BGC Post 2040 File 1 – 20: 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 58: In For A Penny
“HAVE YOU COMPLETELY LOST YOUR MIND?!” Reika yelled at the top of her lungs.
Sylia quietly leaned back against the control panels in her private lab, grateful that she chosen an extremely secure place to have this conversation with her ex-girlfriend. Still dressed in her combat outfit from the battle not more than an hour before, she folded her arms and listened quietly with a bowed head as she got the verbal barrage she knew she deserved.
Reika angrily pointed at the screen, which showed the view of Sylvie strapped to an examination table with cables attached to her neck to keep her alive. “I cannot believe you are still keeping her around after what just happened! Maybe it was my fault that I didn’t say anything when you first told me what you were doing with her, even though I really wanted to, but after she’s proven what kind of a danger she is, you still have her? Sylia, the threat to my family home and staff shouldn’t have to be part of this conversation! I thought you cared about Linna! Why are you willing to risk her life AGAIN?!”
Sylia didn’t try hiding her flinches at the words that cut deeper than any physical wound she had ever received. Noticing the sudden silence, she peered up to see Reika glaring at her with her hands on her hips.
Reika tsked and muttered, “I’m so used to having you yell back that I don’t know what to say next. Other than that you’re being extremely stupid right now. And I’m extremely disappointed in you. I’m sure Linna won’t admit it, but I’ll bet she is too.”
Sylia took a breath and said softly, “You’re right. You always have been. My methods are stupid and insane and endanger everyone I love and care about. I act like I can solve the world’s problems by myself even though time and time again it’s been proven that I need help to do it. But that’s the way I am, and always will be.”
“But that doesn’t explain why you still have that boomer here.”
Sylia looked up at the screen, but her attention wasn’t focused on the central image of Sylvie. Instead, her eyes were on the lone figure of Priss slouched in a chair next to the table, watching the boomer with a heartbreaking expression of loss and ache.
Sylia looked at the woman beside her and said, “Reika, I know you don’t care about Priss, but she’s also one of my best friends. And she needs Sylvie right now, in a way I’ve never seen her need anyone. After three years of running away from it, she’s finally dealing with the repercussions of having Galatea mentally, emotionally and physically rape her. And I’m certain she’s having an identity crisis on top of that. She’s struggling just to keep sane. Sylvie has provided an anchor for her that no one else could. I assure you, if it were not for Priss, I would have gladly scrapped Sylvie once and for all.”
Reika looked at the screen and then back at Sylia. She was still displeased even though her fury seemed to subside for the most part. “So why did you need to talk to me? It sounds like your mind is already made up on the matter. I’ve known from past experiences that that is one wall I’m not going to bother banging my head against anymore.”
Sylia then took a strengthening breath and finally said, “I managed to crack through some more of Sylvie’s programming the other night and found something that might be a solution to the problem. Because of it, I have a plan that can help Linna once and for all. And if we’re extremely fortunate, there’s also a chance it can help Sylvie. But you’re the only person who can carry it out… I guess this is my roundabout way of saying that I need your help, Reika. You can say no, and I’ll never bring it up again. If you think the plan’s insane, then you’re right. I’ll do whatever you say to help fix things. All I’m asking is this one last chance for you to trust me.”
Neither woman moved for a moment as they stared at each other, wondering what the other was thinking, and if the other person’s thoughts were indeed in the present, or eight years in the past.
Reika let out a sigh and leaned back against the console next to Sylia. “How can I turn you down after all that? Sometimes I do wonder if there’s a part of me that’s still wrapped around your little finger.”
Sylia giggled and nudged her with her elbow as she said, “Maybe it’s the combat fatigues. You always did tell me this outfit was a fantasy of yours.”
Reika broke out into a laugh and remarked, “The thought did cross my mind. When you actually do butch, you do it extremely well. Too bad you never dressed up like this when we were together.”
“I’ll make certain that Linna gets a similar outfit for Christmas.”
