22. Physical Graffiti

Trapped on the lower levels of the Silky Doll, the Knight Sabers and their allies watch in horror as the boomers start smashing into the glass that separates the swimming pool from the living area. It is only a matter of time before the glass gives way, drowning everyone in a flood of water and boomers.

Never one to stand and wait, Sylia orders the other Knight Sabers to come with her and suit up. Now, just as always, it is time to battle boomers- only this might be the last time they get to use the Silky Doll as their base. Events are moving towards endgame.

The Knight Sabers don their hardsuits just in time- the boomers’ relentless smashing has broken the glass, causing jets of water to stream into the room, shortly followed by the boomer army. As the room floods, the conflict turns into an underwater battle- and a desperate swim to safety.

With no effective weapons, the four men have no choice but to head on upwards to the rooftop exit, leaving the Knight Sabers to take care of the underwater boomers. The new suits are easily up to the task of destroying the pursuit- although Linna has to save Nene after her poor swimming skills catch up with her.

Having finally escaped from the Silky Doll, the Knight Sabers are presented with an even more terrifying sight. Thanks to the Dragon Line, the entire city has been taken over- boomer “roots” curl around every building, and boomers of all shapes and sizes move through the streets. Galatea never targeted the Silky Doll- the attack was merely a by-product of her absorption of the city.

This is exactly what Mason was hoping for; still fused into the wall where Galatea put him, he can finally observe the new world he desired. The human world that the sick little boy and the dying man were never able to fit in with has gone, replaced with boomer parts just as his own organs were.

For the others in the city, the view is not so appealing. Having rescued the Mobile Pit from the Silky Doll, Sylia suggests they drive down to a park near the coast. The ground water level was too high to build the Dragon Line, and all the maintenance boomers have long since left. This is the only place in Tokyo that is free from the boomers’ control.

Naturally, the Knight Sabers aren’t the only ones that have realised this- the fifty or so other survivors remaining in Tokyo have also gathered here. Fortunately, after a brief misunderstanding in which the group mistake the Knight Sabers for boomers, the survivors prove to be friendly and hospitable- qualities that have been brought to the fore by their predicament.

In return for some food and clothes for the Knight Sabers, Leon and Nigel go “hunting” (looting) with the group. Leon isn’t too happy about breaking the laws he used to enforce, but the more pragmatic Nigel just tells him to keep quiet before he attracts the boomers.

Whether drawn by Leon’s talk or not, the boomers soon reach the supermarket where Nigel and Leon are “hunting”. Forced to leave, they take as much with them as they can- now that the boomers have spread this far, there can be no more hunting.

Still, even with such a bleak outlook, there is time for one evening of food and rest. Whilst Henderson demonstrates his expertise with alcohol and Linna gets blind drunk, the others just prefer to sit quietly and think about the future.

But events aren’t just going to stop for the sake of a few hours peace, as Nene discovers when she searches for Macky. Looking in the mobile pit, she sees him working on the computer- not backing up data, but going through Sylia’s classified files. And when she talks him, he glows blue and laughs- in Galatea’s voice…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *