Rating:

5 Small Stars
Built to Last
832

Warren Prescott has got a pretty good thing going on Reotis. A nice colony coming together of very disparate peoples under his quasi-command. He didn’t want to “rule” anyone and they hadn’t gotten around to electing a governing council, so that pretty much left Warren as the “Boss”. He and his fellow cyborgs were doing the heavy lifting, but they had a lot of help from the Reotians who were full-human or “squishies” as some like to call them. Every day, almost, a new ship was coming in loaded with more refugees trying to get away from the Republic or the Common Wealth of Worlds (CoW). Either civilization was just as ruthless as the other and both seemed to always be at war with each other.

So, Warren Prescott, had established Reotis as a safe haven for free cyborgs and humans alike. The cyborgs used to be controlled by a war computer which told them what to do and sometimes very specifically how to do something and that usually involved killing the enemy. Each cyborg has a controller chip embedded in their brains that prevented them from having free-will. Warren had managed to free himself of that chip and led a revolt, of sorts, that got him and a good number of fellow cyborgs free and landing on Reotis. Now he was working to free other cyborgs as long as they hadn’t completely lost their humanity.

On Reotis, Warren was dealing with a myriad of small problems that didn’t actually cause him much of concern. All the cyborgs shared an internal communication network using their now captured war machine who was working for them. It provided not only the comm, but other information at just a thought from the cyborg. That helped coordinate things a lot.

Then on particular shuttle, badly beat up, landed with a new bunch of refugees, this time from a planet called Turano. The governor of that planet was typical Commonwealth, controlling everything and treating his people badly. That planet also had a contingent of cyborgs that had revolted against the war machine and now were fighting against the planetary government. These cyborgs were lead by a guy name General Clem Kaplan. He was by-the-book military and apparently had saved his cyborgs from termination for quite some time. Yet, now he needed help. He sent a stowaway on the refugee ship (a hidden cyborg) to ask Warren for some help.

At first Warren thought he had his hands full, but then they found something completely unexpected. Another cyborg had been amongst the other refugees and it was almost impossible to distinguish this cyborg from a full human. In videos brought by the emissary from General Kaplan, they saw fights between these new cyborgs and regular cyborgs. The new ones actually bled when injured. They also had something that sounded like a heartbeat in their chest although it wasn’t actually a human heart. They were stronger and faster than normal cyborgs and that’s why the General needed help. These “Ghost” cyborgs were tearing up his command.

So Warren decided to go help. He didn’t know General Kaplan, but he hoped he could get his cooperation and establish another safe haven on Turano if things worked out. He certainly didn’t know the General not quite as sane as he should have been!

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