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Forgotten Tales I - Nene's Last Journey

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 · 3 months ago
Forgotten Tales I - Nene's Last Journey
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This is the first in a new set of short series set in the 2090 BGC world.

Assume all usual legal disclaimers etc...

Cheers

Alex

E-mail - mailto:hitomi@ndirect.co.uk WWW home - http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Subway/7630/

AUTHORS CAUTION: The english used in this tale is deliberately long winded, as its supposed to reflect Nene's rambling thoughts. I don't really know if this succeeded or not. See what you think...

Forgotten Tales I - Nene's Last Journey

This story is part of the "Forgotten Tales" series set in the world of the 2090 BGC series.

The name Bubblegum Crisis and characters within are copyright of Artmic & Youmex.

* * * *

Location: Tokyo, Japan Time: AD 2079, 23rd December, 23:03

I am dying.

It is wonderful how such a simple statement can focus the mind. How it can clear all the clutter of the years and bring everything into stark clarity. I do not regret that statement. I have lived a full life and have experienced both wonders and horrors of the like few others have ever known. I have looked upon the face of death so many times that I now truly welcome him like an old friend; a friend who has come to take me home after a long and arduous journey. A friend in whom I can shelter and at last know peace.

Now, when I look back over the course of my life I wonder just how much of it was actually real and how much of it was just a dream. Some of the things I have experienced, some of the things I have seen, seem impossible to me now. The only proof that I have that these events ever happened are the vague memories that insist I have done what I have done and that I have seen what I have seen.

I'm no storyteller, my dearest Nina, so I hope you will forgive me if I ramble during this tape. The full story of my life would seem impossible to you and I seriously doubt if you would even listen. All I can ask of you, my daughter, is that just this once you put aside your hatred of me and listen. This is the last thing I will ever ask of you Nina, so please, just this once - listen and accept.

As I said, I am no storyteller but perhaps the only way to try and explain to you something of my life is to tell you part of the story of it. I have no ulterior motives in doing this, you are my daughter. I just want you to at least try and understand why I did what I did and what the events were that drove me to it. Ah, but I get ahead of myself. A story cannot be told from back to front, nor can the journey that I wish to show you be started in the hatreds of the present. No. This journey, like all journeys, must start at the place where it all began.

For me, the true beginning of my journey started late one Sunday night when as a foolish and proud girl of 16 I responded to a challenge that proved to be THE critical event in my life - the point where everything changed. I cannot even remember really why I did it. There was no money, no fame, no glory. It was just a challenge, a game. I did not even stop to consider why that challenge might have been placed or what would happen if I solved it. I was just a 16 year old child trying to prove to the whole world, and my parents, that I was special. And I succeeded... Oh, God, did I succeed...

She introduced herself originally as just Sylia. Someone who had placed a challenge in the newspaper just to see who could and who would respond. Personally, I think she was more than a little surprised when she first saw me - I know I was.

The first time I ever met her I remember thinking how strong she was in herself. Of all the people I had ever met in my life up to that point she was the first I felt really believed in something. Here was someone who would move Heaven and Earth for that belief and never falter. She was the foundation, the anchor that I had never known I needed until the day we first met. I know this must sound strange, Nina, but there are such people in this world. People who can inspire just by being who they are. If you are ever lucky enough to meet such a person then may be you will be able to understand just something of what I am trying to tell you. She gave my life purpose and despite what happened later I still remember her fondly for that - even though to her I was only a tool.

But I digress, Sylia is an important player in this story but she is not the only one. She was the candle, the prime mover, but there were others who also played a part in this journey. Like me, Sylia gathered them from the places that their own journeys had taken them and forged them into something new. One was a singer, a fighter, a biker and a warrior. She had become lost on the path of her own hatred, the path that she had chosen when her lover was murdered. Sylia took that hatred and moulded her into a weapon.

The next was a dancer. A young woman whose dreams and hopes were never fulfilled - at least not in the way that she thought. In an odd way, this dancer is the focus of my story as it was her who first attracted the attention of the _thing_ who bought such misery and horror into our lives. However, I move ahead of myself. To get to the point where _that_ one became involved I need to cover some ground first.

I told you that my story began when I first met your father's sister Sylia. In a way that is true and in a way it is not. This meeting was the beginning of the tale - the tale of those forgotten vigilantes who were called the Knight Sabers. Of all the times in my life this is the period that I look back most fondly on. It was a time when I felt that I was making a difference. A period when I actually felt that I was one of the good guys. This may seem strange to you now but back then I felt that we were a beacon of light in the world. An example of hope for the rest to follow... Ah, what it is to be young and idealistic!

For over six years the Knights were my life, my family. I came to love each of them far more than any sister or lover. They were my team-mates, those who I entrusted with my life on far too many occasions to count. Together we fought against what we saw as the evils of Genom. We were the counterbalance that stopped the pendulum swinging too far in their direction. We were the crusaders fighting at the fringes to stop... In short, we were foolish naive children lost in our own pride.

Even now I remember the events of that night - the events that woke me up to the truth. The events that woke all of us up to the truth of just who and what we were. How ironical that only the night before we had just finished celebrating our sixth year together as a team. At that time we were the closest we had ever been my sisters and I. We had faced death together so many times that we were beyond family. We had almost become like extensions of the same person, each of us sensitive to the moods of the other parts. I do not know if you will ever find yourself in a situation that like Nina, but if you do, treasure it more than anything else - for nothing that follows is ever quite the same. I still cannot believe that it only took one event to shatter our family beyond repair and fill my sisters which such bitterness.

By now, you are probably wishing that I would just shut up and describe what that event was. I will not apologise for rambling Nina, as even now it still brings me pain to think about what happened... About what Sylia forced my sisters to do. It was the one action that shattered all our illusions about who and what we were. The one action that showed us the true nature of the one who had called us together and what a farce the whole thing had been. Betrayal is not an easy emotion to deal with Nina, and I hope that you will never have to face it in quite the same way that I did.

And what was this event? This action that shattered all our beliefs and filled my sisters with such disgust. Well my daughter, the answer to that question is simple - murder. With all the death that I have seen in my life you might be forgiven for thinking what was so different about one more. And in a way you would be right. It was not the death that had such an impact on us but the way in which it came about - the reason behind it.

