Character Narrative 7: A New Body for Akiko

Opening her new eyes, Akiko stared at the stock white ceiling of the Body Farm’s upload room.  The techs had left her to adjust in peace.  Before dumping her retirement Kit, she had signed off on the waivers. Standard protections in case they couldn’t get back into the room in case of emergency. Stark white tile, as bland as the techs faces. They may have been her eyes adjusting, screwing into her new sensor relays.  Everything was fuzzy the first few minutes after upload.  Blinking, her eyes seemed to be adjusting.

The new body felt tight, stiff, that was really the way to describe it. Fresh meat, the muscle hadn’t been worked in, or maybe her brain was just getting fat. Either way, it wasn’t what she was used to.  After twenty years in CED, it was a Duty Kit or nothing. Now she was trapped in consumer grade, meat, it would do through.  Flexing her wrists Akiko could feel the difference already.

Readouts flashed on the integrated neural display, basic HUD, with a few bells and whistles thrown in for the meat head crowd. The display reported the status of all of the augmentations this body had.  Had she ever cared about the exact number of foot pounds she applied when making a fist? Not really, but it was a nice touch, a reminder she was in an upgrade.

It was a stock Mizushima Warfighter, female model.  Not many augs, but it was better than the government- issue retirement package. Lifting her slender hand, she flexed it before her eyes, noting the tell-tale crinkles of subdermal K-30 Kevlar lacing under the RealSkin exterior. Would it stop a jacketed forty-four cold? No, but it was another nice touch.

It would do.

Sitting up slowly Akiko took in each sensation. It was never a good idea to jump right off the table till you were really sure of where the body’s center of gravity was. Especially when still connected to the monitors and feeds. Rolling her shoulders she let the weight of her arms drop, yeah it was going to take some getting used to.

Directly across the room from her, the wall turned from white to reflective silver, showing Akiko how she looked now. Her naked body hardly seemed twenty, slender and well-muscled with short brown hair that came just to the top of her shoulders. Mizushima model A27 eyes sat in almond-shaped sockets with the epicanthic fold she’d requested, the color shifting from brown to green to blue depending on how she held her head. Female, she had said it before but that too would take some getting used too. Gender didn’t mean anything to the force. You got your police meat and you ran with it. Funny how after so many years things like are you a boy or girl stick with you. Looking down at her hips, Akiko suppressed a brief smile before sliding to her feet.

She stared at the mirror, lost in her new reflection. The features were all to her specification. Who was she looking at through? Her Angel chirped, drawing her attention back to the task at hand.

Slipping fully off the table, she tested her balance and was moderately pleased with how the body reacted.  Standing was easy, now she put weight on the Kit and it reacted as she expected. As the Angel expected, it was already piping in micro corrections and sensory feedback updates processing the change for her so it felt almost natural. Or, as natural as any body-swap felt.

She crossed the room and stepped into the dressing area to find the clothes that Cyril had left for her. Looking at the array of bag-lady rags, she wondered what the hell kind of job this was. She’d need to change the hair and skin, simple cosmetic shifts otherwise those rags and this body were going to stand out.  In the end, they were trivial changes, cosmetic; it was what’s inside that counted.

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