Kiyone, the supposedly committed, supposedly talented, supposedly able, Galaxy Police Detective sat in front of her desk in the classroom. Her uniform, as always, was pristine. The blue and purple colours a contrast to the muted shades of the room itself. Out of her peripheral vision she saw her partner Mihoshi, who only seemed to be a cop through the worst case of nepotism in galactic history, in her opinion. Kiyone tried to ignore the almost neon blond hair and ridiculous feline grin Mihoshi wore on her face almost continuously. Instead, as one of the only two students in the class, Kiyone focussed her attention on the teacher.
The teacher herself was a bulky looking woman with the name 'Bullwhip' imprinted on a name tag pinned on to her barrel-like chest. In full dress uniform she was an imposing figure and she strutted back and forth with military pacing. In her hands she branded a small horsewhip which she occasionally whacked in her palm for emphasis as she talked.
“You are on patrol on a city street. A man walks up to you, and he is armed. What do you do?” She asked, in her deep gothic voice. “Kiyone?”
“I shoot him,” she answered, knowing immediately it was the wrong answer, but somehow unable to halt herself from saying so.
“And if he is unarmed?” Bullwhip asked again, raising a bushy eyebrow.
“I shoot him.”
“And if he is walking towards you, hands above his head?”
“I shoot him.” Kiyone couldn't believe what she was saying, the words just spilled out as if she had no control over what she was saying.
“Ohhhhh, I know what to do,” the tanned officer beside Kiyone answered, leaping up from her seat and saluting exaggeratedly.
“First you say 'you're under arrest in the name of the law', then 'you don't have the right to be silent, but anything you don't say will be used against you' and then-”
Kiyone's eyes bulged as her partner began describing in vivid detail the ways to break a man's arm off at the shoulder and put them, into recover position.
“Absolutely correct!” Bullwhip said to Mihoshi, “Congratulations, you have earned yet another promotion.”
“Wahoo!” she cheered, an upgrade badge immediately materialising onto her messy uniform.
“As for you, Kiyone,” Bullwhip sneered, “Your answer was wrong!”
She swung her whip downwards in a sharp arc. Kiyone screamed as she braced for slicing impact.
Then she woke from her dream with a clumsy shuffle.
Kiyone sat in her dark bedroom for several minutes blinking rapidly as the hazy after-image of her nightmare was replaced with solid material reality.
“Not again!” She groaned, banging her head into the pillow.
The after-image of the blurring whip and the humiliation, as well as Mihoshi's damnable promotion kept Kiyone tossing and turning for what seemed like hours. Biting her pillow in frustration, she kicked at her blanket, which only made her even more frustrated. Finally, she had enough, throwing the sack to the floor, she stamped off in red faced anger.
Kiyone knew just what to do to fix her sleeping problems.
“Hello there stranger, long time no see!” The super intelligent genius Washu said, as Kiyone calmly entered her hyperdimensional laboratory. She carefully avoiding the wires or living branches strewn across the metallic floor, as well as the tanks full of machinery, machinery full of tanks, floating balls of mass and the mass of floating balls. The red-headed polymorph was in her child-like state, sitting with her back to Kiyone on a floating chair of orange light, typing into her blue keyboard of the same material. So Washu couldn't see the dishevelled appearance that Kiyone wore, or the fact that she was only dressed in a grey oversized top with tiny shorts to match.
“Washu, I need your help with nightmares.”
“And just what makes you so sure I know anything about nightmares?” Washu asked, rotating her chair around so her doll face stared right into Kiyone's. Her irises narrowed at the shocking state of the Galaxy Police Detective, but she paused hungrily, awaiting a good answer.
“Well...you know just about everything else?”
“Ha! That'll do,” the pint sized professor smiled, jumping off the chair and leading Kiyone enthusiastically through the lab.
Moments later, Kiyone found herself with her back to a strange looking machine that resembled a telescope fused to a dentist's chair. She held a warm cup of what passed for coffee while Washu sat on another chair of light, annotating with a pen and tablet made of the same substance.
“So you've had nightmares for three weeks now.” Washu said.
“Yes,” Kiyone answered, cradling her cup and savouring the heated smell of caffeinated substance.
“And it's the same nightmare each time...”
“...about Mihoshi receiving a promotion...”
“...and you want me to do something to help you.”
“Isn't that what I said at the beginning!?” Kiyone snarled.
“Are you sure you're not in love with her or something?” Washu asked, matter-of-factly, prodding her cheek with her pen.
“Why you pervy little minx!” Kiyone hissed, grabbing the scientist's broad cheeks and pinching them hard. Washu wailed like a dolphin, her arms flailing as she spun on her seat like a whirling dervish with Kiyone in tow.
“Aaaaaah! Alright, alright, I'll help you.” She said, “Geez, I had hypothesised that there was a sane reason that Mihoshi likes you so much.”
