Knight Sabers: Legacy
"Rockin' The Beat"
Masane was still trying to get her band sorted out, so far she'd gone through members like socks. But now she thought she really had some thing, in a half way decent area that flanked the fault they had a cheaply rented out old storage building and were in the middle of practicing. Even through the thick concrete walls the drums thundered with a fast catchy beat, the guitar she had slung over her shoulder was an old beat up USA made Jackson Kelly but she had found a good one and practically got it for free and had fixed it up good.
Like her grandmother she sang but she loved the guitar more but she managed to do both as it made her feel more in control, the song's name is 'Jealousy' one would be surprised at how close she sounded to Priss when she sang, It was her attitude and ferocity but most of all she had that fiery passion. She was rough as hell, and she didn't give a shit. And for once to her the songs sounded really good, she kind of chalked it up to her new practice partners.
She had made some calls through some old connections, it took a while but she managed and the hardest part was to get them to play again at their age. The song came to it's conclusion with a thunderous finale, it was perfect. Masane flipped the volume knob to zero and smiled turning and grabbing a beer from a nearby cooler, she tossed a few more out to her drummer and bassist and she leaned against the full stack of amplifiers with a huge grin on her face.
"You know...your like a fucking ghost...at least to me. I didn't know they could make two of a kind..."
"Yeah no shit, but I still think your barking up the wrong tree Priss...I mean Masane."
She gave the two old timers a glare and then a slight smile, Max and Hiroshi were getting well into old age but were still fit to go a few more rounds she could see from the practice...a bit rusty maybe but that could easily be fixed with a couple more sessions.
"Well I'm no ghost, we Asagiri girls are who we are no matter how much were alike were still a bit different from the next. And COME ON guy's, you can't sit there after that and say that you don't miss it! So fucking what if some where around twenty some odd years is gone by, personally I think you guy's kick ass...and I've made up my mind...I don't care if all the damn money goes to you...we'll rock and have a blast and that's what matters."
Max and Hiroshi looked at each other and laughed their asses off, pulling hard from their beers.
"Well damn...that dose it, I'm in. I never could turn Priss down, even if she was late or never showed at half the damn shows. In honor of your Priss, hell we'll go along with it for a while...question though."
Masane gestured for Max to go on as she drank her beer.
"Wanna roll as 'Priss and the Replicants'?"
Masane's beer nearly snorted out of her nose at the suggestion, she had no idea what to say to that nor had she yet thought of a name.
"Ah we know better than that Max you fucking tard what are you smokin, would be false advertisin...Masane and the Replicants it will be. Unless you object to that Masane, were the Replicants Max and I so...your the one wanting us old fuckers so your choice."
"For your info I've been smoking the good old green, but yeah your right on that."
Masane couldn't help it and a big smile broke out across her face some thing that wasn't an every day thing, she nodded and raised her beer to them and the cans tapped in a toast.
"Hell yeah, hey let's see if we can't get our first gig to be down at the Hot Legs...for old times sake. We'll play our tunes, and we'll pull out some of what Priss wrote...I am sure it will be the talk of the town."
Suddenly out of no where a knock came at the door, the old metal door made the knock sound like a battering ram against sheet metal they all swung towards the unexpected sound.
"I'll check it out."
Masane stood and made her way to the door, unlocking the chain on the inside and then gripping the handle and putting her weight behind the pull as the old thing made a hell of a sound as it reluctantly moved on it's old rails. To her surprise there stood Kei, she looked her usual cheerful self. She wore a green tracksuit with black pinstripes.
"Hey Masane! Sorry for just dropping in, you busy for a sec?"
"Hey Kei, we were just wrapping things up here...how did you find this place anyway?"
Kei snickered, brushing an errant bang from her face she leaned in.
"Oh I ran into Yuri, she told me where I could find you. I came to tell you that Shiori has scheduled a meeting for after tomorrows training, said it was really important and that no one is to miss. Plus when I was over there earlier her and Miho were acting a little odd, I think it might have some thing to do with you know what."
Masane nodded then finished her beer crumpled the can and tossed into a beat up old trashcan, then offered Kei to come in and have one which she respectfully declined saying she had to run.
"Well guess that's it for today huh, guess we'll head out while you lock up Masane. We'll be in touch, give us a ring for the next practice we'll do some calling and see what we can dig up for shows."
"Ok guy's thanks, I mean that."
After locking up Masane started her bike and slipped her helmet on, ever since Kei had left she had been thinking what was going to be said in the meeting. Did Shiori actually manage to land a job for them? And if so what the heck kind of job could that be? She closed her visor and road off for home, she guessed she would find out tomorrow night. The sun was beginning to set and it was cold, she thanked herself for bringing her under suit mixed in with thoughts of weather to call in for pizza delivery or drop by a noodle shop...it turned out to be a guy holding a flimsy box containing gooey Don Flamenco's Pizza...a favorite and as a perk she had cold Asahi beer in the fridge.
Monday December 19th 2078
The day went along just like any other really, everyone made their routines and at around 6:30pm they all showed up at Shiori's. At different times and from different access points, they had made it a point to make sure that no one seen them all going there at once and that they all didn't hang out in public at the same time either. And it seemed more of the same there too, physical training on machines and free weights then on to the simulator. Ayame almost made the next level but came just short, so much so she had high hopes for the next time around.
From the simulator they all changed soft suits and filed across the way to the hardsuit bay and suited up, done some system checks making sure all of the weaponry was fully loaded and everything checked out and was ready to go. A short while later they were back in the fault where a crescent moon hung high above a starry and crisply cold night, under these conditions the fault took on a weird alien beauty with frost forming on surfaces the moonlight refracting off the light covering of snow.
In some spots it was slick even for the biting treads of the hardsuits each one by itself weighing nearly three hundred pounds dead weight but that was with a pilot inside, along with the new technology armor and other wise there had been a weight savings though small about ten pounds but in this climate a little weight helped. They went through the motions and focused on tactical hunter/prey chases, capture the flag with lock on only and actual target practice with live munitions.
They were all aware that Shiori was acting different, she was distant but she was all business her cool demeanor threatening to ice over it seemed. And then she suddenly called it quits really early in comparison to the other nights exercise, it took them all by surprise but none of them asked questions they just did as they were bayed rank and file but that didn't stop them from chatting off the communicators to each other in close proximity.
"Wow. She's icy tonight, wonder why she's cutting it off so early...I was just getting to have some fun."
"Well there IS a meeting when we get back Kei, I think we will find out just what's going on with her then."
Masane glanced at Kei and Ayame catching wind of their conversation, she too wish she knew what was going on but that was for later.
"What do you think it is Masane?"
Masane raised her visor and glanced to Kei and shrugged.
"You got me, let's get to the truck and we'll find out at the meeting."
Later they all were sitting around Shiori's living area, there were the tray's sitting out and the coffee and tea and everyone nibbled a little here and there each with a drink. Sooner than they thought Shiori and Miho made their appearance, Shiori taking her seat with a cut of coffee she soon began in earnest.
"Sorry to keep you all waiting, and to also keep you in the dark until now but I figured that the less you knew the more you could focus on today's training. I have new's that is a mixed blessing, though how it ultimately turns out time will tell."
Everyone looked at each other quizzically before returning their gazes back to Shiori.
"We have a situation. One that will require the Knight Sabers, it is not a job we have been offered and in turn it will not pay."
Masane frowned a bit at this, and she was about to say some thing when Shiori cut her off politely enough.
