The Fandom Menace

                    C&A Productions Presents

                A Star Wars/Ranma 1/2 Fusion Fic

(We see an infinite field of stars, swirling slowly in the
darkness.  Then a flash of yellow, which pulls back slowly until
we see it was the edge of a set of giant words, which read...)


(The words pull back into the distance and disappear, perhaps to
continue onward in their flight-as giant disembodied words are
wont to do-until they crash into some distant planet and wipe out
an advanced civilization.  But I digress.  As they move out of
sight, another set of giant letters begin to scroll up into the
depths of space.)

                            Episode !

                        The Fandom Menace

 The Republic is ailing, as corrupt senators squabble endlessly
 over every little thing.  This really has little to do with our
                          story, however...

The ancient Jedi are not what they once were, as the mighty arts 
of the Jedi Ninja have been forgotten.  Unknown to them, the dark 
  Sith have uncovered those arts and are making the first moves
                  towards galactic domination.

The peaceful planet Dojo is about to become the centre of the new
   conflict, as the Sith seek to claim a new member for their
                         sinister ranks.

                    And so the tale begins...

(The words float up and out of sight, and soon we are left with
only a view of space.  Space is boring, so let's move on.  Nearby
floats a planet; blue-green with white clouds all about it.
Around the planet drift hundreds of flower-shaped battleships
like giant metal waterlilies.  Out of the darkness, another ship
approaches the blockade.  This one is a cigar-shaped red craft
with three huge engines on the back.  In the cockpit, the pilot
and her co-pilot look on in muted awe.)

Pilot: I'd heard the stories, but I never really believed it...

Co-pilot: That -is- a lot of ships.
(A cloaked figure comes into view behind the two of them and
speaks in a beautiful, feminine voice.)

Figure: Calmness, Captain.  The Gardening Union must accept our
petition.  Contact them, and we should be able to deal with this
problem shortly.

Pilot: Yes, sir... (she hits some buttons)  This is the
Republic Starcruiser Kagome, requesting landing clearance.
(The main viewscreen flickers, and on it appears the face of what
one might consider a pretty young girl, if one were into green
skin and red eyes.  Still she is fairly human in appearence
despite this, with short hair decorated by a tulip.)

Girl: Of course!  (cheerful smile)  The Gardening Union is very
happy to recieve the ambassadors.  All we want is peace!
(She smiles again, and then the image de-rezes and snaps back to
a radar image.  Another cloaked figure appears beside the first.)

2nd Figure: She's lying.

1st Figure: Calmness.  I'm sure this is all just a
(The second figure does not respond, but does look at his
colleague in surprise as the pilot guides the cruiser into a huge
hangar within one of the floating lily-ships. As the Starcruiser
sets down, we see dozens of beings which resemble a cross between
an asparagus plant and a scarecrow scurrying around the deck.
Even stranger are the dandelion-shaped starfighters walking
around on vine legs.  Presently, the ramp under the nose of the
Republic craft descends, and the two brown-robed figures walk
out, features still hidden by their hoods.  After a quick look
around, they walk over to the hangar doors, which open with a
sharp hiss as they approach.  On the other side, they are greeted
by a shiny silver droid with a large spatula on its arm.)

Droid: I am Okono-B8, welcome aboard gentlemen...if you'll follow
(The droid walks down the hall, the two cloaked figures following
until they reach a large conference room.  After showing them in,
the droid scurries off on some other errand, and the two walk
towards a nearby set of windows, pulling off their hoods.  This,
of course, leads to revealing their faces, thus giving the
authors an excuse to describe them.  The younger of them is a man
in his late teens, with an extremely boyish face made even more
honest-looking by his thin round glasses.  His short black hair
is somewhat mussed.  His older companion appears to be a woman in
her late twenties.  She has the kind of fresh, beautiful face for
which excessive makeup is a sacrilege.  Her long, rich black hair
is pulled back into a high ponytail.)

Young man: I have a bad feeling about this, Konatsu-sensei.

Konatsu: (smiles) The Force speaks to you clearly, Tofu-Wan.  I'm
sure you will become a Sage when you take the trials.

Tofu: Thank you, sensei.

Konatsu: As for your intuition, think of the moment, and dwell
not on the future.  The Gardening Union is weak, and must surely
concede to the Chancellor's demand.

Tofu: I would agree with you, but to even make this move is
unusual for them.

Konatsu: I'm sure this is merely a misunderstanding.  We will
reach a peaceful solution.

Tofu(dubiously): If you say so, sensei.
(Meanwhile, on the bridge of the Union ship, the girl from the
transmission is standing among more of the strange asparagus-like
beings.  She is wearing a molded red breastplate with an ornate
symbol on it, and flower-petal shaped skirt over a pair of dark
tights.  She is still smiling, although now the expression is
decidedly more malicious.  Out of the back steps another girl,
dressed similarly.  Indeed, if it were not for the fact her
breastplate is blue and sports a different symbol, it would be
difficult to tell the difference between them.)

2nd Girl(frowning): Aiya!  We have a big problem, over!

1st Girl: (laughs) You worry too much, Link!  We shall bedazzle
these pitiful ambassadors with the power of our bioroid armies,
over! (grins evilly)

Link: Even if the ambassadors are Jedi, over?

1st Girl: (falls over) Aiya!  I can't deal with Jedi, over!  (she
is still smiling, paradoxically)

Link: Well, -I'm- not going in there, over. (crosses arms)

1st Girl: (pulls herself up and smiles triumphantly) As Viceroy,
I order you to do it, Link, over!

Link: (flat look) Get over it, Pink, over.

Pink: delay them, and I'll contact (shudders) him,

Link: No way, have you ever faced down a Jedi, over?

Pink: I faced the master, over.

Link: Yes, well...all the more reason to avoid facing the Jedi,

Pink: But what else can we do, over?
(The two pause, and then turn as one to look at the chef droid in
the corner.  Their eyes glitter.)

Okono-B8: What did I ever do to you?
(Back in the conference room, Konatsu and Tofu continue to talk
as a droid serves them food.)

Tofu: Does it usually take this long?

Konatsu: You worry too much, Tofu-wan.  I'm certain this will all
be resolved peacefully.

Tofu: I still have a bad feeling about this...
(Back on the bridge, the Gardening Union duo stand in front of a
translucent blue hologram.  The figure in the image is very
small, no higher than two feet at most; and is covered in a dark

Pink: There is a problem, over.

Link: The Republic has sent the Jedi, over.

Pink: We can't deal with them, over.

Evil Dwarf: This isn't good... (he pauses, and a leer appears on
his shadowed face)  Kill them.

Link: (blinks) Isn't that a little too much, over?

Pink(triumphantly): No!  It's the perfect plan, over!

Evil Dwarf: Exactly.  (cackles)  Now, if you two could just lean
forward, and...

Link: (sweatdrop), that's fine, we'll go along with your
plan, over.

Evil Dwarf(coaxingly): Now come on...

Pink: We're losing transmission!  (she hits a button and the
hologram degrades rapidly) So sorry, over!
(The hologram disappears and the twins breathe a sigh of relief.
Back in the conference room, Tofu and Konatsu are sitting near
the head of the table.)

Tofu: I...

Konatsu(primly): I know you're impatient, Tofu-Wan, but hissing
will hardly speed matters.

Tofu: I'm not hissing, sensei.

Konatsu: (shakes her head)  It is the duty of every Jedi never to
hide the truth, especially the Sages.

Tofu(protests): But I'm not lying.  (he points at the billowing
clouds of green smoke pouring out of the vents)  Maybe that has
something to do with it?

Konatsu: Oh...perhaps it does, at that.  (looks at Tofu)  Shall
(They both nod and take a deep breath.  Outside, several dozen of
the asparagus-shaped bioroids walk up to the door.)

Bioroid#1: Nobody could have lasted that long.  Number 34, check
it out.

Bioroid#34: Why do you hate me so?

Bioroid#15: This isn't the time or place, guys.

Bioroid#1: Fine, you coward!  I'll do it.
(He opens the door, and the smoke pours out in clouds so thick
that it is impossible to get a good view of the interior.  The
first bioroid raiss a tube-like weapon with a pump on one end,
just as the Okono droid scurries out, pushing one of the squad
aside in its haste to escape.)

Bioroid#1: How rude...
(Suddenly, two streams of light, one bright orange and the other
pure white, blaze into being with a low thrum.  The bioroids pull
back and raise their weapons.)

Bioroid#34: (to #15) Tell my mother I loved her...
(Konatsu and Tofu leap out, and a few quick moves later the
corridor is decorated with filleted bioroid.)

Tofu: So much for diplomacy.

Konatsu: A misunderstanding, I'm sure.  (waves her hand and sends
three approaching bioroids flying)  Perhaps we should take this
up with the Viceroy in person?

Tofu: An excellent suggestion, sensei.
(Several more bioroids shows up, and begin to pump-literally-
hundreds of black pellets towards the Jedi at hypervelocities.
Lightsabers move in dazzling arcs to intercept them.  A few
pellets hit into the wall and sprout into what appear to be small
thorn plants...if thorn plants could rip through steel.  The Jedi
begin to run up the hallway, dismembering bioroids as they go.
Back in the control room, Pink and Link turn pale as one of their
bioroids report in.)

Pink: This is not good, over.

Link: Do something, over!

Pink: Close the blast doors, over!  (giant metal doors clamp shut
over the entrance, and the twins breathe a sigh of relief)  That
should keep us safe, over.
(Outside, the two Jedi make their way to the doors, fighting
their way past hordes of vicious special effec...err...that is,
bioroid commandos.  As they reach the sealed entrance, Konatsu
examines the control panel while Tofu covers her.)

Konatsu: Locked.

Tofu: We'll have to cut through.

Konatsu: (shocked) But that would be rude!

Tofu: I think it's necessary given the circumstances, sensei.

Konatsu: I suppose you're right...  
(She sticks the blade of her lightsaber straight into the door,
which begins to glow a deep red as it heats up.  Inside, Pink and
Link are clutching each other in terror.)

Pink: Waaaaaahhhhh!   I'm too young, intelligent, beautiful and
evil to die, over!

Link(frantically): Call the Defoliators!  Call the Defoliators,
(Outside, Tofu knocks away another half dozen bioroids with a
wave of his hand while Konatsu begins the final cut on the door.
Suddenly, two giant...brussel sprouts roll up the corridor.  They
unfold in front of the two Jedi, blue shields popping into being
around them.)

Tofu: Sensei, they're Defoliators!
(Konatsu looks over as Tofu blocks several more shots.)

Konatsu: Shielded...we must abandon this pursuit.
(She withdraws her lightsaber and makes a run for it, Tofu close
behind.  A cool chase scene follows, but we're going to skip it.
On the other hand, we're also skipping the scene where the twins
discuss the merits of various fertilizers, so be grateful.
Instead, we focus on the planet below, where we see a large city
built on the edge of a waterfall, miles above the forests below.
The centrepiece of this city is a glittering palace of..well...
palatial proportions, graceful minarets catching the sunlight.
Within the equally impressive throne room of this palace sits a
young woman in a royal kimono, her face painted white with heavy
liner on the eyebrows.  Her expression is perturbed.  Perturbed,
that is, because it is not socially acceptable for a queen to be
pissed off.)

Queen: What do you mean, we can expect no help?
(Before her is translucent hologram of a truly beautiful young
woman with long, shimmering black hair, dressed in delicate silk
robes.  The woman flinches slightly.)

Woman: Chancellor Tendo assures me that he has sent ambassadors
to clear up the problem... (static travels up and down her image,
which fades slightly) ...the Senate debates endlessly...
(Static interferes with the transmission once more, but this time
is too much to recover from, and the woman's image de-rezzes into
unintelligible light and sound.  After a moment, someone shuts
the projector down.)

Queen: (turning to her four advisors) A communications

Old Man: Unlikely.  A communications disruption such as this can
mean only one thing: invasion.

Another Old Man: Now, let us not be hasty.  It could just be
solar flares.

Old Man(incredulously): Solar flares?  We have a bleeding
invasion force in orbit, and you think this is SOLAR FLARES!?

Another Old Man: (defensively) It -is- possible...

Old Man: So is the warranty running out, but you don't see anyone
suggesting -that- idea!

Yet Another Old Man: (raises hand)  Now that you mention it...

Old Man: Oh shut up, you old fool!

Another Old Man: He's half your age!

Old Man: And half my IQ too, I'd wager!

Yet Another Old Man: (tear streams) Stop yelling at me!

Another Old Man: See, you made him cry!

Old Man: (crosses arms) And I'm proud!

Queen: (sweatdrop) Perhaps we should consult the Captain of the
Guard, to gather his opinion?

Another Old Man: Excellent suggestion, your majesty.
(They all turn to a young man in a purple and red outfit, with
boyish good looks and an honest face.  He stands behind the
throne, and is busily pushing a broom along the floor.  There is
a few moments of silence.)

Queen: (finally sighs) Shinnosuke?

Shinnosuke: Oh... (looks up and blinks)  Did you want me?

Queen: We seek the counsel of the Captain of the Guard.

Shinnosuke: (nods) I understand...did you want me to fetch him?

Queen: Shinnosuke, you -are- the Captain of the Guard.

Shinnosuke: I think I'd remember something like that.

Old Man(mutters): Unlikely.

Queen: We promoted you from janitor over a year ago.  (Shinnosuke
looks confused)  For exemplary service?  Your protection of the
royal person?  We held a three day celebration in your honour?

Shinnosuke: You mean I'm no longer a janitor?

Everyone: That's right...

Shinnosuke: (closes eyes and concentrates)  Now I understand...
(everyone stares at him expectantly; suddenly, he opens his eyes
and slams his fist into his plam excitedly)  I'm not a janitor
anymore, I'm a sanitation engineer!
(The counsellors face-fault en masse.  The Queen sighs, placing
her head in her hands.)

Queen: What would you suggest we do about the possible invasion,

Shinnosuke: (props broom over shoulder)  Well, I'm no Captain of
the Guard, mind you, but I think that our best bet is to...
(pauses for a moment)  ...set traps!

Queen: Traps?

Shinnosuke: Yes, traps!  In fact, I'll get straight to work on
them!  (he runs out)

Queen: (sighs)  Why the Union is bothering to invade us, I'll
never know.
(To make her words that much more prophetic, the scene switches
to that of the invading bioroid army as they land on the surface
of the world in large craft shaped like pruning shears.  Legions
of humanoid plants disgorge from each ship almost as soon as it
lands; some on foot, others in huge attack vehicles and
hovertanks, and still more on flying single-creature craft that
resemble sections of oranges with guns.  We see one of the
bioroids sitting in the hatch of its tank, sleeping blissfully.
Suddenly, the twin images of Pink and Link appear on a tiny
holo-plate in front of him.)

Pink: (clears throat audibly)  Oh Captain, over!

Bioroid#69: Huh?  (snaps up)  Chancellor!  Uh...I...that is, I
was...photosynthesising!  Yes, that's it...

Link(frowning): Never mind that.  We have reason to believe that
the Jedi have snuck down on one of your transports, over.

Bioroid#69: Don't worry.  If they're here, we will find them.

Pink: Find them... (smiles) ...and wipe them out, over!

Link: Yes, wipe them out and crush all resistance, over!

Pink: Wipe them out, crush all resistance and capture the Queen,
(During this, the hapless bioroid's head has been wavering back
and forth between them.)

Bioroid#69: Right... (pulls out notepad) So that's... (writes)
Capture the Queen and crush the Jedi...

Pink: No, crush all resistance.  Wipe out the Jedi, over!

Link: And capture the Queen, over.

Bioroid#69: Gotcha.  

Pink: (smirks) And terminate yourself for sleeping on the job,

Bioroid#69: ... (sweatdrop) Before or after I do all the other

Pink: Your choice, over.

Bioroid#69: (sighs) Thank you, mistresses.

Link: (turns to Pink) Why are we such bitches when Shampoo hasn't
even been born yet, over?

Pink: Shh!  You'll disturb the Almighty Plot Hole, over!
(The two fade out.  Meanwhile, out in the forest the animals are
scattering in all directions as large transports crash through
the forest like battering rams.  Out of one of the trees leaps a
woman who glides to the forest floor on large feathered wings.
She is wearing a dove-coloured leotard and belt that seem more
reminiscent of a uniform than a casual outfit, and a jewelled
sword and scabbard is belted to her thigh.  Her short white hair
tosses in the breeze as she dashes away from the approaching army
on her taloned feet.)

Bird Woman: Just my luck...

Voice: Down!
(She starts and looks over as a cloaked figure bursts out of the
underbrush and tackles her to the ground.  She cries out and the
two tumble around as she struggles to pull herself free, but they
go still as one of the transport passes over them.  Thankfully it
is a repulsorlift craft, so the two aren't reduced to bloody
smears on the forest floor.  After it passes, there is a moment
of silence.)

Bird Woman: (growls) You can get off me now.
(The figure pulls up, and the hood of the robe pulls back to
reveal Konatsu's face.  The Jedi nods and pulls herself up; the
other woman pushes herself to her feet with clawed hands and
disgustedly tries to wipe some of the grime from her outfit.)

Konatsu: No need to thank me!  (smiles)  It was my duty to save

Bird Woman: Thank you?  (she waves her fist)  Thank you for WHAT?
I wasn't in any danger!

Konatsu: (blinks)  But there was no way you could have outrun...
(the bird woman extends her now-soiled wings to their full length
and flaps them irritatedly)  Oh...well, I didn't see that.
(brightens)  But it's the thought that counts, right?
(The woman crosses her arms over her chest and shoots the Jedi a
vicious glare just as Tofu bursts out of the underbrush.)

Tofu: Sensei, your back!
(Tofu's lightsaber snap-hisses to life and he cuts two seedpods
out of the air.  One of the small flying bioroid ships screams
into the clearing and Tofu is forced to leap aside.  Konatsu
pushes the startled bird woman into the muck and leaps up,
spinning.  There is a brief flash of light, and as Konatsu lands
and returns her lightsaber to her belt, the orange-ship is
spinning off in two directions.)

Konatsu: We can't stay here.  We must get to the Queen.

Tofu: To warn her of the invasion?  Surely she already knows...