His name was Leon. He was a friend, an ally and very nearly the one to whom one of my sisters had given her heart. He had known about us for almost four years, and during all that time he struggled to accept what it was we were trying to do. He was an officer in the ADP you see - a very good one. And as such, there was always a quiet discomfort in the way he regarded us, even in the way he felt towards my sister. Perhaps, it was that discomfort that bought the two of them closer... I do not know, and I do not suppose it matters now anyway. However you look at it, we were the ones who killed him.

A simple mission was all it was supposed to be. At least, that was what Sylia told us and why should we question her? She had been our guiding force for over six years. We all believed in her and we trusted her. The thought of her betraying that trust never crossed our minds. Now, if I look back with hindsight, I can understand in part why she did what she did, but even so I will never, ever forgive her. We trusted her and she repaid that trust with betrayal. We were the pawns in a game to her...

Game... Oh, Gods... I wonder... Was SHE involved? No... impossible... but...

Sorry Nina, my mind wanders more than it should. I must remember to focus on the story, not speculate about what could have caused it. The actual mission you see was a fake, a deliberate deception on Sylia's part to draw out much larger prey - the head of Genom itself, Aaron Quincy. And my sisters and I were to be the bait, and the prize. Of course, I did not find this out until much later. My sisters knew, they were the ones who watched it happen. I only found out once Sylia was gone, and by then, it was too late.

If you remember, I said that we fondly saw ourselves as the counterbalance to Genom's influence in the world. How little we really understood the events in which we were involved. I had said that we were the tools that Sylia had forged to help in her fight against Genom - I was wrong. We were the tools that she had forged to gain her revenge - just that. She was never really truly concerned with the effects that Genom was having on the world, no. Her true motivation was revenge - pure and simple. And we were the instruments that she had been using to get it.

Our activities over the years had hurt Genom, far more than I or my other two sisters truly realised. Sylia had trained us well. We had gone from far more than a simple nuisance to a personal threat to Aaron Quincy's authority. A threat that he had to remove. That was the desire that Sylia manipulated against him, just as she manipulated us to draw him out. The mission was a trap from the very beginning and we all walked straight into it.

It was Leon who saved us, Leon who saved us all. It was him who put two and two together. It was him who saw past Sylia's guise and him who paid the ultimate price. What exactly happened in that warehouse I cannot say. I was on watch outside when Leon, Daley, Steel and Nena crashed their police patrol car through its gates. I heard the screams of Linna and Priss over my intercom. I heard their curses at Sylia and I heard the fire fight that followed. I tried to help them, but it was then that the boomers appeared and all hell broke lose. I do not remember much of the time that followed. It was fighting, pain, blood...

That was the last of the Knight Sabers. Whatever happened in that warehouse drove my sisters, Linna and Priss, mad with grief and rage. I never learnt the truth, and even now I still can only guess at what it was that made our family shatter in such a drastic fashion. And perhaps... perhaps it is better that I do not. All I know is what I have tried to lay out before you so that you will understand that this was one of the defining moments of my life. With the break up of our family that was the moment I truly turned to Mackie, your father, for support.

Oh, Nina, one of the only true regrets of my life is the fact that you never really knew your father. You are so much like him, more than you can ever imagine. Perhaps that is why we have always had such a painful relationship. Every time I saw you I saw him. That always hurt me in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine. When I saw you show the same mannerisms, the same quirks as he had I no longer saw you but him. And every time I saw him I tried to punish him for leaving me. I know this seems a pitiful excuse for treating you like I have, oh but Nina, I loved him so much... so very much...

He was the one solace that I had. Priss and Linna had abandoned me and only Mackie seemed to care, only Mackie seemed to want to understand. He and I were married less than six months after the break up. I sent Linna and Priss invitations to the wedding but they never showed up. At that point, I felt they almost hated me as much as they hated Sylia. I was wrong of course but at that point in time I just did not understand. I did not know what they had seen her do.

Two blissfully happy years passed and then in 2039 a message suddenly arrived from out of the blue - a message from Linna. She begged that I go and meet her to talk. At first I was unsure how to respond to this request. I had thought that my dancer of a sister had hated me, hated me like she hated Sylia. However, one set of emotions overrode another and I went. What a mistake that was... For it was at this meeting that I encountered the final player in this story - the puppet master.

The first time I saw her I remember thinking how vulnerable she looked - a pretty, timid, redheaded street girl. I remember the hesitant look on her face, the way she seemed to look at Linna. I should have surmised even then that something was looming between them. I remember how startled I was to hear that this young girl had... how did Linna put it... "kicked Sylia's arse"... Yes, that was it. That as well should have warned me that this girl was a lot more than she first appeared to be.

You have met her too Nina, although I am not sure if you remember who she was. You were if I recall, only about eight or nine during those last times she ever visited us. She called herself Samantha, Samantha De'Naime. She seemed to be quite fond of playing with you during those visits so perhaps you do recall something of her. I do not known. I only pray to God that you never meet her again.

True evil exists Nina. Evil and Darkness, and they are called Samantha De'Naime. You may think I am mad but I assure you that I have looked upon the face of Corruption and it has her eyes. She was there the day your father was killed. The day Sylia, Priss and so many others also died. I have no doubts in my mind that she was the cause one way or another.

Beware my daughter. Do not think that all the ills of this world, all the wars and the acts of corporations like Genom are unrelated. They are all part of a plan... a Game... And at the dark centre of that web is the being known as Samantha. No my Nina, I am not insane, although you and others have called me such - I have simply seen the truth. The truth behind that Evil which seduced Linna and changed her into the monster that killed thousands.

That Corruption is like a Hunger. It seeks out the warmth and lives of the innocent and feeds on their desecration. I know the truth. Sylia was able to tell me that much before she too fell victim to the Darkness. Before her own children, corrupted as they were by the sickness, slew her. Sylia was cold yes, but even she did not deserve what they did to her... It was... unholy...

