Author's Note: This story takes place a few days after the events in BGC OVA #6, "Red Eyes," and some weeks before the events in BGC OVA #7, "Double Vision," commence.
The guitarist sat on the bass amp, impatiently tapping his pick against the strings. A clicking noise came through the PA despite his gain being zeroed out.
"Cut it out, willya? It's gettin' on my nerves." This from a burly young man seated behind the drums, carefully adjusting his vintage do-rag.
"Yeah?" replied the guitar player, getting up and slamming the instrument down on its stand, "Well I'll tell you what's getting on MY nerves--sitting around all day waiting for Little Miss Rebel to grace us with her presence! I got shit to do today! WE don't need any more rehearsing. WE're fine! I'm about ready to dump her. How about you guys?"
"Oh, sure," snorted the bassist, squinting at the less-than-familliar sunlight coming through the Hot Legs skylights. "Our brilliant stage presence is gonna get us a LOT of gigs."
"Hey, we're not bad, y'know," the guitarist countered. "There's lotsa singers who'd be glad to have us behind-"
The office door at the far end of the club slammed shut behind an undersized fashion victim who strode angrily toward the stage. "Well, she just called in sick. Again."
"Great, so why didn't she do it four hours ago?" The drummer was already out the door.
"Looks like another instrumental night at Hot Legs, guys. See you at 10, on time," said the fashion victim.
"We ain't the problem there, bud. SEE-ya!" said the guitarist, already relishing having the center stage to himself tonight.
The fashion victim was less enthusiastic. Lead guitar players always considered themselves more charismatic than they were, and this one was no exception. He could already see the customers going out the door when Priss failed to appear. Again.
"Screwy bitch," he remarked, heading back to his office. This shit was getting old.
* * * * *
Priss had hung up the phone ten minutes earlier, but her hand stayed on the receiver. She appeared to be staring at the keypad in fascination, but her mind's eye was full of other images. The same ones she'd have seen in every dream, had she allowed herself to sleep in the last 60 hours. A girl in tight biking leathers, taking off her helmet in the sunlight and shaking her hair free.
"Damn!" Priss shouted as she spun, launching the phone across the poster-covered interior of the house trailer. The cheap plastic handpiece shattered all over the hotplate and cube fridge she called a kitchen, while the base swung on its wire from the wall outlet, occasionally banging her leg. She felt the corners of her eyes moistening. Again.
No. There'd been enough of those lately.
At this point she finally felt the pain the sudden movement had caused in her abdomen, where the puncture wound Anri had left ("Not as much as I deserve," she thought for the thousandth time) was nowhere near healed. It would probably start bleeding again now. Her arm was protesting too, although the ultra-light Durasplint cast sometimes allowed her to forget it had been broken.
"What a mess," she sighed, although she couldn't have told you whether she was referring to her trailer, her body, or her life.
* * * * *
ADPolice Detective Leon McNichol pulled the car up in front of the Old Tokyo burger joint where he'd met Priss after her Hot Legs gig all those months ago. He hadn't recognized her that night as the scared, dirty urchin he'd tried to comfort at a bloody highway crash scene a year earlier. Her womanly carriage, with luscious curves in all the right places, had fooled him. But then, he hadn't been looking at her that way the first time they'd met.
He'd stopped when he saw her in his headlights, kneeling next to a pile of bloody rags, all that remained of a biker who'd plowed into a retaining wall at well over 200 kph. She was staring at a shattered helmet, and holding the corpse's hand. Leon had come up behind her, using the standard "It's okay, it's all over now" approach he employed on an all-too-frequent basis. It hadn't worked.
As he touched her shoulder, the fear he'd seen disappeared behind a curtain of feral rage. "DON'T YOU TOUCH ME!" she'd screamed at him, a nasty little switchblade appearing in her hand, as yet unopened.
