Bubblegum Cross

By Andy Skuse ~ E-Mail

A Bubblegum Crisis Fanfiction (C) 1995-2008
Based on characters copyrighted by Youmex, AIC, Artmic

PREVIEW # 2 - Oct 14th 2008

From the front the Ladys633 looked much like any other building in the area. Upscale and modern, a half dozen floors of tinted glass and shining steel, rooftop bristling with solar panels and satellite dishes. And like many of the other upscale store-fronts, an enchanting, cylindrical, glass-enclosed elevator greeted shoppers front-and-center, creating the illusion of a crystal pillar rising up through a concrete cloud deck. It was one of the few remaining ways to make a bold architectural statement in a cityscape that had learned from it's unpredictable geological past to stay low.

From the inside, an excited group of young women pointed and gawked at the buildings and people lit below them in the mid-afternoon sun as the elevator came to rest at the top floor. Unable to see above them, and assured by the glowing floor indicator that their trip was at an end, their excitement quickly drew them out of the glass elevator and into the welcoming display area to peruse the exotic night wear.

The mid-day sun had long since set when the elevator rose to the top floor for the last time that day.

When the elevator had come to a full stop, Sylia opened the stainless steel panel labeled 'EMERGENCY ONLY', picked up the receiver, dialed, then spoke her name. A confirmation tone came from the Muzak speaker over their heads. Sylia replaced the receiver, snapped the door shut and stepped back. "Hang on," she advised the others as she grasped the chrome railing that surrounded the elevator's interior. "Might be a little bumpy."

Before any of them could even think about grabbing the rail, the elevator lurched to the left abruptly, followed by a steady grinding sound, like giant gears being turned. Sylia smiled apologetically as the others regained their footing. "Sorry. Needs work."

Priss glanced over at Linna, one eyebrow raised. Linna shrugged.

Nene swept her gaze over the heads up display inside her helmet. The digital compass dial was moving.

"We're turning," Nene reported.

Linna switched her intercom to Priss's private channel. "Have you ever been up here Priss?"

Priss whispered back, "Hell no. You?"

"Uh uh."

The elevator completed its turn and came to an abrupt halt, the sound of metal latches locking in place echoing inside the elevator.

"We've stopped. 45 degrees to the left."

Stunning, absolutely stunning Nene," Priss snapped impatiently. "I would never have guessed in a million years! Say, how about we pack another twenty million worth of gizmos into that suit of yours so you can tell me when we start moving again?!"

"Fine!" Nene shot back. "Next time a boomer sneaks up on you I'll just keep my mouth shut!"

"Why wait until then?!" Priss leaned forward and shouted, testing the limits of the intercom's compander capabilities.

"Relax Priss," Sylia interjected as she began tapping a new series of numbers into the keypad by the door. "Everyone, just relax. I apologize for the dramatic buildup, but I didn't want to disappoint any of you."

"Didn't want to disappoint me huh?" Linna said. "So far I'd say I'm more confused than disappointed."

Sylia smiled. "I think we can fix that."

As if on cue, the elevator door slid open.

The door opened into a cavernous room, the echo slapping back from the walls to their audio sensors. Sylia disappeared into the darkness.

As Priss stepped towards the doorway to stare into the gloom, a ring of lights inset on the walls of the circular room snapped on, offering a tantalizing halogen-tipped glimpse of a large, bat-like shape.

A second ring of lights followed suit, shining up through the grid-laced floor giving the machine a menacing gleam.

Hydraulic motors whined as a ramp slowly lowered from the side of the machine.

Linna nodded as she quietly studied the half-helicopter half-jet aircraft, then broke the intercom silence with the words that were on everyone's minds. "Yeah, this'll do."

A ghostly green glow emanating from the cockpit windows revealed Sylia as she began the start-up procedure. Engine noise gradually filled the room. Four long blades hanging like knives in the darkness slowly began to rotate.

Priss lifted her gleaming visor and looked up to catch the iris-like ceiling panels disappear to reveal a dark cloud-filled night sky. The sound of the engines surrounding her, fists clenched, heart starting to race, she spoke, but no one else could hear her.

"I will find you... and we will end this."

In response, a heavy rain began to fall.

More to come...

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