A new dawn...
UNIT INITIAL WAKE-UP PROGRAM...BEGIN
UNIT TYPE...FOUNDATION TYPE 86F, STEALTH COMBAT VARIANT (SPECIAL), UNIT 7
FUEL PUMP PROGRAM...ACTIVE
MEMORY CELL DIAGNOSTIC...COMPLETE
COMBAT SYSTEMS PROGRAM...ENGAGE
COMSYS PROGRAM DIAGNOSTIC...COMPLETE
BIO-FIELD DEFENCE SYSTEM...OK
SYSTEMS ANALYSIS LINK ARCHITECTURE...OK
COMSYS POWER CELL LEVEL...100%
TIME TO AWAKEN...05...04...03...02...01...00
Glittering blue eyes open as Nova takes her first ever breath within a simulated humanoid body. So different from her NVA body, but at this time as comfortable, as familiar, as her birth form. Her left eye, hidden under a lock of crimson-tinged golden hair, flashes as diagnostic readouts pour into her CPU from various points in her internal sensor net. Warm clothes seemed to cover her from neck to toe. How different than the many times she had awoke on a diagnostic table in the Daikoku android laboratory in Neo-Tokyo, when she had always spent her sleep mode periods in the buff. Nova gently exhales, then takes another deep breath as her internal oxygen intake ports, a sim's equivalent of lungs, draws in life-sustaining molecules, filtered with each breath of air into her cardiovascular system, creating the combustion medium to keep her plasma "blood" hot, continuously producing energy for her internal systems.
As her movement servos check out, she sits up, allowing the cotton blanket to fall away from her. Glancing at her arms, she smiles on seeing the plain pyjamas her body had been sheathed in when her soul had been finally downloaded into her new form. Janna hadn't minded it when she first awoke in the form-fitting bodysuit most female Foundation sims preferred when they worked at the organization's Fort Erie headquarters, but pyjamas projected a feeling of normality, of a life beyond the dark, clandestine world of the assassin gynoid she had once been for Daikoku. Yes, now she would serve as a shadow warrior for the Andrews Foundation, to be called on at times to radically alter events for the benefit of humankind in general and inducted sentients in particular, but she could now have a life beyond her work, a life very much under her own control.
Nova slides the blanket away from her, then swings her legs out onto a carpeted floor. Glancing around, her eyes widen surprisedly on seeing a sparsely decorated bedroom, quite large by Japanese standards though normal-sized in the West. A glance out a window reveals a well-sculpted suburb. No doubt, she was in her mother's home in Fort Erie, just off Thompson Road two kilometres due east of the Foundation's headquarters. Standing up, she walks to the window, drawing the drapes back to gaze on the scenery around the Lafeyson home. Children play on nearby front lawns with friends and beloved pets. Some adults and older teens sun themselves on lawnchairs. Several people prune gardens, mow the lawn and do other unending chores to keep their properties in prime condition.
A normal life.
My life now, Nova shudders, feeling her eyes sting as tears stream down her cheeks. then she brushes her skin with her fingers as she fights down the storm of emotions churning in the depths of her soul.
What had she done to deserve to experience these wonderful events?
I died...and came back, reborn like the phoenix from the ashes of my old life in Japan, with Daikoku, she adds, then turns away from the window as she sits on her bed, her memory swinging back to the dark world she had been born in. All bad memories now, she bites her lip, memories that would continue to haunt her as she strove to understand what it actually meant to be Nova Lafeyson, not just Daikoku android NVA-7.
"Hey, you're awake!"
Nova jolts, then her eyes snap up as a welcome sight steps into her bedroom, a bag of groceries in hand. "Janna!!"
Janna sets the bag down as she opens her arms, allowing Nova to fly into her embrace. "Hey, babe!" she gazes into her true love's eyes, then leans in to warmly caress Nova's lips with her own.
