Ravi gasped. Pain flared through him. Vision blurred in the sudden bright lights. It took him a long moment to register the hands holding him down. Combat training kicked in.
By the time Ravi’s vision had cleared he was holding the Re-An doctor pinned to the small table of instruments. Ravi stumbled back. His right hand didn’t seem to want to obey him. Bumping into the hospital bed, his right leg crumpled under him.
“A little difficulty using your new limbs is normal. It should be back to normal in a few minutes” the doctor said, dusting herself off and picking up the clipboard as if this were all routine. “Can you tell me your name?”
“Ravi” he couldn’t quite bring himself to try getting up from the floor yet. “What -?” he began
“Welcome to your new life Ravi. You have been Re-Animated per request of the government. As you know, I cannot divulge any information about your past. Your memories have been locked by an implant chip in your brain. Your right side was mostly reconstructed.”
“Wait” Ravi whispered
“Sorry, can’t” the doctor didn’t sound very sorry at all. “You’re designated 20 minutes and I haven’t even got to the physical checks yet”
15 minutes later, on unsteady legs Ravi emerged to find himself in an anonymous corridor. At the end of the corridor an early-gen cyborg waited. Ravi approached it, questions at the ready. Upon registering his presence the cyb’ sat up straight, limbs working slightly out of sync with each other. It didn’t open its mouth to speak. “Enter the room at the end of the hall and await transportation to your new living quarters”
Ravi tried asking a question to find the same message had been set to repeat. He didn’t know why he’d expected more of an early-gen cyb’, after all, they had been severely gutted by the rebellion. Ravi frowned as he felt a headache forming as he tried to remember who had destroyed the systems of early-gen cyb’s. He knew the early-gens had always had a little trouble with synchronicity but they had been able to converse fairly well, he was sure of it. Trying to blink away his headache he wandered into the designated room.
Most people who were Re-Animated were brought back by family, or for having completed some heroic deed. Ravi wondered why the government had wanted him back so badly. He wanted to know who he had been before he died. He wondered if everyone felt like this. He wished he had someone to talk to, or at least something to distract him from his thoughts, other than the sign on the wall stating:
- Some confusion is normal.
- You will be housed in the Newly Re-An Suites (N-RAS) for two weeks. You will be collected from there by your sponsor
- Do not try to unlock your memories
- Do not try to upgrade your mechanics in a chop shop or at home
- If you’re having difficulties, talk to your sponsor
- Welcome To Your New Life
Ravi was re-reading the last sentence “welcome to your new life” emblazoned in big red letters. He’d read it at least 50 times already but his eyes scanned over it once more as his right hand fisted and unfisted of its own accord, when the wall exploded toward him.
Jumping to his feet, Ravi found himself in a combat stance, staring at the gaping hole in the recycled plastic sheeting that served as walls in government buildings.
A person emerged through the dust. They looked him up and down for a long moment. Movements graceful, they clambered over the pile of plastic and glanced around.
“Petite” they called over their shoulder “You failure, this is the wrong room.” They looked at Ravi again and smiled dangerously “okay Re-An, I have to move fast so you have 2 options. You come with us, or I punch you out – and by punch I mean flip the switch that sends you to sleep mode and you need rebooting”
“Who are you?” Ravi asked, stalling
“Just call me Blue” they said, moving toward the door Ravi had entered through. They pulled a small device from their boot and shot it at the door. Ravi’s head felt fuzzy. Blue inhaled sharply “Eugh” they grunted “hate energy blockers but it’s the best way around 1st gen cybes”
“We’re the resistance” Blue explained when they realised Ravi was following them down the corridor. “Any idea where the records are?”
“Records?” Ravi asked
“That would be a no” Blue flashed him a smile.
Back on the ship, records gathered, Ravi stared as he realised he had just committed himself to the resistance. Blue flicked through files on their port-screen. The woman to whom Blue had called – Petite – piloted them into deep space and far away from the Re-An centre.
