka was unconscious and dying, and even Washu couldn’t help. Sasami stood near, strangely quiet, but Tenchi couldn’t blame her.
The ship traveled a dimension
unknown to all but herself and the sister-ship known as Tsunami. She sped
through the wrinkles of space, summoned by the urgency of her sister’s
call. She knew what to do, knew what to expect. Ryu-oh and Funa-ho both
awoke as she neared, the little tree glimmering dimly under the beautiful
shimmering welcome of the elder rooted tree.
Jishin dropped into the dimension of the world, falling, hurtling downwards towards the glistening welcomes, understanding, and singing her own reply that only the lost Trees of Jurai could hear.
Sasami looked up, and reflexively,
so did Tenchi.
A brilliant star was shooting across the sky… no… it was coming straight towards them! But even as he watched, the ship took on the same shimmer that Funa-ho was glowing with, and the hulking mass was replaced with a smaller glow. As it neared, Sasami stepped backwards. Tenchi stood transfixed, as the indeterminate form came closer and closer.
The light grew brighter, and Tenchi had to look away and down. His eyes fell to the water, and he could see Tsunami with outstretched arms in Sasami’s reflection. As he looked up, a brilliant shimmer of light pooled down from the falling form, enveloping Ayeka. He looked away again from the brilliance, seeing suddenly in the water, a violet-haired woman floating gently towards Tsunami’s arms.
He looked up, cold realization hitting him, and saw the brilliance fade. Sasami leapt towards Ayeka, and to his shock, the elder princess of Jurai took one steady breath, then another. Beside him, Ryoko, who had been silent, gasped and pointed at the water. “Tenchi…!”
He turned to look, seeing Tsunami kneeling with the woman with long violet hair in her arms.
Washu’s voice broke the silence. “Sasami…? What?”
The voice that replied was Tsunami’s, from within the reflection. “My sister, Jishin. She was the only one who could help..”
A new voice, so similar to Ayeka’s, yet somehow older, echoed as the Juraian Princess began to awaken. “The High Trees of Jurai were once bonded with the people, in a time more given to war. As peace came to our world, such bonds were no longer necessary. There are some born who are only half until they bond, and there are those that bond for love. We bonded for both. As Tsunami is my sister, so is Sasami. I am Ayeka, as…”
“I am Jishin…” Ayeka completed, looking up at Sasami with wide eyes.
Sasami collapsed into Ayeka with a tearfilled cry. “Sister!”
Tsunami looked to Jishin.