Ch.48: Kyouko’s Journal 2

Stardate 1368.20

Wandering across the island, Run and I reached the highest peak. We stood on the ridge and looked out to the sea. It was such a picturesque vista, that we just had to take tons of pictures.

On the way down, we met up with Nana trekking towards up, wearing nothing but a blue tank top, jeans, and a floppy straw hat. As soon as she saw us, she waved and called to us.

I thought it strange that she was all alone, since she had gone into the woods in a group. Somehow, they had been separated along the way. Lunatique-sensei had disappeared first, and then they split up to look for her.

“And now, I don’t know where anybody is,” Nana said to me, “I don’t even know where I am, anymore.”

We agreed to take her back to camp. The sun was low by the time we got back, and we found that Mikado-sensei was gone too. Curious, we decided to call a meeting.

Nana blew on the conch and everybody were draw together. Risa and Mio appeared together. Both were naked and wet, and the afternoon sun glistened off their skin. As soon as Yui saw them, she blew up on them.

“Oh honestly! What is wrong with you? How can you two be so shameless!”

“What’s the problem? There’s only girls around.”

“You are very aware that that wasn’t just you being naked. The both of you were just…”

Realizing what she was about to say, Yui stopped, and her face was beet red.

Risa smirked, leaning in so her breast dangled in the air.  “Yes? Go on! What were we doing?”

“L-l-lying in the m-m-m-middle of-of the b-beach and tou-touching each other… have you no shame!”

“Says the girl who was watching the whole time.

Without warning she clasped Mio around the waist and kissed her hard.

Yui was gnashed her teeth. She stomped the ground, kicking up some sand.

“I was not watching you! Go put your clothes back on this instant!”

Risa broke away from Mio. She pulls on one eye lid and stick out her tongue

“You don’t hold the conch! You can’t tell us what to do.”

Yui stooped, picked up a stone, threw it at Risa-San. Risa shrank away, but the stone bounced four meters to her right and fell into the water. Yui threw it to miss as something invisible yet strong, was holding her back. The two girls looked at each other, baffled. 

Then Nana twisted and blew on the conch again.

“The rules!” She shouted, “you’re all breaking the rules! I have the conch, so everyone else be quiet!”

The others obeyed, though the air was thick with unspoken knowledge. Yui and Risa stood side-by-side, not willing to look at each other.

Nana piped up. “Alright girls, listen up! Mikado-sensei, Mea-San and Lunatique-Sensei have all disappeared, and I’m getting worried. I’m going back in there to find them, and I want you all to help me.”

She gave me half dozen wooden sticks with twigs and leaves wrapped around one end.

“Kyouko-San,” she said, “it’s gonna get dark soon, can you light these torches for us?”

But before I could take them, there was a commotion. We heard some rattling of leaves, and then Mea suddenly burst out, panting.

“Everyone! Help! Mikado-sensed is in trouble! The Beast has taken her!”

Before anyone could react, she threw us some long black rods with a rounded end on one side.

“Follow me!” She cried, “and lets go kill the Beast!”

Ch.47: Risa’s Diary 1: Rule of the Conch

Stardate 1368.20

Ah! Today was so much fun! I spent the whole morning playing in the surf with Mio. None of us had brought any swimwear, but since there was only us girls around, it didn’t matter. It felt so good to be so unrestricted.

We wanted Yui to join in, but she refused. Instead, she stayed on the beach, lying beneath the umbrella that Mikado-sensei had erected.

After Rito and the others left in such a hurry, the rest of us were left with nothing to do. Mikado-sensei called us out for a meeting so we could decide together.

When all of us had gathered, she pulled out a pink conch shell as big as her head. She placed the butt end against her mouth and a long-drawn-out blast.

“This is our island,” she said, “And it is a good island. Until Rito and the others come back, we can relax and have some fun.”

“But we’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages.” She held the shell over her head. “If you have an idea of what we can do, come to the middle and hold this in your hands. Only the one who holds the shell may speak to the rest of us.”

Yui was the first to take the shell. She stood in the middle, calm and erect.

“I still can’t believe that we really travelled in space. I still think that this is all part of some shameless prank. I don’t really care anymore, and I want to go home.”

Next to go up was Nana-San. She picked up the shell and held it high in the air.

“I’ve never been outside of the palace before. This is such a beautiful island, and it must have lots of interesting animals,” she cried, “I want to go explore, so raise your hand if you want to come with me, come with me.”

Mea, and Tearju-sensei both volunteered to join with her, but no one else raised their hands.

I was next to take up the conch. Raising the shell in the air, I said that I wanted to stay and play on the beach. “I don’t have beach towels or the any other beach stuff, but I’m sure we could find something on the ship.”

The majority of the girls sided with me, including of course Mio. Kyoko and Run both joined us in staying on the beach, but as soon as everyone broke up, they ran off without saying anything to us.

