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# 26

A mystery fusion
by Brian Randall

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A single, slight miscalculation— somewhere in a plane of reality slightly above our own, and somewhat more confused than any human could comprehend— had taken place.


He jerked his head up at the sound of the voice, glancing around warily. "Grandfather?" he asked, wondering when he had dozed off. "I had the strangest dream," he mused quietly.

His grandfather smirked, shaking his head. "Heh. Well, be that as it may, we're going to leave to go to Nerima soon."

"Right," he mumbled, frowning. "How long has it been since we've had a family reunion?"

His grandfather's face became somber, and he ruefully admitted, "Not since your mother was alive, I'm afraid. I shouldn't have let her death distance me from her sister."

"Uh…. Yeah, anyway, let's get ready to go."

But the paths and connections and rules and whatnot in this plane above ours is so convoluted that when this mistake was made, there was a question if it was a mistake at all, if rather, if it would be a mistake to NOT let it happen.

"Hey! Where do you think you're going!"

He flinched, pausing at the doorstep and turning slowly to regard his parents. "I was going to go over to Hirosuke's to study," he mumbled. "Why, do we have some kind of plan for the day?"

"Your cousins are coming up from Okayama! How could you forget that?"

"Oh. Um, right. Well, then I guess I'll clean up the guest bedroom."

"That's my son!" his mother said, smiling at him proudly. "Such a good boy!"

He scratched the back of his head nervously, and managed a weak laugh. "Uh… sure, Mom."

Take the first of these crossed paths, then. One dealt with empires from outer space and the madness that followed.

"Uh, Dad? Can you pull over soon? I gotta go!"

Glancing back at his son, the man nodded. "Okay, okay, we need some more fuel anyway. How about you, Dad?"

The more elder figure in the front seat nodded slowly. "That would be good, yes. We should probably have something to eat soon, too." Turning to regard the boy, he asked, "What's in the picnic basket?"

Shaking his head, the boy pulled the basket from behind his seat in the car, and opened it up to look inside. "Aw, man, Dad, I made some sandwiches last night, but you packed more of your shoujo manga in here!" He blinked, pulling one out and flipping through it. "And some ecchi ones, too."

His grandfather sighed, shaking his head. "For shame, Nobuyuki!"

And the problem? The other dealt with exactly the same thing. No wonder they got mixed up.

"Cousin!" the boy cried out, waving from the doorway as three men piled out of the van. "I haven't seen you in ages!"

The other boy laughed, running to greet his cousin, "It's been a while, Tenchi."

"Ha! Long time no see, Ataru. How have you been?"

Then, too, the boy would be chased by a mysterious woman from space who might be called a demon, and…. Well, it's best on days like that to just be glad you're not in charge of the mess.


Author's Notes: UruseiYatsura is the property or Rumiko Takahashi. Tenchi Muyo! is the property of Pioneer.

Odd how similar and Tenchi could really be, though when you consider it, the mistake could indeed be that they weren't switched at birth, and yet so little changes….

—Brian Randall
…Who will try not to use Tenchi in the next mystery fusion.

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