BUBBLEGUM CRASH 1:
MegaTokyo, Japan. 2034.
At the end of another day, guard-boomer Bogarde bids departing workers at Glory Bank, in the Kabuto area, a Good Night. Two of the workers teasingly ask him to join them for the evening, but, red eyes flashing, he informs him that under Article 0012 of the Regulations, he cannot leave the area. The pair laugh at his seriousness, then leave, bidding him a good night as well.
Routine is disrupted when a trash truck pulls up in front of the now empty bank. Bogarde steps forward, announcing that the truck is in a "No Parking" Zone and must be moved within fifteen seconds or the police will be called. The reply from the truck is a laser bolt that takes Bogarde through the head. The side of the truck bursts outward, and the other guard-boomers are cut down with laser fire as well.
Five armored suits emerge from the truck and blast their way into the bank, cutting down yet more guard-boomers, but not before a call for assistance is completed. As the bank robbery involves power suits, the AD Police is immediately dispatched to the scene.
The robbers open a storage area in the vault, one full of gold bars. Having taken their loot, they leave the bank and reboard the trash truck. Their exit is interrupted by the AD Police, led by Leon McNichol and Daley Wong. Since they are surrounded, Leon orders the armored thieves to surrender. He gives them to a count of three, or he'll 'come in after you.'
When he reaches 'three,' the truck's engine starts, and the truck begins moving toward the ADP lines. Leon orders his officers to open fire, to no avail. The truck keeps coming, so Leon orders his troops to scatter. The truck collides with an ADP troop carrier, then explodes. Forms are seen emerging from the flames, leaping to board a hovering helicopter, which leaves the area without pursuit.
The next day, Leon rather loudly begs the new Chief for permission to assemble a special mobile suit team to go after the bank robbers. He thinks it's necessary because the thieves had military-grade power suits, and that the officers would be throwing their lives away by going after them with the ADP's current equipment.
The Chief says understands what Leon is saying, but it's just making his life more difficult. Deploying a heavy mobile force is a difficult decision to make when you consider the potential for civilian casualties. Leon is aware of this: that's why he's asking for the Diet's permission to assemble his team. The Chief reluctantly agrees, but complaints from citizens have been heavy lately and can't be ignored. He wants Leon and Daley to find a way to catch the criminals without using heavy equipment.
As an AD Police recruiting advertisement plays in the background ("You, too, can be one of the elite! Join AD Police, for youthful adventure!"), Daley and Leon ponder current events while taking a break at "Piss," a local coffee shop. Leon complains about the new Chief, but Daley reminds him that he's just a corporate retiree, appointed so he can earn his retirement pay. Leon is unhappy with the situation. "He'll ruin the good name of the Advanced Police."
A UP-74 Coffee Boomer refills Leon's cup -- with steaming hot coffee grounds. Leon gulps it down, then spews it back out again. An apologetic owner tells Daley and him that there have been a lot of breakdowns on the built-in coffeemaker model. It reminds Daley of a hot dog he bought recently -- it had a spoon in it.
Leon's disgusted. Everywhere you look, there are boomers. Daley says it's because of the labor shortage. Cheap boomers are selling rapidly. Leon wonders if there will eventually be nothing but boomers in MegaTokyo. The AD Police was founded to be the special felony crimes elite team, but almost all crime in the city is connected with boomers. The Normal Police want to foist even traffic duty onto the ADP, and bureaucrats, afraid of citizen complaints, treat the ADP as a nuisance. And now there's this new Chief.
Daley jokingly asks if he'd prefer to try calling the Knight Sabers. Leon wonders what has happened to them because he hasn't heard anything about them lately.
A solitary light burning in a window that night indicates activity in a recording studio. Priss Asagiri is auditioning as a solo act for a group of music company executives. Things went well, her manager tells her after it's finished. They can begin preparations for recording as early as the next day.
The professional debut she's always dreamed of finally at hand, Priss can't believe it. Her songs are going to be heard all over MegaTokyo. So excited that she doesn't notice her manager trying to hit on her, she knocks him to the ground and runs out the door for a celebratory ride on her motorcycle.
