BGC Post 2040 File 1 – 17: 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 49: Life Paths
Linna couldn’t stop herself from making the wretched expression as she downed the last of the tea.
“I think I really did die this time,” she croaked.
Mrs. Takeuchi smiled, as if she was quite used to the complaint. “Now, if it actually tasted good, would you think it was medicine?”
“It’d make me more than happy to take the slow path to healing if that’s the only other option there is.” Out of the corner of her eye she watched the elderly woman read the medical monitors. “Um, can I ask you a nosy question?”
“What kind of health practitioner are you?” Linna asked. Then realizing how that sounded, she immediately added, “I’m not questioning your results at all. But you seem knowledgeable about the monitors and regular doctor techniques. But then you do things like that tea.”
The elderly woman smiled and said, “I do whatever works. I used to be a doctor in Western medicine, specializing in obstetrics and pediatrics. But when I met my husband, I exchanged my career to devote my time to raise a family.”
Linna’s eyes got wide. “You gave up everything?!”
She shook her head, though apparently amused by the young woman’s reaction. “No. I put my time and effort to what was more valuable to me. I hardly regret the decision. And I can assure you that my medical background came in quite handy when trying to raise five rowdy boys, especially in this household.”
Linna frowned, not quite sure if the statement’s meaning was a lot more negative than the tone sounded. “So your husband supported all of you?”
“In a manner of speaking,” she said, actually sitting in the chair nearby, which was unusual since Linna had never before seen her do anything but fuss over her and walk in and out of the room because of it. “He was a head bodyguard to Reika’s grandfather. He died 33 years ago when he took a bullet for Mr. Chang.”
“Even though that was a long time ago, you don’t seem bitter about it.”
“There’s no need to be. He went in the most honorable way possible for a man he loved and respected. It is the same devotion Kou has had instilled in him, and which will be instilled in the next of our generation to serve the Changs.”
“Is it some sort of family legacy?”
Mrs. Takeuchi tilted her head a bit as she thought about it. Then she answered, “I suppose you can call it that. My husband’s family has served the Changs for 57 generations. Each generation must produce at least one person who will give life service not only to the Chang Family but also to the Hou Bang Clan. In exchange, all siblings and their immediate children will be properly cared for directly or indirectly by the Clan. The rest of my sons have gone on to have fully paid educations and support for their careers and families. Kou volunteered his services because he found more satisfaction in following the path of his father than any other options the world could give.”
Linna looked puzzled as she asked, “Do you think he’s unhappy that he didn’t have the chance to do other things, like follow some sort of personal dream?”
The other woman merely smiled and said, “You would have to ask him that. But, I can tell you that I’ve not felt any discontent in him. A mother can usually sense these things.”
Linna blushed. “I’m sorry. I guess I feel sort of selfish in that I abandoned my family’s expectations of me to go off and pursue my own dreams. When I hear stories about people like Kou — and Reika — I can’t help but wonder if I’m acting like a little spoiled brat.”
The other woman silently studied her, but since the usual gentle smile was on her lips, it didn’t feel as unnerving as it could. After a while though, Linna couldn’t help but lower gaze and blush even more.
“You have a very powerful and strong heart, Linna,” Mrs. Takeuchi finally said. “You would make a wonderful wife and mother.”
Linna’s eyes widened in surprised as she gulped. “Um-Well, I don’t think that’s quite in the cards for me. I’m not that traditional.”
“Why? Because you care for Mistress Reika?”
The young woman glanced at her in surprise before dropping her gaze again. “And that doesn’t bother you?”
“I helped to raise her and her sister. They are my daughters in spirit… And even if you cared for another woman besides Reika, my observation still stands. You have incredible capacity to love and care. And I’ve sensed a certain frustration in you that you haven’t been able to express that love in the way that best suits you. Hopefully you will find your answers soon.”
Still thoroughly amazed and embarrassed, Linna mumbled a thank you.
At that point, Mrs. Takeuchi made her exit, leaving the young woman to a whirlwind of thoughts.
