BGC Post 2040 File 1 – 11: Dominant Species
The Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Continuation Fanfic Series
by P. Kristen Enos
Most of these stories take place AFTER the TV Series! So DON’T blame me if I ruin the ending for you because you read these stories first!
Lesbian/Yuri/Shoujo Ai Warning! (Non-explicit — at least in the “PG13″/”R” sort of way.) Just not written for children because they probably wouldn’t get half of it. All rights belong to JVC/AIC, ADV Films and the other creative powers that be. I just want credit for writing the story.
Chapter 30: Foxhunt
For the first time in her entire professional career, Madigan paused before entering an office. She knew of course that she was just the messenger, but personal security didn’t matter when there were unpleasant variables involved. She had been disturbed but not surprised by her superior’s temper tantrum when she had had to phone him extremely early that morning to deliver the news about Sylvie’s disappearance as well as the presumed failure in her assassination assignment. She knew his venting wasn’t directed at her so much as being just a way to let off steam against an unknown culprit. Someone had outfoxed them and it was a matter of seeing if this was a case where they should have seen this coming, or if this was a completely new variable altogether.
Madigan took a deep breath, firmly gripped her data pad and proceeded forward so that the sensors registered her presence and slid the door open.
Quincy stood before the large wall of windows and stared out at the afternoon sun over Tokyo Bay. In his hand was a half-consumed glass of brandy. He gave her an acknowledging glance before turning back to his view.
Recognizing this as her cue to speak, she turned her attention to the pad and said, “All four of our search vans have reported that they have not had any positive reading for Sylvie. The theory is that she’s either completely destroyed so she’s not emitting any signals, or she’s out of range, such as out of the city or country. I’ve told them to continue their search.”
Quincy gave a supportive nod.
Madigan then continued her status read out. “My source at the hospital did not uncover any additional information from the staff or patients beyond general gossip about strange sounds such as metallic squealing and pounding. And of course some people had noticed the police cars searching the area.”
“What about Yamazaki?”
“Records indicated that she checked out this morning, however she never arrived at home nor at work. Our source at Hugh-Geit uncovered a modification made this morning to her employment record that effective immediately she is on indefinite leave from work due to being in police protective custody.”
“So this leads back to our Detective Wong,” Quincy surmised with a definite edge in his tone.
“Yes, sir,” Madigan confirmed. “Our contacts at the police department show that he had arranged for a medical team at the hospital to be on standby as well as the police officers to be on special alert without informing them of anything other than it was based on a lead for the Plaza Slaughter.”
Quincy then glanced down and noticed that he gripped his glass with white-knuckled fingers. He walked over to his desk and put the drink down, knowing his tension would have broken the container. “So, we have a missing boomer, a missing witness, and a detective whose actions are just a little too conveniently timed…. And we’ve confirmed that Sylvie is not being held at the Police Department?”
Madigan nodded. “Our sources have searched every possible holding place she could be, as well as for any equipment that could have any capability of overwhelming or damaging her.”
“Have you learned anything else noteworthy about Detective Wong?”
“Actually, yes,” she responded as she put the pad down and recited from memory. “He was a part of the A.D. Police up until they were shut down because Genom had cut their funding. His whereabouts are not completely traced during that time, as with most people who remained in the city during the Revolution. But he did eventually transfer to the Osaka Police Department and quickly became a detective there before transferring back to Tokyo.
“He was instrumental in the creation of his current department, the Neo-Tech Crimes Division. They perform similar functions to the A.D. Police but without as much manpower or equipment resources since they are funded by the government rather than Genom. But even with his current resources, there is nothing he has access to within the Police Department that even comes close to matching Sylvie’s capabilities. He couldn’t have pulled this off without outside help.”
Quincy arched his eyebrow at the subtle hint in her tone. “It sounds like you found a lead.”