Konatsu: No... (pauses) Only the Imperial Palace is equipped with
a hyperspace radio.  Obviously there has been a misunderstanding.
We should contact the Council and work towards a deeper
understanding of the situation.

Tofu: They invaded.  I think that's pretty understandable.

Bird Woman: (angrily pulling herself out of the mud)  Has the
concept of common decency ever occured to you barbarians?

Tofu: Who's this?

Konatsu: A local.

Bird Woman(sneers): My name is Kiima, human.

Konatsu: And I am Konatsu, Jedi Samurai.  This is my apprentice,
Tofu-Wan Kenobi.

Kiima: (sniffs)  This must be one of those situations where the
student teaches the master...

Tofu: How are we going to get to the capital?  The entire
Gardening Union army must be between us and them.

Konatsu: The Force shall show us a way to them.

Tofu: Why didn't we just fly straight there?

Konatsu: (shakes her head severely) Now how were we supposed to
do that?  Ask the bioroids to kindly let us down at the capital?
Really, Tofu Wan, be reasonable.
(Tofu sweatdrops as Konatsu begins to walk off.  At this point,
we might as well cut back to the bridge of the Kagome, where the
crew are staring at each other with deep intensity.)

Pilot: Got any fives?

Co-pilot: Go fish.
(Anyway...back on the planet, our heros are busily walking
through the brush in a more or less random direction.  Kiima
walks along behind them.)

Tofu: Excuse me, Kiima-san, but why are you following us?

Kiima: (snorts) I'm not following you, I'm moving away from
-them-.  (she jerks a clawed thumb over her shoulder)

Tofu: So why aren't you flying?

Kiima: (gives him a withering look) Maybe because it's hard to
fly among the trees and suicide to go above them with all those
fighters around?

Konatsu: Well, where do you plan on going?  There is nowhere on
this world where you can escape the Union.

Kiima: (smirk)  Perhaps for you humans.  We of the Phoenix have
other options.

Tofu: (turns to face her)  You have a hiding place near here?
Can you tell us of it?

Kiima: No. (crosses her arms)  It is forbidden.

Konatsu: The Force has guided me to you for a reason, Kiima-san,
and I believe this is your task.  You must take us to your

Kiima: Unlikely, land-crawler.

Tofu: I see.  Well, then, I suppose your people need no warning
of the invasion to come.

Kiima: We are not interested in the petty battles between the
humans and their enemies.

Tofu: (adjusts glasses) The Gardening Union is the enemy of your
people as well.  They will not stop with the humans of Dojo, but
will seek to control every living thing on this planet.

Konatsu: They're really very misguided that way.

Kiima: ... (growls)  You know I can't risk that being true.  (she
walks forward and jabs Tofu in the chest, hard, with one talon)
And that's why you asked why I wasn't flying.  You plan on
following me to the Phoenix!
(Tofu coughs, embarassed.)

Konatsu(sternly): Tofu-wan!  You deceived her!  That was very
un-Jedi of you.

Tofu: (bows his head) I'm sorry, sensei.

Kiima: So, are you going to make him leave me alone?

Konatsu: Oh no!  That would put all his effort to waste, and we
couldn't have that.  It wouldn't be positive encouragement of his
(Kiima gives her a flat look and then storms away in a huff.
Tofu looks at Konatsu, who shrugs in a helpless manner, and the
two Jedi follow her.  Shift scenes to the palace, where the Queen
is staring out the window impassively as an army of bioroids
march through the gates of her city.  Finally she turns with
sigh, but finds no comfort in the stern faces of her advisors.  A
moment later, Shinnosuke runs into the room.)

Shinnosuke: My queen, we must escape!

Queen: And how do you propose we do that?

Shinnosuke: Simple!  (he smiles and turns)  I've trapped all the
ways to the throne room except one, and we can use that... (he
begins down the hall, snaps a tripwire, and a statue promptly
falls on his head) sleep now... (collapses)

Queen: Indeed.
(Back in the forest, the trio comes upon the foothills of a
mountain that stretches high into the clouds overhead.  Kiima
tosses a glare back at the two Jedi before beginning to ascend.)

Tofu: I suppose it makes sense that her people live on a

Konatsu: I don't think that's it...this whole place feels

Tofu: A trap?

Konatsu: There you go again, always looking to the negative in
every situation.

Tofu: My apologies, sensei.
(Suddenly Kiima stops and places her hand over a stone.  There is
a loud rumble, and Konatsu raises an eyebrow as a large rock
slides away, revealing a passageway beyond.  The bird woman darts
in, and sighs as Tofu and Konatsu calmly step inside just before
the door closes.)

Kiima: If you must come with me, then at least be sensible enough
not to be too nosy.

Konatsu: We would never think of it, Kiima-san.
(She growls in response, and they walk down the corridor which
soon opens up...and up...and up, into a chamber of massive
proportions.  The walls are made of ferrocrete molded to resemble
stone, and long perches extend out from holes which presumably
lead to dwellings or other smaller chambers.  The ceiling is so
high that it cannot be seen, and the air is filled with thousands
of the winged Phoenix as they flit about their interior city.)

Tofu: Oh my, it's a city...

Konatsu: An artifical mountain... (nods) No wonder it was the
only mountain on that side of the continent.
(Two figures float down; one dark skinned and feathered, and the
other with much lighter plumage.  They land on the perch before
the three newcomers, brandishing a short sword and bow,

Phoenix Guard#1: Halt!

Phoenix Guard #2: Kiima?  What are you doing with these...humans?

Kiima: (sighs) They followed me... (looks up) I must speak with
Lord Saffron.

Phoenix Guard #2: Lord Saffron will not be pleased to hear of
this, Kiima.

Konatsu: We too must speak with your lord on a matter of great

Phoenix Guard #1: Lord Saffron is -really- not going to like
(It appears the two guards are very attuned to the moods of their
ruler, for the Lord Saffron is indeed less than pleased to see
them.  The Lord Saffron raises himself up to his full height-all
three feet of it-and adjusts his finely tailored raiment to best
accentuate the fact that he is 'displeased'.  Unfortunately, when
it comes to kings that are only six years old, 'displeased' has a
tendancy to escalate into 'murderous' with mind-numbing rapidity.
Perhaps this explains why the three members of the Phoenix
kneeling before him are one step short of trembling, and even the
two Jedi look less than serene.)

Saffron: Who -dares- bring these filthy humans before me?

Konatsu: Well, I admit we haven't had a chance to wash, but you
can hardly blame...

Kiima: (stomps on his foot; hisses) Quiet!

Konatsu: How rude.

Saffron: (glares at the two guards) Koruma, Masara...are you two
screwups responsible for this?

Koruma: No, your majesty!

Masara: Not one bit, your majesty!

Tofu: I'm afraid we are, your majesty.  (steps forward)  We are
Jedi, and we have forced your subject here to bring us to you.
(He indicates Kiima.  Saffron takes all this in with an imperious
glare, then plops himself back down on his throne and fiddles
absently with a toy on one of the gargantuan arms.)

Saffron: So why shouldn't I have you killed?

Konatsu: This is all a huge misunderstanding, I assure you...
(walks forward and spreads her hands in a placating manner)  We
only seek a way to assist the humans of Dojo in the upcoming

Saffron: I don't care about the humans.  They are arrogant fools
who treat us like savages merely because we do not fly beyond the
air.  (looks up; smirks) Yet we are as advanced as they; perhaps
more so.

Tofu: It is true that the people of Dojo have wronged you.  But
we have not come to hide or insist you help us, but only to warn
you.  And beg that you allow us on our way.
(There is a long silence, during which Koruma and Masara fidget
nervously.  Finally, Saffron smiles slightly and leans back.)

Saffron: I won't have you killed.  You amuse me.

Konatsu: (smiles) As you can see, it was all a misunderstanding.

Saffron: And since I'm being generous, I'll even provide you with
passage to the human capital.  Koruma, Masara, you two shall show
them to Ryugenzawa. 
(Koruma and Masara pale.)

Konatsu: (bows) You are most generous.

Saffron: And Kiima shall guide you.

Kiima: W-what!?  Saffron-sama...

Saffron: You led the humans to us.  For this, Kiima, I hereby
banish you.  Perhaps being forced to walk among the savages shall
teach you to be more careful in the future.

Kiima: But...but...

Saffron: (regally) I have spoken.  (turns to a retainer)  Prepare
my royal bubble bath.

Retainer: Yes, your majesty.

Konatsu: (pats Kiima on the back)  Looks like the Force wants you
to remain with us.
(Kiima lowers her head and clenches her fist; veins bulge visibly
through her hair.  Meanwhile, far above the planet in the heart
of one of their Plant Control Ships, Pink and Link cackle
maniacally in perfect unison.  They stop suddenly as a voice
clears its throat behind them, and turn to see the evil, cloaked
dwarf behind them.  Well, not literally, as it's just a

Evil Dwarf: How goes the invasion?

Link: Better than expected, over.

Pink: We have already taken all of the cities, and the remaining
resistance is scattered and weak, over.

Evil Dwarf: And the queen?  Have you captured her and all of her

Pink: Easily, over.

Evil Dwarf: Excellent. (the hologram derezzes and disappears)

Link: Why didn't you tell him about the Jedi, over?

Pink: What -he- doesn't know can't hurt -us-, over.
(Switch scenes to a dark and foreboding room, at the top of a
dark and foreboding tower overlooking a dark and foreboding city
that stretches to the dark and foreboding horizon in all
directions in a dark and foreboding manner.  The evil dwarf steps
down off the dark and foreboding holo-imaging pad and walks-well,
hobbles actually...evil dwarfs hobble, not walk; it's in their
contract-to the window.)

Evil Dwarf: Apprentice.
(Out of the shadows steps a man in dark robes.  His frame is
impressively massive, even given the fact that it is mostly
concealed by the cloak.  His features, however, is clearly
visible: it is a hard, cold human face with steely eyes.  His
medium-length black hair has long bangs which are held back by a
white headband.)

Dark Man: Master.

Evil Dwarf: It is time, Darth Kumon, to go to Dojo and collect
that which is ours.

Kumon: I shall not fail.  (he turns to leave)

Evil Dwarf: And Kumon...

Kumon: (looks back) Yes, master?

Evil Dwarf: You may encounter two Jedi.  (Kumon's fists clench)
If so, you may do with them as you will.

Kumon: (smiles with inhuman malice) You are kind, master.
(In yet another dark and foreboding place-a cave, to be precise-
three more familiar figures stand.  Kiima stares up as the only
source of light, a hatch in the ceiling, is slowly closed.  As
everything goes dark, there is a snap and a sudden blaze of light
as Tofu and Konatsu hold up glowrods in the dark.)

Kiima: Well, we're doomed.

Konatsu: Beware pessimism, for that way lies the Dark Side.

Tofu: What's so bad about this place?

Kiima: This is Ryugenzawa, the heart of Dojo.  (looks down;
sighs)  The secret treasure.

Konatsu: Secret treasure?  (begins to walk towards one of the
multiple cave openings)

Tofu: (grabs her by the shoulder hastily)  Why don't we let Kiima
lead us?  She obviously knows more about these caves than we do.

Kiima: (snorts) Correct.  The Phoenix have long ago mapped all of
Ryugenzawa.  For all the good it will do us.  (she walks into one
of the openings; the two Jedi follow her closely)  Ryugenzawa is
a vast network of caves carved out by the flow of the Water of
Life, which has remarkable healing properties.

Konatsu: A gift of the Force, I am sure.

Kiima: Not everything is a part of this "force", you know.

Konatsu: (smiles benignly)  A misinformed opinion, but a common

Tofu: If the Water of Life is such a healing force, why do you
say that we're doomed?

Kiima: ... (doesn't look back) The flow leaves the tunnels after
a while, and when it bubbles to the surface it leaves openings to
these caverns.
(There is an ominous clatter, and the Jedi look around as Kiima
stops.  They stand now at a junction of tunnels; the Phoenix
woman stares down several of the passages before finally choosing
one.  Tofu takes one last glance around, but whatever made the
noise is nowhere to be seen.  As they walk, the tunnel gets
slightly larger.)

Kiima: (after a few moments) Animals wander down into the
tunnels, and living down here, they...change.
(Another low rumble sounds, and Tofu looks around worriedly.)

Konatsu: Change?

Kiima: The Water of Life has unusual effects upon them.  Over
time, the animals become huge, monstrous...and dangerous.
(As if on cue, the tunnel wall collapses inward, sending a rain
of rubble towards the trio.  The Jedi whip out their lightsabers
and slash apart the boulders bouncing towards them, while Kiima
takes to the air, floating on the shockwave to safety.  Before
the dust settles, a hulking form emerges from the opening.  The
validity of Kiima's story is immediately ascertained, for the
creature looks exactly like a mole, aside from the tiny
discrepency of it being the size of a small whale.)

Konatsu: I see your point.  Tofu-Wan?

Tofu: (shuts down his lightsaber; shakes his head)  I...can't.

Konatsu: (nods) May the Force guide you well, then.
(She steps forward, the mole swings its huge head to peer dimly
at her.)

Kiima: (unsheathing her own sword; stares) You're actually going
to fight that thing?  By yourself!?

Konatsu: The Force is my ally.
(With that, she leaps forward in a graceful arc...and is promptly
swatted out of the air by a massive paw.  Kiima shakes her head
in disgust.)

Kiima: Idiot...
(Tofu runs up and extricates his sensei from the wall.)

Tofu: Are you alright?

Konatsu: (rubs her head) It was...faster than I thought.
(The giant mole squeals and pulls more of its massive bulk from
the hole; there is more rumblings as it shakes rock loose in its

Kiima: (lands nearby) So, any more bright ideas?

Konatsu: (stands up; narrows her eyes)  There is only one option
when faced with a situation such as this.  (she holds up her
lightsaber; the glowing blade casts shadows over her face)  We
must take this path, no matter how unpleasant it might seem.

Tofu: (nods reluctantly) Yes, sensei.

Kiima: (looks uneasily at the mole) So?  What is the plan?
(shifts her sword to a ready position)

Konatsu: Run away!
(Kiima blinks, and turns to see Konatsu and Tofu dashing off
behind her in a cloud of dust.)

Kiima: Hey! (waves her sword at them)  Come back here, you jerks!
(She takes off after the two.  The mole, now fully inside the
tunnel, gazes after its fleeing prey in a disoriented manner for
a moment, and then squeals loudly and begins to give pursuit.
Kiima looks over her shoulder and sees the massive beast gaining
on them, its huge body collapsing the tunnel as it moves.)

Kiima: On second faster!  Faster!
(She sprints and overtakes the two Jedi; the trio round a corner
with the monster only steps behind them.  A sudden snapping
sound, coupled with a metallic clink, bursts out of nowhere.
Startled, the three skid to a halt and look back to see that the
mole has stopped in its tracks.  The reason for this is fairly
obvious, as there is a large wooden rectangle mashed against its
forehead.  Their eyes travel along the rectangle-a sign of some
sort-and see it is connected via a chain to another wooden
slat...and another one after that, and more, forming a long chain
of wooden planks that stretch further down the passageway.  The
end of the chain rests in the hands of a gigantic, bulbous
humanoid.  It stands over twenty feet high, with a grey-green gi
stretched over its massive, fatty frame.  Its moon-shaped eyes
are focused on the trio of humans.)

Kiima: (hisses) Dojo Destroyer!

Konatsu: (walks forward, smiling and arms wide)  Why thank you,
my friend!  Your help was most appreciated, and if we could be of
any service to you...

Kiima: Down, you fool! 
(She leaps forward and tackles Konatsu to the ground.  Just in
time, as there is a woosh of air and the chain returns to the
giant's hands, having slashed through the space Konatsu's head
had occupied seconds ago.)

Kiima: Idiot!  That's a Dojo Destroyer!  They hunt the creatures
down here for food, and you can imagine how dangerous that makes

Tofu: And there is nowhere to run this time.
(He points back at the collapsed cavern around the unconscious
mole.  Kiima pulls herself off of Konatsu and sidles backward as
the Jedi Samurai raises herself to her knees.)

Konatsu: Perhaps we can reason with it...
(The Dojo Destroyer whips the chain of planks again, and Konatsu
leaps to avoid the blow, which is driven with enough force to
open a gash in the rock floor.)

Konatsu: Or perhaps not.

Kiima: Attack it!
(She leaps into the air and towards the monster.  It slashes at
her, but she drops to the side and glides in for a fast strike.
Unfortunately, her sword only sinks harmlessly into the
creature's frame, too short to do any real damage.)

Konatsu: (dashes in and pulls her out of the way of the thing's
hand)  You should leave this to me.
(The monster kicks and catches them.  They cry out in pain, and
are tossed into the air like rag dolls.  Kiima recovers quickly
and billows out her wings to slow their descent.  As they land,
Konatsu leaps from her and begins to dart around the Dojo
Destroyer, looking for an opening.  Kiima stands shakily and
winces as she gingerly touches her ribs.)

Kiima: (looks over at Tofu)  Aren't you going to help her?

Tofu: (shakes his head) I cannot harm a sentient being.

Kiima: (stares) You humans just keep getting more and more
(Konatsu is forced to cartwheel back as the Dojo Destroyer begins
to spin its chain rapidly and advance.)

Kiima: Aren't you Jedi supposed to be warriors?

Tofu: Yes and no...the Jedi Ninja were our warriors.  I am a Sage
and my sensei a Samurai; while skilled in battle, we are not the
same as them.

Kiima: You didn't send one of your warriors to stop an invasion?

Tofu: The Jedi Ninja are no more.  In their absence, we hope to
end conflicts with diplomacy.
(Kiima growls and grabs Tofu's lightsaber from his hands.
Activating it, she dashes forward despite his cries of caution.
With a cry she sticks the glowing blade forward...and there is
sharp hiss as the spinning chain intersects it.  Milliseconds
later the chain is no more, and the suddenly freed signs go
flying off in all directions to bury themselves in the cavern
walls like monstrous teeth.)

Kiima: If you want something done right...

Dojo Destroyer: (whimper)

Konatsu: Thank you, Kiima-san.
(She leaps up, slashing with her lightsaber as she arcs over the
monster's head.  As she lands, a large boulder drops from the
ceiling onto the Dojo Destroyer, knocking it out instantly.)

