Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
Episode Seven: Mistaken Identities and Realities
By Tailkinker and Kitsy,

   Warning:   Java compilation error.  Insufficient  coffee.
Due  to  this, none of the characters, situations and  sites
belong  to  the  authors of this story.  They are  currently
just used to explore the effects of sleep deprivation.
   "Akito is the same person here as he was when we were  on
the  Nadesico.  But here, he does not remember anyone!  Both
Yurika  and Megumi are chasing him, just as they did before,
even though he doesn't know either of them.
   "I  don't  think  I'll  ever understand  the  way  people
   Tail Kinker and Kitsy present
   Magical Girl Pretty Ruri
   Episode Seven:
   Mistaken Identities and Realities
   It  was  a marvellous day - the sun was clear and bright,
the air was sweet, the sakura petals were drifting lazily in
the light breeze.  All seemed right with the world...outside
the school.
   "I really hate him."
   "It was your fault, you know."
   "Megumi, how was it *my* fault?"
   "Well,  if  you  hadn't been up all night  reading  those
   "I wasn't up all night reading manga."
   "Oh,  right.  Next you'll be telling me that you were  up
all night discussing how to save the world with your cat?"
   "I did not spend all night reading manga."
   Megumi  looked away from Ruri, scowling.  "One  of  these
days, you really have to get your head out of the clouds and
get back to reality."
   "I'd like nothing more."
   "What  do  you think, someone's gonna make a manga  about
your life?"
   "Quiet out there!"

   * * * * *
   Ruri sat down under 'her' tree and began tearing into her
   "Why  does the universe insist on keeping me hungry?   No
breakfast  this morning, and I almost managed to  forget  my
bento  -  and my lunch money is dangerously low!"   She  set
down  the now empty bento and leaned back against the  tree.
"It  seems  that things keep forcing me to act just  like  a
Magical  Girl  from an anime.  I really wish  someone  could
   "Hey, Ruri!"
   Ruri  looked up to see the Terrible Trio - Megumi, Yukina
and  Yurika - approaching.  She groaned, and braced  herself
for the inevitable.
   "So how was your date last night, hmmm?"
   "You better not have done anything ecchi to my Akito!"
   "Well, she kissed him!"
   "If  their faces were any closer, one of them would  have
lost an eye.  Bad angle for pictures, though."
   "I did not kiss Tenkawa-san."
   "You mean he was taking advantage of you?"
   "No.  We didn't kiss."
   Yurika  waved a photograph in front of her  nose.   "Then
what do you call this?  Did he have something in his eye?"
   "You  know,  I'd  bet anything that it was  Ruri's  first
kiss, too!"
   "Stare...with a college boy?"
   "Well,  she  spends  so much time reading  manga...I  bet
she's never had time for a boyfriend before!"
   "Why does she have to start with my Akito?"
   "Isn't fourteen too young to be dating college boys?"
    "Besides, Akito's more my age!"
   "Oh, you're so much more older than us!"
   "Lean...maybe she failed a grade!"
   "NO WAY!"
   Ruri stood up.
   "Yep, she's the old lady of the class."
   Ruri walked towards the school building.
   "Hey, Ruri?  Where are you going?"
   Ruri  stopped  and looked over her shoulder.   "Somewhere
with less noise."  She turned and walked off.
   The Terrible Trio watched her leave.
   "What's her problem?"
   Yurika  shrugged.   "I dunno."  She looked  down  at  the
photo.  "By the way, much do you want for  this
   * * * * *
   Omoikane  looked to either side, making sure  no-one  was
watching,  then crept into Houmei's Ice Cream  Parlor.   The
only  customer was a college student, in the far booth,  but
Omoikane  waited until she stood and went into the restroom.
He  jumped  up  onto the video game console  and  pawed  the
buttons in a complex combination.
   "Cats who drink Irish cream get wobbly."  He winced;  why
did Central Control have such stupid passwords?
