The Harem Saga Sequel

EPISODE 4 Breakaway

Grew up in a small townAnd when the rain would fall downI just stared out my windowDreaming of a could-beAnd if I'd end up happyI would pray (I would pray)

Trying not to reach outBut when I'd try to speak outFelt like no one could hear meWanted to belong hereBut something felt so wrong hereSo I'd pray (I would pray)I could breakaway

[Chorus:]I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to flyI'll do what it takes 'til I touch the skyI'll make a wishTake a chanceMake a changeAnd breakawayOut of the darkness and into the sunBut I won't forget all the ones that I loveI'll take a riskTake a chanceMake a changeAnd breakaway

Wanna feel the warm breezeSleep under a palm treeFeel the rush of the oceanGet onboard a fast trainTravel on a jet plane, far away (I will)And breakaway

[Chorus:]I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to flyI'll do what it takes 'til I touch the skyI'll make a wishTake a chanceMake a changeAnd breakawayOut of the darkness and into the sunBut I won't forget all the ones that I loveI'll take a riskTake a chanceMake a changeAnd breakaway

Buildings with a hundred floorsswinging 'round revolving doors.Maybe I don't know where they'll take me, butGotta keep moving on, moving onFly away, breakaway

[Chorus:]I'll spread my wingsAnd I'll learn how to flyThough it's not easy to tell you goodbyeI gotta take a riskTake chanceMake a changeAnd breakawayOut of the darkness and into the sunBut I won't forget the place I come fromI gotta take a riskTake a chanceMake a changeAnd breakaway, breakaway, breakaway

Artist: Kelly ClarksonTitle: "Breakaway"From the Walt Disney Pictures film Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (2004)From the album "Breakaway" (2004)

It was a curious group that began to gather in the Masaki Family common room. The room itself was full of comfortable chairs and sofas, tables and lamps, bookcases and viewscreens. The group itself was composed of family members, immediate and extended, of all ages. The children were escorted into the dining room and given tasty distractions, while the adults slowly settled into cozy chairs and spots on the floor. The room buzzed with idle chatter.

Tenchi was sitting beside Washu, and admitted, sotto voce, "I'm still a little confused."

"About what?" she replied in kind.

"About how that energy-suppression generator works. Didn't Kagato try that aboard the Souja?"

"Well, sort of. Not to belabor the point, but a Power adept draws upon environmental sources for energy, and then converts it to usable structures. In most cases, those energy sources can be blocked by a shield; however, since you draw your Power directly from the fabric of space-time, that's impossible to prevent. Kagato couldn't cut you off from your source."

"But..."

"What Z did (which frankly surprised the hell out of me), was to take a different tack. Rather than cutting you off from your source, he dissipated your Lighthawk Wings as they formed. It's as if you were trying to build a sand castle, and he washed it away each time you raised it. He didn't isolate you from the sand — you could build as many structures as you wanted — he'd just keep sending more tidal waves to scatter what you built. That's pretty impressive, especially when you realize he was doing it several hundred times a second."

"And you were able to duplicate that feat."

"Yep. And I expanded the concept to include any energy structure above a certain level."

"Oh."

"You don't seem real happy. Sorry you killed him?"

"No, because he would have killed me without a second's hesitation."

"Good thing that scrawny bird neck of his was fragile."

"Yeah."

"So, why the long face?"

"I was just thinking about what would happen if one of Jurai's enemies got their hands on that generator and used it against us. It would render every weapon we have — including the Royal Trees — utterly useless."

"Well, I have it stashed away under lock-and-key, and no one but the family knows it even exists. And I intend to give some thought to building a counter for it. But I have another scary thought for you."

"Great. What might that be?"

"Whatever Z could do, Tokimi will be able to do, too."

"Thanks for the encouragement."

Washu grinned at him, and realized that the room had gone silent, and all eyes were turned upon them. She studied the faces of those in attendance. Her sister/wives Ayeka, Mihoshi, and Ryoko, her future sister/wives Noike and Sasami, and her in-laws Funaho, Misaki, and Seto. And at her side sat Tenchi, the center of her life, her emotional and mental anchor. "I suppose you're all wondering why I called you here (I just love saying that!). I have several things to say, and all of you need to hear them. Some of this will be old news to a few of you, so please bear with me."

She paused, composing her thoughts.

