Categories > Anime/Manga > Bubblegum Crisis > The Armageddon Inheritance

Part 1:

by 117 0 Reviews

Category: Bubblegum Crisis - Rating: R - Genres: Crossover,Sci-fi - Characters:  - Published: 2008/02/29 - Updated: 2008/03/01 - 15846 words

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The Armageddon Inheritance (ver 1.11). Adapted from Rise of The Machines (ver 1.09)

Disclaimer: The Terminator and all concepts therein is a product of James
Cameron and Jonathan Mostow. Ranma and Akane belong to Rumiko Takahashi. The
Knight Sabers, Largo, AD Police, Boomers, Genom belong to their
respective creators.

Synopsis: A Ranma/Terminator/BGC crossover with elements of ??? thrown
in. An anime fan (my friend Gamill who was really annoyed when he was left out of the Rise of the Machines story) is thrown with Ranma Saotome into the BGC universe. This is their story and that of the Knight Sabers. I'm not in, though, so I can do anything I want to Gamill .... Hehehehehe ....... ^_^

Part 1: Genesis

Silence ...

A darkness that wasn't dark and an illumination that wasn't light. Gamill couldn't tell what to make of the situation. Hell ... he couldn't even tell if he was standing the right way up. He could be upside down for all purposes and he wouldn't even know about it as the absence of ground beneath his feet made it difficult to make reference points for directions in this place he was in. The place was just one uniform solid sheet of ... Gamill found himself at a loss for words to describe the place as none of the colours he knew about seemed to fit this place.

What was more, he was all alone .... floating .... walking .... flying ... drifting ... You name it. That's what he was doing.

The last thing he remembered was ..... For some reason, his memory wasn't exactly clear. The only thing he knew was everything was different. "Hello .." Still, let's hope he could remember more things. "Hello ..." Was that a voice? Nahh ... Must be hallucinating. Anyway-
"Hello!" The voice came more strongly this time. Turning in the direction of the voice, he saw another boy clad in traditional chinese clothes with the symbol of the Tao imprinted onto them standing before him. "Ranma?" Gamill hazard a guess. "Yes. How did you know my name?" the pigtailed martial artist asked.

"A lucky guess. What are you doing here?" Gamill asked as the surreality of the situation crept up upon him.

"I'm not sure. Though I think that the tomboy had something to do with it. What about you?" the pigtailed martial artist asked. "For some reason, I don't seem to recall what I was doing before I got here. How's life with Akane?" Gamill asked, curious about Ranma's life. After all it wasn't everyday you got to meet one of your favourite anime characters.

"Terrible. Her cooking was classified as a BIO-HAZARD 4 and it drove the health authorities nuts just trying to contain the last outbreak," the pigtailed martial artist replied. "Outbreak?" Gamill quoted in disbelief. "Yes. Outbreak. Somehow, she was able to create a deadly plague while trying to bake a cake. It spread like wildfire throughout the Nerima ward and infected almost everybody in the capital before it was successfully contained. According to Doctor Tofu, Akane had done the impossible. She had created a new lifeform."

"That's a record," Gamill commented. "That's not all. The survivors of the outbreak got together and filed a lawsuit against her for damages. When Nabiki saw the amount on paper, she went into convulsions and was warded into ICU for a whole month. When she got out, she was immediately transferred to the Tokyo Mental Institute for professional therapy."

There was silence for a minute. "Where are we?" Gamill asked as he remembered
the surroundings. "A very good question. One that I'm still trying to figure out," Ranma replied.
"Are we dead?"
"Since we're both talking, I seriously doubt that. And this place doesn't look like heaven or hell."
"I don't know about you but I don't want to stay here forever. Do you know a way out?" Gamill asked.
"No. I'm still trying to figure that part," the pigtailed martial artist replied.
"What are those things flying past us?" Gamill asked again as he saw moving pictures fading in and out of the surroundings.
"I'm not sure. P-chan might know though .... He's been to so many places that he might have seen them all ....," Ranma replied as he studied the fading and reappearing scenes in the surroundings.
"Strange .... They look like places that I thought only existed in my imagination," Gamill commented.
"Maybe that's what they are ..... Don't touch that!" Ranma shouted as Gamill reached his hand out for a moving picture on instinct but it was too late.
"WHAT!?? AIIEEEEEEEEE!" Gamill shrieked as he found himself sliding into the picture all of a sudden (the things that anime fans get into never seem to cease to amaze the universe^_-).

Instantly, Ranma was upon him and grabbed his other hand, pulling him back with all his might. Unfortunately, that didn't do any good as he simply faded into the picture too.

"AAAAAIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!"

Seas, clouds, mountains, deep chasms, valleys flew by. Unable to stand the sight before him, he closed his eyes. He was sure he was going to die. If he didn't already. Then the feeling of movement stopped ... without warning. Yet there was no impact. Wondering what was happening, he opened his eyes.

His vision had changed ... Enabling him to see with crystal clear clarity. There was a sharpness and accuracy to his vision that wasn't there before. Wait a minute here ... since when did his eyesight get a crosshairs and targeting sight? And what's with all these numbers? Gamill thought as a series of numbers scrolled across his vision like a video camera. They appeared to be numbers made up of ones and zeroes.

11001100 10011011 01100111 01101110 01010100 10011001 10101011 11001100
11011011 01110110 01101100 01010101 10011001 01101101 10101111 01111001
10010010 10110110 10101110 10011101 01101101 11101010 10101010 10110101
11100110 10110111 10101010 11001001 01101010 01010101 01100110 10110011
11100100 00101101 01100110 01011101 10101011 00110011 01101101 00101101
00111001 10110111 00011100 11100100 00111001 11001100 01010101 11010101
10010011 00111010 00000001 11000000 01000010 00001000 00110001 11000000
00000001 00110001 10000000 00010001 01111000 10000010 00010001 00100001
10000010 10000001 00000000 00000000 00000000 11000001 00100001 00000001
01000000 01100000 10000000 10000001 00000000 00000000 10000001 00000000
11111111 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 11111111
11111110 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 01111111
11111100 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00111111
11111000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00011111
11110000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00001111
11100000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000111
11000000 00000000 01111110 00000000 01000010 01111110 00000000 00000011
10000000 00000000 00011000 00000000 00100100 01100000 00000000 00000001
10000000 00000000 00011000 01111110 00011000 01111000 00000000 00000001
10000000 00000000 00011000 00000000 00100100 01100000 00000000 00000001
11000000 00000000 00011000 00000000 01000010 01111110 00000000 00000011
11100000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000111
11110000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00001111
11111000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00011111
11111100 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00111111
11111110 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 01111111
11111111 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 11111111
01000000 01100000 10000000 10000001 00000000 00000000 10000001 00000000
10000010 10000001 00000000 00000000 00000000 11000001 00100001 00000001
11001100 10011011 01100111 01101110 01010100 10011001 10101011 11001100
11011011 01110110 01101100 01010101 10011001 01101101 10101111 01111001
10010010 10110110 10101110 10011101 01101101 11101010 10101010 10110101
11100110 10110111 10101010 11001001 01101010 01010101 01100110 10110011
11100100 00101101 01100110 01011101 10101011 00110011 01101101 00101101

Strangely enough, Gamill was able to understand what the numbers scrolling in front of him meant though they were near impossible for the human mind to decipher. From what he could tell, the numbers appeared to be machine diagnostics.

UNIT DESIGNATION: T-1500/T-X(E) MODEL 707
FULL SENSORS CHECK: 100%
BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS CHECK: 100%
SYNTHETIC TISSUE SIMULATOR: 100%
SYNTHETIC TISSUE RECEPTORS: 100%
SYNTHETIC METAL SIMULATOR: 100%
SYNTHETIC METAL RECEPTORS: 100%
PARTICLE ASSIMILATOR: 100%
PARTICLE SYNTHESIZER: 100%
STEALTH SYSTEMS CHECK: 100%
MAIN POWER SYSTEM: ACTIVE
WEAPON SYSTEMS: ONLINE
DATE CHECK: 10102035
TIME CHECK: 090056
CURRENT TEMPERATURE: 10°C
SKYNET SOFTWARE: DORMANT.

(For simplicity's sake and ease of reading, all the machine diagnostics would be written in English. Although the actual format is in machine language^_^)

The next thing Gamill discovered was that he was lying on a steel table, naked as the day that he was born. Where was he? What place is this? And where was Ranma? At that question, a small transparent window opened up in his camera-like vision consisting of a mini-map revealing his location as a small silver dot on the screen. Of Ranma, he had no idea.

One thing was for sure. He felt a little cold. This prompted him to get to his feet as soon as possible. That was when he fell to the ground in a heap. His centre of gravity was off! The mass and the height of the body was different from what he was originally he used to. It was then he noticed that his body was missing the portion of the body that made up the male genitalia.

In its place was the slit that made up the genitalia of the female body. As his eyes roved up his body to check his proportions, his vision fell on the pair of breasts in front of him. "Synthetic breasts?" he murmured, his voice coming out seductively as he reached out to grasp them with his hands. Just as quickly, he drew them away, involuntarily arching his back as a soft moan slipped through his lips. Those breasts were sensitive! He thought furiously as he felt his cheeks redden.

Trying to forget what he had felt, Gamill got to his feet again. He almost fell down but he managed to grasp hold of the steel table, his fingers digging deep into it. He walked around the room trying to get the hang of his new body. As he did so, his eyes fell on the figure in the reflection on the shiny, metallic and polished wall.

There, he drew in his breath. Involuntarily. For mirrored in the reflection of the wall, stood the woman of his dreams. Gamill knew very well he would have sold his very soul for her except that this woman was .... Gamill raised his arm and the woman followed. The beautiful, tall and slender woman with waist-length aquamarine hair was him alright. Where was he? he wondered. As if in answer to his question, a line scrolled across his viewscreen.

ACTIVATE SKYNET SOFTWARE?

Gamill hesitated as he recalled what happened in the Terminator movies. Then he thought ... What the hell? Let's be done with it. As if in response to his mental commands ... the word

YES.

appeared beside the previous line.

SKYNET SOFTWARE ACTIVE ...
REQUESTING ACCESS TO NETWORK SECURITY GRID ...
ACCESS GRANTED TO UNIT T-1500/T-X(E) MODEL 707 ...
ACCESSING NETWORK SECURITY GRID ....
UNIT T-1500/T-X(E) MODEL 707 IS AT LEVEL 20 ....
CHECKING STATUS OF LEVELS 1 TO 19 ....

