The seven escapees had been wandering around the tunnels of the castle for most of the morning. None of them wanted to admit just how lost they were. The problem that the Miyagi four had was that the castle had been renovated since they had left Miyagi. Nothing was where it used to be.
The other three were getting tense. None really wanted to go back, but it was getting quite clear that if they didn't find freedom soon, that they would have no choice but to go back. That is, if they could find their way back. Then they would have to face the wrath of their wife, who they knew wouldn’t' be too pleased.
"I think it's here," Subaru said at the twentieth place that the group had stopped at.
"How can you tell?" Yoko asked.
"Check it!' Subaru ordered Shota who had the best hearing of the group.
Shota pressed his ear against the door. He could hear talking. Once voice sounded a lot like Ueda's. Another he knew was Jin's.
"I think we found them." Shota told him.
"You said that earlier, and we found the library!" Ryo groaned.
'Yeah, and before that, we found the Shikayko's guards room." Maruyama said.
"We were lucky they were out at the time!" Ohkura said.
"We could have been killed!" Yoko hissed.
"I really think I've got it right this time!" Shota insisted.
"You go in and see," Ryo ordered.
"Why me?" Shota asked. He didn't understand why it had to always be him checking out the various rooms. ""Isn't it about time someone else did this?"
"Sorry, no you have to." Subaru told him.
"Who says?" Shota asked.
"We voted." Maruyama told him.
"No you didn't!" Shota said.
"All right, let's vote!" Subaru ordered. "Everyone who thinks that Shota should check this room out raise their hands."
Everyone except for Shota and Ohkura raised their hand.
"Five to two." Subaru said. "You're going in."
Shota opened the door. He was terrified as he went inside. What he found was quarters similar to the quarter they were staying in.
Prince Kame and Jin were playing chess. Jin got up, he reached for a blaster. He knew that Jin wasn't very bright. If Shota wasn't careful, he might get shot.
Shota raised his hands. "I give up."
"What are you doing?" Jin demanded. "Why aren't you with your unit?"
We want to defect." Shota told him. "We want to be free."
"Who is we?" when he saw Shota's hesitation. He lowered his gun.
"Who is this?' Kame asked.
"My name's Shota, I am one of Crown Princess Shikayko's husbands." Shota told him. "I was born on Miyagi. In fact, we played together as children."
"I see." Though it was quite obvious that Kame didn't see.
"You don't remember us," Shota realized. "My father was the Empress's brother. We were raised in this castle."
"My uncle's dead." Kame gestured to Jin, who again aimed his gun at Shota. "My cousins were vaporized by Gotsu forces. So who are you really?"
"His name is Shota," Jin told Kame. "He is one of the bitch’s husbands."
"Can I please speak to Crown Prince Ueda?" Shota asked. "I request sanctuary."
Ueda's communicator went off. He answered it. It was his younger brother Kame.
'You won't believe this," Kame told him. "But one of Shikayko's husbands in my quarters."
"How did he get there?" Ueda asked.
"Through the service tunnels." Kame explained. "What do you want me to do with him?"
"Just keep him there." Ueda looked at Junno. "Did you hear that?"
"We need to go." Junno decided.
Ueda picked up the genetic scanner and shoved it in his pocket.
They arrived at Kame's quarters. Ueda rang the bell. When it wasn't answered, Junno reached over Ueda and did his special knock.
Jin opened the door. He was holding a blaster. "Come in."
Junno and Ueda followed Jin into the residence. Again Jin pointed the blaster at the man who sat on the couch. He was barely out of his teens. But he looked familiar to Ueda, very familiar. Ueda could remember that the man's name was Shota. Both of Shota's eyes were black. He wore a tank top, and his arms were covered in bruises.
Ueda glared at Jin. "Put up the blaster."
"Yes your highness," Jin sighed and put up the blaster.
"Kame, go to the Empress, tell her what is going on." Ueda ordered.
"Why can't we use the communicators?" Kame asked.
"They might be monitored." Ueda pointed out.
"All right," Kame said, he left.
Ueda looked over the young man sitting on the couch. "You wanted to speak to me? Why couldn't you talk to my brother?"
"Prince Kame cannot grant us sanctuary." Shota told him. "Besides, Jin is with him. He is a simpleton. He might tell Shikayko on us."
"I hate Shikayko just as much as you do." Jin told him firmly.
