Future Perfect
			Book One: Past Tense
			Part Four


	"Hi, Sasami-chan," Tenchi replied as he closed the door behind
him.  Then he paused, surprised, as his mind registered the presence
of a young woman in the room.  One he didn't know.

	Not that this was all that unusual, really.  But this one
seemed human.  Those clear blue eyes seemed familiar, too.

	Then he remembered.  Could it be?  "Ma-Madoka-chan?" he

	"Welcome home, Ten-chan," she replied, grinning impishly at
his discomfiture.  "Don't tell me you didn't remember me?"

	"Ah..."  Nervously, he chuckled.  "It's just that... well, you
were much..."  He paused for a moment before concluding, "younger.
Back then."  Seeking an escape from that train of conversation, his
eyes flickered toward the young man who was with her.  He had been
staring at Tenchi, but started and turned away, embarrassed, as Tenchi
made eye contact.  "Your friend?"

	She nodded.  "We're classmates."  She gently nudged the young
man -- a gesture that might have been invisible to most, but Tenchi's
training had taught him how to observe a person's movements.

	The young man turned back toward him.  Lifting one hand to the
back of his head, he smiled weakly.  "I'm Kyousuke Kasuga.  Ah, nice
to meet you...?"

	"Tenchi Masaki."

	"I'm sorry to invite him without asking."  Madoka blushed
lightly.  "It was sort of a last-minute idea.  I hope it won't be too
much trouble for you..."

	Tenchi shook his head.  "Any friends of yours are welcome,
Madoka-chan.  We can find a place for him to stay."

	Rather than reassuring Madoka, his statement made her blush
more.  "I didn't realize... I thought you would be all alone, except
for your parents."

	Tenchi chuckled.  "You must have met the others, then."

	"Briefly."  She paused, as if considering something, before
continuing on.  "We met them on our way in."

	"And we just met your sister now," Kyousuke added haltingly.

	"Sister?"  Tenchi blinked.  They couldn't mean...

	"Oh, I'm not really Tenchi-niichan's sister," Sasami assured
them, smiling.

	"Sorry," the young man replied.  "I thought--"

	"I'm his great-aunt!"

	Madoka laughed.  Kyousuke stared for a moment before joining
in.  Tenchi forced a chuckle and attempted to catch Sasami's eye...
but she was no longer looking in his direction.

	He sighed.  "How many of them did you meet?  Aside from
Sasami-chan, here?"

	"Both of them," replied Madoka, still chuckling.

	"Two."  Tenchi sighed.  "Ryouko-san and Aeka-san, then?"

	Somewhat puzzled, Madoka nodded.  Kyousuke blurted out, "How
many are there?"

	At least, thought Tenchi with a sigh, he'd had the grace to
look embarrassed about it.  "Thr-- I mean, two more," he answered.

	Madoka gazed blankly at him.  "You're joking."

	Sometimes I wish I was, he thought.  But he only shook his

	"No?"  She shifted her weight from one foot to the other.

	He was familiar with that sort of look, though he'd never seen
it on her before.  "I can explain..." he began, weakly.

	She thoughtfully tapped one finger against her lower lip.  "If
I hadn't known you back then, I wouldn't believe you, Ten-chan.  But
unless you've changed more than I think...  Is it a long story?"

	"You could say that."  He watched her nod; she had expected as
much.  "I'll tell you about it later tonight."

	"We do have a lot to catch up on, don't we?"

	Tenchi nodded.  "Ten years or so."  Was that all?  This last
year had seemed like an eternity.

	"It seems like much longer," Madoka said, unknowingly echoing
his thoughts.

	"My father should be home soon," he remarked.  "And most of
the others should be here for dinner..."

	"What about your mother?"

	Wincing slightly, Tenchi answered, "My mother... died."

	Kyousuke flinched.  The color drained from Madoka's face.
"Oh, Ten-chan..." she whispered.

	He held up one hand, forestalling further comments.  "It...
happened a long time ago, Madoka-chan.  Not long after the last time I
saw you.  There's no need for you to worry.  Really."  He smiled in
what he hoped was a reassuring manner.  "But thanks."

	"Then, Sasami..."  Madoka glanced at the little girl, who was
now sitting on the couch, reading a shoujo manga and pointedly
ignoring the conversation.  No doubt that meant she'd heard every word
of it, Tenchi mused.