I fear for you Nina. I fear for you and Raina... Why did you have to leave me? Why did you not see that I was only trying to protect you? You never listened... and now... now the best I can to is leave you this message and the hope that you will believe me. The Darkness is not gone Nina. SHE still lives and breaths in our world, as do those who have been seduced by it. I know that somewhere out in the world one of my sisters still lives, and I curse her with everything that I am for what she has become. It was her who killed your father Nina. It was her... and I will _never_ forgive her that even though I know the woman who was once my best friend is long since dead.

Oh... shit... this is a mess... Nina... I tried to use this tape as a way of telling you I was sorry. As a way of telling you how much I still love you. And finally, as a way of telling you of my life... But I have failed haven't I? I told you I was no storyteller and how much this rambling speech shows that to be the case. Instead of the consistent tale that I had hoped for the best I could manage was this mess.

Nina, I love you. That is all I most want to say - I love you. If you remember nothing else of me then just remember that. I have tried to tell you something about my life but in this, like all my attempts to tell you how I feel, I have failed. Forgive me. Perhaps in time you will at least come to understand this.

Oh... my throat is tired and sore. How long have I been talking to this damned machine? It seems almost forever, let me check my watch... 23:47. It has been almost an hour, no wonder I feel so very tired... But I must continue. I have so much more to tell you. Of your father, of Sylia, of Priss, of the truth behind Linna, and of course of the truth behind the events that killed your father. You must know these things Nina because they will help you in the time that is to come and you will need that help. You will...

Forgive me, my throat hurts and I need a drink. I need it to help me continue as this is going to be a long night and you need to know the truth. I will be back in a moment.

Click.

** End of Nene's Last Journey.

Forgotten Tales II - Priss's Story

This is the second in a new set of short series set in the 2090 BGC world.

Assume all usual legal disclaimers etc...

Cheers

Alex

E-mail - mailto:hitomi@ndirect.co.uk WWW home - http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Subway/7630/


This story is part of the "Forgotten Tales" series set in the world of the 2090 BGC series.

The name Bubblegum Crisis and characters within are copyright of Artmic & Youmex.

* * * *

Location: New Avon, New Avon Time: AE 7614, 1st Decan, 29:34 (New Calender)

The young brown haired woman sat in the dingy twilight of the filthy bar and quietly nursed her drink. Her mud splattered clothes and tired eyes reflected exactly how she felt and somehow seemed to fit perfectly into the atmosphere of this place that was laughingly called a bar of entertainment. The woman raised her glass and sipped at the foul crap that was all this place ever served. She did not even care that this stuff was ultimately a slow poison that could shorten a human's lifespan by half - no one did these days.

The woman looked over at the other tired faces present in the bar and wondered just how many of them would be dead before the end of the year. Quite a few probably - either to the filth of the stuff that they were putting into their bodies or to the dark despair that seem to permeate everything these days. The woman did not care. These people meant absolutely nothing to her. They were simply a reflection of the sickness that had seemed to infect the race of Man as a whole. What did it matter? What did anything matter? Man was a dying species lost in its own hopelessness. The fires of Life had just about burnt themselves out and only the flickering embers remained. The insidious Corruption of the Great War was everywhere and entropy was sucking like a great Hunger at the Life of Creation.

It was the year 7614 and the glorious space bound empire that Man had always dreamed of had been and gone. All that remained of that once bright vision was a corrupt star spanning bureaucracy that itself was slowly dying and crumbling away. Mankind had gone to the stars all right. They had gone with hope and dreams at what they would find and what they would shape but those hopes had quickly faded into cold ash. Mankind was alone. Where they had hoped to find others to share their bright dreams they had only found cold empty worlds, worlds that were as barren as the Earth had become. Oh, in the beginning there had been attempts to terraform these worlds and produce paradise like Edens but the few successes had only resulted in muck holes like New Avon. Mankind had to finally accept that they were mortal. The creation of paradise like Edens was beyond them. And so, disillusioned Mankind had turned in on itself and in less than 3000 years of first achieving the stars the race had more or less returned to its cradle world leaving only a few places like this planet as a remnant of what had once been.

Priscilla Stephanie Mayline Asagiri had lived to see it all. She had been born on Earth so long ago that even she could no longer remember the year or even cared. She had lived through the rise and fall of so many millennia that time was no longer relevant to her. She had been touched by the Darkness and Death itself had abandoned her in a combination of disgust and fear. Existence had rejected her and she had to live with the consequences.

Oh, at first Priss had been ecstatic. She had been young, in love, and had a Chosen who had catered to her every whim. However, as time had passed, when the years had grown into centuries and the centuries had turned into millennia Priss's bright dream had turned into a living nightmare. The endless years rolling by had driven her deeper and deeper into anger and despair. Mayline has tried, even Priss had to acknowledge that, but the despair had been too strong and in the end she had driven her Chosen away. She could still remember the broken look on the Noble's white face when one day the loathing and anger that had festered within her for so long had exploded. What had followed had made her truly alone. The words once said could never be taken back, Mayline was gone - forever.

Alone. It was a word that Priss had had rather a lot of experience with, even before the Darkness. It was almost as if being alone was a natural state for her. All those she had ever loved had either been taken from her forcefully or Priss herself had driven them away. She was an island, self contained, and although she might share herself with others from time to time being alone was who she was.

"Rely on yourself and no one else can ever hurt you," she muttered to herself as she drained yet another glass. And yet, even as the words left her lips Priss knew that deep down they were a lie. The truth was something much more simple - Priss was a coward. Being alone was something she understood. She was safe with it and it helped her to survive.

The thought bought a crooked half grin to Priss's face. There had been a time long long ago when she had been called reckless. A time when the fires of hate had burnt so strongly in her that she had chased after her goal no matter what the consequences. A time when she had been young, naive and foolish. A time...

Priss frowned as she struggled to recall the names of the people associated with those days. It was a effort. The long centuries tended to flow into a blur after a while and trying to recall the incidence of any specific year was difficult.

A face... a name... a friend... a sister...

"Linna," Priss murmured as her mind dredged up the old memories from the muck. "Linna... Yamazaki..."

It had been Linna who had once called her reckless. Linna, who had once slapped her around the face and cryfully demanded that Priss not seek death so much in her... Another name rolled out of the depths of her past - Knight Sabers. That was it! That was what Linna had been so worried about! The Knight Sabers....