"Why did you leave your unit?" Junno asked concerned. "Aren't you worried that Shikayko will punish them for your escaping?"
Shota looked away from Junno. Your Highness, I do not know how much you trust these two, but they have limiters in their minds. At a flick of a switch, Shikayko can hear what we are saying."
"Our limiters were removed," Junno told him. "We are not loyal to Gotsu."
Ueda realized that Shota wasn't going to talk if Jin and Junno were in the same room. He looked at the pair. "Can you wait in the other room?"
"As you wish, my prince." Junno went towards the bedroom, when he saw Jin's hesitation; he grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the room.
Shota let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you your highness."
"What about the rest of your unit?" Ueda asked. "Are they still in the men's quarters?"
"They are in the tunnels," Shota admitted. "Along with Shikayko's other unit."
"I see," Ueda decided to think quickly. "Why would you bring the other unit with you?"
"I cannot tell you that," Shota said softly. "But I cannot just leave them to die, which they would if they stayed."
"Can I see your hand?" Ueda took the scanner out.
"Sure," Shota shrugged. He held his hand out.
Ueda ran the probe over his hand. The probe beeped. He looked it.
"Well, what does it say?" Shota asked.
"Your DNA pattern matches the same as Prince Shota of the Imperial house of Miyagi." Ueda told him. "I am sorry, but I couldn't just take you at face value."
"Yes, I understand why you would want to confirm my identity."
"Can you bring me your co-husbands?" Ueda asked. "I want to scan them before I grant them sanctuary."
Shota went into the tunnels; he could hear Shota talking with several people. They seemed to be arguing. That surprised Ueda. Junno's unit never argued. But then, Junno's unit wasn't Miyagi.
"Are you sure we should do this?" Junno said as he came back into the room.
"Shota is my cousin," Ueda told him. "He wants freedom, what else is there to know?"
"He could be a spy for Shikayko." Junno pointed out.
"You were raised in men's quarters," Ueda reminded him. "Do you really think that Shota would be loyal to Shikayko?"
"No, I suppose he wouldn't." Junno admitted.
Shota came back into Kame's quarters. He was followed by six other men. All of them were bruised, battered. They seemed to be very wary of Ueda.
"Please everyone, sit down." Junno told them. He gestured to the furniture in the room. There were two large couches, various chairs.
They glared at Junno, but they sat down. Ueda couldn't help but notice that they didn't sit with their units. Instead, they seemed to pair off. Ueda realized why they had to defect. They couldn't be with their lovers and be Shikayko's husbands at the same time.
"What planet is the other unit from?" Ueda asked.
"Cygnus." Shota told him.
"This is part of the Miyagi Empire." Junno said.
"Yes, it is." Someone Ueda didn't recognize said. He sat next to Shota. "My brothers and I used to be Cygnans."
"Then there will be genetic records on you." Ueda told him. "I need to scan everyone to confirm your identities. I just need to run this over your hands."
The first one came forwards. He put out his hand. Ueda ran the probe over it. It beeped. "Ohkura. We can get you home if you want."
"No, my father will simply give us back to Shikayko." Ohkura told him.
"Why would he do such a thing?" Junno asked.
"He gave us to her so that she wouldn't invade our planet."
Ueda gave the probe to Junno, who began checking the various husbands of Shikayko.
"I think this is enough evidence to make sure we can confirm your citizenships." Ueda told the group.
"We want sanctuary." Maruyama insisted.
"Citizens of Miyagi can not be deported." Ueda reminded him.
"We were forced to give up our citizenship before we married the bitch." Subaru told him.
"We have to be granted sanctuary." Hina said.
"I'll make sure that you are. I am going to go to the Empress right now, and get the papers drawn up." Ueda promised. He went to Junno. Kissing his lips. "I'll see you later."
"Be careful," Junno told him.
"I will," Ueda promised. They kissed again, and Ueda left.
"Just relax everyone," Junno told him.
"Why should we listen to you?" Ryo asked him. "You're a lawbreaker!"
"What do you mean?"
"You're a convicted criminal!"
Just then, Maru came into the quarters, followed by Koki.
"Oh look, more criminals," Ryo's voice dripped sarcasm.
"I'll let you rejoin my sister if that's what you want," Junno told him.
"But you're just like her." Ryo spat. "Look how much you look like her!"
"Stop it! Both of you!' Koki commanded.
Ryo looked at Koki his lip turned into a sneer. "I am a prince, how dare you try and give me an order."
