BGC: The Beginning of the End

Chapter 4: White Flag

Sylia sighed as she stared at the suits that had been completed—only Priss' remained incomplete. Daily she lived with the paranoia that she wouldn't be prepared for the next mad boomer; that she would be defeated by the abominations she had helped to create. Nigel was going to have to work faster—without Priss their force was missing a vital component. Unsure of Rion's ability to fight, Sylia fretted about the possibility of an attack. An ominous feeling loomed about and Sylia knew her forecast for today was appearing to be overcast.

As she emitted a sigh the alarm rang overhead, and the blearing siren confirmed her worst fears—a mad boomer had appeared at a local restaurant. A mild sweat broke out across her brow as she bit her lower lip and slammed her hand on the coffee table she had been resting on. She immediately called up the girls. First she dialed Priss, but all that she got was hollow rings and no answer.

'Damn! Why doesn't she answer when it's important?' Sylia silently cursed as she redialed and received no answer.

Next she dialed Nene and immediately was greeted with an energetic voice. She relayed the situation as she hurried to the trailer mobile they used as their transportation. Before she could dial Rion's number a motorcycle pulled up to the vehicle.

"Had a feeling you'd be calling soon." Rion smirked and hopped on board. Sylia was taken aback but smiled warmly and suddenly that knot of wretched worry began to ease.

"Are you ready?" Sylia looked at the girl with an intense gaze—this would be Rion's first time in battle.

"Is anyone really ready for this…" Rion sighed as she realized that there were only two suits in wait. "But hell, I'll give it all I've got." Her grin reassured the white haired beauty. "Where's Priss?"

"I'm not sure, she won't answer…" Her phone began to ring. "Hello? Priss, you're already at the sight… your suits not ready. I know, but this is the perfect opportunity to let Rion…she'll be fine." Sylia hung up the phone with a cold kind of tact that made Rion shudder slightly.

"Priss is already there?"

"So it would seem. It's best if we go get Nene and head to the sight as soon as possible. She'll be fine." She reiterated and began to drive towards Nene's apartments.

Rion let her thoughts whirl inside her head as she examined Sylia's strange expression. She seemed at once frightened, worried, and anxious yet excited—an altogether fearful combination. She had been through the simulations enough times, and according to the results Rion would be well accustomed to her suit. She let her uniform meld with her skin as a clumsy Nene practically entered flying into the vehicle.

"You always call at the worst times." Nene whined as she dropped her bath towel and began to put on her uniform. She turned to Rion "don't be nervous everything should go just fine."

"I'm not nervous." Rion replied and made her way to her suit. "I am curious though."

"I wasn't nervous on my first mission either…" Nene would have continued if Sylia hadn't rushed them both towards their suits and readied to launch them.

Meanwhile Priss ran up the stairs as a multitude of bodies rushed in the opposite direction. She felt the rush of the whole as they pushed her back, but knew she'd make it past them one way or another. She didn't blame them for running from a mad boomer but at the same time the manner in which they fled was disgustingly cowardly.

"So there you are." Priss spotted the boomer and was disturbed by its shape. "Damn, if only I had my suit." She balled her hand into a fist. She dodged sideways as it whipped its mechanized tongue at her. She picked up an iron pipe that was just lying on the ground and decided it would have to do for now. She hit it and rolled back, cursing as it seemed unfazed.

"Don't worry miss, just come this way…" A man's voice derailed her train of thought. She looked at the AD policeman and threw him a distasteful glance. Before she could give him the satisfaction of feeling like a hero she ran towards the stairs. He held her eyes for a moment and seemed allured by them—they were so intense and without fear. His partner began to chuckle as he stared after her half dumbstruck.

"Hey Leon we still have to worry about the boomer." He jested as he tapped his partner on the shoulder.

"I, I know!" Leon shook himself free of the hold she had unknowingly bestowed on him "I was just making sure she got out okay."

He couldn't help but chuckle at Leon but focused as the boomer reared its ugly head towards them. Leon snapped out of it and repositioned his gun. He shot once, twice but nothing seemed to pierce through.

"Damn…" Leon muttered but wasn't finished yet.

Before he could move on to his bigger guns the windows broke as two Knight Sabers blasted through them. Leon cursed at their appearance but his partner was more astute and took in the newest addition to the force—a sleek, black fighter.

"Well she's new." He commented.

Rion took one look at the boomer and had a hard time believing this was once a serving boomer—a product to be of the lowest class. She charged forward, jumped as it lashed its tongue at her and landed gracefully behind it. Her hand plunged within its core and at that moment she felt pity for the machine she was about to destroy. What could cause anything to go this crazy; to be so destructive? It haunted her to wonder, and she had a feeling it was her own race that had caused the disturbance of another.