Priss waited as yet more memories slowly came to the surface. Sylia, Nene, Mackie... Names of mortals long since crumbled to dust. Names and faces that Priss could just barely dimly recall before they faded back once more into the murkiness from which they had emerged until only the first name and face remained - Linna.

Linna had been wrong. In the end it had been her who had been the bravest one. Linna, who had risked everything and ultimately gained a prize that was above all others. She who had dared to chase after her dreams and she who had found all that she had ever wanted. Yes, Priss was the coward all right. She had been offered the same opportunity that Linna had but instead of committing everything that she was to chasing that dream. Priss had ultimately been too scared.... Too afraid of sharing everything that she was with her Chosen, too afraid of the Joining, and thus unlike Linna and Samanaimethea Priss was alone... Forgotten...

"Like it matters..." Priss commented to no one. Mayline was better off by herself anyway. The young Noble was at the forefront of the titanic struggles that raged through out so many other Realms. She did not need the presence of an immortal human weighing her down. It was better this way, better for both of them. Better that Priscilla S. Asagiri be forgotten altogether.

It had been so long since that time when she had abandoned her Chosen that Priss doubted somehow that any others of the Family even remembered she still existed. She had long since given up any interest in the Games of the Nobles, or the Great War that she knew was still furiously being fought. She was only interested in survival - her survival. Survival was, after all, the only thing she still had left. And so now she simply stayed apart. That had been one of the reasons she had moved outwards when Man had first taken to the stars and that was the reason why she had remained here on New Avon.

New Avon? Priss snorted. The place was basically a semi-dried swamp. The Empire had originally chosen this world as the key military stronghold for this sector and as a result of this decision they had begun the terraforming process over 800 years ago. One landmass was now habitable with three cities located in different areas. The major city, confusingly also called New Avon, housed the majority of the world's population and all of its major facilities. Priss had originally come here over 500 years ago when the Imperial Navy had been offering civilians large payments to move here. The money itself had been of no interest but the remote location and the undeveloped nature of the colony had appealed to her so she had gone. As the Empire had slowly begun to collapsed from within the only military presence that was still on this world was one small almost forgotten legion. The total world population was struggling to meet the one million mark and even though it was the year 7614 the technology generally available was not much different from that of over three thousand years ago. In fact, Priss very much suspected that within the next few hundred years all contact with the Empire would wither and die. When that finally happened this civilisation would collapse and fall into anarchy - just like Rome and so many others. Priss was almost looking forward to that time, it could certainly be no worst than this.

Priss got to her feet and looked at the time - another dull night was almost complete. In a few more hours the hot yellow sun would rise up in the sky overhead and another dull day would start. Priss would go to her meaningless job for yet another meaningless day and the whole cycle would repeat itself again and again and again. Her routine was like clockwork and gave her a sense of timelessness that comforted her, even if it was dull and pointless. It gave her a shield against the insanity that she knew was happening somewhere out there in the other Realms, an insanity that she even dreaded the knowledge of.

She threw some chips down on the table and taking her coat walked out into the humid night. The faint smell of rot and decay hit her senses almost immediately and she snorted as she sealed up her coat. She should have gotten use to the stench by now but somehow it still always managed to surprise her. She cleared the mucus from her throat and walked out into the semi-lit side street. She mindlessly stepped over the gutted body of a dead man and headed back down the small street towards the apartment that she called home. Perhaps, she might be able to get some sleep before she headed into work or maybe not - it did not really matter to her either way.

It took her a further ten minutes to reach her apartment from the bar where she now spent the majority of her free time. The route was very well known to her by now and the human lowlife who lived along it knew better than to give her any trouble. Millennia of experience living alone and protecting herself was an edge that those who had once tried to assault her did not have. The word had spread quickly and no one bothered her now. As she walked the dimly lit streets Priss looked up at the murky night sky overhead. The stars shone like jewels in the velvet darkness overhead and Priss stopped to have a look at them. The night sky was the only redeeming feature that this sorry world really had. It reminded Priss of something from her past, something she had forgotten and for the life of her she could not recall it at all.

Priss frowned as she struggled to dig out the elusive memory but nothing came. The only thing she could recall was a voice whispering her name... a man's voice... The memory vanished and Priss felt herself crying for some strange reason. She shook her head and pushed on towards the apartment. Getting lost in sentimentality was not something she needed to do this night.

Finally she reached her apartment. Placing her hand under the lock scanner she waited the brief moment for it to read her genetic code and open the door. The lock bleeped and the door swept open letting Priss inside.

"Welcome back Priscilla," an unimaginable hauntingly musical voice called out from the kitchen. "I have made you some dinner so why not come in and eat?"

Priss froze and a sense of dread rushed up and down her spine. She knew that voice. She might have forgotten a lot but she knew THAT voice.

"Well?" the indescribable voice queried again as a young woman stepped out into the centre of the small apartment.

"Dada..." Priss went into her usual reaction when faced with the inhuman perfection of Samanaimethea. She stumbled forward and her hands reached out to try and touch that luscious long red hair. "Red..."

Samanaimethea laughed in a fond tone that made Priss go completely to mush.

"Silky..." Priss announced as she tried to touch that glossy, luxurious...

"Oh Priscilla..." the young woman smiled and led the dumbstruck human over to the table.

"Long..." Priss said dreamily as she sat down and continued to try and touch those glossimar strands.

"Eat Priscilla," Samanaimethea said turning away and letting the human recover something of her dignity. Priscilla never changed...

Priss started to obey without thinking. It was only after the first of the indescribable items of food had passed down her throat that Priss came slowly back from the land of "dardar". She blinked and began to look...

"Priscilla," Samanaimethea's perfect voice said warningly. "I do not want you going mindless on me now. So why do you not just keep your pretty little head down and enjoy the food I have made for you. It looks like you have not eaten anything decent for quite a sometime."

"What..." Priss swallowed and concentrated on NOT looking at the divine being behind her. "What do you want?"

Samanaimethea did not answer for a moment as she watched Priscilla struggle against the temptation of turning to face her. Finally, she smiled and spoke up. "I always get endless entertainment from teasing you Priscilla."

"I'm so happy for you..." Priss murmured as she was not sure whether to feel afraid or glad that Samanaimethea was in a playful mood. The young "woman" was both Sam and Samantha rolled into one and Priss never knew which aspect she was dealing with.

