20. Old Friends

Ryoko and Hotsuma have become the most notorious criminal force in the galaxy, and with their new band of masked henchmen, the Galaxy Police cannot hope to touch them. However, hidden in amongst this band of hardened criminals are two very familiar GP officers- Mihoshi and Kiyone.

Back on Earth, and Tenchi’s class are eagerly looking forward to summer break- that is, if they can make it through finals first. Tenchi and Sakuya seem to be doing fine, but their classmates are worried that they are going to have to re-sit all of their exams. Nonetheless, there is one thing everyone can agree on- they must find somewhere nice to visit during their vacation.

Having returned to their hideout, Ryoko and her band are having a great time celebrating their latest raid. Ever one to enjoy the party mood, Mihoshi gets a little too into the swing of things, even to the point of taking off her mask and demonstrating a GP style dance. Fortunately, Kiyone quickly drags her off into the corner, reminding her partner that they are supposed to be on an undercover mission. If they can just keep Ryoko’s band at the hideout whilst they send word to the waiting GP, their part in her capture will almost certainly bring a promotion.

Unlike Kiyone, Mihoshi is not so interested in promotion as she is in finding out what it was that made Ryoko want to leave the Earth in the first place. Kiyone agrees that they should stick around for a while and find out- as long as Mihoshi doesn’t blow their cover.

What the two officers do not realise is that Ryoko has already recognised them, and now she intends to have some fun with her two newest ‘servants’. After setting them to clean the entire hideout (using a wall of spikes to keep them moving quickly), the duo are ordered to prepare a meal from a live dinosaur. Next up is washing the laundry in an oversized washing machine, and when they are finally done with that, Ryoko asks the pair to provide the rest of the band with some entertainment.

Unfortunately, jokes, plate spinning and tightrope-walking don’t go down very well with the crowd, so Mihoshi is forced to resort to her latest trick- fire breathing. Thanks to her skill, the act proves to be a big hit, but unfortunately, the overenthusiastic Mihoshi ends up toasting Kiyone in the process.

Having had great fun teasing them, Ryoko finally lets Mihoshi and Kiyone know that their cover is blown, and invites them to tea in her quarters- a custom built space that bears a striking resemblance to the Masaki house. Explaining that she recognised Mihoshi and Kiyone from the start, Ryoko tries to make small talk with the pair, but Kiyone is determined to find out why Ryoko left the Earth. As Kiyone theorises that it must be something to do with Tenchi, Ryoko refuses to answer her questions, only opening up when Kiyone tells her that if she is no longer interested in Tenchi, then Kiyone herself might ask him out. Just as Kiyone hoped, Ryoko is forced to react- retorting that Tenchi is already with someone else- Sakuya.

When Kiyone tries to press Ryoko further, she turns away, angrily denying that she misses the old days back on Earth. As Kiyone and Ryoko reach a stalemate, Mihoshi quickly defuses the situation by suggesting that they all play a game of cards together. The others are quick to agree, and soon they are engaged in a friendly game- unaware that their reunion is about to be interrupted. For Hotsuma has been watching the whole exchange over the security cameras, and the last thing he wants is for Ryoko is to start getting close to her old friends again.

As Kiyone, Mihoshi and Ryoko continue their game, Hotsuma sends an anonymous tip to the GP fleet, telling them it is time to move in. Naturally, they assume that the message was sent by Kiyone and Mihoshi, and as they close in, they send a reply congratulating the two officers. Hearing this message, Ryoko assumes that Mihoshi and Kiyone have betrayed her, and all of her benign feelings towards them evaporate. As the two try to plead their innocence, Ryoko departs with Hotsuma, ordering her men to stay at the base and hold off the GP.

Thanks to her burns, Kiyone is no state to run after Ryoko, so Mihoshi is forced to go after her alone. Mihoshi begs Ryoko not to turn away from her friends, but Ryoko isn’t interested in listening. Teleporting aboard Hotsuma’s ship, she orders to her men to deal with Mihoshi. Using her fire breathing trick, Mihoshi is easily able to send the men running, but it is too late- Ryoko and Hotsuma are gone.

Back on Earth, and the exams still aren’t going well for Amagasake- now it seems certain that his vacation will be taken up with studying and summer school. As Tenchi offers to tutor him, Sugano and the others cannot help remarking what an excellent teacher and all round good person Tenchi is. Agreeing with them, Sakuya hopes to herself that she will be able to learn more about Tenchi- and that he will want to learn more about her. Watching them, Yugi is confused by Sakuya’s thoughts, but doesn’t give it too much consideration. After all, endgame is very near.

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