reakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, and no Xelloss.
    Zelgadis wasn't pleased with that last part.  He came back to the ship through that dream-portal, which of course immediately vanished so he couldn't dive back through and make sure nothing funny was going on.  Since then, he hadn't seen hide nor hair of the annoying little priest.  Briefly, he considered finding some way to ensure Lina was okay, since who knows what could be going on, except A) he lacked any way to do anything about it whatsoever, and B) Lina INSISTED she'd be 'fine', since the bastard had given his 'word', which Zelgadis thought to be a load of 'crap'.  Given no real options, Zel went back to bed, annoyed and restless.
    He awoke to the clattering clamor of the kitchen, starting to churn out the day's chow.  Grumbling, he freshened up, pulled on his clothes, and showed up in the galley where Amelia and Dayvid were busy coaxing a very large, loud machine to cook eggs.  The comical affair, one grease fire and two quick repair jobs later, ended up in what Zel grudgingly had to admit was a very appetizing meal.  The orange juice and grapefruit were even nicely chilled, through a process Dayvid called 'Re-Freezeration', although Zelgadis suspected it was just a regenerating Shamanist ice spell that did it.
    "Where'd Melvin go?" Amelia asked, inbetween delicately munching on various greasy fried morning delights.
    "He said he went back to his place in Sailoon by magic to get some pills," Zelgadis said, not entirely lying, just not telling the truth.  He preferred not to get into that whole mess until he was fed and had a moment to mull it over with Amelia in private.  "I'm sure we'll see him again, unfortunately."
    "If you guys are magical enough to skip that far through space, why do you need a boat?" Dayvid asked.  "Most wizards I know would scoff at sea travel if they could do that."
    "We can't," Zelgadis said.  "He can."
    "That's strange, I really don't remember Melvin being very good at magic," Amelia said, poking her eggs around with a fork.  "Best he managed was a light spell.  Anything harder and he'd usually fumble the words..."
    "So, how long will it take to get to Justivalero?" Zelgadis asked.
    "Two more days."
    Zel paused in eating.  "What?  I thought it took a week..."
    Dayvid gave a wry li'l grin.  "A week in a NORMAL ship.  She doesn't look like much above the water, but below the water I've got a turbine prop with a compressed steam driven screw, complete with rotational transfer of kinetic energy."
    "Uh.. huh," Zelgadis agreed, his hair ruffling in the breeze as that went over his head at thirty knots.  "Perhaps we should hire you for the second leg of our journey, too."
    "Where you headed?"
    "The Island of Ultimate Despair."
    Dayvid looked very weirdly at Zelgadis.  "First you want a trip from Sailoon to Justivalero, then you want to go to the Island of Ultimate Despair?  What kind of a quest is this and how much insurance do you have?"
    "I thought it was a resort island?" Amelia asked, curious.
    "It is.  More or less," Dayvid explained.  "It's a resort for people who enjoy self abuse.  It's got all the trimmings; bloodsucking insects, sunburns, wild man-eating animals in thick, easy to get lost in jungles, bad room service and an active volcano.  Plus, from what I've read in my trade journals, scientists think that the Luck Field around the place is depolarized, and the rate of fatal accidents--"
    "Terrific," Zelgadis grumbled.  "Just like that bastard to lead us THERE.  Now we don't have any way of getting word to Lina and changing the meeting place."
    "Awww, Zel!  Cheer up!" Amelia smiled.  "It can't be all that bad.  And besides, we won't be staying there long.  What could possibly go wrong?  If.... ano.. do you hear that?"
    Zelgadis finished off the last of his sausage, refusing to enjoy the delicious meal in a stubborn sort of way.  "Hrff whaf?"
    "Very faint..." Amelia said, walking over to the open window and listening carefully.  "Sounds like.. singing?"
    Dayvid fetched a smaller telescope, gave Amelia a quick lesson on how to align the six lenses inside, and then Zelgadis snatched it away when Amelia announced that a big brown blur was headed this way along a blurry ocean.
    "It's a ship," Zelgadis said, after correcting the focus.  "Brown and gold trim."
    "Umm... what colors are on the flag?" Dayvid asked.
    "Looks like brown and gold too."
    "And what's the figurehead?"
    "Blind woman in robes carrying a set of scales."
    "Oh, great," Dayvid said, swallowing.  "Here comes that sinking feeling."
    "Were your waffles too syrupy?" Amelia asked, not quite getting it.
    "No... sinking, as in 'Out oars for some other direction or we're going to be sinking very shortly!'" Dayvid said, backing towards the door to the bridge.  He turned and made for the door at a flat out dash, leaving it hanging open as he jumped into the captain's seat, and started to spin the wheel.  The Guppy gave a sick groan, not good at turning at these speeds, but started to change directions.  Dayvid yanked on levers and pulled cords, steam whistling through the air with short, sharp shrills.
    Zelgadis peered through the telescope again.  The other ship hadn't lost any ground.  If anything, it was closer now.  Entirely too close.  Hardy sea shanty music wafted through the air for some reason.
    "I don't get it!" Amelia said, over the whine of machinery.  "What's that ship?  Why are we running away?"
    "That's the ship of Captain Justin the Pirate Hunter, out of Port Liberty in Justivalero!!" Dayvid shouted back.  "The self-proclaimed most valiant and righteous man alive!"
    "Reaaally?!" Amelia asked, little stars forming in her eyes.  "That's great!  I've gotta meet this guy!"  She charged up the steps leading to the aft deck, and waved her arms around, trying to get the attention of the other ship.  "Yoohoo!  Hello!  Over here!  I'm a big fan of justice, too!!"
    Dayvid went pale.  "Is she insane?!"
    "That's debatable," Zelgadis said, groaning.
    BOOM.  Zel hit the deck as a cannonball whizzed through the air over the ship, missing completely and splashing down in the sea a short distance away.
    Amelia was surprised.  "Hey.. they're firing at us!  But we're not pirates!"
    Dayvid set the controls on autopilot, realizing they were useless by this point, and stepped on deck to see what was going on.  The other ship now was a stone's throw away, pulling up alongside the Guppy, loaded with sailors in identical gold costumes.  A jaunty little accordion and pipe song floated along with them.
    "What happens now?" Zelgadis asked.
    "Warning shot... we're gonna be boarded," Dayvid said, trying to remain calm.  "We'll be okay.  They're only looking for one thing on a ship from Sailoon, and as long as Am.. she doesn't say who she is, we'll--"
    "Hey!!" Amelia called out to the sailors.  "We're good guys over here!  I'm Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon, champion of justice!  You don't have to do anything violent!"
    Zelgadis smacked his forehead.
    "NOW we're in danger," Dayvid said, trying to hide behind Zelgadis without making it look like he was hiding.  "At least they aren't singing--"
    The entire boat broke out into song, as if on cue.
(hit play to start the musical number)