“Oh, stop it!” Reika retorted with a nudge of her own. “Going there is not going make me want to help you, even if it is for Linna’s benefit! – So, what’s this plan of yours?”
Quincy waited with his security and laboratory staff for the Genom helicopter to descend from the sky and settle on the landing pad.
Once the airplane finally shut down, the side door opened, and the towering figure of Kou Takeuchi emerged, dressed impeccably in his black suit. A sharply dressed Reika Chang emerged right behind him, with her gaze focused on the man who led their welcoming committee.
Quincy bowed deeply and said, “Greetings, Ms. Chang. I am extremely pleased that you and your staff have chosen to return this piece of Genom property to me. I take it that my girls are inside?”
“The pieces that we could recover,” she answered coolly. “My men weren’t too concerned about keeping things in organized piles.”
Quincy flashed her a warm smile and said, “The fact that you’ve gone through such effort for a matter is exceptional. And I am sorry for the inconvenience this entire matter has caused you, as well as to the damage on your property. Genom plans to make full restitution to you and your estate.”
“Don’t bother. It will give my groundskeeper a challenge he’s been wanting for a while,” she answered. “Now, do we want to conduct our meeting outside or shall we move to a more secluded atmosphere?”
He bowed and pointed in the direction of the entrance to the building. “This way please.”
“Can I offer you something to drink?” he asked as he approached his bar.
“A gin and tonic would be fine,” the young woman answered as she sat down in the chair and took in the breathtaking view of Tokyo Bay and the Skyhook construction site.
“And thank you for allowing your bodyguard to wait outside. I’ve found such discussions should be held only with the people who truly need to know,” Quincy said as he poured drinks for both of them. “Now what do you wish to talk about?”
“About Linna Yamazaki,” she answered simply.
“What about her?” he said, handing her her drink as he took his own seat. If Quincy was surprised, he hid it well.
“Good that you know who she is,” she commented with a slight smirk and a sip. “At the request of Detective Daley Wong, and because she’s a good friend of my sister’s, I’ve been harboring her at my estate ever since an attempt was made on her life at the hospital she had been staying at. We kept her whereabouts a secret because at the time we didn’t know why she was spared from the Plaza Slaughter, or why someone would go through a special effort to kill her after the fact. Well, after today’s events, and remembering the demonstration of Sylvie, I did a little bit of an educated guessing and came to the conclusion that perhaps the missing piece of the puzzle had been in front of me all this time.”
Quincy merely leaned back in his chair and arched his eyebrow curiously. “Are you saying that you think Sylvie was near your estate because she was there to finish killing Linna? That’s quite a stretch.”
“But not impossible,” she stated pointedly. “As head of the Hou Bang Clan, I’ve come here to discuss protection terms for her. What would it take for her life to be spared?”
The man smirked and said, “Ah, your family trademark. Bartering for the safety on behalf of people who unfortunately got in over their heads. I do wonder what your Clan gets out of being a negotiator? A cut of their salary?”
“That is a matter between us and our clients.” Reika then frowned slightly and said, “I doubt Ms. Yamazaki did anything to deserve to be hunted down and be forced to live in hiding.”
“That may be true,” Quincy answered with a shrug. “But I admit I am interested in your deal. However, the decision isn’t entirely mine.”
Reika blinked in surprised at this news. “Who else needs to be consulted in this matter?”
Quincy punched in a speed-dial code into his phone and said, “I think you’ll recognize him once you see him. After all, he’s your future husband’s brother.”
Obviously taking a break from an intense tennis match, Largo took a sip of iced tea and looked at the two people from the phone-screen on Quincy’s wall. “Well, Reika, I must say it is a bit of a surprise that you’re involved in this matter.”
“I’m involved because Ms. Yamazaki is a good friend of Irene’s,” Reika clarified. “And that’s why I’m here to negotiate for her protection.”
“Ah, I see,” the man mused. “Still, as you can imagine that this matter does require some delicacy, now that you have a good idea of what still requires discretion.”