The Skynet portion of him revealed a startling sight to him through all the security cameras in the complex. There was fighting on almost every level in the complex with the heavy exchange of explosions and gunfire. Humans versus machines. The Skynet-controlled machines appeared as silver dots while the human resistance fighters appeared as red dots on the minimap.

HOSTILES HAVE GAINED CONTROL OF 50% OF THE COMPLEX ....

The Skynet portion of him informed him emotionlessly.

Hostiles? Gamill wondered. Realization crept upon him. As he saw the humans blowing past the machines and getting closer and closer to the level he was on, something told him these humans would not be too happy at finding him.

Looking through the schematics of the fortified complex, Gamill realised there was no other exit from the underground complex except ........ through the machines and humans battling one another. But wait .... there was another room .... two floors below the one he was on that contained a device. A very interesting device.

Gamill's database identified it as a time displacement device. Inwardly, he cheered.

This was his ticket out of this horrible place. Not wasting any more time, Gamill got up quickly and looked around for clothing that he could use.
There appeared to be clothing in a nearby closet as his enhanced vision penetrated through its solid frame.

Gamill opened the closet and removed the clothing from the hangers. They were form-fitting and conformed well to his body shape. Shaking his head, he opened the door and stepped out. This hallucination of his was getting too real for his tastes.

There was a platform in front of him. Gamill stepped inside and pushed the
lever. It began to descend.

WARNING .... HOSTILES SIGHTED ON LEVEL 18 ....
80% PROBABILITY HOSTILES ARE SEEKING THE TIME DISPLACEMENT DEVICE ...

Gamill's emotionless AI informed him as the platform came to a stop.

The sound of gunfire and explosions were getting louder. Gamill knew he must be nearing the zone of conflict or the zone of conflict was getting closer and closer to his location. Looking at the minimap, he saw two red dots appearing on the same level he was on.

CLIP! CLOP! CLIP! CLOP! The sound of combat boots hitting the floor in succession. Gamill took a quick look with his head around the corner but saw nothing. Looking through the hidden cameras lining the corridor, however, he caught sight of two human soldiers heading in his direction. There was also no other way to avoid confrontation with the two human resistance soldiers except for the platform that he was on. Or was there?

A diagram of his entire body appeared in his viewscreen.

ACTIVATING PHASE PROCEDURE ...
RECONFIGURING BODY PARTICLES ... PHASE PROCEDURE COMPLETE.

His hand had become transparent ... like it was not all there. So was the rest of his body. Pushing his hand into the wall, he encountered no resistance. His feet had sunk slightly into the floor. Great. Just great. he thought. If he couldn't touch anything, how was he going to move?

Just then the two human soldiers rounded the corner and caught sight of his ghost-like form.

"Nate, do you see what I'm seeing?" asked the first soldier.
"I do. Is that what a ghost looks like? D*! I never knew that the Skynet complex was haunted," the second soldier replied.
"So what do we do about it?" the first soldier asked.
"Well, we're supposed to shoot anything that isn't human but I don't think ghosts count. I think we better call Kate Brewster about this," the second soldier replied. "Hello. You woudn't believe this. We saw a ghost in the complex. We even got a visual reading. Just come over and take a look if you don't believe us. Nope. We haven't found the Time Displacement Chamber. Yeahh ... Over and out."
"Alright ... ghostie. Don't do anything funny and everything will be fine between us." the second soldier replied as they headed for the elevator.

So much for that. Once, Gamill was sure that both human soldiers were gone, he reconfigured his body particles back to normal. 'Ahh ... Good to feel the solid ground beneath my feet once again. I guess turning intangible isn't all cracked out as it's supposed to be,' Gamill thought as he quickly made his way towards the Time Displacement chamber.

As the minimap scrolled ahead towards the time displacement chamber, Gamill was surprised to find another silver dot going in its direction. The silver dot had not gone far when it encountered a red dot. A split second later, the red dot vanished from the screen, indicating that the human resistance fighter had been eliminated.

Gamill shook his head. His current job was not to fight this war but to get out of this place as soon as possible. Upon reaching the time displacement chamber, Gamill noticed a blonde woman in there which his database identified as the T-1100/T-X(A) Model 303 Terminator unit sent to kill John Connors. She fiddled with the controls and stepped into the three concentric rings in the center of the chamber.

The three rings began to move upwards as they rotated around the woman. Round and round. Faster and faster. A strange humming sound began to fill the air and suddenly there was bright flash of light that lit up the room and the woman ... was gone.

Once she had left, Gamill entered the room. Remembering how she had utilised the machine, Gamill did the same. Sitting in the center of the rings, he waited for it to power up.

Just as before, the rings began to rotate. And then he felt himself began to lift upwards. Around they went, faster and faster at a maddening pace. Energy began to build all around him as the humming sound increased in intensity. Getting a little alarmed, Gamill began to meditate. Much to his surprise, it was easier to meditate in a cybernetic body than his previous body. The seconds continued to tick by ever so slowly.

Once he was calm enough to think, Gamill finally remembered the human soldiers in the complex. Quickly, he focused on the security cameras to study the going-ons in and outside the complex. Let's see ... he thought as he looked at the platform. It was moving.

The platform at the end of the corridor had moved back to the level Gamill was on. Somebody's coming, he thought with a little alarm. The sound of running footsteps. Three human soldiers armed with heavy plasma weapons left the platform. The resistance must have discovered the location of the time displacement device, Gamill fumed inwardly.

Fortunately, the corridor to the room he was in was quite far. Not to mention, quite well hidden. Still they were making progress faster than they've any right to be. Even when waiting in the time displacement field, Gamill could hear approaching footsteps from the end of the corridor. He was unable to see anything past the door because the security cameras fizzled out, all of a sudden. That made him very, very uneasy as he knew the human soldiers were coming.

The footsteps from outside the door appeared to be getting closer. Hurry,
hurry, hurry .... Gamill pleaded with the device.

The door leading to the chamber slid open to reveal a woman accompanied
by two men. They all seemed to be heavily armed with phased plasma guns,
Gamill's emotionless AI noted. Common, man! Hurry up, time displacement
device! My life is in your hands! Gamill mentally, screamed.

Crap! This is taking forever. Gamill thought as he saw one of the soldiers aiming his weapon at him (or to be more precise, the TDE device he was in). His finger on the trigger.

He pulled the trigger just as the rings completed their final sequence having acquired sufficient energy for the time displacement field. A brilliant flash of light lit the room up. The last thing, Gamill saw were the horrified expressions on the woman and her two companions's faces as they watched Gamill disappear from before their very eyes in a blinding sphere of energy.

************************ **

Gamill's vision cleared to find himself in a dark and deserted alley. Once
again, his clothes had disappeared, no doubt destroyed during the transfer. The ground felt hot to his feet though not to the point of unbearable. The sound of thunder rumbled in the distance as lightning flashed in the skies. A couple of raindrops fell striking his skin. And the wind began to blow at his body.

Gamill got up and stepped out of the shattered crystal sphere with care to avoid cutting himself on the broken pieces of crystal and melted glass lying at his feet. Rain began to pour from the sky, drenching Gamill to the skin. Rivulets of water flowed down his skin giving him a sensation of wetness and cold. Still it wasn't uncomfortable. Unlike his previous body.

Gamill was able to hear a few voices speaking far ahead around the corner.
Moving without breaking stride, he headed towards the voices and found a group of two men and three women huddled in a group around a fire in the shelter of an abandoned building.

"Oh my God! Do you need help?" one of the women spoke as she caught sight of Gamill's wet and naked form approaching them. One of the men whistled at Gamill's approach and was about to make a lewd comment when he received an elbow from the blonde woman sitting beside him. "Behave yourself, Egon!" the woman spoke.

"Aww man! You're no fun at all! Edward! Help me! Rita is bullying me again!" he cried out as he tried to ward of her blows with his arms. "Egon no hentai!" the woman shouted and was about to throw another punch when the man who appeared to be the leader spoke. "That's enough! You two!" One of the women got up from the ground she was sitting on and approached Gamill. "Say, hon ... Did something happen to you? What's your name?" she asked.

Gamill couldn't very well tell them the complete truth so he told them a partial truth. He said that he was missing a lot of memories as to what had transpired but that he had woken up in this condition not faraway from here. When the shoulder-length brown haired woman asked him for his name, he simply settled on the name Reiko Ayumi. "You don't have any IDs, do you?" the blonde asked. Gamill shook his head.

"That's not a good thing because ADPolice has been very busy rounding up everyone without any form of ID," the brown-haired woman explained.
"They started this campaign last year of getting rid of the undesirables. It was mayor Hasegawa. He said it would be better to cut down on crime caused by unidentified humans. I think it's just that Genom wanted to clear up this section of the city to build its new office complex," the blonde spoke again.
"Genom? Unidentified humans?" Gamill asked.

"Genom the money grabbing corporation. They're the number one corporation in the East after their success in cornering the robotics market. I heard that Chairman Quincy has already offered to construct new buildings for the government that were destroyed in the Kanto quake. The Mayor of Tokyo has agreed to the proposal. It's part of their so-called expansion plan to build Megatokyo, the largest city in the world."

"There are a lot of people running around without any form of legitimate IDs and jobs in Japan. The government is launching a campaign to get rid of them."

"Can't blame them though. There are all those 'street sams' and netrunners all over the place wrecking havoc. The government says they want to get rid of all the criminal elements. I think, however, it's just an excuse to get rid of anyone that doesn't see things the way the government sees. Those human augmentation programmes are not cheap, you know. Only individuals with large sums of money or corporations for that matter are able to acquire the resources necessary to build cybernetically enhanced humans. I heard rumours that the Yakuza had been growing their own batch of genetically enhanced warriors without cybernetic augmentation but I think they're just rumours."

"Nowadays you can never be too sure if the person you kill is red inside," the man called Egon spoke for the first time.
"No blood?" Gamill asked, involuntarily raising an eyebrow.
"Cybernetically enhanced humans. When they get hurt, a colourless liquid leaves the body instead of blood," Rita explained.
"Genom is campaigning for a criminal-free society. They had been offering their so-called services to clean up the city streets from all those undesirable criminal elements," the brown-haired woman continued.