Konatsu: (closing lightsaber) Shall we go?
(Across time and space, in the capital of Dojo, the Queen and her
attendants have been brought before Pink and Link.  The Gardening
Union duo appear to be enjoying the upper hand, at least if the
amount of evil laughter is any indication.)

Pink: We'll give you one chance, over.

Link: Sign the treaty papers that allow us control over the
planet and we shall let you go, over.

Queen: I will not sign.

Pink: (smirks) Perhaps the suffering of your people will weaken
your defiance, over.

Shinnosuke: Hah!  Do your worst!  The Captain of the Guard has
yet to be captured, and will surely free the Queen!

Queen: Shinnosuke, you -are- the Captain of the Guard.

Shinnosuke: Oh...well, that makes my job harder, I guess.

Link: If you will not cooperate, then we are forced to resort to
sterner measures.  (turns to one of the ubiquitous bioroids) Take
her to the camps, over.

Bioroid#45: Yes, ma'am.
(Meanwhile, we see a dark figure approaching the city's defensive
walls.  Darth Kumon smiles from within the shadows of his hood,
and raises his fist...within the city, a section of the wall
suddenly bulges like a soap bubble before exploding a shower of
rubble.  The cloaked Kumon strides through the hole, looks around
briefly, and then sets off towards the palace.  The scene returns
to the Queen, who we see is being escorted through the streets by
several dozen bioroids, along with her entourage.  Shinnosuke
appears to be enjoying the trip, jovially walking along with his
broom over his shoulder.)

Voice: Now!
(The bioroids look up as a figure leaps from the overhanging
walkway.  A flash and the signature snap-hiss of a lightsaber
accompanies the move, and a moment later two of the humanoid
plants fall limply to the ground.)

Queen: Who...?
(The figure lands and manages to insert a bow as she deftly
bisects another bioroid; it is Konatsu.)

Konatsu: We're here to help you!
(The Queen blinks, but before she can reply Kiima grabs her from
behind.  With a flap of her wings, the Phoenix woman pulls her up
and out of danger.  At the same time, Tofu emerges from a nearby
alley and disarms-in the most literal sense of the word-two
bioroids taking a bead on Konatsu.  Another bioroid raises its
weapon...and is sent flying as Shinnosuke's broom slams into the
side of its head.  He then lashes out in a circle with his
unusual weapon, knocking three more of the plant commandos away.
The rest of the bioroids fall in short order, and the group
quickly hurry over to the shadows of a nearby alcove.)

Queen: Thank you, madam Jedi.  You help is most appreciated.

Konatsu: Think nothing of it, your highness.  I am Konatsu, Jedi
Samurai, and this is my apprentice Tofu-Wan Kenobi.  The woman
who rescued you is Kiima, of the Phoenix.

Queen: (looks curiously at a scowling Kiima)  I have heard of
your tribe, but this is the first time I have met one of you.

Kiima: (snort) Don't expect me to do tricks.

Queen: No, I merely wish to thank you.

Kiima: Whatever.  I suggest we get out of the open before we're

Konatsu: Excellent idea.  Your highness, do you know where we may
find the Viceroy of the Gardening Union?

Queen: You're going to attack?  I thought the Jedi did not
condone such things.

Konatsu: (blinks) Attack?  Oh, no.  I merely wish to speak with
them and sort out this matter.  I'm certain this is all a huge

Shinnosuke: That's a great plan!  I'll see if I can find the
Captain of the Guard to escort you! (proceeds to peer around)

Queen: (sweatdrop; aside to Tofu) Is she always like this?

Tofu: (smiles) Yes.  (clears throat) Sensei, perhaps we should
escort the Queen to Coruscant so that we may clear up the
misunderstanding at the source.

Kiima: Wow.  An intelligent suggestion for once.

Konatsu: (nods) That sounds reasonable.  However, we'll need some
sort of craft if we're to fly off-planet.

Queen: Shinnosuke, why don't you guide us to the hangars?

Shinnosuke: That job is better suited to the Captain of the
Guard, your majesty.

Queen: (sighs) That would be you, Shinnosuke.

Shinnosuke: Oh...yeah...right... (rubs the back of his head in
embaressment)  Sorry, my memory isn't what it used to be.
(pauses) But we'll have to be careful.  There are traps all over
the city.
(Shinnosuke walks forward and promptly falls into a concealed
pit.  Several bowling balls drop in after him.)

Queen: ... (to her retainer)  Why don't -you- lead us to the

Retainer: At once, your majesty.
(Switch scenes to the hangar bay, where several bioroids are
guarding the captured Dojo fighter craft and the sleek, chromed
royal shuttle.  The intrepid group of heros walk into the area
without any attempts at concealment.)

Queen: What is your plan, Jedi?

Konatsu: Do not worry, your majesty.  I shall deal with this
(Konatsu walks confidently up to the first duo of asparagus-like

Bioroid#82: Halt.  State your business.

Konatsu: We are Jedi from the Republic, here to free the Queen
from wrongful imprisonment by the Union and take her to
Coruscant, where the actions of your masters will be
investigated.  If you would please step aside, we'll be on our
(Everyone sweatdrops.)

Bioroid#82: Uhh...if we don't let you go, you'll kill us, won't

Konatsu: Well...yes, probably.

Bioroid#82: (to partner)  I didn't see anything, did you?

Bioroid#96: Nope.  Never saw a thing.

Konatsu: See?  You just have to be polite and you get better

Tofu: A good lesson, sensei.
(They walk over to the shuttle and up the entrance ramp.  Inside,
the group scatters to their various places.  Konatsu and Tofu, on
their way to the cockpit, stop in surprise as they see the way is
blocked by a droid.  This perhaps would not be so unusual, except
that the droid is an Okono model...which has mistakenly had its
spatula attachment grafted in place of its head.)

Droid: Just great.  Now the bad guys will storm the ship.  And
I'll be destroyed first, because I'm just a droid and noone will
have any problems using the droid as a shield!

Konatsu: What an unusual droid...

Voice: There you are, Ok-chan.
(Konatsu and Tofu turn to see one of the Queen's retainers.  She
is a brown-haired girl on the cusp of puberty, dressed in the
standard formal kimono of the retainers.  She approached the
droid and pats it on the shoulder.)

Retainer: Hiding here until the invasion ends, I'd wager.

Ok-chan: You can be brave all you want.  Invading armies take
humans hostage...they use droids as power cell resuppliers.

Konatsu: How rude.  We should appeal to the Senate for reforms to
the warfare act.

Tofu: Why don't we do that once we get to Coruscant?

Konatsu: An excellent suggestion.

Retainers: There is just one problem with that...unless one of
you knows how to fly the ship?

Tofu: You mean there's no pilot?

Retainer: Unfortunately, no.  But the Union is likely holding the
pilots and flight crews near here...

Konatsu: I'll just go fetch them, then.  Won't be a minute.

Tofu: Perhaps I should go instead. If the armies attack the

Konatsu: (nods) A good point.  (she turns to the retainer)  You
know your way around the palace, Ms...?

Retainer: Nodoka, madam Jedi.

Konatsu: (nods again)  Very well, why don't you lead Tofu-Wan?
We'll get the ship prepped for flight.
(Shortly thereafter, the young Jedi and his even younger guide
are moving down a hallway.  Presently, Tofu opens a door, to
reveal several uniformed men being held at gunpoint by two

Tofu: Excuse me, Nodoka-san.

Nodoka: If you insist, Tofu-Wan.
(Tofu walks in and deftly smacks the bioroids on the backs of
their "necks" with the butt of his lightsaber; the plant-
creatures crumple to the floor.)

Nodoka: That was extremely merciful.

Tofu: It is the Jedi way to avoid uneccessary destruction.

Nodoka: (turning to the men) We're flying the queen out of here,
come quickly.
(One of the pilots steps forward, an old bearded man in a baggy
jumpsuit.  He's crying tears of joy.)

Old Pilot: How wonderful!  We won't have to suffer here!

Tofu: In... (he stops, his head snapping around to look back out
the door)  What?

Nodoka: (turns, but doesn't see anything) More bioroids?

Tofu: No, not that.  Something is coming... (his eyes narrow,
light glinting off his glasses)  Something dark...
(He grabs Nodoka and the old man and dashes out the door.)

Old Pilot: (blinks) What's going on?

Tofu: A dark force approaches.  We must leave as soon as
(Tofu runs down the hall, the two flung over his shoulder like
duffle bags.  Nodoka looks up, just as a dark figure rounds the
far corner.  The cold, flint-like eyes of Darth Kumon catch her
own, and he stops.  For a split second time seems to stand sill,
and the air is charged with energy.)

Kumon: It's you.
(Then Tofu turns and dashes into the hangar, making for the ship
at top speed.  Kumon does not pause any longer, striding down the
hallway.  As he leaps inside the ship, Tofu dumps Nodoka
unceremoniously on the floor and races to the cockpit.  The girl
glares at him, then turns to look out the hatch.  At that moment
Kumon enters the hangar, and for another split second their eyes
meet.  Then the doorway closes.  Kumon growls and begins to
sprint towards the ship, but even as he does so it rises from the
floor, the engines on the back flaring to life.  He grunts as the
backdraft pushes him away, but this only halts him for a moment.
As the ship blasts out into the sky, he runs forward, hand
sliding into his dark cloak and retrieving a coil of sturdy rope.
Reaching the end of the hangar, he leaps out into the void.  As
the ship flies upward, he snaps the cord like a lasso towards
it...and misses as the shuttle pulls out of reach.  With a growl
of frustration, he snaps his wrist down, sending the rope back
down into the hangar where it snaps tight around a convienent
protrusion.  Pulling the cord taut, he spins so that his feet
take the impact as he hits the wall of the cliff, sending a
shower of cracked rock down into the forest below.  Quickly
pulling himself up into the hangar, he stares coldly at the

Kumon: You let them go.  (holds up a hand, cracking the knuckles
ominously)  I feel the need to vent.

Bioroid#96: Next time, I'm asking for latrine duty...
(Out in space, the sleek silver shuttle flies steadily towards
the armada of Plant Control Ships.  In the cockpit, the old man
sits behind the controls, Shinnosuke and Konatsu close behind

Old Pilot: We're coming up on the blockade.

Shinnosuke: If only my grandfather were here!  He could fly us
through this!

Old Pilot: (sighs) Shinnosuke, I'm right here...

Shinnosuke: Grandfather!  You're alive!  (he grabs the old man in
a fierce hug)

Grandfather: Ack!  Shinnosuke...I can't this!
(The shuttle suddenly rocks as loud concussions are heard.
Konatsu hastily leans over and grabs the controls.)

Konatsu: Perhaps the reunion could be celebrated at a later time.
Now, surviving would be more advisable.

Shinnosuke: (pulls back) Yes, of course.  You're so wise,
(Konatsu graciously nods and releases the controls back to
Shinnosuke's grandfather.)

Grandfather: (looks at the readouts) Oh no!  They shot out the
shield generator!  Without it, we'll be killed for sure! 
(He bursts into tears, while Konatsu looks mildly worried.  After
a moment, Kiima, who has been standing near the back trying her
best to look uninterested in what's going on, pipes up.)

Kiima: Well, send the droid out to fix it, then.

Ok-chan: What did I ever do to you?

Kiima: Nothing.  But you can go out into space, while none of us

Ok-chan(protesting): I'm a cook droid, not a repair droid!  I
don't have the tools!

Grandfather: Don't you Okono units have a flame attachment that
can be used to weld?

Ok-chan: broke...really, it did!
(Kiima picks him up and shoves him into the airlock.)

Kiima: Repair it or don't bother coming back in.
(With a metallic gulp, Ok-chan climbs out onto the ship.  He
scurries across the wing, barely evading multiple laser cannon
shots by a product of luck and fear more than skill or timing.
Finally he reaches a large blaster burn on the wing and...stares
dumbly at it for several moments.)

Grandfather: (over radio) Weld the rupture shut so the generator
isn't exposed, and it will start working again!

Ok-chan: (points hand at the burn) Right, the sooner the
better... (a flame leaps from his hand, straight into his
spatula-shaped head) EAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!  (he leaps up and
begins to run around in circles, dodging laser bolts by inches)
My face!  My beautiful face!

Grandfather: Fix the generator or we'll all be blown away!

Ok-chan: (sniffle) Fine, just forgot which way the heater
(He turns his hand the other way, and quickly welds the rupture
shut.  In the cockpit, Shinnosuke's grandfather lets out a whoop
of joy.)

Grandfather: It's fixed!  Now we just need to pick a hyperspace

Konatsu: It appears we won't have much choice on that.  A blast
hit our hyperdrive fuel pod...

Kiima: Just get us out of here, groundling!

Konatsu: But without fuel, the hyperdrive loses accuracy and

Kiima: I don't care how it works; once those big things close in
on us, we won't stand a chance!

Konatsu: Very well...let the force guide us, then.
(She hits a few buttons, and the ship dives into hyperspace with
a flicker of pseudo-motion...and snaps out again, hanging over a
giant brown dustball of a planet.)

Kiima: So where are we now?

Grandfather: (checks his instruments) Tokyo.  It's a backwater
world in a system a fair bit off the main space lanes.

Tofu: (entering the bridge) At least that means they'll have a
hard time tracking us; especially after that random leap.

Konatsu: Yet you sound unhappy, Tofu-wan.

Tofu: (grimaces) We used the last of the fuel stabilizing that
leap.  We'll need to refuel here.

Shinnosuke: So we must set down and find a source for fuel and
repairs.  It's too bad my grandfather isn't here; he's a great
starship mechanic.

Grandfather: (cries) Shinnosuke has forgotten me!

Kiima: (facepalm) All humans are insane.  It's the only

Tofu: (examines a panel) Sensors say there is a colony with a
suitable tech level on the surface.

Konatsu: Excellent.  Let us land on the outskirts then, and I
will go in to negotiate for what we need.
(At that point, the door opens yet again.  The young servant
Nodoka moves as if to walk in, then notices the now-decidedly
cramped situation and hovers uncertainly at the entrance.)

Nodoka: Jedi Konatsu, what of the people of Dojo?

Konatsu: I'm sure they'll be fine until we return.  The Gardening
Union struck me as nice enough people.

Nodoka: (pauses) Is there any way to contact our people?

Tofu: If we do that, we risk revealing our location to our
(There is a thump as they set down on the surface.)

Grandfather: We're here.

Konatsu: Good work.  Now, why don't you and Tofu-Wan work on the
repairs while I take a group into the city to get our supplies?

Kiima: I'm coming with you.  (scowls)  I don't want to be cooped
up in this flying thing any longer than necessary.

Konatsu: As you wish, Kiima-san.

Nodoka: I wish to accompany you as well.  (looks stubborn) The

Konatsu: (claps her on the back) Wonderful!  The more the
merrier!  I'm sure it will be a great learning experience for

Nodoka: (blinks) Uh...fine...
(As they walk out into the harsh desert sun, Kiima takes a moment
to luxuriously stretch her wings, too long kept folded by the
cramped interior of the shuttle.  Then she yelps as a figure
suddenly smashes to the ground beside her.  She pulls away,
fingers in a strange position, then sigh in relief as she notices
it is Ok-chan, his metallic body covered in a layer of purplish
scorch marks.)

Konatsu: Oh dear.  We forgot to take him back inside before we
went into hyperspace.

Ok-chan: The horror...the horror...

Konatsu: Oh well.  (begins to walk away)

Nodoka: (starts to follow; then stops, looking at the hapless
droid) Wait.  Ok-chan, you're responsible for saving all our

Ok-chan: me...

Nodoka: (pats him on the head)  Good work.  You can have a lube
job when we get back.
(They walk out into the desert as Ok-chan collapses in a heap.  A
short time later, they come within sight of the town, a motley
collection of squat, single-story structures that stretch out
into the distance.  As they enter, the trio walk past dozens of
groups of various aliens travelling, talking, drinking or
participating in any number of likely illegal activities.  One of
those groups is sitting around a table playing cards, shielded
from the harsh sun by a garish red awning.  The creatures are a
variety of shapes, sizes and colours, but perhaps the most
unusual is the one at the head of the table; a short, squat being
that resembles a giant face card himself.  A king, more

King: Ha! (lays down his cards with a flourish) Four aces!  I win
(The others look at the winning hand with scowls-or the
equivalent-on their faces-or their equivalent.  Scowls which
noticibly deepen-or whatever-when they notice that three of the
playing-card king's aces happen to be the same suit.)

King: (looks around at the group, sweats)  Eh-heh...there seems
to be some sort of misunderstanding...
(Waving arms, tentacles, spines, pseudopods and what appears to
be a sentient camcorder, the irate group of aliens chase King
past the group of heros, causing Kiima to stare after them.)

Kiima: I take it back.  Humans aren't the only insane species.

Konatsu: We should try one of the smaller shops.  Even though it
seems safe, we shouldn't attract any undue attention.
(They walk into the nearest shop, a grubby affair sporting a
variety of droids and various chunks of machinery.  Nodoka's
expression shows considerable distaste as she glances around the
filthy shop.  Kiima examines some of the wares, while Konatsu
approaches the counter, upon which is sitting a small wooden
figurine dressed in a butler's outfit.)

Konatsu: (peers around) Ah, anyone here?

Puppet: I'm here, sir.

Konatsu: (blinks) Oh...very sorry, Mr. Puppet.  Could you help
me, please?

Puppet: My master will be with you shortly.

Konatsu: No hurry! (smiles)

Kiima: (irritably smacks Konatsu upside the head) Speak for
(At that point the puppet floats up from the table, and we see it
is attached to the arm of an elegantly dressed man with grey

Man: How may I help you?

Konatsu: (blinks again) Ah..yes.  We seek...

Man: You seek what I have.  (smiles charmingly)  My name is
Kinnosuke, and I have everything you need if you have the money I

Konatsu: Well, yes, I'm sure that's true...

Kinnosuke: (puts arm around Konatsu's shoulder) Now, ma'am, why
don't we discuss your purchase out back?

Konatsu: (as Kinnosuke steers her around) But I'm not a...