	"Isn't really my sister," he confirmed.  "She's Aeka-san's
younger sister.  But," he added, smiling gently at the girl, "she's
like a sister to me."

	Sasami continued to read her manga.  Beaming from ear to ear.

	"I see," Madoka said slowly.


	"Ah, you're back, Shampoo," said a voice form inside the
restaurant as the Chinese girl opened the door.  "I trust you brought
what I asked?"

	Shampoo nodded.  "Is no problem to find, great-grandmother."
She stepped into the building.

	Without hesitation, Yohko's grandmother followed.  Yohko
herself shrugged and stepped inside, closing the door while she took
in the interior of the restaurant.

	The decor seemed fairly typical, she thought, except that
several tables had been moved together near the center of the room.
There, two young men were sitting.  Two very handsome young men, a
part of her mind noted.  Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad job after
all.  The purple-haired girl, whom they had met again outside the
restaurant, was handing a bag to an ancient woman, but that woman's
attention was on Yohko's grandmother.

	"Madoka Mano.  It's been entirely too long."  A frightful
expression crossed the old woman's face, and Yohko flinched before she
realized that it was supposed to be a smile.  The ancient appeared not
to notice.

	"Over two decades, Elder Cologne.  I didn't realize you were
in Nerima, or I would have visited sooner."

	"The fault is mine," Cologne stated with a sigh.  "I meant to
contact you months ago, but I allowed... certain situations... to
distract me.  For that, I apologize."

	"There's no need."  Yohko's grandmother glanced toward the
table.  "Are these the helpers you mentioned?"

	Yohko's gaze followed her grandmothers, and she almost cried
out in despair.  The young Chinese girl was -hugging- the handsomer of
the two boys!  It figured...  Well, that still left one of them.

	"One of them," Cologne responded, unintentionally echoing
Yohko's thoughts.  "He is Ranma Saotome, a sometime student of mine.
This," she said to the boy, "is Madoka Mano, who was adopted into our
tribe."  The Chinese elder's gaze turned to Yohko.  "And her
granddaughter, I presume?"

	Remembering her manners, Yohko stepped forward.  "Uhm, yes,"
she stammered.  "I- I'm Yohko Mano."

	"Welcome, child."

	Yohko smiled nervously as her grandmother asked, "About this
business you mentioned, Elder Cologne?"  A dry chuckle escaped her
throat.  "If you'll forgive me for getting straight to the point, that
is.  Your letter seemed to imply a certain urgency."

	The withered crone nodded and hopped over to the table.  "Sit,
please... Shampoo, you, too.  And pay attention, all of you."  Here,
she threw a warning look in the direction of the pig-tailed boy.  "We
may have much to discuss."

	"Oh, yeah?" asked Ranma, as Shampoo reluctantly released him.
"About time we got to the point.  Who do I have to fight this time?"

	"I'm afraid that this will not be so simple, son-in-law,"
Cologne replied, causing Yohko to sigh out loud.  A moment later, the
old woman continued.  "I must confess, I am not entirely clear on the
nature of the threat, yet."

	"Threat?" Yohko blurted.  She quickly shut up as the others at
the table turned to look at her.

	"Yes," Cologne pronounced after a momentary silence.  "I
believe that the demon world may be involved."

	Madoka Mano nodded at that, but Yohko was only more confused.
Fortunately, the tall Chinese boy spoke first, sparing her the
attention.  "The demon world?  You mean like thirty years ago?"

	Cologne shook her head.  "No, Mousse.  I mean something much
worse than that."

	The young man paled.  Ranma did not seem impressed.  "All
right.  Does someone want to tell me what's going on here?  What's
thirty years ago, and what's it got to do with this 'threat' of

	"You believe quickly, son-in-law.  I thought I would have to
convince you."

	"Nah, I've seen some pretty weird stuff.  I'll believe you,
for now."

	"My thanks," Cologne answered, with what passed for a wry
smile.  "Very well, son-in-law.  The story of thirty years ago...
well, it is complex.  To simplify..."  She paused.  "You should know
that there are worlds other than this one.  One such world, the demon
world, is the realm of evil spirits, and it is this world that
concerns us now.

