A BGC2040 fanfic by SurfingSpider
The funeral was held the following thursday. Sylia and Nigel laid to rest in adjacent plots in the shadow of a cedar. Simple tombstones placed over the freshly packed earth, then sprinkled with seeds of grass. Life continuing.
It had been a well attended service on a clear warm day, the air moved with a soft breeze, refreshing, the smell of flowers. Genom had sent a representative on behalf of Chaiman Quincy, a likable woman who gave an eloquent speech about Sylia, the importance of her Fathers work and the loss that was felt in the company at their passing, sentiments echoed when she spoke of Nigel Kirland, his work with Sylia's father helping to shape the future. A terrible tragedy, Genom's hand held out to Mackey Stingray in compassion.
Many of Sylia's customers were there, a mix of professions who faded away at the end. Some associates of Nigel, drinking buddies, people he dealt with. Some of them spoke, one tossing a half drunk bottle of liquor into his grave. Later it would be removed.
Kaneda and his gang, their presence a little worrying the other mourners. None of them had known Sylia or Nigel. They came because of who knew them, to pay their respects and farewells to the people that had for a short time in the length of their lives provided excitment and danger not wanted to be repeated.
Kaneda and Priss afterwards, facing each other silently, his gang filtering back to the road where their bikes were.
"Maybe I'll see you around sometime, catch one of your shows."
"Let me know and I'll get you in."
They shook hands, equals in life.
"You still owe me a race," Kaneda grinned, waving.
Autumn leaves. So suddenly it felt as if the seasons had changed.
Nene, Priss and Linna all there. Henderson and Mackey, now beneficiary of the Stingray estate and its powerful block of Genom voting stock. Little wonder that Genom had come offering their sincerest condolesences.
Leon and Daley as well, brining Nene to the service. The secret of the identity of the Knight Sabres safe, a visit from Priss and Linna in their hardsuits ensuring cooperation.
Each of the Knight Sabres spoke their eulogy. Characteristic of themselves and their relationships with the deceased. Nene, body wrapped in bandages seated in a wheelchair barely able to speak, each word said tearfully, the loss of true friends. Priss, her words short direct and simple. Valuing what Sylia gave her, the friendships she had been able to forge with such different people. Respecting her leadership.
Linna, her parents having also come at her request- they had remained in the city after the hostage incident reunited with their daughter the day after, attending a therapy session for the crisis victims- speaking last, dressed black, something she had found when feeling lost after hearing of Sylia's death she had gone down to the shop floor and wandering absently looking through the racks. A small round hat, black perched forward on her head a white rose, real, on one side, a dark veil over her eyes. She did not cry, she had done enough of that with her parents and friends. Sylia would be more proud of her for the way she carried herself now and for her words.
"When I came to Tokyo I was searching for something. Someway for me to make a difference." voice clear, words memorised, standing over the grave and its dark coffin lid closed, "Sylia helped me find what I was searching for. She gave me something that made me feel bigger and more important than I ever could have been.
"She tought me many things about responsibility, about loyalty and friendship. About believing in what you stand for and not backing down from those beliefs.
"Her loss to us all is profound. There is still so much I could have learned from her but I wont be daunted by my grief and the loss of her mentoring.
"Sylia understood something that was very important in life. That there must be checks and balances." she directed her words to the Genom representative, to Genom, knowing that they would be watching her, "This I think is the most important thing I have learnt from her and it is what I will strive to achieve for the rest of my life as well," she glanced at her parents, the words a severing of her past more complete than her moving to Tokyo, "There is nothing more nobler than to follow in her footsteps, to continue the work she started, to ensure a balance in life, to help others overcome, to succeed in their dreams. To know who they are and what they want.
"Sylia, Nigel. You will be missed but not fogotten."
And so Linna had put forward her challenge. Her Knight Sabre companions, Leon and Daley, watching eyes of Genom, all understood clearly what she had said. It wasn't over, you know who I am know but I will still fight you.
The service ended, dirt filling the hole, the tombstones placed. Alone or in small groups the attendants left.
"That was a nice speech you gave Linna," her Mother, dressed in a formal black kimono smiled, pleased with the dignity her daughter had shown, her bearing and stature of a mature woman, "It's terrible to lose a friend."
"Yes. How are you and dad doing?"
"We're fine." her Father said gruffly. Having retreated inside his shell again slightly ashamed of his reaction when Linna had met them.
"That's good. So I will see you in a few days?"
"Why can't you come back home with us now? We need to be a family again."
A family. The goal of couples, parents and children, to create.
"I have a lot of business to clear up first. Do you mind if I bring a friend?"
"No, please do."