Kinnosuke: Of course you aren't, you want to see my stock first.
You, ma'am, are a shrewd bargainer. (yells to the side) BOY!
(turns back to Konatsu) I'm afraid you have me outgunned.  (looks
over again) MAN THE COUNTER, BOY!  (to Konatsu) You will show
mercy, won't you?  I have to make a living, after all.

Konatsu: Well, of course...

Kinnosuke: I'm glad to see we agree, then!
(As he steers Konatsu out back, a yong boy enters.  No older than
eight, the new arrival is short and wiry, wearing a dirty white
gi and spectacles held to his face by loops of string.  Leaping
up onto the counter, he looks at the two guests for a moment.)

Boy: (to Kiima) I've never seen your type before.  What species
are you?

Kiima(regally): I am of the Phoenix.

Boy: (shrugs)  Never heard of them.  Must be pretty minor.

Kiima: (glares) We are a more advanced civilization than yours,

Boy: Then how come everybody's heard of humans and nobody's heard
of you?

Kiima: Maybe because we aren't as obnoxious?

Nodoka: You aren't being very polite.  Do you treat all the
customers like this?

Boy: Oh no, I normally just sit out back and build sub-par droids
for the master to foist off on unsuspecting losers.
(Kiima stares at him for a moment, then turns to look out the
door with a worried expression.)

Nodoka: (sniffs) You are perhaps the most rude and unlikeable boy
I have ever met.

Boy: Yeah, well, I'm a big man around here.  The future
pod-racing champ, and...
(Nodoka calmly shoves him off the counter.)

Nodoka: How nice. (walks away)

Kiima: Excuse me for a moment... (she strides out the back door)

Boy: (getting up, rubbing his head)  Hey!  Whatdja do that for?

Nodoka: Because you are an annoying brat who deserved it?
(Out back, Konatsu and Kinnosuke continue to bargain.  At least,
that is what Kinnosuke probably would have called it if asked.
Konatsu, however, is looking decidedly more nervous than she ever
did while fighting the Dojo Destroyer or hordes of Gardening
Union soldiers.)

Kinnosuke: (arm still around his Now, there
is always our installment plan, which is our best deal.  It
involves the usage of our optional lifetime servitude package.

Konatsu: But we just want...

Kinnosuke: Oh, did I say installment plan?  I meant enslavement
plan!  But enslavement is such a negative word.  I prefer
"non-voluntary worker agreement"; it sounds much better, don't
you think?

Konatsu: Oh yes, but...

Kinnosuke: So we agree...

Kiima: Excuse me.  (yanks Konatsu away) Good day, sir.

Kinnosuke: Ma'am, your friend and I were...

Kiima: (dragging the stunned Konatsu out) I said good day, sir.
(The Phoenix woman, scowling, walks out the door with Konatsu
still in tow.  Nodoka blinks as she storms by, then shrugs and
follows.  Kinnosuke walks back into the shop, glaring after the

Kinnosuke: Boy...come here.
(Outside, Konatsu is again moving under her own power, though she
seems somewhat the worse for wear.)

Konatsu: Thank you, Kiima-san.  I tried to work with his mind,
but... (shudders) was pure greed...nothing but...

Kiima: (snorts) Don't thank me.  At the rate you were going,
you'd have sold us all into slavery.

Nodoka: Miserable city...

Boy: (running up)  Hey, you guys!

Nodoka: What do you want, you little urchin?

Boy: You guys aren't planning on leaving the city, are you?

Kiima: And if we are?

Boy: Don't you know that a sandstorm is coming?  You'll never
make it anywhere in that.

Konatsu: (recomposing herself) That does put a damper on that

Nodoka: Perhaps we should look into lodging for the night.

Boy: Staying in one of the inns around here?  (laughs) If you
almost lost your freedom in a fuel shop, you'll lose your life in
one of those.

Kiima: Much as I hate to admit it, the kid has a point.

Boy: Well...if you want, you could stay at my place for the
night.  Mom would love the company.

Nodoka(surprised): Perhaps I misjudged you...

Boy: For a small fee...

Nodoka: (flat look) Or not.

Konatsu: (looks closely at the boy) I think that would be a good
idea.  What's your name, little boy?

Boy: Genma.  Come on, my house is this way!
(A short time later, the group arrives at the igloo-like desert
hut that is Genma's home.  The four of them walk in as the door
hisses open.  Inside, an older woman with brown hair looks up
from the food she is preparing.)

Genma: Hi mom!  We have guests.

Mother: And you never thought to inform me?

Genma: Mom, they're paying.

Mother: (flitting between them, smiling fatuously)  Is there
anything I can help you with?  Food?  Water?  Anything?

Nodoka: (sweatdrop) Umm...that won't be necessary...

Konatsu: Kiima-san, Nodoka-san, why don't you make yourselves
comfortable.  I want to talk to young Genma for a few moments.

Genma: (blinks) Me?

Konatsu: Yes, is there somewhere we might talk?

Genma: Uh...sure.  Follow me.
(Konatsu and Genma leave, and the woman ushers the other two into
the eating area.)

Mother: So you two are new around here, I take it?

Nodoka: You could say that.  (takes an offered fruit)  We seek
repairs on our craft.

Mother: Ah.  You'll not get much help around here, I'm afraid.

Kiima: We noticed. (she glares after Genma)

Mother: (smiles) Don't blame my son for this world.  It's a hard
life, being a slave.

Nodoka: Slave?

Mother: (nods sadly) We came here and tried to set up a dairy
farm, but it didn't take.  (sighs) Times were hard, especially
after his father disappeared.  I was forced to sell us into

Nodoka: (pauses) I didn't know...

Mother: As I said, he's had a hard life.

Kiima: (blinks) tried to set up a dairy farm in the

Mother: (nervous laugh) Our family is a hardy bunch...but not
exactly brilliant.

Kiima&Nodoka: ...
(Meanwhile, in a small room near the back of the house, Konatsu
and Genma sit; the boy has a hunted look.  An unfinished droid
stands in the corner.)

Konatsu: So, Genma... (looks around) You're an inventor?

Genma: Yes, I'm pretty good at cobbling stuff together.

Konatsu: (leans forward) Almost instinctively?

Genma: (sweats) Yeah... (suddenly jumps up and flips a switch on
the droid) YO-YO!  Protect me!

Yo-yo: (eyes flash on and off)  Master Genma?
(Konatsu blinks audibly as Genma leaps behind the droid.)

Genma: You won't get me, you!  Yo-yo, protect your master!

Yo-yo: Very well, master.  (waves arms at Konatsu)  Grrr!  Argh!
I am a fearsome juggernaut of destruction!  Fear me!  (his arms
promptly fall off, oil spurting out in streaming arcs)  Oh

Genma: Oh man, I must've forgot the connector bolts.

Konatsu: Pleased to meet you, Yo-yo.  I'd offer to shake your
hand, but you seem to be indisposed.

Yo-yo: Quite.  Pleased to meet you too.

Genma: Wait.  You aren't here to beat me up?

Konatsu: Oh no, perish the thought.  (pauses)  This doesn't look
much like a combat model droid.

Genma: isn't.  It's a hospitality droid.

Yo-yo(proudly): With a specialty in hot springs maintenance.

Konatsu: On a desert world?

Genma: Well, it's a theoretical model...meant as a test bed for
the design schematics.

Konatsu: An excellent concept.  Opening a hot springs resort in
the desert will make you rich.

Yo-yo: (sobs) If only we had one...then master Genma wouldn't be
a slave...

Konatsu: I see.  (turns back to Genma) Where is your father?

Genma: (blinks) Dunno...he left and never came back.

Konatsu: How long ago was that?

Genma: I don't remember.

Konatsu: (softly) Yes, that would place it at about the right

Genma: What?

Konatsu: Tell me, Genma, do you have any...unusual talents?
(The boy starts, looking guiltily at Konatsu.)

Konatsu: I expected as much.  (stands up) Genma, I can do a great
deal for you, if you you will allow me.

Genma: Are you conning me?

Konatsu: (shakes head) No.  I am a Jedi, and I have been
searching for you for a long time.
(Back on the ship, the desert sandstorm rages on, confining the
occupants inside.  Tofu is consulting a datapad when a tone
sounds and he puts it down to answer his comlink.)

Tofu: I'm here.

Konatsu's voice: Tofu-Wan.  I want you to examine something for

Tofu: What is it?

Konatsu: A blood sample... (a loud voice blots her out from the
background)  Yes, I know it hurt, but please be calm; I'm
speaking to another.  (slight pause)  That's better.  Tofu-Wan,
you know more of these things than I do, of the three Jedi

Tofu: What do you have?

Konatsu: That is what I'd like you to tell me.  I'm sending it
(Tofu nods as the data begins flashing on the screen.)

Konatsu: By the way, you are making sure no one is sending
tranmissions, yes?

Tofu: Of cou... (turns around and suddenly stops) Umm...can I get
back to you?

Konatsu: Certainly.
(Tofu puts down the link and walks across the room to where
Shinnosuke is talking to a small holographic image.)

Shinnosuke: if you could just find him for me... (Tofu
pushes a button and the image vanishes)  Uh, hello?

Tofu: Shinnosuke.  Did you forget the fact that we were not
supposed to be making any outgoing calls?

Shinnosuke: (blink) I wasn't?  Oh, I'm sorry.  (pauses, then
looks annoyed)  The Captain of the Guard should have stopped me.

Tofu: ...

Shinnosuke: But he isn't here...and neither is my grandfather.
That's who I called to check on...

Grandfather: (sitting two seats over, buries his face in his
hands)  Shinnosuke has forgotten me again!

Tofu: I should listen to those warning signs more often.
(Across time and space, atop a titanic waterfall on a lush world,
a dark figure stands in a room full of electronic equipment.  He
walks back out the door, shoving several bioroids out of the way.
A heavy scowl decorates his face.)

Kumon:, the path travels full circle.
(He storms down the hallway and out of sight.  Back on Tokyo, the
sun rises on the orange-tinted sands of the endless deserts.
Four figures, sillhouetted by the rising sun, walk into
Kinnosuke's shop.  The alien blinks as he recognizes the three
outworlders and his slave boy.)

Kinnosuke: May I help you?

Kiima: (looks at Konatsu) I still don't agree with this plan.

Konatsu: All will be well.  Kinnosuke-san, we make a

Kinnosuke: (eyes light up) A wager?

Nodoka: (steps forward; firmly) Yes, and this time I shall do the

Kinnosuke: (smiles charmingly) That seems equitable.

Nodoka: Indeed.  (pauses)  It has come to our attention that this
boy is the pilot of a pod-racer.

Kinnosuke (eyes narrow) Yes he is.  (smirks slightly)  What of

Nodoka: We wish to sponsor him in a race.  We will put up the
entry fee, and we wish to use the racer he has recently helped
you construct.
(Kinnosuke rubs his chin, and then turns to address his puppet.)

Kinnosuke: Well, what do you think?

Puppet: I say we hear them out.

Nodoka: If he wins, you may keep all the winnings and we ask for
only two things: fuel for our ship, and... (she hesitates, then
looks at Konatsu) Are you sure about this?

Konatsu: If what Tofu-Wan told me last night is true, I am more
than sure.

Kiima: (snorts) Human rubbish...

Nodoka: (turns back) We want fuel...and the boy.
(Genma stares at Konatsu in shock.)

Kinnosuke: Why the boy?

Konatsu: Because... (Kiima cuts her off by battering her face
with a wing)

Kiima: If the boy's freedom is at stake, he has a vested interest
in winning and won't throw the race.

Genma: Damn right I won't!

Kinnosuke: And if he loses?

Konatsu: You get our ship.  (Nodoka winces)
(Kinnosuke looks thoughtful, then engages in a short whispered
conversation with his puppet.  Finally, both nod and look up.)

Kinnosuke: I'll agree, on one condition.

Nodoka: Which is?

Kinnosuke: (smirks) If he loses, one of you will enter my

Kiima: Out of the question!

Konatsu: I agree.

Nodoka: (stares at her) Are you insane!?

Konatsu: The boy will win; of this I am certain.

Kinnosuke: (laughs) It's a done deal, then.  The podrace is
tomorrow.  I suggest you decide who shall be my new slave amongst
yourselves! (still chuckling, he walks out back)

Konatsu: (facing double glares) Do not worry; if the worst
happens, I shall give myself up.  But the worst will not happen,
of that I am sure.

Kiima: You stupid self-sacrificing idiot!  To think I left my
people because of you!  (storms out)

Nodoka(coldly): The Queen would not approve of this.

Konatsu: (starts)  Oh dear, I think you're right.  We never once
consulted her on any of this!  (she bites her lip)  Do you think
she'll be quite angry with me?

Nodoka: (blink) You... (laughs)  You're a very funny person, for
a Jedi.

Konatsu: (smiles) Why, thank you.  (seriously)  No, but really,
how should I break this to her highness?

Nodoka: (giggles) I'll take care of it.
(The two walk out; Genma looks after them a moment with a
contemplative expression on his face before following.  That
evening, we see Konatsu standing outside the house of Genma and
his mother, staring up at the stars.)

Konatsu: May the Force be with him...
(Genma walks out, sitting on the wall next to Konatsu.  The Jedi
smiles amiably at him.)

Genma: You're the first person like you I've ever met.

Konatsu: Some call me a unique specimen.  Kiima-san, at least,
seems to agree with that.

Genma: Why are you putting so much trust in me?

Konatsu: (pauses) How well did you know your father?

Genma: Not very well.  He left when I was pretty young...does
this have something to do with the Jedi?

Konatsu: Yes it does.  (looks up)  You see, I think your father
was a Jedi.  A very special Jedi, a Jedi Ninja.  The -last- Jedi

Genma: You're joking.

Konatsu: (shakes head) No I'm not.  You see, the Jedi power runs
in three different bloodlines.  The Sages are the scholar class,
the Samurai are the protector class and the Ninja were the
warrior class.  But in peace, the Ninja became uneccessary, and
over the years their bloodline thinned until only one remained.
That one departed from the Council years ago... (she turns back
to Genma) Two years before your birth.

Genma: Wait, you're saying my dad was a great warrior?  (pauses)
That'd explain the tricks he taught me.

Konatsu: Taught you?

Genma: He trained me in a defence art when I was just learning to

Konatsu: I see.  (nods)  That confirms it.  The Ninja blood runs
in you.  Only the child of a Jedi may learn to use the Force.
When you win that race, I shall take you to the Council and they
will train you to be a true Jedi.  (pauses)  Well, that and the
blood tests we ran on you.  (laughs nervously)

Genma: You seem pretty sure I'll win.

Konatsu:  You underestimate yourself.  With the Force as your
ally, you can never truly lose.

Genma: I... (pauses)  Konatsu, you're the first person ever to
believe in me, you know that?

Konatsu: (laughs)  Then I am just the first to see you for what
you are!

Genma: Thanks.

Konatsu: I think you should get some sleep for the race tomorrow.

Genma: Oh yeah, right.  Bye!  (runs in)
(A figure drops silently from the roof and walks into view.  It
is Kiima; backlit by the light from the house, she makes a
striking silhouette.)

Kiima: Was all that true?

Konatsu: (blinks) How long were you listening in?

Kiima: Long enough.  Was everything you said true?

Konatsu: A Jedi does not lie.

Kiima: (snorts)  I knew the Jedi are fools already, no need to
confirm it.

Konatsu: You carry bitterness in your heart, Kiima-san.
(grabbing her hand, she looks her in the eyes)  Let it go.  You,
surely you, can rise above that?

Kiima: (pulls hand away quickly; snaps)  This isn't about me!
This is about the boy.

Konatsu: I see.

Kiima: If his father was a Jedi...whatever, where is he now?
Anna said the man left them years ago...

Konatsu: That, Kiima-san, is a very good question.
(Meanwhile, a ship exits hyperspace just above Tokyo.  It is a
sleek craft, with a tapered nose leading to a ball cockpit with
angled solar panels on each side of it.  In the pilot's seat,
Darth Kumon looks out over the brown-orange ball below.)

Kumon: So, I return at last... (he starts as a tone sounds, and a
tiny translucent blue image of a cloaked dwarf appears) Master?

Dwarf: How goes the hunt?

Kumon: Well.  I shall have the girl soon enough.

Dwarf: It is pivotal to my plans that she come willingly,

Kumon: (smiles)  As I came to you, so shall she.  When the Jedi
fail to save her people, she will burn with vengeance towards

Dwarf: Excellent.  (the hologram blinks out of existence)

Kumon: (softly) Yes, old man, she shall burn with vengeance like
I did.  Then she and I will tear down the council together, and
my revenge will be complete.  And you, old pervert, will no
longer be necessary. (the ship descends into the night sky)  
(The day of the race comes soon, which isn't surprising as it was
only a day away.  Above the starting line rises a large stadium,
filles to capacity with spectators.  In the pits below, dozens of
vehicles are being towed into place, each a small cockpit linked
to a duo of engine pods that are themselves linked only by a band
of purple electricity.  At the smallest and most shoddy-looking
pod on the field, Genma is adjusting a few components and making
last minute alterations.  Nearby are Nodoka, Kiima and Konatsu.
Genma's mother Anna stands not far off on an elevator platform,
looking proud.)

Konatsu: Remember, let the Force guide you.

Genma: Yeah, yeah.
(An alien pilot with several tentacles walks by.)

Pilot: Well, Genma, isn't it? (smirks) Finally decided to live up
to your boasts?

Genma: Ha!  I'll beat you easy, Mondrel!

Mondrel: You wish, human.  (walks away laughing)

Kiima: (suspiciously)  I thought you were a famous podracer.

Genma: Oh, I am.  Everyone knows about me.

Kiima: How many races have you won?

Genma: None yet.

Kiima: (eyes narrow) You at least placed well?

Genma: Oh no, I've never done that either.

Kiima: Have you ever -finished- a race?

Genma: (laughs)  Of course not.  I've never been in one before!

Kiima: WHAT!? (flails her claws at him, but Konatsu holds her
back)  You little brat!  I should tear you apart!

Konatsu: Look at the bright side, Kiima-san.  At least he has a
flawless record.  (beam)

Kiima: (stares at Konatsu)  I...have no response to that.
(Shaking her head, she walks away to join Anna.)