"No use beating around the bush: let me state for the record that I am not fully human, nor ever was." She looked pointedly at Ryoko, waiting for the usual snide comment. When none was forthcoming, she nodded once at her daughter in thanks. "Though I was found as an infant, and raised in an orphanage, my heritage was always somewhat...suspect."

There was a shimmering in the air, and Tsunami's projection appeared behind Sasami. The resemblance between them was uncanny, and each echoed the other's gestures and facial expressions. "Are you sure you should be revealing this?" Tsunami and Sasami asked in unison.

"I must."

"Why?"

"Because my instruments have finally detected Tokimi. She's on her way here."

Tsunami and Sasami, Seto, Funaho, and Tenchi all reacted visibly; the others just watched with baffled expressions.

Ryoko noticed the discrepancy. "You guys knew all about this, didn't you?" No one answered her. "Tenchi?"

"Yes, I have heard some of this before."

"And you didn't share this with the rest of us?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"I keep all of the secrets given to me in confidence."

"Oh. Well...I appreciate the fact that you don't kiss and tell."

"We all do," Ayeka added.

"But, who is this Tokimi? And why do we care?"

"Please, let me finish my tale," Washu said. She again waited for silence before continuing. "I've been told that I was found as a newborn, although at the time I was hovering a meter off the ground. And with me were three gems. Gems of such a foreign substance that they could not be identified. Gems that radiated power that could not be harnessed by mechanical or psychic means. Those three gems," she pointed at Ryoko, at the jewels that occupied the inside of each wrist and the base of her throat.

Ryoko touched the upper jewel reflexively.

"I have always had a certain awareness of them, a 'sympathetic synchronization', if you will. We...communicate."

"These gems talk to you?" Ryoko asked.

"No, not talking. It's difficult to describe."

"Like being bonded to a Royal Tree?" Ayeka asked.

"A link, between hearts rather than minds. A shared awareness," Tsunami and Sasami said.

Washu nodded.

"So, what's that got to do with us?" Ryoko asked.

"Because ever since I detected Tokimi, those gems have been calling to me. I believe the nature of our communion is about to change...and I cannot predict what will happen."

"So, who is Tokimi?" Noike asked. "Obviously someone significant, to trigger this action."

"She is a creature like myself," Tsunami and Sasami replied, "and Washu."

All eyes turned upon Washu, who was staring at her hands.

"Could you explain that in simpler terms?" Mihoshi asked. "I'm getting lost, as usual."

"Washu and I are advanced life-forms."

"In what way?"

"We are aware of all dimensions of space and time simultaneously, not just the four you humans are limited to. And we are very, very old."

"How old are you?" Ayeka asked.

"We were among the first living creatures in the universe. We have been watching the cosmos expand, and the galaxies spin away from one another, for billions of years."

"Billions of years?" Ryoko asked.

"Yes. We are ancient beyond anything you can imagine."

"Well, at least I think we are," Washu whispered.

"You aren't certain?" Noike asked.

"No, because I don't remember much. Just fragments of memories that predate my childhood. Almost like past-life regression..."

"She cannot remember because her memories were placed in those gems," Tsunami and Sasami said.

"I've been carrying your memories around all these years? E-w-w-w-w-w!" Ryoko cringed.

"You still haven't answered my question," Noike said. "Who or what is Tokimi?"

"She has been searching for us for hundreds of millions of years," Tsunami and Sasami said. "We have been avoiding her, looking for allies strong enough to aid us."

"Are we the allies you sought?" Ayeka asked.

"Yes. When we entered this galaxy, we had been searching for many eons for anyone powerful enough to help us. Up to that point, we had been unsuccessful. But in our travels we had come across several species who contained powerful potentials, and of those we surveyed in this galaxy, humanity carried the greatest potentials. We decided to change our strategy, to remain here and nurture our allies, rather than pinning our hopes on finding a species that was already sufficiently evolved. To that end, we devised our roles: I would remain in our native form and protect the species from galactic threats, while Washu would assume human form and stimulate the widest possible genetic variation."

"Celestial shepherds, from within and without," Ayeka whispered.

"Did your plan work?" Ryoko asked.

"Yes, it did," Tsunami and Sasami smiled, nodding at Tenchi. "Beyond our wildest hopes."

"There was a price, though, wasn't there?" Noike asked.

