BGC Post 2040 File 1 – 18: 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 52: Playing With Fire
“Well?” Sylia asked Priss, “Are you in a gambling mood?”
The other woman glanced at the waiting Sylvie as well as at Nene and Mackey.
“Why not?” the singer relented as she stood. “It’s not as if I can do any worse.”
Nene made a silent face at her as she sat down in the now vacant spot next to Sylia’s chair.
“Do you want to change into a gi, Priss? I have a couple of spares in the locker room,” Sylia offered.
Priss looked down at her attire of T-shirt and jeans and then shook her head. “This is how I was dressed when I fought on the streets. I’m comfortable this way.”
Mackey produced another set of training gloves and socks, similar to the ones that Nene had worn.
Once she was outfitted, Priss tested the feel of the equipment. When it was clear that she had finished her personal assessment, she glanced at Sylia expectantly.
“Start whenever you’re ready.” Sylia’s personal amusement at the pending match showed as a mild smirk.
Priss gave a brief bow to Sylvie, who responded in kind. Then they both straightened as they started their match.
Priss flinched as she obviously wanted to launch into an opening attack, but then froze almost immediately.
Only Sylvie could see that Priss’s eyes showed that she was focused internally, rather than on her. She tilted her head curiously and prompted, “Priss?”
The action apparently jolted Priss back from her distraction. Without another pause, Priss lunged.
The tiny audience was treated to an impressive display of well-aimed kicks and punches, each expertly blocked or deflected with minimal effort. What was different about this match was that even though no hits were technically registering on the training program, Sylvie actually started relenting some ground as her attacker pressed forward.
“Wow,” Mackey murmured as the other two women watched in growing appreciation.
Sylia watched Sylvie’s expression curiously, noticing that the boomer actually seemed to portray all of the subtleties of human concentration, from a narrowed gaze and a firmly set jaw. Sylia felt pleased at the signs of just how comfortable the boomer was becoming with expressing herself in unconscious, human ways.
Suddenly, without warning and in a blur of motion, Sylvie blocked Priss’s last punch with one hand and landed a hard slap on Priss’s cheek with the other. The contact was hard enough to snap Priss’s head back and cause her to tumble backwards, landing on the mat with an ungraceful thud.
Everyone else was too speechless and stunned to react right away.
Priss’s reaction was nothing less than complete shock as she dabbed the tip of the glove at the corner of her mouth and saw fresh blood on it.
Sylvie calmly stood her ground, clearly waiting for Priss to resume the match. The boomer’s face was cold and determined, no traces of the pleasant shop-girl anywhere in her demeanor.
“Um – “ Sylia began.
Completely ignoring everything else, an enraged Priss flipped to her feet and lunged at Sylvie in a series of kicks and punches that made the first round look as if they were conducted in slow motion. Again, each attack was blocked, but this time Sylvie held her ground.
In a blur of speed, Priss then spun into her most powerful roundhouse kick, aiming right for Sylvie’s head. Not only was the blow blocked, but in the next instant, Priss felt herself dangling upside down, with Sylvie holding her up by her leg.
“PUT ME DOWN, BITCH!” Priss immediately demanded, obviously furious at the predicament she found herself in.
“PRISS, DON’T – !“ Sylia’s warning came too late as Sylvie immediately responded to the order and dropped her opponent on to her head.
“Shit!” Priss remarked from her weary position on the mat as she rubbed her sore neck.
Her docile manner returning, Sylvie held out a hand and said, “Can I help -?“
Priss glared at her and said, “Don’t come near me!”
She stood and ripped off the training gear, tossing it to the side. Without another word, she stormed towards the elevator, wiping the corner of her bleeding mouth with the hem of her T-shirt.
Once she was gone, the three remaining humans stared in shock at the boomer.
“So is practice over?” Sylvie asked them with a curious tilt of her head.
“Um, yes,” Sylia said, slowly trying to take charge of the situation. “Nene, why don’t you take a shower and, Mackey, why don’t you put away the equipment?”
Getting the hint, the couple left, allowing the women to have a private conversation.
Sylia studied the boomer with a curious but still critical gaze. “So what happened to ‘defensive mode’ only?”
“She was struggling in the first round,” the boomer answered. “It was as if she was forcing herself to concentrate when it should have been much easier for her. I decided that I needed to help her focus.” Sylvie glanced at the direction of the elevator and looked back at her. “You were right that she fights better when she’s angry. I did not mean to end the match in such a humiliating move for her, but she would have broken her foot had she made contact with me.”