Mikado-sensei went and pulled out some umbrellas and towels, so we could lay on the beach. Yui laid down in full clothing, but I was just too antsy to wait.

Mio was chasing me through the surf, naked as the day she was born. Her nipples were stiff peaks and her skin sparkled with water droplets. The ocean mist drenched us from head to toe, but we were having too much fun to care. I let her tackle me, and we fell into the foaming sea. The boiling waves reached up to my ears and soaked into my hair, but she was on top of me, tickling me. I dipped my fingers deep into her vagina, and I heard her sudden cry.

Her legs fought against me, struggling to get up, but my arm was around her waist, clamping her down against me. I felt her tongue enter my folds, and her lips close on my clit. I moaned, unable to contain my pleasure Then, she stopped, and slipped out of my grasp. She rose to her knees, and pulled me up as well.

She kissed me, her warm tongue invading my mouth. We knelt in the surf, face to face, and we kept touching each other. Her fingers were in my pussy, moving up and down, and I did the same to her. Her voice rose into a feverish pitch, until she was all but screaming. I felt my own body reacting to her, and the wave of pleasure wash over me. We collapsed in the water as we climaxed together, and our juices fed into the sea.

We lay in the surf, letting the waves cover us. We kissed and we talked about everything that had happened so far. I talked about Rito, and she talked about Maul. We teased each other, and then we were kissing each other.

Yui-san was watching us, though she tried desperately to hide behind her book. I could see her eyes peeking over the edge, only to retreat when she noticed me staring.

I know that she’s interested. She was there with me and Momo that night after our rescue. Though she didn’t join us in repaying Rito, I know she never left. She had been watching me and Momo have sex with Rito, just as she was watching me and Mio today. She’s still a virgin in every sense of that word, and I doubt that she has even tried to please herself.

I whispered these things to Mio, asking her to help me. Maybe we could break her inhibitions together, and help her overcome this wall of fear.

Tonight.

Ch.46: The Queen’s Solar

Captain’s Log

Stardate 1368.18

I haven’t made a recording in a long time, so here we go.

Coming to the capital and seeing Lala’s homeworld for the first time wasn’t something that I ever dreamed of ever doing. The journey was so much fun, from start to finish, and I gained whole new perspective on how I truly lived in such a protective bubble. It makes me want to explore so much more!

Since our stay at the spaceport, however, I’ve got the impression that something big is brewing around my friends. Between the possible coup and the disappearance of Gid, I feel like we’ve landed in some hot water. Not to mention the way we were greeted at the palace entrance was highly unusual. We were so lucky to have Momo to protect us from that guard. If she wasn’t there, I would have surely been killed. Yami-san was quick to push me away, but even she could not have noticed when the guard pointed that weapon at us.

I should clarify what I mean.

When Zastin dropped us off in the palace courtyard, Momo and that other guard was there to greet us. Momo was dressed in armor, so at first we didn’t know it was her. We had to climb these steps to get to the entrance. I went up first, and Yami, Mikan and Sairenji―er―I mean Haruna came up behind me. Momo and the guard were behind all of us, so there was no way for us to know.

She hit the guard on the head just as he was about to shoot me. The bolt of lightning passed over my shoulder, and hit on the wall in front of me. Yami-san quickly pushed me away, and Mikan turned to shoot back. The guard had spun around and swung his weapon to deliver a savage blow. Momo ducked just in time, but her helmet got knocked off, revealing her flowing pink hair. Before the guard could react, she slammed into his gut, driving him away. Then, she aimed and fired, and the bolt of lightning hit him square in the chest.

Momo saved us. I don’t know what would have happened if she wasn’t there. I certainly would be around to talk about it. She sure scared Haruna, though. The dead guard landed on top her, and they both fell on the ground. Having Momo standing over her with that staff weapon still sparking was too much. It was the loudest scream I had ever heard Haruna scream. We all went down there to somehow calm her down. Mikan and Yami got to her first, and they held her tightly in their arms. I could hear Haruna sobbing, as her hands dug into Yami’s arms.

Momo could barely stand. Her whole body was shaking, and her eyes were wide and unfocused. “I-I-I n-never wanted…he-he was going to hurt you, and I didn’t think…”

The weapon fell from her hands and she collapsed onto the floor. She gripped the sides of her head and screamed.

“Oh my god! What have I done!”

Suddenly, her mouth was bulging out. Her arms wrapped around her waist, she doubled over and spat out globs of bile.

“How could I—noooo! He was gonna hurt you and I…”

And then she was crying. Fat rivulets fell from her eyes and dribbled onto the ground.

I couldn’t bear seeing her like this. I could only imagine how much she was suffering. I gathered her in my arms and held onto her tightly. I could feel the warm tears soaking into my shirt, but I didn’t care.

Momo stayed huddled in a ball, and she buried her head deeper into my arms. I waited as her sobs turned into quiet sniffles. I kept rocking back and forth, whispering things into her ear, like “It’s okay.” and “There, there.”