Nova moans, the softness of Janna's lips overwhelming her as she senses synthogen (synthetic oestrogen) bombard her bio-synthetic CPU, triggering various sexual responses within her body. The warm, plush yet unyielding strength of Janna's body (save for some internal programming differences, plus a diverging choice of on-board weapons systems, the two Type 86F combat sims were alike when it came to internal architecture) was both a comforting reassurance that what had happened to Nova since the day she "died" in Hyogen Mugoi's mansion was real...and a harsh reminder of what her interaction with the person born Jason Matting twenty-three years ago had extracted from his life and soul.
They slowly part, gazing into the other's eyes as they drink in the other's features. Janna is amazed that the Foundations cyberdoctors got all of Nova's physical features right on. A beautifully sculptured face, designed as if drawn with the finest calligraphy brush. Softly glowing blue eyes, glittering with an attractive light which seemed both inhuman yet natural for her. Golden-pink skin with flecks of brown around warm, inviting lips and a delicate nose. Straight, crimson-tinged, blonde hair that went all the way to her knees. Remembering the amount of hair Nova had, Janna sighs. Did Nova braid her hair when she was in the field?
Staring at her reborn lover, a man now forced to spend the rest of his life as a female sim, a gynoid that was not really different than an NVA android, Nova fights down the urge to scream out, then weep at her beloved's suffering. It would just be insulting to Janna, who had CHOSE to accept conversion into a female sim rather than await the time when successful male organic-sim conversions were possible. It didn't really matter at the end when she sat back and thought about it. Nova would love Janna no matter what happened to her, for all Eternity.
But the changes!
A pyxie-cute face, "kawaii as a million kittens" as some back in Japan would describe it, tipped with a button nose over plump lips that begged for warm, long, wet kisses. Above that were a pair of wide, expressive eyes the shade of freshly-cut grass. Her face was framed by shaggy black hair cut to a taper at mid-neck. Going down, Nova stares at a body that was slender, streamlined, the mark of an atypical tomboy, with C-cup breasts that actually jiggled when they moved. Nova never expected to encounter any sort of android whose breasts jiggled.
Nova blinks, then a very inviting smile crosses her face. Janna is quick to notice, then leans close as she takes in the lovely cherry scent which seemed right. "You're a brand-new unit, aren't you?" Janna hums.
"Just activated today?"
"Well, then," Janna assumes a mock-serious tone. "I'm afraid, ma'am, that before you're going to be allowed into outside society, you'll have to be PROPERLY inspected for ANY flaws...just to make sure there're no imperfections. We do like to put out a class product."
"I see, then," Nova hums. "Are you my quality control inspector?"
"Yes, I just happen to be that."
A wary look crosses the blonde's face. "You're not one of those perverted types who likes to abuse an innocent android like me, are you?"
"Oh, no, my dear," the brunette sighs. "To do that would be such an insult to a work of art like you. Just relax, dear. I'm gonna make this the best experience you've EVER experienced."
"I'm waiting," Nova purrs as they kiss again...
**** **** ****
Based on the Nova series, written by Kishin
**** **** ****
WRITER'S NOTE: This story occurs right after Angel of Vengeance.
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They gently kiss as Janna's hand lowers to the top button of Nova's pyjamas. "Just relax, miss," the former gently coos. "I'll be very gentle with you. I'm just going to test your epidermal sensors."
With that, she leans down to plant kisses on Nova's exposed skin. The fiery-haired sim gasps as her internal neural nets overload with the warm, wet sensation of Janna's lips gently suckling and nibbling on her nape, collarbones and the flesh around her breasts. She barely senses the other sim's hand undoing the buttons of her top, then with a tender gentleness that seems more befitting for babies than combat sims, the flaps are parted wide to expose her breasts.
Janna then leans down to draw one nipple into her mouth, curling her lips inward so she could toy with that sensitive bud with the tip of her tongue. Nova cries out as she arches her head back, her hands reaching up to threat through Janna's shaggy-cut hair, her knees buckling as the various sensor nodules within her body seem to form a direct link from her nipple to her brain's pleasure centre. Before Nova could straighten herself, a strong arm scoops her off her feet at her knees, another arm holding her back up as she is carried over to her bed.