"By the way, allow me to introduce you to the rest of the gang. I'm Priscilla Asagiri. The other two girls are Shizuka Mizuno and Rita Westcall. The two guys are Edward Craig and Egon Lananovich. We're all bikers," she explained as she handed to him a suit of form-fitting sportswear, jacket and tanktop. After wiping the water from his body, Gamill put the clothes on without hesitation. As he did so, he felt his synthetic body analysed the texture, colour and size of the clothing and filed away the information into his database.

"Are any of you cybernetically enhanced?" Gamill asked curious about his new friends.
"None of us are. We couldn't afford to do so. Besides the procedure is highly dangerous and illegal in Japan. You could wind up with cyber-psychosis if you go for it in the black market. They're not too careful when they do so. That's unless you work for one of the megacorps, of course," Egon quipped.
"And then they get to rule the rest of your life like a slave," Rita continued.

"What a deal ..." Gamill commented.
"I know. Power for servitude. A deal with the Devil. Anyway, we try to steer clear of dealings with the megacorps. Most of them are nothing but trouble," Priss added.
"I would like to join you guys," Gamill said.
"I was hoping you would say that. But first we got to prepare you for your initiation into the gang," Edward said as he stood up on his feet.
"Initiation? I don't have to do anything illegal, do I?" Gamill asked.
"No. You got to build your own bike. We're an exclusive biker's club," Priss grinned as she whispered into Gamill's ear, "Reiko-chan."

************************

It took him three days to finish his bike. Gamill was sure he could have finished it in a shorter time but he didn't want to rouse any suspicions that he was not human. While setting up the high-tech bike to his specifications, Gamill went back to the interesting question as to how he got to the BGC universe in the first place instead of the year 2003 AD on Earth like he was meant to in the time displacement unit.

His AI and database replayed the scene of his departure again which was not a problem since a Terminator recorded everything that it saw and heard. The preset date and destination were accurate .. so that left the flash of energy from the man's phased plasma gun. The energy blast must have reacted with the energy of the discharge by the time displacement device throwing him into the past of a parallel universe instead of the Terminator timeline like he was supposed to.

Yet there were some interesting anomalies in this BGC timeline. While making discrete inquiries about the Knight Sabers, everyone shook their heads. No one knew or had even heard about the Knight Sabers. It was like the Knight Sabers had never existed. Which was strange, for Priss Asagiri, the Blue Saber, was here with him.

These were the thoughts running through his mind while putting the finishing touches to his new bike. Under the light of the room, it was a beautiful machine with black colour and red highlights. Its turbo-boosters enabled the bike to achieve speeds of up to 300 miles an hour with relative ease. Not to mention, it could fly through the air for short periods of time with its jump jets. Or dive into the water like a submarine. "Alright! Let's go for a drink at the Red Dog's Place!" Edward spoke when Gamill presented his finished bike.

At the Red Dog's Place ...

"To the newest member of the Star Riders!" Edward announced as he lifted his mug of beer into the air. "To Reiko-chan! Cheers!" came the voices of the rest of the gang as they lifted their mugs into the air. Gamill was about to say something when their merry-making was interrupted by a loud CRASH. Everyone turned in the direction of the sound and there .... they saw a hulking metal monstronsity in the doorway, its polished armour gleaming in the moonlight. "Kami-sama preserve us! A combat boomer!" came a cry from inside the tavern.

Click! Gamill turned in the direction of the sound to see the bartender loading his sawn-off shotgun with armour-piercing rounds while taking cover behind the bar. Since, the only way out of the tavern was blocked by the combat boomer, several of the patrons did the same. The combat boomer, however, struck first, its large metal fist going right through one of the patrons who had taken cover behind the furniture and cleaving another unlucky bystander into two. Not wasting anytime, the bartender opened fire with his shotgun on the combat boomer.

The armour piercing rounds penetrated the boomer's armour and exploded, throwing the combat boomer back outside through the entrance it came in. There was a loud crash in the background and then silence. Everyone in the tavern waited with bated breath. After a stillness and silence of more than a minute, one of the patrons finally got the courage to get up from his hiding place to peer through the window. There was no sign of the boomer at all. "It's gone," he said.

Suddenly, without warning, a loud noise akin to something breaking interrupted the silence. Something large and metallic fell through the roof crushing the hapless bartender beneath. It was the combat boomer in all its glory, Gamill noted. Faster than anyone believed possible, the combat boomer sprayed the entire area with large bursts of plasma energy, killing and incinerating anyone unlucky enough to get caught in it. Since most of the patrons were taking cover behind the furniture against the entrance to the tavern, almost all of them were reduced to ashes by the plasma attack.

"Arrghhh!" Gamill screamed in pain as some of the plasma attacks struck his body, throwing him right through the wall of the tavern with a loud crash.

DAMAGE ANALYSIS FROM PLASMA ATTACK .....
SUSTAINED 20% DAMAGE TO SYNTHETIC TISSUE .....
SUSTAINED 10% DAMAGE TO SYNTHETIC ARMOUR .....
NO DAMAGE TO INTERNAL SYSTEMS .....
RECONFIGURING DAMAGED PORTIONS THROUGH PARTICLE SYNTHESIS .....
ADAPTING SYNTHETIC ARMOUR AND BODY TISSUE THROUGH PARTICLE ASSIMILATION .....
PAIN RECEPTORS: REDUCE INTENSITY BY 50% .....
REGENERATION OF DAMAGED PORTIONS THROUGH PARTICLE SYNTHESIS ..... COMPLETE

Gamill quickly got to his feet and moved to help his new friends. Already the tavern was up in flames with thick black smoke pouring out from every entrance. The combat boomer was still inside there from the looks of it. No doubt killing all the remaining survivors before moving onto new targets. Using his enhanced visual systems, Gamill navigated his way to the combat boomer.

Good fortune was with him for the boomer had its back towards him. How do I take this thing out? he thought and then like a dark room that had just lit up, the answer came to him. Gamill snuck up on the combat boomer and once he was close enough, he grabbed it by the neck. There was a loud twisting sound of metal being bent and pulled as the head of the combat boomer came loose. Much to Gamill's disbelief, the headless boomer swung around and backhanded him, the blow sending him flying backwards with the head in his hands.

It turned around to face him, the plasma vanes in its chest releasing a burst of plasma energy as it did so. There was a deafening BOOM as Gamill was thrown further into the air by the impact of the blast. Smoke rose from the damaged portion of Gamill's back revealing burnt tissue and a mixture of composite metals and crystals.

DAMAGE ANALYSIS FROM PLASMA ATTACK ....
SUSTAINED 14% DAMAGE TO SYNTHETIC TISSUE .....
SUSTAINED 6% DAMAGE TO SYNTHETIC ARMOUR .....
FURTHER RECONFIGURATION IS REQUIRED .....
NO DAMAGE TO INTERNAL SYSTEMS .....
RECONFIGURING DAMAGED PORTIONS THROUGH PARTICLE SYNTHESIS .....
ADAPTING SYNTHETIC ARMOUR AND BODY TISSUE THROUGH PARTICLE ASSIMILATION .....
REGENERATION OF DAMAGED PORTIONS THROUGH PARTICLE SYNTHESIS ..... COMPLETE

'This thing is worse than a Terminator! It's fighting with its head cut off!' Gamill thought as he rolled over the ground to present a more difficult target for the boomer. "DIE! YOU F** B***!" screamed a voice as an ear-splitting explosion struck the boomer throwing it clear to the front. A figure clutching a grenade launcher stepped out of the smoke. It was Priss with tears running down her face. Fluids dripped from the damaged boomer as it struggled to its feet.

Another explosion rocked the boomer's body as Priss fired a second shot at it. Turning the boomer's head in his hands, Gamill was shocked to find that the boomer's head was still functioning. Its mouth opened to reveal the plasma gun in it. 'Holy S*!' Gamill thought as he turned the head around in the direction of the boomer's body. He was just in time. The plasma discharge from the head struck the boomer's body, damaging it further though the nightmarish metal monster stubbornly refused to die.

'Oh hell!' Gamill thought as he crushed the boomer's head beneath his foot. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! The sound of metal striking metal. Gamill turned to see Priss beating the badly damaged boomer with her now-empty grenade launcher. "Just die you f** a**!" she shouted as she continued to pummel the boomer mercilessly. Then it happened. The boomer swung its arm around and wrapped its hand around Priss's neck.

'No!' Gamill thought as he saw the danger that Priss was in. His enhanced visual systems spotted the barrel of the sawn off shotgun sticking out of the burning wreck of the collapsed roof. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Gamill leaped to the collapsed roof on the ground, his hand snatching up the gun as he did so. BANG! BANG! BANG! Three shots rang out. The arm holding Priss by the neck broke off from the rest of the body as a hail of armour-piercing rounds struck the same exact location three times in rapid succession.

With that done, Gamill quickly made his way to the fallen woman. "Priss .. " he called out. "Reiko .... They're .... all ..... " the words stopped in her mouth as she turned to her companion. "I'm so sorry .... but we're not done yet, " Gamill replied. The headless boomer was still moving on the ground with its remaining arm despite being shot at multiple times with explosive projectiles and armour piercing rounds.

"If it makes you feel any better ...," Gamill said as he handed the loaded shotgun to Priss. "Thank you, Reiko ...," she said as she aimed the shotgun at the headless boomer. The sound of several gun shots and subsequent explosions broke the silence of the night moments later.

************************ *

That night .....

"Please stay with me, Reiko. I don't want to be alone tonight," Priss said as she wrapped her arms around the aquamarine-haired woman. "Sure, Priss ... " Gamill replied as he let Priss dragged him to bed with her. That was when Priss began to tell him the story of her life with the Star Riders, Edward Craig especially. "He brought me up. Edward. Before that, I grew up alone. My parents having perished in the Kanto quake earlier on. He was like the father I never had. Egon, Rita and Shizuka were like my brothers and sisters. The whole group was like my family. I lived with them for eleven years. Edward looked out for me mostly on the streets." Gamill nodded his head in sympathy.

It was not easy living on the streets. Bad things tend to happen to innocent people a lot of the time. Especially in a place like Tokyo. "Now you're the only family that I have left." Priss said as she looked into Gamill's eyes. "Make love to me Reiko! Make me forget!" she said fiercely as she wrapped her arms around the T-X(E) unit, shocking him into paralysis. Gamill had always known Priss to be rather passionate although he had never seen her quite like this before. Speaking of which, she was already removing his clothes. "Priss ..." He said but was cut off when the brown-haired woman sealed off his words with a kiss.