"Whoa!" he exclaimed, backing off a couple of feet, "I'm on your side. ADPolice. I saw the wreck and stopped. I'm just gonna go call THP and report the wreck, okay?" She locked eyes with him for a moment, like a scared but lethal wild animal, then she whirled back toward the body, dismissing him from her mind. He wasn't going to attack; he was therefore irrelevant to the situation.
She hadn't wanted any comforting later, either. She'd merely told the THP guys a black BMW had chased her companion at high speed. She couldn't keep up, and had found the crash site only moments before Leon had arrived. Leon thought he saw a small hole in the back of the dead rider's helmet, and pointed it out to the THP investigator. Could have been made by a Skoda dart pistol, he figured. When he called about it later, he'd found the death was classified as a high speed accident, nothing more. The witness had ridden her own bike away and hadn't been heard from since.
He wished he could say he checked up on the case, dug a little deeper into a too-convenient solution, but this stuff happened all the time among Mega Tokyo's menagerie of gangs, smugglers, dealers, and corporate sharks. It just didn't seem worth the effort. Now, with what he'd learned about her after his unfortunate donnybrook with the D.D. Battlemover a couple of weeks ago, he realized that he'd probably fumbled a priceless trove of information.
"Hey, big guy. We eating or what?" His partner's query snapped Leon back to the here and now.
"What else would we do at lunchtime?" he smiled, knowing darn well it gave Daley an opening and not caring one bit.
"Ooh, I've got all kinds of ideas..." Daley said as he opened the burger joint's door.
"I'm afraid my thoughts were in another area entirely," Leon countered.
Daley frowned in mock exasperation. "Not still pining after the Rock 'n' Roll Sweetheart, surely!"
"'Fraid so. 'She tasks me, and I shall have her'," Leon misquoted.
"Yuck. If you're gonna stick to the straight and narrow, why not at least pick someone with a feminine demeanor?"
Leon laughed. "I get enough of that from you, partner." He'd given Daley an easy opening, and still won the morning's verbal duel.
* * * * *
"Faster!" thought Priss as the Highway Star was topping out its sixth gear. Both turbos were pushing twelve pounds, and the liquid crystal speedometer had given up the chase a gear back. She was pretty sure she'd broken 250 kph and wasn't sure if even this closed but still largely intact section of northwest Tokyo freeway had enough room left to stop.
Getting onto the section had required a little off-road work, but as a test course it was tailor-made for speed runs. It wouldn't be too long until the quake-damaged sections to the north and south were repaired and it would once again carry millions of gridlocked dullards from suburb to tasseled-loafer slavepit.
For now, however, traffic was the least of her worries. The road's dropoff came rather suddenly, and she wasn't sure if it was around this curve or the next one. Odd, she thought. She should know.
Was it possible she just didn't want to? She started. Was this confusion supposed to be her soul's excuse for ending its pain? Losing her loneliness? Finding... Sylvie?
Can a machine have a soul?
"No!" she screamed in her helmet, the sound almost overpowering the wail of the motor, its valves in near-flutter. Her hand loosened its convulsive grip on the throttle. The curve approached. Left hand and right foot hit the brakes, Mackie's anti-lock mechanisms pumping a hundred times a second. She leaned in, ready to bail if she managed to get the raging beast between her legs under 110. The end of the road revealed itself-- far too close. She'd never get it under 180.
Desparately, shocked that she was actually putting so much effort into staying alive when her purpose in coming out here was now painfully clear, she looked for a way out. Ahead, across a 20 meter gap between bridge supports, she spotted a slab of tarmac hanging on exposed iron reinforcing rods over the inlet below. There was no road to jump to, but she might be able to make a hillside another 15 meters on.
Her tires went silent as they left the pavement behind. Leaning back, she tried to unweight the front of the heavy machine, twisting to try to match her angle to the slab's. The back tire hit first, at the slab's lower edge. Not bad. She goosed the throttle, assisting the bike's momentum to carry her over the next gap. Then she felt the pavement shift crazily beneath her as the front tire hit hard. Still moving forward on the now collapsing slab, she saw that her angle toward the hillside was all wrong. She'd make it, but...