Looking over Momo’s shoulder, I could see Yami and Mikan comforting Haruna. She was starting to calm down, and her grip on Yami had loosened.

We stayed like that for a long time. I don’t even know how long it was before more guards showed up. Cold dread filled my heart, and I thought that they were going to kill us.

Fortunately, they were friendly to us, “Her royal highness commanded us to escort you. She got wind of touble brewing, and had sent us to get you.”

“Thank you,” I said to the guards, and I gathered Momo in my arms. I saw Haruna helped to her feet with Mikan and Yami.s support. Together, we hobbled over to the guards and then followed them up through the palace.

We were taken up to the foyer where two turbolifts waited for us. They were far more ornate than the little turbolift in our own ship, and they travelled much farther through many more floors. I would be remiss if I said that I didn’t enjoy the view, but the weight in my arms kept me rooted in reality. Something was clearly wrong with the palace. The attack at the entrance was a clear sign of that.

The guards around me showed clear signs of fear. Though they whispered to themselves, I could see the fear in them. Gid’s absence was weighing down on all of them, especially because of how unusually late it was. They all knew that the emperor routinely skipped his duties to go out and play, but this time, his disappearance was dragging on for too long. I didn’t get much else from the guards, because by then, we had arrived.

The two doors slid opened, and the guards led us out into a well-lit circular room with a glass dome that let in natural light. Sitting in the middle of that room was the Queen herself. Sephie Michaela, first Princess of Charmian and Queen of Deviluke greeted us with a smile. So beautiful was she that we all fell to our knees as soon we laid eyes on her.

“Rise my dears, there’s no need to be so formal. We are friends and equals.”

“Selphie-san,” I started to say, but she silenced me with a smile.

“I know what has happened to you. My daughter is experiencing the grief that comes when one kills for the first time.”

“She saved m-us.” I stammered as I laid Momo at her feet, “If it wasn’t for her, we surely would have died.”

“I am aware of that.” Said the Queen, turning to look on the others. “These are dark times for all of us. In the past, Gid’s power was what kept this empire together. Our enemies chafe under his control. They yearn for liberty but was stopped by fear.” She sighed, “Gid rules with his fist, yet he is not infallible. Sooner or later, they will succeed in defeating him.”

She let out another sigh, ragged and tired.

“But let’s not dwell in these things for now.” She stood and rang a bell. Two handmaidens appeared with their heads bowed.

“Take my daughter to her room,” Selphie said, “Let her be in the company of her friends.”

They bowed. One carried Momo in her arms while the other ushered the girls away.

“Where is Lala,” I asked when the others were gone. Selphie sat back down. “She is in the throne room attending to court.

“But you don’t look so well, yourself, young man.”

She rang the bell again, and another maid came in.

“This young man needs a wash. Please show him to the baths.”

“I’m fine,” I stammered back as I was led away, “I’m more worried about the others.”

“Don’t be,” said Selphie, “You are in safe company.”

That was two hours ago. Since then, I haven’t seen anyone yet. This bath feel so good, though! I haven’t had a decent soak in weeks. After everything that happened today, this is so relaxing!

Anyway, looks like I’ve rambled long enough, and it’s time to get out. I want to go see what Lala is up to.

Bye for now.

Ch.45: Haruna’s Chronicles 2

Stardate 1368.18

Okay, I lied when I said that I was staying on the Astroboy. Yuuki-kun and the others were already getting on the shuttle when I changed my mind. Before they could closed shuttle doors, I rushed inside and sat down next to Yuuki-kun. I knew it was the last minute, but I insisted on joining them. After the events of two nights ago there were just so many issues that seriously strained my relationship with him and the other girls. I couldn’t let it fester and ruin everything. Fortunately, they wanted the same, and we mended our friendship.

In my haste, I forgot to bring any clothes to change into, and all I had on were a blue tank top, some capri pants and a pair of sandals. Rito had on his captain’s shirt with gold bands around the cuffs. His pants and shoes were both black. Meanwhile, Mikan and Yami both had on red and blue dresses with short sleeves and black knee-high boots. Finally, Zastin had a full suit of armor, including a helmet and a sword tied to his hip. Compared to all of them, I was woefully underdressed. Fortunately for me, the weather wasn’t so cold, and though the high wind did bring a chill, we soon arrived at the capital.

The palace dominated the skyline. Looking very much like the Oita bank stadium, the palace sat on top of a shallow hill and gleamed in the sun. Six massive towers rose up behind and to either side of over the dome, curving around like horns around a helmet. The hill itself sloped gently into the sea. It was decorated with ornate flower gardens crisscrossed with dirt pathways. You could see the palace from miles around, like a jewel nestled in a bed of flowers.

