Dark forms streak across to surround a single figure. Juni’s youthful face shows no emotion as she looks upon their target. She appears no older than sixteen. Her auburn hair cut short with her bangs swept to the right side of her face and she is clad in a dark blue, form-fitting military uniform. In front of her is Cammy, wearing a similar outfit, but sky blue and with the legs left bare. With her are eleven girls clad in the same dark blue uniform. number of them are armed with assorted weapons, ranging from spears to guns.
Cammy tenses as she looks around. All of them, including her, are enhanced soldiers. Any one of them is equal to an entire special forces team, and she is considered to be the best amongst them. But even she cannot take all of them at once.
“We don’t have to fight…” Cammy started to say.
“Exterminating subject,” A brunette to the side of Juni says with a flat tone. Her regular partner, Juli, hurls herself through the air with one leg extended.
Cammy dodges to the side, only to narrowly duck under a hatchet aimed at her head. It is attached to a rope that halts its flight. The rope is tied to the wrist of an indigenous American girl. She sports an identical hatchet tied to her left wrist. Noembelu pulls it back and sends the other hatchet flying through the air even before she has the one she threw back in her hands.
Cammy spins and parries it with a backfist, then blocks a staff swing from the pig-tailed Chinese girl Yanyu with her arm guards. The impact causes her to be pushed back. Her boots skids across the floor and it was all she can do keep her footing. She recovers, only to take quick steps backwards to keep away from lethal, spinning nunchucks of Jianyu, Yanyu’s counterpart. Her back touches the wall and the nunchucks hurtles for her head.
At the very last moment, Cammy ducks, narrowly dodging the nunchucks that knocks her uniform cap off her head. She sweeps Jianyu off her feet and then jumps over her. She curls into a ball spinning through the air towards where Yanyu is. Cammy spreads her legs to grab her at the waist for a Cross Scissors Pressure.
Once Yanyu is fully in the hold, they cartwheel sideways. Cammy keeps a grip on Yanyu’s shoulders as she bring her legs up between them. Then she plants her feet against her chest and kickslams her into the ground. Cammy bounces off the motionless Yanyu. But as as soon as her boots touches the ground, Cammy gets knocked off of them. She hits the floor heavily and Juli lands lightly on her feet near her.
Juni disappears from where she is, to reappear next to Yanyu. She glows blue as she uses Psycho Charge Alpha to heal Yanyu’s broken bones and bruises. The blue light of Psycho Power fades from both of them and a red-haired girl equipped with medical kit goes over to examine Yanyu. Juni leaves Aprile to take care of her and vanishes.
As Cammy lies on the floor trying to catch her breath, a shadow comes over her. She immediately rolls to the side. Sparks fly from where a pair of claws made contact with the floor. She ends in a defensive crouch that leaves her facing her attacker.
Decapre looks sideways at her. She looks similar to Cammy, if not for the black mask covering her faces and the triple-pronged claws on her gloves. She pulls her claws off the floor. Deep gashes are left behind. Suddenly, she dashes towards Cammy. Decapre brings her claws forward from her sides in a pincer move.
Cammy jumps forward and above Decapre to avoid the claws slashing towards where she was. Juni meets her in the air from behind Decapre with an upraised leg to kick Cammy in the face. It knocks her back down where Decapre kicks back with both feet up and hands planted on the ground.
Pain wracks Cammy’s body as she flies through the air. She manages to flip and land on her feet just in time to parry a sword about to decapitate her. Satsuki jumps back to avoid a side kick and hold her sword in front of her in a ready position. The other Dolls move in to surround Cammy. Looking around desperately for an opening, she starts running towards one of them.
Enero braces herself against Cammy. But being specialized in infiltration and communications, she lacks the level of fighting ability the others possessed. She tries to block a kick, only to discover it’s a feint when a hand choppes down on her forehead. Enero’s curly, pink rolls bounces on her head as she staggers around comically.
Cammy dodges a spear thrust from an African girl and grabs Enero to use her as a shield against a babboon leaping at her. She pushes them against the spear-wielding Santamu where they all collapsed in a heap.
“Please stop!” Cammy pleads. “Don’t you realize what you’re doing?”
She might as well have been talking to real dolls as none of them showed any reaction. She then sees something at the corner of her eye and moves reflexively. A shot rang out and a bullet hit her on the chest, barely missing her heart. The force is still enough knock her back.
“Target locked. Commencing AF-086.”
Fevrier aims her gun at Cammy and fires off multiple rapid shots. Shadaloo’s best sharpshooter, she scores a hit with each shot. Cammy’s reflexes is only able to prevent them from being fatal.
