The Blizzard: Part II

Once again, Bubblegum Crisis, AD Police, and all the characters and the world
are property of Artmic.

Part II  Flurries

  As Inspector Hayubasa prepared to start her investigation, she decided the
place to start was to see if the boomers they had destroyed would give them any
clues.  She dreaded that though , because the best person to talk to about that
would be Nene Romanova, one of the computer operators at AD Police.  Her ability
to coax just about any piece of data out of the systems computers was getting to
be a minor legend around the office.  However, she just wasn’t sure if she was
ready to deal with Nene.  Now, Nene was the sort of bright, cheery girl that
most people loved, and under ordinary circumstances, Akane was no exception.
This morning though, as tired and as sore as she was, she just wasn’t up to
dealing with it.  That is why she was so shocked when the turned the corner into
the Computer Operator’s room and found Nene there, looking as bloodshot and
haggard as the worst of her troopers.  She supposed that Nene had been working
hard, as she also worked in the communications room during boomer incidents, but
that would not explain why she looked like she herself had been in combat for
three weeks.  Finally though she went over to Nene and explained what she

   She then returned to her office, and began to make some phonecalls.  If she
was going to have to get to the bottom of a rash of boomer crimes, she knew that
somehow she was going to have to get ahold of Genom.  Genom was the one common
denominator in all of this.  They were the one thing all the incidents had in
common.  The boomers involved were of all different types,  Some were designed
for heavy construction work, some were for general work in the service sector,
some had belonged to the road gangs that were an increasing problem in Mega
Tokyo, some seemed to have no owners at all.  The one thing in common was that
they were all Genom boomers.  Of course, that said absolutely nothing, as all
boomers were Genom Boomers.  She sat down at her desk, and began to make some
calls, and soon was able to make an appointment with a Genom Official.

   About this time, Nene returned and handed her data over to Inspector
Hayubasa.  As she looked over the data, she found that it was very unhelpful.
Once again, there just seemed to be no real pattern to them.  They were all
Genom Boomers, but they were also early first generation boomers.  They had all
been in service for several years, and all of them had been sold to “Used
boomer” dealers in the last year.  Unfortunately, that was all that she could
really tell.  Otherwise, she could find no real pattern.  They had been sold to
many different dealers, so it wasn’t just one used boomer dealer doing this.
She sighed, putting the file to one side as she prepared to go to Genom Tower.

   About an hour later, she was shown into an office at the Genom tower.  “Ah,
hello there, I am Misudo Katamura, the Assistant to the Secretary to the Vice
President of Public Affairs, how may I help you?”

   “Well, Mr. Katamura, I would like to ask you if you know anything of all
these boomer rampages?”  Akane answered.

   “What, are you saying that we have anything to do with them?” The Genom
flunky spluttered.

    Akane sighed to herself and said “No, no, of course not” even as she thought
dark thoughts about politics and the need to be “politically responsible” as the
beloved chief would say.  “I was just wondering if you had any idea why this
might be happening.  We know that all of the boomers are from the secondary
market though”.

   “Well,” the flunky sniffed, “I don’t know why you are talking to me then.
Why don’t you go and do something about the secondary market.  I’m sure you will
find the problem there.  They take in lots of boomers that have been abused, and
are in generally poor shape.”

   “That is a possibility” Akane allowed, “but even if so, why should it all be
happening now?  That problem is not new.  The shops that were selling boomers in
poor shape where there a year ago as well.”

   “Well, how should I know?” the lackey answered.  “Maybe it’s some side effect
from that ‘boomer revolution” from last year.  The news reports have been saying
that street gangs are involved, why don’t you go talking to them.  I’m sorry,
but I don’t think I can help you any more”

   “Well, thank you anyway” Akane said as she went out the door  “You’ve been
lots of help”.

   Inspector Hayubasa then went on to her next destination, a small used boomer
dealer just outside the destruction zone near Aqua City, called “Weird Wally’s
Boomers R Us”.  He was the grandson of an American Used Car dealer, who had
moved to Japan in the period after the Kanto Quake.  He had a reputation as
being something of an odd bird, and was known all around Mega Tokyo for his odd
and somewhat annoying TV ads, where he called himself “Weird Wally, Tokyo’s Used
Boomer Buyer”

    Almost as soon as she stepped out of her patrol car,  Wally himself came up
“Ah, a little housemaker, can I interest you in this model?” as he pointed to a
somewhat beaten boomer.  “It’s specially made and programmed for house cleaning.
It can even do your laundry!” he gushed.

   “Well, actually, I’m not here to buy a boomer, I just want to talk to you”
she said as she flashed her ADP badge.

    Weird Wally blanched, but quickly regained his composure.  “Well, I’m always
ready to help the police, what can I do for ya?”

    “Well, sir.  I’m sure you are aware of the recent rash of boomer crimes
across the city.  Our records indicate that several of those boomers had been
sold by you in recent days.  I was wondering if you could tell us anything about
those sales.”  She then handed over a list of boomers and their ID numbers.

   “Well, little miss, I’d be glad to help, why don’t we just go into my office
and I’ll see what I can do for you.”  He quickly tapped the appropriate
information in his computer, and a list of the buyers of the rogue boomers
appeared on his screen.  Inspector Hayubusa compared the list to the list that
Nene had given her, and saw that all the names and details matched.

   “Well, that’s nice sir, but none of the names that you sold these boomers to
exist.  I was hoping you might have a copy of their boomer license, as it is
required by law.”

   “Well of course! Of course! I wouldn’t think of selling a boomer without a
license!”  he went on, as he went to a stuffed filing cabinet in the corner.
Akane thought it unusual that he kept those sorts of records on paper, but there
were still people who trusted paper records more than they trusted computers.
As the dealer handed over copies of the licenses, Akane noted them carefully,
putting the ID numbers into her personal data unit.  Soon, the information she
wanted came back, that there was a license listed for that number, but no
further information.  No names, addresses, phone numbers, anything.

    “Well sir, it seems you sold these boomers to fakes, people who had fake

   “Now, you listen to me dearie!  The law says I have to check for a license.
I put the number into the computer, and it comes back to me with an “OK” or
“denied”.  These names all came back OK, so I sold them the boomers.  If your
records are messed up, it’s your fault, not mine!”

   Inspector Hayubasa left the Used Boomer dealer in frustration.  She knew this
was not going to be an easy investigation, and her expectation was being proved
out many times over.  As she returned to her apartment, hoping to finally get
some sleep, she noted the clouds rolling in over the city, and thought that
there was more than one storm on the horizon.