   The  screen flickered, then faded to black.  The  speaker
crackled to life.
   "Control.  Report?"
   "It  has  been  eight  days since my  last  report.   The
Martian Warriors Kasei and Shugotenshi have been identified.
The Princess has not yet been found."
   The  voice on the other end of the communication link was
harsh and arrogant.  "Baka!  Kasei IS the Princess!"
   "I...doubt  that.   She is undisciplined,  unruly,  lazy,
gluttonous and forgetful."
   "Yes, that's right."
   Omoikane blinked.  "Are you telling me that our Princess-
   "Is a normal teenager.  Yes."
   "I have some more news for you.  The Martian Warrior Rika
is  active in Spain, and will soon be contacted.  She has no
idea  what  is  going on.  We will transfer her  to  Nerima,
under your control."
   "She will probably arrive in two or three days."
   "I  understand.   Also, the Dark World is  gathering  ki,
probably to try and reinforce their paradigm."
   "Understood.  We cannot allow this to happen.   Have  you
located the Knight yet?"
   "No.  I have seen him - he is definitely active, probably
drawn to the Princess - but I still have no idea who he is."
   "Hello, kitty!  What are you doing in here?"
   Omoikane flinched - caught!  Tenkawa Akito picked up  the
large  grey  tabby, then turned his attention to  the  video
game  console.   "Is this stupid thing on the blink  again?"
He pounded it once, and the screen blinked back to 'Fighting
Kanji.'  "As for you...can't let you stay in here."  He  was
about  to  toss  the cat out the door when  he  noticed  the
collar.  "Hello, let's at least find out who you belong to."
   The  tag had the cat's name, a phone number and the  name
Hoshino stamped on it.
   "I bet you're Ruri's cat, right?"  Akito grinned.  "I can
take you back to her house."
   Omoikane  fumed.  How could he carry out his  mission  to
locate the Knight when this human was dragging him around?
   * * * * *
   "Gym.  Great."
   Yurika  grinned at her.  "Come on, Ruri!  You're good  at
sports.  Why don't you like them?"
   "I am not good at sports."
   "You  really don't know Ruri, do you?  She is such a lazy
   "Oh,  come  on, Ruri!  Deny it!  I thought for  sure  you
were  going  to  give  the  gym teacher  an  aneurysm.   You
couldn't even manage a front roll!"
   Ruri studied her sneakers.
   "And you swim like a hammer."
   "Grin...but  the  boys  think  you  look  cute  in   your
   "What boys?"
   "Oh,  just some of the science geeks.  Mostly the reptile
biology crowd.  The photos just keep sell--I mean..."
   "Maybe she should wear that swimsuit for Tenkawa!"
   "Yukina!"  Yurika stared at her in shock.
   "Naw, just her gym top and shorts should do the trick."
   "Assuming he hasn't seen even more..."
   "Wouldn't that be 'less'?"
   "Less   than   the   gym  uniform?   I   suppose   that's
   "   you   think  that   maybe   that   was   a
   "Naw.  She's just oversensitive."
   "Are you sure?"
   "I'm sure."
   "So it wasn't cruel?"
   * * * * *
   Tsukumo   slowed  the  car  as  he  passed  the   school.
"Yurinoki Middle School."  He smiled, and drove the car -  a
dark  blue Lotus, the paint job polished until it gleamed  -
around  to the visitor's parking space.  He stepped  out  of
the  car and ran a hand through his hair.  "Yes, this is  as
good  a  place  to start as any.  I should be able  to  find
Pretty Ruri here, and maybe even develop a harvest of ki."
   He  took a moment to consider himself.  His black leather
shoes  were  polished to a shine.  Dark  blue  socks,  black
slacks with a crease you could disembowel a enemy with,  and
a  white  dress  shirt, open at the throat.  A  light  brown
sweater,  three  gold rings, a 35mm camera and  dark  shades
completed  the image of an action news reporter -  the  sort
that  normally  covers wars, sports and other  very  violent
   He  reached  back  into the car and pulled  out  a  brown
satchel.  He opened it and pulled out a lens for the camera.