"You misunderstand me Priscilla," Samanaimethea commented still enjoying the effect she was having on Mayline's Chosen. "Sam and Samantha are gone. I am nothing like either of them."

"Yeah sure," Priss said aloud. "Whatever you say."

"Why are you here Priscilla?" Samanaimethea suddenly changed topics. "What is it that you hope to achieve by hiding here? Are you really that afraid of love?"

Priss's head spun around angrily and she focused on the questioning face of Samanaimethea. "What do you mea... Red..." another stupid grin broke forth on her face.

Samanaimethea sighed and rolled her eyes. Suddenly she vanished and Priss was left staring at the wall. "Priscilla," the glorious voice spoke from where the young woman had been standing. "Priscilla!"

"Red... What?!" Priss came back to reality with a bump. "Where..."

"Invisible for now," an annoyed tone crepted into Samanaimethea's musical voice. "Since this appears to be the only way we are going to be able to talk easily. Now Priscilla, will you answer my question - why did you leave Mayline so abruptly? She has been desperate to try and find you even now."

Priss's eyes widened. "After all this time? That's..."

"Time is irrelevant to us Priscilla," Samanaimethea interrupted. "You of all people should know that."

Priss did not answer. Mayline was still looking for her? It seemed impossible, her Chosen was a Noble she should have been able to locate Priss in a...

"I hid you," Samanaimethea remarked causally. "Linna said you needed sometime to think things through so I gave you some privacy."

"You?!" Priss hissed incredulously. "Why would _you_ help me?"

"Oh Priscilla..." and Priss could almost see the hurt expression on the divine face.

"I... mean..." for some reason Priss felt like the bad guy.

"Mayline is my daughter," Samanaimethea began talking as if to a very stupid child. "Linna is my Bonded, and you Priscilla are a friend. Why should I not be concerned about you? I simply want you and Mayline to be happy."

Priss did not believe that statement for one second. This was the Corrupter she was talking to, the Hunger who sought to...

"I am many things Priscilla to many different people," Samanaimethea said. "To some I am what you call the Corrupter. To others, I am the Enemy and to yet others I am simply Vengeance. I have even been known as Beloved to a few. I have many names mortal and many many different facets. The Corrupter is only the most..." Samanaimethea paused as she sensed that what she was trying to explain was going over Priscilla's head. She sighed and continued simply. "Priscilla, to you I am simply Samanaimethea - a friend."

"If you are my friend like you claim to be then I want you to leave me alone!" Priss exclaimed rising to her feet. "I am happy here Samanaimethea! I don't need anyone telling me how to live my life, least of all you!"

A mocking laughter was Priss's only answer and she began to feel angry. "What are _you_ so amused with?" she demanded.

"You Priscilla," the laughter subsided into giggles that made Priss shudder. "Trying to lie to _me_ of all people. Sometimes your stupidity is just so refreshing."

Priss felt her face go red with rage and she took an involuntary step towards that mocking voice.

"Excellent!" Samanaimethea's voice giggled gleefully. "I see the Priscilla we all know and love is still there."

Priss's rage turned cold. "You're deliberately trying to provoke me aren't you!?" she demanded.

"Me? Why would I do that?"

"You're Playing with me!" Priss growled.

"Playing? No. Teasing? Yes."

Priss muttered something dark under her breath. Arguing with Samanaimethea was a dangerous and pointless exercise. She just knew that the redhead would not go away until she had had her amusement.

"Or my answer Priscilla," Samanaimethea's voice stated. "I will leave you alone when I have my answer. Why are you so afraid of opening yourself up? Do you not trust in yourself or something?"

Priss sat down and crossed her legs stubbornly. She was not going to give Samanaimethea the amusement she desired. She would just sit here and...

"Sulk," Samanaimethea said in amusement. "All right Priscilla, if that is how you feel I will leave you alone and let you get back to your exciting life of wild pleasures. Say hello..."

Priss almost sighed with relief at Samanaimethea's words. The Corrupter was leaving and...

"...to Mayline for me..."

"What?!" Priss shot to her feet as a cold shudder went through her. "What does that mean?"

"If you do not want to explain it to me then you can explain it to Mayline," Samanaimethea replied briskly. "You and her need to work these things out and now. You have had your time to think and Mayline deserves an answer. Now, who is it to be - me or her?"

Priss swallowed. Why did everything always come down to threats with Samanaimethea?

"Well Priscilla?" Samanaimethea said quietly. "Who is it do be?"

"Why are you doing this to me Samanaimethea?" Priss begged. "Please... can't you just leave me alone?"

"Because you are hurting Mayline with your indecision and I cannot allow that to continue. I need her whole, the Family needs her whole and most of all you need her whole. It is time to stop being afraid Priscilla. Time to answer _your_ question. Linna has answered hers and now you must answer yours. Why do you want to be alone? What are you so afraid of sharing?"

The question hung there between them and Priss knew that Samanaimethea would only be satisfied with the complete truth but the problem was that she did not know the answer herself. What was she so afraid of? Why had she just left Mayline in the lurch? What was it that drove her to be alone?

"Samantha knew," Samanaimethea commented helpfully. "That was why she let Darshi place you in your own private little hell. You both want to be alone and also see it as your worst nightmare. Try and ask yourself why."

Afraid... What was she afraid of? Being alone? But she liked to be alone that was one of the reasons she had felt so uncomfortable with Mayline. Holding people at arms length meant that she was in control. It assured her that no one could climb into her heart and hurt her by their deaths. She remained an island only reliant on herself, never to be betrayed by those in whom she trusted. Being alone was what helped her to survive.

"Being alone is what helps you to survive," Samanaimethea repeated Priscilla's rambling thoughts. "It stops you being hurt or being betrayed - but by whom Priscilla, by whom?"

"I..." Priss tried to say.

"By whom Priscilla?" Samanaimethea pushed harshly. "Who hurt you? Who betrayed you? Come on Priscilla - think! Who BETRAYED you? Who HURT you?"

"I..."

"WHO?" Samanaimethea's command shook Priscilla to the core.