“Possibly,” she answered, glad that his curiosity seemed to defuse some of his anger. “I just had an extremely interesting conversation with our data recovery team. Two of the staff were assigned here in Tokyo just prior to the Revolution before they were transferred out, with the rest of the Headquarters personnel. They both brought up the fact that they were part of a special surveillance assignment managed directly by your grandfather and Mason. This surveillance project focused on a team of three or four individuals called the Knight Sabers, who appeared only when boomers went rogue in order to destroy them before the boomers did too much damage. They appeared to be women dressed in hardsuits, but they could have been boomers themselves – to our staff’s knowledge it was never determined exactly which. Apparently these Knight Sabers did a better job handling rogue boomers than the AD Police, causing them to be labeled vigilantes.
“No one on the data recovery team could remember too much, other than that your grandfather had expressly ordered the cover-up of any of their activities when possible. When the headquarters was shut down, Genom stopped their surveillance. Because the Knight Sabers haven’t made an appearance since then, the general consensus is that they could have been destroyed by the Revolution. The other interesting thing to note is that as far as the general public is concerned, few people even thought that they existed, as if they were just some sort of urban legend. One of our staff members did remember an instance of sensational news coverage where they were caught on camera. I’m having our connections with the television news stations launch an archive search to see if we can find that piece.
“And it was also brought to my attention that the recovery team has noted that none of the recovered files mentions the Knight Sabers, but that’s not to say that their information wasn’t housed in the unsalvageable sections. I’ve ordered the team to do a priority search on them in the Genom files as well as our AD Police files. Of all our options on who could have subdued and caught Sylvie, these Knight Sabers are the most likely candidates. The technology capabilities as well as the method of operation matches.”
Quincy finally sat in his chair and scratched his beard thoughtfully. “So it’s a very good possibility that our Detective Wong has access to these Knight Sabers, or someone who had strong enough connections to the original team to be able to reproduce their hardware and abilities. I also want a round the clock watch posted on Detective Wong, including screening all calls and contacts he makes….” He finally smiled to himself and said, “This definitely changes things, which we might be able to use…. What is the status on our other girls?”
“We’ve given them the highest priority to their upgrades to full Sylvie level. They should be completed in another month.”
Quincy leaned back in his chair and said, “Set up an emergency meeting with Dr. Yuri before the day is out. I want to talk to him about developing a deployable and, if necessary, disposable combat only model. If these Knight Sabers are active, we might be able to rely on their ‘on call’ status to conduct some tests of our own. I want to find out as much information as possible about this group, if they are indeed the ones who are behind all of this. Also ask him where we’re at with our male prototype.”
“Yes, sir,” Madigan said as she made a new note in her data pad.
The intercom line suddenly buzzed on Quincy’s phone.
He pushed the button and said, “Yes, Heinrich?”
“Sir,” his secretary’s voice answered, “Dr. Yamada is here to request an audience with you. He says it’s regarding his resignation, effective as soon as possible.”
The two executives exchanged a raised eyebrow look before Quincy answered, “Please send him in.”
“ – I realize that I am not honoring my commitment to see this project through by leaving now but I do hope you understand how much the current circumstances have forced me to make such a decision.” Dr. Yamada said as he sat in the chair, his gaze lowered as he wasn’t able to meet his superior’s gaze. “Dr. Yuri is more than qualified to manage the team and the project going forward. Otherwise, I would not have felt comfortable to request the rest of the week off to tend to my fiancée.”
Quincy leaned back in his chair and said, “Well, Dr. Yamada, I do agree with your assessment on Dr. Yuri’s capabilities, and I am glad you can confirm that my judgment was sound. I do not see a reason why we would have to keep you here longer than you feel necessary. I am curious though on what you plan to do now?”
“My fiancée’s late father had acquired a London electronics company in order to let me manage their research division. They specialize in general electronics and parts. It’s work I think I can easily adapt to,” he said softly. “I have no more interest in boomer research.”
The CEO of Genom Corporation was quiet for a moment before he said with a kind smile, “It is unfortunate to have you leave but I do understand why. I accept your resignation effective immediately, thank you for your many years of loyal service to Genom Corporation, and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
“Thank you, sir,” the scientist answered gratefully. “If you don’t mind, sir, I would like to clean out my office before I leave.”