Placing her lover down on the soft mattress, Janna then pulls away from Nova's nipple, licking her lips. "Mmm...cherry milk. That's a new one on me," she purrs delightedly, winking at Nova.
Nova blinks, then her eyes widen. "Excuse me?!"
"Your breasts," Janna reaches down to gently squeeze the nipple.
Nova blinks, then gasps as something dribbles out of the bud, trailing down her skin and sending new jolts of pleasure right into her mind. "Wh-why...?" she stammers, her body softly convulsing like a gentle wave lapping up on the beach. "I don't..."
"Simple," Janna leans down to lap up the milk. "You're not just an android anymore, Nova. You're a sim. 'Simulated humanoid;' that's what it means. Yeah, internally, your present body's not so different now (but sure as hell more advanced) than your old one, but on the outside, there can't be ANY doubt in anyone's mind that you're human."
"You didn't...mind me before," Nova hums as Janna slides up to lay beside her, the latter's hands gently kneading her lover's breasts.
"Yeah, back then, I didn't mind you at all," Janna clicks her tongue, then leans over to gently draw her tongue over Nova's earlobe. "But think about it. In your old body, you were clean shaven below your neck and you had no navel. Now, a lot of people wouldn't notice that, but the smart ones WOULD notice...and since research has only begun on artificial fetal gestation, people'd look at you and wonder what exactly you were. Put simply, my dear, you'd attract attention."
Nova considers that, then hums, nodding. "You are right about that, Janna," she slips an arm around Janna's neck, then draws her in so they could enjoy a long, tender kiss. "Do you like it?"
"Hey, love, you accept me as I am now. It's only right that I accept you as you are now," Janna purrs, her arms sliding down.
Nova's eyes close, a storm of fresh synthetic oestrogen bombarding her mind as Janna's hand tugs at her pyjama bottoms, pulling them down from her waist. Janna's mouth trails kisses down the side of her lover's neck, then onto the curve of her shoulders. Her eyes then glance down. "Mmmm...now that looks very natural to me," she muses.
Nova blinks, then glances down to see a trim bush of red hair over her groin. A hand trails down to gently slide in the crevasse between her thigh and groin, then Nova cries out suddenly as Janna's hand teases her outer labia before a finger began to penetrate her nether regions. "J-j-janna..." the fiery-haired sim gasps as her brunette lover begins a gentle in-and-out stroking with that tiny intruder.
"Mmm...a lot of your sexual responses seem normal," Janna purrs delightedly, then she pulls herself away from Nova, her hands drawing down the latter's bottoms to free her legs. "Now, let's see what happens when we increase the sensory input, shall we?"
Nova shudders, her mind unable to overcome the bombardment of synthogen enough to clearly take notice of what Janna was doing, then she screams out anew as the brunette leans in to gently exhale on her dampening crotch. Oh, oh, oh God, that felt so GOOD...!
Janna leans in further, gently drawing the bulb of Nova's clitoris into her lips, then as she did with the latter's nipple, begins to play with it using her tongue. Nova's moans melt into an incoherent shriek of orgasmic pleasure as Janna began drawing in the air from her mouth, using a vacuum effect to push her lover's arousal to new heights. Nova shudders as her body locks up before an explosion of ecstacy overloads her mind, her dampening vagina and labia soaking Janna's face.
Janna sighs as Nova's body looses its rigidity, she slumping into a semi-conscious daze on the bed. The brunette sighs as she gently licks up her fiery-haired lover's honey, cleaning her thoroughly. Nova's mind flutters back to full consciousness as Janna finishes, then slides up to lay beside her. "Did you enjoy that?" the brunette wonders.
