9. My Nation Underground

Down in the sewers beneath the 28th ward, two workers, one man, one boomer, have been sent to service the pipes. For the man, it’s no fun being stuck in the sewers with a boomer as dumb as this one, and he is eager to take his break. What the man doesn’t realise is that he isn’t alone with the boomer, although perhaps the company down there isn’t quite what he had in mind- for as he turns away to look in his kit, a monster emerges from the darkness and devours the boomer…

The boomer disappearance is not an isolated incident. Sylia has been investigating the matter, and come up with seven confirmed cases, although there could be as many as twenty overall. Mason has been keeping an eye on matters too, and wonders if this could be a clue to the thing he is looking for in the ruins of old Tokyo. Of course, as per usual, none of this will be publicised on the news.

Wanting confirmation of the missing boomer stories, Nene hacks into Genom’s computers for Sylia. Although she gets the proof she needs, Nene is detected and almost caught. And even though she escapes detection by Genom, she cannot escape something else- Leon.

On the pretext of checking that Nene isn’t using her PC for personal use, Leon starts up a conversation- but that isn’t what he’s really interested in. Having seen Nene at the Hot Legs club, he wonders if there is a connection between her and Priss. Nene realises that Leon is interested in Priss, and teases him by saying that she even knows Priss’ e-mail address- not that she’ll be giving it out any time soon.

Whilst eating lunch at work, Linna can’t help wondering why the missing boomer story hasn’t been shown on the news. To Linna, it feels like a cover-up, after all, the news always seems edited, doesn’t it? But even though Linna may have seen through Genom’s tactics, her friend Misae believes there’s nothing wrong- it’s just another of Linna’s conspiracy theories.

Nene, meanwhile, is busy following up on her imagined Priss/Leon relationship; this time calling Priss to tell her about Leon’s interest. Naturally, Priss isn’t too happy to hear Nene’s gossip, but Nene takes her anger to indicate veiled interest. This possible relationship is too juicy to give up- so the next move is of course to get Linna in on the picture. Nene outlines a plan to act as go between, but Linna reminds her that getting Priss to go out with Leon might not be such a good idea. After all, the AD Police have been trying to kill the Knight Sabers- and Sylia certainly won’t be too sanguine about the whole thing either.

That night, more people go down to the ruins in the 28th ward; a group of junior diggers, assigned there because all the seniors refused the job. This is the place where a lot of secret labs full of all kinds of chemical and biological research were located prior to the quake- not the kind of thing you want to accidentally stumble across. And with all the boomers going missing in the area, working here is even more fraught than usual.

It is a fraught night for Sylia; unable to sleep, she ponders her feelings- does she truly hate the boomers, or is it perhaps that she fears them? By next morning, though, she is back in control- and not at all happy to see Nene and Macky together. Nene is supposed to be training, but instead she is taking time out to teach Macky some basic hacking skills, not to mention give Priss and Leon a little electronic shove in the right direction. As predicted, Sylia is furious at the idea of a Knight Saber dating an AD Police officer. After switching off Nene’s computer, she gives the younger woman a warning- one more mistake, and she’s out of the Knight Sabers.

Getting off work early, Linna decides to go and see Priss during rehearsal at the club. Linna is interested in finding out just why Priss hates the AD Police. After more than a little annoyance about Nene’s gossiping, Priss explains- she hates the fact that the ADP trample over the very people they are supposed to be protecting. Any further heart-to-heart conversation is interrupted by a call from Sylia; one of the boomers used by the team of diggers has gone rogue- it’s time for the Knight Sabers to spring into action

At the mobile pit, Nene is still sulking over Sylia’s harsh words. She is not a screw-up, and in this battle, she is determined to prove it.

The AD Police are the first to reach the mad boomer, which has just burst out of the underground ruins, scattering workers before it. Unfortunately, their guns have no effect on the creature, and only the timely intervention of Priss saves Leon and Daley.

Priss and Linna plan to co-ordinate their attack, but their effort is interrupted by Nene. Still determined to prove her worth, Nene makes an ill-advised frontal assault, which, amazingly enough, is successful. Unfortunately, the boomer is still equipped to fight back, and quickly grabs Nene with a pincer claw.

Released from the boomer’s grip by some shots from the ADP officers, Nene seems to have escaped trouble once again, that is, until something worse than the boomer appears. A giant monster emerges from underground and seizes both Nene and the boomer in its tentacles. The stunned Knight Sabers and AD Police can only look on in horror as the monster, after dropping Nene, stuffs the boomer into its mouth and eats it. Will the creature want dessert?