Dokutaa Fuu wa yuushimasen...
I'm sorry, the auto-translator in the TARDIS must be malfunctioning.
I do not own Doctor Who. Doctor Who is the work of the BBC.
I'm not actually Japanese either, but I'm studying the language.
After an epic encounter with the Master, the Doctor had barely come out alive. In fact, he wasn't really alive for that much longer - at least not with this body.
The Doctor stood inside the TARDIS, not feeling ready to say goodbye to this life.
"I don't want to go!"
But it was too late. The Doctor burst into flames as the regeneration cycle started. When the flames died down, a different man was standing in his place.
The new Doctor examined his new form. "Legs. I've still got legs. Two legs and two arms. I think I'm even skinnier than I was last time. My skin's a slightly different shade. Hang on..."
The Doctor ran into the wardrobe of the TARDIS and examined his face in the mirror. "Well, that's new. I'm Asian! Well, I'm actually not human at all, but I look Asian. Usually I'm stuck with some Caucasian look or other, not to mention the British accent. Speaking of which, I've got a new accent that doesn't sound like it's ever used by native English speakers.
"Okay, I am now speaking Chinese. No, the accent is not quite right. I'm omnilingual, but my accent seems to be coming from some particular language.
"Korean. No, not Korean. Japanese. I'm speaking Japanese - perfect! Wait, something's a little off. This isn't a Tokyo accent. It's...It's an Osaka accent. Osaka is in Japan. I guess that mean's I'm Japanese - or as close to Japanese as a Time Lord can be."
There was rising tension in the Japanese anual Judan preliminary tournament. Whoever won this tournament would play a best three-out-of-five Go match against the current holder of the Judan title. If the Judan lost, his opponent would become the new Judan and gain 14,500,000 yen.
An intense game had just ended between a two 9dan pros. One of them was a seventeen-year-old girl - the only girl in the tournament. Although there are such things as female pros, they have their own set of title matches. This girl, however, had her own reasons for competing for a mainly male title.
The game was over, and the two players were counting each other's territory. The girl was behind on territory by six points. However, she had played white. Due to the six-and-a-half-point komi, she had won by half a point.
She walked over to the scoring chart to mark her victory. She stamped an empty red circle in the column under the name "Yamada Yumi." She picked up a red pen and recorded her half-point victory inside the circle. She then took another stamp and stamped a black circle under her opponent's collumn.
So far, nobody seemed to have noticed that Yumi had won all her games up to now by exactly half a point. Only she knew that she had done it intentionally.
I have nothing to prove by beating most of these people, she thought to herself. I don't even have any intention of becoming judan. I'm in this tournament because someone else feels like showing off his strength when he already has three titles. I'm here to teach him a lesson.
Yumi did not know why she was such a strong Go player, or even why hardly anyone else was. Everyone thought she had the Kami no Itte (Hand of God). Only she could see the path of improvement that still lay ahead.
Yumi looked at her next opponent on the schedule. It was Honda Tetsuo, the man she was after. She looked at his record in the tournament. His game for this round had not finished yet. According to his records, he had won all his previous games by resignation.
If only he weren't so arrogant, Yumi thought, I'd enjoy playing him. I've seen his game records, and he looks to be evenly matched with me. But for some reason, he feels the need to bully the title holders.
She saw Honda walk next to him to mark his score. She knew he had won. She waited for him to mark his victory by resignation.
Instead, much to Yumi's surprise, he marked his column with an empty red circle. He wrote a number inside. His last opponent had lost by only two and a half points!
Yumi watched as Honda marked his opponent's loss under the name Yamada Taro. She looked at the collumn in surprise. Apart from the game that he just lost, Taro had won all of his games by exactly half a point!
Could he be doing the same as I am? Yumi wondered. Or is it coincidence? No. If he won that way by coincidence, Honda would have pummeled Taro just now.
Yumi and Honda met in the match room on the day of their game. Yumi bowed gave the standard greeting before starting their game. "Onegaishimasu."