"That was...wonderful..." Nova smiles angelically, then slipping her top off and setting it aside, move to straddle Janna. "Did I pass?"
"That you did," Janna draws her arms around Nova's neck, allowing her to descend down for another warm kiss. "That, my love, you did."
"Hmm...what is it?"
"Why am I naked and you're not?"
Janna blinks, then a sly smile crosses her face before it suddenly blanks out, her body going totally limp as her arms flop down to the mattress, her head rolling over to one side. The suddenness of the act, causes Nova to cry out in shock, then she freezes, her hand reaching out to touch the brunette's face. "Janna...?" she whispers concernedly, then she blinks, the image of her lover's sly grin passing once more through her mind. Oh, I get it now... she nods before humming.
"Why, I DO declare," she affects a faux Southern belle accent. "My quality control inspector is a sim herself! Hmmm..." she exhales with pronounced exaggeration. "Well, then, that means I have to give her a very, VERY thorough examination, do I not?"
Inside her stilled body, Janna shivers with anticipation...
Hours later, two nude women lay under covers in the bedroom, Nova nestled comfortably in the crook of Janna's left arm. Nova's arm is draped over Janna's body under her breasts. Their heads are tilted toward the other, eyes closed as they enjoy their first blissful sleep together since they parted two lifetimes ago back in Los Angeles.
The door to their room opens, revealing a stunning, tall woman with long, straight raven-shaded hair and eyes of maple fudge, now dressed in a button shirt and slacks. Stopping on noticing that her daughter and future daughter-in-law were asleep, Audrey Lafeyson allows herself the chance to gaze on that tranquil scene. A burst of envy surges through the older sim's heart on seeing Janna's and Nova's content smiles. They looked so perfect together. Audrey blinks as she senses tears mist her eyes, then she reaches up to wipe her eyes clean. Oh, Aaron, if you were only alive to see this, she gently breathes out.
Audrey blinks, then her cheeks redden on seeing Nova lift her head away from Janna's shoulder, gazing concernedly at the raven-haired sim. "It's alright, dear," Audrey walks over to kneel beside her daughter's bed. "Don't mind me at all. I'm just so happy for you both."
"I guess that means we've got your blessings," Janna hums as her eyes open, she looking over at her future mother-in-law.
"You'll always have that, Janna," Audrey shifts herself to sit on the bed, then leans over as Janna sits up to kiss her cheek.
Nova repeats Janna's action with the other cheek, then the couple lays back on the bed. "What's the situation with the others?" the latter wonders, gently stretching herself to work the kinks from her joints.
"We're assembling the replacement bodies for Rhea and Danu right now, as well as the new body for Kei's and Ami's grandmother," Audrey reports. "Maria's keeping an eye on the girls while they're waiting for Rhea and Danu to come through the conversion. It'll be nice and quick now that we had the chance to practice with you and Meda, Nova."
"Who're Rhea and Danu?" Nova wonders.
"En-Vee-Ays Four and Ten," Janna provides. "Rhea's the former, Danu's the latter. They're Kei's and Ami's lovers, believe it or not."
Surprise crosses the fiery-haired sim's face. "Won't Daikoku notice they're missing, much less these other ones...who're Kei and Ami?!"
"Well, according to what we've monitored from Japan, as far as they're concerned, the whole Mugoi family...that's Kei, Ami and their grandmother Azumi, not to mention Hyogen's kid brother Hitoku; he's Kei's and Ami's father, by the way...are dead, not to mention NVA-4, NVA-10, Carla Tanner and the whole security force at la casa Mugoi." Janna then winks conspiratorially. "But hey, WE know different about Azumi, Kei, Ami, Rhea, Danu and Carla, don't we?"
"I suggest you explain everything to Nova," Audrey sighs, rising. "I'm going to look in on Meda right now."
"What do we do when Meda meets Rhea, Audrey?" Janna wonders. "Rhea's got a big chip on her shoulder when it comes to Meda."