“That’s really beautiful,” Linna commented in amazement at her visitor, who was sitting down on the floor and out of her restricted field of vision.
“Thanks,” Priss said, tightening the strings on her guitar as she glanced down at the music sheets on the floor before her. “I wrote it last night. I think it’s the best piece I’ve written in a while.”
Linna chuckled and remarked, “Did being a Knight Saber again give your emotional batteries a recharge?”
Priss focused a bit on plucking some test notes from her guitar and said, “You could say that.”
“Well, I’m sure Leon is pleased.”
“Maybe in time he will be.”
Linna narrowed her eyes, knowing a bit how to read her friend’s trademark evasiveness. “He’s upset with you rejoining?”
“A bit. I’m staying at Sylia’s in the meantime.”
Her friend was quiet for a moment and then asked, “Is that why you’re not wearing your engagement ring-necklace today?”
Even though Linna couldn’t see the reaction, Priss gave her a glance and then quirked her mouth into a mild smile. “I would have told you if you hadn’t noticed before I left.”
“What do Sylia and Nene think of it?”
“I haven’t told them. Leon will probably tell Nene at work today. I don’t know if Sylia even knew we got engaged because I certainly didn’t tell her. But once Nene finds out, I just figured the whole world will know one way or the other.”
Linna silently agreed based on her own experience of when Nene first found out about Priss and Leon. “So is the break-up permanent?”
Linna let out a sigh and said, “Well, thank you for letting me be the first to officially know. So how do you feel about it?”
“Feel?” Priss shrugged and started the beginning of a melody but then abruptly stopped. “I don’t know if I should say. I haven’t trusted my feelings in the past couple of years… At least now you don’t have to strain yourself imagining me in a maternity version of my biker’s outfit.”
Linna was silent for a moment. “Just what happened between you and Galatea?”
“We got to know each other a little too well,” Priss answered cryptically. Then she did a playful strum across the strings of her guitar. “Here’s a beer drinking song we learned in Munchen…”
— End Chapter 49 —
Chapter 50: Champions of Justice
Sylia gingerly sat down in the couch, her hand protectively over her wound area as was her current habit.
“How are you feeling?” Nene asked as she sat down next to her.
Priss and Sylvie sat down on each of the other two couches.
“I’m actually feeling a bit better than I had been eventhough I’m still quite tender. Sleeping through most of yesterday helped tremendously. Thank you for asking,” Sylia responded to the younger woman before turning her attention to her guests as a whole. “I had called Linna to tell her about this discussion but she’s needing some sleep as well. However, she did give me her personal input in case a vote needs to happen… So as you can imagine, we’re kind of in an unusual position right now. One that I certainly never envisioned or intended to happen when I originally formed the Knight Sabers: Do we remain active in a non-rogue boomer world?”
“I say we do,” Nene immediately stated. “We went into action yesterday because our abilities and skills were needed. And you’ve said yourself that we have to be ready for whatever Genom’s planning next.”
“True. And the public response to us has been quite interesting. I’ve been watching the commentaries and reading the editorials. The bottom line Is that people like having us around, not just for boomer incidents but for anything our technology might be able to help with.”
“Such as?” Priss prompted. Although her face was as passive as usual, there was a noticeable tone of curiosity in her words.
Nene jumped in and said, “Well, the most obvious area of need is being a back-up to the NTC Police combat unit given how poorly they performed. They’re getting a new commander but she’s not arriving until next week. Plus, she’s just one person. It’s going to take some time to get that team into shape. And given the kinds of cases that we’re coming across, I can assure you that the technology some of the criminals are creating or have access to may just require us to get involved on occasion, whether or not the combat team wants our help.”
Priss actually grinned. “Well, that’ll just bring back the good old days.”
“As the most obvious possibility, we could help the NTC Police with other high-tech cases, which would be filtered through Daley and Nene. But there are other mission scenarios that we could selectively choose to participate in,” Sylia said. “such as helping with major accidents or in extreme weather conditions, such as during typhoon season and earthquakes. The possibilities are endless.”