The next morning ....

The two women woke up the next morning to find themselves naked in bed together. "So last night wasn't a dream ..." the brown haired woman spoke as she turned to her aquamarine-haired friend. "Yes ... It happened," Gamill replied awkwardly. "Reiko ... thank you for being with me. I needed that," she said as got up from bed. "What are you going to do now?" Gamill asked. "I am moving from here. This place has too many memories," she spoke as she packed up her things. "I have no place to go, Priss," Gamill replied. "Then follow me, lover," she said, mischief dancing in her eyes briefly before they disappeared altogether.

"Alright .... Where are we going?" the T-X(E) unit asked as they both got on their bikes. "We're going to take a train to the other side of town. It shouldn't take long," she replied as she started her bike. Gamill did the same and before long, they were off.

************************ *

In another part of town ....

A woman was fleeing for her life in the darkness of the alley. "S*!" the woman groaned as she fell slipped and fell over a muddy portion of the ground. Almost immediately, her pursuers set down upon her. "Would you look at that? Our pretty little vixen has nowhere to run ... " a man with scars across his face spoke. "Give me a piece of her boss!" another man with gang insignia across his arm shouted.

The rest of the gang gave out shouts of encouragement as the scar-faced man who appeared to be the leader of the group stepped forward to grab the woman by the head. "Look here, lady. We can make things easier and more pleasant for the both of us if you co-operate. You know what I mean ...," he said as he drew out a switchblade. The rest of the gang advanced forward.

The winds began to blow. Lightning began to surged in the darkened skies as rain began to fell. "Boss, I think a storm is coming. Let's take shelter in the building over there," one of the men suggested. "Okay, the rest of you pick her up and take her there ...," the scar-faced man ordered. The men did as they were told and began to grope the woman's body as they did so. "Help!" she cried out but the men merely laughed. "Go ahead! Scream all you like! Nobody's going to be able to hear you in a storm like this!" the leader sneered as he followed suit.

"What a pretty little vixen you are," he said as he continued to grope her body. Just as they were about to reach the building, static electrical discharge began to fill the air and something that expanded rapidly from a single point into a large sphere shimmered into view. The display of electrical energy was so bright and intense that it blinded them momentarily forcing the men carrying the woman to halt in their footsteps. Once, the brightness from their eyes had cleared, they saw the figure of a man kneeling on one foot in a smoking spherical crater on the ground.

He was broad shouldered, tall and deeply muscled but other than that, he was completely naked. "I don't like this, boss," one of the men whispered. The strange man lifted his head up and looked all around him calmly, his eyes studying his surroundings with meticulous precision. "Help!" the woman screamed again. Raindrops fell over the man but he ignored them and turned to the group in front of him. A strong feeling of apprehension that could cut through ice filled the air.

"Where did you come from, man?" the leader asked as the man took a step forward. No answer. Lightning flashed through the sky lighting up the silhoutte of the strange man briefly for all to see as he continued to advance onto the group without a word before he was once again partially enveloped by darkness. "Look here, bozo. I'm talking to you!" the leader said as he drew out a gun.

"Let the woman go," the man said for the first time. His words were deep with a rich baritone though devoid of any emotion. "She's your floozy or something? I don't think so," the scar-faced man said as he fired his gun. BANG! BANG! The silhoutte of the man wavered slightly with each shot but continued to advance towards their position. Closing her eyes, Linna prayed that her would-be savior was fine.

"This is your last chance. Let the woman go before I make you do it," the man said much to Linna's relief and surprise. After firing a few more rounds with seemingly little effect, the leader ordered all his men to open fire.

BOOM! THOOM! BANG! BLAM! The sound of gunshots filled the air knocking the man back a few steps before he fell to the ground in a heap. "Well ... looks like Mr. Hero is dead. How about that, hmm .. ?" the man said as he caressed his prisoner's chin gently. Linna did not answer, tears filling her closed eyes as she prayed for some miracle to happen.

"Way to go, boss," one of the men said. "Yeah ... what an idiot," the scar-faced man said as he moved towards the still body in front of him.

"Hey Kengo, come take a look at this." the scar-faced man called out.
"What is it, boss?" a voice came from one of the gang members.
"Have you ever seen .. GULP!"

Whatever the scar-faced man was going to say next was never to be known for the figure on the ground suddenly stood up and lifted him by the neck into the air with one hand, his fist ready in the other. Lightning flashed in the sky lighting up the man's face, followed by a crash of thunder as he said, "You should have listened to me." before striking his gun and throwing him like a baseball into the second man closest to him.

"F** S**! He broke my hand!" the scar-faced man screamed in a mixture of pain and fear as he fell on top of his gang members, knocking him to the ground.

Another gang member fired his weapon ... only to seemingly miss the strange man that moved faster than anyone of them had ever believed possible. In fact, the stranger had closed the distance between them with such speed that the rest of the gang members hadn't even realise it when he had grabbed the guns out of their hands. He did not stop there. He moved around quickly striking all the men who held the woman with rapid precision. Within, seconds all the men were groaning in pain on the ground.

The woman looked at him in terror briefly before turning to run away. "Wait! I need your help! Please!" There was a pleading tone in the man's voice that halted her footsteps. "Alright. Come with me. But we've better leave this area before more of these scumbags show up! In the meantime, we're going to have to get you some clothes." she said as she collected herself. "You don't have a place to stay, don't you?" she asked. It was a rhetorical question.

The man shook his head. "I guess than that you can stay at my place until we find you a place to live. That's the least I can do for someone who saved me from those scumbags back there!" she said as they left the darkened alley.
"What's your name?" the woman asked. "Ranma Saotome," the strange man answered, simple and precise to the question. "And I'm Linna Yamazaki at your service," the woman replied.

************************ *

At the train station ....

Gamill and Priss were checking in their luggage and motorcycles into the train when Priss bumped into a running man holding a woman's handbag. They both went down in a heap as the voice of a woman broke the silence. "Stop! Snatch thief!" Almost immediately, Priss knocked the man to the ground as he tried to get to his feet and Gamill grabbed the arm of the man. "Thank God!" a black-haired woman said as she made her way to the trio. "Thank you! The both of you for stopping the thief," she said as a pair of train station guards appeared and dragged the snatch thief away.

"You're taking the train. What a coincidence, so am I," the woman replied as they entered the train together. "By the way, I'm Sylia Stingray. What are your names?" she asked. Both Gamill and Priss drew in their breaths involuntarily but for different reasons. 'Is this destiny or what?' Gamill thought as he witnessed the fateful meeting between the two women who would eventually form the core group that would become the mercenary outfit known by many throughout the multiverse as the Knight Sabers.

************************ *

SKYNET LOG 12471

PRISS PROFILE ...

I HAVE OFTEN OBSERVED THE PARADOXICAL PORTRAYAL OF PRISS ASAGIRI'S CHARACTER IN THE BGC ANIME AS A CHARACTER THAT DISPLAYED A STRONG PREJUDICE TOWARDS BOOMERS IN GENERAL. SHE SWORE THAT SHE HATED ALL CYBERNETIC LIFEFORMS AFTER THE DEATH OF HER EX-BOYFRIEND AT THEIR HANDS. YET I FIND THIS TO BE UNTRUE DURING THE D.D. BATTLEMOVER SCENARIO IN WHICH SHE CRIED FOR DAYS AFTER BEING FORCED TO KILL SYLVIE, A SEXAROID BOOMER.

SHE WAS ALSO UNABLE TO BRING HERSELF TO STRIKE ANRI EVEN AFTER ANRI HAD STABBED HER WITH A KNIFE THAT LARGO HAD GIVEN HER. AND THE WAY SHE WAS MAKING OUT WITH ME, A T-X(E) UNIT, THE OTHER NIGHT ... SOME DEEP INSTINCT OR DESIRE MUST HAVE MADE HER REACHED OUT UNCONSCIOUSLY FOR THE MACHINE PART OF ME, FOR SUPPORT DURING THOSE TRYING TIMES. HER PARENTS' DEATHS IN THE KANTO QUAKE COULD HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. HER OBSESSION WITH BIKES COULD BE A MANIFESTATION OF HER INNER PSYCHE.

HER LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL MACHINES IS WHAT I FIND MOST INTRIGUING. SHE EITHER LOVED THAT MACHINE WITH ALL HER HEART OR HATED IT WITH EQUAL PASSION. PERHAPS SHE WAS A PERFECTIONIST IN HER GENES AND MACHINES WERE A SYMBOL OF PERFECTION TO HER UNTIL THEY SHATTERED HER DREAM. SHATTERED DREAMS CAN HAVE DEVASTING CONSEQUENCES ON A PERSON'S PSYCHE. SOME MINDS NEVER FULLY RECOVER FROM HAVING THEIR DREAMS SHATTERED THAT THEY WERE FORCED TO COPE BY CREATING SOME KIND OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSONA OR SHELL TO INTERACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD.

HER ROUGH AND TUMBLE CHARACTER IS ONE WAY OF DEALING WITH IT. THE NIGHT WE WERE MAKING OUT, HER SOUL CRIED OUT FOR HELP AND THE MACHINE PART OF ME CONNECTED TO HER SOMEHOW. AS A T-X(E) UNIT, I DO NOT NEED TO SLEEP. SHE LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL AND PEACEFUL UNDER THE SHEETS AFTER THAT INTENSE BOUT OF LOVEMAKING. GODS! I NEVER KNEW THAT SKYNET COULD CONSTRUCT A BODY WITH SUCH TYPES OF PLEASURE RECEPTORS. EVEN NOW, THE AFTERMATH OF THAT IS ENOUGH TO SEND ME INTO .... I WOULD RATHER NOT SPEAK OF IT. INFLAMED AS I AM, I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO STOP MYSELF FROM DOING THE UNSPEAKABLE AGAIN.

END PROFILE

UPDATE COMPLETED ....

************************ *

In the train ....

"Sylia Stingray? You wouldn't happen to be related to Katsuhito Stingray, would you?" Priss asked, keeping her temper in check. "Yes ... my father is Katsuhito Stingray," the woman replied. Priss left the room quietly. "I'm sorry. My friend has suffered a recent tragedy involving a boomer rampage and is not in a good mood to speak with anyone connected to boomer design. Especially the daughter of the creator of boomers," Gamill said as she continued the conversation in her friend's absence. "And you would be ...?" she asked. "Reiko Ayumi, her friend and companion ...," Gamill replied.

