Mecha Wars: Chapter Nineteen
Reika Chang smiled slightly as she picked up Linna at her door. 'I'm glad I decided to wear a skirt,' she thought, looking over the black tuxedo clad Linna with an admiring smile. "It suits you," Reika smiled, hoping that Linna didn't mind the pun she was making.
"You.. look good too," Linna gulped.
Reika was wearing what amounted to just a strapless black silk sheath. It hugged each and every curve, leaving very little of the brown haired woman's body to Linna's imagination. Around her neck she wore a simple silver necklace, and the engagement ring that Linna had given to her remained firmly on her finger.
"I'm looking forward to meeting your friends," Reika said as she took Linna's gentlemanly offered arm. They made their way down the middle class halls of Linna's apartment and out to the street and Reika's car, talking all the way.
"Considering the teasing I've been getting," Linna admitted, "it should be interesting."
Reika raised an eyebrow as she slid them out into traffic, keeping an eye on the road ahead as she said, "I hope I didn't get you into too much trouble."
Linna found herself smiling slightly as she said, "You're no trouble, believe me."
Reika actually blushed slightly, "Keep saying nice things like that, and I'm going to stop being quite so careful around you."
"Maybe so," Linna agreed with a gentle smile.
The sports car pulled up out front of the Silky Doll, the store level of the large building quite brightly lit despite being officially closed up for the evening. Linna gently helped Reika out, and then the two walked forward together.
"Your friend Sylia's using her store for the party?" Reika asked.
"There's quite a few people coming tonight," Linna grinned as she used a keycard to get them past the locked front doors.
Mackie smiled ruefully, looking much like a waiter dressed in his black suit. "Hi, Linna," he smiled weakly.
"Ah, you look so cute," Linna grinned.
"There's something every young man wants to hear," Reika grinned, "that he's cute."
"Sorry," Linna gave him a smile as they swept inside.
The lower level wasn't entirely filled up with the guests, but there certainly were more people than could comfortably be crammed into your average sized living room. The clothing displays had been covered with tasteful decorations, the lighting altered slightly to make them less noticeable, while a extravagant buffet table was up against one side of the room. Along side that was a well stocked bar, set up to automatically prepare requested drinks. Oddly, there were no humanoid boomers being used to serve food or drink there.
"No boomers," Reika quietly noted, nodding to several strangers even as Linna lead her through the crowd.
"Sylia doesn't trust the models produced by Genom," was Linna's truthful answer.
A faintly blushing Misaki watched the two of them go by, "She and Reika look good together, don't they?"
"Almost as good as you do," Hotoko smiled happily, the younger woman letting Misaki lead their dance to the slow songs.
"They're almost too cute together," Sai grumbled, running as hand through her blonde hair.
"Grump," Kaede said to her lover fondly, a gentle smile on her face.
"And there Sylia is," Linna murmured to Reika as they reached their hostess.
"Hello, Linna," Sylia said casually, the dark haired owner of the Silky Doll looking slim and capable in a woman's suit. Beside her Tony was smiling slightly, taking in how Linna and Reika were standing so close together.
"Sylia Stingray," Linna performed the introductions with a certain amount of amusement, "I'd like you to meet Reika Chang."
"It's an honor, Mrs. Chang," Sylia shook her hand, "I quite enjoyed sitting with Linna and friends at that concert you held."
"I remember," Reika looked at her thoughtfully, "there was you, that cute little AD Police officer, and another lady there, correct?" It was clear the Reika was adding certain things up in her mind, but she decided not to ask just yet.
"Priss," Sylia supplied the name.
"Ms. Chang," Tony smiled slightly grimly, "it's been a long time."
"Back when we were competing for the New York mergers, correct?" Reika offered. She grinned suddenly, "Stark beat us out nicely, I must admit."
Outside, in the sprawling city, they began to move. Here and there, all around the Silky Doll, Boomers began to trickle in. One and two at a time, gathered from industry, public service, and other tasks, they were carefully diverted to a new destination.
Back at the store itself Priss led her Aunt and friends inside. "Don't worry," Priss smiled, "Sylia promised there would be a fair number of people here tonight." They passed into the Silky Doll itself and Priss looked surprised, "And so she did."
Aiko and Biko stood nearby them, giving Priss a respectful nod. Not too far from them Nene was dancing with Akiko, while Nuku-Nuku and Emi were raiding the nearby buffet tables. Misaki, Hotoko, Kaede and Sai were talking together, and a bit farther in Priss could see Reika Chang standing with Linna, Sylia and Tony.
"I'm impressed," Natsumi looked around admiringly.
All of the members of the detective agency had dressed up for this, each in their own way. Natsumi and Miyuki had gone for a suit and dress respectively, both in a simple basic black. While both Aoi and Yoriko were wearing dresses, having picked out matching police style blues.
"Sylia must be a very good friend indeed to do all of this for you," Miyuki looked up to give Priss a thoughtful look.
"No, she's not still carrying a torch for me," Priss quickly anticipated that question, "in fact, she has a new girlfriend now."
"Too bad," Aoi murmured, the tall woman looking clearly amused.