Quincy shook his head but still maintained his pleasant smile. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible, Dr. Yamada. Even future ex-employees are not allowed in such secure areas, as you can imagine why. Madigan will make certain your personal items are sent to you.”
Dr. Yamada looked undeniably disappointed as he responded, “I – I understand, sir. Then is there any way I can have one last visit with Sylvie? It-it may sound overly sentimental for a scientist such as myself, but I would like to say good-bye to her before I go.”
Because the scientist’s gaze was on the floor before him, he didn’t see the curious look the executives exchanged.
Quincy cleared his throat and said, “Again, I am truly sorry, Dr. Yamada. But she is considered highly classified as well.”
“Oh.” Dr. Yamada took a deep breath and tried to hide the painful twinge in his heart. He then stood and bowed. “Thank you, sir, for your graciousness and understanding. I am truly grateful for the experience and opportunities I have gained with Genom Corporation. And may you have continued success as well.”
Quincy stood and bowed in return. “Thank you, Dr. Yamada. Madigan will make certain your resignation matters are settled as efficiently as possible.”
Once the scientist left under the escort of Quincy’s secretary and a security guard, the two executives exchanged another look.
“That was certainly interesting,” Quincy mused. “Either he’s suddenly developed acting skills, or he honestly doesn’t know anything about last night.”
“Should we keep an eye on him?”
Quincy thought about it and then said, “No. I don’t think he’s a factor anymore. And if he does become important again, we’ll deal with him then…. And, Madigan, make certain we give him a 300% bonus in his final pay check. He did serve us well, after all.”
— End Chapter 30 —
Chapter 31: Perspective
At first Sylia thought it was her imagination. But then she noticed enough instances that there was no doubt about the fact that Sylvie was watching her, or more precisely staring at her.
When Sylia came back into the pit to check on the boomer’s download status, she first glanced at Sylvie and then noticed how the boomer stared back, and didn’t look away. The pattern repeated itself a couple of times, causing Sylia to realize she couldn’t just dismiss it as being coincidence. Being the scientist that she was in her heart and soul, to test out her theory, she called everyone into the pit, even Henderson, to watch Sylvie’s reaction to them. And every time the boomer would acknowledge them with a glance, but then revert to watching Sylia’s every move, even turning and lifting her head when she was able to.
To be fair to Sylvie though, there really wasn’t anything else the boomer could do since she was still firmly bound to the heavy vertical examination table.
Still, the behavior turned some mental wheels for Sylia. Did Sylvie recognize Sylia’s hostility and therefore label her as a threatening entity? Once combat boomers are on alert, they were programmed to not ignore or “forget” the trigger until they’ve received an override command or the source has been identified and neutralized.
Reika’s words of a similar reaction echoed in Sylia’s mind. Yet, something just didn’t feel quite right. Reika might be able to project the aura of a cool Clan Leader, but that would hardly trigger noteworthy alert status from a combat boomer.
Sylia herself wasn’t unnerved by the behavior as much as annoyed by it, and perhaps a little curious at a scientific level.
Realizing that her thoughts were straying again, Sylia focused on the algorithms displayed on the monitor, showing just a sliver of Sylvie’s sophisticated programming. Upon a surface examination of the data, Sylia had to admit she was impressed. The encryption was top-notched, an unbreakable code by even the most advanced hacking programming Nene had available. Sylvie was designed to be completely classified, even in her brain.
Having not recovered all of her sleep from the frantic activity of the night and morning before, Sylia felt a yawn creep up on her and started to indulge in it as well as a stretch, much to her regret.
“Damn!” she muttered as she felt the stab of pain at her ribs.
With Linna completely out of commission, and Sylia not up to full physical capacity, Nene was left as the sole active Knight Saber in the event that Sylvie’s boomer sisters should resurface for some reason. Sylia had to admit she wasn’t sure how Nene would fare in a fight with just one of them, never mind three others. Even if the three Sabers were able to don hardsuits, they were also out of practice, herself included. And every bit counts when dealing with boomers programmed to fight, as opposed to out of control, raging creatures.
