Mecha Wars: Chapter twenty-two
Linna looked at her office's computer screen, trying to focus on her work, but after a few moments the stockbroker shook her head in defeat. 'I can't concentrate,' she admitted to herself, 'not with what's going to be happening tomorrow.' With a soft sigh she shut her computer down, picking up her briefcase from beside her chair and grabbing her coat.
Sylia had sent them all home to rest up after the meeting ended, feeling that they would all be reasonably safe for now. Sylia was the main target, not her friends, so she asked them to go about their regular business while she began to make the preparations for tomorrow's attempt to reach the board meeting at Genom.
'I hope Sylia's got a good plan,' Linna noted as she exited into the lobby, and headed out, 'because we're going to need it.' As she stepped out of the door her eyes widened slightly, noticing an attractive, dark haired woman leaning up against her car. "Haven't we done this before?" Linna asked her with a smile.
Reika Chang shrugged, "I was feeling a bit anxious." She pushed herself off the car, giving Linna an admiring glance, "You look good."
"Thanks," Linna blushed slightly. She unlocked the car doors, and the two climbed inside. A look over at Reika, "Any word yet?"
"My contacts got some information," Reika noted as the car slid out into traffic, "it appears that Genom's moving combat models into the city."
Linna's fingers tightened on the steering wheel, then relaxed. "I guess I was sort of expecting that," she admitted.
"You're looking not too terribly worried about this," Reika quietly noted. She was still a bit surprised, every now and then, by the calm acceptance that Linna and the other members of the Knight Sabers had, how easily they all dealt with these situations. Not that her own background didn't prepare her for this, but still...
"Yeah, I'm worried," Linna admitted, "but I'm confident, too." She gave Reika a slight smile, "Genom doesn't know the full capabilities of our upgraded suits, and they certainly aren't aware of the allies we have." With that she reached over, gently squeezing Reika's hand.
"Am I... just an ally to you?" Reika murmured, looking down at Linna's hand on her own.
Linna Looked over at her shyly as she continued bringing them across town, "You're much more than that to me, Reika." The car slowed down, and she smoothly pulled up in front of the older apartment building.
"This is your building," Reika looked up in surprise.
Oddly, Linna looked much more nervous than she had when talking about the combat Boomers. "I was wondering if you'd care to join me upstairs for dinner..." she started.
Reika's eyes widened slightly, "I'd love to."
"... and maybe stay after," Linna finished, a bit of a blush appearing on her cheeks.
Reika looked over at her in surprise, realizing what Linna was offering her. "If you're sure," she said as Linna nodded firmly, "then I'd love to."
Across town Nene sighed to herself softly, luxuriating in the warmth and safety of Akiko's arms. Both of them were nude, enfolded in the sheets of Akiko's large bed, a place that they had retreated to almost as soon as they had gotten there.
Akiko chuckled to herself softly, ruffling the younger woman's hair as she murmured, "I should give you a ring more often if it makes you that enthusiastic."
Nene twisted a bit, gently kissing Akiko. "It wasn't just the ring," she sighed happily, "the proposal helped, too." They lay there a few moments, "Why did you decide to propose now?"
"I wanted to propose to you a bit earlier," Akiko admitted, tightening her arms a bit around the younger woman, "but I had the feeling that you were keeping something from me. Once I knew what, I felt it was time to ask."
Nene nodded slightly, "I wish I had told you earlier, then." She hesitated, "What does your son think of all this?"
"Ryo's happy for me," Akiko reassured her, "he knows that my primary interest has been with women these past few years." She smiled a bit wickedly, "He would like to meet you, though."
"Oh, boy," Nene sat up in surprise, her face going a bit pale.
Akiko chuckled softly, "Don't worry so much. He's a tech geek too, so you two should have a lot in common."
"Yeah, maybe," Nene conceded, snuggling back into the safety of Akiko's arms. Quietly, "Tomorrow's going to get pretty hectic, Akiko. I want you to stay out of it, please."
Akiko gently tipped Nene's face up, "Just because I don't have a suit of battle armor doesn't mean I can't take care of myself, love." She stroked the cheek, "I promised Sylia I would help, too, and I'm a woman of my word."
Nene made a face at that, "Remind me to get Sylia for that." Akiko opened her mouth to protest and Nene smiled up at her wryly, "I know, I know. You're determined." A deep breath, "Just be careful then, please?"
"Always," Akiko answered. Nene snuggled a bit closer, and Akiko's eyes widened as Nene's hand slid up her thigh. "Again? You're insatiable!"
"I don't hear you complaining," Nene purred.
Akiko laughed, "Of course not, I'm insatiable too."
The motorbike sped along the seaside, the waters shining beneath the afternoon sun. The rider pushed her bike, riding hard and fast, the wind whipping by, then slowed. The little rest stop looked just the same, the shack and vending machine sitting by a good view of the water, while not far away the shell of an old Genom research station stood.
