Mecha Wars: Chapter Fourteen
A wide-eyed Tony looked into the open back panels of the hardsuit, an odd look on her face as she studied the technology within intently. They had been running over the schematics for the first day or so, but now she, Sylia and Mackie were cracking open the suits themselves to really get started on all the upgrades they planned.
After Tony had been staring silently into the suit for a few moments Sylia looked at her with a worried frown, "What's wrong?"
"Sylia, I want to marry you and have your babies," Tony said firmly.
"Urk," Mackie nearly choked on his coffee, developing a slight nosebleed.
"Look at this design," Tony waved admiringly at the exposed circuitry, "I can't believe how efficient this system is! We've got to keep you in the gene-pool." She looked over at the odd look at Mackie's face, "What?"
Sylia was smiling slightly as she shook her head, "Thank you." A pause, "I think."
"Nerd love," Mackie sighed under his breath.
"I heard that," Tony shot back.
Later that day across town and things were getting both loud and crazy. Explosions rang out, and combat boomers went flying regularly, even as people fled the restaurant district as fast as their feet or vehicles could carry them.
"Eeek," Nene gasped, watching a boomer's head go flying by them.
Akiko carefully stuck her head up over the table they were both hiding behind to shout, "Watch where you're throwing those things!"
"Sorry, Mama," Nuku-Nuku shouted back, even as the redhead kicked a boomer right off the ground and into a wall.
"We'll try to be more careful," Emi added cheerfully. The blonde was really quite a pretty girl, if you forgot that she was a robot. To make matters worse, she seemed to be slightly hentai, at least as far as the scanty clothes she was wearing indicated.
Akiko ducked back down and smiled sheepishly at Nene, "Sorry about this."
"Not your fault Genom's still after Nuku-Nuku," Nene shrugged. She smiled slightly, "And I did ask you to come into town."
"True," Akiko smiled back at her. She laughed softly, "At least it's an interesting date."
"Bwa-ha ha ha ha!" Emi had climbed up on the shoulders of a Boomer, pounding down on the head with both hands.
"Interesting," Nene agreed with a laugh. Even more interesting had been how romantic their lunch was, Akiko looked across the dining table into Nene's eyes, her hand reaching across the table to gently rest on Nene's.
And thankfully Nuku-Nuku and Emi were sitting at another table. That way they didn't have to watch Nuku-Nuku scarfing down her fishies, or listen to Emi flirt with Nuku-Nuku, the waitresses or any cute passing customers.
"Wine?" Akiko offered, having found where their bottle had rolled off to. She poured the red into two glasses, handing one to Nene.
"Thanks," Nene laughed as she accepted the glass.
"A toast," Akiko held up her glass. Nene raised hers in reply and Akiko smirked, "To the pretty lady who goes with me on interesting dates."
"And to the beautiful woman," Nene blushed slightly as she continued, "who takes me on these interesting dates."
They tapped their glasses together, both smiling as they looked into each other's eyes.
In another part of town, two figures gazed across the Layer at each other intently while a battle raged between them. The kimono clad Angel Suzuka chased the other Angel relentlessly, a leather jacket clad, brown haired figure that looked oddly familiar.
Hotoko smiled slightly, "What is your new Angel's name?"
Linna smiled back, but kept her focus on the Layer and her opponent, "She's named and modeled after the best fighter I know, Priss."
Hotoko's lips quirked in a smile as she admitted, "I think we've met. So, have you told her about her Angel counterpart yet?"
Linna chuckled softly, "Not yet."
The fight continued, and Linna realized it was looking awfully familiar, somehow. 'The battle dolls incident,' Linna realized, 'this fight is exactly the same as when I fought the life-size Suzuka in my hard suit! Does she know?'
Priss stopped cold, turning back to face her enemy rather than fleeing any longer. Suzuka and her stood there, still as statues, as they assessed each other's abilities and waited for a move.
Hotoko's gaze was on Linna's and a little smile was on her face. "You have a lot of potential," she said softly.
Suzuka suddenly became a blur of movement, Priss barely able to even raise a guard before the blow came. Flung right off the Layer by a single massive kick, Linna barely caught her Angel before it hit the floor.
"But you're not there yet," Hotoko finished with a smile.
The sound of soft clapping announced Misaki's return, the lady beaming happily. "Maybe so," she laughed, "but unlike most Layer players she can actually give you a good fight." She frowned slightly, "But you fighting her looks so familiar, somehow..."
Linna cradled her Angel, checking it for damage. Satisfied, she decided to change the subject, "It must be nice, having an Angelic Layer table in your home."
