Re: Seivarden/Mercy of Kalr: biomech body

Date: 2016-12-28 12:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
(I can't possibly improve on the fic above, it's a gift to the world, but the rules do say multiple fills are okay... No sex yet but I'll try and get another installment up after the relatives have left and I've sobered up?)
(Not that I'm drunk to put up with the relatives or anything. I'm drunk because Mom keeps saying "Come on, you're on vacation!" and refilling my wine glass. She's a drunk-gay-spaceship-porn enabler)

No matter how much eagerness, scientific curiosity, and desire to have Sphene no longer hanging around your lab staring at you intensely while standing five centimeters too close you applied to the problem, successfully growing biomechs took time. The bodies alone couldn't be sped up past a certain point. Wrapping their nervous systems around the necessary implants during growth was, well, a process which unapproved medics had never been encouraged to get too curious about. Sphene had been enthusiastically willing to capture a few Anaander Mianaais so the Republic medics could get a closer look, but apparently it wouldn't be too helpful to just study the finished project. Sphene had argued that it certainly couldn't *hurt*, and Breq had clearly been tempted, but in the end sensible strategy had overruled their mutual desire to go after the Lord of the Radch with a fishing net.

So there had been organizing, and committee meetings, and project management sessions. Excited scientists told Seivarden things about neurotransmitters while she tried to keep her eyes focused. By the time they had a biomech body ready to be decanted and tested, Tisarwat was approaching her twenty-fifth birthday.

Which Anaander Mianaai decided to celebrate with an interplanetary incident.

"This is ridiculous," Breq said, clipped and irritated. "She knows perfectly well she'd get no long-term advantage even if she could put it through, which she can't. All this will lead to is Tisarwat talking quickly and persuasively to a lot of people, and probably getting all of them to look on her as a favorite kid sister. Which may have been the entire point."

"She'll enjoy that," Seivarden said, having decided that 'look, does Anaander Mianaai think you and she are Tisarwat's mother and estranged other parent or something, and if so can we convince her that some nice earrings would be a more appropriate birthday present for her daughter?' probably wouldn't be helpful.

"She will. Exceedingly. Which is why I don't trust her to go alone." Breq clearly had something else to say. Seivarden waited for it. "I would have preferred to be present at the initial trial."

"You would merely sit through a lot of very boring medical testing, Fleet Captain," Ship said to both of them. "I'm sure Lieutenant Seivarden will be perfectly capable of handling that duty in your stead."

"Thanks, Ship." Breq probably thought she was showing no emotion. Seivarden bumped their shoulders together. "We'll send you visuals, you can stay up to date while you're stopping Tisarwat accidentally declaring herself empress of half a solar system."

"She does become carried away on occasion," Ship agreed, and, more softly, to Breq although Seivarden could hear it, "Seivarden can look after me." Breq didn't respond, but she did lean to the side a little so their shoulders could brush again.



The... you couldn't really call it "hooking up", maybe "powering on"... took place on Athoek Station. The head biomedicist had brought along half a dozen colleagues and a couple of grad students, and Sphene and Sword of Atagaris had both shown up to watch, so things were pretty crowded. Seivarden hung back against the wall and tried not to touch any of the equipment while the scientists flipped switches and looked at readouts and finally said, "Okay, initiating... *now*. Mercy of Kalr?"

"Checking," it said over the speakers, and the body on the lab bench moved. Pushed itself up on its elbows. Ceased to be medical equipment to Seivarden and became her ship, in person. "Connection is live, but it feels sluggish. There's no resistance, though-" It swung its legs over the edge of the bench, the biomedicist started to say something, and Seivarden shoved past Sword of Atagaris, which had been hanging back pretending it wasn't interested, in time to break its fall. 

"That's a good start," said Sphene.

"Perhaps we can reassess once it's had fully thirty seconds to adjust, cousin," Ship said. Seivarden had sunk to the floor against the bench- the ancillary's body was smaller than hers, but not much lighter. It was solid in her arms, its breath brushing against her neck. 

"The body's never moved on its own before, it's going to take time to establish muscle memory," the biomedicist said, going to her knees next to them. "Look this way, if you would?" She flashed a tiny light into the ancillary's eyes. Another of the scientists reached over Seivarden to re-tape an electrode. Nobody seemed to object to Seivarden holding it, so she didn't move. "Adequate pupil response. Can you vocalize?"

"I'll try it," Ship said, and the ancillary made a noise like breath hissing. Tried again and produced a sound like 'tsnnnn'. Stopped and took a couple of breaths. "Dessin. Tess-ting. *Testing*. The flower of justice iss- is peace. My heart is-" It had a coughing fit and leaned against Seivarden again. Its skin was warm and damp. For a split second she was reminded of kissing Ekalu's shoulder, her fresh from the baths- which was highly improper in the circumstances.

"Not bad," said the medic, sitting back on her heels. "Heart rate's steady-? Great. Then we may as well move on to *motor control testing*." Her eyes gleamed with scientific fascination. Well, Ship had warned her this would probably be lengthy.

It was. Sword of Atagaris drifted out to go do whatever it did with its spare time. Sphene eventually ran out of derogatory remarks and followed it. Seivarden curled up in a corner and went through her messages. Breq's most recent communiques described local sudden political upheaval in detail but were suspiciously vague about the inciting factors, so she'd probably been kneecapping people again. Amaat Three had sent a not-very-necessary report on the crew's current status; Seivarden sent back an acknowledgement with attached update on how the powering-on was going. After that there were local news reports to go over, and an article on traumatic stress Medic had wanted her to read for some reason...

"Lieutenant, are you awake?"
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