We circled the island until the façade came into view. We saw many canals funneling water into the ocean, draining the moat that seemed to partially submerge the great central dome. Our shuttle, rose up and flew over the flowing water. We crossed through a threshold and landed in a courtyard. Here, we climbed out of the shuttle and found ourselves on one of the two landings flanking the canal. Meanwhile, the canal continued deep into the palace, passing under an arch bridge that connected the two landings and to a wide entrance way.

“You guys go ahead,” Zastin said as he went back to the shuttle, “Lala is holding palace guards appeared on either side of us; both were dressed in similar raiment as Zastin. Guards!”

Two guards appeared behind us. One was taller more robust. The other, was shorter and thinner and was clearly a girl. Both had on fur-lined armor and boots, and leather helms that obscured their faces. Both also carried long spears with round blunt heads. Zastin nodded at them, and then turned back to us.

“I’m going get this shuttle back to its rightful place,” He said, “These men will take you to see the princesses.”

Without another word, he closed all the shuttle’s openings, and soon the little craft was speeding into the tunnel created by the arch bridge.

The male guard then approached us, clearing out his throat.

“Come with us, and we will take you to your chambers.”

We were escorted to the bridge that led up to the main entrance. Yuuki-kun went up first, followed by Yami and then Mikan. I had just set foot on the first step, when I heard a sudden commotion behind me.

There was a sound like electrical discharge. Then, there was a thud like someone had been hit on the head. Someone roared behind me, and I screamed and tried to move away. I saw Mikan whirl around and pull out her phaser, and I saw Yami pushing Yuuki-kun away. But then, there was a high pitch whirling noise, and something big landed on my back. I fell onto the floor, and I twisted around to see what had hit me. There lay the male guard on my lap. He was spread eagle, and his eyes looked up blankly at me. There was a smoldering hole in his chest.

I screamed and tried to push him away, but the corps was much heavier than I could have imagined. Then, a shadow was looming over me. I looked up and saw Momo Veila Deviluke standing over him, looking at me. She was still dressed in that armor, but her helmet was gone. Her spear was pointed at me, and the tip was split open.

“I wish you hadn’t seen that,” said the deviluke princess.

Her spear-point let out some sparks.

Ch.44: Mikan’s Diary 7

The Rules of Engagement

Stardate: 1368.18

Dear Diary

The trip across the ocean was amazing!

We raced across the open ocean while The Deviluke sun beat down upon us, and the sheer wind blew into our faces, making it impossible to see or even keeping my hair out of my face. The powerful thrusters pushed our craft across the surface, creating a pillow of air, and the ocean rose like mountain peaks, splattering salty water. We had left the shuttle’s rear hatch open, so there wasn’t a roof over our head. Instead, it retracted underneath our shuttle’s belly, leaving a short edge as a sort of gangplank that slid along the water surface. Except for the cockpit, everything else was exposed to the outside.

Zastin-san piloted the craft, expertly maneuvering it around shoals and atolls. The rest of us sat in the back on two rows of cushioned benches. There were four of us sitting there, watching as the scenery sped past us. Me and Yami sat together on one side while Rito and Haruna sat across from us.

Things have been awkward since two nights ago, and we haven’t been able to talk to Haruna. Even now as we sat together, we struggled to say anything. Haruna wasn’t even supposed to join us in this trip, but she insisted in coming at the last moment.

I felt her eyes on me, pinning me down. My heart was racing as I was struggled to say something.

“Haruna-san,” I started to say, but a lump caught in my throat, and I couldn’t say anything else.

Haruna still glared at me. “Do you like Rito?”

“Yes” I said after much effort.

She stared at me. “As brother and sister?”

I tried swallowing. “Yes…but—”

“But it’s also much more than that, isn’t it?” Her eyes were hard and bore into me. I could tell that she was serious. “Can you tell me how?”

I shivered. My mouth felt so dry. She never shouted, but her voice carried more ice than usual.

“When you’re alone with him, how does he make you feel.”

“Safe,” I said at last. My heart was thumping in my chest. “…like I can say anything to him and not worry about how he thinks about me.”

“Why?”

My cheeks felt hot. I shook my head. “I don’t know,” I said, “It’s just I trust him like no one else. He has always protected me. And I could always count on him for anything.”

I struggled to say any more, but then Haruna shifted her gaze. She focused next on Yami, who was staring through the rear hatch. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.

“And what about you Yami-chan?” Haruna asked, “How do you feel about him?”

Yami turned back to her. Her face never betrayed any emotions. “He’s seen me at my most vulnerable state, and I’ve shared many secrets with him. Secrets that I don’t tell Mikan.”

She spared me a glace, trying to gauge my own reaction, but I just smiled back at her. I had figured that she had been through more trouble than I could ever know. It didn’t change our friendship.

“Would you say that you love him?”

“With all my heart!” I blurted out suddenly, “I know that he has his faults, but I just don’t care when I’m with him.”

I felt my cheeks burning as Haruna looked at me. I realized that she wasn’t asking me. I wanted to hide in a corner.