The slab was past, and falling into the gap. Travelling at a bizarre upward angle, the now dead weight of the Highway Star was decelerating fast. Small favors. Priss was trying to decide whether to bail or stick with the bike when it hit the hillside. The impact collapsed the front shock, and Priss could see by the flapping gaskets that it wouldn't recover. At the same time, a tearing sensation below her ribs told her the puncture wound would be bleeding again, but it also told her she was still alive.
* * * * *
It was a slow ride home on the heavy machine. The front fork was barely clearing the tire, and Priss had to nurse it all the way. It gave her mind plenty of time to wander, which wasn't necessarily a good thing.
As it had for weeks now, her brain filled every empty moment with images of Sylvie. Giggling with Linna and Nene at the club, leaning back on an oceanside fence, the look in her eyes when their hands had inadvertantly touched and neither pulled back for a long, sweet, incredible moment. Priss thought she'd loved someone before, but every moment spent near Sylvie told her that as strong as those feelings had been, they paled before the simple wonder of Sylvie taking a step, or turning her head.
But Sylia had told her the painful truth. Sylvie was a Genom 33-S. A Sexaroid. A machine designed to simulate the physical and emotional responses men wanted for their sexual pleasure. Its capacities had surpassed its creators' expectations to a dangerous degree once it became self-aware. Of course Priss had found her irresistable. But if that was all there was to it, then why hadn't Anri affected her the same way?
Sylia was the smartest person Priss had ever met, but she didn't know everything. Maybe the self-awareness Sylia said the 33-Ss possessed gave them real feelings. Maybe it gave them the ability to give and receive real love. Maybe it had given Sylvie a soul.
Priss shook her head. The philosophy was for deeper minds than she wanted to have. Whether Sylvie had really been alive or not, she was dead now, and by Priss' own hand. No matter what the metaphysics involved were, she'd never see Sylvie again. Ever. And finally admitting that was worse than any wound she could imagine.
She arrived at Raven's garage still lost in thought. She muttered "Fix it" to one of Doc's lackeys and swung her leg over one of the many bikes in his inventory. The ancient Norton wasn't her normal style, but it would get her around tonight.
* * * * *
Leon had thought hard over sharing his knowledge of one Knight Saber's identity with anyone.
It was hard to keep quiet. Even though the Sabers had never moved against ADPolice, and had even cooperated with them at least once, they were still a mercenary unit operating within the city. No different from any gang or contract hit team, so far as the law was concerned. But on the other hand, he couldn't very well just turn Priss in. Even apart from the feelings he had for her, she'd saved his life on at least two occasions, and that entitled her to some slack. If he could trust his secret to anyone, it was Daley.
"Daley," he said as his partner drove them through the brightly-lit NeoGinza district, "there's something I really ought to tell you."
"You think I'm especially attractive tonight? I KNEW these new slacks were the ticket!" Daley winked.
"Cut that shit out! I'm serious!" Leon barked, aware he'd just forfeited the second round. "I saw something that night, after I got nailed by the D.D."
Daley's grin turned dead serious. The SDPC case had scared the hell out of him, and had almost cost his partner's life. "What was it?"
"Well, you read in my report that the Knight Sabers stopped the D.D., and apparently took it away with them." He paused, still not sure he was doing the right thing. "What I didn't write down was that after the fight, I saw one of the Sabers take her helmet off."
"You eyeballed one of the babes-in-armor without her mask?!?" Daley asked incredulously. "Could you ID her? Spill it, man!" Daley hung a left and accelerated in the direction of ADPHQ.
"Wait, where are you going?" Leon asked, confused.
"Back to HQ! We're gonna put you on the face kit! This is big stuff! Did you get a good look, or-"
"I saw enough," Leon said quietly.
Daley caught something in Leon's tone. Something that said giving a full report to the chief was not what his partner had in mind. Daley backed off on the gas. "Okay, Leon. Tell kindly ol' Dr. Wong all about it."