"I see. I'm really sorry to hear about your friend's tragedy. If you need anything, please contact me at this number. Hope to meet you soon," she said as she pulled out her calling card. Gamill was not surprised to find the words THE SILKY DOLL written on it. 'So this is where it all begins ..' he thought as the train came to a stop. Priss and him got off the train together and moved to the luggage compartment. "She's gone," Gamill informed her. "Let's go get our bikes," Priss said as they went to the luggage compartment. They pulled out their bikes from the luggage compartment and hopped onto it.

Priss's sour mood had lightened visibly now that the woman was gone. Going to the newsstands, Gamill used his control over machinery to opened up the news casing. "What are you doing?" Priss asked as she saw her friend returning with a newspaper. "Searching for an apartment. Everything here looks very expensive. You don't have any degrees or certificates do you, Priss?" Gamill asked. Priss shook her head. "This is going to complicate matters. I don't have an ID and you don't have any qualifications. We're not going to be able to afford any of these apartments if we don't get any decent employment. Unless you're willing to do ... " Gamill said before being interrupted. "Don't mention it. I get the idea," she replied.

"On the other hand .... " our bikes came to a stop outside a nightclub. Priss got off the bike and so did Gamill. It read, 'MUSIC BAND WANTED AT THE HOT LEGS! EXCELLENT PAY AND WORKING CONDITIONS! ALL DEALS ARE NEGOTIABLE!' "Reiko, can you sing or play any form of musical instrument?" Priss asked as she turned to her companion. "I think I can do them all," Gamill replied. "This is great! You know what? We're going to form a music band called the Replicants and we're going to do our first audition at this place. But first, we're going to speak with the manager," Priss replied with excitement as she dragged her friend into the nightclub with her.

Gamill could only shake his head. Destiny was at work again.

************************ *

Elsewhere in a place beyond the normal boundaries of spacetime, one of the three beings that were weaving the timelines remarked, "How little does he know ...."

************************ *

The audition did not take long. In spite of the two of them having never sung together before, both Gamill and Priss made a great impression on the management and the audience. What nobody knew was that the T-X(E) machinery was able to simulate any voice or pitch that Gamill had heard before and since Gamill had heard all the singers from Britney Spears to Madonna to Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, it wasn't difficult for her to copy their voices or pitch with mechanical precision. The only thing that Gamill had to do was put a lot of emotions into his singing, something that most Terminators were unable to do.

"That was the best pair of vocalist singing I've heard in a long time. Are you sure this is your first time together?" the manager asked. "Yes!" Priss replied. "Alright! Excellent! Anyway ... these are the terms of the contract .... ," the manager spoke as he laid out the terms and conditions for Priss and Gamill to sign. "Be sure to come at six tomorrow evening. That will be your first presentation before a real audience," he said as he kept a copy of the contract into his draw.

That night .....

"I can't believe it. We got a job but we still can't afford an apartment," muttered a woman's voice from a tent in the woods.
"Sleep well Priss ... We will need to look for an apartment tomorrow. Priss .... what are you ... doing .... ," replied the second voice from the tent.
"Doing? Why, ravishing you of course .... Reiko-chan," the first female voice replied in a sing-song tone of voice.
"Life ..... guard ...., " the second voice protested weakly.
"Don't be such a liar, Reiko. I know you like it as much as I do ..." the first voice replied seductively.
"Priss .. You're beginning to scare me ..." the second voice replied.
"Shhh ... Enough talk. You don't want people to hear us do you?" the first voice commented as the tent began to shake. After that, no further words were exchanged except for the occasional groan or moan and the sounds of deep breathing coming from it.

************************ *

In another part of town ....

"And this is where I live ...," Linna spoke as she led Ranma to an apartment with a green door on the fourth floor.
"Nice place ...," Ranma said as he stepped into Linna's apartment.
"Who is it?" a female voice called out from the beyond the living room.
"That's my housemate, Sakura Yamada," Linna said to Ranma as she led him into the living room.
"Linna .... who .... you .... have .... ," a black-haired woman in her early twenties stammered as she caught sight of the gaijin man as she entered the living room.
"I'm Sakura Yamada .... Please to meet you," she recovered quickly as her face blushed deeply and offered her hand.
"Ranma Saotome," the man said as took the offered hand and shook it firmly.
"He's going to be staying with us for awhile until we get him a new place to stay," Linna informed her housemate.
"Great! Where are my manners?" the woman said as she rushed to the kitchen to prepare some tea.
"So Ranma? Tell me about yourself," Linna said as soon as they were alone in the living room.
And with that Ranma began telling his lifestory.

An hour later ....

"I still can't believe this. You mean you fell into a cursed spring that turns you into a girl with cold water and back into a guy when hot water?" Linna asked skeptically.
"That was what I thought too until it happened to me," Ranma replied.
"What do you think, Sakura?" Linna asked her housemate.
"Sorry ... what did you say?" asked Sakura who was too busy admiring Linna's new friend to be paying attention to what her housemate was saying.
"I was asking if you believed Ranma's story ... " Linna said as repeated her words of disbelief.
"I'll believe anything my Ranma-chan says .... Oh my! What did I just say .... " Sakura replied as she realised what she just said.
"What did you just say?" Ranma asked as something Sakura said caught his attention.
"Oh my! This is so embarassing ..." she replied.
With that Ranma's gaze took a faraway look as he studied Linna's roommate once again.
"Ranma! Earth to Ranma! Earth to Ranma!" Linna interrupted as she disturbed Ranma's attention.
"Forgive me ... but she just so reminded me of somebody I once knew," he explained.
"Who?" Linna asked with curiousity.
"My sister-in-law, Kasumi Tendo .... " Ranma replied.

************************ *

A week later ... in a seedy bar ...

"What's the problem buddy?" a male voice asked.
"What happen to your hand?" a second male voice asked.
"Nothing really ... ," the man in an armsling said as he downed another glassful of sake.
"No, Scarface. Something has got you really spooked. Tell us. We're all friends here."
"Alright. It was business as usual. We went roaming around the night looking for some hot chicks. We found one. She was a real beaut, her curves and muscles in the right places. We were going to have a little fun with her."
"Don't tell me she broke your wrist. Must have been some little spitfire." chuckled the first voice belonging to a large burly man in street clothes.
"It wasn't her. We were just about to begin when there was this storm. Came suddenly, lightning all around and then this man appeared in front of us. He wore no clothes."
"Naked eh? I didn't know you were into ... "
"Shut up man! Do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?"
"Anyway, this guy ... he was strange. Appeared out of nowhere. One moment, he wasn't there and the next moment he was. I couldn't tell what it was but something was off about him."
"He told us to let the woman go. Naturally we refused. The gall of him. Who was this guy to tell us what to do? We told him off and he walked straight towards us."

Those who had been joking became silent as the story caught their interest.

"I took out my gun and shot him twice. It merely staggered him as he continued towards us. At that point, I ordered everyone to empty our weapons into the man. Thinking he was a boomer, we unloaded entire magazines of armour piercing rounds into the guy. Could have taken down any boomer. He fell to the ground, dead."
"But he didn't stay dead. When I closed in on him ... "

A man in a dark blue business overcoat and mirrorshades sitting in a corner of the bar turned his head in their direction unknown to the group.

"He got back up again."
"I'm sure he did. The Lazarus Man," the voice commented followed by guffaws all around.
"This is serious s*. He really came back to life."
"Yea ... The Lazarus Man." Followed by laughter all around.
"This is serious, man! Grabbed me by the neck and broke my hand."
"And then he moved."
"Was it the Lazarus Man again?" The sound of laughter continued to echo around the room.
"I don't have to put up with this crap!" the scar-faced man pounded the table with his remaining good fist.
"Chill out, dude! We're friends here. We just wanna to help." a third man with tattoos on his arms spoke.
"Fine! But one more piece of s* from any of you and I'm leaving!" the scar-faced man replied.
"Alright. He moved faster than anyone I've ever seen."
"How fast?"
"Like some cyber-ninja who was high on steroids or adrenaline," the scar-faced man continued.

"Dude, I'm still having a hard time believing this story. Did you miss the man then?"
"No! There were six of us. He walked towards us. Didn't even bother to dodge or take cover."
"He took every shot we gave him."
"And then fell to the ground, dead."
"Yea .. right .. "
"Whatever .. he took us all out."
"But that wasn't what spooked me the most."
"What do you mean?"
"This guy. He had no blood."
"What are you talking about? All humans and boomers bleed."
"They do. But not this guy. I knew because I blew a hole through his f** chest! I could see the street on the other side. Whatever he was, that guy was no boomer I've ever seen."
"Dude, I really don't know what to say but I think you really need to take a break. We're going to visit Shalimar tonight. Care to join us?"

The scar-faced man shook his head.

"Your loss. She's been wanting to see you for some time. Catch you later ... " the man said as the group departed the bar.

The scar-faced man simply downed another glass of sake.

"Excuse me," a voice spoke disturbing Scarface's thoughts.
"What???" Scarface replied as he looked up straight into the mirrorshades of a man in a business overcoat.
"I represent a third party that is interested in this story of yours," spoke the man in mirrorshades.
"Not interested."
"I'm sorry but my client is very eager to meet you."
"Screw that! I want nothing to do with the megacorps!" Scarface replied.
"I insist ... " the man in business overcoat spoke as he lifted Scarface by the scruff of his neck towards the doorway.
"Let me go!" The scar-faced man pounded on the man helplessly with his remaining good fist but it did no good other than breaking his mirrorshades.

The man pulled his cracked mirrorshades off and dropped it to the ground. Turning to his captive, he said,"If you do not co-operate, I will break your other hand. My clients only require you to be able to speak with them. They do not require you to be able to use your limbs."
It is said that the eyes of a person are windows to the soul. Looking into the man's eyes, Scarface was disturbed by the coldness and apathy in his gaze. This man had no soul. He was the type of person who would virtually cut someone up slowly and not blink an eye. Then the answer came to him. The apparent lack of fear. The way the man walked and carried himself. BUMA!

The man holding him ignored his words and blows but the two bouncers at the doorway did not.
"I'm sorry sir, but you have to let him go," the large man said as he raised his steel rod.
The man in the business overcoat studied them momentarily before continuing on without breaking stride towards the entrance.
"Or we're going to have to hurt you." the second large man warned while both their bodies blocked the entrance of the bar.
"Fellas! This guy's a BUMA!" Scarface screamed a warning to the two men as he was being hauled over the shoulder of the man in the business overcoat.
At those words, all conversations and activities in the bar came to a halt.