"I know I know...we would all rather get paid for risking our necks, however the world right now doesn't even know the Knight Sabers are back and operational. So we can hardly expect job offers, however this 'job' has a grave importance."
Shiori went over all of the information she had about the Green Dragon and what was known about their plans for around but likely ON New Years, and that she had a hunch that she would bet on that their plans will very likely involve boomers since they had a vendetta on Genom.
"I want you all on full alert and be able to respond immediately if the alarm is sent out, this is also why I have cut down on hardsuit training time and upped the difficulty for when we are doing it. We need to be ready and have each suit at peak readiness, because once these Green Dragons make their move we wont have much time to deploy to minimize the destruction and or injuries and fatalities on the public."
Shiori went quiet after that, the room was quiet and some what tense everyone was thinking and some what shocked at what she had told them. A global terrorist group blowing up or possibly unleashing mad boomers into the dense New Years Eve throng that would be gathered in downtown, the visions of some thing like that actually happening to a totally unsuspecting populace were horrible. Even though Genom was not going to be directly involved it STILL had some thing to do with them likely, and what was even worse was that these terrorists might actually wake up the sleeping giant.
"I'm in. Paid or not, we can't just stand by and do nothing while innocent people get killed by some fanatical zealots vendetta."
The room looked to Kei, Ayame followed suit backing up her friend.
"Yeah! That would be horrible, and I agree with Kei. I think they need their butts kicked, and who better to do it than the Knight Sabers?"
"You guy's got me too, there just as bad if not worse than Genom and Ayame's right...what better way to announce to the world that the Knight Sabers are back than to walk in and break a boot off in some terrorist ass?"
Masane and the others carried on a little bit then turned to Shiori, they knew where she stood since she called them all to meet.
"Well then, now that we all know where we stand. I want you all to prepare mentally and physically because when the time comes and we suit up for that reason, it will be no drill and I want all of you to treat it as it should be treated and follow orders without hesitation. But for now...we will continue in the same vein with little deviation, just be ready for what ever may come."
There really wasn't much to go on about after that so the rest of the meeting was more or less a friendly get together, friends talking about whatever but the topic of the Green Dragon circulated regardless.
December 30th 2078
During the last week and a half things did go as usual, even talk of the terrorists had faded as the new team began to really get a tight focus on what was coming. They were very aware that they would not get many opportunities to prep like they were doing on this one their first as a team, and they were thankful for it as they needed it mentally more than physically at this point as New Years was just a day away so close it was almost palpable.
Masane done her routine day picking up Yuri and driving her to school, going to a practice session with Max and Hiroshi at the 'Stockade' as they affectionately called the old hole of a storage building. Going and picking Yuri up after school, today they went to a Coffee Hut that Yuri wanted to go to as it seemed to be THE place according to her school friends then she took Yuri home.
Soon enough like every Friday she met up with the others at the Lady 633, training was the usual format too although everyone seemed to try harder and train harder today as New Years seemed to loom over them already. And really it practically was, a little more or less a day away until they likely would be on the streets in public in their hardsuits fighting for real, the thought was surreal and if one would dwell on it the thought became raw and gritty...real.
Weight training and the simulator seemed to stretch on forever, then finally they were down in the bay suiting up. The metallic clacks and the hissing as the suits locked around their bodies and pressurizing fitting form and connecting into the ports on their soft suits making the connection and linking their nervous systems human and machine synchronizing, it all became acute to each of the girls and there was no talk only what needed to be said
The hardsuit training was always intense but tonight every one really pushed it with grim determination and focus was like the edge of a mono blade, and to be truthful as Miho watched and monitored the exercise she was truly amazed and in awe at how they all performed and wondered if this is what it was like twenty some odd years ago witnessing the Knight Sabers. It was intense but it was also graceful as well as in a sense it was a terrible gracefulness, she could tell they were all giving all they had in this last session before New Years and it showed...they had all grown by leaps and bounds and became surprisingly efficient in the time they had.
"Miho be ready to go, were heading back in."
Shiori's voice over the com link snapped her out of her drifting thoughts, to her it had seemed to go fast and soon they were all on their way back. They were all still so quiet in the back, Shiori had come up to the cab on their way back still in her hardsuit sans helmet and sat in the passenger seat little was still said and she looked beat.
Soon they all stood in the bay facing each other going over some details in tonight's performance, needless to say they were all pleased but worn out and still in their hardsuits.
"You all performed well tonight, so well in fact that I am extremely impressed. We worked extremely well as a team tonight as well as individually, to tell the truth I can hardly believe that we have accomplished as much as we have."
Talk and compliments went around, they were so caught up in things and tired that none of them noticed that they were about to have company...
It was late but ironically there was an answer on the other end of the phone, it seemed neither of them could sleep tonight. Routinely they both parked in the underground garage, greeting each other with warm smiles, asking about each other since the other day. Stepping into the elevator was reminiscent for both Linna and Nene, Linna tapped in the code as they talked and the digital read out on the console read out 'ACCESS GRANTED' and the decent began as the scifi like lift made it's way down to the hidden sub floors their destination was the hardsuit bay.
They had been doing this for a long time, but since Sylia and Priss' passing they had become some what morose about coming down here and it had been a while since the last time. But they kept on and for what reason they couldn't put a finger on it, more or less they had agreed during a talk between them one night that they would keep on to honor Sylia and the Knight Sabers and what they had stood for.
"Just like old times huh Nene?"
"Hey, chin up. I know it's hard on you, it is for me too. Sylia was more than just a leader to us, but I think she would like what were doing."
"I...I was just thinking about Priss too, ahh...time sucks and so dose old age!"
Nene kicked a support section to emphasize her frustration and sadness, Linna placed a hand on her shoulder. There was silver in her hair, Linna figured it was in her's again too...just meant they would go get some kits to color it...another good excuse to get together any way she figured.
"I know how you feel Nene, lot's of memories. Hey! I got an idea, lets get suited up for the hell of it."
At this they both laughed like school girls, commenting on how they would look and giggling anew.
However Linna and Nene got the shock of their lives when they went down to the hardsuit bay to attend to their cleaning and maintaining of the place, finding the lights on and the lab and bay's systems running. They nearly both had heart attacks when they seen four girls fully suited up sans helmets in totally new state of the art hardsuit's, the suits resembled the older ones but the exteriors were notably more streamlined and far more advanced and light years superior.
The four...Blue with blaze red racing stripes (Masane), Silver/White (Shiori), Green with orange and black accents (Kei) and one Hot Pink and Black (Ayame). Linna and Nene turned white, their mouths went dry as cotton as they stood there unblinking staring at the four armored figures who's backs were turned to them having not noticed the two who had entered the bay. For them it was like looking back in time and seeing themselves and the others standing there, a moment later one took notice and turned to regard them and the other three followed suit a few seconds later.
The first was Blue when she turned for a split second Linna and Nene saw not the face of the teen but Priss in her youth, then Green and Linna saw herself for a moment. Then Pink and Nene gasped seeing herself for a second, and finally the White Saber turned...and their hearts wept in their chests for a moment as Shiori resembled Sylia perfectly in the suit not to mention seeing Priss' granddaughter in the Blue suit the resemblance was almost uncanny.
They all stood in complete shock and silence for a few moments, White or..Shiori spoke and broke the silence almost nonchalantly with a cool and even demeanor.
"Linna...Nene, so nice to see you here, I had no idea that you two still came here...but then again as clean and maintained as the bay and labs are I knew some one had to be taking care of it. This must be quite a shock, please have a seat and we'll change and we can talk in the penthouse...or right here if you prefer."