Other co-husbands grabbed Koki, keeping him from moving. Two more grabbed Junno. He tried to struggle against the units, but it was impossible.
"I am a tanaka." Koki spat. "You can't treat it this way."
"A simple tanaka?" He punched Koki hard in the face. There was a crack, as a bone in Koki's nose broke.
"Enough Ryo!" Maru ordered.
"I don't have to do what you say!" Ryo said. "Brother Killer."
"What do you mean brother killer?" Junno asked.
"You haven't told anyone? Have you killer?" Ryo went to Maru, punching him. "Your love killed Uchi! You didn't know that we're his brother?"
Hina and Maruyama grabbed Maru.
"You're not in the same unit," Junno tried to point out.
"We're not Gotsu by birth." Ryo spat. "We're not loyal to just our units! Uchi was our brother!"
"I died the day that Uchi died." Maru told him. "Uchi will always have a special place in my heart."
"But still you where able to move on?" Ryo put his hands around Maru's neck. "Two of our brothers were innocent of all crimes died simply because they were in the same unit as Uchi! You have to pay!"
"No! You can't kill him!" Shota told him. "It’s murder, the same as what happened to Uchi."
Just then Jin came into the room. "What is going on?"
"I am going to execute Maru." Ryo said his grip around Maru's neck tightened to the point that Maru was turning blue.
Jin took out his blaster and shot Ryo. Ryo fell to the floor. Maru also fell.
"Ryo!" Shota ran to his brother's side. "You killed him!'
"God dammed retard!" Subaru hissed.
"Jin put down your blaster!" Maru ordered as he got back to his feet.
Jin sighed and threw the blaster to the floor.
"Your unit has now killed four of our brothers," Hina said. "All of you must die."
Hina reached down and picked up the blaster, and then he pressed it against Maru's neck.
"If you do this, you will be no better then Shikayko." Maru told Hina.
"We are what she made us to be." Hina pulled the trigger, and Maru fell limp to the floor.
Junno realized that his unit was in terrible danger. Junno tried to struggle against his captors, but couldn't get away. Hina turned the gun to Junno. He closed his eyes. He didn’t' want to see the end when it came. He just hoped his death would be swift.
Ueda was printing out the final copies of the sanctuary documents. It was crazy to give sanctuary to people who were all ready Miyagi citizens, but the law was firm. To protect all seven defectors the right papers had to be in order. Suddenly sirens started flashing in the Empress's office. An alarm sounded this one loud enough to wake the dead.
"We're on red alert!" The Empress touched a button on her desk. "Security, who set off the alarm?"
"Tanaka Koki set the alarm off Your Majesty," The guard told her. "He's in Prince Kame's quarters."
"Koki's over reacting again," Kame guessed. Koki was known to put the castle on red alert when it wasn't that serious of an issue.
"Ueda, do you want to handle this?" The empress asked. "Kame, you go too."
Ueda ran to his brother's quarters followed by Kame. There were all ready armed guards there, but they hadn't opened the door.
Kame used his secret code to get in. Ueda followed him.
Lying on the floor was all three members of Junno's unit, along with Ryo. Ueda wanted to run to his lover, to hold the limp body. He had to remind himself that he was on official business. Holding his lover could wait.
Hina pointed the gun at Ueda. "Don't make any sudden moves."
Security guards grabbed Hina and took the gun from him. A guard shoved him against the wall and patted him down.
"What happened?" Ueda demanded.
"I executed the three responsible for our brother’s death." Hina told him.
Ueda took the gun and looked at it. Like most blasters on Gotsu, it was one that could only stun a person. "You used this blaster?"
"Yes," Yoko said. "It was in self defense. Jin shot Ryo first."
"Ryo was trying to kill Maru!" Koki struggled against those that were holding him; he had blood dripping down his face.
"Let him go!" Ueda ordered.
The guards lined all of the defectors against the wall. They where frisked for weapons, but none had any. The guards even frisked Ryo's still body.
"What shall we do with them Tanaka?" One guard asked.
"I want you to put one unit in one room with a guard, the other in another room with a guard." Koki ordered.
One guard picked up Ryo and carried him into another room.
"His unit, follow!" Ueda ordered.
"Why must our brother's body be brought with us?" Ohkura demanded. "Is that how this planet treats their dead?"
"Dead?" Koki asked. "No one's dead."