Leon sighed with relief. His trust in Daley hadn't been misplaced. "I think I recognized her, but it was pretty dark, and she was quite a way off."
"Well, who did you THINK it was?" Daley asked impatiently.
Leon hesitated. Daley could tell there was a problem besides a confident ID here. A frightening thought struck him. "Jeez! She's not ADP, is she?"
"No!" Leon snapped back, startled at the notion.
"Well, that's good, anyway. I'd hate to think they've got a mole inside!"
"It's worse than that," Leon mumbled.
Daley looked at his partner, and knew right away. Leon only looked that shy and boyish on the rare occasions he talked seriously about his feelings for the Rock 'n' Roll Sweetheart.
"Aw, cripes, McNichol! I thought we had a lead here, and you've just got Priss-on-the-brain again!" Daley exclaimed disgustedly.
"No, really, Daley! She was wearing the blue armor, and that Largo guy that nailed the chopper the other night took a shot at her too! Why would he do that if she was just a singer?"
"In case it escaped your notice, Leon, Largo shot at a LOT of people the other night, and hit most of them. Was she wearing the armor when he shot at her?"
"Well, no..." Leon answered. When he'd tried to warn Priss that Largo wasn't like her normal opponents, she HAD looked at him kind of strangely. Maybe he was reading more into this than there was. And the D.D. had given him a real going-over...
"There, y'see? Honestly, Leon, you have either got to lay this girl or," he got a mischevious look in his eye, "you can join me at the Imperial tonight. I'm meeting a Lufthansa pilot for a drink. I'll bet he's got a friend."
Leon nodded, chuckling, "Okay, you win two out of three today. Maybe I do have 'Priss-on-the-brain.' Thanks for listening, partner." He grinned. "Besides, I'll take the first choice, anytime."
* * * * *
Priss pulled up in front of Hot Legs on the Norton and veered toward the backstage door. After going home, Priss had taken a shower, and had also decided that the events of the last few days entitled her to a hit of Stolichnaya while she cleaned up. By the time she'd dried her hair, she'd had more than one. She took the bottle with her to the club, and by the time she arrived, she'd had more than a few.
She opened the dressing room door with a hard shove. She could hear her band playing their standards, guitar solos filling in for her vocals. Well, she thought, we'll see about that.
One look at her stage costumes, though, killed a lot of enthusiasm. Squeezing into a vinyl bikini and thighboots was not an attractive proposition tonight. She looked in the mirror, and decided the red leather jumpsuit she was wearing would have to do. Priss unzipped and shrugged out of the upper part, stripped off the underlying T-shirt and bra, then zipped the suit back up to just above the bandage on her stomach.
"That oughta satisfy the leches," she remarked, inspecting the cleavage the jumpsuit now displayed. Adding the trademark blonde wig as a crowning touch, she strode out to the stage in the middle of "Konya Wa Hurricane."
Word spread through the crowd in hissing ripples from stage left. "Priss!" "Priss!" Her appearance startled the band, and the guitarist stopped momentarily.
"Keep it going, asshole!" she yelled over the din. Striding to a mike, she grabbed it off its stand and sang:
"Big City! Chigereta Day by Day!"
The crowd screamed its approval. Priss was even wilder than usual. Careening from one side of the stage to the other, leaning over the crowd, spitting the lyrics into the audience. They loved it. As the end of the song approached, Priss became an oscillating dynamo.
"Give Me Touch!"
Every line was a cry of passion denied, of a dream stolen by her own hand. A drum triplet signaled the climax, but Priss wasn't finished. She dragged out the final "Touch" into a wail. The band was no longer playing, but Priss shrieked out her loss, the touch that would never come, that couldn't, ever again. She ended the scream, collapsing onto her knees. The crowd went wild. Their noise covered Priss' moan of anguish. She stood up and prepared herself for the next song. That was when she saw them.