"SHE DID!" Priss suddenly screamed out. "SHE BETRAYED ME! SHE MADE ME KILL HIM! _SHE_ USED ME... She _used_ me..." Priss suddenly started to cry as a wave of buried emotions flooded over her as the memories she had suppressed for so long burst forth like raw festering wounds. "She... used me..."

"Sylia," Samanaimethea said quietly as she looked down at the sobbing human. She felt no pity or joy at having forced Priscilla to answer her question. It was simply something that had to be done. Samanaimethea needed Mayline and Mayline needed her Chosen. It was simply cause and effect.

- Is it really just that Sammy? - Linna's voice whispered in her mind.

- Should it be anything else? - Samanaimethea calmly replied to her mate. - Leviathan already begins to break the weaken Seal even as we try and limit His intrusions from the Shadowlands. I need Mayline whole Linna - we both do. The Family must be one if we have any hope of trying to save what we can. You know that as well as I. The time we both have left is limited. We must do what we must, we have no choice... -

- And so Priss becomes a Pawn to be moved... -

- No -

- Then what? -

- She becomes what she was meant to be in the first place, Mayline's Chosen -

- First place? - Linna's voice was soft with confusion. - What does that mean? -

Samanaimethea smiled to herself and remained silent.

- Samanaimethea? What do you mean? -

- Mayline is coming Linna my love. I had better go -

- What did you mean Sammy? Tell me -

Silence.

- Sammy? -

Nothing.

- ... - Linna exclaimed. Sometimes Samanaimethea was even more frustrating than Samantha! But then what else was new. Sammy was Sammy and Linna loved her. It was as simple as that, no matter the price that she knew they both had to pay and soon.

** End of Priss's Story.

Forgotten Tales III - A Darkling's Tale

This is the third in a new set of short series set in the 2090 BGC world.

Assume all usual legal disclaimers etc...

Cheers

Alex

E-mail - mailto:hitomi@ndirect.co.uk WWW home - http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Subway/7630/


This story is part of the "Forgotten Tales" series set in the dark world of 2090 BGC.

The name Bubblegum Crisis and characters there within are copyright of Artmic & Youmex.

* * * *

Location: London (alt) Time: 3492, July 21st, 03:38

Amilee screamed as the Power bolt from her attacker tore through her still flimsy shields and flew straight towards her. Experience that had been born from many previous Challenges caused her to instinctively Travel just as the blast from the girl who was her enemy ripped through the temporal location that she had just occupied.

Her opponent gave a muffled curse as the current reigning Consort Traveled beyond her reach. With little effort she shielded herself from the exploding city around her and turned her attention to trying to track down her prey. She knew that it would not be an easy task. Amilee had held the position of Consort for far longer than the girl cared to imagine. The blue haired Noble was a cunning and Powerful opponent and if she had gone to ground then digging her out would be troublesome. The girl's eyes narrowed and slowly she began to call upon her Power. A dark gaping wound appeared in the fire lit night as the girl summoned a Portal through which she could track her quarry. She still had great difficulty with the subtle uses of the Power that were required for Travelling and found that for her at least Portals were the only answer. Maybe once this was all over she could begin to take the time to learn of such things...

The Portal of whispering Darkness collapsed into itself causing yet more devastation on the burning city below. Fires, caused by the Noble's battle, swept uncontrolled through the shattered ruins of buildings and devastated parks. Here and there those humans who had survived the living nightmare tried in vain to find shelter from the flames. Most however fell victim to the demonic undead creatures that now stalked the ruined streets howling for release from their torment.

It was a similar scene throughout the cities of the world. An advanced civilization of billions had been crushed to a few scattered remains in the space of less than a day. Only Luna and the Martian colonies had escaped untouched when the hellish insanity had started on Terra and all they could do was watch from afar as forces beyond their imagining slowly slaughtered their home world.

It took a strength beyond what their leaders had believed themselves capable of but slowly the colonies began to evacuate survivors from the burnt out remains of their once great cities. The evacuation process took many months and many colonists were lost to the savage undead things that now impossibly roamed the remains of their once great home world. Unliving things that attacked, feasted and killed. However, with an effort that was almost legendary those who could be saved were saved and Mankind retreated to their barren colonies leaving their once beautiful home world in the tormented hands of the Unliving.

With a clarity of purpose that came of desperation the great leaders began to plan on how their race would now survive. Resources were identified, schedules made and work started. A feeling of unity unlike any the race had ever known before filled their people and for a brief time anything and everything looked possible. It was then at the height of their optimism that the Death Sickness struck.

It started in one remote sector on a small depot base on Luna. A female worker suddenly collapsed and within moments died. The medical officer on duty tried in vain to identify the cause of the fatality but he could find nothing. The woman was placed into cold storage for transport back to her family on Mars. Life went on, and a week later a series of gruesome murders were reported. The victims had been savaged beyond recognition by something unknown, something not human. The security officer attached to the small base investigated and stumbled unknowingly onto the nightmarish truth - the woman who had died had not stayed dead. And neither did those she had killed.

The Death Sickness began to spread like wildfire and within just two months of the first case breaking out complete civil chaos reigned on Luna. Bands of survivors fought against the creatures and each other in a desperate effort to escape the infected moon and flee to Mars.

The Martian authorities did what they could to stop the refugees leaving but what action they took was too little and far too late. The bright dream had just come to an unholy demise.

Within six months only the silence reigned supreme.

The silence and the Sickness were only a beginning. What was to come would be far far worse and it would infect _everything_.

The Great War had just begun.

* * * *

Location: Althan City, Miya (alt) Time: 2124, SnakeRise, 4 bells

Sam kissed Miza in a fond farewell and waving goodbye she threw her bag in the back of her Jeep and drove brusquely off. She had finally decided. She was going to go ahead with it and damn Samantha's opinion! It was her choice and she was going to do it! She _loved_ Amilee! Loved her enough to try a Bond stronger than that of just Consort. It might have taken her a long time to admit it to herself but now that she had she was going to act on it! Amilee and her had been together for so long that Sam could not imagine life without Amilee's comforting presence being there. And so, despite what Samantha said about the ancient blue haired Immortal Sam was NOT going to let Amilee down - not this time.

- Really Sammy? - Samantha's amused voice whispered through her mind.