    "o/~ Evil princess from beyond the sea!
         The debt long overdue shall be paid!
         Rejoice, me hearties in tune!
         For justice shall be finally wrought
          against the maid of Sailoon! o/~"

    "...huh?" Amelia asked, gaping in surprise.  "What're you.. singing about??"

    "o/~ Yo-ho! Yo-ho! How little does she know!
         The Briny Justice Boys are we, four'n-forty buccaneers!
         Cap'n Justin in the lead,
          an' this be when he appears! o/~"

    The hornpipe reached a nice crescendo, as a man in gleaming golden armor jumped to a raised dais near the mast of the other ship.  He posed, his underbite and massive, manly jaw proud, his shoulders that would give him difficulty getting through doors resplended with a gleaming cape of white, which fluttered in the ocean breeze just so.
    Amelia, still not quite clueing in, was impressed.  "Woooooooowww..."
    "Behold, the evil princess!" Captain Justin said, in a voice rumbling with mighty piles 'o might.  "Amelia of Sailoon!"
    "Evil?" Amelia asked.  "Wait, wait, you have it wrong!  I'm a good guy!  I love justice!"
    Captain Justin shook his head sadly at the lack of proper right in this world, his sailors doing the same en suite.

    "o/~ Sad day! Sad day! A sad day on the sea!
         The age-old debt forgotten so! Avast! By heaven's light!
         First we must tell her, before we can quell her,
          in order to set things right! o/~"

    "Has Sailoon been so far gone into the darkness that they have forgotten their transgression?" Captain Justin the Valiant asked.  "'tis a sad day indeed, o my brothers!  Allow us to explain..."  And the music started up again.
    "Can we just attack them now and get it over with?" Zelgadis asked nobody in particular.

    "o/~ Yo-ho! Yo-ho! We sing of long ago!
         Avast, avast! Of times gone past, before yer lives begun,
         When Justivalero, so straight and so narrow,
          shone brighter than the sun!

         Came he, came he, a royal Sailoon lad!
         Upon our shores his ship did set, a bit o' diversion sought he.
         While there an act did he commit, so grievous,
          so grievous indeed!

         Coward! Coward! Feared penance for his deed.
         The villain fled justice, why didn't he trust us,
          to see that justice was done?
         Four'n-forty ships, their hawsers did slip,
          pursuing the mongrel scum!
         The searching soon ended,
          we ne'er apprehended the outlaw nobleman.
         Not seeking aggression with serfs or with peasants,
          a singular war was planned!