"Yes," Washu replied. "The more we touched humanity, the more humanity touched us."

"And Tokimi?"

"She has not been idle," Tsunami and Sasami said. "She calculated our efforts, and devised a counter."

"That would be Z," Seto said.

"Yes."

"She was also breeding power adepts, and he was one of their super class."

"Yes."

"He and his peers would be sent out to range the universe, looking for potential species, on the assumption that you might be nearby."

"Yes."

"And destroy them, as a precautionary measure."

"Yes."

"His silence has alerted Tokimi, and she is coming to investigate."

"Yes."

"Are you saying that she may arrive with more servants like Z?" Ayeka asked.

"Yes."

"We're the ones who are going to need allies," Ryoko concluded.

"Precisely," Funaho said, and all eyes turned to her. "Seto and I figured that out months ago, and we have been actively recruiting from among our neighbors. Weren't you even the least bit curious by the sudden appearance of alien dignitaries at your doorstep?"

"No," Ayeka admitted. "I just assumed that word had been leaking out about the Masaki drive."

"We leaked it, my dear. We have been offering them a carrot, and many are now taking an active interest."

"If that's the carrot, what is the stick?" Tenchi asked.

"Z's appearance and actions," Seto replied. "He never should have left any witnesses."

"I suspect, though, that you were conveniently watching from subspace while he destroyed the whole task force," Noike said, giving her adopted mother a very appraising look.

"Yes, I was, and it took it every ounce of discipline I had to stay there and record the destruction."

"Damn, you're tough," Ryoko marveled. "I couldn't have sat still while Juraian sailors were being killed by the thousands."

"I agree," Seto replied, her voice colder than interstellar space.

"So, what happens now?" Tenchi asked quietly.

"I answer the gems' call," Washu said. "Ryoko, would you come over here please?"

Ryoko hesitated and then floated away from her seat beside Ayeka, drifting slowly over to a point in front of Washu, before settling on the floor in a kneeling position. They studied one another at eye level.

Washu leaned forward and placed her hands upon the crystals embedded in Ryoko's wrists. Nothing happened for a moment, other than Washu's look of profound concentration, and Ryoko's sudden vacuous expression.

Then Ryoko's back arched and she screamed, toppling backward onto the floor. And Washu's frame-shuddering gasp that caused her to collapse into her chair.

Chaos erupted: Ayeka lunged for Ryoko, catching her before her head hit the floor. Noike was right beside Ayeka, checking Ryoko's vital signs, joined quickly by Funaho. Mihoshi vaulted for the dining room door, quelling the sudden alarm from the youngsters within. Seto and Misaki entered the dining room as well, their presence helping to calm the frightened children. Only Tenchi and Tsunami/Sasami remained motionless.

It wasn't long before Ayeka noticed the apparent unconcern of her husband and sister — and realized that their eyes were closed and their focus elsewhere. She nudged Noike, pointing this out.

Tenchi's enhanced perceptions had shifted into the quantum realm, where the objects of space-time were represented by their corresponding quantum patterns. Chairs and tables and walls all had shadows in the void, and so, too, the humans had their quantum facsimiles: layered over the top of each virtual manikin was the mind of each sentient, which appeared to Tenchi as a borderless cloud of luminescent fog, lit internally by chains of lightning. And each individual mind had a distinctive pattern, which was easily identifiable. He quickly scanned Ryoko, who seemed to be stunned but not injured. Washu, however, was noticeably sluggish, her internal kaleidoscope erratic and subdued.

Beyond the humans, Tenchi could discern the alien presence of Tsunami. The humans were mere lanterns shining against the colossal cloud of sentience. The internal lights within this quantum structure flickered and pulsed in incredibly complicated arrays, as the alien mind addressed issues on many levels of reality. Most noticeable, however, was the psuedopod-like extension that engulfed the mind of Sasami, and the way that Sasami's sentience was echoed in fractal patterns well into the cloud. That merger of human and alien was almost complete, and in a matter of months the human and alien would have total access to each other's mind and thoughts.