Cammy dives behind some computer equipment. She leans back against it gasping for air. Blood flows from multiple wounds. Every breath is a struggle. Above her, a hatch opens. She looks up and her eyes widens as she stares down the end of a turret gun. She immediately leaps away as it fires. It riddles the computer equipment she was hiding behind with bullet holes.
Behind Fevrier, Marz operates the turret guns from a computer terminal. Like Enero and Aprile, she specializes in non-combat skills. The guns create a path of destruction across the room as they swivel to follow after Cammy.
Cammy runs randomly in every direction. It is all she can do to avoid certain death from the deadly turrets. She realizes that she’s eventually tire if this keeps up. Gathering her strength, she leaps up high. She spins in a ball until she touches the ceiling. Everything appears to slow down as she surveys the scene below her in an upsidedown squatting position. It is automatically processed in her mind. In the next instant, she explodes into action.
Killer Bee Assault!
Cammy pushes off the ceiling to send herself hurtling towards Marz, who looks up and gets knocked out by a flying kick to the head. She goes through until she touches a surfaces, only to ricochet back. Another kick sends Fevrier, who is turning towards her, to the ground. She redirects to hit Satsuki in the same manner. Decapre reacts and only manages to clip the end of one of her pigtails while she is passing by. Finally, she bounces off a wall once more towards Juli’s back. However, Cammy doesn’t get to finish her move when her partner suddenly appears in her path.
Juni blocks Cammy attack with a shield of Psycho Power that pushes her back harmlessly. She leaps forward, then suddenly altering her direction to dive down at Cammy with an outstretched leg. Cammy dashes back to avoid it and immediately twists her body to spiral forward feet first. Juni jumps back to avoid it, then alters her direction mid-air in that impossible way to counter with her own Spiral Arrow.
Cammy looks up and takes Juni’s attack in full. She is sent flying back. Rolling with the hit, she pushes off against the ground and flips back to her feet. She attempts another Spiral Arrow. When her feet didn’t make contact, she brakes her spin with one leg to the side. Continuing her forward momentum, she rises into the air with one leg up, assuming that Juni’s in the air. She looks to find that Juni is gone. While flipping in the air, she sees that Juni is behind her. Finishing her flip, she lands facing forward in time to see a fist flying towards her.
Juli grabs the stunned Cammy and Juni appears to the other side of her. Together, they proceed to shower Cammy with a flurry of hits, ending with flying kicks that sends them past each other. Cammys spins around and somehow remains standing. Juni teleports next to Cammy and grabs her. She lifts her into the air in a rolling hold and finishes it by slamming Cammy to the ground.
Juni gets off of Cammy’s still form. Looking down at her, she feels a sense of remorse. Then anger, contempt, satisfaction, and nothing in quick succession. These feelings rooted in her subconscious hold no meaning to her. A Doll has no need for such things.
“Well done!” commends a large man floating behind Juni. She steps to the side as her master moved closes in to loom over Cammy. She looks up to him.
“You are a worthless defect,” Bison replies. “You became aware of yourself. Now, you are useless to me.” This sends a twinge of anxiety through Juni that quickly fades away to the back of her mind. She watches impassively as Bison blasts her with his Psycho Power. Cammy screams in pain. “You should have stayed mindless like the rest of my Dolls.”
“Are we…no more than…dolls…to you?” Cammy gasps.
“Well, you my dear, are a little more special.”
Juni feels a hint of jealousy at those words. Special. The word floated through her the surface of her mind amidst the dream-like fog covering her mind.
“You were created with the honor of being my next host body. However…” His hand glows with Psycho Power, ready to channel another surge. “…your self-awareness has become a problem that I intend to correct!”
Bison blasts her again, sending her flying to slam against the wall. He closes in with the intent to finish her off when the alarm suddenly sounds. He looks at a monitor and sees two men and a woman. They separated and went off in two different direction.
“I see we have some guests!” Bison announces. “Looks like you’ll live a little longer.”
“As for the rest of you…” Bison glances at the rest of the dolls. At her. Juni waits for his command to send them to deal with the intruders.
“Your enhanced metabolism has shortened your life span,” Bison turns away. “I’ll be dealing with them myself”
“You can die now, at my command.”
These words sears into Juni’s mind and drives a dagger into her heart. Her mind reels, stunned at what she just heard her master, her Sir Bison, said. She watches as he moves to leave the room.
Behind the mask of one of Bison’s Dolls is a soul that truly cares about her master, adores him. She is willing to do anything for him. Because of this, she didn’t resist the conditioning that turned her into an enhanced soldier, that took away control over her body. It didn’t matter to her, as long as she can stay at the side of Sir Bison.