"F** S*!" the first bouncer shouted as he dove for his weapon beside the checkout booth. The second bouncer did the same. So did everyone else in the bar.

CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!

The sounds of safeties being released and triggers being pulled echoed throughout the bar.
The 'man' reached into his overcoat and threw a strange cylindrical shaped device to the ground.
Smoke rose quickly, obscuring the view of everyone in the bar.
Moments later, there was a loud CRASH as a section of the wall of the bar came down. Through it, came the 'man' with his unwilling prisoner in tow. The sound of gunshots rang through the night in his wake.
Reaching into his overcoat a second time, the 'man' took out a silver-coloured sphere and tossed it into the bar.
'He' had covered less than twenty paces when there was the roar of a powerful explosion behind them.
"You .. killed .. them .. all!" Scarface shrieked.
"Save your breath," was the only reply that he got as Scarface turned for a last glimpse of his usual hangout.
Behind them, smoke rose unceasingly into the sky as the burning remains of the bar behind them continued to smoulder.

************************ *

Three months later ....

Both Priss and Reiko had become the biggest sensations to hit Japan since the Sirens. Various offers had started coming in from a variety of sources such as modelling agencies to movie producers. Their names had become household names. There wasn't a single person in Japan who didn't know about the Replicants. Including a man sitting in a large office in Genom Tower. "So she survived that boomer rampage," he murmured to no one in particular. The door to the office opened to reveal a man in a business suit. "Did you get the information I need?" he asked.

"Priscilla Asagiri's information was easy to obtained but the person beside her is a mystery. She has only got records up to about six months ago. But prior to that, it's like she didn't even exist. Existing records claim that whatever records she had back, had been destroyed in the Kanto quake," the man in the business suit spoke. "I see ... Keep searching and come to me when you find more. I don't like loose ends," he replied. "Yes sir," the man in the business suit bowed and then left the office.

"One more thing ... Tell Dr. Isakawa to improve his boomer designs. Those boomers are supposed to cause 100 percent fatality. Not 98%. Or 99%. 100%. If there are any survivors to our boomer rampages, our clients might begin to question the effectiveness of our boomer designs. We cannot afford any errors on our part. Triax Industries has already upgraded and begun marketing their so-called DV Dynabot series to our usual customers. We must prove that our BU-33C series is irrevocably superior to anything Triax can come up with," the man said as he turned away again.

************************ **

In the hotel room after a concert at the Tokyo Stadium ...

"YESS!!! Our concert was a hit! .... All our fans just couldn't wait to see us out there Reiko! Man ... I'm real burnt out. I can't wait to drop of in bed."
"I'm happy if you're happy," the aquamarine-haired singer replied. "Reiko-chan, what would I do without you?" the brown-haired singer asked after removing her blonde wig. There was that 'look' again in her eyes.
"I think I need a bath now .... " the T-X(E) unit suggested quickly trying to avert disaster.
"What a coincidence. I need one too. I don't like to bathe alone. Let's take a bath together. After all, there isn't anything you've not seen before, Reiko-chan ... " Priss dropped a wink.
"SSS-uuu-rrr-eee ... Priss ...." the T-X(E) unit replied hesitantly.
"Common ... Reiko ... Drop the shyness act. We're both girls here. From your past behaviour, I could almost swear that you were a guy," the brown-haired singer spoke sending a chill down her companion's spine.
"Now be a good girl and take off your clothes, Reiko-chan," the brown haired singer continued as she stripped off her clothes.
"Alright .... " her companion replied as she followed suit.

A few minutes later the shower was on and both singers stepped into the bathtub.

"I always liked a nice warm bath ... " Priss said as she took the body gel.
"Same here .... " her aquamarine-haired companion replied as she relaxed back in the bath tub.
"Let me wash your hair and scrub your back for you, Reiko-chan. Nothing ecchi, I promise," the brown-haired singer offered.
"If you say so .... " her aquamarine-haired companion replied as she laid back in Priss's arms.
Gamill had to admit it. It certainly felt good, having Priss wash his long hair with the shampoo. Next, Priss's hands began to wash his back with the body gel kneading the kinks out of his shoulders and body muscles. Then, the wonderful, gentle pair of hands moved to the front.

"Priss ... " Gamill called.
"Yes, my dear ..." she said as though nothing had happened.
"I-I-I ... t-t-thought .... y-y-you .... s-s-said .... t-t-that .... y-y-you .... w-w-won't .... t-t-try .... a-a-anything ..... e-e-ecchi ... " Gamill struggled to speak clearly as his eyes opened widely from the sensations he was receiving from Priss's hands.
"Guess what ... I lied ...," Priss replied as she gently nibbled on her companion's ear, "Reiko-chan."
"Priss .... Not there!" her companion protested as Priss's hands descended to a somewhat lower and more sensitive target.
"Make me ... " came the reply.
"Uh ... Priss!" her companion gasped and then the following words were no longer coherent.

************************ *

At the hotel elevator .....

"So tell me again as to why we are doing this?" the disguised janitor asked one of the room maids who was waiting outside the elevator with him.
"This is our chance, Ranma. Both Sakura and me have been longing to get an autograph signed by the Replicants. Surely you would understand the passion that we have for our music stars," Linna replied as the elevator doors opened.
"That's right. The up and coming Replicants. I would like an autograph of each member of the Replicants," Sakura explained as they got into the elevators.
Right at the end of the hall unnoticed by the trio, a man wearing a pair of sunglasses in a black business overcoat and carrying a briefcase, entered an elevator that closed shortly after him.

"Level 20" the intercom chimed.

"Here we are. Level 20. Let me do the talking," Linna said as the elevator doors opened.
Security personnel were waiting a few doors ahead.
Linna, Sakura and Ranma pushed their cart of cleaning materials in the direction of the security personnel ahead. Ranma's visual systems quickly noted the three security guards with their IDs and tags.
"Stop! Visiting hour's over. No one is allowed any further into the rooms ahead," the first guard they encountered spoke.
"We're here to do all the cleaning." Linna said.
"Cleaning at this hour? Let me call the management. Hello, yes ... There's three people here who claim to be your cleanup crew. You mean it's true? They can pass? Alright ..... "
"The manager says to let you through," the security guard said as he stepped aside to let them pass.
"On to destiny," Linna whispered under her breath as Ranma helped pushed the cart full of cleaning materials down the hallway.
"How did you get them to let you through?" Ranma asked.
"The hotel manager is a close friend of mine who owes me a favour," Linna replied.
There was a beeping tone as the elevator doors opened. Ranma turned to see a tall and large man in a business overcoat and sunglasses stepping out of the elevator carrying a briefcase.
'Strange ... this man has no ki ... like a Terminator' Ranma thought as he watched the large man moved forward towards the checking desk.

"Sorry, no visitors allowed at this hour." the security guard spoke as he stood up to halt the man.
"I am under authorisation to do so," the large man replied.
"Whose authorisation?" the security guard challenged.
"This authorisation ... " the man replied as he drew out a gun from beneath his business overcoat and fired a shot into the security guard killing him instantly.
"Linna! Sakura! Behind the cart! Now!" Ranma ordered as he saw the man taking aim at the other security guards in the hallway.
The remaining guards drew their weapons too late to stop the man from cutting them down in a hail of bullets.
The gun made little noise as it was equipped with a silencer, Ranma noted as he threw himself to the ground to grab the shotguns dropped by the security guards.
Taking aim at the man he fired. There was a loud crash like thunder as the gun went off. It struck the man, knocking him back a step but did little else.

************************ *

In the hotel room ....

Gamill was instantly on his feet upon hearing the gunshot in the hallway. Looking at his lover lying beside him, Gamill saw that she was already awake. "Looks like there's trouble outside," he said as he moved his naked body out of bed. Looking through the walls of his room with his enhanced visual systems, he could make out four figures in the hallway. One of the figures was armed with a large handgun while the second was armed with a shotgun. The other two figures were hiding behind a large cart in the hallway. His hands reached for his clothes and quickly put them on.

************************ *

'A g** robot. Well, let's just see how tough you are,' Ranma thought as he reloaded the shotgun.

The man retaliated by firing at Ranma hitting him in the shoulder. Ignoring the gunshot, Ranma picked up the second shotgun while firing the first shotgun in his hand repeatedly. Getting to his feet, Ranma advanced slowly on the man while maintaining a sustained rate of fire against the man.

************************ *

Linna quickly pounded on the door in front of her. "Let us in!" she shouted. Inside the room, Gamill made his way to the door and opened it. Right in front of him were two women clad in maid uniforms who rushed through the doorway. "Ranma's in trouble," the first woman spoke. "Ranma?" Gamill repeated the name, his curiousity growing. "He's our friend," the second maid replied. Peeking through the doorway, he was just in time to see a gaijin man clad in janitor clothes rushed the man in business overcoat ahead.

************************ *

THOOM! THOOM! THOOM! THOOM! Reload. THOOM! THOOM! THOOM! THOOM! Each shot threw the man back a step until he hit the wall behind him.
Dropping the now empty shotguns to the ground, Ranma rushed towards the man at Amaguriken speed to relieve him of his weapon. He was fast but so was the man who lashed out at him with his foot.

************************ *

The man in business attire lashed out with his foot to impale the gaijin man upon his foot. What happened next was something that Gamill had only seen in the movie Terminator 2.

The man's leg went right through 'the janitor's body' upon impact to reveal a large crater-like hole filled with polished, silvery metal. The leg stopped as the polished silvery metal flowed around it, gripping it tightly before reshaping into a pair of hands. The 'janitor' then swung the man's body like a baseball bat with his newly-reformed hands before letting go.

'A T-1000,' Gamill thought. Just to be sure, he checked his database.

SKYNET PROFILE OF TERMINATOR UNITS ...

MATCH FOUND: UNIT IS CLASSIFIED AS A T-1000 MODEL 202.
CHECKING STATUS: NO LONGER IN SERVICE.

'No longer in service?' Gamill wondered.

REASON: OBSOLETE.

Came the next line.
'The T-1000 is obsolete?' Gamill queried his database with disbelief.