Nodoka: At least you've gotten a lot of practice, right?

Genma: Oh no, I'm too young to be sponsored by anyone!  (smiles)
Actually, this is the first time I've been to the race track.

Nodoka: ...

Announcer: (booming over PA) Hello, gentlebeings, and welcome to
today's fabulous podrace!  We promise you mayhem on the
motorcourse as our racers duke it out for the title at supersonic
speeds!  And with this crew, mayhem means CARNAGE!  That's right
folks, crashes, bashes, explosions and mutilations abound as our
racers are smashed into the many obstacles on our track, which
has earned the reputation of "The Pilot Shredder"!
(Genma's eyes widen in shock at this announcement, and the colour
drains from his face as the crowd erupts in cheers.)

Genma: Explosions?  MUTILATIONS!?  Geez, I could get killed!

Konatsu: Well yes, that seems to be the general idea, isn't it?

Genma: If I'd known this stuff was involved, I never would've
agreed to this!

Konatsu: The Force will protect you.

Genma: Forget the Force.  (crosses arms)  I ain't doin' it!
(Nodoka leans down in front of him, smiling in a pleasant

Nodoka: That's alright, Genma.  I'll just have to shove you in
the turbines instead.  (continues to smile cutely)

Genma: (sweatdrop) On second thought, I think I'll go ahead and
pilot it after all.

Konatsu: (oblivious) That's it, you kids play nice.
(After a moment, the Jedi and Nodoka walk back to the elevator
where Anna, Kiima and Kinnosuke wait.)

Konatsu: This should be fun.

Kinnosuke: (laughs)  From the expressions on your friend's faces,
I see you know the truth.

Konatsu: I suppose we do.

Kinnosuke: (to his ever-present puppet)  What shall I do with my
new spacecraft and slave, hmm?

Puppet: Horde them like the greedy miser you are?

Kinnosuke: (flat look)  I prefer the term "thrifty".

Kiima: (sweatdrop) They just keep getting weirder...
(Out on the field, Genma is powering up his racer when a familiar
card-shaped man waddles up to him.)

King: So, Genma...finally entering, eh?

Genma: (smirks) Scared, King?  Your unbeaten record's gonna fall
today.  I built this podracer with my own hands!

King: (pulls back, looking shocked)  [This boy could be a threat!
I'd better...] (smiles evilly) [...change the odds.]  Good luck
to you then, Genma.  (backs away slowly)  You try hard, now!
(backs up again)  May the best being win!  (backs up...and
discretely sticks a razor sharp playing card into a piece of
delicate-looking machinery on the pod)  Bye now!  (runs off)

Genma: Gee, what a good sport!  (smiles)  I guess his reputation
isn't earned after all.

Announcers: All the racers seem to be ready...
(Close-up shots of all the major figures flash by in a cheap
attempt to heighten the tension.)

Announcer: ...and...the signal is GO!
(The pods scream off, snapping from the block at supersonic
speeds with waves of dust being kicked up in their wakes.  Genma
takes an early lead, and after a treacherous, dangerous and
hard-fought race, finishes first.  Or that's what might have
happened, had his pod not immediately dropped into the dirt and
gone dead.)

Genma: (blinks) Oops...must have rerouted the power conduits to
the brakes instead of the afterburners...

Kiima: (facepalm)  We're doomed.
(Suddenly, a spark catches King's planted card, lighting it on
fire...which ignites the engines and sends the pod racing forward
at supersonic velocity.  Of course, Genma was busy trying to
repair the ship, so he barely recovers in time to regain control
and avoid slamming into the wall at the aforementioned supersonic

Konatsu: (beams) Trust in the Force, and it will do nice things.
(Everyone just stares at her.  Meanwhile, King's racer-with
cardlike engines and poker chip cockpit-is just behind a red and
black racer piloted by a three-eyed alien.  As the two close on a
cave, King smirks and taps a button, causing a secret compartment
on his racer to open and fire a card into the cable holding one
of the racer's pods on.  The ship obligingly spins out of control
and into a fiery crash.  Near the back, Genma comes up to his
first opponent, the pod piloted by Mondrel.  The alien, eyeing
Genma, allows him to get in close only to violently slam the
boy's racer with his own.  Pieces fall off the engines, but the
racer appears to be largely unaffected.  Gritting his teeth, the
boy spins his controls...and when Mondrel goes for another
attack, he finds that his opponent is no longer there, having
spun his racer up and over the other pod.  Startled, Mondrel
attempts to regain control, but his unexpected divergence of
course causes him to slam into a large rock, with the result of
his craft exploding spectacularly.)

Konatsu: See?  Genma is a gifted pilot!

Anna: That...that move...

Kiima(grudgingly): Impressive, I'll admit.

Anna: It's so DANGEROUS!  (grabs Konatsu by the throat)  How dare
you put my son in that race!  (chokeslam)  He could be KILLED!
(suplex)  You Jedi jerk!  (headlock)

Konatsu: I...can...explain...
(Back at the race, Genma has steadily moved up, and is about
halfway through the pack as they pass the first lap.  At the
front of said pack, King tosses a handful of poker chips over his
shoulder which are sucked into the engine intakes of the pilot
who was gaining on him, with explosive results.  Meantime, Genma
has found himself behind two large racers who effectively block
his way.  After several futile tries to get past, his eyes
suddenly widen.)

Genma: That's it!  The technique!  (he grabs the pod controls
more firmly, a look of concentration on his face)  Umisenken
Driving Special!
(Suddenly, Genma's racer disappears, reappearing a moment later
in front of the two pilots.  Startled by this, the two forget how
close their machines are and tangle the cables together...well,
the rest isn't pretty.  Genma grins and hits the afterburner.)

Kiima: What!?  What -was- that?

Konatsu: The secret technique of the Jedi Ninja...blocking their
presence from others!  (clenches her fist)  And that is only the
tip of the iceberg!

Anna: (strangling Konatsu from behind) I haven't finished
pummeling you yet!


Nodoka: ... (rubs her chin thoughtfully)
(The second lap ends and the final one begins, with Genma only
three lengths behind King.  A few stragglers follow in their wake
as they scream onto the flats.  The playing-card-like alien
scowls as he sees Genma slowly gaining on him.)

King: Oh no...not my perfect record, boy!  I have a hefty sum
riding on this race!
(He hits a button, causing a card to fly from his racer and slice
through a tall stone obelisk.  It falls towards Genma, who grits
his teeth and accelerates, squeaking past the collapsing pillar.
Several other racers aren't as fortunate.)

King: Curses!

Genma: That was too close!
(King hits another button as they enter the caves, and dozens of
cards shoot out from his cockpit back at his foe.  Genma "eeps"
and frantically spins the conrols... and the backwash from his
engines blows away the projectiles.  His pod continues to spin
erratically barely avoiding smashing into several objects in the

Kinnosuke: Woah!  What skill!

Kiima: (grunt)  Looks more like he was trying to run away to me.

Nodoka: (nod) You're probably right.
(Genma finally regains control of the pod as they exit the caves,
and is again closing in on King's heels.  His opponent growls and
pulls out another handful of poker chips, which he tosses back at

Genma: Oh no, not this time you don't!  (raises in the cockpit)
(His hands begin moving, so fast they appear to be only a blurr.
Amazingly, despite the blows not even extending past his cockpit,
the chips are all blown back as if by a strong wind.  King
goggles as they fly forward...straight into his own engines,
which promptly explode.  As his cockpit bounces to a halt in the
dirt, he stares in shock as Genma bursts past and screams past
the finish line in first place.)

Announcer:  By all that is!  What an upset victory, folks!
(Genma cheers and leaps out of his pod...which, unfortunately, he
neglects to stop first, so that it continues merrily on to slam
into the wall.  He ducks and covers as pieces fly past him.
Meanwhile, the elevator with its familiar occupants descends
towards the pit.  Anna is dancing around cheering while Konatsu
tries to catch her breath next to the central pillar.  Kiima,
Nodoka and Kinnosuke are in increasingly bigger states of shock,
respectively.  Genma runs up, and his mother twirls him around,
both laughing with excitement.  At that point King shows up,
looking steamed.)

King: This boy cheated!  I was robbed!  I demand satisfaction!

Kiima: (deadpan) You're one to talk.

King: That boy is a no-good cheating...
(An incoming podracers slams into him full force and sends him
careening into the distance.)

Konatsu: Well, I guess we win the wager, Kinnosuke-san.

Kinnosuke: (mouth still hanging open) ...

Nodoka: You aren't going to renege on us now, are you?

Kinnosuke: (regathers himself) No.  I will honour the bet.  The
fuel and the boy are yours.

Puppet: After all, we still turned a considerable profit on the

Kinnosuke: Quite true...

Anna: (pauses while swinging Genma) Wait..."the boy is yours"?

Konatsu: (blinks) Oh,I never told you either, did I?  We wagered
the boy's freedom on the race...he's free to come with us, now!

Anna: (tears in her eyes) freed my boy...

Konatsu: (beams happily) No need to thank me, madam, it was the

Anna: (grabs Konatsu by the throat, glowing)  You freed -him- and
you never even thought of freeing ME!?

Konatsu: (sweatdrop) Err...that is... (carnage ensues)
(Out in the desert, a sleek, dagger-shaped craft sets down.  A
moment later, Darth Kumon emerges, a wry smile showing on his
shadowy features.)

Kumon: This is the last city to check.  
(He strides forward, cloak flapping like a dark shadow in his
wake.  Back in the slums of the decrepit city-which means they
HAVE to be bad-Konatsu and her two companions are standing a few
metres away from Genma and his mother.  The boy is carrying a
pack about two sizes too large for him.  Konatsu, fussing with
her bandages, calls out for Genma to come.  He begins walking
towards them, but pauses midway, and looks back at his mother's
tear-filled eyes.  He stays a moment, his face wracked with
indecision, then runs back to her as her arms open to hug
him...and he skids to a stop right before her.)

Genma: Mom, can I have an advance on my allowance this week?
(Anna facefaults.  Nodoka, rolling her eyes, turns to Konatsu.)

Nodoka: Why don't I go fetch the fuel while you take the boy to
the ship?

Konatsu: Sounds like a good enough plan.

Kiima: I don't think she should be wandering around alone in the

Konatsu: (nods)  Good of you to escort her, Kiima-san.

Kiima: (flat look) ...and when did I offer to do that?
(Some time later, Kiima and Nodoka are walking through the town,
the latter carrying a small pack.)

Kiima: (shakes her head) This, that we went through so much to
get, and it's so...small.

Nodoka: It's rare.  That's why it's expensive.

Kiima: Well... (she looks up as dark shadow steps in front of

Kumon: Good afternoon, ladies.
(Nodoka takes a step back, staring at the man.  Again their eyes
lock...but this time much closer and for a good long time.  The
servant girl raises a shaking hand to her heart, her breath
coming faster.  Kumon smiles at her, the expression seeming
almost out of place on his rugged features, and a trace of colour
appears on her cheeks.)

Kiima: (flatly) Can we help you?

Kumon: (to Nodoka) I saw you hanging around with a Jedi.  Are you
sure you can trust them?

Nodoka: (blinks) Wa...that is, I think so.  Yes, of course.

Kumon: But the Jedi are very irresponsible...and incompetent to
boot.  They are as likely to hurt you as to help you, by their
lack of action.

Nodoka: What?

Kiima: (looking suspiciously at the stranger)  Nodoka, we have to
go.  Now.

Kumon: I'm talking to the lady.  Do you mind?

Nodoka(heated): Yes Kiima, we can afford to delay a few minutes.

Kiima: (crosses arms) ...

Kumon: I mean, what have they done for you?

Nodoka: Well...they saved my life...

Kumon: No, they saved the -Queen's- life.  You saw them back on
dojo.  They could wipe out the entire Union why didn't

Kiima: Wait a second!  How do you know about Dojo!?  How did you
follow us?

Kumon: (ignoring her) Don't you wish you had the their power?
You'd use it to defend your people, wouldn't you?

Nodoka: But the Jedi are pacifists, and I am no Jedi...

Kumon(intensely): And if you could be?

Kiima: (suddenly interposes herself between them)  Nodoka, snap
out of it!  Aren't you the least bit suspicious about him?

Kumon(hisses): This isn't your affair!

Nodoka: (shakes head)  No...she's right.  Why are you here?  How
did you find us?

Kumon: (glares at the Phoenix woman) You witch.  Die.
(Kiima's eyes widen, and she throws herself to the side as Kumon
swings his fist.  The blow moves so fast as to be only a blur,
and she barely evades it.  His swing connects with a wall...and
the wall ceases to exist.)

Kiima: (eyes bulge) By the God-king!

Kumon: You won't interfere!

Nodoka: (stares at Kumon) That power...

Kiima: We've got to get out of here! (she grabs ahold of Nodoka
with a quick twist, ending the motion by snapping her wings out
and down, launching them skyward)  Hold tight, Nodoka!

Kumon: (glaring after them) Not this time. 
(Kiima flies fast and far, but is still forced to jerk to the
side as a lasso-like rope extends past her like a snake.  Kumon
snarls as the attack flies wide of its mark, and jerks his arm to
bring the rope back to his hand almost instantly.  A single leap
brings him to a nearby roof, and he gives chase.)

Kiima: Damn! (evading another lasso) He's a good shot with that

Nodoka: (wide-eyed) He's gaining on you, Kiima!  He's running and
you're flying, but he's still gaining!  He's inhuman!

Kiima: It doesn't help that I'm carrying you as well!  Now stop
squirming!  (another lasso clips her wing, disloging a feather,
but she retains control...barely)  Too close for comfort...
(Back at the ship, however, truly exciting things are happening.
Stare in fascination as Tofu taps his foot, standing at the
ship's hatch.  Tremble in suspense as Konatsu and Genma plod
across the featureless landscape.  Gasp in shock as a pile of
sand next to the hatch suddenly explodes in violent fury, to
reveal the shuddering form of Ok-chan!)

Tofu: (blink) Ok-chan?

Ok-chan: Oil...need oil...

Tofu: Oh dear.  We must have left you out in the sandstorm,
didn't we?

Ok-chan: (pitifully) the name of humanity, oil!

Konatsu: (stepping up) Why don't you take him inside, Genma?
I'll be right along.

Genma: But... (sighs)  Oh well.  C'mon. (grabs Ok-chan and drags
him inside)

Tofu: So everything went well, I take it?

Konatsu: Better than expected, actually.  The Force was indeed
with us.

Tofu: (staring behind Konatsu) Isn't that Kiima?
(Konatsu spins, to see the Phoenix woman winging her way towars
the ship.  She is flying erratically, the reason for which
becomes clear as the yellow cord flies up and almost catches her.
The two Jedi follow the path of the cord and spot the dark figure
pursuing Kiima and her passenger.)

Konatsu: No normal human can run that fast...

Tofu: The same dark presence I sensed on Dojo!
(Without another word the two run forward, just as the figure
snaps out his cord once again.  This time, the weary Kiima does
not dodge fast enough.  She cries out as it loops around her,
pinning her wings to her side.  They begin to fall, but in a blur
of movement Konatsu leaps towards them, drawing her lightsaber.
The snap-hiss of the white blade is accompanied by the sharp
twang of the cord rebounding back to Kumon as it is cut.  Tofu
catches the two and stands behind Konatsu as the more experienced
Jedi faces the dark stranger, her blade held up defensively.)

Konatsu: Who are you?

Kumon: (reaches into his cloak and pulls out something)  Your
executioner  (there is another snap-hiss)
(The brown-clad Jedi with the orange saber stands opposing the
dark warrior with the purple saber for several seconds.)

Konatsu: Tofu-Wan...get them out of here.

Tofu: Yes, sensei.

Kiima: (still in Tofu's grasp, her head rises)  Wait!  That man
is a monster!  You're no match for him!

Konatsu: Perhaps.  Go, now.
(Tofu quickly turns and leaves with his two charges, and Konatsu
moves to block the Dark Jedi's advance for a second time.)

Konatsu: You will go no further...

Kumon: ... (eyes narrow)

Konatsu: (smiles) ...until we shake hands!

Kumon: (sweatdrop) Moron.
(Kumon attacks without another word, his lightsaber carving a
trail of shadowy light through the air.  It crashes into
Konatsu's parry with enough force to send the smaller fighter
skidding back a few feet.)

Konatsu: Such strength...

Kumon: Die!
(The fight begin in earnest, with Kumon taking the advantage and
maintaining it ruthlessly.  His blows are less elegant than they
are brutal, but they drive like rain and hit like hammers.
Konatsu desperately guards and dodges, steadily being driven
back.  With each strike Kumon bellows in rage and Konatsu winces;
the lightsaber grows unsteady in her hands as the struggle

Tofu: By the Force... (yells into the cockpit)  Take off!  Take
off NOW!

Nodoka: You can't be planning to leave her down there!?

Tofu: ... (looks away) Our priority is saving her Majesty.
(Down below, Konatsu tries an aggressive parry...and finds her
lightsaber ripped from her hands.  Before she can react Kumon
strikes, a fist straight to the chest that sends the Jedi
careening under the climbing star shuttle.  Kumon's eyes widen
for a split second after the blow hits, and a look of disgust
crosses his features.)

Kumon: Pervert.
(At that moment, Kiima leaps from the doorway of the ascending
shuttle, brandishing her sword.)

Kiima: Take this!
(She hurls the blade, but he steps back and bats it aside
contemptuously.  Kiima, however, takes those precious seconds to
sweep over to Konatsu and scoop her up.  Above, Genma's face
appears in the hatch.)

Genma: What's going on?
(As Kiima makes a beeline for the hatch, Kumon growls.)

Kumon: DON'T MOVE!
(He sprints -into- the air, slashing his lightsaber and kicking
at the same time.  Kiima manages to avoid the first attack, but
his boot catches her on the side of the head.  She crumples to
the ground, and Konatsu is jolted conscious by the landing.
Looking up groggily, she sees Darth Kumon falling towards them,
blade raised to slice them in twain.  With a cry, Konatsu
stretches her hand up, her fallen lightsaber flying into her
grasp.  The blade activates just in time to block the blow, but
the force of the strike raises a cloud of sand around them.)