Sylia mused that there had to be some way to give the Knight Sabers better odds than this…
Sylia then glanced up over the monitor and once again found that Sylvie had been staring at her, not at all moving or blinking as she did so.
Finally completely annoyed with this, and taking advantage of the fact they were alone in the pit, Sylia promptly walked over to Sylvie and stopped before her.
“Do you consider me a hostile entity?” Sylia asked bluntly in full confrontational stance with her hands on her hips.
The boomer didn’t react immediately, showing she was processing the question. After a few seconds, she answered, “I realize you are unhappy with my presence. But I am unable to conclude why.”
Sylia blinked. The answer was a lot more… aware than what she had expected.
Her scientific curiosity getting the better of her, Sylia narrowed her eyes and asked, “Why are you watching me?”
She didn’t pause this time as she stated, “You are beautiful.”
It was a good thing that they were alone; otherwise, someone would have seen the completely surprised and bewildered statement appear on Sylia’s face.
Regaining some composure back, Sylia cleared her throat and then asked, “Is that why you stared at Reika Chang?”
“She is beautiful.”
The woman and the boomer stared at each other for a silent few minutes.
Sylia then let out a sigh and rubbed her temples. She walked out of the pit and muttered to herself, “I can not believe I am contemplating this…”
“I thought you would turned in to catch up on your sleep,” Nigel commented as he took off his jacket and tossed it on the nearby chair in her living room.
Sylia carefully pressed herself against him for a hug and said, “I don’t feel quite like sleeping while I have a guest like Sylvie downstairs.”
“Don’t blame you,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her.
Sylia immediately flinched at the uncomfortable pressure on her wound, causing Nigel to immediately drop his arms to his side.
“Should I even touch you?” he asked softly. “I know you didn’t call me over for anything really ‘physical.’”
She giggled and said, “You’re quite right. I have something important I want to discuss with you in person.”
“About your new boomer?”
“Another right guess. You’re doing very well.”
He smiled gently and said, “Well, Sylvie’s the only important variable that would impact me. Unless there’s a lot more that happened between you and Reika this morning than what you told me. And if I recall correctly, alcohol wasn’t a factor this time.”
“Almost sounds like jealousy, Mr. Kirkland.”
“Hmph. What is it about Sylvie you want to talk about?” he asked, steering away from a potentially prickly subject.
Sylia pulled back to look at him in the eye and asked seriously, “You said that with the proper tweaks and connections, Sylvie is 80 to 85 percent at Mackey capacity. What would it take to bring her up to the full 100 percent?”
Nigel studied her face for a long time before answering, “Do you have your father’s files on Mackey?”
“Of course I do, though I’ve never really looked at them.”
Nigel mulled it over and said, “I’d have to study the schematics and see what wiring and components she’s missing, and then acquire or make those parts. Then there’s the matter of figuring out which algorithms she’s missing and adding them to her base program.”
“I can take care of that with Nene’s help.”
“It could take as little as a week, as long as a couple of months, depending on what needs to be done. Of course, we could also do it in stages….” Nigel then sighed and said, “Sylia, you do realize that she’d be as sentient as Mackey is but with the capabilities of a top line combat boomer. And we wouldn’t be able to justify keeping her bound the way she is. Sentience means freedom, and trust. And that’s not even touching on the whole issue of why we have her in the first place.”
“I know,” she answered softly, pressing her cheek against his chest. “I realize I’ll have to develop special safety precautions in her case, at least until we figure out how to get the Linna assassination command wiped out of her, as well as her return to Genom default. I’ll also figure out how to deal with Daley over this. I think he only cares about getting evidence. He agreed to my condition that I would destroy her after we were done…. And I am wondering if I’m doing this just to prove to Mackey that I can view a boomer to be as individual as a person.”
