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Two Greatest Words

Written by: Skynetmain

You can read part 1 of this story in Issue 30.

You can read part 2 of this story in Issue 31.

- - -

Ayu is getting a chance to drive Rika’s car now.

Rika: Be gentle on the accelerator, but not too gentle. When you reach a nice cruising speed, you can let the cruise control take over. All you’ll need to worry about is steering.

Rei: I thought antique cars like this didn’t have cruise control?

Rika: Mom modernizes every car she finds. You should see the toys Jorden’s Aston has. Besides cars weren’t outfitted with fuel cells until an unnamed President drained the planet’s oil supply.

Teph: Is that the same President that started WW III?

Rika: Correct.

Keona: He’s the one that killed his first Secretary of State, right?

Rika: No. The Sec of State was only wounded by that steel chair shoot to the head (did I mention the Pres was a WWE fan?). The brave Sec of State went on to help his rival party regain the White House and bring peace to the world.

Ayu: Will you be quiet? I’m trying to concentrate.

Rika: You’re doing fine.

Rika slaps Ayu on the back, causing Ayu to make the car swerve across the road.

The travelers have stopped at a New Orleans restaurant. The sign above the door reads: ‘Sisko’s Creole Kitchen’. A lower sign reads: ‘All you can eat crawdad lunch Tuesdays, only ¥10.83'. Inside, most of the girls have accepted the challenge. Rei, Ayu, and Keona are watching the other three.

Teph: Sets down a half empty shell. Ugh. Too much fish.

A waiter takes Teph’s plate as the girl makes a beeline for the bathroom.

Joseph: [The owner and head chef]. If I didn’t see it with my own two eyes... You youngsters can really pack it away.

Rena: Swallows a large mouthful. Are you saying we’re fat?

The other three girls are watching the eating contest. Each have only a small, light meal.

Ayu: That makes three dozen for Rena.

Keona: And Teph was out at twenty-four and a half.

Ayu: So where does that leave Rika?

Rei: Add those two together and that is the number of plates.

Teph sits down with the rest of the girls. She is washing a green slime from her glasses.

Rei: That’s disgusting.

Teph: Too much fish. They tasted better on the way in.

Rei: That’s even more disgusting.

Teph: Anyone have a breath mint?

All three of the girls and numerous other patrons offer. Rika and Rena continue their contest. Suddenly, the spicy food catches up with Rena. She goes pale. She slowly slides under the table and disappears. Rika finishes of another plate. A waiter takes it from her.

Rika: What? Where’s the next one?

Joseph: Little missy, if I gave you any more, I’d be out of business. I even took in my sign. That is the first time I did that since the Dominion scare a few years ago.

Rei: I’d prefer the Dominion invading to having to watch that again.

Rika: Thank you Mister Sisko for the superb meal. I used to look up to your son, but now I look up to you.

Joseph: Thank you for the complement, little missy.

The girls get up to leave. Rika goes to pay the bill.

Rika: Normally, I’m a good tipper, but with all those ‘little’ comments...

Rika slips Sisko a ¥100 chip and walks out.

Rika: Turns back. Oh! By the way, do you know any other all you can eat places in the area?

The entire restaurant stops and stares at Rika.

Rika: What?

Kyoro is running around the Dojo. He is running a target practice program. So far, he is three for three. He is searching for the last drone. He ducks around a corner and runs into Suratae. Both fall down.

Kyoro: Watch it. I’m busy.

Suratae: That drone? Good luck. I hid it.

Kyoro: Funny.

Suratae: Did I say hid? I meant hit.

Kyoro: Right. Now move it.

Suratae: Computer. Score.

Computer: Hyuji Kyoro: 3. The Great and Powerful Suratae, Ruler of Japan, and a Beautiful, Sexy Woman: 1.

Yami: I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the...

Yung: Interrupting. The title.

Rika is back behind the wheel. She is following the Gulf to her next target. Alabama has just become Florida.

Rika: Goody. I’ve always wanted a picture on Pensacola.

Rika pulls out a camera, taking her hands off the wheel. She takes two pictures.

Rika: Got both the ‘now entering’ and ‘now leaving’ signs.

Teph: Over the side of the car. Her glasses are in one hand to prevent them from being left in a passing state. Can you please slow down? I feel urpy.

Rika: Gotta go fast. This next stop is for Keona.

Keona: Really? Where?

Rika: Daytona. We have beach front reservations.

Keona: Floor it woman!

Rika increases speed. Rena spies a sign over the side of the car. She is still very pale.

Rena: To self. Sixty km... Slams a piece of paper on the seat. Stop now!

The car jolts to a stop. Ayu tumbles over the seat to the front. Rei’s head slams into the back of the passenger side seat. Keona is nearly thrown into the windshield. Rika is chocking on the tight seatbelt. Teph is still hanging over the side of the car. Rena is out of the car and bolting to the nearest bathroom at the now present rest stop.

