19. Are You Experienced?

A new day begins, and according to the morning news, the worst thing happening in Tokyo is a few power outages- a far cry from the harsh reality of deserted streets and the ever-spreading rogue boomer phenomenon. Determined to combat Genom’s whitewashing of the media, Leon, Daley and Nene put together their own broadcast from inside the city. Whilst Daley and Nene try to deflect attempts to scramble their transmission, Leon explains the situation in Tokyo, along with some background information about rogue boomers. The body of a boomer is just a shell containing the artificial intelligence of the boomer core. The boomer intelligence is limited by using small amounts of core material, which are bound to a single shape by the body they occupy. But the boomers have an inherent tendency to want to escape their prisons- and when they overcome the limitations imposed on them, they turn rogue. It isn’t a random error, simply an inherent property of the boomers themselves.

The three ADP officers manage to get their message through to the satellite network, but with the scrambling adapting so quickly to their transmission they soon realise there’s no point continuing. However, their broadcast has had an unexpected side effect- they have caught the attention of the other ADP officers remaining in the city. Leon reasons that if the remnants of the ADP come together, they might just be able to destroy Genom’s Dragon Line- the system of energy conduits that enables the rapid spread of the rogue boomer phenomenon.

Meanwhile, Priss is staying with Sylia at the Silky Doll. Sylia is excited about the new hardsuits that Nigel has been working on, but Priss refuses to see past the fact that they are boomers. Sylia now knows that going rogue is not due to any impurity, but a natural result of a boomer wishing to escape from the constraints of its assigned form. Priss only wants to be told that the suits cannot go rogue- but Sylia cannot guarantee that. With the new suits, it will all depend on the link between the mind of the wearer and the hardsuit core.

Their conversation is interrupted as Sylia is once again beset by pain and the glowing green light that indicates Galatea is active. At Genom Tower, Mason is talking with her about how the rogue boomer phenomenon will spread from Tokyo to the rest of Japan, and eventually the entire world. Mason’s plan to “free” the boomers will endanger the human race, but, as explains to Galatea, he no longer feels fully human anymore. When cancer attacked his body, his organs were replaced with boomer parts. Even though they have been inside him too long to fully awaken, these boomer parts separate him from normal humans. He may never fit into either the world of humans or boomers, but he is happy to observe as the stagnant human race is replaced by this new species of its own creation.

Whilst Daley works out a strategy to destroy the Dragon Line, Nene and Leon wait for the other ADP officers to show up. Although the horizon looks pretty bare to begin with, their patience is rewarded when Nick Roland shows up, followed by a sizeable number of their former co-workers. It looks like they might be able to pull it off after all…

Paying a visit to K’s Garage, Priss finds Nigel and Macky working on five boomers- and all for one hardsuit. The new suits will be twenty times heavier than the old ones, but on the plus side, the power and abilities of the suits will be greatly increased. As Priss considers this information, Linna emerges modelling her own new suit, complete with a new and rather revealing design.

Linna’s modelling session is cut short by a call from Nene; the gathered ADP officers have run into a giant rogue boomer that has merged with all the cars inside a nearby expressway tunnel, and their equipment is no match for the beast. That doesn’t mean that Leon and Daley aren’t going to have a good crack at tackling the beast, although with their guns ineffective at long range, the two officers have little choice but to drive right up to it. As expected, the boomer seizes hold of them, and they are drawn closer to its mouth. At the last second, Daley decides they are close enough to have an effect, and the two shoot at the core before jumping free of the car.

At first, it appears as if their crazy plan was successful- right up until the point where the boomer suddenly reactivates and mutates into an even more hideous form. With the creature able to shrug off the best that the ADP can dish out, it looks like Linna had better get her brand new hardsuit out there fast…

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