Nova blinks, then sighs. "Understandable," she shifts herself to lay back on the bed. "When Meda escaped from the lab in Neo-Tokyo the first time, we were all disassembled by the technicians there to find out what happened and why. It wasn't...a pleasant experience for any of us even though (at the time), I was the only fully sentient unit active."
"Jeez..." Janna pales, wondering what Nova's experience exactly was like back then. "How could they do that to you...?" she pauses, catching herself, then she shakes her head. "Right. You were just a fuckin' toy to those pukes over there. Fuck, someone get me a nice fuel air bomb and I'll go clean the place out myself!" she snarls.
"I doubt that'll be necessary from now on, dear," Audrey icily smiles. "With Aaron and Carla both gone, there's no one in Japan who's even half-competent enough to play around with the others and not make mistakes along the way. Too bad for them."
"And ultimately, we're all safe in the long term thanks to the neural-retrieval system the Foundation uses to rescue androids who might die alone...like they did for us and Meda," Nova adds.
"True," Janna nods. "Still..."
"Your concern is more than appreciated, Janna," Audrey chuckles, then crosses her arms. "Besides, Meda's vaulting into full sentience didn't come about because of an accident like Nova. It was intentional."
"'Intentional?!'" Janna and Nova exclaim.
"Yes...and that was Aaron's biggest mistake by far," Audrey shakes her head, then sighs. "Well, I'll leave you two be. I'm going to go look in on Meda now. Excuse me, please."
The older sim departs. Janna and Nova watch her go, then exchange surprised looks. "Did you know this?" the former demands.
"No...and I doubt Meda'd know, either...oh, poor Meda!" the latter sighs, leaning over to allow Janna to embrace her...
Ten minutes later, Audrey walks into one of the second-floor private gymnasiums at the Foundation's Gilmore Road headquarters. These were most often used by combat sims to practice their martial arts and edged weapons techniques, usually with a Type 76 Class E droid which could be programmed to innovate his/her attacks, thus forcing more mentally superior opponents to not fall into basic fighting routines.
Those situations were a quick way to get killed out in the field.
Audrey stops on seeing the tall blonde with green eyes duke it out with one of the sparring droids. Andromeda, who was well-programmed to deal with many types of foes during her brief life as an NVA, was clearly holding the upper hand. The slight curl of her lips indicated that she was enjoying herself. That bode both good and ill for the blonde sim.
As to which way it would turn out, only time could tell.
Andromeda crouches herself, then springs, leaping over her opponent as she pivots into a vicious side kick that slams into the droid's head with the force of a jackhammer. The droid's skull is crushed, his CPU pulped as he collapses to the gym flood. Steam and hot plasma "blood" escapes from his wounds as his body looses all its strength. Andromeda remains ready, then confirming that the droid was down, relaxes, drawing herself erect before bowing respectfully to her fallen opponent.
She then jerks on hearing clapping, turning before a delighted grin crosses her face. "Mother!"
Andromeda jogs over to embrace Audrey, both exchanging kisses on the cheek. "Nicely done, Meda!" the latter hums, glancing at the fallen droid. "You're lucky that the technicians don't mind putting them back together every time someone tears them apart in the gym or else someone'd be very angry at you right now. How do you feel?"
"Well, outside needing a quick recharge to get my combat systems up to par, quite refreshed, thank you," Andromeda sighs, then her face seems to collapse. "How're Nova and Janna?"
"Right now, they're having a very good time together. Don't worry about it now, dear; you'll get your chance to make up with Janna soon enough," Audrey pats her daughter's shoulder. "But right now, we've got some other new arrivals to worry about. Come with me, please."
"Alright," Andromeda nods, walking over to a wall panel to pass on a message to the building's droid maintenance team to have someone come down and take care of the fallen Type 76, then she follows Audrey out of the gym, then up a set of stairs to the doctor's personal office.