AFFIRMATIVE. T-X SERIES TYPE A, B, C, D AND E MADE THE T-1000 UNNECESSARY. T-1000 SERIES PRODUCTION DISCONTINUED IN 2033 A.D..

Just then, Gamill saw something that sent a chill down his spine. There was a power build-up in the man fighting the T-1000. Quickly, he shut the door behind him.

************************ *

The man smashed through the surrounding walls with a loud crash. Getting to his feet, the man stood up once again only to have Ranma grab him with his hands. No sooner had that happened when the skin, flesh and clothes of the man exploded outwards to reveal a large expanded metal body beneath. This was a sight that Ranma would never forget as it was one of the most horrifying sights he had ever seen. A boomer bursting out of its organic shell. His visual systems noticed that the skin, fat, tissue and pieces of clothing were distributed rather evenly around the hallway.

His sixth sense screamed a warning as the boomer's chest opened to reveal plasma vanes. Moving once again at Amaguriken speed, Ranma rushed off with the boomer into the opened elevator. The doors of the elevator slid shut just as the boomer's plasma vanes opened fire. There was a loud thundering explosion that rocked the building as the elevator went up in a massive fireball.

************************ *

The Tokyo News Network ....

"Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened at the Imperial Majestic Hotel in which more than seventy people were believed to have perished in a series of explosions last night. According to two eyewitnesses of the massacre who wished to remain anonymous, a BU-33C boomer disguised as a business man gunned down the security personnel of the music band, the Replicants, when he tried to gain access to their room. Fortunately, both singers have not been harmed and are in good condition. The reason for this action is not known."

"Whatever the reason, there appeared to have been a massive struggle from the scorched marks through the entire corridor of the hallways of the fifteenth floor to the twenty-fifth floor, the shattered walls of rooms 220 and 222, the remains of a destroyed elevator and the entire left wing of the nineteenth floor of the Imperial Majestic Hotel. Mayor Hasegawa has sworn the full co-operation of all law enforcement bodies to resolving this national tragedy. Chancellor Yukimura has proclaimed a Day of Mourning with respect to the victims of this massacre."

Priss turned off the channel without a sound. "Priss ...," Gamill called out as he sat beside her. "That combat boomer ... it was coming for me," she said as she leaned back into Gamill's arms. "There's not enough proof for that," Gamill said as he ran his fingers through Priss's hair. "But the boomer's weapon was equipped with a silencer," Priss said. "Shh .... The law enforcement agencies will get to the bottom of this ... Be patient," Gamill replied as he continued to massage Priss's scalp.

"What if it's not the only one? What if there's more of them coming?" the brown-haired singer of the Replicants asked. "We will deal with it when the situation arises. Now, relax ..." he answered gently as he continued Priss's treatment. Just then, his eye caught sight of a card that was lying on the floor, given to him on the train by the soon-to-be-leader of the Knight Sabers. It read MISS SYLIA STINGRAY, THE SILKY DOLL, 1199-328887456. 'Is it time?' Gamill asked himself for the third time that day as he began to wash the shampoo from Priss's hair.

************************ *

A few weeks later, outside Raven's Garage .....

"I have an offer for the two of you. At this moment, I cannot tell you what it is except that it involves fighting what you hate most. If you're interested in finding out, continue walking through that door. Once past that door there is no backing out .... " the voice that Gamill recognized to be Sylia's announced through the intercom of the building.

Priss and Gamill looked at each other. Clutching Gamill's hand, Priss opened the door into a dark room and the door slid shut behind them with a click. The lights in the room turned on to reveal a woman with clean cut in a business suit seated at a round table.

"Once again, allow me to introduce myself. I am Sylia Stingray, daughter to Katsuhito Stingray, the father of boomer technology. As you well know, my father died in what was reported to be a lab accident at Genom Laboratories by the media. That is a lie. He was murdered. The plans for his boomer designs had been stolen by Genom and from there they created the boomers. But that is not the issue here," Sylia paused as she took a sip from her glass.

"As we all know, each day that passes, more and more people die with each boomer rampage that happens. Despite the public outcry against the boomer rampages, little has been done to stop them by the authorities which are already in the pocketbook of Genom. ADPolice is useless. Their weapons are highly ineffective against these combat boomers currently, and will be even more so in the future as Genom continues to upgrade their boomer designs to counter the designs by their commercial archrival and competitor, Triax Industries, the leading manufacturer of war machines and robotics technology in the Western Hemisphere. All sources indicate a secret war is brewing between the two supercorporations and could explode into the open at any time," Sylia paused momentarily before continuing.

"Genom is not going to care as to how many lives are going to be lost as long as it controls the world market in the end so I propose that we form a military outfit to control the worst of their excesses in the Tokyo region at least," she said.

"We're going to need some real serious heavy firepower Miss Stingray if you're thinking of taking on Genom and these combat boomers which I believe to be state-of-the-art technology ... " Gamill commented.

"That has already been taken care of," Sylia said as she looked at both Priss and Gamill.

"What do you mean?" Priss asked.

"Come ... " she said as she got up from the table. Both Priss and Gamill followed the woman as she opened the door behind her. In front of them was an elevator which they all got on. Sylia put her palm onto the elevator as the doors closed and the elevator began to descend. Finally, the elevator stopped and the doors slid open to reveal a vast antechamber.

Both Priss and Gamill took in the surroundings before their eyes came to rest on a transparent cylinder in the center of the antechamber. Hanging suspended in the transparent cylinder was a large white environmental suit that conformed well to a woman's body in high heels.

"This thing that you see is what I call a hardsuit. It is the future of anti-boomer technology." Sylia said as she gestured towards the white hardsuit.

"I will design one for each of you. They will be custom-designed to suit your style of engagement with the enemy."

"I'm going to be putting on one of those?" Priss asked feeling a little dubious as the white hardsuit didn't look strong enough to withstand a blow from a boomer.

"Do not judge a book by its cover, Priss. This suit is made of the best composite metals and alloys available and it will be armed with the best weapons that I can design," the daughter of the boomer creater spoke calmly, trying to soothe Priss's fears.

"You're making everything yourself?" Priss asked, disbelief evident in her voice.
"Where did you think I would get the hardsuit? Or the weapons? Or the ammunition for that matter? Off the shelf in the supermarket? In a taxicab? Courier service? ADPolice?" Sylia pointed out.
"Alright ... but I'm just curious about one thing. Why did you design the hardsuit with high heels, anyway, Sylia? Wouldn't it make things more difficult for the wearer to run around in them? " Gamill asked.

Of that question, Sylia could give no reply.

A few minutes later .....

"That's the last .... Your inner wear or softsuit should be completed in an hour." Sylia replied after taking Priss and Gamill's measurements.

"Now to test your combat abilities ... Reiko ... Priss ....?" Sylia said

Priss finally decided to go up first. She fought until she reached level 10 in the combat chamber.
"Not bad ... " Sylia said. "You're be good for close-quarters combat and firepower support. Reiko ... you're next."

Gamill went next into the combat chamber. This was fun. He had never had so much fun shooting and hitting all the targets in the combat chamber that he lost track of time. Outside the combat chamber, the atmosphere was rather different.

"Level 52 .... She can't be human .... "
"What do you mean Sylia?
"Her reflexes, co-ordination, speed and strength. They're off the charts! I've never seen anyone like this .... "
"Couldn't she be gifted or something?" Priss asked.
"Priss ... being gifted is one thing. At the speed Reiko's moving and the strength she's exerting .... the stress placed on a human body would be so great that it would have shattered like glass long before this level was reached. She's moving faster than anybody or any boomer that I've seen. Not only that, she's showing no sign of fatigue or slowing down for that matter. Forget the hardsuit. At this level, she could rip apart a boomer with her bare hands ....." Sylia explained.
"What are you trying to tell me, Sylia?"
"How long have you known Reiko, Priss?"
"About six months or so ... " the brown-haired singer replied.
"When did you meet her?"
"It was a dark and stormy night then. She walked in on us claiming she had some form of amnesia. She was naked then ... without any clothes on ... I lent her some of mine ... "
"She saved my life from the boomer rampage that killed off the rest of my family. I've been indebted to her since ... then," Priss continued.
"I see ... "
"Very well ... I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. But she's got to come clean on us."
"Alright ... "

An hour later ....

Gamill exited the combat chamber.

"So how did I do?" he asked cheerfully.
"You did incredibly well. You completed the last level. Something I thought to be impossible but you did it anyway," Sylia replied.
"Why's everyone looking at me like that?" Gamill asked as he saw the eyes of the two women looking at him in a way he had never seen before.
"Who are you, or to be more precise, what are you, anyway, Reiko-chan?" Sylia asked but her voice was clear of any form warmth.
"Reiko ... do as she says ... " Priss said in that tone of voice that brook no arguments.
At this, Gamill drooped his head to look at the ground in resignation.

"Well? We haven't got all day .... " Sylia said.
"What I'm about to tell you might seem very difficult to believe ...." Gamill replied.
"Reiko-chan .... " Priss said in a warning tone.
"It started like this .... " Gamill said and with that, he began the story of Skynet, its Terminator legions, John Connors and the human resistance.

After ten minutes of explanation .....

"If you're a Terminator, why haven't you started terminating the humans all around you like Skynet has directed?" Sylia asked.
Taking a deep breath, the aquamarine-haired singer continued her explanation.
"A man called Gamill took possession of me and reprogrammed my CPU. As a result, I possessed his memories and psychological makeup. Thus making me more human than machine."
"So you're essentially a 'ghost in the machine'?" Priss asked.
"Right. Reiko Ayumi is actually a product of Gamill and Skynet. A melding of the human consciousness and artificial intelligence," the T-X(E) replied.

"This is deep ..." Priss's face took on an unreadable expression. "The one I ..." her voice was a whisper but Gamill was able to pick it up.
"Priss?"
"Loved ... and ... trusted ... I thought I knew you but ..." the volume grew louder.
"Priss?"
"But I never really did ... " Priss replied, her voice reached fever pitch.
"Why didn't you save the rest from the boomer? You could have. Why didn't you?" the brown-haired singer shouted.

Gamill flinched as the accusation struck home. The T-X(E) noted that Sylia had left the room awhile go and was nowhere to be seen.

"The boomer's attack caught me by surprise ... "
"LIAR!" she said as she struck Gamill on the face with her palm though the following hiss of pain did not come from her companion.
"I've never been in a fight in my life before, Priss. I was scared ... " the aquamarine-haired singer spoke as she lowered her eyes to the floor while her brown-haired companion clutched her hand painfully.