A dozen or more. Crowded around lower stage right. They were all dressed in blue & white retro/euro-style cafe racer jumpsuits. Jumping and squealing and waving at her, rich girls from the towers at play in the sometimes dangerous club neighborhoods, and emulating the style Sylvie had set a few weeks earlier. They seemed a pack of contemptuous, derisive ghosts, laughing and mocking her torment.
"Get out!" She screamed at them in panic, "GET AWAY!" The fury in her face took the crowd aback. Her shouts attacked the spoiled princesses, who had no idea how to respond. "Why do you think it's funny? She's DEAD, you little..."
Priss knew that if she stayed in their presence, she couldn't hold the tears in check. She ran offstage.
In his office, the fashion victim could only moan, "Oh, great! Better she'd never come at all!"
* * * * *
Priss was sitting on the Norton, one hand leaning against the wall of an alley. The other was holding the now-empty vodka bottle, and her head was wondering what to do with it. She grinned. She was, after all, supposed to be pointlessly destructive. "Can't disappoint my public." She threw the bottle awkwardly toward the street. It bounced off a pile of trash and rolled away, unbroken.
"Try, try again," she said, levering herself off the bike. She walked out into the street. As she leaned over to grab the bottle, she found she lacked the strength to stand back up. The only practical course of action seemed to be sitting down, so she did.
After a time (she wasn't really sure how long), she saw the headlights approaching. A quick survey of the street showed plenty of room on either side of her, so there was no obvious reason for her to move. She decided the best way to signal the approaching vehicle of her intentions was to extend the middle finger of her left hand in its general direction. It stopped about twenty feet away.
"Uh-oh," she thought, "This must be one of those easily-offended types." She was reaching for her pistol ("And how are YOU gonna aim anything?" her inner bitch piped up) when she heard the car door open and a familiar voice ask "Priss-san?"
She squinted toward the light. "Leon? Hey, Leon!"
Leon walked toward her. She was obviously pretty seriously impaired. "You okay?"
She snorted. "Oh, never better." Priss looked up at Leon's eyes, and saw the same anxious puppy look as usual. That was when she decided. Watching Largo's end had had no effect on her. Speed hadn't helped. Performing was a disaster. Alcohol wasn't really doing the job.
Why the hell not?
"Gimme a hand up here, ADPolice," she said, extending her arm.
Instead, he came around behind her, put his hands under her shoulders, and lifted her to her feet. He was startled at how light and delicate this little terror actually was.
"Whooa! You're a big, strong pig, aren't you?" she laughed, turning around and leaning against him.
"Well, Miss Asigiri, I think you've had enough for tonight," Leon said, relieved that she didn't seem to be injured. Then he felt her hand grasp him in the very last place he would have expected.
"Y'know, ADPolice, that's where we disagree." Her voice was a lot steadier than it had been moments before. He moved his hand down to disengage hers. He tried to look in her eyes, but they were staring off in the distance. He couldn't see what was so interesting.
"Priss," he said, "I don't think you're thinking real straight here. Why don't I take you home--"
"Why don't you?" she asked, meeting his eyes for a moment, then taking the hand he'd sent to remove hers and placing it inside her jumpsuit. "There's only one thing I want from you tonight, Leon, and it's not talk." Priss pulled his hand back out, let go and turned toward her bike.
* * * * *
As he followed the Norton, Leon told himself he was only making sure she didn't pile it into anything. The bike was only weaving a little, but that was enough to tell Leon she was still looped.
"I'll just put her to bed and leave," he told himself out loud. It even sounded like a lie.
They pulled up to the trailer, and he made it to the door just as she got it unlocked. She didn't turn to look as he followed her in, but as he automatically reached for the light switch, she caught his hand.
Leon complied. He was unsure what to do next but then he heard the thump of her boots on the floor, a zipper, and the rustle of her jumpsuit. Street light leaking in around the curtains revealed a bare arm and the curve of a tiny bottom.