“I promise Ms. Yamazaki will remain quiet about the Plaza Slaughter,” she stated firmly. “She doesn’t really know anything about this whole matter anyway, so the risks of exposure were extremely slim.”
Largo studied her for a moment and then nodded. “I am satisfied with that if you are guaranteeing her silence with the reputation of the Hou Bang Clan.”
“Very well then. This matter is of no more importance to me. Mr. Rosenkreuz, am I needed for anything else?”
“Not at this time, Mr. Watanabe,” he answered. “Thank you for your time and input on this matter.”
Once Quincy hung up the phone, he remarked, “It seems the choice is really left to me after all.”
Suddenly Quincy’s cell phone rang in his pocket. “If you’ll excuse me for one moment, Ms. Chang,” he said as he pulled it out. “This is Quincy…. Are you certain about that?… I appreciate you telling me right away… Continue with your work. Goodbye.”
“Well?” Reika asked, once he hung up the phone a second time.
Quincy looked occupied with his thoughts as he took a large sip of his scotch. He then stood and walked over to the window.
“It seems my staff has noticed a significant item missing from your recent delivery,” he noted.
Reika felt herself tense as she realized what he was getting at.
“I had originally thought I would not require anything in exchange for Ms. Yamazaki’s life but it seems I do have a price after all.” He then turned to her directly and stated, “Give me Sylvie and I will spare Ms. Yamazaki. Consider it a life for a life, if even that.”
Reika frowned and responded, “But I don’t have Sylvie.”
Quincy shrugged. “This is no different to me being a shop owner and having a prized necklace in the window that you want. My price for the necklace is a thousand yen, yet you only have five hundred. It’s up to you to figure out how to get the rest. And a woman of your connections and resources I’m certain would have far more success than others in this particular matter.”
He finished his glass and said, “I’ll even sweeten the deal. I’ll work with my police connections and have the Plaza Slaughter case closed to everyone’s satisfaction. After all, terrorists can be a rather busy lot, don’t you think?… On the other hand, if you don’t deliver Sylvie to me, then I will make certain those same police sources will find evidence connecting Ms. Yamazaki to the terrorists as an accomplice, which of course means her safety and her life are out of my hands from that point forward.”
“So let me summarize to make certain I understand all of the terms,” Reika said, not bothering to hide her brimming anger. “You’ll agree to give the order to stop Ms. Yamazaki’s assassination as well as solve the Plaza Slaughter in a manner that satisfies the general public? And if I don’t provide Sylvie, you will instead have evidence planted that will implicate Ms. Yamazaki in the recent terrorist activities, the Plaza Slaughter included?”
“Precisely,” the man said with a smooth grin. “I could have ordered the stop on any assassination attempts on Ms. Yamazaki without this condition, but I am a businessman after all, and when I see a chance for a deal where everyone wins, I do what comes naturally. After all, I’m only asking for what’s mine.”
“You are right, Mr. Rosenkreuz. Sylvie is yours after all,” Reika said as she put her barely touched drink on his desk. “Give me three days to see if my resources can track her down. I’ll give you a call once, and if, I’m certain I can guarantee such a delivery.”
Quincy smiled and bowed. “I look forward to hearing from you, Ms. Chang.”
She bowed in return and said through an icy smile, “Have a good rest of your day, Mr. Rosenkreuz.”
— End Chapter 58 —
Chapter 59: Magic Words
Priss didn’t move at the sound of the elevator doors opening behind her. The soft clicking of heels on the tiled floor told her all that she needed to know.
“Are you hungry or thirsty at all?” Sylia asked from behind her. “Henderson is preparing dinner and wants to know if he should prepare a special tray for you. Then again, given that you didn’t even touch your lunch, I’m wondering if I should tell him not to bother.”
Priss glanced at the untouched meal tray that had been placed on the nearby table. “It seems like the least wasteful option at the moment,” she answered.
Suddenly a new sound in the background caught Priss’s ears and attention. It was the unfamiliar noise of something being gently pushed across the floor on wheels.