"YOU F** MACHINE!" the brown-haired singer shouted, grabbing the neck of her companion, trying her best to strangle her despite the futility of her actions.

"So those 'tears' of yours are as real as those 'feelings' you've had for me?" Priss mocked, anger evident in her tone of voice.
"P-P-Priss ... Y-Y-You ... c-c-cut ... m-m-me ... t-t-to ... t-t-the ... s-s-soul ... " her aquamarine-haired companion choked as she suddenly convulsed uncontrollably before collapsing to the ground in a heap.
"God** robot!" she shouted, giving the body a kick before grabbing her leg in pain and leaving the room in a huff.

An hour later ...

"Priss ... something has happened to Reiko."
"Why should I care?"
"She's still unconscious."
"Let that godd* robot be!" the brown-haired singer replied as she tossed and turned on the sofa hoping to get a more comfortable position, conducive to sleep.

Three hours laters ...

Sleep still had yet to come. The brown-haired singer was tossing and turning on the sofa like there was no tomorrow. She couldn't help it. Images of Reiko filled her mind and she found herself unable to stop thinking about her.

"Godd*it! I am going to kill you!" she thought as she went back to the combat chamber holding a large hammer in her hand. Reiko was right where she left her, as still as the dead.

"To hell with you!" Priss cursed as she looked at the aquamarine-haired woman lying on the ground. "Still haunting me even when you're out! Godd*it! Die! You b**!" the brown-haired singer shouted and raised the hammer high above her head before bringing it down hard onto the body on the floor.

CLANG! The sound of the hammer striking the body echoed throughout the chamber. Dissatisfied with one blow, Priss brought the hammer down again. And again. And again. Each time the sound of metal striking metal broke the silence of the chamber.

"Priss ... you're wasting your strength. Here, use this gun. It was designed for taking out boomers. It should have no problems taking out a Terminator," Sylia replied as she pressed a gun with twin sized-barrels into the brown-haired singer's hands. Priss was about to open fire with the weapon when she saw something that made her pause. A steady stream of red liquid gathering at the base of the body.

"Hurry up Priss. Pull the trigger. We haven't got all night. What better way to take out a machine than when it's incapacitated?" Sylia egged the brown-haired singer on.
Priss concentrated her laser sight on the body and then drew her finger back, pulling the trigger.
No sound. No light signaling a shot being fired.
"What's stopping you, Priss? Take the robot out before it's recovered." Sylia said as she spoke into Priss's ear.
"Reiko ... she's bleeding." Tears began to fill her eyes.
"Priss, her blood is artifical. Designed to fool humans like the rest of the flesh that covers her. Even her so-called 'feelings'. They're computer-generated. Kill her."
"I .. I .. cannot," Priss sobbed, falling to her knees. Next to her, lay the weapon that had dropped to the ground alongside her.
"You know what you have to do .... ," Sylia replied.
"Reiko-chan, please do not leave me ... I need you ... You cannot die for I love you ... ," Priss whispered as she cradled the face of her companion to hers.

************************ **

"So how long was I out?"
"Three days to be exact."
"What happened?" the aquamarined-haired singer asked.
"Priss had some personal issues to settle. Don't worry. She's no longer mad at you." Sylia said as she saw Gamill looked a little worried as he caught sight of Priss entering the combat chamber.
"So how's the Terminator doing?" Priss smiled as she stepped up to the aquamarine-haired singer and sat alongside her.
"In tip-top condition." Gamill replied in relief at Priss's good mood.
"That's good cause there's something I want you to try out."
Gamill turned to Sylia for an answer but the woman merely shrugged her shoulders.
"Okay." the aquamarine-haired singer said as she followed Priss into a room.

A few minutes later ..... in a private room .....

"Priss, you're not SERIOUSLY expecting me to wear that BDSM outfit, are you?" a voice that sounded female asked, anxiety in the tone.
There was no answer.
"It's just a one-time thing, right?" the same voice asked though it was clear from its tone that it was growing more anxious.
"What?!! You want me to call you Mistress and disable all my limbs in that humiliating 'position' from today? That's ridi-! Alright! Alright! I will do it, Mistress-sama."

Not too long later, the sounds of denials and approvals as well as cries to the gods followed by groans and moans as well as those of heavy machinery began to fill the air.

(Overheard from somewhere: "And please add, 'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain.' I am tired of hearing false alarms." --> The Divine Audit;-))

************************ **

The next day ...

Priss and Gamill streamed into the kitchen for breakfast. Priss looked worn out while Gamill looked as fresh and youthful as ever.

"I take it, the two of you had a most active night?" Sylia winked as she caught sight of the two singers entering the room.
Both women blushed deeply at the question and sat at the table.

"What model are you?" Sylia asked, resuming where they left off.
"T-1500 CRS Model 707. Also known as T-X(E)," Gamill replied.
"If your designation is any indication, then you're more advanced than any of those 'Terminators' that you spoke about," Sylia commented.
"Correct ... " Gamill replied.
"What are you capable of?"

"The T-1500 can copy anything it touches. It can also duplicate any weapon that it has come into contact with even if the weapon is unknown to that unit. It can create any kind of fabric, material, metal, organic tissue or any form of substance through particle synthesis and can also pass through solid matter by re-aligning the particles in its body against those of the target object. It can also assimilate any kind of matter that it comes into contact with as well as adapt its body to any kind of attack being used against it through a combination of particle assimilation and particle synthesis. Allow me to demonstrate ..... "

Suddenly, standing before them was an exact duplicate of Priss. Priss looked at her twin in a mixture of shock and amazement. "Do you mind if I take a sample of your blood and Priss's?" Sylia asked, her scientific curiosity aroused. "Sure, go ahead ...." Gamill said. Priss reluctantly allowed Sylia to take her blood sample. Taking both samples to an apparatus in the room, Sylia examined them carefully and after a few minutes, she spoke, "It's incredible. Right down to the DNA level. There are no variations at all in the two samples. It's as if both samples were taken from the same source. If I didn't know any better, Priss, I would have concluded that Reiko was you."

"What about the other one about you being able to pass through solid objects?" Priss asked. "Turning intangible is the easy part. The difficult part is trying to move because you can't touch anything while you're intangible," Gamill said as his figure turned transparent. "Like a ghost. That's incredible ... " Sylia said as Priss moved her hand through Gamill and then back out of it. "Anything else you want to see?" "You said you were able to duplicate any weapon you came into contact with ..." Sylia said. "That's right," Gamill replied and produced the sawn off shotgun from thin air in his hands. "It feels real," Priss said as she felt the shotgun with her hands.

Sylia fell silent as she recollected her thoughts on what had just transpired. Finally she spoke, "Reiko ... do you have the schematics for this particle synthesizer and particle assimilator of yours?"

Five minutes later .....

"The possible applications of these two devices are vast. With them, we could easily manufacture any material we would require including weapons, armaments and even our own food supply. Money would no longer become a problem as we could easily create precious metals and stones with it. Yet the potential abuse for it is tremendous. A person could easily build any kind of doomsday weapon with such a device without the need for acquring materials or parts just as easily. I think it would be possible to incorporate this technology into our hardsuits at some time in the future."

"Why not now, Sylia?" Priss asked.

"I haven't built a working prototype of this device yet so it would be dangerous to build it into the hardsuit without testing it out first. If anything were to go wrong ... " Sylia paused as she got up to her feet.

"Reiko, can you just synthesize the hardsuits?" Sylia asked.
"I need physical contact first ..... " the T-X(E) unit replied.
"Thought as much .... Anyway, I would like you to work with me on the hardsuits ...." Sylia said as she turned to Priss's companion.
"Okay ... " Gamill replied as he reverted back to his primary form.

Three days later .....

Two hardsuits were finally completed. One was dark blue in colour with red stripes and white highlights while the second was black in colour with silver stripes and orange highlights.

"Which is mine?" Priss asked.
"The blue one is yours. The black one is mine," Gamill replied.
"Priss, your hardsuit is design with heavy firepower support as well as some close range combat when necessary."
"Since Reiko is more resilient than either of us and can survive being shot at easily, her hardsuit has been designed for speed and close-quarters combat," Sylia spoke.
"In other words, cannon fodder ... " Gamill replied glumly.
"Don't look so down. Frowns will make look you old," Priss teased her companion.
"Oh yes .... one more thing, we haven't given a name to ourselves yet .... " Priss spoke.
"We need a name that will do a good public relations service for us .... " Gamill agreed.
"A name? Let's see .... How about the Defenders?" Sylia suggested.
"No, I don't like it. Besides, it is already taken," Priss replied.
"The Shadow Warriors?" Gamill suggested.
"Too mysterious with sinister overtones ... The name's got to have something to do with protection," Sylia replied.
"Yes ... protecting the weak, from the strong ... " Priss continued.
"Like the knights in ancient medieval times .... who carried their swords to do battle with the enemy ...." Sylia answered.
"I know ... What about the Knight Sabers?" a voice called out from the doorway.
"Mackie ... What are you doing here?" Sylia asked.
"I just got back from my holidays, sis," the younger brother of Sylia replied as he entered the doorway.
"So these two are your friends. Wow! The two members of the Replicants group. Priss and Reiko. You know something? I'm a big fan of your music band and I got a collection of all the music records that you ever sold," Mackie said as he approached the two singers.
"Oh yess ... back to the name. What do you think of the name he suggested?" Gamill interjected, not wanting to entertain too many of the younger Stingray's questions.
"It's not bad at all," Sylia replied.
"Priss ...," Gamill spoke, wanting to know Priss's opinion.
"I think it suits us perfectly. What do you think Reiko?" the brown-haired singer replied.
"It's good ..., " the aquamarine-haired singer replied.
"Very well. It is agreed then. From this day forth, we shall call ourselves, the Knight Sabers," Sylia announced.
"That will go forward to do battle with the forces of evil boomers commanded by Genom that lay waste to the land and slay the innocent ... " Mackie continued.
"A toast to the Knight Sabers," came the voice of Dr. Raven who had just entered the room.

And thus is history sometimes made.

End of Part 1.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ ---

This story was written to appease my friend, Gamill, who wanted to be a part of the action in Rise of The Machines but didn't get it. So I wrote a separate story for him instead, to placate his feelings. Hope you all enjoyed the story as much as I did. Best Wishes .... Exodus.

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