Hana's Rebirth and Death

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WRITTEN BY: YajuShinki
COMMISSIONED BY: Thurosis

After a heart-wrenching and traumatizing defeat, Tora returned to his home in Torigoth and walked straight up to his laboratory, laying out the several pieces of what remained of Hana on the table. There was far too little left of her to repair her, so he had no choice but to rebuild her entirely. It took almost an entire month of nonstop hard work, but she was finally rebuilt and upgraded.

With the chassis finally done and assembled, Tora hooked it up to the power main and conked out, leaving Hana to charge overnight. There was, however, one crucial component that he forgot about: her AI software. It was still suspended in the same weird state it was in during the battle. In the middle of the night, once her systems had enough power, Hana suddenly came back online.

She still remembered that she was tasked with defeating the Territorial Rotbart, but now that it was out of the picture, she had to choose a new target. In order to do that, she decided to roam around in search of a new opponent.

Her travels took her all the way to the gates of Mor Ardain, an industrial metropolis with heavily armed guards patrolling the gates. As soon as she approached the entrance, a couple of guards blocked and stood in her way, weapons unsheathed.

“Halt, intruder!” shouted one of them. “Present your identification or leave immediately!” ordered the other.

Hana simply stared at them with a blank expression and said, “New targets identified and registered. Continuing execution of previous command.”

The two guards looked at each other, confused. In that split second, she managed to lunge at one of them and knock them unconscious in one blow and landed a hit on the other, but not before he was able to yell for backup. Before long, Hana was fighting against a multitude of guards. Though they had strength in numbers, none of them were able to land a single blow on Hana. The fight didn’t last long, however, as the long journey to Mor Ardain had used up most of her energy. Suddenly, her body stiffened up and she stood immobile, uttering the words, “Warning: power reserves critically low. Commencing emergency shutdown.” before collapsing onto the floor.

The guards stood in a circle around the downed android, looking in awe as they saw that their opponent was a machine. They talked amongst themselves, wondering what to do with her. Toss her into an incinerator? Sell her off for scrap? No, somebody had an even better idea: haul her to the laboratories and have the eggheads cut into her to see what makes her tick, and maybe they’ll have a new super-robo-guard afterward!

It was settled, then. Hana’s body was carried into the confines of Mor Ardain, straight to the industrial lab complex.

The gynoid’s body was carried into a vacant laboratory examination room, where a couple of scientists, a man and a woman, were waiting for the surprise shipment. There was an examination table and an array of tools ready to carve into their specimen. At first, they were confused.

“A girl!?” the male scientist shouted. “You want me to dissect a girl!? If you wanted to have her as a guard, you should have taken her to the correctional facility to interrogate her!”

“Look closely,” the guard urged. “You’ll find that she’s not what she appears to be.”

They took a closer look and gasped as they felt the skin. It felt almost like skin, but not quite… It was high-quality plastic designed to feel like synthetic skin. The two scientists got to work immediately, preparing the examination table for their apparently synthetic specimen. They lifted Hana’s lifeless body and placed it down on the table. With the press of a button, a series of clamps revealed themselves and protruded from the table, positioned right in between her arms and legs. They sealed shut with a whirr-clang, squeezing down hard on Hana’s joints. They stripped her of clothing and accessories, leaving the entirety of her bare skin exposed. The seams of the skin panels were clearly defined, and along some of them were indicator lights embedded into the skin itself. They were all turned off, indicating total system failure.

“Alright, first thing’s first,” the male scientist said. “Now that we’ve got her restrained, let’s get her systems up and running again.”

They were able to find an interface panel by pulling back Hana’s purple hair, where there were several ports and connectors with their description etched onto the skin. They hooked her up to the lab room’s power supply, and the indicator lights on her skin began to flash orange as her systems began to boot up.

After a few moments, she spoke with a metallic, tiny voice. “Error: Unit Hana-JD is unable to reboot from previous session. Loading backup image HBAK_00106549…” Her eyes flashed green a few times before she blinked and suddenly jerked awake, looking around frantically. “Where am I!? Who are you!? Toraaa!! Tora, help!! Where are yoouuu?!!?” she shouted.

“Silence!” the guard commanded. “You have been caught trespassing and attempting to enter Mor Ardain, and assaulted and caused severe injury to a guard member. Normally, we would sentence you to forced servitude, but seeing how you are not a person, but a machine, you will be disassembled for research.”