"Oh my God. Priss, I don't think--"
"Shut up and get over here, Leon." He heard bedsprings compress in a darker area of the room. He stripped off his shoulder rig and shirt as he walked toward the sound. He blindly put an arm forward. The back of his hand bumped her shoulder, and he adjusted himself to face her. His arms went around her smooth, bare, back and he felt the cool flesh of her breasts compress against him.
"Priss, I've always--"
Her hand covered his mouth. "No talking."
He bent to kiss her. His lips brushed hers for an instant before she jerked her head up and to one side, presenting her neck to him. He kissed her there, moved down her chest, and took a soft nipple in his mouth. Her arms went around him as he felt it harden. After a moment, she leaned back on the bed, put her hands on his shoulders, and pushed him further down. He stopped for a moment in confusion and concern when he encountered the bandage, but her arms' downward motion was insistent.
When he heard her whimper and felt her hands on his head a couple of minutes later, he figured he was doing alright.
* * * * *
Priss was hardly aware of him. Her eyes squeezed tight, she could almost see the hair in her hands as she wanted it to be. A mousy gray-brown, permanently tousled, rustled by a small breeze in the late summer sunlight. She twined it between her clenched fingers, but the things she felt more than Leon's hair, more than what he was doing to her, were the tears streaming down her cheeks as she quietly sobbed in the darkness.
Her hands had never stroked Sylvie's hair, never caressed her cheek, never slid lazily over her flat belly. Instead, her hand -- this hand -- had pulled a trigger.
"No-o-o-o..." she weakly moaned, rolling onto her stomach and hugging the pillow to her chest.
"Priss?" She heard Leon, far away.
"Do it. Just do it," she croaked.
Damning himself, he did.
* * * * *
Leon opened his eyes to a half-lit room, the dirty light of MegaTokyo's dawn giving the curtains an orange glow. Priss was faced away from him, sitting on the edge of the bed smoking a cigarette, bed sheets drawn around her in uncharacteristic modesty.
"I think you better go, Leon," she said, the hand holding the cigarette brushing a hair from her face.
He reached an arm around her shoulder. "Hey, can't I--"
She lunged out of his reach. "DON'T YOU TOUCH ME!"
"I only want--"
"You GOT what you wanted! Now GET OUT!" Still holding the sheet around her, she reached for Leon's holstered gun on the floor. Leon was frozen. The woman he loved was screaming at him and reaching for a gun. He'd read too many neatly typed reports about similar situations not to realize the danger, but he still couldn't move.
Instead of pulling the weapon, Priss hurled the holstered mass of wildcatted Redhawk at him. It twirled grip over barrel into his midsection.
"GO!" she cried as it struck him. The impact broke the spell of horror and he reached for his belongings as best as he could, managing to at least grab his pants and boots before he retreated out the door. The last thing he saw as it shut was Priss standing next to the bed, the sheet fallen away to expose one perfect breast bobbing under the same feral mask she'd first shown him so long ago.
He stood next to his car, clumsily donning pants and boots and, for lack of any other option, slipping the rig over his bare shoulders. The cop in him was outraged that he let her reach for his weapon without resisting, but, for all that had happened that night, he still knew Priss had some sort of feeling for him, and he couldn't believe she'd ever hurt anyone she cared about.
As he pulled away, the enormity of the night's events began to sink in. All his plans to conquer the virtue of Miss Priscilla S. Asigiri were now irrelevant. He had won, but it hadn't been the way he wanted. The hollow pit in his stomach and the trembling of his hands on the wheel were harbingers of the realization that nothing would be the same again. The romance, the flirtation, all the elements of charm he'd hoped to employ had been tossed away in a trash-strewn back alley. Maybe someday he could think of approaching her in that way again, but the events of this morning and the gathering moisture at the corners of his eyes made it clear that it wasn't going to be anytime soon.
* * * * *
Sylia had just finished her morning review of the American markets when the door buzzed. She checked the security monitor and saw Priss leaning against the door frame, one hand on the button.