And a new phenomenon was apparent: billows of quantum mist were expanding outwards from Ryoko's gems, coalescing into a growing nebula whose internal constellations flickered and flashed in chaotic abandon. The cloud was centered on the wraith-like mind of Washu, but as Tenchi watched that focus shifted, leaving the diaphanous mass that was Washu to fend for itself — and it was visibly failing. Now alarmed, Tenchi poured Power down the mindlink to his wife, expanding it in ever-larger volumes. He felt her feeble reply, encouraged that her consciousness was still strong enough to respond. For her part, Washu continued to send waves of signals into the heart of the alien cloud.

Across the room Sasami remained frozen, eyes closed and body rigid; behind her, the holographic figure of Tsunami remained equally statuesque and lifeless. Tsunami watched helplessly as her sister struggled, knowing that she could do nothing to ease the recovery process. 20,000 years in confinement had been a tremendous strain, even for such an advanced intellect. Add to that the sudden presence of the human kernel, and the tumult was inevitable. The Sasami half of the gestalt watched in horror, because she was only too aware of the price of integration with a human mind — and consequences of separation.

To everyone else, it was apparent that something was going on at a level beyond their awareness. Tenchi had risen to stand behind Washu, his hands cradling her temple. Both of their eyes were closed, and both were breathing intermittently. Tenchi's Emblem of Power had flared into blue-white brilliance, and so great was the energy being harnessed that the air around them began to churn and boil.

The last wisps of quantum cloud had almost departed from Washu's mind when it slowed, and finally stopped. Heartened, Tenchi increased the energy further, taxing his resources to the limit. Washu's mind was blindingly incandescent, emitting a laser-like beam that penetrated to the core of the cloud, forcing pattern after pattern into the massive structure. Reluctantly, the patterns began to replicate outward, and the empyreal sentience began to rejoin its mortal anchor.

On the floor, Ryoko stirred and groaned. Her eyes fluttered open, and she rubbed the back of her neck. She wondered out loud what truck had hit her, but got no answer. Looking around, she realizing that everyone else in the room — including the children — were watching Tenchi and Washu. At that point her own heightened senses kicked-in, and danger signals came crashing into her consciousness. "What the hell is going on?"

"Whatever was in those gems is loose, apparently," Ayeka whispered. "I would guess that Washu and Tenchi are struggling with it."

"If anything happens to my mother..." Ryoko growled.

After what seemed like hours, the cloud returned to its anchorage around Washu, now fully synchronized with the human animus. For her part, Washu kept escalating the complexity of the patterns, which then echoed out from the core like so many waves, and in turn the cloud was sending her patterns which she absorbed. An extremely intricate dance of thought and sensation so rapid that it quickly outdistanced Tenchi. With a nearly-audible sigh of relief, he ceased the Power transfer, allowing the mindlink to return to its normal properties.

The family watched as the Emblem of Power faded from Tenchi's brow, and the air in the room rapidly stilled. Across the room Tsunami and Sasami stirred, opening their eyes and blinking back tears. Washu finally opened her eyes, gazing into the upside-down face of her husband, before raising her head.

"The danger is past," Tsunami and Sasami announced.

"Thank the gods," Ryoko whispered.

"What was that you just said?" Ayeka teased. The latter blushed and looked away.

Washu slowly rose from her chair, examining herself in minute detail. She seemed at once surprised and reassured by the simple interplay of muscle-against-muscle, the weight of gravity, and the sensations she perceived. "How marvelous," she said, and then touched her lips. "So this is life among the lower orders...it's neither crude, dark, nor restricted. If anything it's... amazing."

Her family simply stared in silence.

Washu stopped her introspection, and gazed upon the faces around her. "I know you, each of you." She searched her memories, obviously sorting them. "Ryoko, my...daughter. Ayeka. Noike. Mihoshi...a descendent? Seto. Misaki. Funaho. And these are my children...Achika...and...Jinsei. And Sasami...my sister's host." Washu studied both Sasami and Tsunami, and a wide grin blossomed across her face. Tsunami and Sasami nodded, returning the grin.

Then Washu turned about, looking squarely at Tenchi, and slowly approached him. "My beloved husband...I would know you anywhere, across all time and space." And her face turned radiant as she slid into his arms. The kiss was long and passionate.

"That's so romantic!" Mihoshi sniffled.

"Truly splendid," Ayeka sighed.

"Ok, ok, that's enough," Ryoko grumbled, casually wiping an eye. "Washu, how much do you remember?"

