melia was raised from day one to be what she had
become. Her father was the sort of person who would often go off
into the countryside, In Cog Nee To as Lina had put it, to have adventures
and right wrongs. Her mother was a learned scholar of white magic,
a teacher for dozens in Sailoon. Even her sister Gracia was an excellent
study at white magic and destined to be a champion of justice, until she
ran off after mother's death. But Amelia, Amelia stayed on to learn
all she could, so she one day could be as great as her father. To
do Sailoon proud, to make the world a better place.
But the problem was that although Amelia's immediate
family radiated goodness and tried to be the best they could be... she
had to be honest. With the thankful exception of the king, nobody
else in the Sailoon royalty was really interested in morality, ethics,
or even law. Her father had a few assassination attempts from his
brothers, all of which failed, although one had managed to...
Regardless, that's why Captain Justin's claims that
one of her ancestors had wronged his country didn't surprise Amelia.
She was hoping she could turn around the image that most Sailoon nobles
were backstabbing gluttonous maniacs -- her dad had once said to her that
she would have to sacrifice her body to justice to do this, to be the ultimate
shining example of Sailoon's pride.
And yet she didn't want to go to jail for this charge.
What a selfish thing! If she upheld that justice
she truly adored, she would put her faith in it and... but the quest, the
quest was very important. She didn't want to let Lina down by leaving
the group. Assuming that she wasn't acquitted. But why should
she have to stand for something she didn't do? True, law in Sailoon
even passed untried crimes down the family tree, but that rarely happened,
and... but if Amelia was to resist this, wouldn't she be a hypocrite, trying
to bring the right way to live to others while she runs when she should...
but if she DID try to submit to justice, and was found guilty... well,
it would be better for Sailoon since Justivalero would be satisfied at
last, but.. but she didn't want to go to jail, or... or...
Mother would have an easier time figuring this out,
Amelia thought sadly. Here she was, locked in her cabin on the Guppy
to think this out, and had just run around in circles for hours.
She had to ignore when Zelgadis came knocking, so she could try to concentrate.
"Amelia, come on out of there," Zel had pleaded
in his usual distanced, doesn't-really-care tone. His voice was muffled
through the thick wooden door to Amelia's cabin. "Dayvid's got some
ideas of what we can do to escape these loons. You know, I am technically
your Advisor. But you're not taking any of my advice."
How could she, though? Zelgadis didn't see
this in terms of right and wrong, just in terms of convenience. He
dismissed Captain Justin's claims as ridiculous and plotted to get away
from what he saw as an obvious enemy. Of course, maybe he was right,
and Amelia was daft to take this as seriously as she was. Captain
Justin didn't seem to have any official authority to him, no credentials
that he really was part of Justivalero's legal system. But... if
that was all there was to it, Amelia would have to blame herself for bringing
justice outside Sailoon's official systems as she did. Maybe she
was to blame. Or was she? Or...
Circles, she thought again. Running in circles.
Just make the decision. What FEELS right?
Amelia looked out the large porthole in her room,
at the ship full of singing sailors across the way.
Across the span of space and time, through a barrier
whose very existence was an affront to sanity, stretching wide from nowhere
to nowhere, Xelloss was busy putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
Although he technically had no fixed home, and the
city of his origin burned to the ground centuries ago, he did have his
own little pocket of reality he liked to consider a good rest stop.
Here, he had a few refreshments, a small stock of magical goodies he had
looted over the years, and a number of books and puzzles to play with while
he waited. Waited, because his mistress liked to test his patience;
he always kept to the appointed checking-in times with his lord and owner,
but she liked to let him dangle before finally making her appearance.
Xelloss, being a dependable and patient sort, simply killed the time with
the efficiency of a razor sharp knife.
The last time his mistress had given him any orders
was ten years ago. He checked in with her every month, usually just
to tell her what he had been up to; despite myths, the Mazoku demon lords
under Shaburanigdo were not omniscient, nor omnipresent. Shame he
had to run out on Lina like that, but in his own little way, he rather
enjoyed leaving her twisting in the wind. She really had none of
the patience he did for that sort of thing, but Xelloss figured she'd learn
He felt the presence of his mistress before her
actual arrival. The scent of Greater Beast Zellas-Metallum, of fur
and cigarette smoke, a strange combination she had picked as her signature
tended to be several seconds ahead in time of her actual being.
Needless to say, when the being that appeared did
appear Xelloss was rather surprised. So much so that he actually
opened his eyes.
"And you are?" he asked the figure.
"i bring orders from your lord and keeper," the
thing said, in a voice neither male nor female.
"Of all the time I've been under the fine employment
of the Mazoku, she has never sent anybody in her place," Xelloss said.