"One moment, please," she said into the mike pickup on the monitor. Sylia wasn't entirely pleased by her presence. If Meison and Largo had ferreted out her secrets, others might too. She had already warned the other Sabers to be more cautious about appearing in public together or visiting each other too often. She picked up her coffee and walked toward the apartment's entryway, buttoning up the neck of her blouse.
"Morning, Sylia," Priss said as the door opened. Sylia could tell there was still something wrong by the tension in her voice. Priss' short-lived resignation from the Sabers and her solo play against Largo last week had only been the most obvious signs of her extreme distress since Sylvie's death-- "No. Since the termination of the 33-S unit," Sylia caught herself. Priss' haggard appearance this morning did not indicate a quick return to combat-effective status.
"Sylia, what are we doing?" Priss asked in a quietly intensive voice. "I mean, all the moves we've made against Genom so far, and I can't really see any effect. We kill Meison, some other dickhead suit pops up in his place and NOTHING CHANGES! Hell, Largo did them twenty times more damage in ONE NIGHT than we've done in two and a half YEARS!"
Sylia calmly walked to the sofa and sat down, refusing to be upset by Priss' sudden outburst. "You know we have to plan our movements carefully, and that many times we will appear to be fighting a mere holding action. Even after last week's events, Genom is too large and too dangerous for direct action, and--"
"Yeah, no SHIT they're too dangerous! I got news for you, Sylia, they're too fuckin' dangerous for nibbling around the edges, too! We've lost -- I'VE lost a hell of a lot in this fight and I can't see ANY GODDAMN EFFECT!" Priss turned toward the window. Buildings upon buildings, and well over half of the ones in her field of view were either owned or cash-flowed through Genom. "I mean, I'm at the club, and I'm supposed to be inspiring all this rebellion, y'know? And probably ninety percent of the idiots listening work for Genom! They don't get it, and now maybe I don't get it anymore either! What's the point? We attack them, and-- and people we care about DIE! I don't have--" she stopped as a loud sob broke her voice, "I don't have anyone else left, Sylia! Except you, and I can't watch... I can't..."
"Oh, Priscilla!" Sylia pleaded, her arms reaching out.
Priss stood for a moment, looking at the solace offered in the embrace, then broke and strode across the room to collapse onto Sylia's lap.
"Oh God, Sylia," Priss wept into her neatly tailored dress, "Don't you die, too. Just please don't. I couldn't take that, too."
"It will be alright, Priscilla," Sylia lied, rocking Priss and cradling her head against her breast, "I won't ever leave you. As long as you need me I'll be here." Priss sobbed for a few moments more, gradually relaxing until Sylia felt her go limp. She kept up the rocking.
The door from the living quarters cracked open. "Sis? Is everything okay?" Mackie was struck by the intimacy of the feminine pieta he saw.
"Shh, Mackie. Please leave us now." He closed the door. Sylia kissed the sleeping brow before her. She had realized long ago that the formation of the Sabers and her crusade against Genom were as much a sublimation of her hopeless maternal instincts as they were an expression of her father's posthumous vengeance. She seldom had a chance to access so directly the feelings she'd locked away, and she wanted to hold on to this moment as long as she could.
Additional Author's Notes:
YEARNINGS was written on June 22-26, 1995. After I read GeoClimber's "Dark Horizon" (Nice job, BTW) I was inspired to attempt a fanfic of my own. Once the decision was made, the characters took over. They took the actions related above of their own volition, and it was all I could do to keep up and write everything down.
It soon became evident that this was going to be a different kind of BGC story, without a beam cannon or combat boomer in sight. I can only hope I did their pain justice, and that they will visit me again soon. I hope you enjoyed our effort.
the pig (INN P-Chan)
East Lansing, MI
Special thanks to Levitone (Edmond Leviton), the Wise & Good Lady Elaine, and, of course, the gang at Artmic.
back to the Short Story Page.Yearnings, 25 February 1996