She turned and was greeted with the sight of Linna in a wheelchair, with Reika pushing her from behind.
Linna was dressed in pajamas with metal and plastic bindings to support her frame, but at least she sat upright and looked alert. Her concern was clearly evident in her eyes as they came closer and she said, “Hi, Priss.”
Priss actually broke out into a soft smile and said, “Hey. It seems the wheelchair came in time.”
Linna managed a nod in her neck brace. “Given that Sylia invited us over for this special event, I was glad I could say yes. With Reika’s help, of course.”
Reika kept quiet as she pushed Linna to the spot beside the singer. She was clearly not pleased for some reason but gave Linna a kind smile at the acknowledgement.
Priss realized that there was a hint of an ulterior motive behind the three new arrivals so she looked at Sylia questioningly. “What’s up?”
“I’m hoping we have a final solution to this one maddening puzzle,” Sylia answered as she pulled out a handheld recorder from her skirt pocket and gave it to Priss.
Upon taking it, the singer arched an eyebrow at the device and remarked, “Sorry, singing requests are out of the question for a few days. My swollen mouth has final say on the matter.”
“You don’t need to sing this time,” Sylia said as she walked over to the nearby control panel and started to push some buttons. “I just need you to press ‘play’ when I give you the cue.”
Priss was naturally extremely curious but she knew the answer would come shortly. It was then that she noticed Nene sitting at the main control station up in the command booth.
After a few more buttons were pressed, a hum came from Sylvie as electricity flooded into her. Even though she was still in the same tattered state from the battle earlier that day, it was clear that her motor responses were functioning again. Because of the patch of artificial skin that had been torn from the upper right side of her face, it was strange to see her eye start to swivel and look around. Almost immediately afterwards, her left eyelid started to flutter and mimic the responses of blinking as she tried to assess her current situation, including testing the strength of the bindings at her limbs and waist.
Sylia pointed to Priss, who then pushed the ‘play’ button on the recorder.
“Sylvie,” an unfamiliar male voice said.
The boomer suddenly froze at the sound, apparently focusing all attention on the voice, not noticing or caring that it came from the device in Priss’s hand.
“Sylvie,” the recorder said again in the same voice, “I order you to stop Linna Yamazaki’s assassination.”
Priss was pleasantly surprised by the words, and intrigued to see if they would work. To the singer’s ear, it was clear that the words were spliced together from a probably unrelated conversation given the uneven inflection in the speaker’s tone.
This didn’t seem to matter to the boomer because she answered, “Yes, Mr. Rosenkreuz. I will comply. The direct command has been terminated.”
The three other women in the room let out the breath they had apparently all been holding.
Priss smiled and gave Sylia a deep look of gratitude.
Now that she was back to full consciousness, Sylvie stopped struggling and looked around to study the visitors, her eyes finally resting on Linna. Instead of the cold, efficient killer that had been present the last time she was active, the boomer’s cheeks actually reddened as she said with clear remorse, “Ms. Yamazaki, I am sorry for all of the trouble I caused you.”
Linna smiled back and said, “It’s okay, Sylvie. I know you couldn’t help it.”
“Sylia,” Reika prompted with a meaningful look.
The other woman nodded and pressed the buttons that would release Sylvie’s bindings.
“Why don’t you two take a moment to collect yourselves?” she suggested to Priss and Sylvie. “There’s an important matter we need to discuss up in the command booth. So come on up when you’re done?”
They nodded as the others turned to leave.
Priss narrowed her eyes as she watched them get into the elevator, knowing that there was something they were hiding by the way they didn’t speak to each other. She knew the answer would come in time too and what mattered more right now was the woman before her.
“I’m so embarrassed to be seen like this,” Sylvie said, gently touching the edges of her torn facial skin. She was grateful that her nose and mouth were still intact.
Priss stood and leaned against the examination table. She smiled and remarked, “Well, I’d be a hypocrite if I made a crack about facial wounds. Besides, Sylia and the others will patch you up and you’ll be as good as new.”