From where she rested her head on Tenchi's shoulder, Washu replied, "I remember everything, Little Ryoko. I was just...overwhelmed...by the volume. I'll be alright in a little while, after I've had a chance to fully assimilate."

"That's good to hear," Tenchi said.

"Thank you, my love," Washu whispered. "I couldn't have made it without you."

"Glad I could help."

Washu slowly extricated herself and turned back towards Tsunami and Sasami. "Now it's your turn, sister."

"No," Tsunami and Sasami said, "it is not yet time."

"We have no more time. Tokimi is almost upon us."

Tsunami and Sasami looked down, hesitating, and then nodded. "Very well."

"Come," Washu said, taking Sasami's hand, and Tsunami's projection vanished. They took two paces, paused, and looked at Tenchi. "We are going to need your help."

Tenchi nodded, felt his hands clasped as he stepped between them, and escorted them through the dining room and out onto the veranda. The remainder of the family exchanged quizzical looks, and hurried after them.

They walked together across the lawn until they were well clear of the building. Then they stopped, the women turning to face each other. The only sounds around them were the wind in the trees and rustling of the grass. The sky above was a deep azure, marked by a few clouds and the pale crescent of Jurai's smallest moon.

Washu smiled, eyes closed and chin high, savoring the sun on her face and the wind in her hair. Sasami's face was expressionless, but the muscles knotted and tensed in time with internal priorities. Tenchi held back at arm's length, observing them both (and he was vaguely aware of the crowd standing at a respectful distance). In due course, both women opened their eyes, and calmly surveyed one another.

"Are you ready?" Washu asked Sasami.

"Yes," Sasami replied.

They both turned towards Tenchi. "What do you want me to do?" he asked.

"Do for us what you did for Ryoko," Washu said.

"Uh, don't you already know how?"

"Yes, but we want your guidance. The human element in each of us feels safe and secure with you."

"We love you, Tenchi," Sasami added.

Tenchi suddenly realized the enormity of what he was about to do. He returned to his enhanced sensory mode, aware of the multiply layered minds that surrounded him, of the mindlinks he maintained with his wife and fiancée. He hesitated...Washu could still be unstable from her metamorphosis, and Sasami might not be physically mature enough yet.

"Go ahead, Tenchi," Washu urged softly.

"We trust you, Tenchi," Sasami added.

With that last assurance still ringing in his ears, Tenchi put Power into both mindlinks, probing down simultaneously until he found what he was looking for: the trigger mechanisms. Each was surrounded by a psychic block, which he shattered with a deft touch. Each woman touched the exposed quantum pattern, and instantly the trigger responded. Their human nervous systems lit-up like neon moiré patterns, as heretofore-dormant facilities suddenly received their first taste of Power. Cautiously at first, and then with growing confidence, each woman's mind grasped their newly awakened potentials and sampled them.

Tenchi retreated quietly, knowing what was coming. His senses dropped back into 'normal' mode, and he watched his wife and fiancée; the interplay of emotions crisscrossing their faces were not much different than Ryoko's had been, not all that many months ago. He sighed resignedly; the chaotic lifestyle in the Masaki Family was about to rise yet another notch...

It began subtly, a stirring high in the air like an inhalation. Clusters of tiny blue-white lights appeared above and behind Washu and Sasami, twinkling and dancing in Lilliputian cyclones. Their numbers multiplied rapidly, the swarms of sparks becoming so dense as to congeal into clumps and strands. But only for a moment: in twin pulses, the clouds of fireflies merged into resplendence teardrops, their actinic rays casting harsh shadows on the grass despite the mid-day sun. And in the span of a single heartbeat, each scintillating globule was split by nine vertical cracks. The resulting blades fanned outwards around the center pivot, and two ten-pointed stars faced one another across a gap measured in meters.

Washu and Sasami were ecstatic, hopping in place and laughing so hard that tears streamed down their faces. Tenchi attempted to step away, but both women tightened their grip and refused to let him leave.

"Stay with us!" Sasami pleaded.

"Join us!" Washu added. She turned back to the waiting family, who were all staring in disbelief. "Ryoko! Come and share this with us!"

"Yes! Come on, Ryoko!" Sasami cried.