You want me to die?
But now, now she is unwanted. Unneeded. The conscious part that until now had been content is struggling to cope with this realization.
Why? Why? Why?
“Irregular metabolism. Diagnosing… unknown condition. Cause is Bison. Target identified as a threat.”
Juni’s consciousness is in turmoil. But even as it threatens to break down, none of them shows in her expressions. She is a Doll. An enhanced soldier. A living weapon. Her face is a blank slate and her body steady, forged through malicious brainwashing, extreme training, artificial augmentations, and infusions of Psycho Power.
Class A emergency. Class A combat status activated! Juni hears herself say. The others echo her and they all prepare to attack.
“Interesting! You would dare to rise up against me?” Bison exclaims.
“Your will to survive is strong. Very well, I’ll destroy as a reward for your services!” At that, all the Dolls except for those who haven’t recovered from Cammy’s assault rushes Bison.
Decapre leads in with quick swipes. He catches both of her arms and plants his foot on her. He lifts her with that leg and brings her down on the incoming Yanyu. Satsuki comes in with an overhead slash which he catches with a glowing hand. Blasting her away, Bison slides forward in a leaning back pose and sweeps Enero and Aprile off their feet. Catching a hatchet thrown at him, he pulls at the rope tied to it and proceeds to hammer Noembelu down with an overhead fist.
Santamu thrusts her spear Bison. Her monkey clinging on the end of the spear leaps at him with fangs and claws bared. An annoyance at the most for Bison as he easily swats the spear aside and catches the monkey. He jumps up and stomps on Santamu’s head and uses it as a boost up. He reaches the apex of his jump and dives down with the monkey held in glowing hands in front of him to knock Santamu down. Then he disappears and bullets whizz harmlessly through where he was.
Fevrier looks around quickly to locate where he is. To the left of her, Marz screams. The Psycho Crusher barrels through her like a human torpedo spearheading a wave of force that continues on to wards Juli and the rest of the Dolls.
Juni brings up her shield to guard against the onslaught. The lights from the clash between her Psycho Shield and Bison’s Psycho Crusher suffuse her entire vision as she musters her strength to oppose the wave of energy. It pushes her aside and continues on past. The light fades away and just like that, she is the only one left standing.
In front of her, Bison wears a smug grin. He moves over to her confident in his victory. Despite the danger she’s in, Juni is struck by a sudden sense of nostalgia that overcomes her Shadaloo programming. A memory of a time past rises up in her mind:
Juni goes down the steps of the stairs. Her footsteps echo through the empty halls of her all-girls school. It was the beginning of the summer holidays and most of the students are out enjoying their vacation. She came back only to gather some things and is now leaving so she can get back to hers.
Walking through hall, Juni rounds a corner and sees the principal down the hall coming out of the office talking to two men. She steps back to hide behind the wall, though she don’t know the reason why, since the principal is very friendly to the students. Peering around the corner, she looks at who the visitors are.
One of them is a very handsome man with long blonde hair. He appears like some kind of prince. But it wasn’t him that draws Juni’s attention. It was the other man. He doesn’t appear very attractive, but there’s a presence to him that mesmerizes her. They appear to be finished talking to the principal and who shakes their hand and goes back in the office. As if sensing her, he turns to look straight at her. He motions her over.
Juni timidly comes out and walks slowly towards them. She keeps her eyes on the ground, unable to meet that gaze that’s making her feel self-conscious. Somehow, she knows that he finds it quite amusing.
“Hello, dear girl.” the man greets Juni when she stopped in front of him. She peeks at him from her bowed head and finds herself unable to look away. He smiles at her. She could feel his confidence behind it. “What’s your name?”
“Hello, Juni,” the man says. “My name is Bison.”
“Hello, Sir Bison,” Juni replies respectfully. Saying his name causes her to blush and she drops her eyes down again.
“You appear to be a smart girl, Juni. Your principal says one of the brightest in this school, in fact.” Bison remarks. “I have need for talented girls like yourself. Would you like to come with me?”
Bison holds out his hand. Juni looks at it and raises her eyes to meet his. Without thinking about it, the first such decision for her, she nods and lays hers on top of it. From the depths of her heart, she knows that she wants her entire life to be at his side.
As Juni stands there with her guard down, lost in her memories, Bison slows down. He approaches cautiously. Sensing no hostility from her, he observes her for a moment.
“What’s this?” Bison asks. “You’re not going to resist?”
Juni looks up to him and nods.