“The fact that you don’t even consider Mackey to be a boomer most of the time speaks volumes in and of itself. If you’re going to make the decision to do this to Sylvie, do it because you truly believe she already has the essence of sentience within her. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone by forcing her to become something she’s not. If we do this, there’s no turning back.”
After a few minutes of silence, Sylia let out a sigh of her own and said, “Can we start tonight?”
“You need your rest first,” he said as he kissed her forehead. “We’ll start in the morning.”
“Will you be my pillow?”
— End Chapter 31 —
Chapter 32: Skin Deep
Upon Sylia’s signal, Nene flipped the switch.
After a warm-up period, Sylvie opened her eyes. The difference was subtle but instantaneous, showing such slight responses as spontaneous blinking and sporadic shifting of her gaze to nearby visual or auditory stimulus.
It took only a second to get her bearings before the boomer focused on the mild burning feelings across various parts of her artificial skin.
“This physical… sensation is unfamiliar,” she commented out loud, clearly wanting an explanation.
“That’s pain,” Mackey said, jumping in before Sylia could speak. “It’ll pass soon.”
“That’s partly true,” Sylia said, knowing that a slightly more scientific explanation was needed for the boomer. “Previously you were programmed to be aware of any damage to your body, no matter how slight, but only for reasons of assessment. What was missing was the qualitative experience similar to humans. Yes, this session of pain will pass because we’re still fixing the various areas where your skin surface had been damaged. However, it would be very possible to experience it again, even at a more intense level depending on the extend of the damage.”
“It is distracting,” Sylvie pointed out, the creases of a frown appearing on her brow. “I do not like it.”
“And you shouldn’t,” Sylia responded. “Unlike a human, however, you are able to deploy special algorithms that will once again allow you to ignore the pain sensations as you had previously, but using them will be on emergency basis partially because it will drain extra power from your energy cells to use them. However, the point is that you will now be able to experience good sensations as well as bad ones, just like a human. And that’s why I wanted to talk to you now before we progress further.
“My team and I are willing to upgrade you to the level of a fully sentient boomer, comparable to Mackey here. We’ve already upgraded your core enough for you to be able to comprehend what I’m saying to you now, but there are several larger revisions that need to be done in steps and over time. What I want to know is if you wish for us to continue. If you do not wish to become an independent, free individual, then I will give the word to remove all enhancements we’ve made and you will not have any record of this conversation, nor will it matter to you going forward. It will not be easy, and as you can already tell, there are some immediate drawbacks. But we are willing to help you if it is what you want.”
Sylvie focused on every word Sylia uttered, her expression as passive as ever. Then she looked at the waiting Nigel and Mackey in the background, especially at the younger Stingray.
“Sylvie, it’ll be worth it!” Mackey gushed. “I guarantee it! And I’ll help you any way I can!”
Meanwhile, Nene sat in the command booth above the pit and watched the entire interaction with a dark expression, as her fingers methodically tapping the surface of the panel.
After studying Mackey for a moment, the other boomer looked back at Sylia and said, “I would like to be like him. I would like to be free.”
“Mistress Sylia, would you like more tea?” Henderson asked. “Or would coffee be better?”
“It looks like it’s going to be another all-nighter at this point, so coffee is the wiser choice,” she answered as she leaned back in the chair and rubbed her eyes, having studied algorithms for the past four hours non-stop in her private computer room.
“The others have already gone home for the evening. Perhaps you should also use that as a cue to turn in yourself.”
She smiled and said, “Thank you for the hint as always, Henderson, but I think I’m on the verge of uncovering a key piece and don’t want to lose my train of thought. However, I am ordering you to turn in once you get me my coffee.”
“Of course, my lady,” he said with a bow.
Once the butler left, all signs of pleasantness disappeared from Sylia’s face as she looked at one of the monitor screens focused on Sylvie. The boomer was once again in “off” position, her cranium open to show that Nigel and Mackey were in mid-process of installing more upgrades. Thanks to the team’s combined expertise and skills, the enhancements to Sylvie were going forward at a phenomenal pace. However, the enhancements didn’t change the encrypted code commands that were buried inside of her.