“There is NOTHING sane about that woman.”
After a heated discussion about specifics, Kiyone found herself strapped to the chair that was behind her, gazing upwards at the telescope-like device, which slowly rotated so that the narrowest point was just above the centre of her head.
“What exactly is this supposed to do then?” Kiyone asked, wondering if she had made a wise decision asking for help.
“Well in laymen's terms, it hyper-stimulates the hypothalamus while under-stimulating the thalamus by bombarding the cortex with omega-wave radiation which enables the dissociation of the neurotransmitter-” Washu began.
“In simpler English!”
“They don't teach basic meta-quantum neurophysics at the police academy?” Washu looked visibly hurt, “Oh, for shame! Ah well, this machine is a 'Neural Subconscious Programmer'. It processes your dreams, allowing them to become more lucid.
“So I can control my dreams?”
“Precisely. Even better, you'll only need to sleep under the machine's supervision once, and your repeated nightmare should be gone for good.”
Kiyone had a singular thought. “There has to be a catch. Right?”
“Well...yes.” Washu shrugged. “If you do have nightmares while connected to the NSP, they'll be far more intense, almost permanent without treatment.”
Washu paced around to the side of the machine, where a primitive looking gauge was embedded into the side.
“Luckily for you, I'll be checking this gauge,” She said, pointing proudly at the display which was labelled from 'pleasant dream' in green to 'nightmare' in red, with a black needle hovering between them. “The NSP can analyse your neurochemistry. If you're heading into a nightmare, I can use the machine to wake you, with only perfectly clear memories!”
Kiyone scratched her nose, and yawned. “It's two in the morning. Are you sure you wont fall asleep while I'm hooked to this thing?”
“I'll be fine, haven't slept in over three months!”
“So how am I supposed to get to sleep then?”
“Oh, that's what the drugs in the coffee were for.”
“What?!” Kiyone coughed, shaking at her restraints vainly, before falling into a deep slumber.
“A world without Mihoshi.”
The voice sounded like hers, but to Kiyone it sounded strange, outside herself. All was dark with grey wisps of fog blowing through some unidentifiable current. A small light grew in the distance and she slowly walked towards it.
Kiyone found herself in a large room. She instinctively knew it was her bedroom, except this couldn't have been her home. It was at least four times as broad, the floors were wooden, polished to a shine and the furniture was so expensive they looked more like metallic works of art than chairs, tables and wardrobes. Even the bed was luxurious; a king sized canopy bed with curtains that came down from its massive pillars in gold and blue velvet, with highlights of reds and pinks.
“Morning gorgeous,” a deep, masculine voice said, as a pair of equally masculine hands softly clasped her shoulders.
“Oh!” Kiyone jumped, turning around to the sight of a very tall, broad man in Galaxy Police off-duty-ware. Kiyone recognised him immediately, it was her husband! The husband she would have in a world without Mihoshi. She hugged him close to her chest and his strong arms wrapped around her.
“So, how is my favourite Head of Tactical Operations doing?”
Kiyone smiled so wide her cheeks hurt.
“Yes, your Head of Tactical Operations is doing just fine!” She blushed as a naughty idea came to mind. The next thing she saw, was that her husband was now naked, except for standard issue Galaxy Police trunks. He delicately held her hand in his.
“My love, come to bed.” He offered, guiding her in the direction of the soon to be well-used mattress.
Much later, Kiyone walked through the mega-mall in her synthetic green silk dress and matching crystal shoes. She had several bulky bags full of expensive shopping tucked under her arm, yet they felt as light as a feather. Each of the many shopkeepers had all greeted her with massive smiles and her credit chip had an infinite limit, so she spared not a single expense! Her new cars would be delivered to her extravagant house on the coastline, as well as the immodest yacht she'd just purchased.
Several junior Galaxy Police Officers ran up to her, their footsteps making a clatter. They caught up to Kiyone, out of breath and saluted clumsily.
“Ma'am! Can you help us with a problem?” They cried in unison, their eyes glowing in the presence of the Head of TacOps.
“I suppose I can help out the rookies.” She chuckled. There seemed to be a commotion in the mall with a small group of people huddled around each other in a circle. By Kiyone's will alone, they parted, revealing a small old woman clutching a handbag tightly, as a larger, rougher looking man tried to pull it away from her.
“FREEZE! GALAXY POLICE!” Kiyone shouted, with the booming voice of a megaphone. She drew her standard issue pistol out of nowhere and pointed it at the criminal. The potential mugger yelped in fear, turning towards the officer, with his hands up, sobbing like a small child.
The crowds of people cheered as the old woman walked up to Kiyone, curtseyed and walked off.
Without warning, a familiar voice whispered in her ear.
“What do you do with an unarmed man?” Mihoshi asked, standing to Kiyone's right, with her idiotic grin invading Kiyone's vision.