Audrey's office is quite warm and lived in. Glancing around, Andromeda is surprised to see a familiar tapestry hanging from one wall. "This was in Father's office! How'd you get it, Mother?!"
"Carla had it sent to me after you killed Masayuki Shibuya, then skipped town," Audrey waves Andromeda to the visitor's chair across from her own seat, then sits down herself. "I doubt, given the lack of 'unit integrity' (as Geegee Carter would say it) in Daikoku, no one'd miss it very much. Besides, I was the one who found it for Aaron when we were still married, so I should have it back now that he's gone, ne?"
"True," Andromeda stares warmly at the image of the phoenix on the silk cloth, soothed by the image and its meaning. She, Nova, Janna, all those who had been saved by the Foundation over the years...all of them were like the phoenix on the Lafeysons' tapestry. Their souls reborn, purified, from the ashes of their old lives, ready to start anew, get it right this time. "What is it you wanted to speak to me about, Mother?"
Audrey sighs. "I've some...well, bad news concerning how you came to be with us, Meda," she closes her eyes, then willing herself to relax, stares at her daughter. "You're probably wondering how is it you came to be fully sentient in the first place. After making a very detailed analysis of your memories, not to mention a thorough review of all our recording logs for those sensor units programmed to keep track of all Daikoku units, it appears...that it was Aaron who made you sentient on purpose. It wasn't an accident in construction as was Nova's case."
Andromeda blinks. "Why?" she demands, stunned.
"No doubt to better understand how Nova came to accept her sentience as her conscience grew," Audrey breathes out. "Nova's sentience came about because one of the technicians accidentally fused two separate neural paths in her CPU together during the construction phase, BEFORE she was programmed and her soul was gestated. This allowed her to tailor her programming to better fit hardware capabilities. Atop that, since Aaron did take a personal liking to her, cared for her very much, she had...something of a positive learning environment to grow and develop.
"In your case, the reverse happened. You were programmed first, then sentience was thrust onto you without you being given the chance to gain some experience in the field, much less have a chance to be cared for by Aaron," Audrey continues. "I don't doubt that if it had been done more cautiously, you would've turned out much better. Now, it's not your fault, Meda," she raises an hand to cut off whatever Andromeda wanted to say, then continues, "So when you 'woke up,' so to speak, then analyzed the overall situation you found yourself in, you saw all the inequities of working in Daikoku, then decided to find a better situation. And, as you now know, your situation didn't really improve in any serious way."
"Not really," Andromeda admits, then sighs. "Oh, Father, how could you've been so foolish?" she hisses aloud.
"I know, dear, I know," Audrey nods, then sighs. "Well, it won't matter too much in the long term, Meda. Try not to let it hang too much on your heart; it'll just hurt you in the long term..." The intercom phone on her desk buzzes. "Audrey," the doctor presses controls.
"It's Lorrie, Audrey. Can you have Janna, Nova and Andromeda come to my office in half-an-hour, please? I have a job for them."
Audrey blinks. "Lorrie, Nova and Meda just woke up in their new bodies today. I don't want to send them out on field jobs now..."
"You weren't so reticent when it came to Janna, Audrey."
The doctor winces, then sighs. "Yes, true. Alright, I'll have them over to see you right away, Lorrie." She clicks off the intercom button, then stares at Andromeda. "I wonder what that's all about."
"I'm ready, Mother," the blonde nods determinedly.
"No one's ever truly ready, Meda," her mother cautions...
Twenty minutes later, Janna and Nova, both now in matching black biker jumpsuits with waist-length leather jackets, walk into Audrey's office. Andromeda had taken the time to shower and change into something similar. Staring at the brunette sim, a surge of guilt warps through Andromeda, then she moves to straighten herself. "Janna, I..."
She blinks surprisedly as Janna leans up to gently kiss her, drawing her arms around Andromeda. The warmth of that contact chases away the surge of uncertainty inside the blonde sim's heart, then she hesitantly returns Janna's embrace. They slowly part, gazing into the other's eyes, then Janna grins. "It's okay, Meda."