"What are you doing?" A voice blared in her head as she realized she was no longer the one in control of the situation.

"Argh!" Rion shouted in frustration as the boomer's arms pulled her closer to its own body. "What the hell? I can't move!"

"Oh no she's on empty!" Nene frantically exclaimed. "I'll take care of it!" She pointed her arm and shot her tiny charges of energy spikes at the creature, but to no avail.

It whipped her back and sent her flying. As she came crashing down another whoosh in the air could be heard, and as Nene came to, she realized that Priss had arrived.

Priss charged with ferocity that Nene had never really witnessed before. Sure, Priss often times dealt with the destroying of boomers but never had she been so passionate about it. Priss punched her arm forward and pulled the core out without a second thought. Rion felt her suit fall into Priss' arms, and suddenly she felt ill—she had failed to do what Priss had done with such ease.

"Let's go." Priss commanded as she carried Rion's suit with Nene's help.

"Seems like the game's changed a bit." Leon's partner commented as Leon fumed and scowled at the arriving police force—what good were they now?

"They're still a pain in the ass; now they're triple that." Leon muttered as he headed down, knowing their work was done for the day.

As the trio of warriors plus Sylia ventured back to their hideout, Rion remained in a somber silence. Priss' own expression was slightly harder to read. Nene wasn't sure, but it looked like Priss was a bit angry. She understood why Rion would feel a bit dismayed—being held in a vice grip by a boomer wasn't exactly the most heart-warming welcome she could have received at the start of her knight saber career.

"What the fuck were you thinking about?" Priss hissed to the various team members.

"She was ready, so" Sylia immediately began to justify her actions.

"I wasn't talking to you." Priss abruptly cut her off and took hold of Rion's shoulders.

Rion peeled her gaze from the floor and looked Priss in the eyes—she was raging on the inside. Rion knew the question was directed at her, but the question was an altogether more confusing subject in itself. Why had she stopped? What had held her back from crushing the boomer's heart?

"I'm not sure." Rion replied calmly as she kept Priss' intense stare with her own steady gaze. "I felt… remorse." She couldn't find the right words to explain her emotions towards the corrupted boomer.

"Remorse?" Priss spat as she let her hand slam against the wall. "You could have died!" Priss began to tremble with emotion.

Rion's eyes slightly widened in surprise—was that why Priss was so furious? She stood and held the trembling woman in her arms. Priss resisted at first but Rion had a strong grip, and eventually she gave in.

"I'm sorry…" Rion took in the scent of earth from Priss' mane of hair. "I wasn't thinking straight."

"You're such an idiot." Priss muttered as she subconsciously relaxed in the embrace.

"Awwwkward…" Nene said as she sat right next to the two women.

Rion chuckled as she let go of Priss and turned to look at Nene. Without warning Rion pulled her into a childish bear hug.

"And thanks for buying Priss some time!" Rion messed with Nene's hair before releasing her. "What good are those little beams for anyways?" Rion jested as she mimicked Nene's fighting stance. "But really Nene, thanks, you saved my life."

"Hey I'm not a kid ya know." Nene muttered but smiled—she had finally been appreciated to some extent. "I'm just happy you're ok."

Priss watched in mild amusement and sat back down on her seat, but her smile faded as soon as she caught Sylia's strange smirk and wandering eyes. She was watching Rion, Priss had no doubt of that, but with what intent? Sylia had never paid much attention to anyone except for Nigel, and the gaze of which she now bestowed on Rion was much like the one she reserved for her boy toy. It boded ill for Priss as she continued to watch Sylia.

As soon as they returned back to the base, Sylia excused everyone.

"Good work today, we'll have a meeting tomorrow so you're free to go." Priss began to walk towards the elevator, keeping Rion near her—there was something she had to tell her. "Rion, may I have a word with you." Rion held back, took a glance at Sylia and nodded in affirmation.

"I'll meet you up top." Rion pointed to the ceiling as she addressed Priss.

Priss gave a slight nod and quickly entered the elevator. Sylia watched intently as their interaction came to an end. It was curious to see Priss taking orders from someone else, but more than that she was agreeing to them. Sylia smiled as she motioned Rion to sit on her couches.

"I'm sorry about today Sylia…" Rion apologized full-heartedly.

"Don't worry about it; it's always hard your first time at it. I have no doubts you'll do just fine the next time." Sylia observed Rion's dark features and how the glow of her basement aquarium enhanced them. "What's your relationship with Priss?" She decided to be blunt was better than beating around the bush.