Sylia shook her head to herself as she rubbed her temples. “Well, part of the joys of being sentient is that you’re responsible for your own actions. I strongly suggest you go apologize to her after she’s calmed down.”
Sylvie bowed and said, “I had planned to do that. Are we finished so that I may also take a shower?”
Sylia narrowed her gaze at her, obviously wanting to ask another question. But thinking better of it, she merely said, “Go ahead.”
Once alone, Sylia scanned the data from both matches and smiled to herself. She was glad to see that her team wasn’t as rusty as she had feared, but Sylvie’s way of proving it might have some repercussions, especially with Priss, and in more ways than one if she was reading the vibes between the two of them correctly.
Sylia then felt the unpleasantly familiar twinge of discomfort at her side, a signal that the painkiller had worn off. She then looked at her watch and decided to turn in for the night, knowing that her body was still demanding focused healing time. Then again, she wasn’t that tired yet and decided a call to Nigel would be in order.
— End Chapter 52 —
Chapter 53: Living Ghosts
With her eyes opened but unseeing, Priss remained curled up in a ball on her bed. She tried to fight down the feelings of overwhelming anxiety within her. Her body shook with her rapid heartbeats, and her breath came in ragged pants. The only clear thought that raged through her mind was her aching need to regain control over these illogical and dangerous emotions.
Then she felt the hand on her shoulder.
Priss instantly responded with the desperate cry and reflexes of a cornered prey, fighting against a surprise attack for survival.
Leveraging her superior weight and strength, Sylvie easily subdued Priss and pinned her down on her back. The boomer remained calm but firm as she hovered over her, still maintaining a grip on the other woman’s wrists and resting her weight on her knees.
“Priss, it’s Sylvie,” she said calmly, her eyes searching for some sort of recognition in the fearful gaze. “I’m not here to hurt you.”
Suddenly, Priss became limp as comprehension suddenly shown in her eyes. Slowly regaining control of her breath, Priss stared at her with familiar focus and intensity.
Seeing that their position was now more awkward than necessary, Sylvie immediately got up and sat down on the edge of the bed. Fresh from a shower, she had been dressed in casual pants and a blouse.
“I’m sorry for coming in like this,” she explained. “I came to apologize for hitting you. You didn’t respond when I knocked, and I heard unusual respiratory activity. So I let myself in.”
Priss swallowed as she remained stretched out on the bed and said with a chuckle, “I guess I should be grateful you didn’t catch me doing something else.”
Sylvie actually smiled and said, “I assure you that I’m programmed to recognize the sounds of that… Are you truly all right?”
Priss looked at the hem of her blood stained T-shirt and mused, “I bet I sure don’t look it. Sweat, bruises and blood are never a pleasant combination.”
Instead of answering, Sylvie got up from the bed and walked into the adjacent bathroom.
Priss could hear the sound of water running as she wearily sat up, pressing her back against the headboard.
Sylvie emerged with a wet washcloth and sat down in her spot on the bed again. She then picked up a jar from the nightstand that Priss hadn’t noticed before.
“This is a medical cream to help with the swelling and to promote healing,” Sylvie explained as she prepared the washcloth. “It works best if you apply it right away.”
Priss didn’t move as she watched and felt Sylvie gently wipe her face of the traces of dried sweat and blood. She hadn’t noticed it before but her right cheek and corner of her mouth felt a little numb and swollen, and Sylvie cleaned the area with extra care.
“Why are you doing this?” Priss asked the woman who was just inches away from her.
With her eyes focused on her task, Sylvie answered, “I’m responsible for your wound. This is the least I should do.”
The boomer then reached for the jar and started to twist open the top, but Priss stopped her with a gentle grab of her hand.
“I can do this myself,” Priss stated.
Sylvie paused at first, but then relented and handed the jar over. “I saw a hand-mirror in the bathroom. Let me get that for you.”
During the boomer’s brief absence, Priss opened the jar, sniffed the contents, and decided it smelled like it should help. When Sylvie returned and held up the mirror for her, Priss took a dab of the salve and began to apply it to her swollen flesh.
“So why did you hit me?” Priss asked.
Sylvie dropped her gaze and said, “I didn’t mean to hit you that hard. I had miscalculated how much damage I would do.”
“It’s all right. The damage is done,” she answered. “But you still didn’t answer my question… That must mean you really are more human than boomer these days.”
Sylvie then looked Priss right in the eye and said, “Because of my particular area of expertise, Sylia told me about Galatea, and your experiences in your final battle with her. She strongly suspects it is the reason behind why you froze in your fight with the construction boomer. And I came to the conclusion that that is why you had a hard time fighting me today. Galatea’s desire to protect her children must be ingrained in you at some unconscious level so that you find yourself unable to harm a boomer without a little… incentive.”