- Humph! - Sam did not even bother replying. She knew that Samantha was just trying to bait her. The Corrupter always hated it when Sam would not go along with one of Samantha's "opinions". Indeed, sometimes she wondered if Samantha had ever liked her at all. The Corrupter _never_ had a kind thing to say to her. Oh yes, there were always orders, demands, threats and complaints but that seemed to be all Sam ever heard. Samantha never let her do...

- Now, now, Sammy - the Corrupter interrupted with a giggle. - That's no way to talk about your beloved sister -

- ... - Sam grumbled as she changed gear and put her foot down hard on the accelerator.

- Temper, temper... - Samantha muttered still amused.

- Leave me alone! - Sam exclaimed as she stopped at the corner looking for any oncoming traffic. She had to meet Amilee and she would be damned if she was going to let her "sister" stop her now!

- Of course my _dearest_ Sammy - Samantha replied. - Whatever you want... -

Sam put the petal to the metal and did not comment any further. She had far more important things on her mind

* * * *

Location: Tokyo (alt) Time: 2109, December 25th, 12:38

A moment later, Amilee reappeared on top of a wind swept skyscraper breathing heavily and holding her bloodied side to stop the wound opening up yet again. Damn it! How did the girl get so strong?!

Amilee swallowed hard and then summoned her Power. Gasping slightly with the pain that it caused her she spread a barrier around the Borders of this world. A barrier that she prayed would keep her presence masked from her enemy.

"Fuck..." she swore softly as she brushed her matted blue-grey hair away from her white face. Her red eyes glowed briefly for a second as she healed the damage that her Challenger had done to her body. It was pretty bad and took far more out of her than she had hoped. By the time she had finished her hand was shaking but the damage that her enemy's Power had wrought against her essence was healed - that at least was something. Amilee gave a great sigh of relief and fell back against the top of the building as the strength flowed from her body.

"Oh Sammy..." she whispered regretfully into the darkness. The two of them had been together for so long, ever since the day the little redhead had first forced Amilee to see the truth of her own existence. And now... now it seemed that it would all soon be tragically over. She could not believe that this was happening. The girl who was Challenging her could not be this strong - not in so short a time. It just could _not_ be!

She cursed softly and remembered the first time that she had ever met the girl who was now trying to kill her. It seemed as if it were only yesterday when the blue eyed child had broken down in Amilee's arms and had then sobbed her broken hearted eyes out. Amilee still remembered holding the youngest addition to her Beloved's Family as she had listened to the child's broken voice blurt out the girl's lost confusion and NEED for _Amilee's_ Chosen.

She could remember slowly explaining to the child just who Sam was and the whimsical nature that the little redhead had. At first the child had not believed her, would not believe her, but as time had passed and the redhead had not appeared then the girl had had no choice but to accept what Amilee had told her - just as Amilee had hoped.

In the time that followed the two of them had become as close as real sisters. Amilee had taught the girl everything she needed to know about the Power in order to survive and had even used her own position as Consort to protect the child from other less "friendly" members of Samantha's merry little band. At odd times, Amilee had even sensed the watching presence of her Chosen - both the cold brooding presence of the Corrupter and the bright warm presence of the one who Amilee really loved. At those times, Amilee had sensed that _her_ "little one" seemed to be always just on the verge of trying to say something, something that made the Immortal redhead almost nervous.

Amilee could almost guess what her Beloved was trying to get around to asking and she knew the great pain that it must be causing Sammy to open up like that. And so, Amilee had not pressed the issue, no matter how badly she had wanted to. She knew Sammy was just not ready for that kind of pressure. She knew how much Kay's betrayal had hurt her lover just as she knew how much of the damage that _HE_ had caused to the redhead still bubbled just beneath the surface of her Chosen's mind. For Sammy to have come as far as she had was a testament to both the redhead's strength and Amilee's loving patience. And so, she had waited, letting the redhead get the courage up to ask _the_ question.

In the end, the time had finally come when the girl she had been protecting had been ready to leave the nest. This was not the first time that Amilee had helped such a child Claimed and then forgotten by Sam but Amilee had been very glad that she had known this girl. The blue eyed child was sweet and innocent in a way that was rare in those who had been with the Family for a long time and Amilee prayed that the girl would be able to hold onto that innocence even with the pressures that came with the Darkness. It was also rare for Amilee to _really_ care for one of those who became a "sister" but this girl would be one of those few. When the two had finally parted, it had been as _close_ companions rather than enemies.

And now that same child was trying to kill her just because Amilee had what that child NEEDED.

* * * *

Location: Althan City, Miya (alt) Time: 2124, SnakeRise, 8 bells

Sam stopped her Jeep and turned off the engine. She looked down at her watch and swore. She was running far later than she had originally thought. The traffic on the roads today had been unusually hellish. However, luckily she still had a few bells to go before she had arranged to met Amilee and so hopefully she would be able to get all the shopping she had come here to do done before _that_ time came.

She turned off the CD she had been listening to and slowly got out. It was a bit of a narrow squeeze due to the car she had had to park up against but finally slamming the door shut she set the alarm and headed into the shopping complex. She had come here to pick up a very special gift for Amilee. A gift that had been made by a mortal, a simple gift, something that she hoped would symbolise the step that she was just about to take.

- You're so silly aka-chan - Samantha commented as Sam walked into the air-conditioned entrance.

- If you don't want to be part of this then fine - Sam huffed back. - But will you at least go and annoy someone else for a change. I've had... -

- Annoying am I Sammy? - Samantha queried with a sarcastic laugh. - That's a new one. I've never been called annoying before... -

- Oh please forgive me vai Dom De'Naime... - Sam drawled mockingly as she headed for the escalator. Samantha was really beginning to get on her nerves now. She had had more than enough problems coming to this point herself without Samantha chipping in as well.

"Well, well, well - hello there cutesy," a man from a group of youngish looking humans standing around at the top of the escalator called out as she got off. Sam frowned at the jeering tone behind the comment and gave the man a hard stare. By the looks of them they appeared to be from one of the local street gangs. Generally harmless punks but sometimes having a tendency for rash explosions of violence and not exactly the kind of company Sam really wanted to keep today.