	"There are times when the demon world and our world are able
to co-exist in the same space for a short time.  At such times, demons
are able to cross into our world.  Normally, they only cross a part of
the way; the part that exists here is a shadow, relatively harmless,
though still capable of great destruction while the conjunction of
worlds lasts.  But there are times when a demon will cross fully into
our world, and then it will stay even after the two worlds no longer
co-exist in one plane.  Their power is great, and they often commit
terrible acts.  Sometimes, they kill and destroy for the sheer
pleasure of it.  Other times, there is some unholy plan behind their
actions.  It is the ones with a plan who are the most dangerous.

	"Thirty years ago, a conjunction of worlds occurred, and a
demon came fully into our world not far from Jusenkyo.  Sensing the
disturbance, the matriarch sent a band of our warriors to destroy the
monster.  Of the thirty they sent -- thirty of our best -- only two
escaped the carnage, and one lost both her legs in the process.

	"Fortunately, there are those who are dedicated to hunting and
slaying these monstrosities.  One of these Devil Hunters had also
sensed the creature's entrance into our world, and she was able to
arrive in time to aid us in finally defeating it.  Even so, the price
was high.  I don't think there was a single warrior in the village who
was unscathed."

	"Huh.  So, you think this is a demon?  Shouldn't we talk to
these hunters?"

	Cologne gestured toward Yohko and her grandmother.  "They are
here, son-in-law.  Madoka Mano was adopted into the tribe because of
her timely assistance."  She glanced speculatively at Yohko, and asked
Madoka, "And your granddaughter is, I presume...?"

	"The 108th generation," Madoka replied proudly.  "She did a
fine job at the last conjunction."  Yohko shifted in her chair, unused
to the praise.

	"Oh," said Ranma.

	Shampoo broke in, asking, "How can be worse than incident that
almost destroy tribe?"

	"I'm not sure, Shampoo," sighed the Joketsuzoku elder, "But I
think that something is threatening our world..."


	"...Or worse."

	There was a brief, stupefied silence.

	"Aiyah," Yohko finally ventured.

	Shampoo sniffed.  "Can say that again."


	Miki closed the door behind her, called, "I'm home!" and bent
to remove her shoes.

	The door opened, knocking her over.  Predictably, she hit the
floor face-first.  Lifting herself back to her knees and mumbling dire
imprecations, she turned to see...  "Yuu!"

	For the second time in as many minutes, the front door swung
closed.  "It's really not a good idea to block the door like that,
Miki," he remarked, ignoring her glare.  He frowned slightly.  "You're
okay, aren't you?"

	Yuu... was worried about her?  Miki's anger evaporated, and
she nodded.  He actually smiled.  "How is Meiko?"

	"She seems to be doing pretty well," Miki cheerfully replied.
"I was worried, after everything that happened recently, but she seems
like she's back to normal."  He nodded distractedly, and she
remembered to ask, "What about you, Yuu?"

	"Just the usual."  A vexed frown.  "Mostly."

	"Mostly?  What--"

	"Oh, Yuu, Miki-chan.  Welcome home!"  Yuu's mother, Chiyako,
waves to them from the dining area.  "You're just in time."

	"We wouldn't want to miss one of your meals."  Miki grinned.
That had been the first benefit to living with the Matsuuras that
she'd discovered:  her own mother was a fair cook, but Chiyako's
dishes were incredible.

	Yuu smiled slightly and nodded once in agreement.  Then,
coughing quietly, he asked, "By the way, does either of you remember
the weather forecast?"

	Miki shook her head, but Chiyako replied, "Sunny all week, I
think.  Why do you ask?"

	"Oh, it's nothing.  That's what I thought too, but I ran into
someone on my way home who said a storm was coming.  I thought maybe
I'd misremembered."

	"That's strange," his mother chuckled.

	Yuu nodded.  "He was pretty weird.  I mean, a black trenchcoat
and hat, in this heat?"

	Miki laughed.  "Come on, Yuu.  Nobody would wear that on a day
like today!"

	"Really," agreed Chiyako.  "How odd."  She waved a hand,
dismissing the topic.  "We're about to eat now, so if you'll take your
shoes off, Miki-chan..."

	"Eh?"  Miki glanced between her feet, still clad, and Yuu,
who, shoeless, was walking across the room toward Chiyako.  "Ah!  Wait
for me!"

	The other two laughed as Miki frantically struggled with her


	As Manami opened the door to the apartment, Akane beamed.