Nene and Linna looked at each other in utter breathless astonishment, they soon found themselves seated on brand new seats on luxurious leather appointed over stuffed couches and a couple love seats. At the head front and center from these seats was the old but refurbished easy chair that had always been there, Shiori had taken that seat as her great aunt always did. The others Kei, Masane and Ayame seated randomly around them. Several trey's sat on the central coffee table, one held finger sandwiches an the other a variety of sweets and the third held a thermal coffee pot and another like it that held hot steeped tea and enough cups for all of them.
Linna spoke up first seeming slightly confused if not a little shaken over the findings, her voice shook a bit as she tried finding the best way to start.
"We need to talk, just WHAT the hell do you girls THINK your doing? How..."
Shiori decided to interject as Linna seemed to have trailed off, she was fumbling with how to finish so she thought and explanation was in order as she help up her hand and tried to be as forthwith as she could.
"To put it simply, we are updating and renovating...the Knight Sabers are being resurrected. Don't worry, we did not 'just find' the hardsuit bay. We..." She gestured around the room to the other three girls. "We know everything, meaning everything pertaining to the Knight Sabers...hardsuit schematics and blueprints and plans. We have been working extra hard updating all the systems in the lower levels and penthouse and especially new suits, we preserved the four originals in a new storage bay in back of the bay's for the new hardsuits. However that is just what we are doing, the REASON for what we are doing is contained in this...I believe it will provide a more than satisfactory explanation."
Shiori produced a data disk then tapped a button on the arm of the easy chair and a flat panel holographic display extended down from the ceiling next to the huge shuttered windows that normally looked out on the massive roof top patio, it came to vibrant life the room dimmed a little and soon to Nene and Linna's further shock as Sylia came onto the screen and all of what Nene and Linna were about to say disappeared from their minds.
She smiled warmly which was always lovely though she never did it as often as many would have liked, her voice came into the room as if she were there with them greeting them all.
"Hello everyone, I wish I could be here with you. But...if you are watching this data disk, then that means I am unable and no longer with you. I would like to greet you my old friends, Priss, Linna and Nene. I hope you are all doing well and I hope that my passing hasn't been too hard on you all, though by now all of you may not all be here now either...time is short and can be cruel but always look forward to the future.
I have recorded several messages like this in what I call a codex for you all, new and experienced alike. You will find here explanations on many things, introductions and just about any thing I could think of that would be of importance. The veterans in this room at the moment are likely surprised by the recent turn of events, first generation and the next all in the same room...it must be surprising to say the least."
"To begin I will state the obvious, we the first generation are well past our prime. In the beginning of our little organization I had no idea how this would all turn out, but now in our twilight years I have seen that we HAVE made a difference in all that we have done and sacrificed as the Knight Sabers. Although Genom still stands I don't think we ever had the delusion that they would just go away, and we know that there are others out there that are just as disreputable."
"To cut to the chase as Priss would say it, I have thought long and hard about possible out comes and fate of the Sabers as a group. I have come to the conclusion that we will continue to look over the city, but in order to do so we would need to look to the new generation. The four girls seated in this room right now, if they all choose to accept the opportunity then you are looking at the next generation of Knight Sabers."
Sylia then smiled again, the room was silent.
"Shiori...finding this compendium I have left you holds you to no obligation to do anything, yes it would please me to have a group of friends carry on our work, but if you choose not to...then it would not disappoint me. This is dangerous work and carry's with it VERY real dangers including the possibility of death to any and all of you, but if you play it smart and do your best working as a team I believe you can do anything...you may take it from us...we have lived long lives despite all we have been through. But I will not lie to you, it is a hard road and it is some thing to think hard on and not just once but many times."
"I want to add one more thing to this part of this data unit, this part is key. Since I am gone I am not sure how many of us are left at this juncture in time that you are now viewing this, though I have a hunch sadly that Priss my also no longer be with us...I may be wrong but she had confided in me some time before recording this section of this unit that her doctors have been acting strange and that she has problems likely from old wounds. Onto my point nostalgia comes on a latter section of this unit, I will speak on assumption. Linna, Nene. I know this all will come as a huge shock for you to find a new generation taking the helm of the Knight Sabers, we have fought long and hard and we have seen the worst of times and also some of the best.
Through this data unit I have left you all just about everything you will need to keep the Sabers going, including new designs and technology guides everything I could think of for building hardsuit's out of the very cutting edge of today's technology...including POSSIBLE assimilation of certain boomer technologies into the suits though this is speculation on my part. I want you two to pull together and help these four new girls, they have the technology and everything we had in the beginning. I want you to help turn them into Knight Sabers, share everything we have learned in the years we were active. And IF things do get active again and this long peace unfortunately shatters, I want them to be as ready as possible. Good luck."
With that Sylia gave another smile, and the screen referred back to the selection menu of the unit.
December 31st 2078
It was a good thing that it was a Saturday and no one had to work or anything, as it turned out to be a very long night of discussion and attempted debates and successful one's between everyone. Linna and Nene were understandably blindsided by just walking in on everything, emotions ran hot and fluid and seemed to go through the complete spectrum. Sylia's data unite provided much needed buffering between them all and understanding came, upon learning that they were more than likely going out New Years to stop a terrorist attack if possible Linna and Nene paled.
In the end the new group was accepted, Linna and Nene didn't have bad feelings but were in shock at the whole ordeal and the fact that they were never called to any of the new meetings. They also of course agreed to Sylia's wishes, they would have any way just to try and keep the new girls from making the same mistakes they had made in the beginning.
Everyone slept in today, after all it had been a hard week to say nothing of the long night. Everyone went about their day normally enough, Masane and Yuri met up to catch and early movie at a local theater. Linna and Nene met up as was the usual, but the topics today were limited to one and it was an important one. Shiori and Miho went out perusing a few stores, mainly looking for a few things Miho had been trying to find namely a new lap top since her's was on it's last leg. Ayame and Kei relaxed and hung out eventually running into Shiori and Miho, but as per the code they did no more than smile and greet each other carry on a small conversation and part way's.
Later that night there was no need for the pagers in all of their watches as they all had decided to gather at Shiori's place, Linna and Nene showed up as well. In that way it was like a reunion of sorts, 10:00pm approached as they all settled in for a bit of a party no alcohol but plenty to drink and snacks as they watched the big bash unfolding on the television with some reserve as they all anticipated what was sure to come.
"You know...this kinda reminds me of old times, I'm just sorry I wont be going out like back then."
Linna gave Nene a look that bordered on wonder and laughter, laughter won over this time.
"I never thought I would hear you complain about not being able to go out and get beat up Nene."
Nene shot her a glance of mock anger.
"Hey! It wasn't all that bad, well maybe except that time when we had to deal with Largo and those super boomers. That I could have done without, we all nearly got obliterated by those orbital satellites."
The two bickered a little in good fun and things always turned to the times when they had almost bought the farm, the new generation could only listen to the past experiences of those who came before.
"Yeah it would be awesome to have you guy's come out with us, but I think with us around you wont ever have to again."
Linna shot Kei a look, it was one of mixed feelings but in a good nature.
"Well I look at it this way Kei, there are pros and cons of it. A part of me is glad I wont, but another part of me will always want to suit up and go out there and kick some butt. I think maybe one of these day's you'll look at it the same way, when your in our position at any rate."
"That reminds me, I never did get to ask before. What do you all think of all of this? Probably not the right question right now I suppose, and likely your all feeling a bit like we all did the first time around."