"Thank  you, Dr. Kirlian."  He chuckled evilly.  "This  lens
will  allow me to examine the auras of the subject.   I  can
find  Ruri  this  way  - just find the highest  ki-empowered
person in the school."
   Tsukumo  loaded  the camera as he looked  around.   "Some
sort of sports going on over there...looks like a gym class.
A  good  place  to start."  He strolled towards  the  field,
camera at the ready.
   * * * * *
   "Oh, comes a pervert with a camera."
   Megumi looked up.  "Sugoi - he's really cool!"
   Yurika  stared  at  the photographer.  "Uh,  Ruri,  isn't
   Ruri kicked Yurika.
   "Ite!  What was that for?"
   "Sensei?  Yurika's hurt her ankle.  I'm going to take her
down to the nurse's office."
   "Hey,  that's my brother!  Oniichan, what are  you  doing
   "Well,  hello, Yukina."  ~Could it be?~  "Hold still  for
this   picture."   Tsukumo  snapped  a  picture  of  Yukina.
Actually, the camera was mostly just a cover for the Kirlian
Lens.   Through the camera's aperture, he studied the girl's
ki aura. way in hell.~
   "Kawaii!  That's your brother?  He looks just like my old
   Tsukumo  smiled  at  Megumi.  "And a  pic  of  you."   He
snapped  another  picture.   ~This  one  has  a  strong   ki
presence...she might be the one...~
   "Hey, you!"  The teacher walked up to Tsukumo.  "Did  you
have  the  permission of these girls before you  took  their
   "It's okay, Sensei - he's my brother."
   "And I don't think Megumi minds, either..."
   Tsukumo  smiled.   "I'm taking pictures  for  the  Nerima
Gleaner.  Would you mind if I got some of your class?"
   "Ummm...I don't mind...does anyone here object?"
   Megumi  jumped  forward, hand extended.  "Hi!   I'm  more
than willing to pose for you!"
   "My  name's  Reinard Megumi, I'm a photographer  for  the
school newspaper.  That's a really cool camera.  What's your
name?  What does that custom lens do?"
   Tsukumo   considered  the  girl.   ~She  seems  far   too
inquisitive...and  far too interested in the  Kirlian  Lens.
If this is her...~  He made a decision.
   "I'll  tell you what.  I'd like to get some action shots.
Looks like I interrupted a soccer game.  Why don't you  just
continue playing."
   "All right!  Ryoko, sit down, I'm taking the center."
   "But it's not your turn--"
   "Sit down before I break your leg!"
   * * * * *
   "I'm SURE of it!  That's the guy that tried to trash  the
karaoke club!"
   "So we should give him a medal?"
   "Ruri!  Be serious!"
   "I  AM  being  serious.  I know who  he  is  -  Shiratori
Tsukumo,  Yukina's  older  brother.   He's  a  photographer,
though  Yukina never mentioned him working for the  Gleaner.
He's been seduced by the dark side."
   "Ummm...Oh,  that's right!  They made Star  Wars  into  a
   "Baka.   Whoever he's working for is out to steal  energy
from people, though I don't know why."
   "So let's paste him!"
   Yurika  raised her hand, two fingers in a  V.   "I  don't
know why we are here, but right now it is our duty to defend
the  innocent students and to protect the lives of  everyone
around us."
   "'Paste'  works."   Ruri  raised the  Kasei  no  Henshin.
"Mars Guardian, Make-UP!"
   The  light seared her eyes, all blue and gold.   The  air
around  her  rippled, and she felt waves of incredible  heat
pounding  her.  Her clothes shredded and re-formed into  the
blue  skirt,  tight-fitting golden bodysuit  and  long  blue
boots  and  gloves.  The tiara formed on her brow,  and  the
Henshin lengthened to quarterstaff proportions.
