Chapter 8.5 - Cyborgs
Catherine Alber - Iron Bee, that is - sat at the head of the table in the conference room. In the other seats were David, Sasha, and Dr. Onodera.
Suddenly, a woman walked in. She was in a military dress uniform and had a blue beret on her short, blonde hair. Catherine looked at the woman.
The woman wasn't exactly what Cathy would call pretty, but she did have an aura of strength. And Cathy could sense some sort of beauty within this woman.
And then the woman opened her mouth, "Alright, let's hear what this cyborg has to say."
Cathy winced, "Justice Knight Love, I presume?"
Seeing Cathy's wince, Emma felt a pang of guilt and relented, "Er, yes, Catherine. But you can just call me Emma."
Cathy smiled a little, appreciative of Emma's relenting attitude. Then, she started the meeting, "So, the Captain wanted me to go over some of the things that I know about the Iron Legion and their cyborgs with you guys."
"You can skip over the stuff about where the base is located," Sasha said, "You already told the Network that and we will be providing that along with the battle plan."
"Okay," Cathy nodded. She continued, "So, I guess I should start with an overview about how our cyborg bodies work?"
"Sure," David said.
"I would like to first hear about the basics," Dr. Onodera said, "What exactly has been replaced in your body? How was it done?"
"Well," Catherine started, "I don't know exactly how it was done, since I don't know much about cybernetics, but I can tell you what I know. I wasn't awake for this part, but I do know that I was... secured on a table, while a machine stripped away my flesh and skeleton, replacing them with cybernetics. The only things left unreplaced were my head and my organs."
Sasha shivered at the thought.
"Interesting," Dr. Onodera noted, "So no modifications have been made to your brain as well as your organs. Does that mean you still have to breathe and eat?"
"Yes," Cathy said, "But we only have to eat every few days. And since we do eat, we also have to urinate and excrete as well."
"However," Cathy pressed an area on her arm and a slot opened up, "nutrients can be fed through a standard feeding tube into here. In that case, there won't be any waste."
"We also need to recharge our internal batteries, in which case," Cathy turned around and pressed an area on the back of her neck which caused another slot opened up. Inside the slot was a power cable, which Cathy pulled out, "We can use this by plugging it into a regular power socket."
Cathy gave the power cable a tug, and it recoiled into the back of her neck. She continued, "If we run too low on power, we will enter into a low-power mode. This will keep only the essential functions - such as breathing and keeping the organs alive - working, the rest of the body shuts down."
"So..." David started, a little bit embarrassed by the question on his mind, "Does that mean you guys can reproduce?"
Catherine blushed a little. "Er, yes, our reproductive organs have been kept intact as well. A female cyborg's abdomen can expand if she is pregnant. However, a C-section must be performed when the time is right, at which point, the abdomen can be opened up."
"Wait, open up?" Emma said, a little disgusted, "You mean..."
Catherine nodded, a little disgusted herself, "Yeah."
"Can you feel?" Sasha asked.
"We do have receptors for pain and touch," Catherine answered, "However, they are very muted. Nothing like what a normal human body would feel. I could dip my finger into scalding, hot water, and it would feel only slightly warm to me."
"Do these cyborg bodies have any weakness?" David asked.
"Well, we can't really swim with these. We would just sink to the bottom and drown. That is, unless if we had the specialized swimming model."
"Unfortunately..." Sasha said, "The Iron Legion's base is not located near any bodies of water..."
"Right, sorry..." Cathy said sheepishly, "Um, I guess the head is the weakest part, but it's usually protected by our helmets. Other than that, I don't really have anything for you... Sorry."
"That's alright," David said, "You've been very helpful."
Dr. Onodera interjected, "So, how perfected is the conversion process? What is the success rate?"
"Well, my father is already very selective about who he asks to join. Even then, the success rate is still only 1 out of 10."
"That's a pretty low probability of success," Dr. Onodera noted.
"Wait," Sasha said, "What happens to the people who reject his offer?"
"He..." Catherine hesitated, "He 'cleanses' them."
The room fell silent.
A tear rolled down Catherine's cheek. "Please. You have to help me stop him."
David placed a hand on Catherine's shoulder, "We will."