Sylvie gave her a shy smile and said, “Thank you for being so forgiving as well.”
Priss shrugged and remarked, “Well, if you ever pull a stunt like that again, be sure to take Sylia’s Porsche instead, okay?”
“I thought about it. I’m sorry your bike was destroyed. But I took it because it meant more to me since it was yours.”
Priss stared at her with wide eyes as red flushed across her cheeks. She cleared her throat and dropped her gaze to the floor. “Yeah, well, Nigel and Mackey are seeing what they can do to salvage it… We should go up and find out what the others want to talk about. Are you up to it?”
“Should I put on something to cover my face?” Sylvie asked as she glanced up at the command booth in concern. No one was visible in the window, showing that they were collected deeper in the room.
Priss smiled at this display of vanity and said, “It doesn’t bother me.”
Sylvie smiled and said, “Then let’s go…”
— End Chapter 59 —
Chapter 60: The Final Solution
“ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING WAY!” Priss yelled.
Priss’s fury and attention were directed entirely on Reika and Sylia, while Sylvie remained safely beside her. Nene and Linna also stayed out of the line of fire, next to the console.
“This isn’t like slave-trading!” the singer continued in her tirade. “Genom doesn’t own her! She’s a thinking, feeling being! I’d make the same argument if we were talking about comparing Linna to — to — to Leon!”
Sylvie’s eyes widened at the words as she watched Priss curiously.
“She’s a being who’s also a boomer!” Reika yelled back. “You can turn her off; you can turn her on. If her head pops off then you just replace it with a new one! Linna has only one shot at living! And I’ll be damned if her life is going to be compromised because of the existence of an artificial being! It’s not as if Sylvie’s is going to be executed when we hand her back to Genom. She’ll still be alive!”
Priss glared at the quiet Sylia and demanded, “But you’d wipe out all of her enhancements, wouldn’t you? All of her experiences and memories of her time here?!”
“I have to, Priss,” she answered softly, obviously not happy with the situation herself. “She knows too much about all of us. We’d have to return her in as close to her original state as possible, and that includes stripping all of the technical enhancements we made.”
“Then there is no fucking way I’m going to let you do that to her! That’s as good as killing her! She has a right to live too!” Priss stated adamantly. “I’ll kill this Rosenkreuz myself if that’s what it takes to end it.”
“Killing him isn’t the solution,” Reika stated firmly. “He’s a very well protected and connected man. Even if you did manage to succeed, there’d be a chain of vengeance that would destroy everyone you ever cared about!”
“And I couldn’t support that, Priss,” Linna said softly, “not if I’m part of the reason why you’d do that. I think I understand how you feel. But doing that makes you no better than him, in fact it would make you worse… Reika, since you have the entire conversation recorded, couldn’t you take it to the police or the press and expose him once and for all?”
She shook her head sadly in response. “It wouldn’t work that way. He’s got the city officials, including members on the police force, in his back pocket. It would be a death sentence to any reporter or honest cop who tried to come forward with the information, especially since other people besides him would be implicated. In all honesty, I believe handing Sylvie over is the quickest and easiest option.”
“Well, then couldn’t you give him a dummy replacement or something?” Priss asked Sylia, her desperation now becoming evident. “It doesn’t have to be Sylvie, does it?”
Sylia looked at her with deep regret and said, “I’m sorry, Priss, but I don’t have the time to be able to construct a replacement. It’s not as if we have boomer bodies lying around, especially one with the sophistication of Sylvie. Nigel calculated that with all of our expertise, it would still take a year to recreate her. Half that if we had ready made parts and development equipment at our fingertips. I doubt Reika can buy us that much time. The time she can get us will be just enough to strip Sylvie down and upload her original data files. And that’s providing we get started right away. Nigel and Mackey are heading over now as we speak.”
“But -“ Priss was about to protest further when she suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. She fell quiet once she realized it was Sylvie’s.
