Mecha Wars: Chapter twenty-one
The Knightwing swiftly soared across the city, soon arriving at what appeared to be an old, long abandoned warehouse. A signal was sent out and part of the roof smoothly pulled back, revealing a concealed landing pad. They all disembarked once it landed, taking an modified industrial elevator down into the massive warehouse itself.
On the outside it was abandoned, but within was a fully equipped headquarters. One part of the floor was broken up into living quarters, what looked like an armor repair/ upgrade section was nearby, several moto- slaves were waiting to be used, and a sophisticated computer center monitored the city of Megatokyo and Genom.
"I think I'm impressed," Reika Chang noted, the normally cool brown haired executive looking around her in surprise.
"I set up several backup bases like this a few years back," Sylia shrugged slightly, still dressed in her suit of armor but carrying her helmet under her arm, "in case of just such an emergency."
"You promised an explanation," Natsumi reminded her, the brown haired private investigator smiling slightly. "We're all pretty clear on you four being the Knight Sabers," she looked from Sylia, Linna, Priss to Nene, "But I wouldn't mind knowing why."
"Genom ordered the murder of my father," Sylia said quite simply. She looked a bit tired, somehow, as if the strain of the day's events were finally showing on her, "Let's get out of these suits, and I'll try to fill you in a bit better."
"C'mon," Priss nodded towards her Aunt Natsumi and friends, "I'll tell you what I can." Natsumi, Miyuki, Yoriko and Aoi all followed her over to a more private corner where the younger woman began to strip her armor off.
"Why do you do this?" Natsumi looked over at her niece curiously, "it seems like it would be extremely dangerous."
"Genom hurt someone close to me," Priss answered her crisply, "someone I loved." She hesitated, thinking of Sylvie and Anri, "Not to mention taking away a woman that I could have loved, if we were given a chance."
"I'm sorry," Miyuki offered softly.
"I got over her," Priss smiled sadly, "but I'll never forget what happened to her." Her eyes narrowed, "Or stop wanting to see Genom pay for it."
"Are all of the Knight Sabers driven like Sylia and you are?" Aoi looked over at her.
"We all have different reasons for doing this," Priss answered, "you'd have to ask them."
Reika reached over, carefully taking the green helmet in her hands. "Can I help?" she asked Linna with a slight smile.
"Thanks," Linna blushed a bit, reaching down to her sides, disengaging the locks and slipping free of the suit. She could feel Reika's admiring gaze on her leotard clad body and quickly grabbed a set of clothes out of a nearby locker. Matching green sweatpants and shirt were pulled on easily, slippers put aside for her feet.
"You're lucky green is a good color for you," Reika chuckled. They stood there a moment silently, "Why do you put yourself at risk like this?"
Linna smiled a bit wryly. "For money, originally," Linna admitted, "Sylia paid very well, and I knew the risks." She looked over at Reika, "Then was targeted, and it all stopped being a game for me." A short pause, "Then I met you."
Reika leaned forward, gently pressing her lips to the startled Linna's. "When we met, things changed for me as well," she said softly before they headed back to the others.
"I meant to tell you about this after the party tonight," Nene admitted sheepishly, standing by Akiko, Nuku Nuku and Emi in a pink sweatsuit.
"I can't say I'm happy about the danger it puts you in," Akiko admitted, the older woman taking Nene's hand and squeezing gently, "but I understand."
"Can we help you thrash boomers?" Nuku Nuku asked eagerly.
"Yeah, can we?" Emi bounced happily.
Nene had to laugh, "You'll just have to ask Sylia, all right?"
Not far away Antonia Stark gave Biko a slightly rueful smile. "I didn't intend to get the two of you involved with this, Cousin," Tony shrugged.
"I'm glad that we are," Biko smiled, "it gives me the opportunity to avenge the employees of my fathers company that were killed by Boomers." The blue haired woman threw her head back dramatically, while keeping close to her redheaded companion.
Aiko nodded firmly, "And I'm sure my father would expect me to help out."
Tony folded away the rest of her armor, packing it all away in the silvery suitcase she always kept with her. "I'm glad," Tony sighed softly, "because I think we might need your help again before this is all through."
"We're in," Biko nodded firmly, Aiko joining in.