Yami answered. “I’ve said this before. He is the target for my love,” she sighed, “As Mikan said, there is no one else that I trust more than him. My life is in his hands, and I will accept no one else. Then she glanced to the side, and whispered as if hinting at a secret. “Also I have a debt to pay.”

Haruna sighed and stood up. She walked over to our side of the ship and leaned out into the wind. “Well I get what you both are saying. You aren’t the only ones who feel that way.”

She turned around and sat on the low barrier. She closed her eyes and leaned out to stare into the clouds. Her dark raven hair fluttered in the wind. “Honestly, it’s the reason I fell in love with him too.”, her voice came drifting from the breeze. “I could see myself spending time with him until we grow old.”

Her chest rose and fell as she drew out a single breath. Haruna lowered her head leveled her gaze at Rito. He was now alone, sitting on one side while we all stared at him.

“Yuuki-kun, do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Hai,” he said, “I have been very careless with the girls around me. I’m sorry that I got so carried away. I betrayed the trust you gave me, and I almost ruined everything.”

Rito slid to his knees and planted his hands on the floor, then he bowed low until his head touched the ground. “I didn’t mean for everything to happen the way it did… to let you all down like this. I’m so sorry!”

Haruna nodded with satisfaction. Then she turned to face me and Yami, asking, “Well ladies, what do you think?”

“I don’t think it’s totally your fault, Onii-chan,” I said, “I wasn’t exactly resisting your advances.”

I felt my own cheeks burning as I said this. “While it was quite embarrassing to remember what happened last night, I don’t regret it at all.”

“It was two nights ago,” Yami pointed out and I blushed even harder. “I agree with everything Mikan said, Rito. You is precious to me, the way I feel about you is different from the way a feel about

Haruna smiled and sat down between us. “Now, Yuuki-kun, you are a really lucky man to have so many women love you,” she said, crossing her legs together, “How do you feel about these girls? How do you feel about us?”

Rito fidgeted under her gaze. His tongue ran over his lips. “I feel… happy, happy to have all of you accept me into your life, even after all things I’ve done. I am grateful that you would ever hang out with a loser like me.”

“But…” He hesitated. “What everyone else said was true. I’m just a normal guy. I’m not that great in sports or in anything else. I have no special talent. I don’t deserve any of you.”

“You are selling yourself short, onii-chan.” I said, “If you were really a loser like you say you are, I wouldn’t even care about you.” I snorted, “Even if you are my brother.”

“Mikan…”

I smirked. “You are honest, compassionate, and steadfast, and that’s all I need in someone I love.”

“But! I don’t have any special power to protect you.”

“We don’t want your protection!” I bit back, “We can handle things ourselves.”

“Indeed,” Yami chimed in, “I don’t like it when you withhold information from me,” She glanced to both me and Haruna, “I can say for all of us girls that you should have told us your entire plan regarding the saving of Yui-san and the others. We were all scared to death after your stunt of you crashing my ship into the enemy.”

“I’m so sorry,” Rito said, “I wanted to find a replacement.”

“Don’t even bother!” Yami snapped. Her hair was billowing in the air, carried by her emotions, “I wasn’t concerned about getting a new spaceship! The only thing I care about was you!

“You left us all worrying to death about that!” Haruna said, “What if we couldn’t find you in that wreckage? What you died before we could even get you back? Do you have any idea how we would have felt?”

Again, Rito bowed low to us, “I’m sorry!”

Haruna sighed again. “It’s okay. What’s past is passed.”

Then, she reached down and pulled Rito to his feet. She kissed him on the cheek.

“Tell me,” she said, as she held him, “Have you slept with another woman? Have you done it with anyone other than me or these girls or Lala?”

Rito hesitated to answer but gave up at the end. “Yes.”

“Can you tell me who?”

His nails dug into the palm of his hands. “Momo, Risa, and Mea.”

Haruna sighed, but her voice remained calm. “And do you love each and every one of them?”

“Yes,” said Rito, “Some as friends, but most of them I love as much more than friends.”

I snorted. “I’ve always known you to be a playboy, nii-chan,” I crossed my arms and smirked. “Certainly, you’ve never notice how the other girls see you. It was only a matter of time before they acted on that feeling. “

“Indeed,” said Yami, she stood up and pressed herself against him. “Resistance is futile when there are girls around you.”

I watched them sit down on the opposite side, with Rito in the middle. I felt my blood boil.

Haruna grinned shyly. “You’ve already done it with these girls, and clearly they have feelings for you. I’m going to have a chat with Lala, and maybe we could extend the marriage contract to include these girls.”

Rito looked up in shock. Then, Yami grabbed him by the cheek and turned his head to face her. “You have to learn to tame that beast in you before it takes over and ruins everything.”

They were stealing him away from me! How dare they!

I got up, walked over, and sat down on his lap. “You brought this upon yourself, Onii-chan,” I said loocking up at him, “I don’t want you starting any more relationships with other girls without our permission. You need to take responsibility. I don’t want anyone else getting hurt because of you.”