         Justice, justice! Our justice would we seek!
         A war with a peasant would be most unpleasant,
          so their leaders we would find!

         The bloodline of this princess o'errules yer defenses,
          thus justice finds its time!

         Yo-ho! Yo-ho! Surrender now for trial! o/~"

    "And so," the Captain finished, as the musical number wound to a close, "Sailoon must make payment for this horrible act, this inhuman transgression.  Until a Sailoon nobleman submits to justice to close this gap between our countries, there can be no peace!  Will you submit to a fair trial, or must we board you by force?"
    ".................." Amelia offered in her defense.
    "If you try anything like that, Magic spell + Your hull = Singing in Terry Jones Locker," Zelgadis said.  "Do the math.  We're all sorcerers here."
    "But I'm not--" Dayvid started, stopping with an elbow nudge to the ribs from Zel.
    Instead of quaking in fear, Captain Justin threw back his head and laughed most manly.  "Try your tricks, sorcerer.  I'll let you have the first shot."
    Obviously a trap, Zelgadis thought.  But since it couldn't hurt...
    The wind whipped around Zelgadis, bending away from the normal flows of the sea to form a sphere around him.  The power gathered into his outstretched hands, glowing with the spirit energy of the astral plane, as he prepared the most powerful spell in Shamanism... a little number equivalent to the Dragon Slave in terms of power...
    A stream of white, icy wind ripped through the air... and stopped existing five feet away from the enemy ship.  The seas rocked, both ships bobbed like corks, but nothing else happened.
    "......" Amelia continued, still too stunned to do much.
    "Oh, I get it!" Dayvid said, on familiar ground.  "He's using dead iron for the nails in his boat.  It's a rare metal that stops all magical flows.  I used some in a project to make a ball-throwing weapon once--"
    "It what-- you what?!" Zelgadis asked.
    "The boy is right!" Captain Justin laughed.  "The Champions of Justice need not fear the wicked ways of magic!  Our weapons, armor, and our vessel of light are all guarded from you, twisted chimera!  Shaburanigdo's minions have no power over us."
    "I am NOT a minion," Zelgadis said, slowly drawing his sword.  "And I've got other 'tricks' too."
    The forty eight men on the other ship drew swords as well.
    "No single man can overcome the Briny Justice Boys," the captain warned.  "Are you that eager to die, creature?"
    "...wait!" Amelia called out, jumping down to the main deck.  "Wait, wait.. we don't need a slaughter here.  Zelgadis-san, put that away."
    "Now!" Amelia said, tones of leadership sneaking into her voice.
    "The princess speaks well," the Captain acknowledge.  "Since you pose no threat to us, and our clipper has proven as fast as your strange vessel, I will allow twenty four hours to decide... will you submit to justice, or resist us like the cowardly Sailoon usually do?  The choice is yours.  Men?"
    Several of the sailor hoisted a huge claw, and hurled it at the Guppy; the claw snagged a railing, connected by a cable running back to the ship.
    "To ensure you will not run," the Captain explained.  "Snap that line and we will assume you are ready to go to battle.  Back to work, men!"

    "o/~ Justice, justice! Plot course to set things right!
         The trial soon comes, what's done is undone,
          our homeland soon will be healed!
         In justice, in fairness, we focus awareness,
          the sword of justice we wield! o/~"

    The men carried on their party, a winch increasing the distance between the ships, giving the Guppy a little more breathing room.
    It took a few moments for everybody on its decks to say anything.
    "I could possibly use Raywing to get us all to the nearest shore when they aren't looking tonight," Zelgadis said.
    "I can't leave my ship behind.  It's the only thing I have," Dayvid replied.
    "Then we'll have to fight them," Zel realized, nodding.  "Magic can't touch them, but you have plenty of science stuff on here.  Can you make a weapon we can use against them in time?"
    "I've done it before, I think I could make something similar, but larger," Dayvid said. "Maybe a cannon of some kind, with a rotating screw for a projectile--"
    "We can't do that!!" Amelia blurted out, sounding frustrated.  "If we sink their ship, we're no better than.. it's not the right thing to do, not at all!  We won't kill them!"
    "Amelia, as your advisor, I'd suggest--"
    "I don't want any advice!" Amelia said, stomping her foot.  "I'm supposed to know what's right and just to do in the first place, remember?  I'm Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon, champion of justice!  It's my life!"
    She turned in a huff, and ran back below decks, as fast as her little feet could carry her.

Lyrics written by Lee Thompson.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.