Deciding it would not be a good idea to let them pursue this, Priss lead them over to where Nene and Akiko were slow dancing, seemingly oblivious to the world outside. They separated rather reluctantly and turned to look at the band of five women.
Nene smiled up at Akiko, "I'd like you to meet Priss, my friend as well as being a substitute mean older sister." Akiko chuckled softly as Nene looked over at Priss and bravely said, "Priss, I want you to meet my... lover, Akiko."
"Congratulations," Priss grinned, slapping Nene so hard on the back that the shorter girl would have fallen right over except for Akiko's fast reflexes. Priss gave the older woman a smile, "You're a lucky woman."
"Ahem," Yoriko cleared her throat loudly.
"Sorry," Priss blushed, "Nene, I'd like you to meet my Aunt Natsumi, her lover Miyuki, and their friends and business associates Aoi and Yoriko."
"Priss must get her good looks from your side of the family," Nene grinned at Natsumi.
Natsumi chuckled softly, "I think we're going to get along just fine."
Akiko was exchanging murmured pleasantries with all four woman. She looked over to where Nuku-Nuku and Emi were still eating and smiled wryly, "I guess their introductions can wait till later."
Priss looked up, noticing that Linna and Reika had finally moved away from Tony and Sylia. "Excuse us, Nene," Priss grabbed hold of her Aunt's arm, "I want to introduce them before I have to deal with Vision."
"See you," Nene waved as the five off them scampered off.
"You know Nene," Akiko murmured so softly that the other woman had to strain to hear it, "that's the first time you've called me your lover in public."
Nene looked a bit worried, "Was that all right?"
Akiko leaned forward, cupped Nene's face in her hands and kissed the younger lady quite thoroughly, "It made me very happy, Nene."
Nene blushed, "If I keep calling you my lover, will I get more kisses like that?"
Akiko grinned, "As many as you like."
Dozens of Boomers milled about in the shadows, just far enough to be out of range of even the most advanced security systems. It was nearing the time, they were nearly ready to move, but there were still a few others they were waiting for. The attack had to be overwhelming, no matter whom might attempt to interfere with them.
Sylia looked up and smiled, "Here comes Priss."
Tony raised an eyebrow, "I can certainly tell who's her Aunt. The resemblance is uncanny, especially around the eyes."
"Sylia," Priss looked a bit nervous as she said, "I'd like you to meet my Aunt Natsumi, Miyuki, Aoi and Yoriko."
Sylia had to smile, it so was cute seeing Priss being this nervous. "It's very nice to meet you," she said as she firmly shook Natsumi's hand. She gave the others a gentle smile, "Priss has told me a great deal about you all."
"Thank you," Natsumi returned the handshake as good as she got.
Looking into Sylia's eyes a moment, Natsumi could tell that Sylia meant those kind words. They had looked into Sylia's background, of course. She had ordered them investigated, so it seemed only fair. This woman had seen a great deal of tragedy in her time, and Natsumi was sure Sylia was hoping for the best with Priss' new Aunt.
Miyuki looked at Tony thoughtfully as she nodded to Sylia, "You two are..?"
"For a few months now, yes," Tony agreed. She shook hands all around, "Antonia Stark, but you can just call be Tony."
"Priss has some powerful friends," Aoi murmured to Yoriko softly.
"Just walking through the crowd told us that," Yoriko answered softly. She smiled slightly, "but at least the ones we've met so far seem to be nice."
Not far from that conversation Reika looked over at Linna thoughtfully, "Would you mind telling me why you hustled us away from your friend Priss?"
"Because Priss doesn't like you very much," Linna answered simply.
Reika looked surprised at that, "But I don't think I even met her before..." she trailed off. Her eyes narrowed in thought, then she murmured, "The blue Knight Saber. Damn, I'd almost forgotten about how I hurt her."
"I'm not going to confirm or deny that guess," Linna said with a slight smile. "But it's certainly safe to say she really dislikes you," she added.
THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom! THOOM! Boom!
"Explosions, outside!" Sylia barked, touching a control on her wristband.
Reika scanned the crowd and was surprise to see such calmness. There was no panic, just a sense of.. anticipation from the women all around her. 'Yes, I suspect the Linna and friends know some very interesting people,' she thought.
"They know," Sylia murmured, her eyes dark, "Genom knows."
"Most probably," Tony calmly agreed with her, then conversationally asked her, "The outer defenses?"
"They'll kick in automatically," Sylia said to her coolly, "but I doubt they'll be sufficient against a sustained assault on the building."
Metal shutters began to quickly drop down over the large windows as metallic figures rapidly approached them, their eyes glowing red in the night. Glass shattered, and a few boomers made it inside before the armor sheets fell into place. They stood, looking about them wildly for a moment, then they locked in on their primary target: Sylia Stingray.
The office was dark in Genom's Tower as Quincy looked down at the countdown on his desk. He had been here all day, off and on, making the preperations. He had to be sure that the threat Sylia Stingray represented to his hold on Genom was dealt with.
Once the counter reached zero Quincy smiled grimly, "It begins."
To be continued...