Haruna beamed at us. “Today is your lucky day, Yuuki-kun.”  She said, “Lala has always wanted all of us together. It shouldn’t be too hard.

“Sairenji-san…” Rito started to say, but she silenced him with a finger

“Call me Haruna.” She said, “Both of you, call me Haruna too! There will be no more formalities between any of us.”

She kissed him long and hard.

“Because we are in this together.”

Ch.43: Kyouko’s Journal 1

Stardate 1368.16

Hello World!

It’s noon right now, and I thought that I should start this diary to fend off some of the boredom. There haven’t been much to do since Rito-kun left for the capital.

Last night was a bit crazy though. After Princess Nana arrived, Rito-kun had everyone report to their stations. Then, he had all the lights turned off, so we could slip out of the spaceport undetected. Unfortunately, that meant none of the other ships could see us either. Me and Run were on the flight deck when the moorings came off our ship. Over the next few minutes, we watched as the ship navigated through the narrow corridor. The blonde pilot, Yami-san, carefully maneuvered our ship around the other vessels. Her hands deftly moved the throttle as she steered the ship through the treacherous tunnel. Eventually, we made it out of the spaceport without trouble.

Rito then asked Zastin, the white-haired security officer, for the coordinates for the planet of Deviluke. We arrived over the planet in an hour later, and I was immediately transfixed by the very sight of the planet.

Everything was white and blue, and very little land could be seen. As we passed into the day side, we were surprised by a sudden explosion of white light. The Deviluke star appeared from behind the planet and showered us with its light. It was so bright, that Rito-kun had to raise our solar shields.

Lunatique-sensei, our resident science officer, told us a little about the planet’s geography. She told us how it was fifty percent bigger than the Earth, and the surface was mostly covered with water. She also told us about the Deviluke’s star. It was a main sequence blue star and was much brighter than our own sun. For our vantage point, it looked twice as bright than our own sun, even though we were twice as far away from it.

My face was glued to the viewscreen as I looked down to the ocean below. I could barely make out the tiny white caps of ocean waves as they pounded the thousands of islands and atolls and sand bars. Looking higher at Deviluke’s curvature, I suddenly a thin blue sheen flowing around the entire planet like another thinner ocean floating in the sky. Then, I saw a ring-shaped space station in orbit below us.

“Look look look!” I cried, jumping up and down. I was so excited by my discovery that I couldn’t contain myself. Zastin walked over to me and saw me point at it.

He told me that it was a shield generator, that covered the planet in a giant plasma barrier. It’s just like the deflector shields on our own ship, he said to me, except that it prevented other ships from entering the planet. I just stood there, gaping at the floating craft. That such a thing could create a shield that covered an entire planet! It blew my mind that something that large could be made at all.

Then, Zastin pointed at the center of that ring station.

“There’s a gate in the middle that is controlled by imperial officials,” he said, “If our security code checks out, then we can get in there without trouble.”

There were some footsteps, and then Rito-kun was next to us, standing with his hands crossed.

“I wonder if they’ve been bought too. May be our passage isn’t safe.”

Zastin shook his head. “We don’t have to worry. The gate guards have no cause to suspect us. In their minds, we are only humble servants to the Devilukes, and they won’t think twice about us.

Rito bit his lips. “Coming back out though, that’s going to be a problem.”

Zastin shrugged, “We can worry about that later.”

We entered the planet without trouble, and then speed towards the planet’s surface. It was such a thrill to watch as we plunged into the atmosphere. We passed through a cloud bank and leveled off near the water surface. Rito had us land on a remote island near the equator. It was remote, but comfortable. The Astroboy landed deep in the forest.

That is where we’ve been up to this point. Zastin told us that we were several latitudes ahead of the deviluke capital, so we had time to catch up on some sleep. But Rito-kun was antsy. He insisted on going to the palace as soon as possible, so he and Zastin piled into a royal shuttle, the same one stolen by princess Nana. Three of the girls also went with him, including his sister, the pilot, and that third girl with blue-hair and purple-eyes.

I remember how they came out of the Astroboy all dressed in their ship uniforms. Rito had on his captain’s shirt, a long-sleeved gold tunic with silver bands around the cuffs, over a black undershirt as well as black pants and boots. Meanwhile, the girls wore a Miniskirt-length dress with dark stockings and knee-high boots. Rito’s sister wore a Red dress, while Yami and the other girl wore a Blue dresses. Rito sister also had a brown leather belt with a phaser tucked inside a holster.

Their attire was all amazing, but they were tame compared to what that white-haired guy had. Complete with full-length plate armor and red cape, he looked so much like a knight from some fantasy story! He even had a broadsword strapped to his hips.

I managed to take their pictures before they all piled into the royal shuttle. I wish I could try on some of those cool uniforms! Our producers would love them!