Linna Yamazaki has not been idle either. She is making herself a small fortune in her new job at the Amarok Stock Company, thanks to some inside information Nene Romanova had passed on to her. Omni Co. Ltd. is involved in the development of a new Artificial Intelligence for boomers, and its stock is going through the roof. She heartily recommends it to all her clients and is heavily invested in it herself.
Linna, Priss, and Nene go out to dinner at Discovery that evening, but all seem to have something else on their minds. Priss can think of nothing but her music. Linna is busily watching the swings on the markets. And Nene is sick of being ignored by the other two.
Finally getting their attention, Priss asks if she wants another beer. Linna warns her not to drink too much. "If you strip again, I won't be responsible for you." "WHO'S GOING TO STRIP?!" an outraged Nene yells at the top of her lungs, attracting the attention of every other person in the club ("Strip? Did someone say strip?")
Nene calms down, but Linna and Priss are back in their own worlds again. Nene accuses Linna of being money crazed. Linna retorts that "Little Miss Cyberpunk" shouldn't talk. Nene says that Linna only hears her when she's insulting her. Priss rejoins the real world long enough to wonder what's so interesting about working for a securities firm. It seems that Linna enjoys making money with her brain and leaving "sweaty aerobics" behind. She tells Priss to give her the money from the sales of her CD so she can double it for her. Priss says that sounds awful. Nene's disappointed in them. All they think about are themselves. Aren't they concerned about Sylia?
What about Sylia? they ask.
Linna drives them to the boarded up Lady 633 building. Nene tells them it's been this way for some time now, and no one knows where Sylia went. On the way home from there, Nene asks the others what are they going to do about Sylia. Priss guesses that she probably went to visit her brother Mackie. Linna thinks he's in Germany, and reminds them that he had left the city rather suddenly. Nene comments that they certainly are carefree about this. Linna tells her that if she's that worried, she should look for Sylia herself. She's in the AD Police, after all.
Since the AD Police are having such problems against the power suited bank robbers, Nene wants the three of them to go after them. Linna's against it. She doesn't like "such barbaric things." Besides, they wouldn't get paid. Priss isn't interested either. She can't get hurt before her pro debut.
Nene wonders aloud if they care what happens to the Knight Sabers. In a dreamy voice, Linna says that she's kind of nostalgic about the Knight Sabers. Priss says that those were good times. Nene asks them why they refer to the Knight Sabers in the past tense, but gets no answer from her friends, back in their own worlds again. Depressed, Nene muses that she "never thought that the Knight Sabers would ever break up..."
That same night, the armored band strikes again, this time dropping through the ceiling of Omni, in the busy Fourth District. Blowing away yet more guard-boomers, they enter the vault and remove a case plastered with "Warning" labels and bearing the number "2". By the time the AD Police arrived at the scene, the robbers were long gone.
DJ Tommy, a virtual newscaster, reports that public outcry against AD Police's unreliability is growing, and that there is speculation that the organization itself will be re-examined. Leon asks the group of apathetic officers watching the broadcast how they can see this and not feel insulted. What's the point? is the reply. They can't stand up to mobile suits like the robbers have. Leon asks if they have any pride in the ADP. He is told that "dying with your boots on isn't very trendy," and that you can't spend your own insurance money.
Leon and Daley go to work off some stress at the shooting range. It just stresses Leon even more, as the range has been reprogrammed and Leon isn't doing too well. Angry, he swings around... and ends up pointing his weapon right between the eyes of the just-arrived Nene Romanova! She asks if he's going to kill her? And after she went to the trouble of digging up the data on the robber's power suits too.
She soon finds herself in front of a computer terminal, showing what she's uncovered so far. According to the AD Police Databank, the suits are quite similar to a prototype close-combat suit the EC had been developing three years earlier. Development of that suit had been stopped when faults were identified during testing. Nene thinks there is more to it, though, but she holds out for a more... tangible means of appreciation. Leon offers her a coupon for three days' worth of free desserts at Scirocco, and she relents.
Another source she's uncovered says that a European mercenary unit used the same type suit as the robbers. Mercenaries? The two investigators are surprised at this idea. Daley wants to know where Nene's getting her information. Neo-NATO's Top Secret Line, she tells him. He reminds her that there'd be an international incident if anyone found out, but she only laughs.