Sylia looked back to the main screen that showed the original programming algorithms they had downloaded from Sylvie. With Nene’s help, she had managed to hack through and understand about one tenth of the source code and data that was clearly tied to combat and recreational capabilities. Sylia had to admit she was both impressed and amused by what Sylvie’s creators considered to be required skills for both roles. But it still didn’t provide any evidence or leads that Daley could use.
Feeling a full-body yawn creep up, Sylia indulged in it and once again caught herself with a stab of pain. Cursing to herself, Sylia thought that she hadn’t needed coffee to stay awake for as long as she had, thanks to her barely healing injury.
Even though she was aware of everyone’s concerned looks, she appreciated that no one was actually saying anything about her lack of self-care in that area. The timing was too crucial for her to lie in bed for a couple of days on painkillers so that her body could focus on healing. She knew that the less focused time and energy her body had to spend rebuilding itself only prolonged the healing process, as well as impacting her overall performance. She promised herself that she would focus on staying in bed for a week once the whole matter was over.
Suddenly a light on the panel signalled an incoming phone call.
Sylia frowned, realizing that everyone who would call her at this late hour should be asleep… Unless it was news about Linna.
She immediately hit the receive button, only to be confronted with a full-screen head shot of a frantic Priss Asagiri.
“Sylia, what’s this about Linna being in the hospital?!” the singer demanded. The lighting behind her showed that it was daytime wherever she was.
Sylia answered coolly, “Why, Priss, I assume this means you’ve finally checked your messages.” My, she looks the same after three years. Hair is longer though, probably with more split ends.
“So is she all right or not?!” she persisted.
“Well, she fell from a third story window during an assassination attempt and is now in recovery, as well as police custody at the home of my ex-girlfriend.”
Priss’s only response at first was a blink as she tried to digest the string of information. Forcing a much calmer tone, she repeated, “So is she all right or not?”
“She hasn’t woken up yet, however, we think she will be fine. We’re making certain she gets the best care possible for a full recovery.” Sylia then added, “I’m taking care of everything for her.”
“Okay then…” a deflated Priss responded though it was clear she wanted to say something else because she didn’t hang up right away.
Sylia then arched her brow and prompted, “Is there anything else you want to know?”
“… What’s this about an assassination attempt?”
“That’s somewhat more complicated and this isn’t a secure line,” Sylia responded coolly. “Besides, it’s business on a need to know basis only.”
“’Need to know?’” Priss repeated, though it was clear she knew where this was going.
“As in members of the Team only.”
Priss stared in response for a moment and then asked, “Is the Team active again?”
“Until this matter is resolved, which could be sooner rather than later. You’re welcome to come back and be on stand-by, though there are no guarantees you’ll be needed. But I think the support would be appreciated because Nene is the only one who is able to be on active duty.”
Priss frowned and asked, “What about you?”
“In capturing the assassin in question, I received an injury of my own.”
The two women stared at each other through the screen.
Priss then stated, “If I come back, it’s to help with Linna’s recovery. I’m not promising anything else.”
“I’m certain she would appreciate it.”
Priss then dropped her gaze and an embarrassed blush showed up on her cheeks. “So, uh, is there any way you can book me a plane ticket, or at least loan me the money for it? I promise I’ll pay you back for it.”
“Just one ticket?” the other woman asked with a curious tilt to her head.
“Of course not!” Priss retorted, her annoyance returning. “Two would do.”
“Tell me where my travel agent should contact you.…”
Once the information and an abrupt farewell was exchanged, Sylia found herself staring at the blank screen that had shown Priss’s face only moments before.
The irony was that this was the first communication the two women had had in any form in the past three years.
Sylia then smirked to herself as she mused out loud, “So even though she knows she’s not needed, she’s still coming back for her. This could prove interesting…”
For some reason, Sylia glanced at Sylvie again before turning her attention back to deciphering algorithms.
— End Chapter 32 —