Crown Infernal

Stargate: The Fifth Generation

~ Episode 12 ~

~ Bushido ~

~ The Way of the Warrior ~

Part 2

There was mild uproar among his teammates, once they realized what he was planning to do.

"Are you crazy?!" Theo exclaimed.

J glared at him. "I can see why Ash was so pissed off with you at Negrulumea!" he growled. "Trust me. I know what I'm doing."

Tsuna-yoshi was looking on in concern, being unable to follow the discussion, but picking up on the tones of voice. J noted his indecision.

J's tatt

"One word determines the whole world. One sword pacifies heaven and earth," he said, rolling up his sleeve and revealing his tattoo to Tsuna-yoshi, who was clearly impressed.

"Mits'do-moe! Th-the crest of Hachiman! Then I accept your offer with immense gratitude— and pride."

J had Tsuna-yoshi draw him a map showing Takeshi's base. This was a small stone fortress partway between the castle and the tea room, but on the end of a promontory. Takeshi and his men were also pirates.

The rest of SG-24 naturally insisted on tagging along.

"Okay," J agreed. "I was counting on that anyway. You'll take your zats. I doubt they'll have seen anything like it before, so they should ensure that the playing field remains level and keep Takeshi honest..."

Tsuna-yoshi pressed them to take the ransom with them, and Yasa-hiro also wanted to go along with the party. J agreed as the suitor did have an interest in the mission, and someone had to carry the gold. Because of the weight, Theo was co-opted to carry the other two of the four leather bags.

At the bottom of the stairway, J requested Luc to remain with him then sent the rest on ahead on foot to the tea house.

"We'll catch up with you there shortly," J said adding, as Maxine was looking unwilling to leave them, "I can make that an order..."

Once the rest were out of sight, J and Luc went to J's PATT. There, with Luc's help, J kitted himself out in his kiko wa do mar, a light armor that allowed increased maneuverability, and cha-sen kab'to, a samurai style helmet. He added his aikuchi dagger and several sh'riken to his arsenal, before giving Luc his kawa-nawa, or grappling iron to carry.

"Say hello to rei no senshi," J said, reverently pulling a katana from the trunk of his PATT, and strapping it to his back.

"You even gave your sword a name? Oh, you are definitely busted!" Luc laughed as J carefully arranged his katana.

"It means 'soul of the warrior.'" J explained, then performed a number of kata before they set off to collect the rest of the team.

There was synchronized jaw-dropping from both the team and the monks, as the pair walked into the tea house.

"You've got a lot of 'splainin' to do when we get home," Maxine muttered. J gave her a wry grin.

"Okay, this is the plan," he said, giving them a brief outline. "In conclusion, I don't intend to kill Takeshi if it can be avoided. If there's any suspicious activity, zat the problem. A couple of zat blasts should be enough to let them know they're outclassed if they try to get smart.

The group set off on foot along the path to Takeshi's fort, J taking point. He noticed the bushes up ahead twitching. The movement was more than could be attributed to the slight breeze. J hurled a sh'riken in that direction. Heard a muted cry of pain.

"Tell Takeshi we come from Tsuna-yoshi," J called out.

A man went limping off down the path.

"And the rest of you!" J yelled, holding up another sh'riken.

Several others followed the first man.

"All of you!" Two more followed on.

"That includes you too, shinobi!"

A last man departed.

"That was Hisoka," Yasa-hiro said, scowling.

"Was it indeed? Thanks for the information." J smiled his crocodile smile.

By the time the group arrived outside the fort, Takeshi and twenty or so of his men were outside on an area of open ground, waiting for them. There were also half a dozen kyu-do-ka, or archers, on the roof.

"On my signal, zat the archer standing next to Hisoka," J told Luc, then stepped forward.

"I come from shogun Tsuna-yoshi, to collect his daughter, the Lady Mika-zuki. Fetch her out here so we may see that she is alive and well."

"You don't make the conditions! I do!"

"You and your little army?" J laughed.

Takeshi turned his head towards the archers.

J nodded. Luc zatted the archer next to Hisoka.

"Next one hits your son," J stated calmly. "Now, tell them to lay down their weapons and come down here."