"I wanted to apologize," Linna walked over to smile shyly at Misaki, Hotoko, Sai and Kaede. She took a breath before she started to explain to the Angelic Layer Deus, "I didn't actually know what Sylia had planned, but..."
Misaki beamed, her boyishly short brown hair a bit messy with her enthusiasm, "Sylia let us operate life-sized Angels again!"
"Near enough, anyway," Hotoko grinned, taking her shorter lover's hand. The black haired broadcaster added, "It wasn't my Suzuka, but certainly good enough."
Kaede smiled gently at Linna, "Besides which, you couldn't have known that boomers would attack the party and force the activation of the Saber Dolls."
"And it was a hell of a fight," Sai added seriously. "I wouldn't say it was better than Angelic Layer," she smiled suddenly, "but it was close!"
"See," Reika chided Linna gently, "they aren't even upset."
Kaede looked at Linna thoughtfully. "By the way," she said innocently, "is that a new shade of lipstick you're wearing?"
Linna went beet red, realizing that some of Reika's lipstick had come off on her own lips.
Sylia Stingray emerged, dressed in her own set of gray sweatpants with a slight smile on her face. 'I'm glad to see things going so well,' she thought, having listened in covertly to the various conversations that were going on.
"Ladies and gentleman," Sylia nodded to Mackie, "we have much to discuss." She hit a switch, opening up a spacious meeting room just off from the suites, "We'll be more comfortable doing that in here, I think."
The mob filed in, surprisingly finding spaces for everyone to sit. Linna looked around her thoughtfully, 'Did Sylia actually plan to raise an army, or did she just expect to acquire allies?'
"All right Sylia," Priss stood up from her seat to ask, "why were the Boomers out to kill you, and not the Knight Sabers?"
"I'm going to need to do a bit of a lead in before I answer that," Sylia said just a bit apologetically. "You know my father helped invent the Boomer, and that his designs would have produced a safe, efficient model of Boomers."
"Unlike Genom's models," Akiko said dryly.
"Genom built a cut-rate model instead," Sylia explained grimly. "My intention has been to provide a balance to Quincy's criminal actions while hoping that he would be displaced from Genom's board. Seeing no progress on that front, I resolved to remove him myself."
Reika nodded thoughtfully, "You've been buying up Genom's stock, trying to get enough to oust him from the board."
"And I used shell companies to conceal those purchases, to keep Quincy from tracing it back to me," Sylia agreed. She frowned, "I must have gotten sloppy somewhere, because it appears he has realized I have the stock."
"Then the shareholder meeting must be pretty soon, to have Quincy try something this bold," a frowning Nene noted.
Sylia took a casual look at her watch before saying, "Since it's just past midnight, the shareholder's meeting is tomorrow evening."
"So all you have to do is vote with your shares and Quincy's gone?" Linna sat up in surprise.
"It's not quite that simple," Tony sighed.
Sylia nodded grimly, "The regulations that Genom set up are quite explicit. To vote Quincy out, I'm going to have to be there in person."
"Which means that Quincy is going to throw everything he has left at you to keep you from attending the meeting," Natsumi noted.
"Then I guess we'll just have to make sure you get there," Aiko said casually, the room filling with murmurs of agreement.
"Thanks," Sylia smiled.
Quincy had his eyes closed, his face surprisingly pale, and Madigan didn't look much better. The wiping out of one hundred Boomers was bad enough, but their complete failure to eliminate Sylia Stingray was possibly even worse.
"We need to prevent her from reaching the meeting," Madigan said unnecessarily.
"We mobilize all the available Boomers," Quincy said grimly. He paused, "And I want the combat models used as well."
"Sir," Madigan looked at him in alarm, "you know that use of combat models in Japan is clearly prohibited! If we're caught.."
"The possible consequences won't be any worse than if Sylia succeeds in ousting me," Quincy said to her grimly.
Madigan nodded thoughtfully, "Understood sir, I'll set things in motion."
The office was quiet as Madigan left, her mind occupied with her own thoughts. 'If Quincy goes down, he'll take me with him,' she thought grimly. A cold little smile, 'Then I guess I need to make sure that doesn't happen.'
To be continued...