Honda Tetsuo farted. "Oh, excuse me!" he said in embarrassment. He then bowed. "Onegaishimasu."
Yumi exerted all her strength against Honda. She made it to the end of the game without resigning. Unfortunately, she lost by a point and a half.
This isn't over, Honda, she thought. This is a double-knockout tournament. In a double knockout tournament, players are only eliminated if they lose twice. Players who have lost once play in a parallel tournament. At the end, there remains one player with no losses and one player with exactly one loss. Those two players face each other off. Whoever wins that game wins the tournament and challenges the current judan title holder.
I have to make it to the end with one loss. The only person who could stand in my way is Yamada Taro. Come to think of it, we do seem to be on the same side. Still, I must fight him with all my strength. Only the strongest is worthy to fight Honda.
The two unrelated players named Yamada met a few minutes before they would play each other. Taro looked to be in his twenties - except that his eyes appeared to be way older than the rest of his body. Yumi felt herself locked in eye contact with Taro. She could feel his eyes looking into her, and she knew that he knew she was doing the same in reverse.
Taro saw that Yumi was about the same age as she looked. Her eyes looked the same age as the rest of her body - but what they lacked in experience they more than made up for with out-of-this-world sharpness.
After a few seconds, the two of them remembered that they had to nigiri to determine who played what color. Since Taro was older than Yumi, though how much older was unclear, he grabbed a handful of white stones. Yumi grabbed one black stone and placed it on the board. Taro placed his stones on the board and counted an odd number. This meant that Yumi played black.
The buzzer rang. "Please begin your games," said the tournament director.
"Onegaishimasu," said Yumi and Taro together.
Yumi saw strength in Taro that surpassed her own in many areas. But he seemed to be suffering from one weakness - something Yumi kew how to do very well that Taro seemed to have a lot of trouble doing: sacrificing stones. He knew when not to fight hoplessly for the life of a dead group, but it seemed to cause him pain. And he seemed to be in even more pain when "throwing in" stones - placing them into enemy territory to force the opponent to capture the "throw-in" stone while giving the opponent's group bad shape as a result.
Normally, this kind of skill was crucial to have in order to win professional games. But Taro seemed to have abnormal strength in every other area, which somehow made up for it.
Not this time, though. Against Yumi's strength, Taro's weakness was his downfall. He lost by four and a half points.
Apart from her loss to Honda and her four-and-a-half-point victory against Taro, Yumi had won all her games by exactly half a point. Tomorrow would be the day of her rematch against Honda.
Today, as Yumi was leaving the building, she ran into Honda in an empty hallway. She heard him farting, but he didn't seem to mind.
"Good luck on our game tomorrow," said Honda coldly. Yumi noticed that there was something strange about the way Honda was talking, besides his cold voice.
"You're not speaking Japanese," she said in a weak voice. "I can understand every word you're saying, but... I've never heard any of them before!"
Yumi backed into a corner while Honda unzipped an invisible zipper on his forehead. An eerie, pale blue-green light came out of the zipper. He lifted up the flap on top of his head, and a green creature squeezed out of the human skin. When he was completely undressed from his disguise, he was much bigger than Honda Tetsuo had been.
"I am a Slitheen!" said the creature dramatically.
"You...You can't kill me," Yumi stuttered.
"Why not?" said Honda.
"Think about it," said Yumi, finding her voice. "One of the three best Go players in the judan preliminary tournament, possibly in the world is discovered dead, right before she plays Go against one of the other two. People will suspect you."
"But they won't be able to prove it," laughed the creature. "I'm pretty good at covering up my murders, such as that of Honda Tetsuo. Wait, that's a bad example. After I killed him, I turned his body into a disguise. Still, it won't be that hard for me to cover up your murder. I'll just swallow your entire body!"
"Hold it right there, Sip Fex Thek Sharlaveer-Bar Slitheen!" said a voice behind the Slitheen. Yumi looked over his shoulder to see Yamada Taro pointing a gun at him.