- Ah... Lunch... - Samantha perked up much to Sam's additional annoyance. - Shall we have some fun with this world Sammy? -

- ... - Sam swore softly as she could feel Samantha's rising glee at the approaching situation. Why now? She had to think quickly before Samantha decided to take matters into her own hands. And it was then that a most amusing little thought came to her mind, something that gave _her_ some amusement for a change.

"The prey must doom themselves," she suddenly announced in a clear voice to the young man who had so rudely addressed her. "Don't be prey little one."

The young man frowned as something about the _beautiful_ young girl's cold expression told him that he would be better off playing with someone else. He shuddered slightly as the girl's lips seemed to curl mockingly and a sick hunger flashed in her darkening green eyes. He jerked back and much to his shock found that he was sweating.

"I... I'm sorry!" he suddenly exclaimed and much to the astonishment of his fellow peers bolted off at great speed. The others shot Sam a confused look and then hurried off after him.

- Sammy... - Samantha said in a disappointed tone. - Why did you just do that? -

- Because I wanted to annoy you for a change - Sam sniggered back as she moved off to pick up her present for Amilee leaving Samantha to mutter darkly to herself. Sam giggled, it was not often she got amusement out of Samantha but it did happen - sometimes.

* * * *

Location: Tokyo (alt) Time: 2109, December 25th, 14:48

- Sam... - Amilee tried to call her Beloved but she was still too weak to reach out beyond this Realm and touch that distance warm presence. There seemed to be some form of barrier that was stopping her from contacting her little one. A barrier that was cold, alien and yet oddly familiar. Amilee tried several times to force her way through it but she had no success - it was just far too strong, even for her.

- Sammy! - Amilee yelled out putting all the intense feelings that she had for her Chosen into a single blast and prayed that somehow her lover would pick up something... anything...

- ... - a faint inane giggling seemed to reply to her desperate call.

Amilee's eyes widened in shock and a feeling of sick horror rolled through her as it slowly dawned on her what that giggle meant. She know understood where her sister/opponent had gotten her incredible strength from and most of all why her beloved Sammy could not hear her desperate cries.

- Samantha... - Amilee whispered in horror as she realized that it was her intense love for _her_ Sammy that had been what had signed her death warrant. Her redhead loved her too much and for the first time Samantha saw Amilee as a threat. Not so much a threat to Samantha herself but a threat to the Corrupter's manipulation of her other "saner" half.

Amilee shuddered as she cursed herself for a fool and a dead fool at that. She had long known that Samantha _loathed_ that part of herself which Amilee loved so much but she would _never_ have imagined that the Corrupter would deliberately take an action that would cause Sammy to collapse into her inner madness yet again. Not even Samantha would...

- I 'annoy' her - Samantha suddenly giggled into Amilee's mind before totally cutting off all contact and leaving her Consort completely alone.

Amilee felt the tears begin to flow down her face as she wept not so much for herself but for what would happen to the fragile sanity that Sammy had managed to rebuild in her life once Amilee was gone.

"Oh Sammy..." she whispered in sorrow as she now knew that she would never again see her Beloved or be able to feel those silky caresses...

"Sammy..."

Never again to hear that soft musical voice call out her name in the heat of passion...

"Sammy..."

"Sammy..."

Amilee also cried for the one who Samantha was Playing for the ultimate fool, the child that she had originally helped so long ago, the child who was now going to kill her.

Amilee felt the barriers that she had erected around this Realm flutter as the child's Power touched upon them. She swallowed and shakily got to her feet. She raised her hand and with an abrupt movement dried her eyes. She knew that she was probably going to die and that in a straight fight her chances would be slim in the extreme. However, she WOULD NOT just roll over and die! For Sammy's sake, for her sake, she had to survive! She had to win!

A shimmering started only a few meters away from her and Amilee summoned what little remained of her Power as a fiercely determined expression settled on her face. Her red eyes slowly turned black and her blue-gray hair crackled with a black glittering energy.

"Sammy..." Amilee whispered her Beloved's name one last time. "I'm so sorry... I will miss you - my most Beloved. Oh, how I will miss you... And... you were right - I was alone before you came. Thank you... I..." Her words were suddenly cut off as a blast of Power engulfed her body.

The orgy of destruction started once more as both opponents pushed themselves to the ultimate of their respective Powers. Both _had_ to win! There was simply no other possible choice....

* * * *

Location: Althan City, Miya (alt) Time: 2124, SnakeRise, 14 bells

Sam frowned for a moment and wondered just where the hell Amilee had gotten too. Her Beloved had said that she would meet Sam here and Amilee was never, ever late. Sam pursed her lips and with a faint sigh she finished off her orange juice.

Today was the day. After so long, today was when she would finally ask the question she knew Amilee had been waiting so long to hear. So why then had Amilee not shown up? Why? Why did her precious one have to be late today of all days?

Sam sighed again and then gave a faint smile. "Good old Murphy," she said as she held up her hand for yet another orange juice. Just at that very moment she suddenly shivered as if someone had just walked over her grave - if such a thing were possible. She rubbed her bare arms and shrugged. It was slightly cooler on this world anyway. May be that was...

A sudden _rush_ flowed through her body as the familiar sense of her beloved Consort entered the small caf?

"You're late Amilee you naughty naughty little gir..." Sam started to chide her Consort with a smile as she turned to look up at her dearest.

"Sam..." the young girl standing only a few meters away said in an anxious voice as she hesitantly reached out to _her_ Chosen. "I... love..."

Sam froze for a second as her mind took in the impossible sight in front of her eyes. The impossible feeling that came only from her Consort...

- 'Annoying' was it Sammy? - Samantha giggled snidely. - Was that the word you used? -

"Sam?" Kelly took a concerned step forward as the little redhead suddenly grabbed her head in her arms and moaned out as if in great pain. "What..."

The small world orbiting the insignificant yellow star flashed briefly as the Power consumed it and the main sequence star it was orbiting. The aftermath of the destructive release ripped through the time continuum and started a chain reaction that consumed the rest of that young galaxy in Darkness.

- Have I 'annoyed' you enough yet my _dear_ Sammy or shall we Play some other Game like... -

* * * *

**End of A Darkling's Tale.

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