Setting the ship to autopilot, Petite walked over to Ravi, looking pointedly at his mechanoid arm. He hadn’t realised he was clenching and relaxing his fist again.
“What’s up Re-An?” She asked, voice rough, as if she’d spent a lot of her life shouting “Rush job?”
“How would I know?” Ravi sighed “and it’s Ravi, not Re-An”
Petite held out her hand. Ravi went to shake it only to find his synthetic skin opened and Petite messing with the circuitry beneath. Blue laughed “Never trust an ex-mechanic not to mess with your circuits”
“That would have been useful to know before it happened.” Ravi couldn’t watch Petite fiddling with his insides
“They did a real number on you. This is shoddy work” Petite muttered, she glanced up at Ravi “must have wanted you back real bad”
“Call me an automata!” Blue exclaimed “I found him! Ravi Simtiv” the flicked their fingers, sending the file to the big screen. Ravi stared up at a picture of him in military uniform. “Pilot” Blue continued “Colonel in the H for H squads”
“H for H?” Ravi asked, staring at the information in front of him, eyes darting at each section
“Humanity for Humans” Blue scoffed “The government’s movement to ensure Cyborgs don’t get human status”
“Puts you in a weird position now” Petite added, closing up Ravi’s arm. “Re-Ans aren’t considered human in the typical sense – since, you know, you died – but you’re not a cyborg either – since, you know, you were alive”
“Hey!” Blue snapped
Ravi stared at the personnel file. Date of Death 3026/9238/7. Method of Death… It made Ravi’s head hurt. It was like he was being burned on the inside of his skull.
“Whoa! Blue, he’s gonna crash!”
He’d been following orders. Simtiv wasn’t sure he believed in the cause but it was his job, so he supposed that didn’t much matter. They were doing all this to avoid a war. That was what the General had said. Nobody wanted a war with the Cyborgs, but humans couldn’t just let these beings, these machines who lived forever on solar power, couldn’t just let them take power. Hadn’t Ravi seen the terminator movies?
Simtiv was never sure how to explain to people that fiction and reality were different things. He thought it should be common sense really.
They’d been sent to bomb the supposed Cyborg headquarters. Probable was the word the General had used but Simtiv had found that ‘probable’ usually meant they’d got the information from rumour and whispers, which to his mind meant it was supposed.
Either way, Simtiv had approached, preparing to take out the station. They hadn’t expected resistance. Boy had they been wrong.
The memory of the pain as the right hand side of his body was crushed brought Ravi back to the moment. Petite stared down at him, sweat dripping from her face, a bloody chip held triumphantly in her hand.
Ravit felt a fizzle of static shock shoot through him before Blue collapsed back against a wall with a thud. They groaned long and low. Petite dropped the chip unceremoniously on Ravi’s chest and shuffled to kneel at Blue’s side.
“I told you not to expend too much energy” she scolded “what are we going to do now? If we plug you in to charge you’ll connect with the mainframe and we’ll be found”
“Maybe if you actually made the portable charger you’re always talking about” Blue snapped right back
“You’re a Cyb’?” Ravi asked
“And you’re a Re-An” Blue replied. They smiled “Yes. I’m Gen Alpha-3”
“Weren’t Alpha-3 bluer?”
“Only the traditional service bots. I was… I was something else”
“But you’re so…”
“Human?” Petite offered “That’s kinda the point the resistance are trying to make. Listen, we took out your memory chip, so you’re probably going to end up with a whole host of complications but you’ve survived reliving your death so I guess you’re pretty tough. Welcome to the resistance I guess”
Part 2 – Welcome To Your Old Life – Ravi, Petite, and Blue are sent of on another mission. This time they have to infiltrate an H for H Neighbourhood and, of course, things are never as easy as they should be.
Part 3 Coming Soon – Welcome To Reset – Blue’s very life is in jeopardy, as some H for H scientists try to crush the individuality from them with repeated resets. Will they escape or will they be reset and labelled a ‘service bot’ once more?
Part 4 Coming Soon – Welcome To Crisis
Epilogue – Coming Soon – Welcome To The Alliance
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