	"Akane?"  Manami blinked.  "Were you coming to visit this
summer?  You're not already finished with classes, are you?"

	She shrugged.  "Everything important."  That wasn't even a
lie, as long as you didn't consider school important.  And right now,
school definitely took a back seat to Madoka.  "Sorry I didn't call
first.  I wanted it to be a surprise."  She smiled.  "Say, is Kyousuke
around?"  If she stayed near him, she was sure to run into Madoka
sooner rather than later.  The boy had his faults, but he had
excellent luck in that regard.

	Manami shook her head.  "Sorry, but he's not here."

	"No problem, I just wanted to say hi," Akane lied.  "When will
he be back?"

	"In about a month."


	Manami shrugged.  "It's very strange.  First he leaves early
for a trip, and then you show up, the same day..."

	"And it's not fair!" interrupted a high-pitched voice from
inside the apartment.  "Everybody else gets to travel, and we're still
stuck in school.  Boring classes..."

	Manami sighed while Akane giggled.  "Hi, Kurumi," she said.

	"Akane?"  Kurumi, ever mercurial, changed moods in an instant.
"It is you!  When did you get here?  How was the trip?  You're going
to stay for a while, right?  Are--"

	"Hold on," Akane said, laughing helplessly.  "Give me a minute
to answer.  Let's see... I just got here now, the trip wasn't bad, and
I'll probably stay for a little while."


	"It's nice to see you, too."  Akane smiled fondly; the younger
twin reminded her of herself, sometimes.  She was fun to be with.
Maybe she would even be willing to help with Madoka, if she was
approached properly...  But there was one thing bothering her.  "Where
did Kyousuke go?" she asked, trying to make the question sound like
idle curiosity.

	Manami smiled.  "He went to--"  She paused, frowning, then
exchanged a glance with Kurumi, who shrugged.  "Actually," she said,
"I don't think he ever did tell us.  Just 'into the country.'"

	Fine time for Kyousuke to be exploring the Japanese
countryside, Akane thought sourly.  "Oh?  That sounds interesting."

	"I guess so."

	"We should've gone with him," Kurumi muttered.

	"Never mind," said Akane.  "We'll just have to go someplace on
our own, once you girls are finished with school.  Maybe we could ask
along Hikaru-chan and Madoka-san, too."

	"Let's go to the beach!"  Delighted, Kurumi clapped her hands.

	"We just went to the beach last year, Kurumi.  Why not Kyoto?"

	"We can decide later," Akane suggested.  "After all, we have
time to spare, right?"


	Mirai reeled, bracing herself with one hand against the wall.
"Wh-what was that?"

	Hiroshi took a deep breath.  "I think...  It's starting.  I
think that was a ripple in time.  That disorientation..."  He studied
the intricate example of engineering that hung around his neck.  "We
don't seem any different, so I guess these things are working."

	"It's happening already?" she asked, horrified.

	He nodded.  "I'd hoped to finish the rebuilding and send the
warning first, but I guess that was a bit too much to ask.  But I'd
better get back to helping Nozomu."

	"It's not too late yet?  I mean, the ripple..."

	"No."  Hiroshi looked her in the eye.  "No, it's not too late
yet... but our time is running out."  Breaking eye contact, he hurried
through a door, plucking a spare tool -- some sort of meter, Mirai
thought -- from the table as he went.

	"Our time is running out," she repeated in disbelief.


	"Last night, I had a dream," the ancient Amazon began.

	Predictably, Ranma immediately interrupted.  "You're all
worried because of a dream?"

	"But, Ranma, sometimes great-grandmother's dreams are

	"That's 'prophetic,' Shampoo," admonished Madoka.

	"You mean, she can see the future?"  Yohko was intrigued.

	"Not as such, child.  Sometimes, very rarely, I see what may
come to be.  And, yes, son-in-law, this is why I called you here.
I've never felt such a threat before."

	"But the demon world's been so quiet lately," Yohko mused.

	Her grandmother frowned.  "Perhaps... too quiet?"

	"That seems awful subtle for something powerful enough to wipe
out a whole world," Ranma remarked.

	"Subtlety is but another form of power," stated Madoka.  "If
this is, indeed, a greater demon's scheme, then we should expect that
much of it will seem incomprehensible."