Andromeda blinks, then smiles. "Thank you, Janna."
"Anytime. C'mon, let's go see Lorrie and see what she wants."
With that, the three walk hand-in-hand down to the office owned by the Foundation's director of operations. Lorrie Melanko, a Type X-64 sim who had been initially woken at the same time as Maria Kennisson, is a woman Janna's height, with slightly wavy brown-black hair and hazel eyes. She is currently seated behind her desk, several folders and datadisks scattered before her. Seeing the folders with their reams and reams of notes, Nova and Andromeda exchange a very surprised look. In Daikoku, everything involving "sensitive" projects had to have their records kept in computers; there was no hard-print copies ever made. This way, the security bosses in Daikoku believed, would ensure that anything that could be used to bring the conglomerate down couldn't get lost, much less fall into the hands of one of Daikoku's many enemies.
"Hello, everyone, come in, come in!" Lorrie waves them to chairs before her desk, then rises, walking over to prepare herself a cup of coffee. "Would anyone want something to drink?"
"Tea would be fine, please," Nova responds.
"Myself as well, Aunt Lorrie," Andromeda adds.
"Coffee'll be okay for me," Janna rises to help.
"Oh, no, no, sit down, relax!" Lorrie waves the brunette combat sim back to her chair, then prepares the drinks. "I'm glad we finally got you three onto your feet as quickly as possible. As Audrey no doubt told you, I have a job that needs to be done rather quickly."
"What sort of job?" Nova asks.
"Corporate espionage, which is right up yours and Meda's alley, Nova," Lorrie clicks her tongue. "Atop that, its against Daikoku here in North America, which should make it very enjoyable for you all."
"In what manner?" Janna wonders, then nods thanks as Lorrie passes out the drinks before taking her seat.
Lorrie sighs, then tapping control on her desktop computer, swings the screen around to show her guests. "Do you recognize this man, Nova?"
Nova looks, then cries out in shock, her hands nearly letting go of her tea cup. Before them was the image of a well-groomed man with black hair and dark brown eyes, dressed in a very fine business suit. He is depicted having stepped out of a limousine, in front of a restaurant that Janna realizes is located in Los Angeles' Chinatown district. "Lee..."
"Exactly," Lorrie nods. "For you two," her eyes glance at Janna and Andromeda, "...this man is the first person Nova killed while she was serving Daikoku. Lee Yuan. He was, at the time of his death, a minor player in the Red Dragon Society, one of the many Triads who have been making their way into North America over the last decade or so. However, before he was killed, he had been working hard to solidify alliances with three other Triad families plus one of the old Italian Mafia clans, thus allow them to take over economic control of southern California."
"I was the reason that eventually failed," Nova dryly announces.
"Exactly," Lorrie nods. "Daikoku wanted Los Angeles as an economic jumping-off point for their expansion into North America and the Triads and the Mafia threatened that. Lee was the linchpin, so to speak, that would've ensured Daikoku would only get a minor foothold into California, so his removal was paramount to Chairman Osato."
"You didn't want to do that, did you?" Janna stares at Nova.
"Not...really. He...actually, he seemed so nice deep down, but..." Nova shudders, then places the tea cup on the desk before firmly clasping her hands to control her shivering. How strange that she could so easily express emotions in this body, yet she had lesser control over herself than in her old body. Was this the price of being a sim?
"Hey, it's okay," Janna reaches over to squeeze her lover's shoulder, Andromeda doing the same from the other side.
"You had no choice back then, Nova," Andromeda adds.
"It's alright, Nova," Lorrie chuckles, then sits back in her chair. "As you might recall, Lee had a certain fetish, one Janna here might have understood well when she was still Jason Matting."
"He was an ASFR-type?" Janna hums.
"Yes...and as you might now be well, aware, the Foundation ALWAYS takes interest in those who express such sympathies," Lorries eyes twinkle knowingly as she taps a control on her desk. "Please join us," she then calls out as she turns to gaze on a side door.
