Bubblegum Crisis Post 2040 File 4: Old Dogs
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.
Incident Number One
“Sarge!” shouted the male voice over the radio, “We’re at the rooftop now. We’re getting ready to cross over!”
“Roger, Kumagami,” Jeena Malso said into the microphone of her headset as she checked the roof of the neighboring office building. “I can’t see you from here. That’s good. Keep low!”
“Roger. We’ll report in once we’re inside.”
“Don’t bother. Just let me know when you’ve either got it under control or need some assistance,” she ordered. “We’re not going anywhere down here.”
“Roger. Signing out!”
Jeena stood by the police car and kept her arms folded over her chest in the perfectly calm projection of a task force leader in charge. If she didn’t adopt this position, she’d be fidgeting all over in worry.
She didn’t like stand-offs to begin with, and stand-offs with hostages just put her in a real bad mood, which transformed her usual chocolate craving into a compulsion. She resisted the overwhelming urge to reach into the glove compartment of her command car for her stash of chocolate bars.
She ignored the circus of media and pedestrians behind her while she focused on her ready and waiting troops and the silent bank building before them. She also kept the two K-suits and tanks in her field of vision, almost afraid to take her eyes off them. Her squadron seemed calm for the moment, and that was good. Let the strike force do their work and it should be over without the chance of a public debacle.
“Sarge,” interrupted a younger officer from behind, “the Press is asking if you’re ready to make a statement yet.”
She scowled and said, “Tell them that what they see and know is what the bank robbers see and know since there are televisions in that building. And because of that I have nothing further to say to them until it’s over.”
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll let them know that,” he said as he hurried away to deliver her statement.
She noticed that he almost seemed to relish the idea of giving the press such a sparse report. She made a mental note to see if the officer would show other signs of potential in his job. Even though she was good friends with some reporters, like most officers, she had no great love of the media, especially if they complicated highly sensitive cases like this one.
Then Jeena bristled as she saw a familiar figure out of the corner of her eye. She was not in the mood to deal with him right now.
“So, Malso,” Leon McNichol said as he came up and leaned against the patrol car next to her, “it actually looks like your Combat Unit has this situation under control for once.”
She growled, “Look, Cowboy, I know you’re itching for some of the action, but unless you’re wearing the C.U. uniform, you should take the hint from your partner and stay behind the safety lines like everyone else who’d be in the way.”
“Hey, I never said I wanted a piece of the action!” Leon blurted defensively.
“No? Then why are you here? To give me advice that I don’t want? Or find out the latest gossip? Both of which, are useless to me. So, be the good little detective and -“
Just then, Jeena thought she heard the weirdest whining sound in the air, and judging by the way Leon and other people looked around in bewilderment, she realized she wasn’t the only one. And then it was gone.
As if some pleasurable thought suddenly hit him, Leon suddenly broke out into a grin and said, “You’re right. I’m in the way. Good luck!”
With every suspicious alarm in her body now triggered, Jeena watched him saunter away with a narrowed gaze. Then she shrugged him off and returned her attention to the matter at hand and watched the bank building for any signs of activity.
After a few minutes, an explosion from behind the building could suddenly be heard, as well as what could only be described as sounds of metal clashing and twisting.
Jeena frowned to herself because the noises just didn’t sound right for a confrontation with the strike team that should be inside the building by now.
“Sarge?!” Kumagami’s bewildered voice asked through her headset. “Did you guys do something?!”
“No, I thought that was you!” she responded, frantically visually scanning the building for any sign of what the hell was going on.
“We’re not there yet!”
“Then who — ?”
The front door of the building suddenly burst open as a metallic figure suddenly appeared in the doorway. Jeena saw enough to recognize the blue figure that had been splashed through all of the newspapers a couple of weeks ago.
All hell broke loose as her waiting combat unit suddenly sprung into action, unleashing all of their firepower on the lone figure.
“HOLD YOUR FIRE! HOLD YOUR FIRE!!!” Jeena repeatedly yelled into her microphone so that her entire squadron could hear — if they actually chose to.
