The warehouse was silent. None of the normal drills, torches, or other work being done on metal things that Fiorenza had managed to gather together in her months out here. The room was cold, quiet, and a single cleaned table was set beneath a dome of sorts. There was a pale, beautiful redhead beneath the dome, and over on a second table was Fiorenza herself. The redhead had stitches across parts of her pale skin, where Fior had strengthened bones and replaced organs with artificial ones. Fior, however, had a large red gash across her throat, and a second stab wound right over her heart. Both had their eyes closed, and both were naked. The glow from the nanomachines within Fiorenza were dead, the blue grid on her skin finally faded from existence. This might have been the first time she looked asleep in over three hundred years. There were still thoughts in her head, but none of them were coherent. Some things were fading from her memory, but only the things she despised. Only the memories of Sinh, who had left her for another woman, Krev who had just vanished, her father. But that was because she just didn’t want to think about him. Memories of Rayleen, of Cyprus, those stayed. And they kept her brain working, even though she knew it had to be removed and placed within the redhead’s skull.
Within the silence of Fiorenza’s warehouse is the stirring of a figure who has been asleep for the last few days. A loud yawn echoes from the darkness of a back room where the subtle weight of a figure bathed in white light slowly begins to rise with the loud, but repetitive, beep of an alarm that echoes deathly in the dark loom of night’s light. A knock sounds at the door, quiet at first, but then louder as the moments cross and pass between them. Like a ghost in her own right, the metal kitsune rises to her feet, stifling another yawn before she crosses the room to open the door that stands momentarily ajar as a figure behind it makes himself known. [‘It’s time.’ they state. ‘She told me to wake you when it was time for her to be reborn.’] With her hand balled, she tugs her Kitsune mask over her face, leaving its red and black markings blatantly aware as she follows this man, this stranger, down the stairs that descend into her office where the tables rest, two figures sleeping against the cold, hard metal of surgical tables. At either side are tools but they will not be needed. “Do you plan on keeping the fiery one alive while I do the surgery?” she questions to which she only receives a nod from the other whose body is already shrouded by shadow and darkness as he whispers sweet, lulling words that echo throughout the room, dawning an entirely different wrongness when compared to the brain dead figure on the table itself. She walks upon the heels of her feet, pausing only when she has reached the red head. Impatiently, she pauses before the stranger, pulling her hair up and out of the way to tie it with thin, drawn lines to keep it from getting in the way when she makes her incisions. The stranger has gone quiet now but his eyes are illuminated a bright blue as she begins. Fingers become claws, shredding through flesh and bone as if they are nothing. To staunch the flow of blood, the flesh is burned as she passes through until the woman’s scalp has been peeled down and over her face, a blood soaked dome left behind while the body’s brain is exposed. She starts by slicing into the lower half near the brainstem, careful to make a deep incursion along the brain stem’s lower half so that the wiring and connective tissue will have something to connect with. When the brain is all but freed, she lets it fall, bloodied, into the black bagged trash can to the side. The stranger seems to regard her with a special interest, focused on that blood sticking to her fingers. “Don’t look at me so closely. Fiorenza did the same thing to me.”
There had been notes left, one for each of them. One for the stranger, telling him that this would be considered payment for her help earlier. And one for Rayleen, telling her that it was simply /time/ for this to happen. Her old body was beginning to give out, as the rip in her right shoulder where a blade had pierced her pointed out. As well as the throwing knife still stuck in her left thigh. Even if she had been awake, she wouldn’t have minded being naked there on the table. It wouldn’t be the first time. But, that didn’t mean her artificial ears and brain couldn’t still pick out what was being said. Yes. She had done something similar to this for Rayleen. And she wasn’t even a doctor of any kind. She was just a woman with insane curiosity that liked to see how organic creatures worked. She blamed Leonardo for that, someone she had apprenticed under so long ago. Someone who was more of a father to her than her real one. But the voice that she’d heard, the male voice, it would have made her smirk a little if she’d been awake. As close to her as the two were, it might have been obvious she wasn’t completely dead. Her body was, yes, but the brain was still highly active, setting off the soft pulsing beeps of the machine hooked up to her body.
Blood dribbles along the table where the red-haired woman still lay even as Rayleen moved from her toward Fiorenza’s old body. Dead was an improper turn of phrase for what she was and she did not care to call it that. While she’s moving to work on Fiorenza, the man in the room has focused his attentions on the red haired woman, keeping her alive and her bodily functions active so that she doesn’t fade away in light of her having lost her ‘brain’. Her fingers find Fiorenza’s head, pressing two unseen bits of flesh and bone at the side of the blonde’s throat. In just a moment, that machine seems to sound an alarm. She has a certain amount of time to get this done and none can be wasted. In moments, she’s transporting Fiorenza’s full head toward that other table, her fingers already pressing in an unseen code against the sides of her cheeks, her temple… and then her brain detaches, the back of her head opening up wide. Detached near where Fiorenza’s brain stem should be, it’s easy enough to set it within the new body, forced into that spot where it needs be without damaging the glowing, pulsing brain that is still very much real and flesh for the most part. She attaches it by cauterizing the brain’s stem around the thin, living metal flesh insert and in moments, attaches that very same machine to it. She has to let each nerve complete it’s attachment before she can put the body’s flesh back together. It takes a long time but soon that skull plate is put back in place. The area is doused in local and full body anesthesia before she forces magic into the wound, causing bone to reattach, flesh to knit back together, the very brief flicker of cybernetic and automaton veins and nerves to align with the body’s natural ones and then she is detached from the cable, that wound at the base of this new body’s brain stem from the back closing and knitting itself shut as well. The body is, for the most part, human. Or should be. She knows that the stranger, the man, is the one who helped procure the body and that’s enough. “She needs rest. And time to reboot. When she wakes, she’ll be in this new body. The old will need to be contained if you don’t mind taking it elsewhere.”
From her old body, there was only one thing she wanted to keep. And it was attached to her brain, so she was getting it anyway. She wanted that little switch, the one that shut off her emotions, the one that helped her focus on her work better. The good thing about her body being dead? She didn’t /feel/ her head being disconnected from her body. She didn’t feel anything anymore. Nothing hurt anymore. She’d already replaced the major organs in the new body with artificial ones; being able to never sleep was a blessing at times. But, that didn’t mean the muscles and blood had been replaced. As soon as the new brain was implanted, the table seemed to shift slightly, IV tubes connecting to her major arteries. Blood, fresh and far less similar to jet fuel than her old blood, streamed through the IVs, right into her new bloodstream. And she took her first breath in this body, one that she couldn’t have feigned if she had tried. She still needed breath, now that she was truly alive. But she would be weak for a few days, until the nanomachines in her skin had time to acclimate to her new form. As she lay there, still attempting to gather herself a bit, her fingers flexed. But only on the right hand, where the metal one had been before. Even her toes wiggled, and she silently reveled in the fact that they didn’t squeak like they used to. They only popped a little from being in the same position for hours. She’d be thanking them both properly once she was able to get up and do so. But, for now, she could only hope they knew how grateful she really was.