I hate God's War. It's terrible. But the idea of the cyborgs getting psionic power upgrades fascinates me and has far too much potential to waste on such a bad story. So, I took it and this is the result.
(Psiborg tumblr tag)
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“Damnit, GB, don’t—”
Francoise didn’t even flinch at the now familiar sound of a body hitting the ground at high speed. Even the stream of Sicilian invective that followed didn’t get more than a slight frown – and did her voice really get that shrill or was it just Jet?
Instead, she focused on carefully preparing a mug of tea. She’d already broken three cups over the past day, not to mention the crushed doorknob; she wanted to avoid breaking anything else due to her not being used to Junior’s strength. She just really needed a little calm and quiet to get used to this, but…
Another crash echoed in from outside, closely followed by Jet yelling, “It’s not that hard! Ease up on the thrusters!”
She loved her boys, she really did, but ‘calm and quiet’ would never describe most of them.
By process of elimination, they’d quickly figured out that Albert had ended up in Ivan’s body. Ivan, who had just started his two-week sleep. Ivan, who was now sitting in Joe’s body, staring at his own unconscious form.
Ivan had to wonder if this was how the others felt when he was asleep during an emergency.
Idly, Ivan flexed Joe’s hand, watching the long, adult fingers curl and straighten. Technically, the situation wasn’t an emergency. Inconvenient and uncomfortable, yes, but nothing they couldn’t live with for a couple weeks.
Inconvenient and uncomfortable and very slightly creepy. Ivan looked up into GB’s face and saw Junior’s patient gaze looking back. “It’s time for dinner.”
Ivan nodded, carefully standing up and slowly left the room. Junior stayed close, but let him walk on his own.
The whine of a baby broke through Jet’s pain-filled haze. He stared at the barracks ceiling for a few long minutes, no longer used to any noise besides his own in the room, before rolling off the cot and stumbling upright. Pain stabbed through his hips as he staggered across the room – he hadn’t thought the surgeries could get worse than those first few – and caught himself on the edge of the crib. “Hey.”
The infant – 001, he remembered; they’d changed his number again – quieted. He blinked up at the teenager. I didn’t mean to wake you.
“I wasn’t asleep.” Which might have been true; he was having trouble telling lately. “C’mere.”
I don’t think you should—Oh. Jet had up and cradled close to his chest before 001 could finish the thought. Jet slid down to the floor, back against the crib, and ran his fingers through 001’s hair.
Jet ran his fingers through 001’s hair again, head tilted back. He’d been moving on automatic, following faded memories of helping his aunts and grandmothers care for his baby cousins: babies fussed, they got held. He didn’t have access to milk, even if 001 needed changing he didn’t have any supplies, so that left…
“Ninna nanna, ninna oh, questo bimbo a chilo dò?”
He stumbled over the words, the distance of time mixing with the drugs in his system blurring the lyrics and language, but he thought he got the melody right. 001 had relaxed against his chest, one hand curled clutching Jet’s shirt.
That was nice.
Do you know any more?
Jet cast his mind back, digging through dusty memories. “Yeah, I think so.” He cleared his throat. “Una mariposita, que del cielo bajó…”
003’s smile is tense when she brought his bottle, a low wave of dread emanating from her unchecked. It was too familiar, too similar to how she felt when she knew she was going out for a field test. Except no one else in the house had that same tension.
*003? Is something wrong?*
Her smile faltered slightly. “I just have a headache.” She gathered him up, her touch a little stiffer than usual. “I always get one before a storm.”
Ivan considered this as he had his bottle. He knew how storms worked, had seen memories of them from the others (the storm started shortly after the field test started, thunder blending in with the rumble of tanks, sending static across 003 ears, shorting out 002’s sensors, making an already horrible task that much worse) but that was all. He’d always been tucked safe in the lab during the worst weather out of worry for his health.
Given the circumstances, 003 had never thought about the more normal ways storms affected her, so it never occurred to Ivan that it was something to consider.
“Hmm?” She put the empty bottle on the coffee table, rubbed his back until he burped. As soon as she settled him back in her arms, he reached up to touch her cheek and gave her mind the slightest nudge.
Slowly, 003’s eyes slid shut, and her grip on him loosened. Ivan caught himself and levitated back to his bassinet. 003 fell asleep to pass by the worst of the storm, and Ivan settled in to listen as the rain began to fall.
*I hate it when people do that.*
“Hmm?” Chang looked up from comparing labels at Ivan’s irritated comment. “What’s that, Ivan?”
*When people make stupid faces at me.*
Chang followed Ivan’s glare – well, pout; he’d seen Ivan’s actual glare, and this had nothing on it. An older woman further along the aisle was wiggling her fingers at Ivan, a wide smile on her face. Chang smiled back at her before turning back to the other cyborg. “Some people just don’t like to see an unhappy baby.”
Ivan leaned forward, bracing himself against the shopping cart’s handle. *I’m not unhappy. This is my resting face.*
“I think you’ve been spending too much time with Jet.”