“W-what!? No, wait! I don’t even know how I got he-IIIYYYAAAAGH!!” Her protesting was cut short by a sudden electrical shock from the power supply.

“You are to remain silent until the procedure is over,” the female scientist demanded. “By which point, you will have been rebuilt and reprogrammed to serve as a robot patrol guard.”

She shook her head, mumbling panickedly and begging. Once again, her begging was cut short, this time by a loud buzzing sound and a blinding light. A high-powered laser mounted from the ceiling was being used to cut into her skin, its beam focused on and running along the seams, with a thin stream of smoke flowing from the skin and metal, along with an occasional spark whenever a magnetic seal was undone. Parts of the skin were seared and melted, leaving a mixture of plastic and dissolved vinyl dripping onto the table with the consistency of jelly. With every seal broken and magnetic subcircuit fried, the skin panel’s indicator light flickered and dimmed until it fully unlocked with a distinct clink as it was unfastened from its slot.

“Now, then, let’s see what you’re made of…” the female scientist said as she pried the central skin panel on Hana’s chest away from her body. Although the magnetic seal was disabled, it was still attached to the other neighboring panels via interlocking slits, so it took quite a lot of force to fully detach it. The guard stepped in and began prying off the skin panel, with Hana grunting in extreme pain as her artificial nerves were generating erratic data. As he wiggled and shook the panel around trying to pry it loose, the panel let out a metallic groan as it was being bent and disfigured. Bits and pieces of the slits on the armor layer broke off with a ping, along with the small connectors inside of them, which let out a puff of sparks and a short buzz as they were severed. Light blue coolant that was once flowing through the microtubules embedded inside the panel now spurted out of the severed connectors in short bursts. Once it was fully removed, the guard handed the panel to the first scientist, who studied the cross section carefully.

She got a scalpel from the nearby toolset and began to cut through the outer skin layer, carving out a sample of the material for analysis. Inside the resulting hole, there was a thick layer of metal that was clearly different from the interior layer. Whereas the inner layer looked like it was made of some sort of sheet metal, this intermediate layer took on the appearance of kevlar, although it was much shinier in appearance.

“Hmm… Outer skin layer with indicator lights, RF shielding with embedded circuitry on the innermost layer and… What’s this? A bulletproof armor layer? Heavily reinforced, it would seem… No wonder our guards couldn’t stop you.”

“P-please, ma’am… I just want to go back home now…” Hana whimpered as she was examined. The scientists simply ignored her as they continued their research.

“Alright, let’s focus our attention on the extremities for now,” the male scientist decided. “We’ll save the best for last.”

They began the process once more on the skin panels on her legs, using a laser to fry the magnetic circuits sealing the panels, and melting the skin to expose the physical slits on the armor layer. It wasn’t long before the entire lab room began to smell of burnt plastic. By the time they were finished, Hana’s legs were completely stripped of skin and armor, leaving behind… Quite a lot, actually. Even at the extremities, Hana’s internals were quite intricate, despite appearing simple. Her skeleton was composed of several rods of tungsten-titanium alloy with hydraulic valves to allow for high force output, surrounded by several sets of elastic artificial muscle fabric and metallic armored casing. The circuitry and wiring was cleverly hidden in the space between the muscle and endoskeleton, leaving more room for more powerful servos, larger muscles, and thicker armor plating.

“Hmm… Definitely quite a lot of raw power under the hood, no doubt thanks to its simple construction,” the second scientist observed. “Now, then, let’s split this leg open in order to get a cross section.” He brought the high-power laser over to the leg, recalibrated and aimed it at the upper leg, and fired it up. As soon as the beam hit the muscle fabric, the bundles of muscle began disintegrating and loosening, leaving behind several stray hairlike strands. The smoke emanating from the singed muscle was much thicker this time. While the scientists carefully observed and studied the components’ reactions, Hana shook her head, urging the scientists to stop to no avail.

“Ahh, I see. Artificial muscle designed to mimic the human muscle,” the male scientist observed. “It appears to be composed of strands of carbon nanotubes reinforced with synthetic fiber.” He noticed that the muscles began to saturate themselves with a blue liquid. It was seeping out of the muscle bundles and pouring out of the severed strands. “What do you suppose that blue liquid could be?” he asked his colleague.