Genma: [That technique! couldn't be...] (he pales)
[Gotta hide!]
(Unseen by anyone, Genma slowly fades from view.  Kumon, however,
suddenly jerks upright, staring up at the ship.)

Kumon: Was that...Umisenken?

Konatsu: Opening!
(Konatsu leaps from the dust, trailing streamers of grit in her
wake.  With a fierce kiai she twists her body in midair and
delivers a kick to the dark Jedi's face.  He flies back and lands
in an undignified heap as Konatsu again activates the orange
lightsaber.  Then a groggy Kiima wraps her arms about her
midsection and snaps her wings downward, propelling them towards
the ship.  A moment later, Tofu and Shinnosuke catch the pair and
pull them in.  Kumon pulls himself to his feet just as the hatch
closes and the ship hits the afterburners.  He growls and shuts
down his purple lightsaber.)

Kumon: Plan B.  (he walks off)
(Meanwhile, aboard the escaping shuttle, everyone is busy
recovering from the fight.  Genma sits in the corner trying to
look inconspicuous, Nodoka is leaning against a bulkhead with a
somewhat shell-shocked expression, Kiima sits on the floor
clutching her head, and Tofu is bent over Konatsu, who is trying
to look like she's not in intense pain.)

Nodoka: Such power...who was he?

Kiima: (groans) Whoever he is, he hits like a landslide.  (looks
at Konatsu)  Was he another Jedi?

Konatsu: (shakes her head painfully) Not...quite.  I believe he
must have been a Dark Lord... (trails off)

Nodoka: Dark Lord?

Tofu: A Force-wielder who has succumbed to the evil in their
hearts.  They are very dangerous.

Konatsu:  Worse yet...did you recognize his technique, Tofu-Wan?

Tofu: (blinks) No.

Konatsu: It was Jedi Ninjutsu.

Nodoka: That must have been the power he talked about...

Kiima: So one of your warrior caste went rotten.  But didn't you
say only one of them was around?  (she looks towards Genma, but
he has vanished again)

Tofu: I knew I had a bad feeling about all of this.
(Later, we see the shuttle descending towards the surface of a
planet.  At least, we assume it is a planet.  The entire surface
is covered by a giant city, towers thrust like daggers into the
crust of a world covered so thickly by the works of man that it
cannot be seen.  Shuttles and aircraft of all shapes and sizes
cover the skies in a multilayered stream.  In the cockpit of the
chromed shuttle, Genma is leaning over the shoulder of
Shinnosuke's grandfather.)

Genma: Wow.

Tofu: Welcome to Coruscant, the capital of the Republic.

Genma: I've never seen a city so big.

Grandfather: And you won't see a bigger one.  The whole planet is
covered by the city, from pole to pole.

Genma: Cool.

Tofu: Look, the Chancellor is awaiting our arrival on the landing
(Sure enough, two figures can be made out standing on the
floating platform below.  The shuttle slowly settles down on the
landing area, and out of the hatch walk the procession of
occupants: Shinnosuke, Konatsu, Tofu, the Queen, her retainers,
Kiima, Genma and finally Ok-chan.  They are greeted by the two
figures; one a young man just entering his twenties, with a
helmet of black hair and the ghost of a mustache on his lips.
The other is a familiar raven-haired woman, dressed in elegant
silk robes.)

Young man: Greetings, your highness.  In the name of the Republic
we welcome you.

Queen: Chancellor Tendo, Senator Rouge.  (nods formally)  We are
pleased to be here.

Rouge:  Your majesty.  (curtsies)  I have been working to get the
senate to take action on behalf of our people.

Queen: I'm sure you have, Rouge.  Your efforts on our part are

Rouge: I only wish I could help you even more, my Queen.

Tendo: Your highness, now that you are here I am sure we can
inspire action.  I give my personal guarantee that all the power
of the Chancellor's office will be brought to bear, or my name is
not Soun Tendo!

Queen: Thank you, Chancellor.
(Chancellor Tendo nods, and returns to his waiting airshuttle.
As he walks away, Genma tries to get a good look at him, and
pushes Ok-chan off the edge of the platform.  The much-maligned
droid screeches, but manages to catch onto the lip of the
platform with his hands.)

Queen: Senator Rouge, what is the situation in the Senate?

Rouge: I wouldn't put too much value on the Chancellor's word.
He is a weak-willed man, and the bureaucrats control all his
power.  He places all his faith in the Jedi to solve his

Queen: All his faith in the Jedi?

Rouge: Yes, he believes that the Jedi are infallible and thus can
answer any crisis.  That is why he sent only two of them to
negotiate with the Gardening Union, and not an armed force that
could end the violence.

Queen: The Jedi are very strong.  They could save our people.

Rouge: But will they?

Queen: ...
(Later, we see an ornate room atop a tower, windows on all sides
overlooking the city below.  Konatsu and Tofu are in the centre
of a room, facing the combined gaze of a council of wise
beings...well, wise if that's the appellation one applies to a
tiny green woman and a small child eating an ice cream cone.)

Old woman: (tapping her staff)  So what are you saying, Konatsu?
That the Jedi Ninja have fallen to the Dark Side?

Konatsu: I can only state what I saw and felt.  The warrior who
attacked me on Tokyo used the Ninjutsu arts.  And the boy...

Old Woman: Are you sure this isn't just wishful thinking on your

Young Girl: (nods and licks her cone) We all know about your
self-initiated quest to rediscover the lost bloodline.  It could
have skewed your judgement.

Konatsu: (to the old woman) Elder Cologne, why should I lie about

Cologne: Perhaps not lying.  Maybe you are instead merely

Tofu: (steps forward) May I remind the council that I too saw
this warrior in action?

Cologne: The only reason we have not yet dismissed this claim.
Regardless of whether he has the skills of a Ninja or not,
however, this dark warrior disturbs me. He seems to be a Sith.

Tofu: The Sith?  The Dark bloodline?  Aren't they extinct?

Cologne: Obviously not.  But they must have a precious prize to
gain to risk such open exposure.

Konatsu: What of the boy?

Young Girl: The one you say is the child of a Jedi Ninja?

Konatsu: The same.

Cologne: If he can work the living Force, we will give him all
the same consideration as any other.

Konatsu: Could you bring Genma in, Tofu-Wan?

Tofu: At once, sensei.
(He walks to the doors and opens them; at once Genma falls
inward, smacking the side of his head against the floor.  He
leaps to his feet and tries his best to look like he wasn't
listening in.)

Konatsu: Come forward, Genma.
(Genma walks forward hesistantly, looking from face to face of
the members of the council.  He gulps audibly as they stare at
him.  There is a long silence...and then Cologne bursts out

Cologne: Good one, Konatsu!  (wipes tears from her eyes)  Now get
the actual boy you want us to meet.

Konatsu: (blinks)  This is the boy.

Colonge: (stares at her) Are you serious?

Konatsu: Aren't I always?

Young Girl: That's most of your problem, you know.

Cologne: Konatsu, this boy has enough fear and greed within him
to fuel a thousand Dark Jedi.

Konatsu: He's just cautious.

Cologne: (flat look) Well, for -caution's- sake, I will not risk
training him.

Konatsu: ... (nods)  Very well.  Then I shall take him on as my

Cologne: You already have an apprentice.

Konatsu: He is well past time for passage into his full rank as a
Jedi Sage.

Tofu: Oh no...I still have much to learn.

Cologe: Konatsu, I suggest you take your leave from this place.
Go and protect the Dojo Queen.  We shall discuss the matter of
this... (stares hard at Genma) ...boy, sometime later.

Konatsu: Come along, Genma.
(In the royal Dojo suite, the honourable representative of that
planet is speaking to the Queen behind her dressing screen.)

Queen: What of our people; has there been any word?

Rouge: A smattering only, your highness.  Few messages get past
the blockade.  what we do hear isn't pleasant, I'm afraid.  The
Union is a cruel tyrant.

Queen: Hopefully, this session of the Senate will change that.

Rouge: I would not set my hopes too high, your majesty.
Chancellor Tendo is weak; his only allies are the Jedi, and they
are uninterested in the plight of our people.

Queen: The Jedi are the champions of the Republic.

Rouge: Forgive my bluntness, your majesty, but the Jedi are
nothing.  They are power without strength and skill without
drive.  If I had their power, I would have used it already.

Queen: ... (looks aside)  Yet if we cannot rely on the Chancellor
and his Jedi allies, then what options are left, Senator?

Rouge: A hard choice, your majesty. (looks sad)
(A short time later, the two walk onto a small balcony in the
council chamber.  The chamber itself is a titanic space, a huge
tower with a million platforms rsing up the walls like
clamshells.  It rises dozens of stories into the sky, centred
around a large pillar topped by a turret on which the Chancellor
and his aides sit.  The uncountable voices in the chamber merge
into a soft background murmer, like the bubbling of a rocky
stream.  Finally, an artifically augmented voice rings out across
the Senate chamber.)

Tendo: Order!  The Chancellor recognizes the representative of
the free world of Dojo!
(The balcony the Queen and Rouge stand upon detaches from the
wall and floats towards the centre of the chamber.)

Rouge: May I present her majesty, the sovereign queen of Dojo,
who will speak on our behalf?

Tendo: You may.

Queen: Thank you, Chancellor.  (steps forward)  People of the
Republic, we have always claimed to stand above all for one
thing: freedom.  The freedom of each and every people to choose
their own path, their own religion, and their own system of
government.  Our people chose a monarchy, and our person was
chosen to represent that faith.  Yet the choice has been taken
from us by force.  The Gardening Union has not only attacked our
free choice, but in doing so attacked a pillar of the Republic.
Make no mistake, honoured representatives, that this agression is
not only against our people but all people.  If you allow the
Gardening Union to use force to take away the freedom of the
people of Dojo, who will stand for your people when the time
(She pauses, an a low murmer of agreement passes through the
senate chamber.  However, they are cut off as another platform
rrises up across the room from the Dojo one.  The speaker is a
green-skinned, red-eyed being.)

Senator: The Gardening Union protests this in the strongest
terms.  Our actions on Dojo are completely legal.  We demand a
Senate-appointed investigation committee be sent to disprove
these false claims.
(Another platform rises up and a bizarre two-headed alien

Alien Senator: We, the people of Seneca, support this motion.

Tendo: I insist we...
(He pauses as one of his aides speak to him.  Rouge moves
forward, whispering in the Queen's ear.)

Rouge: Now watch as he falls back on his only defence.

Tendo: (nods reluctantly) Very well.  The seat of the Chancellor
proposes we send the Jedi to solve this mystery.

Queen: I refuse!  (steps forward once more to a murmer of
excitement)  Our people are suffering while you waffle over petty
interests!  We need a force that can halt the devestation on Dojo
NOW, not a gaggle of pacifists!  I see our faith in this body was
unfounded.  As such, we call for a motion of non-confidence in
this Chancellor.
(She stalks away, stepping out of the balcony just as it
reconnects with the wall.  A moment later the door to the Queen's
chambers slams open violently as the incensed monarch enters.
Kiima, who was resting on a chair within, looks up as Rouge walks
in after the Queen.)

Rouge: You did well, your majesty; I am certain the vote of
nonconfidence will go through.  Perhaps now we shall have a
Chancellor who can stand on their own strength.

Queen: It will still take too long, Senator.  (turns to face her;
eyes blazing) It is time we took matters into our own hands.  It
is obvious that pacifism is a weakness in the Republic.
Regardless, we must save our people, but it cannot be done
without action.  Swift and decisive action.

Rouge: What are you proposing, your majesty?

Queen: (turns to Kiima) Kiima-san, I could use your help.

Kiima: (starts) What?  What makes you think I can help?  (pauses)
Or would want to?

Queen: Allow me to outline my plan.
(Later, an airbus lands on the launching pad which holds the
Queen's shuttle.  Out of it walk the Queen, her retainers,
Shinnosuke, Rouge and Kiima.)

Shinnosuke: This is a foolish plan, your highness!

Queen: We have made up our mind.

Shinnosuke: But you are going without proper escort!  At least
hire a new Captain of the Guard, to replace the blackguard who
abandoned you!

Queen: ...

Rouge: I must concur with him, your majesty.  This is rash.

Queen: Enough.  I shall return to Dojo and seize back the power
which is rightfully mine.

Rouge: And I cannot convince you otherwise?

Queen: No.

Voice: Your confidence is a virtue, if your foresight may be
(They look back as Konatsu and his two charges step into view
from behind the shuttle.)

Konatsu: Though it is not my place to question your judgement or
advise you on your actions, I have been assigned the task of
protecting you again it seems.

Queen: How did you know what I was doing?

Konatsu: Very little escapes the notice of the Jedi, your

Queen: (eyes narrow) And why should I let you come at all?

Tofu: There is still the Dark Jedi to consider, your highness.
He seems to show an interest in your party for some reason.
Wouldn't you rather we stood between him and you?

Queen: ... (looks hard at Tofu)  Very well.  let us depart.
(The group begins to walk aboard.  Kiiima pauses, cocking her
head to one side.  She then walks to and looks over the edge of
the see Ok-chan still desperately hanging on.)

Kiima: Would you like some help?

Ok-chan: That would be nice...
(She picks him up and helps him into the ship.  Meanwhile, in a
control room that has been set up in the royal palace on Dojo,
Pink and Link are talking amongst themselves.  Suddenly, they
start as Darth Kumon stalks into the room.)

Kumon: Greetings.

Link: Greetings, Darth Kumon-san, over.

Pink: What she said, over.

Kumon: The Queen is on her way back to Dojo.

Pink: (piku) She is, over?

Link:   How did you learn that, over?

Kumon: A little bird told me.  (smirks)  She comes alone.

Link: This is great news, over!

Pink: Yes, we'll be able to easily capture her with our fleet
before she even makes planetfall, over!

Kumon: You'll do nothing of the sort.

Pink&Link: Excuse me, over?

Kumon: You'll do exactly what I tell you to, and the first thing
you'll do is send away all but one of your Plant Control Ships.

Pink: But that's sheer lunacy, over!

Link: It leaves us uneccessarily vulnerable, over.

Pink: Give us one good reason why we should do that, over.

Kumon: Because if you do not... (casually swipes back with one
fist, smashing down a nearby wall) I will be unhappy.

Pink: (gulp; forced smile) Anything you say, Kumon-san!  Over!
(In the skies of the verdant planet of Dojo, the sun glints on a
chromed craft as it sets down in the forest near a solitary
mountain.  Shortly thereafter, we see the people of the Phoenix
within said mountain, flying about in their artificial cavern.
Near the bottom of the mountain, five figures walk in.  Kiima
leads, with the Queen, Nodoka, Shinnosuke and Konatsu following

Kiima: And I still don't know what you hope to accomplish with

Queen: I merely wish to speak with him.

Kiima: Then let's hope he'll listen and not just have us all
(Two familiar Phoenix guards flap down and land in front of the

Koruma: Kiima!?  What are you doing back here?

Masara: Aren't you...

Kiima: I've brought the leader of the human kingdom to seek an
audience with Lord Saffron.

Koruma: (eyes the humans suspiciously) Which one is it?  The guy
with the broom?

Shinnosuke: No, i'm just a poor substitute for that no-good
Captain of the Guard!

Queen: I am the Queen of Dojo.

Masara: (rubs head)  Why are all the royalty on this planet kids?

Konatsu: I would suspect something in the water.
(Up in the audience chamber, the Phoenix King Saffron accepts his
guests into his presence.)

Saffron: Now, girl, what did you wish to ask me?

Queen: Our people are both residents of this world...

Nodoka: Wait.  (steps in front of the Queen)  For such an
important meeting, honesty is paramount.  -I- am the true Queen
of Dojo; this is merely my brave body double.

Shinnsouke: ye gods!  (smacks palm)  -I- am the Captain of the
(Kiima falls over.  Saffron eyes the humans as one might eye a
collection of frothing lunatics...probably because he can see
little difference by this point.)

Nodoka: (sweatdrops; deep breath) Lord Saffron, as I said,
honesty is most important, so I shall be honest with you.  I know
our two races aren't exactly friends, but if we are to throw off
the yoke of our oppressors, we must ally ourselves.

Saffron: (pauses; smiles evilly)  So, in NEED me.

Nodoka: Er...well, yes.
(Time passes and places change.  In a copse of trees at the edge
of a large forest, our heros are gathered.  They have been
jointed by Koruma and Masara, who stay near Kiima and avoid the
humans.  Shinnosuke is nowhere in sight.  Queen Nodoka is sitting
against a nearby tree, crying to herself.  Genma walks up to

Genma:'re the real Queen, huh?

Nodoka: (sniffle) Yes...

Genma: (sits, nods)  That explains why you're so pushy.

Nodoka: (flat look) Go away.

Genma: Why are you crying?

Nodoka: You wouldn't understand.

Genma: Why not?

Nodoka: Fine.  My people are suffering, and no matter what
happens, they will continue to.

Genma: Didn't you get those Phoenix guys to help you?  If you can
kick out those Union jerks with their help...

Nodoka: Yes, but even if we win, I had to promise to give them
control over all the planet's harvests to get that help.

Genma: So?

Nodoka: (hits Genma on the head)  I told you you wouldn't
understand.  I gave them our -food-!

Genma: Oh...that sucks.  But why are -you- so sad?

Nodoka: Because they're my people.  I feel what they feel.

Genma: Wow.  That must be pretty confusing.  After all, all of
them are feeling something different, right?

Nodoka: ... (stares at Genma) ... (smiles slightly) I think I
needed that.

Genma: (blink) Needed what?

Nodoka: Never mind.

Tofu: (calls over) Your highness, he's back.

Nodoka: Right, I'm coming.
(Nodoka walks over as Shinnosuke approaches from a parked
speeder.  Kiima and her two shadows also walk over.)

Nodoka: Shinnosuke-san, did you contact the resistance leaders?

Shinnosuke: Yes.  They're ready to move at the right time.

Nodoka: Good. (nods)  Are your people ready as well, Kiima-san?

Kiima: Yes.