   "Mars Warrior, Make-UP!"
   The light came first, blinding her momentarily.  When  it
passed,  Yurika's body was all a-glitter, no details visible
to  the eye.  Flames seemed to dance around her, burning the
clothing off of her, then reforming itself into a short  red
skirt,  white bodysuit, thigh-height red boots, elbow-length
red  gloves  and the same stupid bow at the  back,  red  and
white  striped.  Her hair lightened, and shifted to a flame-
red  colour.  A silver tiara, with a single red gem centered
in  it,  appeared on her brow.  The Henshin stick lengthened
and curved in on itself, becoming a silver bow.
   Ruri  nodded.  "To the top of the school.  We can monitor
him from there."
   * * * * *
   Tsukumo removed the expended film cartridge and loaded  a
new  one  in.  ~This girl must be the one.  I've never  seen
such  energy in a person before.~  He smiled, as he  started
shooting a new set of exposures.  ~It's rather a pity - I've
never seen such a cute girl.  Too bad she has to die.~
   Ruri watched the scene below from a vantage point on  top
of the bell tower.  "He's not doing anything yet..."
   "So let's go pound him!"
   "We  can't."   Ruri sighed, and leaned back.   "Until  he
actually does something, we can't attack him."
   "But he wasted the karaoke club."
   "I  agree.   And he attacked all the people  there.   But
here--"  She gestured towards the playing field.  "He's done
nothing here as of yet."
   "So  we  gotta  wait for him to do something  first?   By
then, he'll already have hurt someone."
   "True.  But we have no choice."
   "That's stupid."
   "True  again.  And while we're on the subject  of  stupid
things...could you do me a favour?"
   "Lay off the long-winded speeches when we're in battle."
   * * * * *
   Megumi ran up to Tsukumo.  "How did I do?"
   "Not  bad.  Tell you what...why don't we step over to  my
car--"  He pointed over to the Lotus.  "I think I could sign
you for some more work."
   Megumi  was  all stars and hearts.  Ryoko, on  the  other
hand, looked a bit suspicious.
   "Hey, mister, why should she go over to your car?"
   A few other girls heard the statement, and began drifting
towards them.
   "You some kind of pervert, mister?"
   "Maybe at the University they got girls your age."
   Tsukumo started to sweat.
   "No, no, it's nothing like that..."  He looked over their
heads.  "Hey, what's that?"
   "Oh, right, pal.  Like that trick ever works."
   Tsukumo  smirked.  ~A few golems should keep  them  busy,
while  I  get  Pretty Ruri here to my car...not  to  mention
Akara is unlikely to be displeased with my harvesting a  bit
of energy...~
   * * * * *
   Ruri and Yurika stared at the golems attacking the girls.
There were five of them, resembling large yellow spiders.
   "Jovian Spiders!  Why does he keep using those things!"
   "I'm  not  sure.  Perhaps there is some kind of  expla--"
Ruri  was  cut  off by Megumi's scream.  She looked  to  the
right.  "Looks like Tsukumo's trying to kidnap Megumi."
   "NOW can we paste him?"
   "I'm  not  sure we have sufficient provocation..."   Ruri
half-smiled at the sight of Yurika tearing her  hair.   "All
right.  Let's get him."
   "Flare  Arrow!"  Yurika raised the bow, and  pulled  back
the  string.   A  flaming arrow appeared at her  fingertips.
She  aimed at a golem, and let it fly.  The arrow transfixed
the Jovian Spider and blew it to pieces.
   "All right!  He's using the cheap, crummy ones!"
   Ruri  jumped  down  to the playing field,  plasma  pistol
drawn.   She  fired  off four quick blasts,  vaporizing  the
remaining  golems.  She then holstered the  pistol,  readied
her staff, and faced Tsukumo.