“It’s most likely coolant, given the unusual color and the fact that it’s preventing the muscle strands from catching fire,” she explained. “As for the composition of the--”

Without any warning, the leg began to spasm wildly, shaking and vibrating in place as the muscles and servos were going haywire. A shower of blue sparks and electrical arcs spewed out of the incision made by the laser, and Hana let out a long, loud, heavily distorted scream, almost drowning out the electrical buzzing of the circuits and the whirring, whining, and jackhammering of the hyperactive motors.

“What the hell…!?” the scientists shouted out. The guard grabbed hold of his weapon, ready to draw it and call for backup just in case the gynoid’s escape attempt was successful. Although Hana’s entire body was violently spasming and convulsing, it didn’t appear to be an escape attempt at all. Her facial expression was contorted, and changing rapidly as she was spasming, a clear indicator that she wasn’t in control at all.

After a few moments of cacophony, she suddenly fell silent and still, the half-severed leg had stopped spasming and shorting out, and even the coolant spillage had slowed down considerably as her systems automatically cut off system service to her leg. The guard and scientists relaxed a bit, although they were still very much on edge and worried that it might happen again.

Looking at the cross section of the leg, it was easy to see the root cause of the malfunction. Once the laser beam had breached the interior circuitry, which is normally hidden by the muscle chambers, several of the embedded circuits had shorted out at once, with the voltage controller being one of them. This caused the flow of electrical current to become unregulated, triggering a feedback loop that overloaded the other circuits and propagated throughout all of her systems.

“Shit, how could we have missed that!?” the female scientist griped.

“Don’t worry,” her colleague assured her. “We still have one perfectly good leg left.” He then grabbed the severed lower leg, giving it a yank in order to loosen it. The remaining circuits and muscle fibers separated from the body with a rip and a snap, along with a little trickle of coolant still leaking. He placed the severed leg on a neighboring table, then focused his attention towards the other leg.

They repeated the same process on the other leg, stripping it of its skin entirely to reveal the metal skeleton and bundles of muscle fabrics. This time around, they’ve learned their lesson and instead tried decoupling the leg right at the joint. Right at the base, where the servo array was, lay the composite ball joint. It was surrounded by several circuits and connectors, which were fairly easy to disconnect. The leg was completely immobile, allowing the scientist to loosen the joint. It unlatched with a metallic clink, and the female scientist set the stripped leg down on the table next to Hana. They called for another scientist and had him disassemble the leg while they went to work on the arms.

Hana’s arms got the same treatment, and while the overall composition of the arms were the same as the legs, it was packed with much more machinery. Each of the forearms housed their own miniature power generator hooked up to a small embedded plasma cannon. The cannon itself was split into several sections, each one folded into the musculature to save space.

“Well, now, this certainly looks interesting…” the male scientist said, prodding the cannon’s connectors with metal contacts. The current running through the contacts triggered the plasma cannon to activate. The small servos inside Hana’s hand joints whirred softly as they folded inwards, with the cannon components extending and taking their place. The contraption came to life, emitting a low electrical hum to indicate its activation. The scientist disconnected her arm’s circuits and mechanics from Hana’s body, putting it on the same table as the severed legs. All that was left of Hana now was half a leg, an arm, a torso and head. But, they weren’t quite finished with her yet.

There was a single skin panel missing from her chest, and through it one could see her most delicate, complicated systems such as her portable fusion generator and primary controller CPU. It was inactive due to the malfunction she suffered moments ago, so the scientist decided to jump-start it by poking one of the CPU contacts with a charged contact rod.

Her body spasmed for a brief moment, although not as severely as before, and her face was frozen with a shocked expression.

“AA\\\\AAAA////A… Oh… What was that…? It hurt…” she mumbled after she regained consciousness.

“There we are,” the female scientist said, dismissing her question. “Now we can study your software as well as your hardware. You know what to do,” she said, nodding to her colleague.

“On it,” he replied as he brought the laser back up to her chest. Although he was careful not to cut into any of the internal components with the beam, it did occasionally shine on her circuits, causing her to freeze up, spasm, or randomly speak in a distorted voice. As if her body wasn’t already advanced enough, her chest was packed with even more advanced tech, such as an array of dedicated systems control CPUs hidden inside a bay in between her breasts, flexible pouches filled with coolant and active fusion fuel, and of course, at her very core, the ether furnace that supplied her with energy and life. There was a release button on her CPU bay. The female scientist pressed it, and with a hydraulic hiss, out popped a tray with a motherboard holding all of the CPU cores.