"Funny, that. Meaning either you're an intruder trying to deceive
me and I'll have to blow you to smithereens, or something is up that's
quite unlike anything I've bumped into before."
"i am Her minion," the expressionless wisp of light
said. "i serve, i am a tool. i carry your orders. If
you do not hear them, She will be very displeased."
"I almost feel jealous. She's never needed
another underling before," Xelloss said. "But carry on, by all means.
I'm rather curious now."
The Minion gave the orders.
Xelloss's eyes stayed open, resisting any urge to
show an expression other than mild amusement. "Very straightforward.
Why couldn't she bring these orders to me herself?"
"you do not control Her, She controls you, as She
controls me," Minion replied. "If you do not carry out your orders,
She will be very--"
"Displeased, yes, yes, I know. Presumably
I have time to do this task, yes? She's a large fan of taking your
time and doing things properly, you know, and Lina IS technically hundreds
of miles away."
"You have time," Minion said. "But do not
loiter. Carry out your function as you were made to do."
"Yes, yes. Say, would you like some fruit
juice? I keep some here. Very nutritious."
The wisp did not waver. "i have no need of
any nourishment. i am only a minion."
"Thrilling," Xelloss yawned. "Well, run along
home to mother. It seems I have a great deal of work to do."
Blinking out of existence, the strange being took
its leave. Xelloss sat back in his chair, scratching his chin.
This was an unexpected development. It did a clean job of monkeywrenching
his plans, as well. He realized his mistress's plans carried considerably
more priority than his own... technically, he could simply pop into Lina's
dream and carry things out as given, but that lacked a.. personal touch.
That is, if he was to do it.
That thought gave him considerable pause.
He had never questioned his orders before in the
slightest. Something certainly was up, something that was quite unlike
anything he had bumped into before.
Xelloss left his only real home, speeding back towards
Until he turned around, popped back into his rest
stop, fetched a bow and arrow set he had picked up from some temple of
somebody or other fifty years ago and sprinted off again.
A tight oval of footprints had formed in the dust
of Dayvid's lab. Zelgadis paced through this loop very, very tightly.
"Stupid, childish girl," he muttered.
"Complaining about it won't help."
"I'm aware," Zelgadis said. "I don't see why
she's acting so weird over this. It's not like it's any different
from some other passing maniac we've dealt with in the past, if what you're
telling me is true..."
"Captain Justin's pretty legendary for it," Dayvid
said, polishing the lens on his latest contraption. "I guess the
royal family's forgotten, but us sailors who have to deal with the idiot
have learned the hard way; never carry a noble into that country unless
you're fast, insane, or both. Justin has a grudge the size of Sailoon
"And that's all it's over?"
"Amelia IS aware of this, right?" Zelgadis asked.
"I mean, you told her, yes? You knew she was a Sailoon noble, so
Dayvid paused. "Umm... okay, she said it was
an important quest, so... actually, I don't think I mentioned anything."
"You mean she's this upset and she doesn't even
know what's going on?!" Zelgadis said. "Great. Wait here, I'll
be right back."
He opened the nearby door, and made his way through
the Guppy's tight, winding hallways. He came to Amelia's door, and
pounded on it.
"Amelia! Open up, we've got to talk!" he said.
No response, as usual. He hadn't wanted to do this, but... he channeled
the tiniest amount of fire through the lock of the door, tight and controlled,
melting the latch. Then he pushed the door open to look at the distinct
lack of Amelia.
An empty room, an open porthole. The ship
of fools in the distance.
Of COURSE she'd have to go off and do something
as dumb as this. Zelgadis scoffed at the thought. She ignored
him all day, and right when he had something highly important to say, she
runs off. Well, it's her bed; she can lie in it. He didn't
HAVE to zip over there an mount a rescue effort at twenty four to one odds.
Not at all. She was the one who was supposed to know what's right
and just to do in the first place, remember?
And the right and just thing wasn't to leave her
defenseless in a ship full of psychotics.
Zelgadis stormed his way through the Guppy, back
to the lab.
"I need a rowboat, two paddles and a distraction
of some kind," he informed Dayvid. "And I need them five minutes
Captain Justin's ship was a-teeming with excitement.
Amelia had flown over to the boat, until the anti-magic
field kicked in, and she dropped into the water; fortunately, the men were
quick to react, and fish her out of the water in a net. True, they
then immediately bound her hands behind her back and hauled her to a makeshift
courtroom below decks, but at least they were polite about it. More
or less. There were a few catcalls at her and more than enough insults
of 'the evil princess' and so on. But Amelia had decided, in the
end, to put her faith in justice; justice itself would see her through.