The barrage of fire didn’t ebb, and the blue Knight Saber seemed to be knocked back into the building. Then the Knight Saber in question charged out onto the street, rushing into the line up of tanks and K-Suits before her.
With a deep sigh, Jeena just shut her mouth and watched her combat unit proceed to get the crap kicked out of them, which would surely be televised on every local and international news channel.
No longer feeling the pressure of having to appear professional and in charge, she decided to reach for a chocolate bar after all.
* * *
Incident Number Two
Jeena stood in the front of the room and scowled at the forty-eight men before her. Some of them stared back at her defiantly, others pretended to be looking at something else, and the rest had their eyes downcast in shame. No matter their projected appearance, it was clear that no one really wanted to be in the room right now, their commander included.
Jeena cleared her throat and said, “I just spent two hours having to defend you guys to no less than Commissioner Suzuki.”
Groans and winces rippled through the crowd.
“I told him point blank that I thought you deserved getting your asses kicked on live TV.!” she snarled. “If I was someone who had just risked my life to thwart a bank robbery and rescued hostages, only to be greeted by gunfire, I’d react the same way!”
“So are you saying you’re some kind of Knight Saber fan?!” a derisive voice called out.
Promising herself not to address individual speakers since this was a group problem, Jeena maintained her general focus on the officers and stated, “I’m a fan of anyone who gets the job done. And so far it hasn’t been the NTC Combat Unit!”
“But not all of us were at fault!” a voice pointed out.
“It doesn’t matter whose actual fault it is!” she retorted. “We are supposed to be a team. Not only that, we’re a subset of the Neo-Tech Crimes Division of the Tokyo Police Department. Your average citizen does not care about our departmental or individual boundaries. As far as they are concerned, the police attacked the same people who saved the city from those rampaging construction boomers!”
“All you care about is saving your ass,” another voice griped in a stage whisper.
Jeena closed her eyes, counted to three and then said with projected calm, “Actually, my ass is the least in jeopardy of anyone’s in this room. It is witnessed and recorded that I gave orders for my team to hold their fire, which were promptly ignored. Or, to be kinder, could have been heard had the gunfire not drowned out my words. If anything, Commissioner Suzuki asked me point-blank if I wanted to fire everyone in the C.U. and build a team from scratch.”
The tension shot up in the room just as blood drained out of the faces before her.
Seeing that she had their undivided attention now, Jeena paused to let that sink in. Then she said, “I told him I would consider it but I don’t think the C.U. is there yet. I understand you haven’t been happy with me coming in as a complete outsider with top-brass expectations of whipping you into shape. I’d feel insulted too.
“However, you haven’t yet proved to me that you don’t need help of some sort. I’ve watched you personally screw up two incidents prior to yesterday’s disaster, and that’s not even counting the archive footage and records that I’ve had to study.
“And frankly, I am getting to the point that I am starting to wonder if some of you actually like being considered incompetent! Because if that’s the case, I definitely am not going to waste any more of your time or mine! But you’re my team, and I’m not about to give up without a fight.
“I’ve been trying to stay out of your way and let you do your jobs, because I do believe you have the skills, training and potential. Something is just not clicking and I haven’t yet been able to put my finger on it. So this your opportunity to tell me what you think would help! If you guys want to give up, let me know and I’ll make sure you’re placed back in the normal police ranks. I’ll make certain your spots are filled with officers who don’t find it acceptable to have their badges tainted with shame. So who wants to leave?”
Two-thirds of the crowd raised their hands.
Jeena gritted her teeth and then took a deep breath. “Fine. Those of you who want to leave, give me your names after this meeting and I’ll start the process on your transfers. Those of you who want to stay, take the rest of the day off and reflect on what you think it would take to get the C.U. into a top-ranked team. I want at least five suggestions from every person in my inbox by noon tomorrow, and they better be ideas that you’re willing to put some real sweat into supporting. Dismissed!”
* * *
Incident Number Three
“Hey, Malso, heard the rats are bailing the ship!” Daley commented as he leaned in the doorway of her office.