   Tukumo was gaping at her.  ""
   "Very articulate."
   Yurika  landed  beside Ruri.  "How dare you  commit  such
evil  acts  on the sacred grounds of higher learning?   This
place where children come to learn, fall in love and prepare
themselves for future lives!  In the name of Mars, you  must
be punished!"
   Ruri glared at her.
   "What?  We're not in combat!"
   Ruri  glanced back at Tsukumo.  "Let the girl go, and  no
more bad speeches will occur."
   "You  don't understand!"  Megumi tore herself  free,  and
ran  to  Ruri.  "He was protecting me from the evil  golems!
You can't hurt him, he's a hero."
   Yurika  leaned over to Ruri.  "I thought Misato  was  the
one to fall for him?"
   "Baka."  She looked over to Tsukumo.  "Because you didn't
harm  anyone  -  this time - we'll let you  go.   I  have  a
feeling  this girl would be upset by the sight of my Gravity
Blasting you into next week."
   "Well,  the speech was punishment enough, I guess...since
she's  not  you,  I can let her go.  Watch your  back."   He
smiled, then stepped into his car.
   Yurika  looked at him, puzzled.  "Hey, you're  not  gonna
fade out this time?"
   "Are you kidding?  This car cost a fortune."
   * * * * *
   "Yukina, your brother is so cool!  Does he still live  at
your  house?   I've gotta see him again!  Do  you  have  his
phone number?  Or would calling him be too forward?  Maybe I
should find out where he works.  Then I could sort of  'bump
into him' sometime, by 'accident.'"
   "Ruri, you just don't understand!  Sure, you've got Akito-
   "She does NOT!"
   "Well, she has a better chance with him than you!"
   "Megumi, stop being so mean!"
   "Anyway,  Akito's cute, but Tsukumo's even better!   He's
way  cuter,  drives a Lotus, and he works for the newspaper!
Not for an Ice Cream Parlor!"
   Ruri was giving serious thought to stapling Megumi's lips
together.  Yurika, on the other hand, looked more  like  she
just wanted to shoot her.
   Yukina was also rapidly getting fed up.  "Look, Meg-chan,
I  kinda  realize that you like my brother, but isn't  he  a
bit...old for you?"
   "Look at Ruri and Akito!"
   "Akito's older than Tsukumo, right?"
   Ruri looked up with great relief to see her house.  "I'll
see  you  tomorrow."  She dove for the door  and  locked  it
behind her.
   "Oh,  Ruri, welcome home!  Your friend from the Ice Cream
Parlor brought Omoikane home!"
   Ruri winced, then looked up.
   Akito set down the cup of tea.  "It was very kind of  you
to ask me in, Hoshino-san."
   "Think nothing of it.  More tea?"
   Ruri blinked.  "Uh, Mom...isn't that the good tea set?"
   Akito set down the cup - rather quickly.
   "Oh, my, you're right!  Tenkawa-kun, you may feel free to
call me Usagi."
   "Usagi?"  Akito grinned.  "Do you call Ruri 'Chibi-Usa'?"
   "Baka bakka."
   The  cat  hopped up and ran up the stairs as fast  as  he
could, to avoid being seen busting a gut laughing.
   "Omoikane, don't leave me here alone!"
   "Ruri!"   Yurika leaned against the window in  the  front
door.  "How could you do this to me?"
   "Minna baka."
   * * * * *
   Author's notes:
   Oh,  my,  but this one was fun!  :)  This chapter  was  a
little  shorter  than usual for us, but we just  managed  to
work  out all of our jokes in rather short order this  time.
The  Mailing List is growing, though not so fast that  we'll
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   [Kitsy]   Tailkinker, did we just call up  the  C&C  line
from the Stock Footage Locker?
   [TK]  Yep.  But then, this IS a Magical Girl anime...
   [Kitsy]  Where's my tiara?