	"Okay, okay.  Whatever.  How do we find out what it's planning
and stop it?"

	"Good question."  The Mano matriarch smiled.  "We're going to
begin with a trip to the demon world."

	"'We,' huh.  Figures."

	"You should not take this so lightly, son-in-law."

	"Yeah, I know, it'll be dangerous, right.  So how do we all
get there?"

	"I'll open the way tonight," Madoka answered.  "You, my
granddaughter, Mousse, and I will cross into the demon world then.
With luck, there will be no need for you, and we'll return before

	Mousse shook his head.  "I cannot leave my beloved to--"

	"Mousse, you do for Shampoo?"

	"Of course, my darling."

	"Well," chuckled Madoka.  "That's one problem solved."  She
turned toward Ranma and asked, "You have no objections?"

	"Like I have a choice," Ranma snorted.  "Sure, I'll go.  But
why aren't you taking th-- Cologne?  She's better than Mousse, that's
for sure."

	"Shampoo and I are staying in this world to guard the gate,

	"Oh, right, making sure nothing gets out.  Good idea."

	"That too," Cologne said wryly, "But our main purpose is to
make sure -you- are able to get out."


	The sun hung low in the sky, staining the placid waters of the
lake golden.  Tenchi and Kyousuke sat side by side, staring at it in
awkward silence.  Neither looked at the other.

	The sun sunk lower.

	"I wonder how far Madoka-chan went," Tenchi mused.  She had
left them at least half an hour ago, saying she wanted to walk.
Alone.  She'd been quite insistent.

	Kyousuke answered without looking.  "She's probably going to
circle the lake, if she thinks she has the time.  Otherwise, out and

	"That's pretty far.  She could do it, though," Tenchi
responded noncommitally.

	"She probably could have already, if she'd been running."

	"But she said she wanted to walk.  It is pretty nice, I
suppose, but I could have shown her better places."

	"She doesn't really, you know," Kyousuke said.  "I'm pretty
sure she just wanted us to get to know one another.  But I can't think
of a way to start a conversation."

	"We're talking now," Tenchi pointed out.

	"I guess we are.  So... what should we talk about?"


	Tenchi chuckled nervously.  "I see your point.  Does
Madoka-chan do this sort of thing often?"

	"Well..."  The image of a cheerfully-smiling Hikaru came to
mind.  "Not much, no."

	"I thought it didn't seem like her.  She was always the kind
of girl who liked playing with other people."

	Kyousuke blinked.  "She was?"

	"Well, that was more than ten years ago," Tenchi admitted.
"She's a loner now?"

	"I... don't know.  She was, for a while, but..."

	"I guess I don't know her as well as I thought."

	Kyousuke chuckled.  "She is pretty hard to understand."

	"I think it may be women in general."

	"Good point.  But Ayukawa is more so."

	Smiling slightly, Tenchi nodded.  "I'll take your word for
it.  You must know her better than I do."

	"I don't th--"  Kyousuke blinked.  "Was that a joke?"

	"I guess it was.  Sorry."

	"No, it's funny, it's just that... you know..."

	"I know."

	"Why did you suddenly think of asking Ayukawa here, after ten
years?" Kyousuke asked.  He hurriedly added, "If it's not--"

	"It's not a secret."  Tenchi sighed.  "I used to see
Madoka-chan fairly often, but after my mother died, we just lost
touch.  My father and I... well, we took a long time to deal with it,
I guess."  He shook his head.  "I hate to say it, but I didn't even
think about Madoka-chan for years after that."

	"That's understandable," Kyousuke assured him.  "I was too
young when my mother died to remember much about her, but I was pretty
upset."  That was putting it lightly; he'd torn his room apart
telekinetically.  He probably would have totalled the whole apartment,
if Grandpa and Grandma hadn't been there.

	"Your mother died when you were young, too?"

	Nodding, Kyousuke explained, "When my sisters were born.  What
made you think of Ayukawa after all this time?"

	"Well," Tenchi began, "My father's hobby is recording things."
He coughed and decided not to elaborate.  "He used to record just
about my entire life, when I was young.  Every year, at the
anniversary of my mother's death, he watches some of those old films.
Sometimes I watch with him.  This year, one of the segments was of me
playing with Madoka-chan."  He shifted positions on the grass.  "I
guess that's what brought it back.  This was the earliest vacation I
could ask her, too, so..."

