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RP: YSS Kaiyō Pre-Mission Ten: Synthetic Reflections

Immortal Cyan

The Cyan Neko
🎖️ Game Master
YSS Kaiyō II
Medical Center

♫ Zedd - Find You ft. Matthew Koma, Miriam Bryant

It was a quiet night on the ship, and Kasumi had just finished a training session with Mark. After the workout, she had taken a shower and changed into a pair of high waisted training shorts and a crop top. She found that the session had left her with a few questions about her body and how it seemed to differ from others. Although they were questions that she could have consulted a electronic database for, she felt that her curiosity could be sated just as well by one of the medical personnel on the ship.

When she entered the medical center, Kasumi found that the three treatment beds were empty. It was not often that bio synthetics were in the medical center for issues that did not pertain to battle injuries. Quite simply, It was rare that their bodies broke down on their own, although not unheard of.

When she arrived, it appeared that someone was already there. If she had passed by the Medical Center in recent time it would be quite the familiar person, the synthetic humanoid with light gray skin and a face segmented into tens if not over a hundred facial plates that mimicked facial expressions. The Freespacer who came to Yamatai with a startling lack of, forgiving the pun, care, for the bad blood and history. She was turned away from the door upon Kasumi's arrival, but as the door opened and her footsteps echoed through the room, she turned with a curious look, metallic eyes inspecting the pale form of Kasumi. Though her right arm remained tucked behind her own form. It was only a moment before her voice chimed out, distinctly feminine yet holding a buzz similar to that of a radio, as if it was patched through some other source rather than being directly produced. "Hello, is there something I can do to assist you?" Her facial plates made soft sounds as they shifted, conveying an artificial warmth of a smile.

Kasumi seemed to stare back at the Freespacer medic for only a moment, as if she were processing her in a manner not unlike that of an artificial intelligence. Before long, Kasumi's eyes widened into an open expression.

"Are you an expert on the Nekovalkyrja form?", she spoke. Although she lacked the overt robotic appearance that defined Care, her tone was monotonous and pleasant sounding, in a manner not unlike that of a feminine artifical intelligence. It seemed that she made no effort to hide her biosynthetic nature, or that her tone was simply a quirk of her personality.

Care took a moment to regard the question, eyeing Kasumi delicately, her eyes softly clicking as they moved and adjusted. "I hold knowledge of the biological processes and overall biology, along with how to properly treat the species for any issues they may have, but I wouldn't say I'm an expert when there's certainly many people more knowledgeable. Is there some inquiry I could help you with?" She fully turned to face Kasumi, but her right hand was odd. Though there were fingers and joins, they were splayed and opened from the inside, not broken, but clearly she was in the middle of some form of upkeep. Her other hand absentmindedly continued the work, whatever it may be. Her tone was different in her response, though it was hard to place why. Her greeting had been cheerful and warm, and so was her response, but it was as if the artificial tone had only increased in its presence, accompanied by the artificial smile that almost seemed fake.

Kasumi eyed Care's hands for only a moment. She had little native knowledge about the Freespacers, aside from some rough history and their general appearance. However, both were inconsistent and disputed topics, as the Freespacers were incredibly diverse and extensive.

"I do, Traumapatcher-Hei. I have an inquiry on the nature of Nekovalkyrja and Minkan muscle mass.", she started as she batted her lashes. "I have noticed that among non synthetic species, they tend to have more visual muscle definition than we do and less mass, yet at the same time, they are frequently weaker than us.", she continued on. "I observed this today when I was training with Mark Oaklen, and it gave me pause."

Care nodded absentmindedly as her eyes returned to her right hand, which quickly seemed to pull itself together with assistance from her left. "It's a rather simple question, all things considered. Though Nekovalkyrja tend to have smaller muscles when compared to other species, you have to regard two aspects of their biology. The first of which being their artificial nature, and the second of which being the general density of muscle. When comparing the same amount of muscle mass between a Nekovalkyrja and another species, the Nekovaljyrja may have a great deal more muscle density, a result of specific engineering on their biological functions. More muscle in the same amount of space, essentially." The drone of her voice explained, eyes no longer examining the girl in front of her as her hand solidified back into its standard shape.

Kasumi seemed to pause for a moment, her green eyes seeming to pierce deeply into Care's eyes with an inquisitiveness that bordered on creepiness. The snowy Neko already found many similarities between herself and Care, and it intrigued her to the point of infatuation. However, it only left burning questions in her mind.