"I killed Junno, Maru and Jin." Hina reminded Koki. "In revenge for my brother's deaths."
"You are very lucky," Kame told him. "Guns on Miyagi can only be set to stun."
"So he's not dead." Subaru guessed.
"Right and he's going to have a very nasty headache when he wakes up." Koki wiped his nose off. "Of course, he probably deserves it."
Shikayko's husbands sat on the floor in the dining room of Prince Ueda's quarters. Ryo had woken up soon after their arrival. Koki had been right; he did have a sore head. Ryo was still a bit upset about everything. Shota sat as far away from Ryo as he could. Ryo had this tendency to hit first, and ask questions later.
"I know you hate Maru," Subaru told him.
"He killed our brother," Ryo reminded them.
"Maru was in love with Uchi," Shota told him. "He never wanted to kill him."
"That's the point, he loved, and that was illegal." Ryo said. "Isn't that enough?"
"I'm in love with Ohkura," Shota told him. "I want to spend my life with him. Is that wrong?"
"Of course it's wrong." Ryo reached over to hit Ohkura, but he was prevented by the other two brothers.
"If you don't want to return home, we can go back to Gotsu," Subaru decided. "But you know what will happen to Shota once she finds out about his love for Ohkura."
"Shikayko wouldn’t kill him." Ryo told them. "Shota's one of her favorites."
"She would!" The other three brothers said at the same time.
"I was the one that Shikayko called for after killing Uchi," Subaru told him. "She was so hot. Torture always turns her on, but I have never seen her this way. All she could talk about what it did to Maru."
"What do you mean? Did to him?" Ryo spat.
"Maru was forced to watch Uchi being executed." He continued. "Then he was given a limiter that forced him to live over and over the murder of Uchi."
"You can't try and kill Maru again," Shota ordered. "You're not going to ruin our dreams of freedom for your petty revenge."
Ryo looked ashamed. "All right, I won't."
"And you!" Subaru glared at Hina. "You tried to kill Junno and Jin in cold blood. We can't have that!"
"You were as evil as Shikayko when you tried to kill the unit." Shota told Hina. "How can we hate our enemy if we become like them?"
"You're right, I was wrong," Hina told his brothers.
"What can we do now?" Ryo asked.
"You need to go out there and apologize." Subaru told him. "Both of you do."
Junno had beyond what was a normal headache. He hated stun guns. The effects from stun guns made Junno wish he was back on Passion drugs, and hated them. He sat on the couch, Ueda hovered around him. He had given Junno medicine for his headache, and an ice pack.
Kame was doing the same thing for Jin. His brother moaned and groaned like there was no tomorrow. All that would quiet him was to have Kame cuddle him.
Koki had gone off to get his broken nose looked at. But there were still guards stationed in Kame and Jin's quarters, making sure nothing else happened.
The bedroom door opened, Ryo and Hina followed by their unit came out. All four knelt on the floor. They put their foreheads to the carpet.
"I am very sorry I tried to kill Maru." Ryo said. "I give myself to you for judgment."
"I am very sorry that I tried to kill the unit consisting of Junno, Jin and Maru," Hina said.
"As unit members, we also give ourselves to you for judgment." Shota and Subaru said.
"I understand why you are angry." Maru told him. "You where right, if I hadn't loved your brother, none of this would have happened."
"How can you just stop loving someone?" Subaru asked.
"We are glad our brother had someone to love." Shota told him.
"Also, I shouldn't have shot first," Jin told him. "I should have tried to find another way."
"Your highness, why would Miyagi let someone who is retarded have a gun?" Ryo asked. "Wasn't it a matter of time before something like this happened?"
Jin flinched; he was still very sensitive to the word. His eyes grew narrow with anger. He tried to move towards Ryo, but Kame's hand on his arm stopped him.
"Let Ueda handle this," Kame hissed.
"I want all four of you to sit up and look at me," Ueda ordered. The four did. "I know you've heard that Jin is mentally retarded."
"He is," Hina said. "It's a well known fact."
"Jin's intelligence was tested soon after his limiter was removed." Ueda explained. "His IQ is in the genius range."
"You're kidding." Hina scoffed. "Jin can barely read and write!"
"I do not kid about things such as people's intelligence." Ueda told him. 'The problem we have, is what we are going to do with you?"
"If you return us, we will be killed." Shota pointed out.
"If we let you stay, how can we guarantee that one of my fiancée’s units won't be killed by one of you?"