The rider put the kick-stand down, taking off her helmet and standing by the bike to look out at the water. "It hasn't changed," Priss sighed to herself softly.
With a burst of pain Priss remembered the last time she had visited here, with Sylvie. The sexaroid had been kind, her eyes shining with happiness as she and Priss rode out there together. They had bought their snacks from that vending machine, eating and talking together. Sylvie had made her feel... special, in a way that Priss had missed.
"Wish I had been just a bit braver," Priss sighed to herself softly. Even if Sylvie had turned her down, it would have been worth it. But Priss had kept her mouth shut, and Sylvie had died before she could tell her about how she felt.
The sound of a motorbike brought a flash of irritation, then surprise as she looked up and recognized the bike. Her Aunt Natsumi put the kick- stand down and pulled her helmet off smoothly, shaking out her short brown hair. She walked towards Priss, the singer wondering how Natsumi was out here with her.
"No, it's not a coincidence I'm out here," Natsumi anticipated the question, "Sylia thought that I'd find you out here."
"Could have guessed that," Priss smiled,
"I wanted to ask you something," Natsumi put her hands in her coat pockets nervously, "have you thought about what you're going to do once we beat Genom?"
"It isn't guaranteed we're going to win," Priss said dryly.
Natsumi waved a hand, "Your Sylia is quite the tactician, Priss. Personally I'd bet on her against Genom any day."
Getting back to the original question Priss conceded, "No, not really. It's been the focus of a lot of years for me, and I'm having a bit of trouble believing it all might be over."
Natsumi looked away nervously, "How would you like to work for me?" At Priss' surprised look she continued, "Our detective agency, I mean. Aoi, Yoriko and Miyuki all like you, and I think you get along with them pretty well, too."
"That's true," Priss admitted, the look on her face thoughtful. She frowned, "But I wouldn't want a job based on just being your relative."
There was a soft snort of laughter from Natsumi. "You've seen our agency, right?" she asked. "We're high on brains, but not many of us have muscle. You're smart, you know the streets, and you're remarkably tough," she smiled.
Priss had to smile slightly at that. "Not bad," she murmured, "not bad at all." She gave Natsumi a considering glance, "Let's give it a try, see how it goes."
"Glad to have you," Natsumi shook her niece's hand firmly.
Sylia Stingray smiled to herself slightly as she watched her lover make more fine adjustments to the small device. "Tony," she smiled over at her gently, "we know that they work, so take it easy."
"I know," Antonia Stark rubbed at tired eyes, "I guess I just want to be sure." She frowned, "Your life may depend on these working," she gestured to the row of little black boxes.
"I designed them," Sylia smiled tiredly, "and I, you and Mackie helped build them." She shrugged, "I'm confident in your skills."
Tony smiled back at her, "Hell of a plan, too." She got up from the work bench, stretching out tiredly. She smirked, noticing Mackie collapsed snoring away on the couch nearby. She still couldn't get over how comfortable Sylia had made this warehouse base, how homelike it was.
"There's no guarantees," Sylia stepped up to gently take her lovers arm. Together they walked towards the suite that they planned to share, "I am reasonably confident it'll work."
"When we all move out tomorrow," Tony stopped them at the doorway to say softly, "I'm going to be by your side, Sylia."
"Once Genom figures out what's going on," Sylia cautioned her, "being beside me is going to be a very unsafe place to be, love."
Tony smiled suddenly before she asked, "And that's going to be different from my day to day life exactly how?"
"A point," Sylia admitted, having heard about some of Tony's adventures as Iron Man.
A bit more seriously Tony said, "I'm in love with you, Sylia Stingray. No matter the risk, being beside you is what makes me happy."
"Me, too," Sylia agreed, pressing her lips to the slightly taller young woman, at least until Mackie's whistling got their attention. "And how long have you been awake?" she asked her little brother crossly.
"Long enough to get a good long look," Mackie smirked.
"We're going to bed," Tony gave him a cold look, "don't even think of disturbing us, or I'll have to take certain steps."
"Ah, right," Mackie paled.
"Tomorrow morning is when we order the Boomers that we've stationed around the city to move out," Madigan reported quietly, the nearly complete darkness of the upper story office unnerving her just a bit.
"Good," Quincy didn't even look at her, instead he was gazing out at the twilight over the city of Megatokyo. Quietly, "I've run things here for a very long time, Madigan. I refuse to yield my place to that young upstart."
'You may not have a choice,' Madigan noted silently. She continued, "We've downloaded the bio-readings and other data we acquired on Ms Stingray into the Boomers." A short pause, "How did you acquire that data, if I may ask?"
A cold smile on Quincy's face, "Stingray paid us a courtesy call a few years ago, and on that visit we scanned her for that data." There was a note of satisfaction in his voice, "Once she leaves her hiding place, we'll have her."
To be continued....