I still think it’s crazy that Run and I are even on this trip. This all started with that Momo girl coming to our studio. She met with the producer and somehow convinced him to release us from obligations. As we are top idols, our producer should not have let us go without a good reason. Momo must have done something or said something to get his approval, but I’m not sure he even believed what was going on. To him, it must have sounded like some publicity stunt to promote his company. I doubt that he would even believe us if we told him that we actually went to space, not even if we showed him the photos of us posing inside the spaceship, wearing our white nursing uniforms.

Anyway, things have been relatively peaceful around here since we basically got the whole island for ourselves. Oh, how I wish I had brought a swimsuit with me. Luckily, with Rito and the others gone, it was just us girls on the beach. Then Mikado-sensei appeared, carrying towels, umbrellas, and a beach ball.

“You never know where you would go in space,” she winked at us. “I’ve kept this stored away just in case.”

Me and Run are been going out to the beach to pose in front of the scenery.  Then, we’re going to swim with the fishes. The water looks so pristine and so inviting.

I can’t wait!

Ch.42: Yami’s Testimony

[Recorded on Stardate: 1368.00 in Rito’s private quarters]

Rito: Okay, we are recording now. Yami, could you please repeat what you just told me.

Yami: [nodding] It all happened yesterday, after our brunch together. We were going to this used spaceship shop when two men bumped into me from behind. They were rather rude, cursing at me despite being the ones at fault. Anyway, when I turned around to look and saw two Balkeans huddled in a corner.

Rito: Stop, what are Balkeans?

Yami: You may recall Ghi Bree, the fiancé from Balke?

Rito: Oh, you mean that reptilian alien?

Yami: Yes. These two I saw were of the same species. One had a darker purplish crest and belly scales, while the other had a more blue-green body.

Rito: So you noticed them huddled together?

Yami: Yes. Despite their discreteness, I overheard everything that they said.

“Good wither today.” Said the purple-crested Balkean, looking up at the sky. The other one spat on the ground.

“Fuck this weather!” His blue-green friend growled, “It’s the same boring shit every day!”

“Well, let’s get on with it!” The first one sighed, “The boss sent us a message this morning, says he needs the King’s girls!”

“Sh!” The blue-green one hissed sharply, jamming a hand against his friend’s mouth. “Not here!”

Rito: Did they notice you listening in on them?

Yami: I don’t think so. I’d kept my back to them the whole time, so I don’t think they knew that I had overheard.

Rito: Okay, so clearly, they were in some sort of conspiracy regarding Lala and the others. What happened next?

Yami: Well, naturally I wanted to know more.

I slipped out of the shop to follow them. I hid among the crowds, careful to not be seen. Occasionally, they got suspicious and turned around, at which point I would hide behind some stalls or duck beneath a shop awning. They led me to a less populated area, where the seedier businesses dwelt, all I could see were brothels and bars. I continued tailing the Balkeans, following them along the rooftop. I was careful to keep my shadow from being cast on the ground.

Eventually, I ended up at this drinking establishment. I slipped into the third story window, and crawled to the landing where I could see the main room below.

Rito: So somewhere like a bar?

Yami: Yes it was a bar, or a saloon, or whatever they call it here.

Rito: Can you describe this place for me?

Yami: Well surprisingly, the bar the run down, but appeared quite a respectable establishment. The first floor acted like the celler, because you couldn’t dig into the Spaceport’s floor without ending up in the vacuum of space. The main drinking place was on the second floor, which was full of tables and chairs. The third floor, which was where I hid, was mainly residential, which I speculate was the resting place for the staff. There were no other residents up here. The walls, the floors, even all the furniture were well cleaned ironwood shipped form the neighboring planet of Fangorn. The whole place looked too nice to be in such a run-down neighborhood.

Rito: So it was unusually well furnished?

Yami: Yes, the iron wood is extremely hard to cut down, and had to be hauled here from five lightyears away. In conclusion, it would have been way too expensive for a couple of locals.

Rito: Okay. So when you went in, the place was empty except for a bartender and three serving girls right?

Yami: Correct. The bartender was an Ent, a species of tall treelike humanoids who also hailed from Fangorn. He wore a long blue coat on top of a mauve tunic. I think he was the proprietor of the place. The three serving girls were blue-skinned. Each had long stripped tails and pointy ears. One even had large earrings.

Rito: Okay, I get the picture. Continue.

Yami: So the Balkeans came in just as I’d gotten to the third floor bannisters The red-crested one wrinkled his nose.

“Aw Groot! Why you pick a place like this? It stinks in here!”

“Shut it Drax!” said Groot, “‘least no one here will hear us.”

He gave the bartender a look and tossed him some coins. The Ent nodded and disappeared behind some curtains. The Balkeans sat down at an empty table below me. They didn’t pay much attention to the girls, who stayed in the front and took their drink orders.

“Like I was sayin’,” Drax said, after they’d ordered some drinks, “The boss sent a message sayin’ we ought to make our move. Got some passcode for the gates and some pre-pay. Says we could see more after the job.”