“Aren’t you a good girl,” Bison muses. He reaches out a hand to her neck. “You’ve always been the obedient one, weren’t you, Juni?”
Juni closes her eyes. Her body is relaxed as Bison slowly chokes the life out of her. This is what he commands. To her, who dedicated her life to him, she will not disobey it. A tear rolls down her cheek. Her only regret is that she will not be able to stay at his side.
Juni’s eyes pop open.
You must fight!
Juni realizes that she is hearing Cammy’s voice screaming at her. Not just hearing it, but feeling it as well. She feels a link to the Psycho Drive connecting her to Cammy, and to the other Dolls as well. All the pain, the suffering of their trapped consciousness flows through the link to her. With it is the energy from the Psycho Drive.
“What?! The power of the Psycho Drive is weakening?” Bison looks at it with concern. His eyes fall upon the Dolls and realizes what they’re doing. “You… how could something disposable like you… I thought I was the only who could control it?!”
Cammy shakily gets up. Around her, the other Dolls are recovering as well. Taking advantage of the Shadaloo programming that made them oppose Bison, she manages to awaken their consciousness against him, at least partially. Now, they’re taking control of the Psycho Drive.
“He is not your master!” Cammy calls out to them, mentally as well as with her voice. “Fight! Free yourselves!”
Juni hears/feels Cammy’s voice/thoughts. The thoughts and feelings flowing through the link confuses her. She doesn’t want to fight Bison. But for every “no”, many “yes” comes from the others. Eventually, she feels herself getting caught up with them. She feels anger, rage, and most of all, the desire to live.
Bison looks around in alarm. He feels something grab his arm and looks at Juni. Eyes glowing with concentrated Psycho Power meets his. Gone was the loyal Juni, replaced by a gestalt of the Dolls. Through her, they are one.
Their avatar focuses their energies into one hand. It glows brightly and is raised up to Bison. His eyes widen as he realizes what’s about to happen.
Bison is sent blasting back to slam against a wall and drops to the ground. His body is smoking as he slowly gets up. He looks in futile rage at the avatar.
“You…I misjudged you,” Bison snarls at Juni, not realizing that Juni had been taken over. “I thought that you were loyal to me.”
“But it’s too late for you! You don’t have much time left to live. Don’t ever dream that you could live as a human!”
Bison flees the room. Juni remains standing for a moment, then collapses as all the energy that was concentrated leaves her. She holds herself, trembling at what she has done.
“Sir… Sir Bison…”
Around her, all the other dolls have fallen unconscious when they channeled their energies into Juni. Now, they’re waking up. They get up in confusion, free from the Shadaloo mind control and from Bison threat, but not from danger. Their attempt to control the Psycho Drive have pushed their bodies to the limit. Cammy staggers over to them.
“…Where…am I? Who are you?” asks one of them.
“I’m Cammy. I’m an enhanced soldier like yourselves.” Cammy replies. “Listen, your body cells are on the verge of exploding!”
“What…do you mean?”
“You’re in danger. To stop it, we have no choice but to use that machine.” Cammy goes over to the Psycho Drive. “Hurry! There’s not much time left!”
Unsure of themselves but driven by the urgency in Cammy’s voice, they hurried over to the Psycho Drive. Those that were injured are helped by the others. Juli goes over to Juni to help her up. Juni, with no will left in her, allows herself to be lead away. One by one, with Cammy operating it, they disappear into the pillar of energy until only she is left. Once they’re healed by the Psycho Drive and safely transported away, Cammy sinks to the ground.
“Everything is going to be okay…,” Cammy sighs. “They will survive…and live…”
Cammy slips into unconsciousness. A shadow from a corner of the Psycho Drive room moves and a masked man stepped out.
“That…was quite a drama,” Vega remarks. He goes over to Cammy. and ponders over her. “Bison’s host body…substitute…she could be reborn as…Well, that could have interesting possibilities too…”
Vega muses over this development. He looks around the Psycho Drive room. Then he looks back down at Cammy.
“All I need is a beautiful and strong opponent. Doesn’t matter who it is.” Vega removes his mask from his handsome face and places it over Cammy. “Come with me, beautiful soldier.”
Carrying her in his arms, he leaves the Psycho Drive room. The door slides shut behind him. Silence fills the chamber.
That concludes the prologue.
I’ve been planning to do this for a long time. I finally came around and got my lazy ass to work on this thing. I initially planned a short prologue, but ended up with this monstrosity. I intend to get a chapter up once a week. But if each one is going to be like this, it will probably take longer.
And if it isn’t obvious, this is going to be about the Dolls, with a bit more emphasis on Juni.