Linna saw her parents off. The remaining people, those who would go to the wake milled around and talked amongst themselves. She used the spare minutes to walk along the road in silence.
A door clicked open to a car she approached the back of.
Hesitantly she opened it enough to slid in, sat on the rear seat.
Next to Dr Shan.
She saw Gou's eyes reflected in the rear-view mirror, the driver.
"That was a good funeral. I would have liked to have be there." The Wind Master spoke with a sigh, "When it is quiet I shall pay my respects. Sylia. I feel responsible for this. As always I shall try to make amends." for the Sins of the past, oversight of the present, "When will you be available?"
"In a few weeks. There are many things I have to sort. And to close."
"Life is full of endings and beginings."
She opened the door, "Thank you for your support."
The old man nodded and the door was shut.
The wake was held at the Stingray residence, now Mackey's property. About a dozen people were there. Henderson, comfortable only in his usual role serving drinks and making some idle chit-chat.
Many topics of conversation.
"So what's going to happen to the Silky Doll?" directed at Mackey.
"I guess it will reopen. I don't know anything about stores so I'll have to find someone to run it."
Leon hogging Priss' time, "Going to go back to singing? Doesn't look like there's much else for you to do,"
"Probably." sounding bored, "Thanks again for taking care of Nene."
"Don't mention it," something he would not want to do again, worse than babysitting he guessed, a girl who never stopped eating or talking. And calling him stupid names. He had his pride to consider.
Linna got Mackey's attention, took him to the side, "You don't mind me moving in?"
"Not at all Linna, I'd like the company. Need it actually, it feels so empty here now."
"Well I'm sure Nene will be around a lot to keep you company,"
Boys, they could be so thick sometimes. Linna just smiled. Nene would also be coming over for another reason, to help her get and sort as much information as they could from Sylia's system in The Pit, what was left of it anyway. Genom having taken away anything that was portable and probably downloaded the rest from the mainframe as well. A lot had to be done to rebuild.
But not the Knight Sabres. That page of history was over. The force that had held it together was gone, its engergies now free and working their own destinies. Linna could have asked them both if they wanted to work with her, she knew both more than suspected, especially after her eulogy, that she was going to continue Sylia's work. Linna didn't however. It wouldn't be the same. It wasn't about rogue boomers anymore. It was about the machine. The all pervasing, ubiquitous modernity. The threats it posed manifested in the people like Mason.
She talked to a few other people, about nothing in general. The weather, what they did. They complimented her on her speech. It was good to see strong focused woman.
Time wore on, people departed until it was just Mackey, Henderson and the former Knight Sabres sitting at the table on the roof by the pool, fish near the surface where Nene had thrown some bread crumbs. They sky darkening, white glow of a half moon.
"Say Priss," Linna sitting opposite.
"Have you ever been outside of Tokyo?"
She shrugged, "Maybe, depends where."
"How about a farm?"
Her knife scratching alone the plate noisely, "A farm?"
"Sure, you know where they're grass and mud and no tall buildings."
"Your parents place right?"
"Yeah. After being 'missing' for so long and them getting caught up in all this, and with my future," her future, gone Office Worker Linna Yamazaki. One of her first acts to resign from Hugh Geit. They were probably going to dump her anyway for her absence.
"Sure," Priss nonchalant, "I need a holiday."
"Hey, aren't you forgetting someone?" Nene growled, then remembered the Priss-Linna connection, "Uh. But I've used up all my holidays..."
It was back to work for this ADP Officer, with no moonlighting, well maybe a little for Linna. Gone the good old days. She'd keep a close eye on Leon and Daley, make sure they didn't spill the beans so to speak about her. With her hacking stills she would make it hell on earth for them if they so much as hinted to anyone or tried to threaten her about it. Their bank and medical records were not safe from her skills.
Dinner too ended and broke up. The goodbyes were simple, they lived in the same city, they saw each other regularly. It wasn't an ending for them, just a change. Their relationship now based on friendship and not what the had been.
Priss was starting her engine when Linna came running out the door.
"Wait!" she waved her arm.
"What?" Priss raised her visor, brown eyes.
"Can you give me a lift home?" Linna asked.
Arms wrapped around Priss' waist.
Night time traffic on the road, employers finishing work late, delivery vans and trucks.
Reached Linna's building. Children kicked ball on the road, bouncing off parked cars. Laughing.
"When are you going to your parents?" Priss asked, took of her helmet. Wanted to be free of its weight for a while.
"Weekend I think, I'll give you enough notice to pack."
"Suspenders and staw hats."
"What?" Linna laughed, she got off the bike, rubbed her backside. Her arms were still as well. Riding with Priss was always hair raising experience.
"So I can fit in with the yokels, I mean locals."
"Priss telling jokes. Don't give up your day job."