“I think we should!” Nene blurted. “That’s so cool!”
Priss snorted and remarked, “So we’d really be super heroes after all. I’m sure Linna would be pleased.”
Sylia smiled at her. “She did tell me to tell you that she wants a cape added to her hardsuit… So who’s in or out for this? I’m assuming that despite your answer, you would still be on call for regular boomer instances.”
“Count me in!” Nene declared.
Knowing that all eyes were now on her, Priss dropped her gaze as a dark frown suddenly fell over her features.
“Sylvie?” Sylia prompted, trying to steer some attention away from the other woman. “Would you like to be part of this?”
The boomer looked noticeably hesitant. “I – I’m not certain if I would perform adequately in such situations. I’m programmed for combat. I know what to do when there’s an enemy involved. But this sounds extremely… undefined.”
“Glad that you shared that,” Sylia responded. “We’ll make certain you’re never dispatched alone. And you would just have to take the lead of whoever is partnered with you at the time. I’m certain your confidence will increase over time to take care of missions alone.”
“I’ll do it if she does it,” Priss said softly, not looking up, surprising the other woman with her response. “I mean, if I’m going to do something like this, then I want to do it as a team. When Linna’s recovered then, Sylvie, you don’t have to do it anymore if you feel like it still doesn’t work for you. I just like the idea of… us watching each other’s back.”
“Then count me in as well,” Sylvie responded with a noticeably pleased look.
Sylia just arched her eyebrow curiously as her glance shifted between the other two women.
“Wait a minute,” Nene suddenly said. “Is Sylvie a regular member now? I mean, I knew she was a last resort option but I didn’t know she was now part of the regular team.”
“Sylia asked me if I would like to be,” Sylvie answered, “but I admit I still haven’t given a response yet. I feel uncomfortable committing due to the preprogrammed commands that have not yet been purged. I would be glad to reevaluate my options once I know they’ve been taken care of. Until then, I know that Linna’s membership has priority over mine.”
“Out of curiosity, Sylvie,” Sylia said, “If you were to become a regular team member, what color would you like your hardsuit to be? After all, I will want to reclaim mine when I get back to active duty status myself.”
The boomer thought it over for a moment and then answered brightly, “I like the color pink.”
An awkward silence settled in the room after her response, which caused her to look at them in puzzlement.
Then Sylia broke out into a giggle and said, “I actually like the idea of seeing the expressions of the more macho members of the NTC combat unit if they saw they were bested by a Knight Saber in a much more… delicate color scheme.”
The other two Knight Sabers chose to remain quiet.
“Well, it seems that we’re all in agreement to increase our scope of responsibility,” Sylia summarized. “And that includes Linna’s input. Nigel and Mackey are also committed to helping. Naturally, this will change the way we operate. I’m going to remain out of active status for as long as my injury keeps me from being fully functional; however I will still manage the entire team, including calling you for assignments where I think we could provide valuable assistance. Nigel and I have already identified some key enhancements to the hardsuits that we’ll add as soon as possible. And in case you were wondering, you will be receiving duty pay.”
Priss looked noticeably surprised. “So you’re financing us again?”
Sylia actually grinned and said, “Not quite. Hardware and operational costs, yes. Your service pay is actually coming out of Nigel’s royalties account from his work on boomer cores for the white noise issue. Consider it a form of poetic justice.”
With a broad smile, Priss declared, “If that’s the case, then I’m definitely in.”
“So, um, Priss,” Nene began hesitantly as they raided Sylia’s fridge for something to drink, “how are you doing? I mean, with Leon and all.”
Priss didn’t answer at first as she fished out some coffee drinks and handed one to her. She finally sighed and said, “Nene, I know you want to help, but this is one area that I’m asking you not to stick your nose into.”
Nene frowned and said, “Look, you’re both friends of mine. And he’s really hurting. You either don’t care or you’re doing a really good job of reverting back to the cool and distant Priss from four years ago. After all, you agreed to marry him only a couple of days ago!”