Most looked at Nene as if she was a bit crazy, most of the new generation was pretty somber about now and weren't expecting the question except Masane. Who was just sitting back in the love seat with her boots on one of the coffee tables, her red leathers matching them she had her hands behind her head her black tank top hugged her form like a glove her red eye's caught Nene off guard.
"I think it is the same thing you guy's experienced when you first joined, people aren't all that different so I think your right on with that assumption. But right now personally...I just wish those jokers would hurry up and make their move, I'm getting tired of sitting around."
She sighed and leaned her head back and closed her eye's for a moment, the noise coming from the TV annoyed her all those people having fun and here she was stuck bored off her ass.
"Wow Masane, you just sounded like Priss. Those eye's get to me, sorry if I'm being too nostalgic..."
"Asagiri's arent all the same, sorry to bust your bubble Linna but I'm a bit nostalgic too...especially when it comes to my grandmother. My eye's might be her eye's and yes were likely a lot alike, but never forget who your looking at."
Masane pulled her feet off the table and stood up, she ran her fingers through her dark brown hair and made her way to the bath room Linna's eye's down cast a little though Masane wasn't harsh about it but she could tell she had struck the wrong chord with her a hand came to her shoulder a moment later.
"Don't worry about her Linna, Masane has a hard time dealing with Priss' passing still. She meant nothing by it, there is a lot of pressure and things riding on tonight and we all are feeling it."
Linna looked up at Shiori glimpsing that small smile that reminded her of Sylia, even though the girl was still just a kid she still felt comforted by her words. She couldn't help but feel like she had been thrown back in time to earlier day's, it was just like dealing with Priss and her moody and some times explosive temperment.
"I think we all do, Priss was some one who isn't a replaceable person. Well at any rate, I hope you are all ready for what might happen out there...it can get really dicey."
Shiori moved over to and had a seat in her chair taking a cup of steaming tea in hand, after a sip she regarded Linna and Nene thoughtfully.
"Well. Would you both like to come along in the truck? I have been thinking of making it common place if you two think it is also a good idea, I think you two being there and helping Miho out there could be a perk."
Linna and Nene glanced at each other, after a moment they both nodded.
"Sure that would be neat, I think some time Linna and I will want our old suits refitted and maybe updated a little bit too."
Shiori stopped sipping the piping hot green tea and gave the two a ponderous and blank stare for a moment, it was as if she had been slapped then Linna giggled breaking the look of shock on her face.
"Oh no not for THOSE reasons Shiori, the only reason we'd ask for them is for the armored protection because in the past the truck hasn't always been the safest place on earth. Of course all of our old weapons should be reactivated as well, but those are all just precautions for our own safety plus I think it would be a good move just in case because that would be the only way Miho would have a chance if the truck was accidentally or other wise attacked."
Shiori seemed to exhale deeply now in relief, the idea had crossed her mind that they might want to go out but what Linna had said made perfect sense and she was embarrassed that she had not thought of it. She thought it would also be a great moral booster for herself and the others as well, having two of the original Knight Sabers on board in hardsuits.
"Sometimes I wonder if I am loading myself up too steeply, brilliant idea Linna and Nene we'll get started on that as soon as we can...we also have plans to start work on new motoslaves as well."
They all spoke onward and soon Masane came strolling back into the living room getting herself a cup of coffee, she looked as if she were about to say some thing to apologize to Linna about her attitude a while ago but that's when the New Years countdown began and everyone in the room blew that out the window for the moment with the beginnings of the celebration. Everything was perfect and even the knowledge of what else the night held looming was shoved to the back burner for a few moments as everyone stood with glass' of champagne, everyone joyfully counted with the timer displayed in downtown on the TV as it counted down to the New Year.
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Everyone toasted and cheered the sounds of happiness and the clinking of crystal glass', but just as this brief moment was at it's height for everyone in the room a deep thunderous rumble immediately followed by tremor that everyone could actually feel beneath their feet rocked the place but not enough to damage any thing. Every one paused and went silent, like an expected but unwelcome guest recognition appeared on all of them.
One moment everything on the TV looked perfectly fine, then the cameras panned frantically and soon revealed an angry red black and yellow mushroom cloud rising into the air the shock wave rocking the new's choppers on board camera. It panned haphazardly swinging into chaos for a moment then focused on a building actually beginning to collapse smoke and more fire erupting in the dark, the sounds were absolutely huge and it was between Genom tower and the downtown celebration point. The voices of the reporters on scene and the broadcasters started going berserk yelling and some times screaming into their mics causing harsh audio, the whole place seemed to erupt into madness as the unexpected and unspeakable happened.
"OH MY GOD! This just in! Some thing had happened near the downtown celebration location, it seems as though some sort of bomb has gone off and the damage has yet to be assessed but it appears that one building was the target! It appears as though this is some sort of terrorist attack everyone, there are reports of more smaller explosions are going on very near the base of Genom tower!"
Another newscaster overlapped the one just speaking and cameras switched views from what appeared to be another news helicopter, the view was blurry and unfocussed but it showed fire and smoke and smaller explosions going on and movement that was located near Genom tower. Slowly as the frantic voices of the news crew bleated on and on with things that were happening, soon the cameras took focus and showed a scene that made everyone in the room gasp aloud and the reported announced what they saw.
"Oh! What the? We CANNOT believe what we are seeing here folks, but it appears the terrorist attack happening here in the down town area is...is a rogue boomer attack! In all of my long years I never would have thought that I would see this sort of thing again, but here it is before my eye's...and everyone's eye's! Six...no! Eight boomers that this old reporter has in his sights here, were not sure if there are any more but they are running amok here in the down town area! Oh god! We need the ADP, the Army hell we need some one down here, I think that Genom Enterprises will find their long ago decision to close the doors to the old ADP was a mistake after this night!."
Shiori stood first but was mirrored by the others nearly the same time, their eye's wide in first shock then some sort of underlying determination.
"Knight Sabers, to the bay and suit up! Just like we practiced everyone, let's make it quick and get down there!"
All of the practice drills and everything they had been doing in their training paid off as everything thing went quickly and smoothly as within five minutes everyone was down in the hardsuit bay and into their hardsuit's, making sure everything was in order Shiori lead them all into the truck and the heavy reinforced doors slammed shut behind them and the truck started moving out of the hidden bay door and up and out into the underground lot heading to near the ground zero area where they would deploy.
Looking about in the back of the truck everyone was like they were running on auto pilot, running suit checks and keeping up to date on the situation via a pirated live video up-link to the news stations. It did not take them long to find a dark spot where no one would see to park the truck near the action, now all four of the girls slipped their helmets on hisses and slight clicks sealed and locked them into place their HUD's coming to life booting all the systems as the on board computers did quick checks and settled into combat mode.
"Keep on your toes everyone! Remember there are civilians in the mix out there, watch your fire and try and save any one if possible and do not separate! We have to stop those boomers, keep an eye out for any traps."
Shiori seemed to go on some sort of auto pilot as she competently gave instructions as they left the truck and stepped for the first time onto the city streets in their suits, they were all nervous but reverted to what they hard learned during training.
"Be careful out there there could be anything out there along with those boomers, they looked like Doberman types so watch out they are fast and tough even for old out dated models so don't underestimate them!"
Nene called out to the group before they activated their jump jets and disappeared into the darkness, Linna and Nene just watched as they went off without hesitation into the night and wondered if it was like this back when they were in those girls position.
They moved quickly and managed a roof top perch on the very edge of the newly created battle field that was downtown, it looked like a hundred little fires were burning out of control and the now and then explosion rocked the streets.