Ryoko hesitated for a moment, looking up at the new Lighthawk Wings blazing in the sky, and then down at her daughter (who was clutching her Mommy's hand). Ayeka resolved the issue: she scooped the toddler into her arms and gave Ryoko a firm push. A glance backward of silent thanks, and Ryoko teleported over to where the trio was standing. Her hands were immediately grabbed by the ebullient Washu and Sasami. Caught up in the excitement, Ryoko threw back her head and howled — and another ten-pointed star blossomed into existence.

Ryoko's crooning was joined by Washu and Sasami, adding their voices to the spontaneous song. For Song it was, on a primordial level so deep that its existence had long since been forgotten. A song of joy, of love, of hope — and of defiance. Out in space, resting quietly in her solitary orbit, the great Juraian Treeship Tsunami felt the surge of Power which carried the song, and replied in kind: ten shimmering Lighthawk Wings unfurled, adding their Power to the chorus. Nearby, other Treeships of the home fleet raised their Wings in homage, each starflower adding weight to the rising tide.

Many things flashed through Tenchi's mind at that point:

* Standing beside him were two alien minds who were now fully-anchored and fully-integrated with a human female: Washu was recovering all of her lost knowledge, memories and experiences — with her human psyche in full control; Sasami was absorbing the intact memories and experiences of a mind many orders of magnitude larger and older than own — without losing one shred of her own human identity.

* The human element of each of these gestalt entities was simultaneously experiencing their first full manifestation as a Super Class Power Adept — which unleashed its own tide of biochemical and psychological responses. Tenchi had serious concerns about the mental state of his ladies.

* Each goddess (what else could you call these women?) not only possessed a human incarnation, but also maintained exceptionally close rapport with an avatar: Washu had Ryoko; Tsunami had the Treeship of the same name. These latter creatures were incredibly powerful, independent sentients in their own right...as was presently being demonstrated.

* Tenchi himself had resisted accepting the sheer scale of his gifts. He had been reluctant to admit that, since the universe was a big place, the basic building blocks were also going to be big (and a matching mindset was required). He was unashamedly intimidated by playing in the big leagues.

* But that attitude must stop. Two of the sentients he loved the most had been fleeing across a time and space so vast that he couldn't even comprehend it — and they had taken the courage to make a stand here, placing their faith and trust in him. He could do no less than to fully embrace the gifts given to him, and try to live up to theirs.

* His confrontations with Z had shown him that he had barely scratched the surface when it came to using his Lighthawk Wings. He could — and would! — spend a lifetime exploring their depths. But for now, he had only his instincts to rely upon, and they showed him how the Song was discordant and inharmonious.

* But, as he shed his reluctance, his instincts came surging to the fore — and they suggested a course of action.

Three more Lighthawk Wings unfolded in the azure sky. Using the Power at his command, Tenchi reached out and took control of the blue-white bouquet blazing in and around Juraian space. He imposed order upon the chaos. The sentients generating the starflowers instantly recognized his intent, and threw themselves behind the effort, following the guidance of the Grand Conductor. The result was a pleasing harmony and synchrony.

There were other pragmatic, less esthetic, consequences:

* Between the Royal Family on Jurai, and the Treeships in the Corral, there were over fifty Lighthawk Wings being manifested. Each Wing averaged 30 meters in length, up to five meters in breadth, and several centimeters thick along its spine. Bearing in mind that the average 8-ounce coffee cup contains enough Zero Point Energy to boil away Earth's oceans, the amount of captured and controlled energy at Tenchi's command was astronomical.

* All those Lighthawk Wings were vibrating at a tremendous rate, emanating waves of great strength. That they were out of phase with each other was blatantly obvious: the interference pattern they produced was jarring and chaotic, like so much static. Tenchi put them all in phase: that is, their peaks and troughs now marched in lock-step (known as 'superposition'). And because of the phenomenon of constructive interference, their combined waves were double the amplitude of the original waves.

* Tenchi created an aerial whose ends extended from the Juraian surface to the Corral (located in one of the Lagrange points)...in simple terms, an antenna approximately 400,000 kilometers long. All Power manifestations (another way of saying 'spooky psychic mechanics') relied upon longitudinal electroscalar waves propagating though the vacuum. Waves of longitudinal construction, compressing and expanding the medium (the very fabric of space), are not constrained by 'normal' limits — such as the speed of light. Thus, he was broadcasting a superluminal transmission of ultra low frequency waves that were virtually impossible to detect, let alone jam or shield.