"It won't happen again." Subaru promised. "We are members of the Imperil house of Miyagi. We need to start acting like Miyagi instead of Gotsu."
"This is our home, we want to stay here." Shota told him.
"Ryo, I know you're very angry." Ueda said. "I want to know if you can put that hatred aside for the good of your unit."
"Yes, I can." Ryo looked into his eyes. "For the sake of my brothers, I will."
"Good, because the empress has given you sanctuary." Ueda told them. "The other unit too. From now on, you are free to live on Miyagi."
"Why don't you tell the other unit the news?" Kame suggested.
Subaru went to the room that held the other unit. They three brothers returned a few moments later.
The oldest, Maruyama bowed. "Thank you for giving us sanctuary."
It was all going as planned. Shikayko had brought the two units to Miyagi for a good reason. She wanted them to defect. That would be a good excuse to start a war against Miyagi. She knew the only way that the Gotsu Empire could become rich was with expansion; the most natural place to expand was The Empire of Miyagi, with its rich planets. Most of the natural resources still untapped. The Miyagi Empire would make a good addition to the Gotsu Empire.
By orders of Shikayko, the Chief Gotsu Guard had committed an act of war. The chief guard had disabled the security system. Then she killed the rest of the Gotsu guards, and a Miyagi who had come to check on the cameras. After killing the repair person, the chief guard had switched his stun gun with a Miyagi gun that had been adapted so it could kill.
Shikayko’s' communicator beeped. Shikayko brought it to her mouth. "What is it?"
"Everything's happened as you ordered.” The Chief guard said.
Shikayko returned to the guard’s quarters. Every guard that she had brought with her to Miyagi was lying dead on the floor. It looked as if one had killed the repair man before she died of her wounds.
"Very impressive," Shikayko smiled. "Where is the blaster that was used to kill your fellow guards?"
The guard picks the gun up out of the Miyagi's dead hand. She handed it to Shikayko. 'Here is the blaster Your Highness."
"Very good," She shot the chef guard with the blaster. The woman fell dead to the ground. Shikayko then pus the gun back in the hands of the dead Miyagi.
"Sorry," She told the chief guard. "I can't leave any witnesses."
Before Shikayko sounded the alarm that would alert everyone about the death of the guards, Shikayko went into her quarters and contacted the Empress of Gotsu. She had to have just the right timing before the war was started.
"The Empress is asleep," The Empress of Gotsu's assistant told her.
"Wake her!" Shikayko snapped. "The information I have is vital to the peace of Gotsu!"
A few minutes passed. Finally the Empress came on the screen; she was wearing her night robe. Shikayko could see the Empress’s two favorite husbands sitting in chairs in the background.
"What is the problem?" The Empress of Gotsu asked her. "It better be good this time Shikayko."
"My husbands have been kidnapped." Shikayko lied.
"Are you sure it was a kidnapping?" The Empress asked. "Are you sure they didn't run away? I have told you to take care of your husbands better. You can't be torturing them all the time. They won't love you if you do that."
"How I discipline my husbands isn't why I called you." Shikayko said firmly. "What I called about was an act of war."
"What kind of an act of war?" The Empress of Gotsu repeated. "Is not that Prince Ueda refuses to marry you again, is it? I keep telling you that isn't an act of war."
"Armed Miyagi solders burst into my quarters. They took my husbands by gunpoint." She told her. "They also won't return my brothers, though they have told me they want to come back home."
"That is very serious."
"Mother it's an act of war!" She demanded. "Why don't we invade?"
"I will contact my lawyers at the intergalactic court." The Empress of Gotsu decided. "We should be able to get a court order that forces their return."
"Wouldn't it be easier to invade?" Shikayko asked sensibly.
"Shikayko, we have to reserve war for something much more important." The Empress paused for a moment. "If the courts don't give us custody of your husbands and your brothers then yes, we will invade."
"Thank you mother."
"But we have to give the courts chance to work, do you understand me?" The Empress of Gotsu commanded. "No bombing anything before formal war is declared."
"Yes, mother." Shikayko said sheepishly.
Shikayko sounded the alarm about the deaths of her guards.
She waited; an hour later came the communiqué. Miyagi was under intergalactic court order to return Shikayko's husbands and the Empress's sons. Pending a hearing by the full intergalactic court. The Miyagi Empire was given twenty six hours to turn them over. Shikayko smiled. This time she won.