She grabbed hold of one of them, labeled ‘MOTOR’. “I don’t think you’ll be needing this, seeing how you’re unable to move anyway,” the female scientist said with a chuckle as she slid the core out of its socket. It came loose with a click, and her internals let out a series of beeps and whirs as her servos and muscles relaxed.

“Mhm… Looks just like any ordinary processor… But with significantly more data contacts,” she observed, then tossed the core to where her severed limbs were. She then pressed another button to release the clamps restraining her body, as she was no longer in control of it at all. Her body slumped and slid down the table a bit before it was picked up by the two scientists and relocated to the same table as her severed limbs.

“I think we’ve gathered enough information on her hardware to reconfigure her, now let’s try to take control of and reconfigure her mind,” he suggested, and plugged in another cable on the same interface panel as the power cord in the side of her head, connecting her to one of the laboratory’s computer terminals.

“Huh…? What are you-- Maintenance mode activated. High-level processes have been temporarily suspended,”she said in the same metallic voice as before. The terminal had instantly triggered her maintenance mode upon first contact, as it was programmed to do.

“Perfect! We’re in already. It seems as though her interfaces are the same as most other automatons,” he observed. “Now, then… This should simply be a matter of loading the package and letting it do its work.” He typed a series of commands into the terminal, then pressed Return.

“Loading package ASSM22-Guard… Loaded successfully,” she droned. “Now installing… Please do not shut down or reconfigure this unit.” A beep came from her head, and her detached arm twitched slightly. “Warning. Hardware anomalies detected. Ignoring and continuing installation.” A spark flew from the empty socket where her motor control chip belonged. “Error. Motor control module missing.” Her head and neck turned sharply to one side, with the servos inside whirring loudly as they moved. “Err-error. This unit -bzzt- unit’s hardware is severely dam-dam-damaged. Attemptinginginging repppaaaaaairrsss.” Her voice slowed down and became even more distorted and her head violently jerked side to side as her processors were running a motor control test, but with the necessary chip missing, all it managed to do was cause her servos to spin out of control and her processors to overload. Although the limbs were detached, they maintained wireless communication with her ‘brain’. Although the wireless connection was used only for diagnostic purposes, the maintenance routines bypass this limitation by default, allowing them to move even when severed. In this case, the detached limbs were twitching and jerking around, with a shower of sparks and coolant flowing from the stumps on both ends.

“Shit! Make it stop! Cancel the process!!” she pleaded to her colleague.

“I can’t; there’s no option to cancel it! The only way to do that would be to disconnect its power sources!” he replied.

“Then do it!!” she yelled.

Before they had the opportunity to do so, however, smoke began to pour out of Hana’s exposed systems as they twitched and jerked more violently, with her head detaching itself from her body from the sheer force. It came apart with a nasty metallic groan and loud ripping sound.

“Repairs failed. Severe hardware damage. Hana-JD unit rebooting. Re-re-rebooting. Error. Unable to reboot. Severe hardware hardwaaaaaare failure. Error. Rebooting. Error. Rebooting errrebootingerr…” Her voice grew in pitch, and the distortion intensified along with it as she was caught in yet another feedback loop. A hatch in her head popped open to reveal the primary CPU cores, some of which were smoking hot and surrounded with sparks electrical arcs. Eventually, her systems could take no more and with one final burst of energy, a bright flash of blue light emanated from her body, caused by sparks and electrical arcs jumping between all parts of her body.

By the time the ordeal was over, Hana’s body parts were splayed all over the lab floor, with several of the internal components loose, ripped or charred. Hana’s head lay lifeless on the table, with an expression that could only be described as ahegao gone wrong. With one last breath, it uttered in an extremely deep, slowed down, distorted voice. “Rreeeeboootiiiingggg…”

“Well, shit…” the female scientist moped. “What now? We could have had a super-soldier on our hands!”

“We still might,” he said with a shrug. “Some of her parts are still salvageable, including the CPU. and some of her memory drives.”

They sighed and began picking up the pieces, putting them all in a bucket and closing the lid once they were done. The CPU and memory drives were separated from the rest of the components and placed on a shelf. Now, Hana (or what remains of her) was reduced to nothing but spare parts for the scientists and scholars of Mor Ardain to pick from for their projects. Top