"Care, do you mind if ask a personal question?"

Cares eyes looked back up to meet Kasumis, the glowing light of her artificial lenses dimming by a small amount as they adjusted. She gave a brief tilt of her head, the constant, still smile remaining. "I don't mind, what do you wish to know?" She responded quite simply, but it felt like the response of some simple AI installed into some pad.

"Would you consider yourself to be a synthetic being?"

The question wasn't what she expected, and she blinked momentarily, eyes adjusting once more, small parts spinning like a camera lens. "I have no organic features, nor have I ever been organic. I don't see how I could consider myself anything but synthetic."

Care's answer confused Kasumi initially. It seemed that Care had a different definition of a synthetic being than Kasumi herself did. Kasumi thought of a synthetic being as an organic android or gynoid, such as herself. On the other hand, it appeared that Care though of a synthetic being as fully artifical and "metal" in construction.

When Kasumi's response came, it seemed to be slow and measured in wording.

"I consider myself to be a synthetic as well. Although unlike you, I am a gynoid, a creation, with an organic form.", she responded. "I think I should rephrase my question...", Kasumi spoke with an uncharacteristically uncertain tone.

"Although it brings me some level of discomfort to say, I am a gynoid that inhabits an organic form, and you are a gynoid that inhabits a mechanical form. Do you think that there is much difference between us?"

"Of course there is difference." The was an added light to her eye, a softening of the smile into an almost organic breath as her facial plates began moving once more, showing much more emotion than just an otherworldly smile. "You were created from Yamatai technology and I of Freespacer. Even if based on the same core principles there are differences in both software, even if neither of our being is restrained to hardware. I think it's foolish to assume there's no differences between species, even of similar caliber because it takes for granted the difference of each one." She paused, eyes still adjusting with quickened pace. "Or are you looking for something more specific?" There was a liveliness in her voice that was absent, though the artificial tone was still very much there, it sounded more natural.

"You and I are both of cultures that specialize deeply in the creation of artificial life, albeit for different purposes. So perhaps, that is the root cause of the differences in our mental software.", she answered. "I belive that the core principles behind our creation and in our mental softwares are different as well.", Kasumi spoke once again, as she batted her lashes in an apparently unconscious, yet thoughtful gesture.

"Of course, though I've never held interest in pondering the differences." Care admitted, pausing before she continued. "As regardless my hardware is incorrect and incomplete and the idea of changing it is too terrifying to chance fixing the discomfort. Have you ever felt similar? That your software and hardware were simply imcompatible?"

"I feel...", Kasumi paused for a period, to process the inquiry, her eyes squeezing shut for a moment, before opening once again. For the first time, Kasumi felt that Care had presented a difficult question for her to answer. To answer one way would be to acknowledge a fault in her mental software, and that was something that she did not believe existed. The snowy Neko was secure in her body, but it sometimes felt as if her body processed things faster than her mind could.

In essence, she was indecisive.

"I can not say. I do not think anything grievous is wrong.", she stated simply.

Cares face hardened, the shifting of the emotional facial plates coming to a still. "I see." She commented in an almost disappointed voice. "Then I am correct in my hypothesis, multiple of my processes are flawed." Her eyes shifted downward, a pressure in her chest rising, with nowhere to go. "Of course I've known that for quite some time, but I assumed if I just kept telling myself it was common-"

"How did you find that out?", Kasumi interrupted suddenly, seeming curious at how the Freespacer had performed her own introspection and analysis on her mental software. "Excuse me, that was rude. My apologies, Traumapatcher-Hei.", she added somewhat nervously.

Care paused, eyes shifting uncomfortably, as she softly raised the freshly repaired hand, inspecting it idly. "Mental processes and issues did not align with physical reports. A pressure next to my eyes that I'm sure I felt, and feel quite often takes time to fade yet my own analysis from my body shows no issue in the area. Similar issues arise in multiple areas, a tightness in the chest, abdomen, and other areas that simply lack any relevance to physical reports. As time went on aboard this ship and among more organics I began to recognize the responses as emotional, and found that my body was incapable of emotional support, leaving tight and uncomfortable feelings in my mental processes, as they found dead ends when connecting to my body."