* Since Tenchi's sole desire was to align these prodigious generators, he assumed that only those sentients of super class status (his unruly serail and a dozen Treeships) physically nearby would actually perceive his instructions. Unwittingly, he 'piggy-backed' a set of programmed instructions onto the Song being trumpeted into the firmaments with the power of nova. His instructions consisted of (i) identifying himself, (ii) locating his position in space, (iii) specifying the frequency of the Song, and (iv) a request for any/all recipients to join in.

Thus, a pure tone of unimaginable strength radiated outwards at practically infinite speed. Since it centered around life, every sapient organism in its path felt the wave and responded. Most simply paused, aware of the Song at some subliminal level; those life forms that were both sapient and sentient felt its distinct touch, like a 'good vibration' that left a warm fuzzy feeling; sentients with a high degree of sensitivity staggered under the impact — and interrupted all activity to execute the Grand Conductor's programmed instructions.

Tenchi looked over his shoulder, startled to find every member of his family mesmerized by the psychic flood. They were all Adepts, and they responded in exactly the same manner: they froze, eyes and hearts and minds turning towards him, each in turn throwing back their head to descant toward the stars, adding their own contributions to the rising tide.

There were tens of thousands of Power Adepts scattered about the Juraian star system, and as the Song washed over them, each Adept felt the influence of the Grand Conductor, he/she located his position in space and turned towards it, and he/she responded by adding their own 'voice' to the chorus, sending it surging ever further outward.

All of human space was a modest collection of empires stuffed into the Orion Spur, a sausage-shaped territory 15,000 lightyears long by 2,500 lightyears across. Most of humanity (tens of trillions by the latest estimate) were sensitive to Power manifestations at some level, with a few tens of millions actually qualifying for the Adeptus Psyker Caste. Without exception, each and every Adept reeled as the wave engulfed the entire region, their emperor's face flashing across their minds, mechanically turning towards the Juraian sun, and adding their own voice and Power to the Song.

The wave roared outwards across the entire galactic disk, rolling through each of the 140,000,000 inhabited star systems. 2,000,000+ species felt the primeval grip of the Song, and the minute — but influential — fraction of those 94 quadrillion sapients sensitive to Power succumbed to Tenchi's programming: each identified the Grand Conductor, each adept identified his location in space and turned towards it, and each responded by adding its own 'voice' and Power to the chorus.

For one timeless instant, all life in the galaxy experienced the Song, and all of its Power sensitives shared the primordial message.

Then the Song rolled on into intergalactic space, an expanding sphere of information that would, years hence, finally dissipate among the far shores of the universe. Much sooner, however, it was experienced by the fleet sailing leisurely towards the Milky Way. There were no humans among its crews, but there were many Power sensitives...and none of them appreciated the Song one bit.

Back on Jurai, at the locus of the event, two ancient minds observed the phenomenon it utter awe. They had not seen such a vast demonstration of Power in a very long time, and had almost given up hope of ever seeing it again. Ironically, they could also see that Tenchi was completely oblivious to the extent of his handiwork. They knew he was no conqueror, and would recoil from the very thought of abusing his authority. But they also knew he would use that authority when required, in defense of his home and family. And they knew, with utter certainty, that their search was finally over, that they had found the refuge they sought for so long.

They had found a home.

############ AUTHOR'S NOTES ############

GESTALT From Gestalt - Ge•stalt or Ge•stalt (g-shtält, -shtôlt, -stält, -stôlt)A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts. Also called gestalt phenomenon.

Gestalt Theory: The Whole is More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Well give the glory to the manWho's not afraid to come on strongWhen there's magic in the musicIt's the singer not the songWhen it's comin' from the heartAll the people sing alongIt's the man behind the musicIt's the singer not the song

Title: "It's The Singer Not The Song"Artist: Survivor

As mentioned elsewhere, the characters of Tenchi Muyo! were created by Masaki Kajashima, and brought to North America by Pioneer LDC. The attached story, while incorporating names and situations held under copyright by others, is copyright 2005 by Jeffery L. Harris. Said story came entirely from my imagination, and is not, nor intended to be, canon. Please do not send the legions of lawyers after me...it's not worth their time, or mine.

Any questions or comments should be directed to:

Jeffery L HarrisSubject: "The Harem Saga Sequel - Breakaway"

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