"Ah, Doctor," said the Slitheen. "Are you threatening me with that water gun?"
"It's not loaded with water," said Taro, speaking the same language as Sip Fex Thek. "It's loaded with vinegar."
Sip Fex Thek Sharlaveer-Bar Slitheen shivered, but then he inhaled deeply through his nose. "Nice try," he said. "You can't fool the nose of a Raxacoricofallapatorian."
"Then there must be something wrong with your nose," said Taro, "because this is vinegar."
"Okay, you caught me," said Sip Fex Thek. "My nose is defective. I have no sense of smell."
"What's the big deal about vinegar?" interrupted Yumi.
"The Raxacoricofallapatorian race is made of living calcium," explained Taro. "Calcium and vinegar don't mix without a deadly chemical reaction - deadly to Raxacoricofallapatorians, that is."
"You still could be bluffing," said the Slitheen. "Why didn't you shoot me while my back was turned?"
"I don't kill in cold blood," said Taro. "But I can kill if you leave me no other options. Now I'm giving you one last chance. Kill the girl and die yourself, or let her go and live."
"Or maybe you don't have any vinegar, so you can't kill me." said Sip Fex Thek. "You're just trying to scare me instead."
"Do you really want to take that risk?" asked Taro.
Yumi could tell that he was bluffing. She had learned a bit about Taro's character by playing Go with him, though she still had much to learn. Then again, the Slitheen had also seen the way Taro played. Yumi kept her mouth shut and prayed that Sip Fex Thek wouldn't figure out what she knew.
"All right, Doctor," said the Slitheen. "What did I do wrong this time?"
Yumi held back the temptation to let out a sigh of relief; she knew that doing so would probably tip the Slitheen off that Taro was indeed bluffing. She also noticed that the Slitheen kept calling Taro "Doctor." She felt the auto-translation in her head, and she knew it meant something like the Japanese word "isha," but it sounded more like his actual name. Yumi remembered that "Honda Tetsuo" wasn't the Slitheen's real name, so "Yamada Taro" probably wasn't the Doctor's real name either.
"Gambling with a fifth-level civilization in organized games is a violation of the intergalactic Shadow Proclamation," said the Doctor.
"You have got to be kidding me," said the Slitheen. "It's not like I'm attempting to blow up planet Earth with nuclear missiles and then sell the remaining radioactive fragments to other civilizations as fuel."
"That sounds like a very specific example," said Yumi. "How do I know that isn't your actual plan?"
"I gave that as an example because that's what my cousins tried to do years ago," explained the Slitheen. "Compared to that, stealing Go titles from earthlings doesn't sound like much, does it?"
"It's still illegal," said the Doctor. "It doesn't have quite as severe a penalty as the World War III incident you described. You just have to relinquish everything you earned from the games you won, and you are banned from playing organized games for a variable amount of time. The Shadow Proclamation penalty for the behavior your cousins displayed in World War III involves the maximum penalty as stated by the government of your home planet, which, in the case of the Raxacoricofallapatorian government, is the death penalty."
"Well, you didn't bother to go to all that trouble, did you?" the Slitheen accused. "You just blew them all up with a nuclear missile."
"That wasn't a penalty," the Doctor defended. "That was a defensive last resort to prevent your cousins from actually following through with their crime in the first place.
"As for your crime, you didn't only take advantage of your superior game strength against a fifth-level civilization. You also murdered Honda Tetsuo, and attempted murder on Yamada Yumi just now. And what's that device you're holding?"
"Oh, this?" said the Slitheen. "This is a chemical scanner. It's very useful for a handicapped Raxacoricofallapatorian such as myself. And it says that your water pistol is loaded with water - not vinegar."
"Okay, you caught me," said the Doctor. "I guess you have nothing to fear by killing Yamada Yumi."
The Slitheen turned around to slaughter Yumi, only to find that she had snuck out of the hallway. Then he heard a dinging noise coming from the elevator. The doors opened, and five cops stepped out.