"Pink, scan the area and get us a location on those boomers."
"Already under way White."
They were using their call signs just like in training, Ayame's antennae array deployed and fanned out from the back of her suit, it didn't take her long at all to pinpoint the group of rogues by the trace of their power plants.
"I got them! They are forty seven yards due east of our current position!"
"Ok got it, is every one ready?"
They all nodded silently, the time was finally here and it seemed right where they were going every damned news chopper in Mega Tokyo was hovering over the area.
The old battle cry echoed out among every one through the coms in their helmets, Linna Nene and Miho actually grinned upon hearing Shiori saying it she sounded confident...weather or not she actually was was unknown but it was good for the others to hear it in her voice as it was all their first time out and no one knew what would happen as they jumped into the night sky and made their way to their pray.
Some where elsewhere in the city
He hated this place, but after tonight he was hoping to finally leave the city and return back home. He didn't care if the whole damned place burned to the ground, he was sure that they would get what their demands called for from the Genom Corporation as soon as there was enough damage to the city. Oni or Shinji Asahara was also sure that Genom at this very moment were freaking out and likely were in a board meeting over current events, he smiled to himself as he entered into the small dump they were at the moment calling Mission HQ. The tall lanky man Imagawa was seated behind a rickety old console with eight CCTV monitors flashing different images, each one was linked to the ocular set up in each of the eight Doberman models that were at the very moment on the loose in the downtown area.
"I trust everything is going well Imagawa, how is the attack proceeding?"
Imagawa naturally looked away from one of the monitors just as a heat blast melted a young couple down to ash in an instant, to be truthful Imagawa hated this part he had morals and every damned one of them were lighting up with no joy. Still he put on his best poker face when he turned to face Oni, the man wasn't above putting him out of his misery right here and now as his usefulness to the Green Dragon was at an end and his breathing right now was a blessing due to a job well done at least for the moment.
"As you can see Mr. Asahara things are going according to your plan, the Doberman models are making one hell of a mess out of downtown. To be truthful I don't think it will be all too long, unless they are still that stubborn that Genom will sooner or later meet our demands. This incident looks too much like their fault, the placement of the boomers is perfect to reflect such an idea as well."
Oni simply smiled, it was a wolfs smile and it showed no remorse over those who were injured and or dying on the CCTV screens behind Imagawa...to him it was a sign of progress.
It hadn't taken long to formulate a plan with the way the boomers had scattered themselves about, their formation was not a formation really but it did roughly split the group into two groups effectively enough. Shiori formulated a plan to flank both groups at the same time, they were not expecting any sort or resistance so they had the element of surprise on their side and if they hit both groups just right and hard they should be able to cut their numbers down to one to one by the time the boomers have a chance to gather their wits.
Shiori and Ayame paired up and Masane and Kei did the same, then in an instant they were in the air falling down a few stories vectoring like bullets towards the unsuspecting opposing force.
Masane cocked back her right arm tensing as hard as she could three of the knuckle bombs of her right arm extended and activated as the fist guard shifted into place as well as another two on her right shin plate, as soon as her right fist connected directly on top of the Dobermans cranium the shape charges exploded with direct and devastating directed force literally disintegrating it's head and cutting deeply into it's torso. As soon as her armored left foot made the slightest contact with the pavement she shifted her hips her foot dug into the pavement and launched her right leg forward slamming it into the next boomers torso with equally devastating consequences for the bio machine, the leg bombers nearly blowing it in half with the force of the explosion and the hulking thing came down in a twitching heap of smoking metal and orange coolant.
Kei had much the same success as she attacked with much the same method minus the second bomber attack she shifted her body in a half spin and sliced the second Doberman into three using her mono ribbons, though Kei was quicker on her feet than Masane they both reached their second targets at just about the same time that their first were hitting the ground in greasy smoking masses. They went head to head with the next two as they had already turned in what could vaguely be considered surprise, Masane's opponent half succeeding to dodging a double rail gun shot catching one in the head the other needle going astray embedding deeply into the brick of a nearby building as the Doberman managed to not be where it was supposed to be.
Kei connected with her boomers arm as it moved to capture her leg and would have succeeded if it was not for the leg bombers being activated when it connected with it's grip, instead it's arm was effectively blown into a ragged stump orange fluids sprayed wildly sprinkling Kei's suit with a generous amount which simply sloughed off the smooth armor.
Shiori and Ayame were fairing pretty much the same, both managed to take out the first Dobermans Shiori taking her's out with a mono sword through the head followed up by a direct blast from her palm cannon blowing a huge hold through it's torso leaving it to fall on it's face while she activated her thrusters and making haste to the second managing to bury her mono edge blade deeply into it's chest but found herself unable to rake the blade upwards in an attempt to cleave it in half from the chest up. She caught the full brunt of a back hand that knocked her flailing backwards and smashing into a parked car effectively totaling it as she nearly folded it's frame on impact, this knocked their air out of her for a moment before she willed herself onto her feet and ready for the incoming attackers next move still easily dodging.
Ayame managed to nearly fry her first boomers systems even before she landed, making it hesitate heavily setting it up to receive an explosive kick to the crotch as she had activated half the activated conical shape charges it practically blew into pieces from the over use of such powerful explosives and nearly knocked her backwards. The second boomer had figured things out quicker than it's friends and was already making way to Ayame as she recovered from the blast that covered her in boomer goo, she managed to dodge a particle beam from it's mouth close enough where she could feel the heat of the blast as it passed by her head by a foot but a second but less powerful shot caught her upper leg sending her face first and into a violent spin along the pavement her leg was enveloped in intense heat but it dissipated quickly enough through the ceramic armor that she hoped it would not cause serious burns.
Back in the truck there was a mix of reactions as the fight began and started moving on, there were a few cheers as the first boomers went down and they went down quickly too. Then there was silence as things turned more serious as the remaining boomers regain composure and began a counter attack, the element of surprise worked well enough the first two boomers got creamed and the second set met a similar fate soon after and then there were four left an even numbered match.
"I hope these new hardsuits fair better than our old ones did against these things Miho, they could be in some trouble if not."
Miho turned to Nene and Linna and to their surprise there was actually a smile there, some what like Shiori's but a bit more disquieting as she looked simply egotistical.
"Not to worry about that, these suits that we made are tuned and outfitted with the very best military and non military materials and components in the world. No offense but, they make the old suits look like those old K-12's the ADP used to use. As long as they keep a cool head, they should be able to take those things out like they are clay targets."
Nene and Linna shared a questioning look, but decided to see what happened and see if Miho was going to be right. The Sabers com channel was quiet at the moment as the girls concentrated their efforts on the remaining boomers, the news reports were breaking and then came one that they could hear clearly and demanded their attention and of course Miho had the recorder on to monitor both the news and the coms.
(Kodoku no Angel)
"This just in everyone! And you WILL NOT believe what is now going on in the chaos of the downtown area! I nor any of my compatriots can believe what we are seeing here..but...see for yourself through our camera mans lens! Four armored figures have appeared and are fighting the boomers and it looks like they have already in moments taken out four of the supposed eight, by our sources these four armored individuals are without a shadow of a doubt the Knight Sabers! Yes you hear right, the four female vigilantes are back after disappearing almost forty three ago with the decline of boomer rampages in our fair Mega Tokyo!"
Mixed feelings went about in the truck as they heard the reporter announce the return of the Knight Sabers, but the business at hand was the focus and the announcement in their position was a passing mark.
"Ayame to me!"