Kiyone's hand trembled, then shook, then spasmed so quickly that she dropped her gun, which discharged into the crowd with a loud bang which sent the masses fleeing.
“I don't know!” She shouted, running away from Mihoshi, staggering every few steps due to her high heels.
The mall grew darker and more transparent as purple clouds filled the air above her and she fell over completely. The darkness softly erased the mall until all that was left was a dark horizon and another light, which Kiyone crawled through.
She found herself in the office of the Headmaster of the Galaxy Police Academy. Somehow, Kiyone was upright and wearing her upgraded police uniform. In front of her was the occupied desk with the Head sitting with her back to Kiyone, who was still panting from all her running.
Brushing herself down, she saluted.
“Commander, Ma'am!” She said in formal posture. “I need to ask you a question.”
The chair rotated around slowly, and the broad, uncompromising appearance of Mikami Kuramitsu morphed into the hated figure of her great-neice Mihoshi.
“What do you want help with, he he!” She winked.
The words fell out of Kiyone's mouth, before she could stop herself. She uttered, “What do I do, if there's an unarmed man...”
“Ooooh, you don't know?” Mihoshi laughed, spinning her office chair like a roundabout, “Then you can't be the Head of Tactical Operations! You are now, demoted!”
“No!” Kiyone shouted as the rank marks on her left breast were torn away by some unknown force. She could literally see the ranks, layer upon layer pulled away with violent tugs, until she was wearing the apparel of a first class detective.
“Nope! That's got to go too I'm afraid,” Mihoshi teased, “Sorry!”
With sharp invisible tugs and rips, even Kiyone's basic uniform was shredded, leaving her naked in front of the beaming Mihoshi.
“Wow, even your body is pathetic, he ha!” She laughed, as another Mihoshi stepped out from behind her. Then another, and another, until the cowering Kiyone was trapped in a circle of Mihoshi doppelgängers.
Kiyone ducked down with her arms wrapped around herself, but the humiliation was getting to her.
“Mihoshi! Please!” she begged, looking at the lead Mihoshi, still spinning in her chair.
“Not unless you shoot the unarmed man!” she replied.
With a lurch, Kiyone felt herself falling as the room turned to black and she fell for what could have been an eternity, before landing on her back in a goey, moist and hot substance.
The darkness was replaced with bright white light and Kiyone lifted an arm, to see that she was sitting in a small pool of thick ropes that were wet, but soft to the touch and quite pleasant smelling. She could see the blue rim of the circular pool she was in and realised with shock that the familiar smell reminded her of something. Noodles!
“Hmmm hmmm hmmm! Time for lunch!” An incredibly deep voice murmured. A huge shadow darkened Kiyone and she looked up in dread as she gazed into the gigantic face of Mihoshi. She held a pair of chopsticks the size of trees, which descended into the bowl of noodles with terrifying speed. Kiyone tried to scramble past the hunting tips, but the noodles wrapped around her naked form, slowing her down as the moisture stuck to her even more. Too late! The gigantic sticks snagged her legs, lifting her struggling form up, past the giant Mihoshi's face, above her hairline, into the air.
“Mihoshi! I'm sorry for all the times I've called you an idiot!” Kiyone cried, “Please! Don't eat me!”
“Hmmm...protein!” Mihoshi grinned, leaning her head back and opening her maw.
“Aiiiieeeeeeeeeeee!” Kiyone screamed, as Mihoshi let go of her. She plummeted for several seconds before being snapped up by the crazed giant like a tuna at a dolphin show. Mihoshi grinned to herself, before swallowing her police partner in a single gulp.
“Ohhh, I think I need to go to the bathroom!” Mihoshi said to herself, as she heavily stomped away from the white room she was in, towards a door marked 'W.C.' she entered and closed the door.
“WAAAGHHHHHHHHHH!!!! AHHHHH!!!” Kiyone screamed, thrusting herself awake so hard, she broke her restraints and flew off the chair of the machine, before stumbling onto the floor like a crazed animal. She slowly refocussed her eyes, and held her temple as the horrible nightmare burned its way into her memory.
Everything else in the laboratory was quiet. She hazily looked at the machine, the gauge on the side of the NSP clearly had the needle striking the 'nightmare' zone, but where was Washu? Slumped against the NSP, the miniature scientist was sleeping, making soft baby noises. A cup of half spilled coffee next to her leg was all the evidence the detective needed.
“I THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T NEED TO SLEEP!” Kiyone fumed in anger, stamping through the laboratory for the correct item she was looking for. Finding something that was appropriate, she walked back to the dozing Washu, and pointed what looked like a taser-pistol crossed with a power drill at her.
“I may not know what to do with an an unarmed man, but I sure as hell know what to do with a lazy brat of a doctor!”
She pulled the trigger.
Kiyone from the Tenchi Universe having nightmare trouble based on Mihoshi.
The concept is based on the Dexter's lab episode: Dream Machine.