The door opens, making everyone snap around. Stepping into the room is a very beautiful grey-eyed woman in her mid-twenties, the same height as Maria Kennisson. Her hair, the same shade as Audrey Lafeyson's, is long, tied off in a high ponytail by black bungee cord. She is now in a frilly white blouse, black leather tie and designer slacks, a vest drawn over her shoulders. Staring at Lorrie's guests, her eyes lock on Nova, then she grins. "Hey, Nova, how are you?"
Nova blinks, blinks again, then her jaw drops. "L-lee...?!"
"You bet!" the transformed Triad chief laughs, arms out.
Screaming for joy, Nova bolts up to fly into the other woman's embrace, then she starts to sob. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..."
"Hey, hey, hey, it's cool, it's cool!" the other sim soothes, then draws Nova back to wipe her cheeks clean. "You had no choice, Nova. Hell, when I became this and your mom told me the story, I understood you VERY well. There's nothing wrong with what you did, Nova."
"How can you SAY that?!" Nova demands.
"Nova!" the newcomer scolds her with a playful tap on the nose. "Chill, okay?! Look, the people who created you believe in the same things we Triads believe in. Loyalty to your superiors, do everything for the group, not the individual. I respect you a lot more because you were loyal to Daikoku even if that mean you had to rub me out. It's cool, Nova...and besides, you ain't loyal to Daikoku now, are you?"
"Of course not!" Nova hisses determinedly.
"Alright, then," the other woman nods, then faces Janna and Andromeda. "As you might guess, I used to be Lee Yuan of the Red Dragon Society. Well, since my death and resurrection as a sim (not to mention sex change), I had to change that. I go by Lan Rhee now."
"Korean?" Andromeda wonders.
"Korean-Japanese to be exact, descent of those who got shifted to the islands when the imperialists took over old Chosoun," Lan explains. "That makes me less a security risk in the eyes of Daikoku's security people...not to mention the jerkoid who tried to off me."
"Osato?!" Nova exclaims.
"No, not him...which is kinda too bad since knocking the old man off would be pretty nice in the end," Lan laughs, then sighs. "I'm talking about Kensuke Matsuno, the chief of Daikoku's operations in Los Angeles. Back when I was trying to get everyone together on what I had in mind, I was willing to cut Matsuno and Daikoku in for a share of the pie. But those fucks wanted the whole damned thing, lock, stock and barrel, so that's when Matsuno went to old man Osato to get me rubbed out."
"Since Lan came to us, she's been working behind the scenes to bring peace between the Red Dragons and the other groups, perhaps even expand the alliance to include other Mafia and Triad groups," Lorrie adds. "We have had to make it quiet of course, thus ensuring that Daikoku doesn't realize that their overall plans are now seriously threatened."
"That's changed now," Lan finishes. "Matsuno's getting strong hints from the street that the Triads aren't playing along with what Daikoku had in mind, so he's starting to snoop around. I want to cut him off at the throat before he digs too deeply, then rig it to make it look like an anti-Daikoku group from southeast Asia was responsible."
"And you want our help in this, right?" Andromeda hums.
"Exactly," Lan nods. "For you, Nova, this is payback for the pain you suffered on your first job," her eyes fall on the fiery-haired sim. "For you, Meda...hell, for you, too, Janna...this is a chance to really ream Daikoku a big new asshole for the shit they've caused you. So, you guys want in or no?" she crosses her arms, sensing what the answer was.
"What type of sim are you, anyway?" Andromeda asks.
"Same type as Janna here; in fact, I'm the prototype for her, you might say," Lan winks at Janna.
"Audrey's gotta know about this," Janna mutters, rubbing the bridge of her nose, then she shrugs. "Okay, I'm in. What about you two?"
Nova and Andromeda blink, exchange looks, then nod. "We're in."
To Be Continued...?