Priss stared at her for a moment and then said, “So pissing me off was the incentive?”
“Reminding you that you are indeed human was the incentive,” Sylvie clarified.
Priss actually dropped her own gaze as she closed the jar and put it on the nightstand, showing that she was done and that Sylvie could put the mirror away.
When Sylvie once again emerged from the bathroom, she noticed that Priss was watching the serene display of swimming fish before her.
After a moment of silence, the boomer then asked, “Do you want me to leave?”
“Do you remember anything about the Plaza Slaughter?” Priss asked, not taking her gaze away from the large aquarium before her.
Sylvie winced and sat down on the edge of the bed again. “I don’t remember anything in terms of stored data or visual images. But I feel deep down that I have done something terribly wrong that I can’t ever make amends for.”
“What about when you tried to kill Linna? What were you thinking then?”
“Only about my task,” she admitted softly, her regret clearly evident. “I was in direct command mode. All other thought activities are suspended, not that I was capable of much extraneous thought processing then. And that was prior to the enhancements that Sylia and the others applied to me. I know it was me that tried to do that… task. But it doesn’t feel like the me who is here now. It’s as if I am talking about another Sylvie who existed in the past even though I know deep down we are one and the same. Yet, I am constantly fearful that something will trigger this assassination command to become active again, and I will revert to the old me, no matter how much intellectual freedom and consciousness I’ve gained.”
She looked over to find Priss had been staring at her, watching her as she spoke. The boomer suddenly felt unsure at her words and said, “I’m sorry if that didn’t make any sense. I am still trying to process some sort of logic behind everything I’ve gone through, about what kind of person I was and want to be.”
Priss actually gave her a sad smile and said, “It makes perfect sense to me. At least you’re dealing with it, instead of running away.”
Sylvie tilted her head curiously at her and asked, “Is that what you think you did when you left Tokyo with Leon and your band?”
Priss’s cheeks turned red as she focused back on the fish. “There was some unfinished business involved too. Coming back to Tokyo just means that I now have to face the music and grow up.”
“You do love Leon?” Sylvie asked.
“Yeah, but not in the way he wants me to,” Priss answered softly.
“I’ve read many stories where that is a common theme to the human existence,” remarked the boomer. There was almost a wistful sadness underscoring her words.
Priss took a strengthening breath and said, “Look, I’m probably the last person you should be talking to about the joys of becoming human. If you’ll excuse me, I need to turn in. I’m feeling pretty wiped out after our little sparring match.”
She looked at Sylvie to find the other woman gently smiling at her.
“Talking to you has provided me with a lot of insight I would not have gained otherwise,” she said as she stood to leave.
Priss grinned out of the unbruised corner of her mouth. “It’s nice to talk to someone who truly understands for a change.”
— End Chapter 53 —
Chapter 54: Unfinished Business
On the tiny phone-screen, Linna’s expression was clearly shock. “Oh my God, Priss! What happened to you?!”
As she sat on her bed, Priss shrugged and touched the injured corner of her mouth with her tongue. “I had a sparring match with Sylvie and found out she’s got one hell of a mean bitch-slap. Guess it’s my fault for taking your lead in facing off against a boomer without a hardsuit.”
Ignoring the last dig, Linna blurted, “It looks pretty bad. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“It looks worse than it feels,” Priss answered casually. “The only real drawback is that I can’t really sing for at least a week. Which I guess is okay since the guys are taking their time getting back to Tokyo. So far Jaid is the only one who’s shown up. — Hey, is anyone holding the phone for you?”
“No, it’s a special phone mounted on a swivel arm attached to the nightstand. It’s a model used for hospital patients who are restricted like me. It’s voice activated and everything. It’s pretty cool.”
Priss let out a chuckle and said, “You sound like Nene. By the way, she told me to tell you ‘hi’ and that she really misses you.”
“Boy, I miss her, too,” Linna said wistfully. “I guess it’s a good sign that I’m really starting to go stir-crazy. Mrs. Takeuchi and Kou are supposed to bring a special wheelchair today for me so I can get a change of scenery. I’ll still need someone to push it, but at least it’s better than being stuck in this room all day.”
“Sounds like you’re really on the path to recovery.”
Linna then had that now-familiar look of uncomfortable hesitancy. “So, um, have you spoken to Leon?”
Priss narrowed her eyes and said, “No. Why do you ask?”