Rei: The hell was that for.

Rika: When you gotta go, you gotta go. Ayu, go find a hose. Keona, let me borrow your wax. Teph has a mess to clean up.

Back at the Dojo. JHM has returned. She is wrapping Kyoro’s head in a bandage.

JHM: It is only a game. Don’t get emotional!

Kyoro: I won’t be made a fool of by that girl, even if she is a princess.

JHM: I know we all have had that feeling at one point or another, but to actually act on them... Now, your leg is in a soft cast, so be careful.

Kyoro: Barely stands. Thank you.

JHM: Now, you two. Call me before trying to pull apart a fight.

Yami, Yung: Both are covered in small bandages and bruises. Yes ma’am.

JHM: Lastly... Where’s Suratae?

Suratae has dipped Kitsune’s paw in ink. He places it on a hard cast on her arm.

Suratae: Examines her cast. That is the best one so far.

JHM: Listen! You were lucky. That was only a baby tooth. (Yung: Tae still has baby teeth.) Now, be careful. Although, you are young...

Yung: I’m Yung!

JHM: Gives Yung-li a ‘damn kids’ look. As I was saying, you still have to be careful. The bone should be better in a month.

Yung: I thought we could repair bones quickly?

JHM: We can, but tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I do not want to deal with Aaron and Matt stealing all my antacids again.

Suratae: Whatever. Now sign!

Suratae shoves her cast in JHM’s face. Besides the paw print, she has a signature in Hangul and in Hieroglyphs. JHM disappears. Kyoro is standing there. He runs his finger under his head bandage and signs the cast.

Evening. Rika’s car is parked on the beach in Daytona. Most of the girls are at the beach house Rika rented. Keona is nowhere to be seen (no surprise, ha-ha-ha). Rena and Teph are fighting over a pink bottle. Ayu is in the kitchen cooking. Rei and Rika are on the porch.

Rei: No hotels?

Rika: This is a beach house, but wait until tomorrow. Smiles.

Rei raises an eyebrow then returns to her book. Ayu sets a platter down on the outside table.

Ayu: Dinner is ready.

Rika: An empress that does manual labor?

Ayu: You have to learn how to cook while on the lam. Besides, I bet that Tae and Yung know there way around the kitchen too.

Rei: And Keona?

Ayu: She made a luau all by herself for one of her kings.

Rika: That was the King. Elvis.

Rena: What are we having?

Teph: No more fish.

Ayu: I made this entire meal special for Rei and Keona. She removes the cover of the platter. Kimchi over rice and tonkatsu. All served with vegetable curry. There are coconut-fried ebi with plum sauce and Mongolian noodles on the side.

Rika is amazed at the spread. She starts reaching for a bowl, but Ayu slaps her hand with the side of a knife.

Ayu: Wait until the others get their servings. Others have to eat too.

Rena: Spicy...

Teph: Fish...

Ayu: Just have the tonkatsu and kimchi with noodles. I know people that would kill for a meal like this.

Rena: Loads a bowl with rice. Met them in prison?

Ayu: Mixes a bowl of curry and ebi. That obvious, hmm.

Rei: Tastes the kimchi and curry. Delicious. Will you teach me?

Ayu: Tops the curry with noodles. After dinner.

Keona: Runs up from the beach soaking wet. All right! Pork and shrimp!

Ayu: No. Ton and ebi.

Keona: That’s what I said.

Keona steals the entire tray of katsu and ebi. She heads back to the beach. The trays come flying back like frisbees, empty. There is a loud splash.

Rika: That was at least thirty milliseconds, right?

There is a loud moan.

Keona: Cramp!

Rika hops off the porch to help.

Dojo. Three of the residents are getting ready for bed.

Yami: Where is Suratae?

Yung: I haven’t seen her since I wrapped her arm for her bath.

Kyoro: Well, it is lights out. As long as she gets back quietly.

Kyoro is tackled from behind.

Suratae: Giving Kyoro a big hug. Was that quiet enough?

Kyoro: Get off me or I’ll tell Rika you’re trying to seduce me.

Suratae: Kisses Kyoro’s cheek. Fine. Want to see all the people that signed my cast?

Suratae hits Kyoro over the head with her cast. The top words on the cast read ‘Dex Rules!’ in big letters.

Morning in Daytona. The few diehard beach patrons are hitting the beach. They are all beat by Keona. She has been out all night surfing and swimming. The rest of the girls come out to the porch. Ayu is in the kitchen making breakfast. Rei sits at a table with her book. Rika is in her bikini.

Rika: All right. We have a few free hours before we have to move out. Let’s have fun.

Rika hops of the porch and heads into the ocean.