Sip Fex Thek turned back to the Doctor to find that he had also ran off - and he had taken the Honda Tetsuo suit with him.
The cops stared at Sip Fex Thek Sharlaveer-Bar Slitheen. Finally, one of them spoke up.
"Oh! uhh..." the Slitheen stampered, "you like it?"
"It looks like a pretty solid way to disguise your identity when murdering someone," said another cop.
"Seems like overkill to me," said a third.
"Speaking of kill..." started the Slitheen.
The fourth cop pointed her gun at him. "Don't even think about it!"
The Slitheen surrendered while the fifth cop found a pair of handcuffs on his belt that were big enough to fit the Raxacoricofallapatorian's wrists.
"You will be escorted to our station where we will remove your costume," said the second cop.
When the Doctor heard this, he quietly peeked around the corner and carefully aimed his sonic screwdriver at the the fifth cop's belt. He activated the screwdriver, which emmited a high-pitched whistling sort of sound. A capsule on the cop's belt exploded, releasing sleeping gas.
Yumi wasn't expecting to actually play the final match. She went to the Nihon Ki-in anyway, expecting to win by default due to "Honda's" absence. But if she were absent as well, it would be a draw.
She was surprised to se Honda, or rather Sip Fex Thek Sharlaveer-Bar Slitheen, accompanied by Taro, AKA the Doctor.
"Don't wory, he's perfectly safe," said the Doctor, still speaking an alien language. "I put a deadlock on his disguise, and supressed his strength - his physical strength, of course. You should still have a fair rematch."
"But I called the cops on him!" said Yumi in Japanese. Even though she could somehow understand everything anyone said in any language, she couldn't make her own sentences unless they were in Japanese, Chinese, Korean or English.
"Well, things didn't work out so well," explained the Doctor. "The cops found him in his true form, and assumed it was a costume. They were about to arrest him and force his costume off. I had to intervene."
"What happense if I win this game?" asked the Slitheen. "Do I get to take the Judan title?"
"No," whispered the Doctor. "I'm going to turn you into the Shadow Proclamation after the game no matter what, and then I will leave Honda's dead body for the authorities to find. I'm only letting you do this because Yamada doesn't seem to get a good challenge very often."
The Slitheen farted. Yumi waved her hand in front of her nose to disperse the smell - which didn't actually smell like farting so much as calcium-induced bad breath.
"Yeah, you'll have to put up with that," said the Doctor. "It's a side effect of squeezing a Slitheen's enormous body into a smaller human skin suit."
Yumi and Sip Fex Thek sat down in front of the go board. Yumi could see the cold, icy look in her opponent's human eyes, even though she knew that those weren't his real eyes, which looked more like bug eyes.
According to the results of nigiri, Yumi played black. "Onegaishimasu," she said.
"Onegaishimasu," said the Slitheen coldly.
Since this was the only game in the last round of the tournament, everyone in the room was crowding around to watch the game. It didn't take long for people to start whispering to each other.
"Is she really this good? She only beat me by half a point."
"Half a point exactly?"
"She beat me by exactly half a point as well!"
"Did she do it intentionally? She seems to be evenly matched with Honda."
"Honda kicked my butt! I had to resign."
A few hours later...
"It's over! They're counting the score."
"They actually made it to the end of the game?"
Yumi, who played black, counted her territory. "69 moku."
"61 moku," replied her opponent.
Everyone gasped in shock (including the Doctor, who was a pretty good actor). Taking the six and a half point komi into account, Yumi had won by a point and a half!
"Well, we're off to see the authorities of the Shadow Proclamation," said the Doctor. "Good luck on the Judan title match. Remember, don't win the match, or I'll have to arrest you too,"
"Are you sure you can do that?" asked Yumi. "Technically I am human, and I do live in a fifth-level civilization, as you put it."