The other officer paused in typing and shrugged. “It was a matter of time anyway. Looking at the list, I didn’t see anything that could have convinced those officers to stay. I already knew that they regarded me as the domineering bitch before this latest incident. My actually forcing them to be accountable for something was just the final straw I guess.”
“So is this a good thing?” he asked carefully.
“Don’t know yet,” she answered honestly. “I admit, I’d hate to see all of that training and experience walk out the door. But the attitude I think did more harm than good. What’s interesting though is that the officers who want to stay had some interesting suggestions on how to improve the C.U., like advanced hardware and strategy training.
“If you read between the lines, there’re some definite insecurity issues when it comes to being directly compared to a team like the Knight Sabers. Plus, even without that competition, I think they feel a little bit abandoned and out of place. And it doesn’t help that they always seem to want to think with their guns instead of their brains. I don’t think they’ve ever had a real role model within the police force to inspire them to be better.”
Daley grinned and remarked, “What about you? I thought you’d be able to run circles around them in a K-suit.”
She laughed. “I don’t think my personally exploiting their insecurities is going to help. Even though the remaining officers seem willing to listen to me, I know the jury’s still out on whether or not they honestly think I’m a leader worth her salt. I think this is just as much them testing me as I’m testing them.”
“Hey, Malso!” Leon cried out as he suddenly appeared over Daley’s shoulder. There was a taunting grin from ear to ear. “Word has it that you’re doing a better job with the C.U. than Genom did when they cut the A.D.P. funding!”
Jeena narrowed her eyes at him as Daley winced.
“McNichol,” she said with forced patience, “have you ever actually operated a K-Suit before?”
He snorted. “Hey, my just standing in a K-Suit would be a heck of a lot more effective than what your unit’s been doing these days. And true, you’ve only been in command for a tiny little week. So it’ll be interesting to see what next week will be like. Maybe you’ll get the entire unit to quit by then!”
Jeena opened her mouth to fire off an acidic retort but then suddenly paused, as if a stray thought had just crossed her mind. With a sly smile, she suddenly stood and walked towards them.
“Just you watch, McNichol, you’ll be surprised!” she stated before she pushed both men back a step so she could shut her door. “Now, some of us actually have work to do…”
* * *
Incident Number Four
Nick Roland finished reading the datapad and chuckled. He tossed it on his desk and looked up at the officer standing before him. “I admit that’s an interesting idea, Malso. But aren’t you concerned that on top of everything else happening right now that it’s going to look like the C.U. is in such bad shape that you need help from another department?”
“No, Sir,” Jeena answered, “I don’t view this as just the C.U.’s problem. It shouldn’t matter if it takes a little support from another department; we’re all police officers, and we all have a stake in this – especially since you were in that meeting with Commissioner Suzuki yesterday yourself.”
“I admit, I agree with you there,” he answered, giving his stubbled chin a scratch. “But why exactly McNichol? Why not Wong or one of the other officers? After all, McNichol just got back from being on leave for over three years. And he wasn’t a frontline officer even then. He’s a lot more rusty than most.”
“That may be true, but I would think he’d be the easiest person to try this experiment out on. After all, I talk to Wong quite frequently and know that the detective case loads are manageable right now and so McNichol being ‘absent’ from that department for a little longer would have the least impact now, before he becomes too settled in a case.” Jeena then paused and then added, “And having served with McNichol, admittedly quite a while ago, I recall him as being an officer who’s very capable of doing this. I know he has the prerequisite skills as well as the potential to be molded into what the C.U. needs.”
Nick studied her for a moment, noting that her expression was open, ready to handle whatever he was going to throw at her. So he decided to get to the heart of the matter.
“You’re as shrewd as they say — and I’m glad about that. But they also say you do have a history of developing issues working with certain people, and strong rumor has it that McNichol is one of them,” Nick stated bluntly. “And anyone with an open pair of eyes can tell it’s a fact just by watching the way the two of you interact now. How do I know that you’re going to be fair to McNichol if I end up making you his commanding officer, even for a short while?”
Jeena actually let out a small smile before she answered, “I don’t deny that I’ve not always made friends in the line of duty, Sir. There are usually two types of people I don’t get along with: one type who negatively judge me even before I open my mouth or show that I can do the job, and the other is the type who is just as determined as I am to do the best job, but our methods and ideas may differ, which causes… conflict. I consider McNichol to be in the latter group.