“Nu-uh I ain’t touching them!” Groot spat, “The boss is crazy if he thinks we can just waltz in there and nab them! The guards will notice! We be dead in an instant!”

“The boss’ taken care of that. Says he paid off some guys, and replace others with his own people. Says we can get in, get them, and get out, no trouble!”

“Nah…I don’t know about this.” The blue-green balkean said, as the drinks arrived. He grabbed his glassful of dark brown liquid and downed it in a single gulp. “Aaaaahhhhh! The pay better be good for my time,” he went on, slamming the glass on the table, “Can’t go risking my life for nuthin’”

“Now don’t you worry about that,” the purple-crested one said, quaffing down his own beer, “Got plenty of the good stuff back in mah place. There be pay for the both of us.”

“I gotta see ‘em to believe ‘em,” said the blue-green one, standing. “Take me to yo place and let me see with mine own eyes!”

“Well, come on them.” Drax said, finished his drink.

There were a lot of wood scraping against wood as they stood up. The Balkeans walked past the sideboard and disappeared behind the curtains.

Rito: Do you think they’re friends with Ghi bree? Do you think it was him who sent these Balkean to us?

Yami: I don’t think so. I think his status might have diminished after his coming to our home. Even among his kind, he is regarded as a bit of a coward.

Rito: How so? We saw before how Balkeans’ alternative forms were just for show, and how they don’t really become as strong as they look. I thought all Balkeans were like that—all bark and no bite.

Yami: Not at all. Remember that they have that powerful psychic beam in hand. I’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s keep going with the story.

Rito: Okay, so what happened next?

Yami: Obviously, I couldn’t just enter that curtained off area or even go down to the first floor. Clearly, the bartender was in cahoots with the two, and I doubt that bribing the girls would achieve anything.

I ended up going back out the window I came from and then climbed over the roof to the other side of the house. I climbed down to the second story landing, where a balcony jutted out under a roof with shingles. Huddled on the roof, I deployed one of my insect like nanobots

Rito: (amused) You mean Tearju-sensei’s nanobots right? The ones you stole from her?

Yami: Well, it is sister Tearju’s fault to have been spying on me. I have simply confiscated them from her. I want to keep her from meddling in everyone’s business.

Rito: Uh huh, whatever you tell yourself.

Yami: (in a huff) Well anyway. I had the nanobots in infiltrate the kitchen. They located the Balkeans in standing over a winch that normally hauled up various items from the cellar. Using the nanobot’s camera, I was able to see a chest they had hauled up. Drax had the lid open and was rifling through the contents. When he emerged, he pulled out a large cloth sack and a parchment with a red wax seal.

“See,” Drax said, smirking” What did I tell you?”

He tossed the bag to Groot, who weighed it in his hands.

“Wow! That’s a lot of good stuff!” Groot said.

“There’s gonna more from where that came from!” Drax said. “The boss says the pay can even triple if we do it right!”

“So are we good?”

“Yeah!” Groot cried rattling the bag around. “I think I can work with this.”

“Good,” Drax said, “Now, if we can get rid of our stinker, we should be good to go.”

“Perfect!”

I suspected that my scent must have tip them off by now, but even I was caught off-guard by their sudden notice of me. I had just enough time to leap off the balcony before twin beams of psychic energy sliced through the walls. The top half of the building exploded in a shower of splinters, and I barely avoided some of the shrapnel. Others on the streets weren’t so lucky. I saw one resident whose body was riddled with pieces of wood. Calling it ironwood is no mere name. The material is just as strong as any piece of metal and the deadly splinters could penetrate you like a bullet.

I slipped into the crowds, trying to stay unseen. Looking back, I saw the Balkeans standing there, scanning the streets for me. They were now huge and monstrous, and their mouths were alight with deadly psychic energy. I knew that as soon as they spotted me they would unleash their power and kill me. Luckily, was able to slip into an alleyway.

In the end, I was able to give them the slip, but I couldn’t go back to the ship without the following me. Balkean’s sense of smell is one of their strongest attributes. There was no way that I could have masked my smell from their super sensitive noses. I spent the better part of the afternoon running around the spaceport. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, going through every street in order to spread my scent as wide of an area as possible.

Rito: Do you think they found our ship? Would they already know that you are here?

Yami: I don’t know. I had hoped to delay their finding me, but sooner or later, they will track me down to here.

Rito: Luckily, everybody’s one board. We should leave tonight.

Yami: I agree

[Suddenly, there is a beeping sound and Zastin’s voice appears over the intercom]

Zastin: Captain! Your presence is requested on the bridge!

Rito: Is there a problem Zastin?

Zastin: A royal shuttle has appeared carrying Princess Nana on board. She requests clearance to board.

Rito: [Standing up] I’ll be right there!

[Zastin turns off the intercom]

Rito: [turning to Yami] Let’s go.

[Rito turns off the recording]