Shiori called into the com, soon they were side by side as the two boomers closed in and they shared a glance as they noticed the Dobermans positions and nodded to each other. Soon enough what they were hoping for happened as both boomers charged up and let loose a particle beam shot from their mouths, the two Knight Sabers splitting off blindingly fast on their thrusters leaving the space the boomers had locked onto empty except for each other, both managed to almost dodge the set up but both receiving crippling damage from each others blast in the resulting cross fire. One was chewed up by cannon blasts from Shiori and the other Ayame had cut to shreds using a new shoulder mounted weapon sending magnetically charged mono edged disks at the boomer the disks sliced through its armor like wet paper as they made several passes before returning to the launcher.
Masane and Kei were fairing well, Masane had decided to go hand to hand street fighting style with her Doberman using her knuckle bombers she with in moments of maneuvering matching it's speed then overwhelming it she crippled it. Then effectively killing it with three rail gun needles through it's head as it tried ripping at her midsection with it's talons it missed as she was just too fast, as it fell and laid on the street in a pool of it's own orange fluids she delivered a particle cannon shot from her right palm obliterating it's head and leaving a smoking hole in the street Masane beneath her visor had a grin pasted on her face.
"Holy crap wow did she really DO that?"
Linna was astounded and it showed, she wasn't aware that she was heard over the coms or to the fact it made Masane grin even more.
Kei managed to do about the same but in blindingly quick and graceful movements keeping the boomer in confusion, catching it totally off guard with a mono blade which had flicked out from under her left fore arms gauntlet opening it wide from it's stomach to it's chin before finishing it off with a lightening quick but powerful leg bomber laced kick to it's back blowing it wide open.
"Well...that wasn't so bad I guess, though my head is still ringing from that bastards punch. Everyone else ok?"
"Oh I think were all ok Blue, Pink managed to get a nearly direct hit from a particle beam but she's is doing ok."
"White, I feel like I spent WAY too much time in the sun. Are we ready to get the hell out of here now or what?"
Shiori smiled at Ayame's comment, in fact she was pretty lucky and the new armor held up against an actual particle beam attack the old suits would not have held up to such a blast. She felt a bit bruised herself from taking the hit that knocked her nearly through a car, but her HUD showed no major suit damage and none to the others either except for some slight heat distortion the the leg armor of Ayame's suit and a small crack in HUD in Masane's helmet. Shiori took stock of this and made note, Masane performed really well but that had been really dangerous but for now pushed it aside there would be time later to have a talk with her.
"Ok everyone good work, it seems that we are done here and everything is under control the cities first responders can handle it from here. Let's go."
Ayame almost forgetting but at the last second remembered some thing, a small laser device popped up from her left forearm and the beam came to life burning some thing into the street next to the destroyed boomers. It read in stylized font...
And with that the dispersed as quickly as they had shown up, it had turned out that their first outing wouldn't be their last and much of their fear was just hype but regardless it was a sobering event. As they road back to the Lady 633 they all took off their helmets and breathed a sigh of relief, the adrenalin of the fight wearing off as they say relaxed in their suits it was a fairly quiet ride back with the exception of some casual chat about the fight between them and Linna and Nene.
"Well it seems like the city is actually welcoming us back after all these years, how ironic!"
Nene winked and Linna rolled her eye's a bit but giggled along with Nene. The others just gave them an odd bleary look, they were tired but mostly from their own anxiety and this was just the beginning so it seemed and they knew they had better get used to it.
"Yeah...I guess so, still it was weird. Watching the fight from the truck, and seeing hardsuits in action fighting boomers again I mean...and it wasn't us doing it for the first time."
Linna spoke with some distracted quality to her voice, as she gazed out the passenger window of the truck.
"Mhum that was sure some thing, and wow Masane...that was awesome but really dangerous, you feeling ok after that?"
Masane looked up from resting her head in her hands for a long moment, she sat up and grimaced her head was absolutely throbbing.
"Yeah I'm alright, getting a hell of a headache is all...that thing packed a hell of a right hook glad mine was better. Did Priss get this a lot? Damn."
"Oh yeah she did, she got some of the worst injuries out of most of the team except maybe an exception of one or two. Your a LOT like her Masane, just try not to get too badly injured..."
Masane looked at Linna a moment then winced again, Shiori made her way from the computer where Miho was still seated and knelt next to Masane with a small bag and produced a penlight and began checking her eye's.
"Hey, what the hell are you doing Shiori trying to blind me on top of a head ache?"
Shiori paid no mind to this and continued with what she was doing, also checking her ears and pulse.
"Sorry Masane, checking you for concussion among other things but mainly concussion. You took quite a hard hit from that boomer, you could have avoided that...but now isn't the time so hold still I'll give you a quick C scan when we get back to be absolutely sure."
A moment later she put the medical affects back into the bag, satisfied she had done as much as she could for the moment.
"Ayame how is your leg holding up?"
Ayame looked up from a slight daze she'd slipped into as she had relaxed against a comfy position she'd found against a L beam arm rest like section connected to the bench, she brightened a little as she snapped out of it.
"Uh...oh. I'm ok or at least I feel ok, it just feels like a serious sunburn on my upper leg is all. Guess it feels kinda like a skinned it or some thing, I just hope it isn't really bad under the suit."
Shiori smiled gently as she regarded Ayame, she could see real worry in the girls eye's and Ayame caught the smile and again brightened. She rose to her feet made her way a couple steps over to Ayame the suit making her steps clank metal against metal along the floor of the moving truck, she laid an armored hand on Ayame's armored shoulder.
"I'm sure it's not Ayame so don't worry about it, we'll get you out of the suit and take a look. Everyone will be getting a once over, some bumps and bruises I am sure."
The truck disappeared into the inner city night, taking side streets and detours around major traffic areas as much as possible to avoid any possible distractions though it was of little concern as most every police car and authority figure was surely in downtown proper at the moment and the rest of the ride was uneventful.
Several gunshots rang out in the small monitoring room, the sound of shattering glass and the smell of fried circuitry permeated the air the the loud bellowing of curses followed.
"What the HELL WAS THAT? What in the blue HELL happened, WHO..."
Oni was livid so much so the veins stood out on his forehead and neck like cables his face flushed and bright red, to Imagawa he looked like he was about to blow and artery and he hoped he would bitterly. He came up from his momentary hiding place where he had ducked beneath the console to escape the rain of bullets Oni had put in his direction but at the monitors, he shook his lab coat glass and powder falling from it as he tried to gather what was left of his composure.
"I...I had NO idea...THEY were still around..."
Oni turned to the scientist looking at him as though he had not noticed his presence in the room prior to his fit of rage, his gaze no less fiery he leveled the pistol at Imagawa his voice strained.
"Who? And JUST what the hell do you know that I don't...I don't like secrets Imagawa and you are damned lucky I haven't shot you dead where you stand. Spill it, who the FUCK were they?"
"I haven't any secrets, dose it look like I want to die over a stupid lie? It is some thing I know about from growing up is all, hell most every one knows of them. Those who took out all those boomers like they were nothing, there the Knight Sabers sir. But they haven't been seen or heard from in almost forty some years, the LAST thing I would have ever expected to happen tonight was that THEY would show up!"
Oni looked at him incredulously and began lowering the pistol, his other hand gripped tightly almost enough to draw blood as his well kept nails nearly drew blood from his palm.
"Knight Sabers? How can that be...there as old as my grandmother in a fuckin wheelchair right now! After forty years? That dose not make sense, Imagawa...you still have connections don't you?"