	Kyousuke nodded again.  "I probably would've done the same

	Tenchi nodded, then smiled sheepishly.  "I can't say that was
my only motive, though.  I was sort of hoping she could help me with
a, um, problem.  Give me some advice," he confided.

	"Problem?"  Kyousuke leaned to the side, supporting himself on
one arm.  "You mean those two...?"

	Tenchi sighed.  "Four, and yes... well, maybe.  I mean, it's
not exactly -them-, it's just that..."

	"I see."  Kyousuke frowned slightly.  "Well... which one of
them do you like?"

	Tenchi recoiled as if he'd been burnt.  "It's not like that!"

	"Oh.  It's not?"

	"Well... not really, anyway..."

	"Okay.  Sorry, it's just-- uh, never mind."  Kyousuke paused.
"Uh, no offense or anything, but I think you're the most indecisive
guy I've ever met.  Maybe if you were more firm, things would go

	"You think I'm indecisive?" asked Tenchi.

	"Well... maybe not.  That is..."  Wonderful, he'd just
insulted his host.  Desperately, he cast about for a reprieve.  He
found one as he spotted a figure further along the shore of the lake.
"Ah... Ayukawa!"  He waved.

	Tenchi turned to look, and also waved.  "Hi, Madoka-chan!" he
called.  "How was your walk?"

	She grinned back and started jogging across the remaining
distance between them.  "Nice.  You're lucky to live in such a
beautiful place, Ten-chan."

	Tenchi stood, smiling wryly.  "Even though I have to climb a
hundred steps every day to get back home from school?"

	Madoka and Kyousuke exchanged a glance and laughed out loud,
leaving Tenchi staring blankly in puzzlement.


	Ryouko scowled as she descended the stairs, her mood tainted
by having lost the verbal battle of the day.

	She looked into the living room.  There was nobody there.  She
shrugged, and teleported into the bathroom.

	Nobody there, either.  She frowned and stepped through the
wall, emerging on the porch.

	Mihoshi was curled up in a ball to one side, fast asleep.
Ryouko briefly considered waking her to ask where Tenchi was, but
quickly dismissed the thought.  Best to let sleeping disasters lie.
She turned around and stepped through the door -- literally -- into
the house.

	There was nobody in the dining area, either, but she could
hear Sasami humming softly in the kitchen.  Perfect.  She stuck her
head into the room.  Sasami was stirring something in a large pot.
Whatever it was, it smelled delicious.  Ryouko realized that she was

	"Hiya, Sasami," she said.  The young princess turned and
smiled at her.  Sasami was probably the only one who was ever really
happy to see her.  Aside from Tenchi, of course.  And maybe Tenchi's
father, but that didn't count.  But there was still time to make a
good impression on Tenchi's cousin...  "Hey, maybe I could help you
with that..."

	Sasami's smile frayed around the edges, but she managed to
stay calm.  "That's so nice of you, but it's nearly ready.  You could
help by going to get Tenchi and our guests," she offered, knowing that
that was the one thing Ryouko wouldn't argue with, even if she'd had
her mind set on helping in the kitchen.

	"Really?  That'd help?"  Sure enough, Ryouko brightened
considerably at the prospect.  "Great!  I was going to ask you where
he was anyway..."  She caught herself and chuckled nervously.  "It's
so quiet around the house, I mean..."

	Sasami gave her a knowing grin.  "They should be by the lake."

	"The lake.  Okay, see you!"


	Ryouko was not in the habit of listening to others, but she

	"Remember," Sasami continued, "Tenchi wants us all to act
normal while his cousin is here."

	"Oh, yeah."  Ryouko nodded, pretending she hadn't forgotten.
"I was just going to walk down to the lake to tell them, that's all."

	"You're welcome."  Sasami grinned.

	"I'll be back soon."  Ryouko turned, then paused.  "Er.  It
smells good, by the way."  As usual.

	"Thanks.  I hope Madoka-san and Kyousuke-san will like it."

	"I don't think you need to worry about that."

	Sasami giggled and waved before turning back to her pot.

	Walking toward the door, Ryouko mumbled, "I hope Madoka and
Kyousuke will like -me-.  Then Tenchi is sure to see..."  With a
catlike grin on her face, she stepped through the door -- normally,
this time -- and set out to find Tenchi.