Quite simply, an awkward silence fell over the room as Kasumi simply failed to respond to Care's analysis of her state. When the Freespacer spoke of her eyes, the snowy Neko seemed to understand her. Kasumi remembered that unlike herself, Care was a mechanical gynoid. The Freespacer explicitly lacked the organic systems necessary to faciliate, communicate, and release emotional expression. Already, Kasumi found herself at a crossroads.

Kasumi's indecisive and sometimes phlegmatic nature was a characteristic of her personality. However, Care's inability to express and release emotions was an inherent imperfection. The young, idealistic Neko believed that it was something that could be fixed.

After a time, Kasumi spoke.

"Have you ever considered a body transfer, to perhaps an organic form?"

"Of course I have." Her words were dry, empty of any positive feeling. "I've been told the same before, and it only serves to make me feel worse about it. The idea of changing aspects of my body is a terrifying one, almost paralyzing. I don't believe I could bare to go through with a full change of body. I know every aspect and design of my body, every part and its purpose, and I've known it from the moment I was turned on." She paused, shaking her head. "It's uncommon, extremely uncommon, even among freespacers, to feel what I felt when they turned me on. I was afraid, panicked, overwhelmed. One moment I didn't exist, and the next I had approximate knowledge of many things, and the sudden reception of all the present knowledge, unexplainable loud noises and lights and feelings and thoughts." She turned away, face still. "I'm terrified that changing my body will illicit the same response."

"You would consider a body transfer to be a traumatic experience?", Kasumi asked softly. Quite simply, what Care had told her was enlightening information. The green eyed Neko had never fully understood why many non-Yamataian individuals were uncomfortable with body transfers. As a military Neko, body transfers were things that Kasumi heard of all the time, for various reasons. Often times after a traumatic or mortal injury, bodies were rendered unserviceable for life, and a soul transfer was conducted to a new one, while the old one was incorporated into hemosynth. Of course, Minkan and Nekovalkyrja bodies had superb regeneration abilities, but those did not make them immortal by any means.

Furthermore, among the civilian population, body transfers were conducted for aesthetic, mental health, and enhancement purposes. Individuals switched into bodies of the opposite sex, quite often for mental health reasons. Individuals also switched into bodies that were almost animalistic in nature, for the purposes of self-expression. These particular individuals were referred to as "anthros", and they were well accepted in Yamataian society.

"I consider the initial process of existing to be traumatic." She responded with a frown. "I know it's illogical, but logic does not quell fear. I am not Yamatai in origin, my existence was built upon repairs and replacements, the idea of completely shifting bodies is an overwhelming change from that line of thought." She shifted her body, straightening her chest, and it looked like she was about to sigh, but her facial plates shifted uncomfortably as the feeling lingered in the air. She had no lungs, no way to pull in air, and no way to push it out. "Both outcomes are extremely uncomfortable, however while shifting bodies and making changes may fix many issues, it may also cause many more. I can predict my current issues, I am used to them. I cannot accurately predict the result of changes."

"What about a more gradual process? Perhaps you could add synthetic parts to your body, in a deliberate and measured fashion?", Kasumi suggested in an even tone.

"I've thought about it." Care admitted after a moment. "And I believe it's the course of action I will take." She shook her head after a moment. "But day after day I say those same words and when the fear starts to build up I just say I'll do it another day. It's a vicious cycle, and I fear I'll need help to deal with such an..." Her facial plates around her cheeks began to warble and quake. "Irresponsible issue!" Her tone was full of embaressment, as if it was wrong to be unable to deal with it herself.

Kasumi was silent, yet courteous as she approached Care and stared into her mechanical eyes, as if to beam into the Freespacer's soul.

"I will help you.", Kasumi stated simply, yet with hopeful feeling in her voice.

Cares eyes stared back, the glow of the iris' betraying the inner workings of the eyes themselves. Close up, it was like two camera lenses, with numerous twisting circles. Though without the ambience of breathing, the clicking of her eyes and soft shifting of facial plates brought her face to life with the cautious, almost emotional expression. "I-" Her voice faultered, the volume lowering drastically as her sentence cut off. Her jaw quivered, and she struggled to find words. "...I couldn't ask you to-" It was clear that a lot of thoughts raced through her mind. Fear, anxiety, hope, joy, a miasma of suffocating emotions. "T-hank you?" Was the ultimate result, full of uncertainty.

"It is all I ever wanted to do.", Kasumi responded softly, as she placed a hand on Care's shoulder.

"Where would you like to start?"

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