The courtroom itself was filled with the Champions
of Justice, complete with the Swinging Sounds 'o Justice Pipe and Accordion
Band, busy providing background music for the affair. But all went
silent when the Captain himself entered, in gleaming armor, ready to carry
out his duty.
Justin took his place behind the judge's podium,
opposite the chair where Amelia sat. "Are you prepared to hear the
charges?" he asked.
"I am," Amelia said. She swallowed down any
fright she had at the scene. Justice would work for her, she knew
"Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon, you are charged with
the following crimes," the Captain said, unrolling a scroll with the charges
The bottom part of the scroll kept rolling until
about twenty feet of parchment were there.
"Uhhh..." Amelia said, a few pangs of doubt entering
"Association with the notorious criminals, Lina
Inverse, Gourry Gabriev, the dark chimera Zelgadis Greywiers, Naga the
White Serpent and the shady character known as Xelloss!" Captain Justin
started to read. "Three years ago, you participated in the destruction
of Mount Stonecircle, and the surrounding villages, and unleashing of evil
spirits bound in that place--"
"But that was an accident! And we were trying
to make life easier for them by getting rid of that mountain, and--"
"Not days before that, you participated in the murder
of your own uncle, Randy, of Sailoon!"
"But he was trying to assassinate daddy," Amelia
said. "Look, all this stuff is perfectly reasonable if--"
"There's also a matter of the brutal torturing and
maiming of various bandits!"
And so it progressed, as Captain Justin read down
a laundry list of every single questionable thing Amelia had done or participated
in doing for the last few years. Some were just silly -- bandits!
They were just BANDITS! -- some she cringed at, she felt kind of sorry
for blowing up that mountain and unleashing those ghosts, for instance.
But she did fix it back up, didn't she? Was any of this really..
well, bad, in the long run? Some of it was, but... was she really
to blame? Maybe she was. Maybe...
Circles and circles, she thought, and bit her lip.
She had to be resolute here.
"Wait, wait," Amelia said. "Hold on!
What about the real charge? The thing you attacked us over?"
"If you interrupt again, you will be fined in contempt
of the court," Captain Justin warned.
"Hai... I'm sorry. But please... what was
this all about? Originally?"
"The apple," Captain Justin said, a voice as grave
as the holocaust.
"Huh?" Amelia said, not quite as grave.
"Four hundred and fifty four years and eleven months
and six days ago, Lord Wemsleydale of Sailoon stole an apple from a merchant
in our capital city," Captain Justin said.
"That's it??" Amelia asked. "Ne, that's easy!
I can pay you for an apple. I could get you an apple, actually, Dayvid
has a very interesting cooler in the Guppy that--"
"This is not just an apple!!" Justin said, banging
his fist on the podium, silencing Amelia. "This is a matter of LAW
AND ORDER! The Saileese dog refused to pay for the apple, and when
accosted by guards, he up and left the country! Justice was not done.
And in accordance with law in Justivalero, the unpunished crime goes down
the family line, with an additional levy for each year that nothing is
done. Until the penalty is served and the payment made, Justivalero
itself will cry out for justice!!"
"Oh.. Well..." Amelia said. "We don't have
much money, but--"
"The punishment for theft of any kind is to have
your hand cut off," Captain Justin said. "For each year unpunished,
another part of the body is added. Compounded with all the time since
the crime, we must dismember each and every person up the family line,
including you. Do you have anything to say in your defense?"
"......" Amelia said, stunned.
"Then as judge, I pass sentence, and let justice
A rousing cheer went up among the men, a life's
ambitions finally seen through. Swords were drawn and waved around
in a hearty social sort of way. The band struck up a merry, triumphant
tune. Captain Justin posed dramatically.
One day, her father told her, you would have to
sacrifice your body to justice.
"Wait, WAIT!" Amelia protested. "Butchering
the entire ruling family of Sailoon because someone stole an apple?!
It's ridiculous! This isn't justice! None of you are really
interested in justice... it's just VENGEANCE!"
Nobody around her cared for her moralistic speech,
nobody listened. Captain Justin was given a ceremonial longsword
by one of his men, already drawn from its sheath, as he stepped off the
podium to advance on Amelia, presumably to carve the roast.
Of all the things Amelia was hoping to be in life,
crusader, adventurer, heroine and princess, she had never figured on being
A tiny ball was dropped into the open window from
outside, by a blue hand.
FWOOM! The room filled with smoke, flooding the
air. Sailors coughed, the band actually missed a beat, and all Amelia
could see was the smoldering gray, choking her... hands lifted her up,
moving through the room, into what smelled like fresh air, then falling--
Wham. Amelia hit the rowboat four feet below
Blinking to clear her eyes, Amelia glanced over
at her rescuer, who was now climbing out of the smoke-filled windows as
well, climbing carefully into the boat.