Imagawa only nodded hoping to prolong his own life by any means necessary, he had no wish to die this not...or any other for that matter. He would do as he was told, for now. If it was the Knight Sabers to which he had no doubt, then maybe when he had the opportunity he could some how find a way to contact them and work for them to help take down the Tokyo cell of the Green Dragon and hopefully save his own bacon at the same time.
"Then get on it, have them dig up some thing ANYTHING I'll have my people on it of course...fail me again and you will be taking a dirt nap Imagawa."
The Next Day
The dreams came and went as she tossed and turned, Masane's sleep was a restless one. Everything was sore but it was her head that thrummed with the last throws of what had turned out to be one hell of a head splitter of a headache, taking capsules for headaches had helped ease the throbbing but it was still there. Shiori and Miho had checked her out after they had gotten back from the battle in the Medical Bay, they put her through a scanner and came up with only the boarder line symptoms of a concussion but it was not bad enough to worry about and so Shiori gave her a bottle of aspirin that contained a pain killer for headaches.
That last boomer had managed to land a square blow to the head, she remembered spinning slightly it was so hard and when it connected she momentarily saw stars and her visor monitor had flickered slightly but luckily there was no damage to her helmet just a small crack in the HUD of her visor and the newly engineered neck stabilizers that connected the helmet to the body armor likely saved her a broken neck.
Still it had given her a hell of a migraine, though the worst of it was gone now. Her phone rang suddenly sending fresh jolts of pain through her head stabbing like swords of white piercing light, she groaned and cussed it and searched and fumbled for the handset finally finding it and ripping it off the base so hard the base flew to the floor with a clatter whipping several empty old beer cans off with it.
"Sorry to bother you Masane, I take it the headache hasn't fully gone away yet. I thought I would call and tell you that we have gone over the data recorders in the suits from last night as well as those from the truck during. I am calling a mandatory meeting to just go over and review things from last night, it wont take awfully long and if you like I can give you another small bottle of what I gave you last night. How are you feeling?"
"Uug...my head feels like a bruise and I'm feeling punchy, what do you think? Guess I wont argue over a meeting, I was kind of expecting it. Have those pills ready just in case this doesn't go away by tonight, damn boomer."
"Shh...hush on that please. Ok, well I hope that your feeling better by tonight's meeting. At any rate I have to go, take care Masane see you tonight."
She hung it up with the press of a button and dropped the thing into the floor and rolled over laying there, after a while she figured it wouldn't do any good laying around all day. Soon she managed to grab a hot shower and popped more of the headache capsules washing them down with a bottle of water, she had no idea what she was going to do today so she figured she would go out for a ride and let the day figure itself out as she went.
She wasn't too far into the day when she pulled over pier side stripping her helmet and unzipping her jacket a bit to let some of the frigid air flow into her leathers, a gentle breeze blew in from the ocean fresh and clean her eye's closed as it tousled her air. The only thing was an eye sore of Genom's, an old research lab building that was abandoned but an old sign claimed it would be reopened at some unknown date. The fresh air had done her a world of good and the idea for a ride had turned golden, ever since last night she'd had a headache from hell and the relief was welcomed.
She walked a short way over to a couple of ancient looking beverage machines and popped in a few coins with a lot of doubt, but when she pushed the highly faded button she was amazingly rewarded with a bottle of Coke. The area was old and the machines were the very same one's her and Priss used to stop by and grab a drink from, they had looked old then too she remembered.
She and an old friend she had mentioned a few times had stopped by the spot when they used to ride together, strangely enough this friend of her's did not come up often...not as much as you might think when some one is a dear friend. She sat side saddle relaxing a bit on her bike looking out at the ocean sipping the Coke, she remembered the girls name was Sylvie. When Priss had mentioned her on a scant handful of times she remembered she would start getting this far away look on her face, it would start out with a warm smile and a light in her eye's but then always faded into a morose and distant vibe.
Maybe she would look into the data bank at Shiori's when she would think of it next, then again maybe it was rude as hell to be digging in her grandmothers business but it some times ate at her and Priss would never speak more of Sylvie and would doge the subject. Masane was off in her own world in her own thoughts when a car had pulled up and stopped, a man looking to be in his late thirties stepped out but the way he walked suggested he was a bit older than he looked. He wore jeans and a old bomber jacket with a pair of sunglasses, his hair was streaked in gray and slicked back in a sort of crop cut.
Masane noticed him but she didn't look in his direction except out of her peripheral, she had no clue to who the old guy was and she didn't really care either as she sat nursing her soda. Soon he stood to her left side about ten feet away his hands stuffed into his jacket pockets as he appeared to be looking out to the sea, he wasn't too slick about stealing glances he tried to cover by shifting his view.
"It's beautiful isn't it? It's a good place to come and think, clear your head of all the bullshit..."
She gave him a glance as if just noticing that her was there, she simply shrugged and sipped her drink.
"I'm sorry I must come off as some perverted old fart, I came here well BEEN coming here a while and I haven't seen any one in most of the times I've been here. And well...you look a LOT like some one I used to know, I couldn't help but try and strike up a conversation."
"Yeah whatever, if you came to perv on me you'd be begging for an ass kicking. Lot's of girls look the same in this city, and besides I'm not who you knew...I'm not that old."
The man tried his best hurt look but soon gave it up, he took off the shades and tucked them into the collar of his coat and looked right at Masane she was actually preparing to sock the old guy a good one if he tried anything funny when he held up his hands in a mock gesture of surrender.
"I knew it. Listen I don't know you but I am willing to put a large bet that your last name is Asagiri, reason why I'm saying this is because I knew Priss for a long time and your too much like her for my hunch to be wrong. The names Leon, Leon McNicol."
She snapped a half shocked look at him laced in smugness still wondering if he was a nut, but he knew her last name and said that he knew Priss...she let out a sigh.
"So what you knew Priss, lot's of people knew her she did get pretty famous with her band. Wait a second, your Leon...she said you were a pervert and was always after her. Look if your going to start asking me for a date to try and make up for the chance my grandmother refused you, say so and I'll make this quick."
Masane had already made fists, her eye's bored into him like a furnace fire making Leon backpedal instinctively.
"Woah woah wait a minute! I didn't have any intention of THAT! Chill out damn you are a lot like her and not just in the looks department either, oh never mind that sorry I'm not good with breaking the ice."
"Damn right your not, can see why Priss blew you off."
"She didn't blow me off all the time, actually we had a pretty good thing going on there for a while but we were just too...I don't know...we were just too late for each other by the time we decided to get serious. You never did tell me your name."
"It's Masane Asagiri."
"Wow I never in my life would have guessed that one day I would meet Priss' granddaughter, can I...ask you a question?"
Masane tossed her empty bottle and hit a rim shot into the trash can nearby, already zipping her jacket and prepping to put on her helmet and she said nothing.
"Alright. Your not getting into the 'business' your grandmother and the others were in are you?"
At that Masane froze as she was just about to bring her helmet down onto her head, she was facing away from him but if he could have seen her face at that moment she might have given it away. Just WHAT did he mean business, he didn't sound like he was referring to the band which scared the hell out of her. The Knight Sabers were supposed to be a secret, so IF that's what he was referring to how in the hell did he know?
Leon stuttered a moment not knowing what to say, she was frank about it then a second later he felt so stupid.
"Yeah actually I was talking to Max and Hiroshi and were re forming the Replicant's, here soon we should have a reunion gig down at the old Hot Legs keep an eye and ear out for it if you wanna catch the show."