According to the data, the unit was known as The Illegal Army, and had worked in South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. What would a mercenary unit be doing operating in MegaTokyo? Daley can't believe they'd be robbing banks just for the money.
Nene brings up more information. It seems that the group's leader, a Colonel Lando, was killed in action a year earlier during an operation in the Philippines. Daley remembers hearing about that. According to rumor, large Japanese company was backing a mercenary unit, but the operation went bad and nearly the entire unit was apparently killed.
Leon thinks he's beginning to figure out what's going on. Daley reminds him that they probably can't do anything to oppose the robbers. Nene is incensed at the idea of giving up. AD Police is all that's left now.
Darkness finds the bank robbers in their warehouse headquarters, working on their equipment. Their leader opens the box taken from the vault during the second robbery and removes the contents: an electronic component of some sort. He passes it across a screen, and a Voice from the monitor confirms that does indeed appear to be one of the components of the new AI. The Voice tells Col. Lando that he has done well.
The one component by itself is meaningless, though. Lando tells the Voice that Zone Corporation appears to have one of the two remaining components, but that he does not know the location of the other. The Voice tells him to get them, whatever it takes. The AI is absolutely essential to their project.
Lando agrees and salutes toward the monitor with his artificial right arm. The Voice tells him to stop saluting. "I am not your commander anymore. I am your comrade."
Taking out her frustrations the next day by playing fighter combat games at the Game Center, Nene is even more frustrated after she is shot down ("Oh, what's the use? I can't rely on AD Police, I can't get ahold of Sylia, and I can't even beat this game!"). She is very surprised to see Sylia's face pop up on the game's screen when she gets up to leave.
Nene wants to know where Sylia's been, and is told "here and there". She's been renovating Silky Doll too. After asking how Priss and Linna are, Sylia says she's currently staying at the Imperial Hotel and invites them all over for dinner that night. She has something important to discuss with them all. This sounds quite ominous to Nene....
Later, at the Imperial Hotel, Nene, Linna, and Priss sit together along one side of a heavily laden banquet table. All the fancy food isn't 'normal,' Priss and Linna decide. Nene remains convinced that it's their "last supper," and that the Knight Sabers are going to break up.
Sylia arrives, and wonders what's wrong with the others that they haven't started eating. She wants to have dinner before they have their talk. The others, though, would rather know what the meeting is about before they have dinner. Otherwise, they'll won't be relaxed enough to eat. Sylia gives in and begins to tell them what it's all about, when Nene jumps to her feet, proclaiming that she won't hear of the Knight Sabers breaking up!
While Sylia ponders that outburst, Linna tries to calm Nene, saying that they understood from the beginning that it would happen someday. Nene says that she likes the work they do as the Knight Sabers, and collapses in tears.
Sylia, very confused by now, tries to break in, to be interrupted by Priss's announcement that she's already resigned to it. Nene declares that if Linna and Priss quit, she'll carry on alone. Priss tells Nene not to put it like that. A pro debut has always been her dream and she's going to be busy once it happens. Linna chimes in that she's busy with her job too, but might find some time when the market's closed. Nene begs Sylia to stop the Knight Sabers from breaking up.
Sylia looks surprised for a moment, then begins to laugh. That's not what she's called them together to talk about. The equipment upgrades are finally finished and they have many job offers as well. Sylia thinks it's time to start up again, not break up.
To Nene's consternation, Priss and Linna poke fun at her for thinking that they'd break up. Sylia diverts attention from Nene by asking Priss if her pro debut is set ("yeah"), and by asking Linna if she's working hard at her securities firm ("How about buying a few shares, Sylia?"). She then suggests that everyone eat, and they all dig in.
After the meal, the four Knight Sabers gather in the sauna to review data about the bank robbers. Displayed on the monitor screen are schematics of the robber's power suits. Sylia tells them that there's little doubt that the robbers are a mercenary group known as The Illegal Army. She finds it strange that the group's leader, Col. Lando, and nearly all his men were killed in a failed operation years earlier.