Rena: How come I didn’t see it?

Teph: See what?

Rena: This area has unusually high water temperature for this time of year, much like the West Coast.

Teph: This is America. Everything here is whack. I’m just surprised Keona knew to bring a swimsuit.

Rei: She always has a swimsuit under her clothes.

Teph: I never noticed.

Rei: They make up ninety percent of her wardrobe. I thought you had glasses?

Rena: She’s blind either way.

Rika: From beach. Come on! Get down here!

Teph: No suits!

Keona: So! That never stopped me!

Rei: Turns to camera. And she’s the shy one.

Kyoro is sleeping late due to his head injury. A cast hits him in the head. He rolls over, but Suratae keeps hitting him.

Suratae: Wake up!

Suratae keeps hitting Kyoro. By the reflecting pond, Yami and Yung-li are watching Suratae.

Yami: Why is she like this?

Yung: Like what?

Yami: Annoying.

Yung: Well, she always picks a fight with someone. When she is not fighting, she has to be the center of attention. She usually targets the person that reacts most when annoyed.

Suratae: Hitting Kyoro. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

A door opens from the main hall. Aerith and Komusume have arrived.

Aerith: Let’s get cooking! That bird ain’t gonna roast itself.

A loud slap is heard. Kyoro has hit Suratae. She is about to cry.

Kyoro: Will you shut up for once in your life!

Suratae smacks Kyoro with her cast. Kyoro is knocked out, and Suratae has hurt her hand again.

Rika is charging through Georgia. Most of the girls are hanging on for their lives. Keona looks upset.

Keona: Why’d we have to leave so fast?

Rei: I agree. Why are we going so fast?

Rika: We have an appointment to make.

Teph: But its Thanksgiving! I want turkey.

Rena: I have a bird you can have.

Rei: Don’t.

Teph: Give me the bird!

Rena’s head blocks what she does. Teph is shocked.

Rei: Hits Rena. Quit the vulgarities.

Rika: This is [Adult Swim] country. It is the law to be vulgar.

Rei: That f-a loud truck passes. The side of the truck reads: ‘Ghost Planet Industries. Williams Street. Atlanta, Georgia.’-ing sucks.

Everyone observes a moment of silence for the bad joke. Rei has a small smile. Runs in the family.1

Keona: So where are we going that is more important than the beach?

Rika: Trust me. You’ll love it.

Keona: Quietly. All right, Graceland.

A while later. Rika is navigating the car through the streets.

Rika: Where is it?

Rena: I’ve been all over the planet. If you told me where we are going, I could help.

Rei: Yeah. I’ve been all over every East Coast city. So, where are we going?

Rika: Pulls the car into a driveway. She smiles. Nowhere special.

All the girls’ jaws drop as the car pulls into the driveway of the White House! Teph takes of her glasses, polishes them, puts them back on and repeats. Rika hands her ID to the Starfleet officer at the gate.

Rika: Nohnaka party. We’re expected.

Ensign 1: Salutes. You’re expected, lieutenant. Better hurry, you only have a couple hours to get ready.

Rika drives the car up to the main gate.

Rei: He would never guess we were in Florida only three hours ago.

The car stops at the main entryway. A valet greets them.

Rika: Fill ‘er up. Tosses the keys to the valet. To the girls. Get your stuff. We’re staying here tonight.

The girls are even more shocked. Porters take their bags from the trunk. Another ensign leads the girls to their room.

Ensign 2: Opens a door. Here you go: the Lincoln Bedroom.

Rika calmly enters. All of the other girls nearly have a heart attack in shock.

Ensign 2: Everything is just the way you asked. The dresses were cut to the dimensions you gave us. Most of the others have arrived. You can join them in the ballroom.

Rika: Thank you. We will join them in once we’re dressed. Oh, we’ll have some laundry later...

Ensign 2: Aye, Lieutenant Nohnaka. Leaves.

Rika: Okay. Let’s get dressed.

Rena: We are in the White House...

Ayu: Dressed? In what?

Rika: Opens a closet. There are six dresses. I called ahead.

At the Dojo. Aerith is in the kitchen. She is tending to the turkey she is roasting. Komusume is watching from the side. Suratae and Kyoro are preparing other dishes with them so Aerith can watch them.

Aerith: Doesn’t cooking focus the rage better than fighting?

Suratae: I don’t completely trust him with a knife.

A spoon embeds itself in the wall near Suratae.

Kyoro: Omae o korosu.

Aerith: No death threats when not holding a weapon.

Kyoro gets another spoon and goes back to work.

Komu: What is ‘omae o korosu’?

Aerith: It means ‘I will kill you’.

Komu: Oh. Why would you want to kill her?

Kyoro: No reason.

Aerith: Everyone wants to kill Suratae for one reason or another.

Komu: Why?

