I do not own Virus Buster Serge or these characters.
Chapter 1- Reflection
The sunlight had that odd quality only seen in dreams and memories. Everything was bathed in gold, and the sky was a deep cerulean. The sound of laughter and music drifted through the air.
" Mirei. I… don't know how to…"
Suddenly, the scene changed. A deafening scream tore through the air. Lights flashed on the console only a few inches from her face, but she couldn't make sense of them. Her hand reached out as if in slow motion, almost languidly, as she pulled on the striped lever.
Mirei sat upright in bed, sweat trickling down her face. The yellow and white flowered sheets she had been laying on were wound around her legs. Her heart was pounding, and her mind was desperately clinging to the images from the dream as they quickly faded. She tried to engage her implant's replay mode, but was too slow in the transition, and heard the low tone that signaled a processing error.
Damn. This Serenity Mark II is slow! Nothing like my old Halcyon 9… Mirei grumbled silently as she unwound the sheets from her legs.
The word echoed in her mind as she silently signaled to the room processor to activate Morning Mode. The blinds whooshed silently upwards as the ambient lighting output increased by 100 lumens. The holographic projection panel flashed to life at the foot of the bed, and Mirei was shaken from her reverie by the loud voices of two morning show hosts.
"That's right, Yuuko! I haven't seen crowds this large down in the streets since the announcement of the End of Incubator in '97! Atlas Corporation's announcement of the Sonata series of implants has everyone trying to get to their local Style Showcase store to try one out. I bet…"
Mierei snapped her fingers, and the projection faded. She swung her feet over the side of her bed, and pushed herself up. She glanced out the window and sighed.
"Even up here on the 89th floor, I can't get away from the Sonata. I'm so sick of that thing, I could scream!" Mierei said to no one in particular as she lifted the loose nightshirt she was wearing over her head and flung it into a pile on the floor.
She casually glanced at her reflection in the window glass. At 20, she was Atlas Corporation's youngest team leader on the Sonata Project. She was revered all through the Nihon Autonomous Zone for her skills as a programmer and as a hacker. But in the window, she only saw a sad-eyed redheaded girl with heavy round breasts that had suddenly become too big for her otherwise small frame. She shook her head in disbelief as she took one, then the other soft hemisphere in her hands and squeezed.
"And here I was worried that I'd always be flat. If only Erica could see me…" the thought trailed off in her head.
Mirei often thought about her old coworkers in STAND- as much as she could remember of them, anyway. After the Tai Mo Shan Incident, and the subsequent 3 months of rehabilitation and reeducation she had undergone, many of the names and faces of the past had lost their clarity. But the dreams- the dreams continued unabated.
The dreams were the only way Mirei had of confirming she was still alive.