21. Close to the Edge

Thanks to Macky and Nigel, Priss not only has a brand new hardsuit, but also a new Moto Slave. And unlike the last Moto Slave, this one is more than just a motorcycle; it is another boomer which will connect to her mind the way a hardsuit does- however, it might also turn out to be her best bet when it comes to defeating the giant boomer.

Leaving Leon behind to wait with the others, Priss heads off to find her fellow Knight Sabers. And the sooner she arrives, the better, for the giant rogue “worm” boomer has already wrapped Linna and Nene in its tentacles, leaving Sylia to fight alone. Whilst the boomer tries to absorb Linna and Nene’s hardsuits, Sylia attempts to free them and sever the creature’s connection to the Dragon Line. The boomer is well able to defend itself, however, instantly recovering from Sylia’s attacks, and sending out more tentacles in an attempt to ensnare her as well.

As Sylia recovers from the boomer’s attacks, Priss finally shows up on the scene. Eager to finish the battle quickly, Sylia immediately suggests a plan. She will sever the boomer’s connection to the Dragon Line at the base of the neck whilst Priss covers her. Before Priss can argue, Sylia has already launched her attack- and failed. The exterior of the boomer is too well protected, and soon Sylia is caught up in it as well.

Back at the Silky Doll, Leon, Macky and Nigel can only wait and hope that Knight Sabers will be okay. As they share a drink, Henderson comes down to join them as well. This is the women’s fight; they can only have faith- and a few drinks to go with it.

Forced to fight alone, Priss transforms the Moto Slave from motorcycle to humanoid form. Her initial attacks take out three of the smaller boomers surrounding the large one, but it looks like it’s all over when a fourth boomer grabs her from behind, holding her in place whilst the giant boomer sends out tentacles to ensnare her also. This could be the Knight Saber’s first irretrievable defeat…

…Or maybe not, as a mental cry from Nene and Linna somehow stops the boomer’s advance. Realising what has happened, Sylia explains that the boomer’s attempt to absorb them has linked all their minds together with that of the boomer. Not only can they hear each other’s thoughts, but they can also exert some limited control over the boomer.

This will be essential to their next plan. Sylia, Linna and Nene will use their mental connection to confuse the creature, whilst Priss dives down its throat and severs the power connection from inside. Crazy though it sounds, the plan is successful- with its power connection severed, the boomer dissolves, and the Knight Sabers are released.

Back at the Silky Doll, the Knight Sabers and their friends enjoy a well deserved rest. But whilst Priss, Nene and Sylia all have male admirers in the form of Leon, Macky and Nigel respectively, poor Linna doesn’t have anyone- unless you count Henderson. Still, even that cannot dispel the good mood of the party- despite all the terrible things that have happened, it is still nice to just have a little time to relax and be together.

But it is a rest period that cannot last for long- for Galatea has no intention of leaving the Silky Doll alone. Awoken from her sleep in a panic, Sylia realises that something is terribly wrong- and indeed, a boomer is right outside the room. Even as they start breaking in, however, the security cameras show nothing- only the proximity alarm indicates the number of boomer cores streaming into the building.

As Nene quickly raises the security systems, it looks like the boomers are trapped on the upper levels, until somehow their relentless march downwards continues! Even though there is still nothing on the cameras, the sensors are still registering boomers- and now they are outside the very room that everyone has taken refuge in.

And it soon becomes clear just what has gone wrong. When the security systems blocked off the upper levels, the swimming pool cover failed to close, allowing the boomers to dive right down to the lower levels. The Knight Sabers and their allies can only watch in horror as the boomers start smashing against the glass…