Characters: Cyber-Lisa, Ianto.
Word Count: 818
Summary: The Cyber-Unit is incomplete. It requires assistance.
Written For: Challenge 201: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 200: Disguise.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters.
The battle was over, the subsequent chaos had come and gone; many of the cyberman’s fellows had been either destroyed or sucked into the vortex between dimensions, and now all was still again, though far from silent. The screams of dying humans echoed through rubble-strewn hallways, along with the crackle of flames. Choking smoke drifted on random eddies and currents of air, swirling back and forth, making visibility uncertain.
The cyberman remained perfectly still as it assessed its situation. Conversion had only reached forty-seven percent before it was interrupted. The brain and nervous system were fully functioning and under complete control of the cyber-consciousness, but some of the essential internal organs had become compromised in such a way as to interfere with the body’s normal functions, rendering it unable to operate at optimum efficiency.
Converting whole bodies rather than implanting the brains directly into far more efficient cyber bodies had been a sound battle strategy, reinforcing cyberman numbers with the minimum expenditure of time and resources, but it had its disadvantages. Now the enemy was gone and this cyber unit was incomplete, incapable of functioning independently of the conversion technology, yet unable to be completed since the machinery had powered down. That presented a problem that must be overcome in order for the cyberman to complete its own conversion and begin to rebuild the cyber-race.
Cybermen were superior to humans in every respect. The pitiful biological beings would no doubt welcome being freed from the bondage of flesh and emotion, but the work could not commence until the cyberman was fully functioning, and under present circumstances that was not something it could achieve by itself.
‘This unit requires assistance.’ The thought raced through its circuits, and it began a full evaluation of its body, learning its limits and appraising its available resources. The human brain was intact, though traumatised. Echoes of the consciousness that had inhabited it before still lingered, but were too weak to put up more than token resistance to being absorbed into the cyber-mentality. The cyberman had full access to the memories and personality traits of the body’s former consciousness, but they were of no use to it while it remained immobile and tethered to the machines that sustained its functions.
Then the situation altered in its favour with the approach of another human, one that the ‘Lisa’ unit recognised as the ‘Ianto’ unit. This human, if handled correctly, had the independence of movement that would allow it to transport the cyberman to a place of safety and supply it with whatever it required to complete the conversion process.
The cyberman dug deep into its brain, sifting memories, calling up human emotional responses.
“Ianto! Oh thank God! I was so scared! I thought they must have got you too! Help me, please, Ianto! It hurts so much!”
“It’s alright, Lisa. I promise, everything’s going to be okay. Try to take it easy, I’ll get help.”
“No, please don’t leave me alone! Just you, no one else; they wouldn’t understand, and I couldn’t bear for anyone else to see me like this. What have those monsters done to me? Please, just get me out of here!”
“I will, I promise. Oh God, Lisa, I don’t even know where to start!” Frail human hands hovered above the cyberman, trembling. Drops of water containing traces of salt dripped from the Ianto unit’s eyes and onto the cyberman’s bare flesh. Tears. Yes. That was a physiological side-effect of certain human emotions: fear, pain, distress. It took little effort for the cyberman to conjure some tears of its own.
‘Lisa’ sobbed brokenly. “Oh God, Ianto, it hurts!”
“Shhh. Listen to me. I’m going to try to disconnect you from the machines. I’ll be as careful as possible. Just don’t move. Can you do that for me?”
“Yes, I think so. I’ll try to help; I think I can feel where I’m connected.”
“Right. That’s good, I guess. It’s going to hurt, a lot, but I’ll try to be as gentle as possible.”
“I know you will, I trust you. I love you, Ianto.”
“I love you too, Lisa. I’m not going to give up on you. Try not to worry. I’ll take care of you, and I’ll fix this, somehow. I’ll do whatever it takes, I swear.”
“Thank you. I’m so glad you found me; I was so scared all by myself. Ianto, we can’t stay here. If we’re found… Please, we need to get away before anyone sees us.”
“We will, far away. I’ll take us somewhere safe and find someone to fix you.”
“I believe you. Oh please, hurry, before the monsters come back! I don’t want to die like this.”
“You won’t. I’m working as fast as I can.”
Yes, it would require very little manipulation to ensure the ‘Ianto’ unit’s full cooperation. It would provide whatever assistance the cyberman found necessary. ‘Lisa’ was the perfect disguise.