Nodoka: Excellent.  Here is out plan.  (she points at a
convienent holographic map) The Phoenix army will create a
disturbance here, to draw the bioroid armies out of the capital.
With them gone, our forces will move up the passages on the
waterfall side.  We'll launch the fighters and take out the Plant
Control Ship, which will mean the Union will lose control of its
army.  I and a small group will then head up into the palace and
capture the leaders of the Union.

Konatsu: I still say we should just try reasoning with them.
This is probably just a misunderstanding.

Kiima: (facepalm) There's a slight problem here...

Nodoka: Yes?

Kiima: The plan rests on the abilities of your pilots to take out
that Plant Control Ship.  But it's very big, and your ships are
very small.

Nodoka: I'm afraid that's true, but do you have a better plan?

Koruma: (indignant) General Kiima is sure to have a better plan,
human!  (Kiima starts, and then glares at him)

Konatsu: General Kiima?  (stares at her, wide-eyed)  But I
thought you were still under the King's displeasure...

Kiima: (blushes) W-well...that is... (looks at everyone else)
What?  So I decieved you all!  It was all a complex plan to sneak
into your confidence so I could spy on you!   Is there something
wrong with that!?

Tofu: Well, I see one problem with that.

Konatsu: I'm afraid it wasn't necessary, Kiima-san.  We would
have trusted you no matter what your status among your people

Kiima: (growls, blushing furiously)  I -know-!  That's the most
embarrassing part!

Nodoka: Are there any other objections to this plan?

Shinnosuke: Yes.  Why are we talking orders from you and not the

Koruma: Uh...wasn't he in the room when she revealed the truth,

Kiima: (still grumbling) Like -that- matters.

Nodoka: Alright then.  Let's get this over with.
(Sometime later, near the edge of the forest, a patrol of
bioroids is...welll, patrolling.  Within the forest, a large
Phoenix detachment lies in wait.  Kiima is at the end, fiddling
with a large silver clasp that is attached to her wings.)

Kiima: (-still- grumbling) Why do I have to wear these things?
They pinch something awful!

Koruma: Well, as our general you must don the Thousand Wings of
the White Sea Bird as a symbol of our people...

Kiima: It was a rhetorical question, Koruma.

Masara: Yeah, moron.

Koruma: (glares at Masara) So what does rhetorical mean, then?

Masara: I...that is...

Kiima: Will you two SHUT UP!?
(They do so.  Kiima nods and points to the patrol, then gives a
signal.  The bioroids skid to a surprised half as an army of
Phoenix soldiers at least five legions strong fly out of the
forest and surround them.  Kiima lands several meters away from
the head of the bioroid patrol.)

Kiima: You have entered our territory.  You have five minutes to
leave, or suffer the consequences.

Bioroid#234: Uh...and your territory would be...?

Kiima: (smiles) This planet.

Bioroid#234: (observes the Phoenix soldiers, most of whom are
carrying spears and bows)  You don't scare me, savage..

Kiima: Then perhaps this will.
(She leaps into the air, snapping her wings forward as she does.
The wind around her twists and snaps, and with a resounding crack
a half-dozen arcs of compressed air tear through the squad like a
scythe.  As she lands, the lead bioroid watches, nonplussed, as
the rest of the patrol fall in pieces to the ground.)

Kiima: Inform your master that you now have four minutes to
(The remaining bioroid hastily runs off, the winged troops
letting it pass.  Kiima watches it leave with a pleased smirk,
but as soon as it is out of sight grimaces and begins to rub her

Masara: Now what?

Kiima: Now we wait.

Link: An army?  Of bird people, over?

Pink: (laughs megalomaniacally)  How ridiculous.  Wipe them out!
All of them, over!
(On the fringes of the forest, the army of winged warriors waits.
Not for long however, as soon the army of the Gardening Union
rise over the hillside.  They move into view with slow,
inexorable might, mammoth vehicles with thin, inhuman troops
marching between them like the fleshless dead.  The people of the
Phoenix rise to await them, circling like vultures overhead.)

Bioroid#318: (sitting in tank) All units, open fire.
(As the cannons raise and the riflemen aim, the Phoenix draw
their weapons.)

Kiima: (raises her sword)  In the name of the God-King! 
(And so it begins.  In the capital, more specifically the hangar
of the palace, the rest of the resistance is moving about freely.
Pieces of bioroid soldiers lay scattered about the room.)

Nodoka: Everyone to your ships!

Shinnosuke: If only my grandfather were still alive to help us in
our hour of need, victory would be assured.  Yet we must strive
on in his noble memory!

Granfather: (nearby) Oh Shinnosuke, you've forgotten me again!

Konatsu: Maybe you can remind him later.  After destroying the
flagship, perhaps?

Grandfather: Good idea. (runs over and leaps into the cockpit of
a fighter)

Tofu: (to Ok-chan) What are you doing here again?

Ok-chan: (shudders) Every time you people leave me behind,
something bad happens to me!  This time I'm staying with you all
the way!
(Tofu nods, stepping aside as a fighter flies past, exiting the
hangar and rapidly climbing into the sky overhead.  He blinks as
another sharp hiss becomes clear as the sound of the engines
receded.  He and Konatsu turn at the same time as the large doors
on the side of the room open.  In the doorway, framed by the blue
light of massive energy pillars, stands the Dark Lord of the
Sith, Darth Kumon.)

Konatsu: ... (turns) Genma.  Find a safe place to hide.
Tofu-Wan, if you will?

Tofu: Yes, sensei.
(He and Konatsu walk forward; their lightsabers, hissing to life,
cast small shadows on their bodies.  Kumon's lip curls in open
contempt as he strides forward, shrugging his cloak off.  He
stands before the Jedi in a muscle shirt and dark pants,
lightsaber in hand.  Instead of activating it, however, he smirks
and tosses it at the Jedi, sending it skittering between them.
Then he places his hands on his hips, calmly awaiting them.
Konatsu and Tofu exchange glances, then begin slowly to move

Nodoka: What is he doing?  (leaning over, she picks up Kumon's
lightsaber, which had skidded to a halt near her)  Doesn't he
need this to fight them?

Shinnosuke: Maybe he's going to surrender?
(Suddenly, the doors to the palace proper open and in roll four
of the Defoliator heavy combat bioroids.  They unfold and
activate their shields, begining to fire at the intruders.  Genma
yelps and leaps into the relative safety of a nearby fighter
cockpit.  Shinnosuke grabs Nodoka and pulls her behind a pillar.
Ok-chan stumbles back in terror...right out of the hangar doors
to the thousand-foot drop outside.  Unusually, the bioroids
ignore the three Jedi.)

Konatsu: Sir, could we perhaps talk about this problem you seem
to have with your rage?

Kumon: Shut up and fight.

Tofu: But...

Kumon: Oh forget it.  Die.
(The dark warrior charges, his fist flashing forward with
unnerving speed.  Konatsu and Tofu leap up, somersaulting over
him.  He spins and faces them again as they land and back up a
step, waving their lightsabers in defensive arcs.)

Tofu: I don't want to hurt you.

Kumon: The feeling isn't mutual...DON'T MOVE!
(Tofu's eyes widen as Kumon dashes forward, snapping his arms to
the side while kicking.  Tofu is caught flat-footed, his blade
lowering as he tries to escape.  Then Konatsu shoulder-checks him
aside, slamming her shin into Darth Kumon's neck.  The Dark Lord
skids to a stop, glaring at his attacker, who is now holding a
lightsaber between him and her protege.)

Konatsu: Tofu-Wan, even you must fight when all other options
have been exhausted.

Kumon: (cracks knuckles) That is why you are weak.

Konatsu: Perhaps.  (she slashes at Kumon, but he slips aside and
catches her wrist)  How...?

Kumon: Freak.  (pulls back palm)  Get out of my sight!
(The hand snaps forward, plowing into Konatsu's gut like a
jackhammer.  The Jedi Samurai's lungs empty of air in a massive
heave as she flies up, still held by the dark warrior.  As
gravity takes back control of her body's movement, she
plummets...and again Kumon drives his hand into her abdomen.
This time he releases her hand, and the blow sends her sailing
through the air and into the next room, a titanic chamber filled
with giant pillars of glowing blue light that are linked by
multiple levels of walkways.  She flies along one of the
walkways, finally slamming into the floor and nearly skidding
into one of the pillars before her hand shoots out to halt her
flight.  Tofu backs into the chamber, swinging his lightsaber
back and forth uneasily.  Kumon stalks after him, eyes reflecting
the light of the blade.)

Kumon: Aren't you going to attack me, boy?

Tofu: I don't kill.

Kumon: Pathetic.  I have no such qualms!
(Back in the hangar, the Jedi battle is rapidly becoming a
distant sight.  The small group of freedom fighters are pinned
down by the four attack drones.  In his cockpit, Genma is doing
his best to crouch down out of sight of everyone.)

Genma: Why did I have to come along?  Back on Tokyo, at least
people weren't shooting at me...often.  (rises up to sneek a peek
at the battle) And even then it was just people... (puts hand on
a panel) and... (notes the ship humming and lights coming on)
...oh boy...
(Behind the protusion of stone that forms a sort of stable dock
for the fighter craft, Nodoka and Shinnosuke crouch.  Pellets hit
the stone, erupting into balls of spiky thorns that inexorably
eat away at their cover...until they suddenly stop.  The two peek
out and see that one of the fighters has exited its dock, and
that as it turned the backwash from its engines sent the
Defoliators flying.)

Shinnosuke: Wow!  What luck!  Who do you think is in it?

Nodoka: I don't know, but remind me that I owe a kiss to whoever
it is.

Shinnosuke: I'll try my best to remember that.

Nodoka: (pats him on the cheek) I'm counting on that.  Now come
on, this is our chance! (gets up)

Shinnosuke: But I can't leave!  I'm supposed to protect the

Nodoka: ... (grabs him by the wrist)  She's upstairs, let's go.  
(She drags the protesting Captain of the Guard out of the room.
Outside, Genma stares as his ship flies up out of the atmospehere
and into the endless void of space.  Not far off, the huge
flower-shapted battleship rests, flashes of red and green laser
weapons testifying to the fierceness of the firefight.)

Genma: Okay, that was not good.  (pauses)  Now let's get
back...this thing doesn't seem too much different from my
podracer... (grabs control rod) Now, to turn around you...
(He fiddles with the controls, promptly causing the starfighter
to scream forward as the afterburners activate.)

Genma: Oh craaaaaaaaappppp...
(The starfighter blasts right into the battle around the huge
ship which is controlling the army of bioroids currently engaged
in fighting the Phoenix Tribe.  And thus the authors used the
first actual segue of the fic!  The battle is vicious and dirty,
as the bioroids dash about with surprising agility and fire their
weapons skyward, avoiding the arrows of the bird people.  They
have apparently learned this lesson the hard way, as many of the
plant beings lay scattered around in pieces, blown to shreds by
the explosive arrowheads.  The bioroids have taken their toll
however, as several of the Phoenix lie unmoving on the ground.
The mammoth tanks move around with virtual impunity, marred by
only a few minor burns.  A tribesman lands on one and stabs it
with his spear, the tip crackling with energy.  The tank seems
about to stop as sparks erupt from it, but a pellet takes the
tribesman in the gut and sends him hurtling away.  A moment
later, Kiima lands in front of the tank.)

Kiima: Let's see you resist this!  Thousand Wings!
(She again snaps her wings forward, spraying the tank with the
arcs of compressed air.  It shudders and then collapses in
several pieces, but a moment later Kiima is forced to leap away
to avoid several bioroid shots.)

Kiima: Damn!  There's too many!
(She takes flight, avoiding more shots, and overpasses Koruma and
Masara.  The two wield long chains, which they use to entangle
their targets and fling them across the battlefield.  Koruma
smirks as he swings his chain in a whirling arc...which catches
on the cannon of a passing tank.  He yelps as he is pulled from
the air and in a whirl of motion finds himself firmly tied to
said cannon.)

Koruma: Help!

Masara: Don't worry, I'll save you!  (lands on the tank)  Now
hold still!  (he jabs the chain with a spear; sparks fly and
Koruma screams in pain) Oops...

Koruma: (smoking) Watch it with that thing, you moron!

Masara: I'm not the one who tied himself to a cannon!

Kiima: (passing by) SHUT UP!!!
(Back in the palace, Nodoka, Shinnosuke and a half-dozen guards
charge along a hallway filled with elegant statues and with
majestic windows lining one side, overlooking the vast forest
hundreds of metres below.)

Shinnosuke: The throne room is this way...(leaps back as a pellet
flies in front of him) Bioroids!
(Sure enough, five squads of the mobile bioweapons appear from
behind the many pillars in the room.  Nodoka responds instantly,
lifting her blaster and firing three shots that all hit their
targets.  Shinnosuke spins his broom, knocking a pellet shot at
her aside.  With a roar he flips forward and comes down on his
knees amid the enemy, broom held low.  The nearby bioroids turn
to shoot him...and their heads all fall off.  The Captain of the
Guard rises to his feet and proceeds to whirl into the mass of
bioroids, his broom smashing the plant things to pieces like
hammer blows.  Nodoka and her guards stick to blasting them from
afar, but they no longer have to worry about return fire as the
bioroids are far too busy defending themselves from Shinnosuke.
In a few seconds it is over.)

Nodoka: Excellent work, Shinnosuke-san.

Shinnosuke: (nods) Thank you.  I only wish the Queen could have
seen it.  Or at least my departed grandfather.

Nodoka: (sighs) Never mind.  Come on, the turbolifts are this way

Shinnosuke: (cutting in front)  You have to be careful, this is
part of the palace I trapped.  Let me lead the way.
(Shinnosuke takes two steps before tripping on a wire and having
a pillar fall on his head.)

Nodoka: (sweatdrop) At least you're a great fighter, Shinnosuke. 
(She picks him up and takes off down the hall with him, Darth
Kumon's lightsaber swinging on her belt.  Further down in the
palace, the owner of said lightsaber-segue #2!  Collect the
set!-is busy kicking the crud out of Tofu.  Konatsu, meanwhile,
rises shakily to her feet, clutching her stomach but still
holding tightly to her ligthsaber.  Kumon snaps another palm at
Tofu, effortlessly bypassing his defences and smashing the Sage
across the chin.  Tofu staggers back, spitting a tooth across the
walkway.  He doesn't look good.)

Kumon: Fight back, you wimp!  (stalks forward)  I don't want to
kill you if you refuse to fight back!

Tofu: (grins goofily) Then maybe we can talk this over?

Kumon: (backhands Tofu, sending him flying) I said I don't want
to, not that I won't.  Now get up and fight!

Konatsu: Tofu-Wan!  (winces) I'm coming!  (starts forward)
(Tofu lurches back to his feet, and notes that his glasses are
broken.  With a sigh, he pulls them off.)

Tofu: I don't want to hurt you.

Kumon: With such a weak will, no wonder the Jedi are
irresponsible.  If you can't back up words with action, you
deserve to be beaten around!
(Kumon charges and lashes out.  Tofu dodges under the fist, but
takes a boot to the stomach for his effort.  The strike carries
him into the air, and Kumon spins in place before backhanding
Tofu out of his freefall and right off the walkway.)

Konatsu: TOFU!
(Kumon sneers as Konatsu pulls herself back to her full height.
Below, Tofu plummets, but suddenly tuck and rolls, his fall
changing course.  He lands on a platform two stories down
feet-first, but falls over as the shock of the landing is a bit
too much for him.)

Kumon: (peers over the side) It appears your little coward is
alive still.

Konatsu: (holds her lightsaber overhead) You have struck a man
who desires only peace.  (glows slightly)  For this great sin,
there can be no forgiveness!
(Darth Kumon's eyes widen as Konatsu moves in, seemingly
unmindful of her injuries.  Her lightsaber moves so fast it blurs
into an orange streak.  Kumon dodges back, only a fraction of an
inch between him and the slicing blade.  Kumon growls and leaps
up snapping his hand down.  A golden cord flies from his hand,
but Konatsu's lightsaber chops it in twain...down it's length.
Kumon flips and lands behind Konatsu, who spins and almost
decapitates the dark warrior.  Kumon evades by backing off, and
smiles cruelly.)

Kumon: So.  You're going to make a fight of it after all.
(cracks knuckles)  Then I don't need to hold back!
(He charges, Konatsu meets him, and...this would be a cruel point
to cut away, don't you agree?  In his space fighter, Genma is
still trying to learn how to pilot his craft; not the easiest
skill to master when one is involuntarily stuck in the middle of
a dogfight.  Dojo and Union starfighters leap and spin about each
other, lances of brilliant light blowing each other apart.  The
turbolasers of the titanic flagship dwarf the fighters, but none
score any hits on the ships that buzz around it like flies.)

Genma: How do you fly this thing!?
(He twists his control rod and the ship spins away from an enemy
craft that had been tailing it.  Said craft explodes against the
mothership's shields.)

Genma: Okay, that was nice.  What does this do...?
(He toggles a switch; suddenly radio chatter fills his cockpit.)

Voice: Bandit 5, two on your six!

Other voice: I can't cut through the shields; they're too strong!

Grandfather's voice: What?  We'll all die!

Original voice: What about proton torpedos?

Second voice: No good either, I can't get a firing solution!

Grandfather: Who's the fool in that new ship?  He's about to get
blown to bits!

Genma: Huh?  That's me! (looks over his shoulder two see two
starfighters dropping in behind him) Ack!
(He jerks the controls and the craft responds erratically.  This
is a good thing, however; the enemy ships, in their haste to
maintain firing solutions, slam into each other and explode.)

Grandfather: Or not.  That was some good move, whoever you are!

Genma: (beams) Thanks.  Now maybe I can take out some more of
them.  Now, which one is the trigger?  (pulls a red switch and
his ship spits out several red bolts...which hit a passing Dojo
starfighter) Oops...

Original voice: Hey, you moron!  Aim at the enemy!

Genma: I said oops... (his ship jolts to the side) Waah!  I'm
outta here!  (looks around)  I can hide in that hangar.  (ship
rocks again)  If I can just get to it... (eyes brighten) I got
it! (he flips the starfighter over, heading for the Plant Control
Ship)  Umisenken piloting technique!

Grandfather: Hey, where did that fighter go?