Looking stunned, Takeshi did as he was told.

"Now, bring the Lady Mika-zuki out here!"

Hisoka, with a vicelike grip on the arm of a struggling Mika-zuki, brought her outside. She had a bruise on her cheek and was looking very sorry for herself.

"Now, the gold," Takeshi demanded.

"The goods are damaged," J pointed out.

"She is intact. So far... Now, where is my gold?!" Takshi roared.

On J's nod, Theo and Yasa-hiro both dropped the thick leather bags they'd been carrying. These hit the ground with a clinking thud.

Takeshi signalled to two of his men to fetch the bags.

J held up an imperative hand. "Go back to your master. They aren't his yet."

The men hesitated. "Take the bags! Kill them if they resist!"

"Zat 'em," J said softly.

Luc and Theo dropped them both before they'd gone more than two steps.

"I said the gold isn't yours yet," J growled.

"Then kill the girl," Takeshi ordered his son. Mika-zuki screamed in terror.

As Hisoka pulled out a knife, Luc zatted him. This necessarily knocked out Mika-zuki also. The pair fell in a heap.

Yasa-hiro let out a gasp of horror. "Iie...!"

Maxine, standing next to him, grabbed his arm before he could do anything stupid. "It's alright," she said, "they're only asleep."

"Now, you and I will fight," J said calmly, "unless you are just a snivelling coward. Go. Fetch your katana."

When Takeshi reappeared, he was wearing heavier armor than J, who smiled to himself. It was the hottest time of a hot day, and the greater weight would slow him down.

As he approached, he was drawing a bigger - and heavier - katana than J's.

With eyes locked unwaveringly on Takeshi's, he drew 'rei no senshi' and adopted the ch'dan stance.

He was pleased to see Takeshi adopt the aggressive jodan stance from which there was no retreat and no effective defence. The man was all about ostentation and bombast, trying to intimidate his opponent.

J anticipated that he would use the s'temi 'going-for-broke' attack, rarely used by a skilled ken-do-ka. It wouldn't do to underestimate the man though. J used the 'mental calm' heijo-shin approach.

In the end, it was over in seconds.

J had no difficulty in deflecting Takeshi's blade in his headlong onslaught. Danced aside. Swung his katana. Sliced the rear of Takeshi's leg open. Brought him down.

Stood on the blade of Takeshi's katana. Pried his fingers away. Used the toe of his boot to turn him on to his back. Held the tip of his katana to Takeshi's throat. A small bead of blood formed.

"Unless you want a rematch, we'll be going. And we'll be taking the gold and the girl. Oh, and don't try to follow - any of you," J said with a glare around at the rest of the bandits.

Luc fired his zat into the to remind them of their fate if they did.

Yasa-hiro ran over to his lady, and was relieved to find that, as Maxine had assured him, she was still breathing. So, unfortunately, as Yasa-hiro thought, was Hisoka.

Having picked up Mika-zuki, he aimed a kick at his rival's face. Hisoka wouldn't be seducing any more young ladies if he could help it! The heavy wooden ge-ta crunched into the would-be-ravisher's nose and cheekbone, drawing plenty of blood.

Yasa-hiro might not be a fighter, but he found the action most satisfying!

Tsuna-yoshi was delighted by the safe return of both his daughter and his gold. He was also amazed at J's transformation into samurai warrior as J hadn't bothered to change back into his BDU.

The shogun was less impressed to learn that both Takeshi and Hisoka were still alive.

"I'm sorry my lord, but I follow the Bushido code. I only kill if there is no alternative," J said. "However, after being bested on his own territory in front of his own men, I believe that the humiliation will take some overcoming. So I doubt he'll be making much trouble in your domain for some time to come, especially if you leak the news that I'm still staying here. And Yasa-hiro made sure Hisoka won't be seducing any more young ladies. He is no longer a handsome charmer. Not a pretty sight at all!"

Tsuna-yoshi beamed at his son-in-law to be, then expressed interest in J's katana.

J smiled. "I was told by the man who gave it to me, that it once belonged to Miyamoto Musashi— "

"Musashi?!" Tsuna-yoshi exclaimed. "Oh, I doubt that it's true, though it is a very fine weapon."