Suratae: They are just jealous of my obvious greatness. I’m just too perfect.

Aerith: Suratae, I have a suggestion for your dish.

Suratae: What?

Suratae turns. Aerith covers Suratae’s mouth with a strip of duct tape.

The (freaking!!!) White House.(!!!) The girls have joined some of the top politicians on Earth for the festive occasion. At the head table, Senator Aaron Stevenson the 12th (the Earth’s rep to the Federation) is sitting next to the current US President. All of the girls are sitting at their own table. They all have their new dresses on.

Rei: How did you get us a table at the White House?

Rika: Why are you asking? You know the people that I know.

Rei: Aerith hooked you up.

Rika: Bingo.

Keona: Too amazed to be embarrassed (for once). This place is awesome. It is almost as cool a Graceland.

Ayu: Do you ever stop thinking about Elvis?

Keona: Only when surfing.

Rena: I’m getting an odd vibe from this place.

Teph: I still think the Reichstag is creepier. We had the greatest tyrant in history blow his brains out there.

Rena: I still think this place has been cursed since the Clinton Era.

Teph: Okay. You win. The guy after Clinton wins.

Aerith’s Thanksgiving meal is going smoothly. Aerith is polishing off her turkey. Yami, Yung, and Suratae have done most of the damage to the other bird. Kyoro has eaten mostly side dishes and all of the yams. Komusume has eaten half a turkey leg and is looking drowsy.

Komu: I think there is some chemical in the meat that is making me sleepy.

Aerith: Tryptophan.

Komu: Hmm. She passes out into her plate of mashed potatoes.

Aerith: Chugs the last of the gravy. Whoo. I’m tired too. Good thing we’re staying here tonight.

Suratae: What! Why!

Aerith: She is tired. You have a broken arm. Kyoro has a broken leg and a gash on his forehead. You need parental controls.

Yami: At least she didn’t mention the strip poker.

Aerith: ‘Two pair for two pair’?

Yami: Uh...

The White House at night. The party is over. A few of the guests are staying the night like the girls are. Rika is walking the grounds while the others are getting a tour. She has changed to lighter formal wear and a wrap. Two people approach.

A12: [Aaron’s dad]. Would you like something to drink young lady?

Rika: Takes an offered wine glass. You know this is illegal.

A12: You live with my son and his friends. I can only guess how much drinking you must do.

Rika: Aaron never drank anything but sake and Romulan Ale at the Dojo. By then, he was usually already drunk.

A12: Yes. I have heard of my son’s exploits. Do you like the room I arranged?

Rika: The Lincoln Bedroom? I am amazed.

A12: The president owes me. My family has ruled politics since the first Aaron Stevenson. But my son...

Rika: He plays more politics than you would think.

A12: Right. Then why am I on the front lines with the Zee negotiations?

Rika: Because your son is behind the lines.

Inside the building. The President is leading the girls through the halls. He leads them into a room, but Rena stops.

Pres: Something wrong?

Rena: Don’t any of you sense it? I am feeling great emotion from this room. Anger, hate, and most of all, lust.

Pres: This is the Oval Office. I work here everyday. It is perfectly safe. The is no lust in the Oval Office. The was a law against it for four hundred years.

Rena: That is how old these emotions feel. Especially toward women with big butts.

Pres: Well, that does sound like him...

Komusume is sleeping in Rika’s room in Rika’s bed. Aerith is outside watching the reflecting pond. Yami is passing by.

Aerith: Twelve thousand years ago, did the world look like this?

Yami: I payed little attention to the world. I was too busy fighting the darkness.

Aerith: How’s that coming?

Yami: Unresolved. Looks over at Komusume. She looks like Rika.

Aerith: Yeah. In most fields, she is as smart as Rika too.

Yami: Two Rikas, two of you, two Taes, what next?

Aerith: Two Kyoros?

Yami: Don’t even joke.

The White House. Rika is by her car getting ready for bed. Rena walks up in her priestess robes.

Rena: Sleeping out here again?

Rika: Yeah. Where are you off to?

Rena: Exorcism. I don’t think you need to stay like this here. There is a Turk with Senator Stevenson.

Rika: Loads her blaster rifle. You can never be to careful. Points at a random passerby. That means, you Clone of Feinstein!

DC at morning. The West Wing of the White House. The President is getting up.

Pres: To aide. Did anyone else dream of surfing last night?

1 - Text in this color are different form of commentary that I use. In another series, each character's internal thoughts are in a different color. This is commentary from one of those characters. Oh yes. All of my series are linked in some way shape or form.

Skynetmain is a true believer in Roddenberry's vision and there is nothing anyone can do to change that.

Moongewl is the lowest form of Star Trek fan: the "Voyager" watcher.

WIS is not a clone. We're pretty sure.

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