"Well, how should I put this?" said the Doctor. "You seem to be some kind of...anomaly. Your body is human, but your brain is...exceptional. Tell you what. When you're done with the title match, I'll take you where you can play all the competitive Go you like."
The Doctor and the Slitheen entered a blue police box, which faded and disappeared.
Yumi lost the first game of the Judan title match by half a point. Her opponent was feeling very frustrated.
"I know what you're up to," he said angrily. "Stop patronizing me and start actually playing!"
The next match, Yumi did exactly what the Judan told her to do. He resigned pretty quickly.
"Is this what you really want?" asked Yumi.
"If you don't want the Judan title, why did you join the tournament?" asked her opponent.
"To stop the Slith...I mean, Honda Tetsuo in his tracks," answered Yumi. "With bullies like him around, people would soon get discouraged after being trampled underfoot every time. The balance of the world of Go would be upset."
"So instead you're going to let your strength go to waste?" asked the Judan.
"What else can I do?" replied Yumi.
"There is a third option," said the Judan. "Ever hear of teaching games?"
"Of course I have," said Yumi. "But do you really want that?"
"It sure beats you forcing the exact outcome of the game beyond my control," said her opponent. "Tell you what: for the rest of this match, play teaching games. Whether I win or lose will depend on how quickly I can learn. If I lose the match, you will accept the title of Judan."
"All right, it's a deal," said Yumi reluctantly.
Yumi won the third game of the title match. She lost the fourth. Therefore the match went on the the final game.
The Doctor returned when the title match was over. "Hello, Yamada-Judan," he said when he met Yumi.
"I'm sorry," said Yumi defensively. "I tried not to win, but it got complicated when..."
"It's okay, I'm not arresting you," said the Doctor. "I know the whole story from the Go Weekly magazine. The former Judan didn't like being patronized."
"I didn't think that Go Weekly would print our conversation," said Yumi.
"It didn't," said the Doctor. "I interpreted what happened based on the game records. In the first game, you forced your own loss by half a point. In the second game, you kicked his but. The next three games looked like teaching games."
"Wait a minute," said Yumi. "Now that I'm the famous Judan, I can't just disappear. If it weren't for that, I might be able to come with you and play Go against aliens."
"You still can," said the Doctor. "My ship doesn't just travel through space. It travels through time as well. I call it the TARDIS. T-A-R-D-I-S. Time and Relative Dimension in Space."
"Hang on," said Yumi. "That's English! If you're from outer space, how did your ship get an English acronym for a name?"
"Originally it was called something like that in my own language," explained the Doctor, "but it was really long. My granddaughter Susan grew up on Earth, in England, despite being an alien like myself. She came up with the acronym. If you like, you can call it TOTOUNIHINAJI. That's TOki TO Uchuu NI HIkakuteki NA JIgen."
"No, TAADISU is fine, Oishasan," said Yumi. "Can I call you Dokutaa-san?"
"If you like, Yamada-chan," said the Doctor. "But I'd prefer just Dokutaa."
"You can call me Yumi, Doctor," said Yumi. "And speaking of languages, why can I understand alien languages that I've never heard before?"
"It's part of the TARDIS's technology," answered the Doctor. "It gets into your head and translates everything you hear. Although you're the first human I've met who can still distinguish between a language the TARDIS makes you understand and a language that you actually speak."
"Maybe it's because I know more than one Earth language," suggested Yumi.
"No, it's not that," said the Doctor. "It's just your exceptionally powerful brain."
They arrived at the blue box. "After you," said the Doctor.
Yumi stepped inside the TARDIS. She walked toward the cylindrical control panel in the center and examined it in wonder.
"Isn't this the part where you realize that the TARDIS is bigger on the inside," said the Doctor, "then you go outside and run in a circle around the TARDIS, making sure that it's the same size that it looks like on the outside?"
"After recent events, I've become harder to surprise," replied Yumi.
"Fair enough," said the Doctor. "Next stop, Intergalactic Go Salon!" He pulled some levers, pushed some buttons, turned some dials, and started up the engine.