Priss stared at her coolly for a moment. “I assure you that I care.”
“Then just call him. Talk to him a little bit so he’s got something to look forward to.”
The other woman narrowed her eyes at her and asked, “Did he ask you to approach me or are you doing this on your own?”
She held up her hand in an oath. “I swear this is just me. He hasn’t made one comment to me about trying to plead his case.”
“Then, Nene, I think you should take that as a direct hint from him to not get involved. And calling him now isn’t going to help anyway because I wouldn’t say anything he wants to hear.”
Nene looked noticeably stunned. “Then you really are sticking with the idea of breaking up with him?”
Priss gave her a silent look and then just walked away.
— End Chapter 50 —
Chapter 51: Competition
Priss paused in the doorway to the training room to find her other active teammates preparing for a training session with Mackey’s help.
The exercise equipment and special virtual simulators were ignored as everyone gathered in the middle of the vast room on the practice mats that had been laid out on the floor.
Nene was dressed in a gi with a green belt, with Mackey helping her put on weird looking thin, blue mittens that matched the socks on her feet.
Dressed in a white-belted gi, Sylvie stood quietly by and watched the couple prepare. She looked deceptively unthreatening with her passive shop-girl pose, her hands clasped together and her head tilted despite an otherwise straight posture.
Sylia, who had apparently decided to spend the day in her bathrobe with her hair in a simple ponytail, sat on a nearby chair with a datapad in her hand.
“Hello, Priss,” Sylia greeted, “I wasn’t sure if you were going to join us.”
“I’m not sure yet,” Priss admitted as she leaned against the doorway, “the details were a little vague. So what kind of special training is this?”
“There are special sensors built into these gloves and socks,” Mackey explained as he made sure Nene’s were firmly sealed at the wrist. “They’re thin enough that they shouldn’t feel any different than regular training gear, but they should register contact hits with Sylvie. They’ve also got enhanced padding for protection since Sylvie’s a little harder than your usual opponent.”
Priss barely suppressed a smirk as she folded her arms and said, “So it’ll be Nene versus Sylvie? Shouldn’t there be headgear involved?”
“Sylvie is going to be defending herself only,” Sylia explained. “And she obviously won’t have to worry about sustaining permanent damage. The point is to give you and Nene a taste of what it’s really like to fight a boomer of her skill level, which as you can imagine is quite different than fighting rogue boomers who aren’t programmed to fight, especially with human combat techniques. Even though your reflexes are considerably enhanced in your hardsuits, I think you’ll still learn a lot in this set up. Plus, since we’re all a little rusty, I think this provides some needed variety in the combat training that should help us get up to speed as quickly as possible. And Sylvie graciously offered to do this.”
The boomer in question merely bowed to Priss in acknowledgement as her pleased smile widened a bit. Priss smiled back and the two of them stared at each other for a bit, which Sylia pretended not to notice as she scanned her datapad and pressed some remote control buttons on it.
“How does it feel?” Mackey asked his girlfriend.
Nene testingly flexed her fingers and feet. “They feel a little stiff, but no different than other training gloves.”
“Remember, you’ll register a hit if you make contact with her. The training program is sophisticated enough to be able to register the difference between a scored hit and her blocking you. You don’t have to pull your punches at all with her.”
Nene just smiled at the thought.
“Sylvie, are you ready?” Mackey asked.
She nodded, “Whenever Nene is ready.”
“Can I at least get you a headband or something to keep your hair out of the way?” he offered, which caused Nene to seethe as she stood right behind him.
As if suddenly realizing that her loose hair would indeed be a distraction, Sylvie nodded, “That would be nice. Thank you.”
“Then hurry up and go get her one so we can begin!” Nene blurted as she shoved him into the direction of the locker room.
“Mackey, stay. Sylvie, use this,” Sylia said, offering the ribbon from her own hair.
Priss, deciding this was going to be too good to pass up watching, walked in and sat down on the edge of the mat beside Sylia.