Nene points out that she found all this information already, in AD Police's Databank. When Sylia congratulates her, and she replies that with her gone and the Knight Sabers seemingly breaking up, she figured the AD Police would have to take their place.
Getting back on the subject, Linna considers this information and wonders who it is that's causing all the trouble. That's the question for Sylia too. She suggests that some of the members might have survived. Nene thinks that they might be taking revenge on the corporation that almost got them killed. Priss points out that all they've done is rob banks, but Sylia corrects her.
Their client is Zone Corporation. Nene knows of them; they make boomer brains. It seems that Zone is one of the companies making components of the special AI for a new type of boomer. The Illegals stole one of the components and 30 billion in gold bullion from Glory Bank, and a second component from Omni. The bank robberies are a smokescreen for the real objective -- the four components of the new AI. As all four components are needed for the AI to work properly, the Knight Sabers have been hired to protect the remaining two. And Sylia has already set the bait....
The Illegal Army strikes again, taking the third component. On their way out, though, they are again surrounded by the AD Police. Leon, wearing a K-12 armored suit, challenges them, but Col. Lando makes short work of him.
Seeing Leon's face reminds Lando of another man, one of his wounded soldiers, on the day they were ambushed and destroyed.
Leon wakes in the hospital, and asks Daley why they stole a component under research instead of money. It's the same thing, Daley says, if they can convert it into money, but Leon's not so sure. It isn't Lando's style.
Back at the warehouse, Lando and his men lay still in the darkness. The Voice tells them that they are "the warriors who have been chosen to bring forth a new order on the world. This war you fight is a holy war." Lando flashes back to immediately after the attack in the Philippines, when he and his surviving men are rushed into emergency treatment. Lando opens his eyes, both natural and cyber, as the Voice continues. "The world is changing. The history of foolish old humankind is ending and we, the chosen, will purify the world!"
The big day getting closer, Priss meets with her manager. He shows her her new stage costume -- a frilly orange dress with many ruffles and bows. Then he gives her the sheet music for the song she will be recording.... NOT her song, but one written by Fuyumoto, the popular idol hitmaker. When she questions him, he says that her song will be the "coupling" song. And then he tells her to leave everything to him, he won't steer her wrong. She is a little reluctant to go along with him, so he tries to sweeten the deal -- by hitting on her again. This is too much for Priss. "You got some nerve, thinking I'll hold still for this!" she tells him. "There's no way I'll become an idol!"
Linna is having a bad day as well. The stocks she has been investing in are dropping through the floor, thanks to the activities of the Illegal Army. Her clients are demanding to know what's going on? What's happened to the investments she recommended to them? Fed up with everything, she resigns from her job, effective immediately.
While the Illegals move in on their final target, the Knight Sabers, wearing their new red, white, and blue softsuits, are shown their newly redesigned hardsuits for the first time. After suiting up, the Knight Sabers, aboard their new aircraft, the KnightWing, launch in a blaze of floodlights from the tower of the Lady633 Building. With Sylia at the controls, they head for their rendezvous with the Illegal Army at Stephan Laboratories.
The Illegal Army enters the labs via the floor, destroys guard-boomers, blasts into the vault... and finds the component secured there is a dummy. Suddenly the building's security shutters drop shut. Seeing the trap, Lando orders his men to pull out, but their escape route has also been cut off. Lando orders them out through the roof instead.
There they are met by three female forms in body armor. Priss orders the Knight Sabers into action, while Linna scolds the Illegals, telling them that they can't do as they please in this town. Nene says that she thinks they've gotten a bit cocky.
Lando orders his men to kill them, and the Illegal Army opens fire. Rather quickly though, it's three-on-one, as Lando's men are decimated by the Knight Sabers putting their new weaponry to use. Lando tells them to give him the component, and Priss refuses: what can he do alone?
Lando charges the trio, and they reply in kind but are unable to take him down. While they have their attention on him, something emerges from the rubble on the roof. Lando's men are revealed to actually be huge boomers, who then attack the Knight Sabers again. Nene, using her new EMP weapon, takes care of all of at once.