“While I may not care to have McNichol as an actual friend, I do respect him as an officer. Although he may initially be extremely unhappy about such an assignment, I know he has too much personal and professional pride to not meet the challenge. And that’s why I think he’s the most ideal person for this.
“I’m not blind to the fact that there’s a certain camaraderie among the former A.D.P. personnel. I also know he in particular is well-respected, even within the C.U. By becoming a role model of sorts, he can motivate and unite my officers in a way that I cannot, since I’m viewed as an outsider on all levels.
“I would also think our public dislike of each other would help to have the C.U. officers sympathize with him even more, especially those who are expecting to be transferred out but find out they have to stay for a while longer. Consider it a form of ‘good cop, bad cop.’”
“Aren’t you worried that they would end up galvanizing around him, which could compromise your leadership?” Nick asked.
“They don’t listen to me now, so I don’t think I have anything to lose in the matter,” she answered simply. “If it ultimately helps the C.U., then that’s good enough for me. I’ll happily transfer back to Osaka and consider my mission accomplished. And by then, McNichol should be primed to take over command since becoming sergeant would be a promotion for him.”
Nick picked up the datapad and murmured, “Boy, he’s not going to like this.”
Jeena arched her brows at him. “So does this mean you’re going to approve it?”
“I don’t think it can hurt. And you’re right that we need to try something really different because nothing we’ve done so far has helped.”
She then grinned and said, “Well, then, can I ask one small personal favor out of this?”
“I’d like to be here when you tell him about this.”
Nick stared at her for a moment and then burst out laughing. “Just remember that it was your idea to put him in a K-Suit. Don’t blame me if he tries to chase you down in one.”
“Hey, if he’s able to do that, then that means he was the right man for the job after all.”
* * *
Incident Number Five
Leon was literally speechless in the first minute as he looked from Nick to Jeena and back to Nick. “I – Is this some kind of joke?”
“No joke, McNichol,” Nick said as he leaned against his desk, grateful for the privacy of his office for this discussion. “It’s not a demotion; you’re just going to be temporarily ‘on-loan.’”
“Yeah, to the biggest joke in the entire police department!”
Nick frowned and said, “McNichol, departmental lines don’t matter in this case. The C.U. needs help and Malso came up with a feasible plan that requires your assistance. I think it’s worth a try. And after watching first hand how some of these officers looked up to you during the boomer crisis, I’d say it’s a perfect fit.”
Jeena stood quietly by, watching the exchange between the men. It probably didn’t help Leon’s mood that she had an ever so smug smirk on her lips.
Leon looked at the woman narrowly and said, “I don’t trust you to treat me with the proper respect of a high-ranking officer who isn’t normally a direct-report. I just know you’ll make me run laps or something!”
“Only if you deserve it. — So you’d better pack your sneakers,” she answered.
“Why you — !!!”
“Okay, you two! The two of you are enough to drive me back into retirement!” Nick said, deciding to pull in the reigns. “For this plan to work, both of you have to set an example to the C.U. troops. You two can bitch at each other when you’re off-duty and out of their earshot. And as far as I’m concerned, you’re both committed to the C.U. until you get their act together, no matter how long it takes. When Commissioner Suzuki tells me the C.U. is no longer in the doghouse, only then can you go back to the detective unit, McNichol, and can you go back to Osaka, Malso. Got it?”
“Yes, Sir!” Jeena said, standing to attention and giving him a salute.
Leon snarled, “Nick, I want it noted that I’m taking this assignment under protest!”
Their boss nodded and said, “Yeah, yeah — it’s been noted. I want results and I’m not expecting to get any if you stay in my office any longer. Now both of you get your asses out of here!”
Jeena held the door open for Leon and said, “After you, my fellow Combat Unit officer!”
Leon just growled at her and stormed out without a word.
Jeena was about to leave when Nick remarked, “Just remember, Malso, you reap what you sow.”
She just flashed him a grin before walking out.
— The End —