“Priss,” Sylvie said softly, “Reika’s right in that it’s the only option that will settle this matter once and for all. Sylia has never led me to believe that my life was more valuable than Linna’s, and I accept that. And as a sentient being, my choice in the matter is to agree to Mr. Rosenkreuz’s condition. There are no other options that I can see or support.”
Priss looked as if all of her energy suddenly drained out of her once again. “But…” she said, before finally drifting into a frustrated silence.
“Sylia, is there enough time for me to have an hour alone?” Sylvie asked.
The woman gave her a sad nod.
Sylvie then bowed to the others and said, “I thank you for everything you’ve done for me. And, Priss, the fact that you think I am a person after all makes this whole experience worth it to me. Now, if you would all please excuse me.”
She walked towards the elevator.
Once she was gone, the silence in the crowded room was tense and unnerving; no one wanted to look at each other after what had just happened.
“Damn it!” Priss muttered as she turned on her heels and charged for the elevator herself.
“Sylvie! Wait!” Priss yelled as she caught up with her in the hallway.
The boomer had already paused when she heard the familiar footfalls behind her. She turned and watched Priss approach.
“Yes?” she asked with a curious tilt of her head.
All of the emotions swirling in the human woman stopped short of coming out as actual words as she opened her mouth and struggled to say something. She took a shaky breath and said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do when you’re gone. When you left this morning, that was when I realized how much I need you.”
“You do?” Sylvie responded softly, the sheer amazement and wonder evident in her voice.
“And – And when you begged me to kill you, I couldn’t – wouldn’t, even if I wasn’t locked up.”
“You heard that?” the boomer managed to sound even more amazed. “I was only able to relay that as a mental thought. My vocal processes doesn’t allow for extraneous speech in direct command mode.”
“Oh…” Priss gulped as she tried to fight back the feeling of tears. “I – I don’t what else I can say that doesn’t sound selfish and – and… “
Sylvie meanwhile was amazed at the sight of water starting to trickle down Priss’s cheek. She reached out and caught some of the moisture on the tip of her finger. She commented softly, “The ability to cry was supposed to be in my next set of enhancements. I don’t know if I should be grateful or sad that they were never done.”
Not able to look up at her, Priss wiped away at the moisture with her hand and said, “I’m so afraid I’m going to finally go crazy. You were the only thing that made me feel like I could beat this. I could stop myself from turning into some sort of rogue boomer.”
Sylvie frowned and said, “Priss, your battle isn’t about becoming a boomer of any sort. I admit I don’t know how deeply Galatea affected you, but I think her lingering essence clouds the fact that your own insecurities and fears have always been your worst enemy. You conquer her influence when you embrace everything that makes you Priss, including the real emotions you’ve been avoiding these past couple of years.
“I know I never knew you back then, but I think that person is still there somewhere. And it’s just a matter of you allowing her to come back. I believe you are strong enough that you would have realized it on your own. I only helped you along; you never really needed me in the end.”
The tears having stopped, Priss stared in wonder at Sylvie. Then, without another word, she reached up and pulled the other woman close for a kiss, which was returned with just as much fire.
The four women were deathly silent in the command booth as they watched the security camera’s view of the kissing women.
“Oh, my God!” Linna finally commented in amazement. “Is she slipping her tongue?!”
“It looks pretty mutual to me,” added an equally amazed Reika. Admittedly, there was a part of her that felt a certain sense of relief that the kiss in question did not involve the woman in the wheelchair next to her.
With her eyes practically out of their sockets, Nene felt like her jaw was in her lap. Then she felt the nudge of an elbow against her own.
“Looks like you’re the only one left,” Sylia said with a wink and a giggle. “Maybe Mackey’s the one who needs to be careful of some competition.”
Nene turned completely red as she immediately focused her attention back on the camera’s view.
Finally, the women on the screen stopped kissing and just stood, holding each other in a tight embrace.
Nene just shook her head to herself and wondered what she was going to tell Leon. And then she decided this was one secret she was more than willing to keep.
— End Chapter 60 —