Leon was blank a moment then caught himself, he did his best to reassert control over the conversation he knew he seen her freeze like a deer in the head lights that HAD to mean some thing else he looked around making sure no one was in ear shot.
"I'm not as stupid an old man as you might think Masane, you KNOW what I was referring to. I knew back then about Priss, I accidentally found out and I know the secret she kept till she passed away. I don't know who the others were or are, but I know damn well that there back...it's world news with that New Years fiasco."
Masane still did not answer him any further, she slipped on and secured her helmet and started the bike.
"There's a new group isn't there? Not like your going to tell me but rest assured I knew Priss was one, and I'd bet more money that your the new Blue Saber aren't you?"
She said one word and he could barely hear her as she took off like a bat out of hell, he stood watching her disappear down the street rubbing the back of his head and began to smile... she called him a baka...aka idiot.
"Damn, she's just like Priss. I know she's one of them..."
He stood for a while longer in deep thought, putting his shades back on he lit a cigarette and blew out a long draw from it the smoke catching on the gentle breeze.
"Thanks, for doing what you do anyway."
Later that evening everyone gathered sitting about relaxing and chatting among each other, Masane and Kei were chatting when she brought up Leon. Kei didn't know who Leon was but they chatted any way because of the shock factor of what he said in their half conversation earlier in the day. Nene was just so happened to be walking on her way back from the girls room when she heard his name, she cocked an eyebrow and had to but in.
"Wha? Did I hear the name Leon? You mean Leon McNicol? When did you meet him Masane?"
Masane shrugged as if it wasn't much of a meeting, she had not been impressed.
"Earlier today, kinda creepy he acted like he knew me but instead knew Priss. That wasn't the big deal though, the big deal was when he pegged me as a Knight Saber and not just that but said he would bet that I was the blue one. Said that he knew Priss was a Knight Saber, some how he found out."
Nene gawked at this, she kinda knew that Leon had some how found out about Priss but weather or not it was true or not she never found out and if he did he never said a thing.
"He's snooping around again after all these years, he amazes me with that dogged tenacity of his I swear. I wouldn't worry too much about it Masane, he's only working on a hunch and there never was any proof or anything that he KNEW Priss was a Saber but..."
"But WHAT Nene?"
"Ah never mind don't worry about it OK? Leon was with the old ADP, he and I worked together for years he's a good guy he's just one of those dedicated cops...though he's getting on in his years he seems to still have the knack for it."
Masane was a little relived that Nene knew the guy, he had successfully freaked her out with the Saber talk Nene saw this and reassured her.
"Leon huh? That guy is still around? I thought he went poof when the ADP did a head dive after Genom closed shop on them."
It was Linna and she had a smile on her face that made her look twenty years younger, she beamed with kiddish enthusiasm as she sipped a hot cup of green tea.
"Oh she ran into Leon today, he recognized her and found she was an Asagiri. Then he had the nerve to start digging at the Knight Saber thing, probably because of New Years and since he thought Priss was one he's trying to blindly connect the dots...being snoopy."
Linna gave off a laugh and patted Masane on the back.
"Oh don't worry about that guy, well... he IS a lecher but you wont have to worry about him finding out your a Knight Saber he couldn't figure out who we were with the backing of the ADP let alone by himself it's not even worth bringing up in the meeting. Just shrug him off, Priss did it all the time."
"Humph...easy for you guy's to say, I'm not Priss."
Shiori came in a few minutes later and started the meeting, she was rather cheery this evening a total change from the night's leading up to the New Years events. First she produced a folded paper and handed it to Ayame and had her pass it on, it was a copy of one of the major news papers in Mega Tokyo. Front page read...
New Years Celebration Saved, Knight Sabers Return!
And a rare thing accompanied under that, an actual photo albeit not a very good one but it did capture two out of four Knight Sabers. One going head to head with one of the Dobermans her arm in mid swing at it's head, the other facing off with another with her mono sword extended. With a little looking they recognized the two as Masane and Shiori, it was black and white but fires all around them could be defined.
"And now for another piece..."
Shiori clicked a button on the remote the wide screen coming to life, a selection from a memory sick and it began. It was all the footage audio included of all the coverage that was going on while they were in the fight that the others in the truck had bared witness to, there was a bit of pride and a few smiles going around the room as they watched and listened then the footage stopped.
"It seems we have been welcomed back to Mega Tokyo, the loss of life before and while we were on the scene was minimal thankfully city wide damage ceased once we were there to distract the boomers and so we were seen as 'saviors' on New Years. However as always, not every one has the same opinions..."
She clicked the remote again and it was on a talk show normally reserved for government talks and the like, some guy in a cheap looking suit and an obvious rug on hiss head to try and cover his omnipresent bald spot.
"These Knight Sabers are Mercenary's, Vigilantes on top of that there is no excuse for not bringing them in and to justice regardless of just what people THINK they did on New Years."
"Mr Goble those are understandable statements, but how can you argue the fact that if they did not show up on scene that the death toll would have been substantially higher? I personally think that the Knight Sabers did do some good, after all they did take care of the boomer menace when no one else could possibly have."
"I don't care about that Chuck, the body count would have been the same if the damned Army would have arrived on scene...now THOSE are people you should be rooting for not lawbreaking outlaws and mercenary's. They should have stayed gone in my personal opinion, for all we know the whole thing was orchestrated by the Knight Sabers for some publicity stunt!"
Masane flipped the wide screen off with both middle fingers of both hands, putting heavy emphasis of the f word. The others looked at her a moment but the startling volume of her statement lost it's impact quickly, Shiori gave Masane an odd look as she witnessed the red eyed biker produce a pack of cigarettes and lit one with an old fashioned fuel lighter like a Zippo model. Miho appeared at Masane's side and laid an ashtray on the end table close to her, Masane nodded to her neutrally and as smoked to hopefully calm her nerves. No one knew that she smoked, Shiori had tried it but couldn't get passed the taste and the urge to cough her lungs out.
A couple of other channels later it seemed that some thing about them and New Years was on, mostly new channels and so on and for the first time there was actually footage of the Knight Sabers in action some thing that had never appeared before any where but there was little hope in avoiding it that night when the world watched. Half of the things said about them and or the New Years thing was good and the other was bad, mostly crackpots and some government officials and one or two Genom representatives not surprisingly, it seemed as though Genom had just as big an eye on them as the new Sabers did the public questioning weather they had involvement because those boomers bared their logo.
Shiori clicked a button on the remote and the wide screen went dark again, there was silence for a moment.
"Well...I guess we couldn't ask for better reviews."
Ayame commented, it was almost a deadpan.
"Well when you are an organization that works under the table and are generally classified as mercenaries and vigilantes, it is expected. How ever we did the best we could do under the circumstances which weren't all that good, we saved a lot of lives last night and we shut down the boomer rampage and that is all we can ask for."
"Yeah I guess your right, still people like that Goble prick get me steamed I'd like to kick him in the balls with a leg bomber."
Kei giggled at this, shifting in her seat.
"Well remind us if we ever need a PR Agent, promise me we wont choose Masane."
Every one had a chuckle from that one, even Masane grinned. The meeting was short after that and eventually they all said their good nights, they all felt closer now and that was some thing attributed to those who fight together it strengthened their team bonds. They knew that they would be needed again soon, who ever in the Green Dragons ordered the attempted massacre had to be pissed and already planning some thing against them no less. But when that time comes, the Knight Sabers would be waiting.
(Chase The Dream)
End of Chapter
Roll credits ROFL