16. Moving Waves

With memories from Sylia’s past flashing through her mind, Priss leaves Leon and heads straight back to the Silky Doll. Linna has returned too, and they arrive to find Nene, Macky and Henderson clustered around an unconscious Sylia, who is emitting a green light from her chest.

The perpetrator of these mysterious events is none other than Galatea. Despite being kept inside a special containment sphere, Galatea has managed to reach out to Sylia and the others- not with malice, but because she just wants to play. Paying a visit to his new charge, Mason tells Galatea that she cannot use her full powers until she has grown up, but in the meantime, he will find her something to occupy her- pacified, Galatea stops reaching out to the Knight Sabers.

At the Silky Doll, Macky and Nene explain about the Sotai to the others, and how Galatea and Macky were grown from Sylia’s brain- and having awakened, Sylia tells them it is no coincidence that the other Knight Sabers were also connected to them. Priss, Linna and Nene aren’t the first people that were recruited into the Knight Sabers- some years earlier, Sylia and two other women donned hardsuits and battled boomers. Although these former Knight Sabers were adequate, only Sylia herself could achieve a true gestalt with her hardsuit. As Priss has already deduced, the suits are boomers, and they require a compatible mind in order to fully control them. The suits are based around the mental patterns of the younger Sylia, and only women with this special compatibility can fully utilise their special powers.

For Priss, this history lesson is less important than the fact that the suits are boomers. All this time, Priss has been using the very thing she despises, and Sylia has been lying to her about it. Having had enough of Sylia and her games, Priss decides that it is time to leave. Sylia, for her part, is determined to carry on; the others can quit if they wish, but she is committed to destroying Galatea.

At ADP HQ, Daley has some bad news for Leon. After teasing him about his “date” with Priss, Daley tells his partner that their bosses are in a meeting- to discuss the disbanding of the ADP. With Genom no longer willing to finance them, the ADP will have to be reabsorbed into the normal police at the end of the month, despite the fact that they are needed more than ever these days.

Meanwhile, Mason is having his own problems with Genom, or, to be more specific, with its chairman. Quincy knows that something is going, but seems at least partially satisfied with Mason’s explanation that he is merely working on energy transfer for the Shohamm Project. Perhaps not 100% convinced, however, he warns his subordinate not to betray him.

Bored at work once again, Nene hasn’t even realised that most of her fellow co-workers are on strike in protest at the potential disbanding of the ADP. Even though she isn’t a part of the union, a passing colleague tells her to take the afternoon off, but Nene isn’t so sure if she wants to go. Having matured since they were first built, Sylia’s compatibility with the suits has decreased- to protect his sister, Macky wants the younger and more compatible Nene to come over so that the newest suit can be built for her. But does Nene even want a new hardsuit?

Despite the strike, Leon is still at work; he wants to talk to his boss, Nick Roland, about the rumours that the ADP is going to be dissolved. Nick cannot reply outright, but he hints that this rumour is one that has a grain of truth to it. Leon replies that he has no intention of returning to the normal police, but Nick isn’t so sure- some people are born to be cops.

At her workstation, Nene is still deciding what to do when the whole building goes into lockdown, activating the defences and cutting off outside communications. And what’s worse, almost everyone else has gone home- except for Nick and two other officers- Directors Yano and Haruma. Yano believes that the lockdown is a result of a computer error, but the others wonder if there is more to it than that. Sure enough, when Nene checks out what’s going from her station, she discovers that the alert is very real- a mass of rogue boomers has appeared in the basement!

The boomers were rogues that had been deactivated and held in storage at the ADP, but now they have returned to life- thanks to Mason and Galatea. Mason decided to give Galatea something to do by allowing her to spread the Sotai phenomenon through the Dragon line to the ADP. It seemed like a good way to occupy her- the only shame being that with the strike there is no one left to fight the boomers. Mason would have loved to see the humans’ pathetic attempts to fight back against this new boomer army.

Of course, there are people trying to fight back- and even as they fire at the oncoming waves of boomers, Sylia too is once more laid low by the Sotai phenomenon. Macky is affected too, and becomes link to Galatea’s mind, at least until Nigel reminds him of his humanity. Free of Galatea’s influence, things are little better for Macky as he realises the danger that Nene is in…

With their guns practically useless, the ADP officers have no option but to fire a few delayed charges and retreat from the sub basement. The whole level is filled with boomers, and thanks to the lockdown, all communications have been cut off. There is no way to call for help…or is there?

Walking home with her new magazine, Linna finds herself experiencing a vision of the rogue boomers at the ADP. But before she can figure that out, Linna gets a call from Macky, telling her that Nene is trapped in the ADP building, and she is the only one who can help…