“Just asking.” With a small sigh, Linna then gave her a firm look and said, “I’m not trying to stick my nose into your business with him, but what you two are going through isn’t something small. You either need to resolve it or get closure. Dragging it out isn’t doing either of you any good.”
“Humph,” Priss snorted with a frown. “I’ll remember to offer you unwanted advice when you’re finally in a relationship.”
Linna’s face flushed red with anger. “Look, Priss, you know I can see through that ‘tough girl’ routine! It’s your way of hiding your hurt. I just want to see that hurt stop.”
Priss lowered her gaze as she reluctantly turned the words over in her mind. Finally she sighed and said to Linna, “I know you care. And I’m sorry for snapping at you. Things are just really complicated right now. And it’s more than just Leon… Besides, I shouldn’t see him right now anyway. This bruise won’t get a good reaction from him. I’m sure he’ll immediately blame it on my being a Knight Saber again.”
“That’s really unfortunate since I knew he was one of your biggest fans,” Linna commented truthfully. She may not have truly liked Leon, but even she had to admit he was a good guy, better than most in fact. “… What’s this about complications besides Leon?”
Priss opened her mouth to speak but stopped.
“Is this related to your hardsuit freezing on you?” Linna guessed.
“Look, I said it was complicated!” Priss insisted even though her blush hinted that Linna had hit a sore spot.
“Fine!” Linna retorted, her own stubbornness coming to the surface.
Although neither of them spoke, neither one of them hung up the phone either, resulting in a long silence.
“Linna,” Priss reluctantly began, not able to look at the screen as she spoke, “I never told you this but when you and Nene caught me and Leon kissing on the roof during Galatea, that was after he told me he thought I was in love with someone. Before I could shut him up, he went on to say that even though he knew he didn’t have a chance, he just wanted to be around me. At the time, I thought he meant I was in love with… someone you don’t know. But, well, when we had our fight the other night… He asked me if I was going to go back to you.”
The long silence that followed finally gave Priss the nerve to look at the phone-screen, only to see a thoroughly embarrassed Linna looking off to the side. “Linna?”
Barely making eye-contact herself, her best friend nervously swallowed and responded, “I – I, uh, can see where he might have thought things about us since we always hung around together, and neither one of us was dating anyone else.”
Even though her own face was red, Priss just nodded and said, “Yeah, that must’ve been it. – So do you want me to come over today?”
Linna jumped at the change in subject and said, “Um, I’m not sure when they’re supposed to come back with the wheelchair. How about this evening? Like around dinner? Since I have to eat in bed anyway, it would be nice to have some company then. I’ll tell them to fix you something, too. Means you’ll have to feed me though.”
Priss grinned and said, “Sure, that should be interesting. See you at six, then?”
“Looking forward to it. Bye.”
Sylvie remain frozen as she stood in front of Priss’s door, still holding the tray of cookies she had just baked. Although she knew it was anatomically impossible, she felt her stomach drop at the sound of the conversation ending. She could already feel the direct command algorithms start to launch, knowing she would have only five more seconds of independent thought.
She hadn’t meant to eavesdrop on the conversation, only listening at first to see if Priss was indeed in her room. But when she heard the conversation, and heard who Priss was speaking to, she couldn’t pull away. And she honestly didn’t want to. She wanted to hear this side of Priss that she had not been privy to before, and probably would never be again.
As she listened, she knew that her sensors were locking onto the radio frequency of the phone, analyzing the data bits she began to realize that it was a private landline number Priss had called which would be easy to trace. Yet, as much as she regretted her automated responses, there was a part of her that pushed for the information. There was a new feeling surfacing in her that was not pleasant and had the aura of danger.
This Linna Yamazaki was no longer just a meaningless person. This woman meant something to Priss different than anyone else. It was obvious in the way Priss spoke to her and in what they talked about. Linna Yamazaki was no longer just a target; she was a threat to Sylvie becoming the most important person to Priss. And there was a part of Sylvie who did not want her around for that reason.
The feeling, sentient side of her was horrified at the cold, gruesome thoughts suddenly processing in her mind. She knew in her core that conflict was a condition of humans, not boomers. And a boomer was what she was no matter what programming and hardware enhancements took place. Priss would never view her as anything other than that.
With that final conclusion, she surrendered to the processes that had already begun to control her actions.
She knew that Sylia was asleep with Nigel, Henderson was in the kitchen, and Nene and Mackey were expected to show up until lunch time. She focused her attention back on Priss’s room and heard the sound of experimental guitar playing.
With a final glance at the closed door, she turned on her heel and proceeded to walk away, towards the Pit.
— End Chapter 54 —
— End Part 4: Hunger —