After a moment, the main area of the mat was cleared as the two opponents faced each other.
Sylvie bowed in greeting and said, “Thank you for this opportunity to help, Nene.”
Nene smacked her hands together and grinned evilly, “Oh, I’m looking forward to this!”
Sylia cleared her throat and announced, “Begin whenever you’re ready.”
Approximately thirty-seven minutes later, Nene collapsed on the mat on her hands and knees, covered in sweat and wheezing for air after a frustrating bout of blocked punches and kicks.
Sylvie, meanwhile, stood quietly by, straightening her gi and fixing her hair. It took only a couple of seconds before she reverted to her passive shop-girl pose, which was clearly quite contradictory to that of her exhausted opponent.
The three onlookers were each waiting silently, trying not to bring up the fact that despite the decent display of sparring, not one aggressive hit on Nene’s behalf was registered in the training program.
“Um, Nene, do you want to continue, or do you want to take a break?” Sylia prompted gently.
As much as she wanted land at least one punch, even on Sylvie’s ankles, Nene was too tired and worn. “I – I need a short break,” she gasped as she wearily got to her feet.
Mackey rushed up and give her a towel and a bottle of water. “That was a really incredible attempt, Nene! You really can’t expect too much when you compare your skill level to Sylvie’s!”
“Thanks a lot, jerk!” she yelled as she snapped the towel at his head, flipping off his headband behind him. She then stormed in the direction of the locker room.
Mackey looked after her in bewilderment as both Sylia and Priss made a motion to get to their feet and go after her.
Sylvie stayed them with a hand and said, “Sylia, I think I’m the one who needs to deal with this.”
Sylia opened her mouth to say something, but then relented with a nod.
Once Sylvie and Nene were out of the room, Mackey looked at the two remaining women and said, “What did I say wrong?”
Priss merely smirked and said, “Your only crime is that you proved you’re a guy after all.”
Mackey looked even more confused as Sylia pretended to focus more on the read outs of her datapad.
Sylvie walked into the locker room just in time to see Nene angrily throwing the training socks at the nearby wall.
Nene, whose eyes were brimming with tears, noticed her presence and stared at her. “What do you want?”
“To see if you were all right. And to see what I can do to help if you’re not.”
Nene looked as if she wanted to say something, anything hurtful to the other woman, but then realized there was nothing that wanted to come out. She shook her head in frustration, wiped her eyes on the sleeve of her gi, and slumped down on the nearby bench. She muttered, “It’s not your fault that you’re tall and gorgeous and a boomer.”
Sylvie gingerly sat down on the bench next to her and said softly, “Nene, he’s not attracted to me.”
Nene’s face turned red at the frank statement but frowned. “Oh yeah? How do you know?”
“Because what everyone has been politely ignoring is the fact that while I’m a combat boomer, I am also programmed for recreational purposes,” Sylvie pointed out. “Even though I’ve had no experience in that area, I am programmed to be able to read signs of emotional and physical attraction. And Mackey exhibits nothing out of the ordinary for someone who just wants to be a friend and to help. Yes, he feels a certain kinship and responsibility for me because we’re both boomers. I’m certain his overt excitement right now is that I’m new, and I’m a sentient machine in development; he is a mechanic after all. Once he’s used to me being around, the enthusiasm will wear off. In the meantime, however, I don’t think he will ever tire of you, or start to take you for granted as he’s destined to with me. Even during this initial introduction phase, I am not the one he wants to hold hands with.”
Nene’s face remained red but for a different reason as she stared at her own hands in response to Sylvie’s words. Then she gave her a narrow look and said, “You promise me you’re not interested in him?”
“I guarantee he’s not the one that I want,” she answered simply.
Nene broke out into an apologetic smile and held out her hand for a shake. “Then I’m sorry for having fantasies about crushing your core.”
Sylvie smiled back and shook her hand. “As long as the fantasies stop, that’s all I care about.”
— End Chapter 51 —