"Yes, it is," Hotoko smiled, "Misaki is one of the few who can spar with me evenly." She gave Misaki a impish glance, "And it's good for other things.
Misaki went beet red, looking down at the carpet.
"I get the feeling I'm missing something," Linna noted.
"It turns out some hentai," a red faced Misaki mumbled, "has created a series of... anatomically correct Angels modeled after the famous ones."
"Like, say, Suzuka and Hikaru?" Linna mentioned Hotoko's and Misaki's Angels.
Misaki went even redder, while Hotoko shrugged, that little smile still on her face. Linna snickered softly, shaking her head while Misaki went to go get them some refreshments. And to give some time for her blush to go away.
Linna felt Hotoko's considering gaze on her, and sighed softly. 'There was something in Hotoko's eyes when we fought,' Linna thought, 'that convinced her that she knew Linna was the green Knight Saber. And now that both she and Misaki have noticed something, it won't be long before they compare notes.'
'Not that that's my main reason for wanting to tell them,' Linna admitted. She liked them, pure and simple. They were kind, honest and good hearted people, the only reason they had ever been involved with a Genom scheme was because they were lied to.
"There's something I want to tell you," Linna found herself saying. She took a deep breath, "I'm the green Knight Saber."
"I know," Hotoko smiled.
Linna blinked, "That's it?"
Hotoko chuckled softly, "I suspected the first time we fought on the Layer, Linna." She smiled warmly, "What can we do to help?"
"Help who?" Misaki asked, carrying in a tray of drinks.
"The Knight Sabers," Hotoko smiled.
"You mean Linna finally told you she was one?" Misaki beamed happily.
'Whatever happened to a secret identity?' Linna thought to herself dazedly. "You both know?" she blurted.
"The latest fight just confirmed it," Misaki shrugged.
Linna sighed softly.
The day passed swiftly, and in a smoky club that evening, Priss felt that she was right in her element. The Replicants were playing great, her voice was good, and the crowd was loving them. She didn't even mind the costume she was wearing, a leather skirt, jacket, and fish-net top with her usual disguise, the blond wig.
"Who-hoo!" a very familiar woman's voice cheered happily.
Priss' head whipped around, her jaw nearly dropping. 'Can't be,' she thought dazedly.
Her Aunt Natsumi was dancing in place wildly, a wide grin on her face as she watched the performance. Beside her Miyuki tried valiantly to keep up with her lover, and Yoriko and Aoi finished off the set of four.
Priss fought back the urge to pull the jacket around her to try to cover her top. "Friends of yours?" the guitarist asked her mildly.
Priss blew out a nervous breath. 'I can stand up here and crash and burn in front of my Aunt and her friends, or,' she thought, then grinned. "Hurricane, on three," she barked to the band.
Three drum beats later, and the place exploded. People talked about that night weeks later, about how Priss and the Replicants had rocked the place off it's foundations. If the roof had actually blown off, no one would have been very surprised.
"You know," Natsumi noted with an wicked little smile, "I used to wear outfits like that... when I was undercover."
Priss stuck her tongue out, "Why do you think I wear the wig?" She pulled it off and tossed it into a corner as she added, "I don't want any of these guys recognizing me on the street."
"A good point," Miyuki admitted.
"And we're all feeling sort of jealous that we couldn't carry off that kind of outfit anymore," Yoriko said with a smirk.
"Yes, we've come to the realization that we're old farts," Aoi added in mocking tones.
Priss snickered, "Not likely."
The four left her there to change clothes, and went out front to wait for Priss. Back in her pants, T-shirt and leather jacket, Priss headed out just in time to hear Aoi say, "... but I'd still like to know why that lady had us checked out."
"What lady?" Priss asked curiously.
"We got a heads up from another agency," Natsumi shrugged, "it seems somebody ordered a background check on all the members of the company."
Priss suddenly had a sinking feeling, "Did they mention a name?"
Miyuki gave her a look, probably from the odd tone of voice, but she answered, "It wasn't confidential, it seems, he said it was Sylia Stingray."
Priss sighed softly.
"Friend of yours, I take it?" Yoriko asked eagerly.
"Sorry about that," Priss sighed, "it seems she was worried about me."
Natsumi looked over at Priss thoughtfully, "Is she your lover?"
"Was," Priss admitted. At the inquisitive looks all four were giving her she shrugged, "We dated a bit, but quickly figured out we'd probably kill each other if we stayed together."
"So you're single?" Miyuki asked.
"Pretty much," Priss agreed, wondering where this was going.
"Good," Natsumi smiled up at her niece impishly, "I know some nice single girls that I could introduce you to..."
"Oh, no," Priss waved her hands frantically, while the others laughed.
To be continued...