"As of now I'm her manager…and fighting partner." Rion cocked her eyebrow, unsure of what Sylia was asking.

"I only ask because I have never seen her so emotionally provoked." Sylia placed her hand gently on Rion's cheek. "And you are the only one I've ever seen that has the ability to both reason and command her."

Rion politely took Sylia's hand off of her face. "I don't command her at all; if anything she's the one pulling at my strings, or who knows maybe we pull on each other's strings, but let's get this straight—she's no puppet and neither am I." She looked at Sylia, holding her silver eyes with her own brown ones. "Why do you care?"

"I'm not exactly sure." Sylia chuckled as she let her hand freely flow through Rion's midnight locks of hair. "You both are special to me; I wouldn't want either of you to get hurt."

Rion stood up and placed herself a good distance from Sylia. "I'll let you know how it goes then. Look Sylia, I've met people like you being in the career that I've taken up. You're endowed with beauty, money and intellect—don't go wasting it trying to take what you don't even want. Figure out what your heart really beats for… it's not me." Rion quickly entered the elevator and jammed the button with her finger.

Sylia bit her lip and sulked on her couch. Rion was right… Sylia groaned as she realized the darkness in her heart, but even so she couldn't purge her wants. Priss had always been able to talk to Nigel in a way that she couldn't; Nigel even sometimes replied—that was more than Sylia could get out of him. Sylia was attracted to Priss at first because of her differing nature with both men and women—she seemed to be a gender all her own. Nigel seemed to notice this as well, and though he wasn't completely open with her, he didn't treat her with as much negligence as he did towards herself. It was this thought that had caused Sylia to notice the relationship between Priss and Rion; to notice that Priss finally cared about someone. A small part of her was naturally attracted to Rion, but what had pushed her over the edge was the chance to take something that Priss had wanted, so that she too could feel the pain. In her twisted life, Nigel was the only normal thing she could attest to having. She scowled at herself, realizing how selfish she was thinking and vowing to change, but a whisper inside her head told her she was far from any such enlightenment.

Rion sighed as she exited at the top floor—Sylia wasn't the first person to approach her like that, but she certainly was one of the most beautiful people to have done so. If she had been of any weaker integrity, Sylia would have gotten what she wanted. Rion scouted ahead and found Priss waiting impatiently tapping her foot.

"What did she want?" Priss asked as Rion neared her.

"She was worried about my slip up today." For some reason Rion didn't want to tell Priss the truth, fearing it might make matters worse.

"She needed you alone for that?" Priss looked at Rion suspiciously.

"Why are you so suspicious?" Rion decided to turn the tables. "I feel like I'm caught in a triangle I didn't even know existed. If so, I'll have you know I'm more of a line person: with you on one end, me on the other, and no other."

Priss blushed as she picked up the implications. "That's not what I meant…" She muttered but couldn't help but let a small smile escape.

"Then what did you mean?" Rion placed her face near Priss' and held her position firmly.

Priss was enthralled by her sudden movements, by the fresh scent of her skin and the dark features of her hair and lined eyes. Something within her urged her to move closer, but she battled with it. She had felt immense fear when she saw Rion being crushed to death; a fear she had never known or felt before, but what did it mean? She felt Rion's body slowly meld with hers and knew it wouldn't be long before her lips would touch hers. As she let go of her thoughts, she leaned forward and took Rion's lips before Rion could claim the victory. The taste was sweet and the touch, soft. A rush flowed through her and as they parted, Priss was almost sure she felt dizzy. Rion smirked with satisfaction, but betrayed a light blush.

"Well that's a first." Priss commented as she smiled at Rion. "I guess you already violated the contract."

It took a while for Rion to comprehend what Priss was talking about, but smirked as the contents of their business contract arose: rule #24 relationship between musician/manager must be kept professional. "You're the one that leaned in." Rion spoke with no shame as she laughed at Priss burning red face. "So you violated the contract; I'll overlook it just this once."

"Whatever…" Priss tried her best to be annoyed but it was useless trying, seeing as the smile she wore would not wear off.

"However I'm not coming to you as a manager, and I surely don't see you as a musician right at this moment." Rion took Priss' hand in her own and smiled. "Right now I'm coming to you as a woman, and what I see now is my other. If that's the case then the contract doesn't bind us."

"I guess so." For once in her life—Priss felt grounded and free to fly at the same time. She neither surrendered nor conquered; no white flag was raised, and the ravages of war nowhere to be seen—this was bliss, for now.

Author's End Note: I bit short, I admit, but I feel bad for not posting in a hell of a long time. Hope you enjoyed, please Review!