"Shh," Zelgadis quickly commanded. "Gotta
sneak out." He motioned silently for Dayvid to get paddling, and
the boy nodded, the tiny boat skulking away from the pandemonium behind
The trio hauled the boat back aboard the Guppy,
just as Captain Justin's hardy seafolk started to clue into what was going
on. They didn't seem happy. Cannons were being turned in their
direction. The band was striking up a jovial war song.
"o/~ Mateys, mateys! The criminal, she
The sin is repeated,
and justice is unheeded!
These days is
there no one to trust?!
We'll nail her,
we'll jail her, we'll over-the-rail her!
She must be defeated!
She must! o/~"
"Full speed!" Amelia commanded, getting her bearings,
getting to her feet. "We need to get out of here!"
Zelgadis neatly severed the tow cable, knocking
the hook into the water. "We can't go faster than them. Don't
worry, Dayvid here has a plan."
"I've made a large focal lens on the crow's nest,"
he said, pointing up. "I've also channeled light from the furnace
in the ship with a series of mirrors up to there. It'll take the
light and focus it so tight on their ship's hull that it'll start to burn,
and while they're sinking, we can make a getaway!"
"Okay, good. NO! Wait!" Amelia said,
interrupting herself for a change. "We can't kill them! It's
"You KNOW this is all over a stinking apple, right?"
Zelgadis asked. "Would you call that the act of sane people?
We're probably doing the world a favor."
Amelia paused, trying to puzzle it out. Meanwhile,
cannonballs shot over the ship, poorly aimed.
"We don't have TIME for this!" Zelgadis said.
"If we don't do something, we're--"
The burst of purple smoke and light, as well as
accompanying *pouf!* sound was just there for an amusing dramatic effect;
really, he didn't need to use any of that sort of thing.
"Hello!" Xelloss said, having ditched his Melvin
disguise once and for all. "I'm here to save the day and so on."
"Xelloss?!" Amelia gaped.
"About time," Zelgadis groaned.
"..." Dayvid added.
Xelloss untucked the bow and arrow set from under
his arm. "This won't take but a minute," he said, smiling, and levitating
up to the crow's nest. He used the lens already mounted there to
get a better view of his target, drew the arrow (which was entirely non-magical,
and didn't give a damn about dead iron), and fired--
The arrow ZINGed! straight and true between the
two ships. It was impossible to see where it landed, but one thing
was certain :
The accordion stopped going "o/~ bree bree oompah
bree o/~" and started going "o/~ breeeooaoaaahhhhwwwrrrrr..." then gave
a sickly whine, and died.
The men, having nothing to sing along to, stopped
the assault in utter confusion. Aimless, despite goading from Captain
Justin, they were paralyzed. They had lost the beat.
"Ah," Xelloss smiled. "NOW we can get out
of here safely."
The Guppy steamed away at ridiculous velocity, Zelgadis
himself opting to shovel compressed coal into the furnace as fast as he
possibly could. Captain Justin's ship was left drifting along, musically
castrated, and eventually disappeared into the night mists.
"I suppose I should apologize for making you think
I was Melvin, but since it was fun, I choose not to," Xelloss almost politely
said to Amelia, still smiling. "I hope it hasn't complicated matters.
Shouldn't you be thanking me for rescuing you fellows from a certainly
Amelia considered that. "Well... if you gave
your word to Lina-san, I GUESS I can let it go. But I'm leading this
expedition, so no funny stuff anymore! Got it?"
"Yes'm," Xelloss said, bowing his head in mock shame.
"You COULD.. hff.. have dropped by... hrgg...
any time," Zelgadis said, putting every muscle he had into shoveling coal.
The boat kicked up a notch in speed, his anger fueling it as well.
"Last minute saves aren't worth thanks!"
"Gosh, I love you too, Zel-kun," Xelloss laughed.
"Ah, I have to say... I never fail to enjoy myself on our little outings.
If it wasn't for this sort of thing, the centuries would be quite dull..."
The ancient priest looked over at the oddly silent
junior captain of the ship.
"Something wrong?" he asked.
"No... not much," Dayvid said. "I'm just wondering
why this is the first time I've seen you in ten years... dad."
Zelgadis stopped shoveling coal and almost fell
into the furnace in surprise. "DAD?!"
"Da.. daa..." Amelia started without finishing.
Xelloss smiled nervously, a little sweatdrop forming
on his head.
"Umm... anybody care to save me this time?" he asked,
rubbing his head nervously before Dayvid smacked it with a coal shovel.
Lyrics written by Lee Thompson.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.