The lady Mika-zuki, who had been taken to her room to recover, joined the rest of the people in the main reception room.

She ran over to J crying, "My hero! You have saved my life, so it belongs to you now and I will marry you!"

She looked around, wondering why everyone was laughing.

"And what," J demanded in his most blighting tones, "makes you think I would want to saddle myself with a foolish, wayward, headstrong brat like you for a wife?"

Mika-zuki looked like she'd been slapped in the face. Again.

"On the other hand, there is one estimable young man - one who carried out vengeance on your abductor and then carried you all the way home - who is still, heaven alone knows why - willing to marry you. Step forward, Yasa-hiro. Are you sure you can't find a more sensible, more sweet-tempered lady to wed?"

"Maybe, but my heart belongs to Mika-zuki," Yasa-hiro smiled. "And I am not trying to trick her with false promises."

Mika-zuki looked from Yasa-hiro to J, who glowered at her, and back to Yasa-hiro, her face screwed up in thought.

"Very well, Yasa-hiro, I will marry you."

"Good choice," J said. Over her head, he winked at her father, who smiled his appreciation for J's ruse.

After that, trade talks went very well insofar as Tsuna-yoshi was very willing, but the land was short on resources and low on industrialization. However, though too mountainous for agriculture per se, the land was fertile with abundant and varied plant life. Tsuna-yoshi could offer fine silks - which Maxine figured would appeal to Warren - and medicinal herbs.

The seas around the island teemed with fish, and it also seemed a viable option to trade the fish for improved methods of preserving them.

In good heart, the team prepared to leave, but Tsuna-yoshi would not let them go until he had presented them each with a reward - a fine silk kimono each - red for J, jade green for Maxine, black for Luc and golden yellow for Theo.

J then thought of Eli, stuck out of the way by himself on 'Gate duty.'

"I would like to buy another kimono from you for the mother of a friend of ours," J said to Tsuna-yoshi, pulling some gold pieces from the Agora out of his pocket.

"Put your gold away," the shogun replied. "After what you have done for me this day, I think we can manage another kimono for your friend's mother."

"Domo ari-gato gozai-mas'" {Thank you very much} J said with a deep bow.

He then called Eli to apprise him of their return, following a successful mission. Eli had had a very quiet time as the Stargate didn't seem to be used by the locals. At all. So he'd been reading a library book on Japan.

At the bottom of the stairway, 'Musashi' changed back into Major Mitchell.

"And this part of the mission remains between the four of us. Is that clear?"

"Why?" Maxine asked. "You were brilliant!"

"I don't want it widely known, and certainly not by Warren, because that removes a potential advantage. A good general doesn't give away intell to his enemies, and someone as paranoid as you should appreciate that we can't always tell friend from foe."

"Okay, but don't think that lets you off the hook from telling us how come you speak better Japanese than I do!"

"And we can tell Ash, can't we?" Theo begged.

"I guess."

The debriefing, minus the Takeshi part, was very brief. It occurred to Maxine that Dai-Ni-Wakusei would be a sitting duck for one of the standard Tau'ri raiding parties, so she added a caveat.

"The planet is under the protection of a powerful ascended being named Oma Desala. If anyone tries to get clever, like they did at Tyogya, she can turn them into blackened skeletons in an instant."

"Did you see her do this?" Bradfield asked.

"No sir," J replied, then noting Maxine's scowl, added untruthfully, "but we saw some of her handiwork. It was horrible. The bodies just crumbled to dust at a touch."

After Bradfield had left the room, J cornered Eli before he could head off home.

"We brought a little something back with us for your mother," he said, handing him a parcel.

"Thank you, sir!" Eli looked overcome. "May I ask what it is?"

J smiled. "Of course. It's a silk kimono in lavender blue."

"Her favorite color! She'll love it!" Eli exclaimed. "Thank you so much."

"I would keep quiet about it here though," J warned. "Don't want you getting mugged on the way home!"

That evening, the team gathered at Ash's pad as usual after a mission. J knew he was going to have to fess up - really fess up. Once everyone was served with coffee and cookies, he began.

Part 1

Part 3

SG-5G: Home Page

by Hatshepsut

Crown Infernal