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Shunk Shiuk Pirate Ship

The ostentatious ship of Captain Shiunk, from Spaceship Agga Rutter

The Shank Pirate Guild is a pirate organization that has been active in the galaxy for over 20,000 years.

History

The Shank Pirates first appearances are in the True Tenchi Muyo! Novels Vol.1: Jurai and Vol.3:Washu.

The third volume is set 20,000 years in the past and begins when Washu is turning 18 years old and traveling to the Juraian Imperial Academy. The Shank Pirates were already massively powerful at this time, it may have been the zenith of their existence.

Technologically Advanced

The guild supported a private scientific and engineering research group that rivaled those from the academy. Even in the main timeline, some of their developments from this period remain some of the most advanced and feared in galactic battles.

The first pirate we meet is a spy deep undercover as a Juraian officer on the planet Kanamitsu, where Washu grew up. He had a wife and child there and they all knew Washu and had initially gained her trust. Yet, it was all a ruse. He cared nothing for his family, he simply needed to position himself on Washu’s transport vessel in an attempt to capture her and try to turn her to their side. Or eliminate her, if she would not cooperate. He used highly complex nano-machine programs to drug and subdue the crew. It was also supposed to work on Washu, but her curiosity had her inspecting the ship’s networks and found his interference and countered it. With the help of a Jurian noble and his ship, she narrowly defeated him and stopped the ship from succumbing to a malicious program that would have destroyed it or sent them into the hands of the Guild.

At the same time, a separate battle between Juraians and the guild was raging and they deployed one of their other new innovations, the PKW, a weapon capable of piercing Light Hawk Wings. With it, their flagship, the Shipris, destroyed a 3rd Generation Juraian Treeship, the only time that a Juraian ship was lost in a space battle. The guild was even able to retrieve a Juraian Royal Tree seed, which they called “The Original J,” although it seems they were never able to adequately pierce its secrets. Jurai was able to create a way to defend specifically against the PKW, but the damage was done and if taken by surprise, it could still be a devastating weapon. 20,000 years later, HIMC actually used it again against Zinv while battling in the Renza Federation, dealing it heavy damage.

Also, one of the reasons they wanted Washu was that they did what Jurai was unable to, discern some of the potential of Washu’s gems. When Washu was shown as a child to be a powerful psychic of unknown means (able to change her body’s age at will) Juraian scientists scanned her gems and could find nothing abnormal about them. The Shank scientists (who stole the scans) were able to come up with a very rudimentary model of the gems and used it to create the first generation of the Daidalos ships. Though extremely inferior to the actual gems, for a normal ship they could power an engine and defense system that made the ships almost indestructible against anything but a Juraian Treeship.

Jurai, recognizing the danger of these developments, made it a priority to hunt down and destroy these ships. It took a long time, but by the time of Tarant Shank, they had seemingly lost the ability to mass produce them and Tarant was the only Shank pirate commanding one, although The Unko was also modeled on the Daidalos.

Jurai was also able to effectively destroy the Shank research department of that time. Tarant, or possibly his father, Radi Shank, later rediscovered the research and instituted a new scientific research group. Mostly, Tarant just considered the research a means to create toys he could play with, but it still held the potential to create new and surprisingly dangerous advancements. Even though the guild was a shadow of its former glory, using the old research, they were able to produce brain modification techniques that made spies almost undetectable and a type of paint that, when sprayed on the hull of an enemy ship, caused friction when the ship goes into hyperspace, destroying armor and sheilds, making it impossible to make long jumps.

The ship of Radi Shank also had a special engine that allowed it to remain in hyperspace almost indefinitely, only dropping out to make surprise attacks.

Ruthless

Other pirates hold a different set of values than the Shank Guild. Most pirates rob other ships as a sort of business enterprise. Piracy, to most, is a family business that supports themselves and they are ready to adhere to codes of conduct, set by the federation and planetary governments, that say pirates will not kill those on the transports they rob if the police and military also refrain from using lethal force. The Shank pirates, however, believe in seizing and showing power through any means. Examples of this include:

  • The pirate on Washu’s planet not only abandoned his family once they weren't any use to him, he actively threatened them harm when Washu brought them up.
  • A pirate spy that had even infiltrated the Juraian Royal Family, marrying into the role, used his own daughter, Mitsuki Amaki, in a scheme to kill an important enemy and sabotage Jurai. He apparently escaped, abandoning his daughter to an unknown fate.
  • When Azusa was on his galaxy hopping adventure prior to becoming emperor, he encountered Shank Pirates in Thirteenth Century Japan using disguised ships to pose as monsters to abduct humans for a slave trade. They constantly showed cowardly and dishonorable methods to get what they wanted, including kidnapping Funaho to get Azusa to surrender himself as a much more valuable hostage.
  • The pirate known only as Shiunk, from Spaceship Agga Ruter, would routinely abandon his crew members and double-cross other pirates rather than honoring agreements.
  • In the GXP novels, Radi Shank, a member of his own and another guild, The Grand Guild, was shown to be a detestable coward that would never face an enemy head on, only swoop in with his special ship. Not caring about casualties.
TenchiTarant Shank

Tarant Shank

Main article: Tarant Shank

But Tarant Shank would prove to be the worst. While his scientists showed great ingenuity, his favorite advancement seemed to be their ability to revive a person who had died. Not as a life-saving method, but as a means of torture. He would torture his prisoners until dead, and then revive them to kill them again. This even got him into serious trouble with his pirate allies when they found out he was doing this to prisoners on the Great Daruma. Other than those he chose for torture, he left no one on the ships or locations he attacked alive.

After Seina Yamada broke up the giant Daluma Guild, Tarant tried to rebound by teaming up with a shadow group of the Galactic Federation Army and attempted steal the Kamidake II and to clone the kidnapped Fuku. This occurred on what The Shank Pirtes considered an inconspicuous base on a barren planet, a perfect place to work on and experiment, complete with their collected scientific research. But it also happened to be an ancient planet of the Great Prehistoric Civilization, (possibly even the lost Earth of their civilization) and when Seina came to save Fuku, he discovered the ancient great mecha Zinv, which he used to destroy this base and seemingly kill Tarant with the destruction of his Daidalos.

Part of a new Pirate Nation

When Tarant Shank was defeated and their base destroyed, it severely crippled their organization and the rest of the guild splintered. Many guild members fled to the Renza Federation, thinking it a more welcoming place for lawlessness and their brand of ruthlessness. The ones that remained would largely be forced to merge with other splintered guilds and form a new legitimate nation of former pirates, as told in Paradise War. Thinking the proxy war was a waste of time, the remaining Shank leadership actually chose a low ranking representative with fighting ability, but no malevolence whatsoever, Dird Shank. Dird ended up helping to foil the plans of the pirate leadership that wanted to work against the government plan.

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