by Cinta [Reviews - 2]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Angst, General, Standalone, Vignette

Author's Notes:
A short side trip based on Steve Lyons excellent Missing Adventures novel 'Killing Ground'. The Cybermen featured are the 'Revenge' style, or cyber Nomad as postulated by David Banks.

Along the corridors we walk.

Bare-footed I pad silently ahead, faintly aware of the coldness in the steel floor. I need no guidance, for everyone knows this path. We are all born knowing that, for many, these are the final steps we are witnessed taking. It is an unspoken thing.

His footsteps behind me are quieter than expected, much like the rest of his demeanor. There is no threat; there is no point. My body can be broken from a simple blow, my flesh ripped and limbs torn without any effort. Drunken tales of heroism and valiancy from the Old World are passed down and exacerbated around bonfires.

We enter the Conversion Chamber, and momentarily I am stunned by the sudden drop in temperature. Cold air rushes into my lungs, causing me to cough involuntarily. I pause and drop my eyes to the floor, my right hand raised to my mouth instinctively to stifle another cough.

My feet begin to ache from the chill in the floor, a throb slowly rising through my shins threatening to cramp my calves. I am suddenly acutely aware of my humanity and press the fingers of my still raised right hand against my lips, savoring this last sensation of human contact. A deep sorrow tugs within me, causing my stomach to spasm; I have never felt so alone…

The Cyberman shifts behind me. I raise my head as he walks past, my eyes shifting to follow his path. The Chamber rises above us; I can hear his faint footfalls echoing around the steel vault.

I have no desire to look around me. This is the place where humanity ends. It is where dreams die, love ends, sorrow fades. Where we are stripped down to the very core, rebuilt, and born again. We can choose to remember what we want afterwards; however, where is the point? We are unrecognizable to our own mothers and lovers.

I know that spiraling above me are four more levels, each with the capacity of holding one hundred humans within each alcove. I do not wish to look closely at those alcoves, which have been shielded down by a translucent Perspex. I am aware of the faint human outline behind each and do not need to see what is to become of me.

An alcove has been chosen for me, and resolutely I pad quietly towards the patiently waiting Cyberman. Our eyes never lose contact — those tear-pulled eyes that, although blank, somehow regard me with such sorrow. I feel my own eyes regarding him in the same way, mournful yet somewhat startled like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

I stand inches from him my neck craning up to see into his blank face. He breaks eye contact suddenly and seizes the front of my clothing. A gasp escapes me as realization sinks in as to what he is attempting to do. I hear a faint tearing as my shirt is yanked over my head. I wrestle through it, painfully catching my left ear in the collar.

"Wait….just…..hold ON a MOMENT!!"

I break-free shaking my head indignantly. My eyes are wild, and we stand there for a moment facing off. The cold air instantly causes the muscles in my shoulders and back to flex - for a moment I feel powerful enough to lunge at him.

"I can do it," I hiss between clenched teeth.

For a moment I expect him to strike me. He stands with my torn shirt clenched tightly in his silver fists, almost glaring at me. My eyes focus on his hands, and momentarily I see my own flesh being crushed between them, my blood seeping between his fingers as they squeeze inexorably.

The Cyberman drops his hands to his sides and looks towards the alcove — he waits…

My temples throb slightly and I realize that I have not taken a breath. I gently sigh and loop my thumbs into the top of my pants. In a swift movement, I slide them down my legs. Still hunched over, I remove my remaining clothes before I suddenly blush with embarrassment.

I look up; he slowly scans the room before his eyes lock with mine again. I shield my body like an awkward teenager as I stand upright, completely naked. His head tilts slightly, almost curious by the sudden modesty I am showing. A naked woman meant nothing to him; the last sexual urge was scoured from his brain many years ago by the very machine I am about to enter. It is highly likely that the memories of his sexual past had been discarded shortly after conversion.

I drop my arms to my sides.

Cold metal hands grasp my skin and push me backwards into the alcove. My legs comply reluctantly as I stumble into my tomb….and womb.

He moves quickly.

I feel his hands slide up my right arm and lower my head to watch. Suddenly he leans in close to me, one hand gripping my upper arm, the other reaching for a device beyond my field of vision. This whole time I stare into his face as he focuses on whatever it is that lies behind me.

An audible click and he leans back out, momentarily making eye contact again. I notice too late the thin needle grasped in his left hand before it is inserted into my right bicep.
My eyes close tightly, and within me I suppress the urge to cry out. His grasp shifts to my forearm as another needle slides effortlessly through the muscle.

I breathe deeply as the process is repeated to my left arm. The skin at the base of each needle starts to itch relentlessly, the muscles aching from each flex caused by the cold.
I sense that he has crouched and open my eyes to look.

Another needle slides into my right calf, then my left, his hand gently running over the smooth, supple skin. Momentarily he pauses to observe a tattoo I had etched many years ago onto my left ankle. For a brief moment I feel the urge to speak to him as he studies the black marking.

The moment passes too soon.

He stands upright before me, his face inches from mine. Both hands reach above my head to pull something downwards — I don't look up; I'm glad I didn't.

My scalp is pricked all over by a device he holds on top of it, my head cannot move. His eyes are locked into mine so deeply.

"I'm sorry."

Did I hear this? Was it spoken?

Too late.

He pushes down.

My eyes close involuntarily as my final tears run down my cheeks. A final cry emanates from my throat, once, twice, as my knees buckle.

His hands cradle my face gently as I grasp onto his wrists for support. I open my eyes.

"This is the final moment. There will be no more pain. There is nothing to fear. From this point on, you will begin again. You will become so much more. There are more worlds than these."

We stand like this for more than a moment. My body relaxes as I feel myself becoming anesthetized.

His hands which have been warmed by my own body heat slowly pull away. The cold air chills my skin quickly.

The Cyberman withdraws.

"You will have become like us."

And with that finality, the alcove is sealed. I close my eyes.