The distraction provided by his men was exactly what Lando needed. He fires on the Knight Sabers again, much more successfully this time, as each of them is hit and blown from the air. Taking to the air himself, Lando prepares the final shot, not noticing Sylia coming up behind him. She stabs him in the back with her suit blade, sending him back to earth.
Sylia tells Lando that she doesn't think that stealing the AI components was an act of simple revenge. Priss wonders aloud who they were working for. Lando replies by grabbing her by the throat and dangling her in the air, telling her that he takes orders from no one. Sylia orders him to let her go because he has no hope of winning. He says that that isn't enough to make a soldier of the Illegal Army give up. Priss takes matters into her own hands, and frees herself by slashing him with one of her suit blades, cutting his right arm off.
Lando isn't deterred and attacks again. This time, Linna counterattacks, using her electrically charged daggers to distract him and her monofilament ribbons to cut his legs out from under him. Sylia again demands that he give himself up and tell her who his boss is. Lando has other ideas.
He starts the one minute countdown on a self-destruct device that will destroy everything within three kilometers, then is surprised when the Knight Sabers don't try to escape. Instead, Sylia orders Nene to find the device, and she begins scanning Lando's suit.
Nene locates the explosive, then links with Priss's suit. Sylia tells Priss to synchronize targets, and Nene sends her the targeting data. As the timer counts down, Priss carefully lines up the shot, then fires, stopping the countdown and taking Lando down for the final time.
Laying dying on the ground, Lando tells the Knight Sabers that they're good because they beat his unit. He also explains that he's a "half-boomer; neither boomer nor human." With his dying words he tells them: "But soon, there will come a world... with neither humans nor boomers in it... a dream world, controlled only through chaos and terror... if anyone can make it a reality, he can..."
The AD Police arrive at the scene, only to find dead boomers, the dead (again) Col. Lando, and a familiar scrawl etched into the pavement: Knight Sabers.
Daylight finds celebratory balloons wafting through the sky as the Lady633 Building has its grand reopening celebration. One centrally located table at the party holds three female occupants, enjoying good food, good drink, and good company.
Linna asks Priss whatever happened to her pro debut. Priss replies that she's going to write some new songs and try again. She's already gotten a call from another record company.
Linna says that she's decided to work for another securities firm, even though, as Nene reminds her, she'd said she never even wanted to see money again. But Linna thinks it's lovely to watch money pile up.
Which begins the old argument yet again. Nene says that Linna really is money crazed, and Linna angrily tells "Little Miss Cyberpunk" that she heard that.
Sylia comes up to the table and wants to know what they're quarreling about. Nene tells her that the other two still haven't learned a thing, which brings angry retorts from that quarter. Sylia smiles and chuckles, then tells them to do what they like, but don't forget the Knight Sabers.
And back in the now abandoned warehouse, the monitor shows static....
(Japanese names in Japanese order, family name first)
Original Cast English Cast Sylia Stingray Sakakibara Yoshiko Jemila Ericson Priss Asagiri Tachikawa Ryooko Sinda Nichols Linna Yamazaki Tomizawa Michie Elizabeth Becka Nene Romanova Hiramatsu Akiko Susan Grillo Leon McNichol Furukawa Toshio Brad Moranz Daley Wong Horiuchi Kenyuu Marshall Carroll Mystery Man (Voice) Sogabe Kazuyoshi Pierre Brulator Colonel Lando Arakawa Taroo Phil Locke Chief Murayama Akira Matt Sullivan Manager Suzuki Kiyonobu Marc Garber Bogarde Yanada Kiyoyuki Scott Simpson with Morikawa Yomoyumi Michael Sinterniklaas Tsukui Norio Chuck Kinlaw Kikuchi Takako Zach Hanner Steve Vernon Sean Clay Jack Bowden Sophie Toler Amanda Tancredi
(Original Japanese songs reinterpreted into English by The Replicants)
Crash Oddities: How come the Knight Sabers, a secret organization, have suddenly begun launching aircraft from the floodlight tower of a downtown office building owned by one of their members?
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Bubblegum Crash 1
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Bubblegum Crash 1 Synopsis, created 25 January 1998; last revised 19 August 2005