Original voice: Who cares?  Good riddance!
(In the flagshiip, the main hangar is a hive of activity.
Suddenly, Genma's fighter appears in the middle of it, skimming
through a few dozen bioroids as it begins to riccochet down the
hangar's length.  On it's way it passes a cigar-shaped red
cruiser, causing the two occupants to looks up.)

Pilot: Crazy pilots.

Co-pilot: At least he's flying.  Unlike us.  Any idea when those
Jedi are coming back?

Pilot: Ah, I'm sure it'll be any time now.  They're probably just
sitting down to the final negotiations.
(Genma's starfighter finally comes to rest at the end of the
hangar.  It falls on its belly and all the lights go out as it
powers down.)

Genma: Well, at least I'm safe now.  (tap tap)  Huh?
(Genma looks up and sees a bioroid tapping on his canopy.)

Bioroid#863: Could you step out of the ship, sir?

Genma: Uh... (smiles) Care to repeat that?  (the bioroid levels
its gun at him) Or not...
(Down below, the Phoenix continue to fight the bioroid army.
Kiima launches another thousand wing attack, slicing another tank
to pieces.  The bioroids are taking a massive pounding, and most
of them have been blown to bits.)

Kiima: (as Koruma and Masara approach) How goes the battle?

Masara: I think we might actually win this, Kiima-sama!

Koruma: Yeah, without the human's help, even!

Kiima: Perhaps... (she looks over and sees four tanks perched on
a rise outside the battlefield)  What are they doing?

Masara: Who cares?  At that range, they'll never hit...

Koruma: What was that?
(A small canister falls among the Phoenix warriors...and hisses
as a green mist blows out of it.  Kiima stares at it for a moment
then swiftly wings away.)

Kiima: Look out!  Gas!
(It's too late, however.  Already a dozen more canisters begin to
fall among the flying warriors.  Fierce coughing erupts from the
Phoenix ranks as the rancid green smoke floods through them.
Dozens of warriors fall from the clouds, barely able to rise to
their knees on the ground as they try to work the noxious fumes
from their lungs.  Kiima flies under the cloud and lands next to
a particularly sickly-looking soldier.)

Kiima: Damn, the gas is lighter than air to keep us from flying!
(She looks up...and stares as another force tops the rise.  An
army of bioroids, ten times larger than the last one.)

Kiima: A trap...
(In the palace, Pink and Link watch a translucent hologram of the
battle in progress.  They smile evilly as they watch their troops
move in for the kill.)

Link: I have to admit, that was a brillian plan, Pink, over.

Pink: Of course, over.  (preens)  Foolish savages didn't realise
we could send in disposable troops to lure them into our trap,

Link: And meanwhile, the rest of our army moves in to capture
them, over.

Pink: Ha!  I wonder why they even bothered with such a pitiful
attack, over?

Voice: For a diversion, of course. (click)

Link: Who, over?
(They turn and see Nodoka, Shinnosuke and her honour guard
standing in the doorway.  Nodoka points her blaster at them and

Nodoka: The rightful ruler.  And this is definitely the end of
your invasion.

Pink: So that was your plan, over.

Link: But you overlooked one thing, over.

Shinnosuke: And that is?

Link: We aren't undefended, over!
(She lunges and hits a button before Nodoka can react; the walls
shudder...and then vines whip from them and wrap around the good
guys.  They snap taut, and the group is strung up like carnival
volunteers at the knife toss.  The movement is so violent that
their weapons are ripped from their hands and clatter to the

Shinnosuke: You witches!  At least the Queen escaped you
(Pink and Link stare at him, and Nodoka sighs in exasperation.)

Link: Well, nevertheless we have you, over. (frowns)

Pink: It appears the hunted have trapped the hunters, over.

Pink&Link: Mwa ha!  MwahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-HAH!  Over!

Nodoka: (grinds teeth; glares) You haven't won yet.
(Down below, a more intense battle is being waged.  Konatsu
dashes in and slashes, a series of brilliant arcs filling the
air.  Kumon dances back, just out of reach of the strikes, then
roars and lashes out with his fist.  The strike catches Konatsu's
wrist and halts one of the strikes in mid-swing.  Konatsu leaps
up, avoiding a kick, and smashes a foot into Kumon's face.  The
Dark Jedi only clamps even tighter onto the wrist and twists it,
jerking Konatsu down...)

Kumon: Jedi Yamasenken!  Kaichu Hoju SatsU!
(Konatsu yells in pain as Kumon snares him in a vicious bear-hug.
He grins evilly and proceeds to really apply pressure, causing
Konatsu to scream out again.)

Kumon: You are dead, Jedi.

Konatsu: (grits teeth) Not...yet!  
(Konatsu smashes her forehead into the dark lord's, stunning him.
In the process she kicks free, landing several feet away.  Darth
Kumon charges before she has a chance to regain her breath.  He
leaps, coming down with a powerful cupped hand strike.  Konatsu
rolls away underneath him and Kumon strikes the walkway, which
obligingly explodes.  Konatsu stares as what remains of the
walkway creaks, then the overstressed connections to its supports
snap and the whole thing falls.  She scrambles for purchase as
the giant slab descends into the huge chamber.  The walkway comes
to a rest, dumping her onto the one two stories down.  Konatsu
rolls to her feet and shakes her head.)

Tofu: (running up) Are you alright, sensei?

Konatsu: I live.  I see you've recovered.

Tofu: At least...

Kumon: (steps forward)  Well well, back together again?

Konatsu: Behind me, Tofu-Wan.

Tofu: I want to help!

Kumon: Cowards like you are no help to anyone. (pause) DON'T
(Konatsu stabs her lightsaber forward as the Sith Lord charges
in...but her eyes widen a golden rope snaps around her wrist.
Kumon jerks to a halt and pulls the rope viciously.  Konatsu is
sent flying forward, to connect with Kumon's knee in mid-flight.
The Jedi coughs up a small stream of blood and staggers back, but
Kumon's fist connects with her face and sends her skidding into a
corridor with large energy projectors placed along the walls.
Tofu steps forward and places himself again between Konatsu and

Kumon: So you will stop me?  (opens arms wide)  Fine then, strike
me down.  I won't defend myself.

Tofu: (steps forward hesistantly) I...I... (puts lightsaber down)
I can't.

Kumon: (shoves Tofu aside) Then leave the fighting to the real
warriors.  (dashes into the corridor)

Tofu: I... (grips lightsaber tighter)  Damn it!
(He turns and runs after them.  Meanwhile, Konatsu leaps to her
feet just as Kumon reaches her.  The dark lord lashes out with a
powerful strike that forces Konatsu back from the corridor into a
circular room with no other exits other than a huge pit in the
centre.  Konatsu backflips over the pit and lands opposite Kumon,
who grins.  Tofu rushes up behind them, but stops as the energy
projectors suddenly activate and produce a field of red light
between him and the two combatants.)

Konatsu: (grits teeth)  Let's end this now.

Kumon: Fine.  (crosses arms)  Prepare to face the true power of
the Jedi Ninjutsu Yamasenken!
(The Sith Lordclenches his teeth and a bright glow begin to
radiate from him.  Konatsu backs off a step as the light grows so
bright that Kumon appears backlit by the glow.)

(Konatsu backs up again as Kumon leaps into the air and snaps his
hands away from his chest and out.  Arcs of force, little more
than ripples in the viewer's sight, leap from him and slam into
Konatsu.  The Jedi cries out in agony as she hurled backwards, to
smash through the wall beyond.  She falls on her face in the
rubble, and lies very, very still.)

Kumon: It's over.

Tofu: K-konatsu...?

Kumon: (turns) Your master is dead, coward.

Tofu: No... (steps back) Konatsu can't be dead!

Kumon: Nothing can survive the Demon-God Bomb.  (smiles)  But you
could have prevented it.

Tofu: ... (clenches his blade tighter)

Kumon: If you'd had the guts to take me down when you had the
chance, your master would still be alive.  (Tofu closes his eyes
tightly)  Because you're a coward, you're responsible for this
death.  How does it feel, pacifist?  Can you really preserve
life?  Or are you nothing but an utter failure?

Tofu: NO! 
(The barrier goes down and he charges, blade sweeping in deadly
arcs that force the Sith Lord to back up.  Tofu cries out in rage
and slashes at Kumon again and again, who sneers at the effort.)

Kumon: Even as a warrior you are a failure!

Tofu: No!  Noone else will die today!  (spins and cuts at
Kumon...and catches him)
(The dark Jedi yells out and slaps his hand over his forearm,
where a vicious cut has marred his flesh.  Tofu staggers back as
if he had cut himself instead of the Sith Lord.)

Kumon: Big mistake.
(With a roar, he slashes his palm out, striking the lightsaber in
Tofu's hand.  The weapon cracks, and the blade disappears as the
cylinder begins to shoot out sparks.)

(The dark warrior's hand flies forward...and his fingers sink up
to the knuckles in Tofu's stomach.  The Jedi Sage crumbles around
the strike, eyes as wide as saucers.  Then Kumon's knee collides
with his face, and Tofu is pulled away and sent flying into the
wall.  After smashing a dent into the metal, Tofu slides down and
sits helplessly, only held up by the wall.  Both his hands cover
the wound in his chest, and he coughs up a trickle of blood.  His
broken lightsaber sits in front of him, spitting out sparks

Kumon: I have to admit, I didn't think you had it in you.
(crosses arms with a grunt of effort, and begins to glow)  But
this is the end, Jedi.  If only the begining of my revenge!
(Up in the orbiting battlecruiser and control ship, Genma raises
his hands and smiles at the bioroid holding a gun to his head
past the canopy.)

Genma: Now, let's not be hasty...

Bioroid#863: Get out of the ship.  Now.

Genma: Okay... (looks at controls) I think this button opens the
(He hits it.  The canopy does not open.  Instead, the shields
turn on, blasting the bioroid into two pieces.  At the same time,
the engines rev up to full afterburn, sending the ship skidding
forward on its belly.  The flames of the engines wash over the
large structure the ship had been resting against.  With a
titanic roar the machinery explodes, sending flaming flaming
debris into the hangar.  Genma's fighter skips past the parked
Republic cruiser a second ahead of the flames.  These flames also
flood into the conduits of the ship, fusing power junctures and
causing power to build up in the reactor.  The chain reactions
continues until the entire ship explodes in a fantastic blossom
of flame, quickly snuffed by the airless void of space.)

Grandfather: What happened!?  It just blew up!

Fighter pilot: I think I saw one of ours fly out of the ship just
before it exploded!

Grandfather: Where is it now?

Fighter pilot: I don't know.  It was falling into the atmosphere
like it was out of control...
(Down below, on the plains of Dojo, Kiima and her forces are
being herded into one large group.  Kiima growls in
frustration...and suddenly the bioroids begin to spasm.)

Koruma: What?

Kiima: They must have done it!  With the control ship gone, they
won't work.  (pushes an inert bioroid aside)  Let's clean these
things up!
(Meanwhile, in the palace, the sudden loss their Plant Control
Ship has not gone unnoticed by Pink and Link.)

Link: Aiya!  Without our army we're sitting ducks, over!

Pink: Don't panic, we can still escape, over!

Link: How, over? (frowns)

Pink: (smirks) We'll use the Queen as a hostage and get out that
way, over.

Link: Brilliant, over!

Pink: Then we'll call for our armada and return to reconquer the
planet, over.

Nodoka: No!  I won't let you!  (growls and struggles)

Pink: (smiling)  There isn't much you can do about it, now is
there, over?

Nodoka: (strains muscles) I wouldn't... (vines begin to creak)
count on it!
(With a cry she snaps the vines holding her and leaps forward.
The twin aliens can only stare as she pulls the lightsaber from
her belt and activates it.  With a roar she spins and slicers
through a nearby pillar, which topples on the two aliens.)

Pink&Link: Ouch, over!
(Nodoka walks over onto the pillar and points the lightsaber down
at the trapped twins.)

Nodoka: I think that wraps everything up, over and out.
(The twins gulp and stare up at their captor with large
sweatdrops on their heads.  But below, Tofu is still in trouble.
Kumon's glow has grown stronger than ever, and he is chuckling
evilly.  Tofu grimaces as he tries to hold back the bleeding.)

Tofu: Why do you hate me so much?

Kumon: Who?  Because you remind me of the man who ruined my life!
That's why!

Tofu: What are you talking about?

Kumon: The Jedi destroyed my life.  They took away my family, my

Tofu: The Jedi would never do that!  We are an order dedicated to

Kumon: (sneers)  That's what -he- said, the wanderer who come to
our home on Tokyo.  He said he wanted nothing more of war.  That
didn't stop him from teaching my father and I the Art, however.

Tofu: Wanderer... (eyes widen) Genma's father...

Kumon: (ignoring Tofu) But he was an irresponsible coward like
you!  My father couldn't handle the power; it was killing him,
driving him mad.  So he destroyed everything around him, nearly
killed me!  Then the Jedi finally faced up to his duty, but it
was far too late.  They died together that day.  (smiles cruelly)
But I have mastered the Art, and I will use it to punish all the

Tofu: (eyes darting) You can't really blame the man for your
father's death.

Kumon: (shouts) Why NOT!?  He should have known what would
happen!  He should have stepped in sooner!  But he was weak!  And
weakness is the ultimate sin!

Tofu: No, you poor man. (eyes rest on his broken lightsaber)
Weakness isn't a sin.  Misusing strength is.  But no one ever
told you that, did they?  How sad your life must have been...

Kumon: Save your pity for the weak!  (he crouches; his aura
becomes blinding)

Tofu: I only hope you can find the light some day.  If you seek
forgiveness in your heart, you can still find it.

Kumon: SHUT UP!  (leaps) KIJIN...

Tofu: And then you may forgive me as well.  (kicks his
lightsaber, snapping it into the air)

Kumon: RAISHU... (the lightsaber stops, held in Tofu's
telekinetic grasp, then flies towards Kumon) DAN!!!
(And the saber enter the point just in front of him as the blades
begin to form.  They crack the housing into a million pieces, and
Kumon's eyes widen...outside, on the side of the cliff next the
the waterfall, the hapless droid Ok-chan clings.  He reaches up
and clamps onto a handhold to help pull himself up.)

Ok-chan: Finally...climbed...all the way...from bottom...
(At this point, the wall explodes and Ok-chan is blown clear off
the surface.  A dark figure plummets past him, and Ok-chan sighs
as he tumbles back to the forest far below.  Back inside the
power station, Tofu climbs over the blasted debris towards his
master.  Covered in light burns, he still appears to be several
steps away from critically wounded.  He comes up to Konatsu and
rolls his master over, wincing as he notes the front of the
outfit has been ripped open and several deep gashes have been
torn in the chest.  A chest, it may be noted, that bears a
remarkable lack of mammaries.)

Tofu: Sensei...

Konatsu: (eyes flicker open) Tofu-Wan...?

Tofu: You're alive!

Konatsu: Tofu...take care of...the boy...

Tofu: No!  Save your strength!

Konatsu: ....take care of him...until...

Tofu: (teary eyes)  Until he is ready to stand up for himself?

Konatsu: (piku) No, until I...get out of the bacta tank...
(groans) Which, not to rush something I'd like to get
into rather soon...

Tofu: Erk!  Sorry, I thought you were dying!  (picks Konatsu up
and runs from the room)
(Sometime later, the city cries out in delight.  People dance and
sing in the streets as the warriors of the Phoenix, led by King
Saffron, approach the palace.  The palace, interestingly, appears
to have a new decoration as a fighter is rather firmly lodged in
the top of it.  Nodoka smiles as Saffron, Koruma, Masara and
Kiima climb the steps to formally thank each other.  Nearby is
Konatsu, bandages wrapped around his newly-unveiled male chest;
apparently his ripped outfit haven't been mended yet.  Tofu and
Genma stand and look on, the latter doing his best not to look at
the fighter while he rolls back and forth on his heels and
whistles innocently.  Shinnosuke is standing behind a bound and
sour looking Pink and Link, teary-eyed.  Cologne and her young
companion watch everything with interest from nearby.  Rouge
stands to Nodoka's right, looking elegant.  Kiima walks to the
side as Saffron and Nodoka exchange pleasantries.)

Kiima: Hmph.  I'm surprised it all turned out so well.

Konatsu: You should have had more faith, Kiima-san.  I told you
it was all a misunderstanding.

Kiima: (snorts) You and your misunder... (turns and staggers
back, wide-eyed)'re a GUY!

Konatsu: (blinks)  Of course I am.  Did you think I was a woman?

Kiima: I...that is... (looks at her feet, blushing)  Stupid
humans!  (Tofu snickers)  Don't you tempt me!  (waves her fist at
Tofu, then looks at Konatsu again)  What -happened- to you?

Konatsu: I had a run-in with our dark friend.  He was quite the

Kiima: You took him on by YOURSELF!?  (she whaps him upside the
head)  That was stupid!

Konatsu: Ah, but the Force is I don't have to be.
(Kiima falls over.  Nearby, Nodoka and Saffron turn to raise
their hands together, causing the crowd to cheer once more.  Once
that is done, Nodoka turns to Rouge, the latter resplendant in
her new robes.)

Nodoka: I never had a chance to congratulate you on your election
to the seat of Chancellor, Rouge.  You do our people proud.

Rouge: (smiles, eyes glinting)  I live but to serve Your Majesty.

Saffron: you are the leader of the entire galaxy of free
nations, are you?

Rouge: Indeed I am, Saffron-sama.

Saffron: (pats her on the back)  It's good to finally meet a
ruler who is almost as important as me!  (laughs)
(Off the the side, Cologne and her young companion talk.  The
latter is licking a large lollipop.)

Cologne: They never found the Sith Lord's body, Hinako.

Hinako: No.  (lick)  They didn't.

Cologne: I have a feeling this is far from over.

Hinako: (eyes glint) Who knows what evils are out there, waiting
to be unleashed?

Cologne: Who indeed... (stares at Genma hard)
(Meanwhile, Shinnosuke wipes the tears from his eyes.)

Shinnosuke: It's so beautiful.

Pink&Link: (glare)

Shinnosuke: But what's all the fuss about?  Is it somebody's
birthday?  Did I miss something?
(The twins fall over.)

                             THE END

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