"That's the only one of got left." a pause, "Are you really going to go through with it?"
Linna nodded firmly.
"It's me now."
"Will you stay with me tonight?"
Something dreaded, anticipated.
Priss tilted her head, "I don't know..."
Linna a little downcast.
"I don't think I could handle your snoring."
"My snoring! I don't snore! You'll have to prove it." eyes flashing with light.
Priss took hold onto Linna's waist and pulled her onto the bike in front of her, mischevious grin and glint.
Eyes holding each other, looking into the soul, searching for the depth where the true self lay waiting to be discovered and joined with. Half lidded, closing.
Their lips met. No doubt anymore.
Acceptence of the hearts will.
+++ FIN +++
And that is the END of BGC2040 Kiss Of The Bee, titles for this epilogue/ 1/2 end chapter to Moby (HEAT sountrack) and Peter Gabriel (Strange Days sountrack) both movie ending songs and powerful. Moby's of loss, Gabriel's of joy.
This part pretty much just wrapping things up, getting people out of the way in a satisfactory matter so they weren't forgotten or left behind.
And of course, the answer to the original 3 parter; 'What happens with Linna and Priss?'. Well they get together don't they after a traveling a road none saw coming.Authors Notes
A full total of story related words, 71,000+ and 240 W4W pages. Big effort, glad its completed. Lot of emotion put into it, something I haven't done before. I'm happy with it, the story came so far from a simple character piece where 'demand for more' turned it into something a lot larger than I had ever envisioned, in directions that I didn't know it was going to take. I'm a 'tactical' writer, I let a lot of movement happen as I'm writing rather than figuring out everything (in this case even the conclusion) in advance. Life's like that. No need to put too much of a straight jacket on. Keep it flexible, you never know what your characters will do given the chance.
While I started with a ready made world familiar to readers, allowing me to concetrate more on their actions and future, to make up some eccentricities (because I have many), rather than build their own histories and motivations, the characters I concentrated on became my own. I put Priss and Linna through a lot of emotional events and some silly ones (the bicycle race- so out of the ordinary and fun to dream up), put parts of myself into them- that's the only way I think you can write 'real' or at least 'real-to-yourself' characters.
Kaneda, coming out of midfield for a larger role. Akira remains my benchmark for anime, should even be one for movies in general. Having him with deeper involvement again allowing me to explore new areas and run a flexible story.
Nene fans miss out. So what. Sure she's cute and bubbly, slightly over the top and that's why she played a small part. I don't share the japanese curiousity with 'kawaii', in fact if I knew someone like that they would irritate me considerably. No, no room for kawaii in this story. Its about people, emotions and an overdose of hurt. Cute/comedy would destroy what I set out to do and I'm not that good at deliberatley writing humour anyway. For me humour is a sharp wit, like a reflex.
Leon and Daley take the back seat too. They turned up, did a few things, faded away. The problem here is Leon, he's after Priss. In pretty much the scenes he was present that's what he's trying to do. Daley just hangs around, a sharp wit, but no material for him.
Sylia. Well its both difficult yet rewarding to write her and anything that had her 'central' should only have her as the main character. Bitchy, enigmtic, possessed there is a whole world waiting to be unlocked for the brave soul to delve into her mind. She almost grew into a bigger role during the 2nd half of Knight Sabre Down but I had to relegate her somehow. Mason did this admirably. I had expected to wrap up the story not long after Knight Sabre Down (and in a totally different happy way, but I can still do a short story on that so I wont tell) but there was the nagging: Genom wouldn't just roll over and let the Knight Sabres win. They're a HUGE megacorp with a lot of resources. Mason also is quite 'power hungry'. Of course they were going to go after the Sabres which led me away from the rogue-boomer thing (I was going to halt it and say 'then all the galatea stuff happened' and let the original plot stick, said 'bugger that' and went my way) into the realm of the Sabres fighting real people, killing them and getting hurt themselves. How this affected some of them (Nene in shock, Linna's 'recovery') and how they were going to get out of it, moving the focus back to Priss where she stepped up to the base and batted well enough to see her team through.
I let Linna rule the last few chapters to reflect the change she was/had undergone (mentally), her eulogy pointing her future direction out strongly, following in Sylia's footsteps.
Some people might think that it was good that Sylia died. Maybe some bad, 'how could you kill a Knight Sabre? or Nigel?'. I felt it was justified. Saving her would have blown a great degree of reasonableness out of the story and fallen into the 'happy every after for everyone' category that while pleasent just doesn't reflect life. So, in a good way, doing what she could to help her friends, she died and earns a lot of sympathy.
So that about explains the 'why' of what I have done.
Time to celebrate!
Time to think about the next one!