Digital [R]eincarnation by Sakura Alexia

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Her story had to be one of a kind, one that not even the craziest person in existence would ever believe nor tell, it was surreal even for those who still believed in legends and fairytales… and even more for herself.


She always had big dreams, ever since she was a kid, because she wanted to, and for the sake of her people, the people who died in a pure act of cruelty disguised as justice. Those very same people she’s disappointed and completely let down.


How? Someone would ask.


She was dead, or rather she should have been. 


Last she remembered she was on the ship of the very last pirate crew she joined for protection, until eventually either she or they would betray her. It was the same story every single time…


There had been fire, a lot of fire, though she had no memory of the reason why, she just knew that no one came out of there alive, not even her. The very last thing was a figure in white and two more in black and someone giving a promise of a new life.


She was dead, so then… why did her eyes stare at that very same white figure just now? And why was she in a laboratory of some sorts? Who were all the other people in the room? Dressed in black clothes, almost like uniforms and why did she have one too?


What had these people done?


Probably noticing her confusion, and the way she’s been looking around as she was sitting on a medical table, the woman in white decided to speak up, after ushering the rest of the people in the room away so they were alone.


Was she the one in charge then?


“You must have a lot of questions.” the woman said, and not trusting her voice she just nodded at her.


Bringing a hand to her chest the woman spoke again. “You may refer to me as Commander White, I am in charge of this place.”


At least the name was easy to remember, and like she thought, White was indeed the one at the top here.


“I lead a faction of androids named YoRHa, and that is what you are too now.”


She looked at her hands for a moment, she had barely noticed the white gloves before, an android… she was an android? How did this happen? Why did this happen? Why her?


“I am sure you must be confused, this is all new for you, you have a lot to adapt to, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have.”


She still waited to speak, giving at apparently, going by what she said, her new Commander a look that urged her to continue explaining herself.


“Us YoRHa are a group of androids whose purpose is to fight the machines that have conquered Earth, to reclaim the planet for the humans that created us.” White spoke, then extended a hand towards her, probably wanting her to take it.


“Now come, let me show you something that may clear your head a bit more.”


She let the cryptic woman lead her around, not without any difficulty as she stumbled through the very first steps she took, her supposedly new legs felt rather stiff. She felt heavier, yet lighter at the same time, like she could run a marathon in a few seconds, or jump as high as the Reversal Mountain was. She felt fast, strong, more than she ever was.


All the years spent running and defending for herself certainly did not make her a weak woman, but this was something else.


This was indeed not a body of her own, yet at the same time she was moving it around, willing it to move. How did these people just salvage her mind and put it into an entire new thing?


It was so hard to believe this actually happened at all. She was not sure she wasn’t having some kind of really twisted and weird dream, that this wasn’t reality, but the steady hand on her shoulder White steadied her with felt all but fake.


She could see the Commander’s face when she grasped her hand with too much force, a hushed apology was all she could say, and the first thing she had said too.


“You will have time to adjust yourself to your new body, you will be tested properly to make sure you will have total control of it, it is much stronger than your previous human body, as you may have noticed.”


White took her to a large window, and just now she noticed they weren’t anywhere even on a planet anymore, but in space, because a blue planet, her planet, was just sitting there before her.


She could see the line of mountains that divided it in two, and the vast sea and the islands that populated it. She just wished she could see her own home too…


“That is where you come from, however…” White once again led her to another window, this time on the other side. “This is the planet that has been the source of our interest, that is Earth.”


White turned towards her, and even though she was towering over her, she never felt so small under her gaze.


“Once I deem you ready, you too will join the fight alongside my soldiers.” then she saw White take something that remained on a table of the lab, something small and black almost like a blindfold, and right now she was reminded of the other people, soldiers maybe, wearing something similar over their eyes.


“This visor is yours, always wear it, you’re only allowed to take it off during rest mode.”


“Rest mode?” she asked, despite never having worn one of these before she found it as easy to put on as if she always had one.


“I would assume for you humans it would be the equivalent of sleeping, when an android needs to recharge their strength. We can be active for a long time, however our energy is not infinite.” White explained and she just nodded.


She watched as the Commander walked over to the door, now from behind the blindfold visor, as she referred to it.


“Follow me.” 


Without questioning she did follow, trailing behind the blonde woman through a long and gray corridor, everything was gray in here, if the visor wasn’t pulling any tricks on her eyes, which she didn’t think it was, her vision looked just the same with and without it. She supposed the thing had other uses than just seeing things then.


They passed a lot of rooms, and a lot of people, all dressed in black, males and females alike, and all just stared at her as she passed by. She suddenly felt even more uncomfortable than how she already was in this whole situation. 


A glare from the Commander was enough to make them stop however.


White led her to one room, her own room, where another android was waiting, this one, blonde just like the Commander but with much shorter hair compared to White’s long ponytail, didn’t have her eyes covered, but her mouth was instead with a veil. She had seen the female androids she passed by all having dresses, albeit with differences, but still dresses.


She too had one too now, while this woman without blindfold had a single bodysuit with shorts, and under it there was a rather revealing transparent cloth that covered whatever remained.


Did different types of clothing mean different ranks aside from just the color like the Commander’s uniform?


“Is it her, Commander?” the third and still unknown woman asked.


“Yes, now do greet her properly.”


The woman in black bowed slightly to the Commander first, and then to her, and she was not sure what to make of the gesture. “My apologies, I am Operator 21O, and I have been put in charge of assisting you.”


“All field units have an Operator unit assigned to them to assist and guide them during missions, however you’re a special case, so I chose to assign you one of our most serious and competent Operators, and she will assist you through this initial phase of adaptation.” White explained to her. So she was meant to be a field until then, and this other person was like an assistant she supposed.


She wondered if she too would have another name, since this Operator woman did not appear to have a proper name, more like a number and letter.


“From now on, you, the former human known as Nico Robin will be known under a new name, and neither of you is allowed to ever speak of it, nor of any reference to being a human, never mention past memories either.”


She saw 21O put a hand to her chest as a salute, and instinctively Robin felt the urge to do the same. “Understood.” the blonde Operator spoke, and gestured for her to do the same thing.


Robin tried to mimic the gesture the best she could, before replying in the same manner.


If she had to be honest, this was not much different from some experiences she had, it was not the first time she had to hide her identity, it should be the easier thing out of the rest she’s been told so far. Not like she could leave anyways… 


She could always try but the lack of knowledge about everything that had occurred since her death, and of this kind of place shoved that thought in the furthest corner of her mind.


So then, now what should she be called? What was her role?


The answer did not come late.


“Your new official name will be YoRHa Number 26 Type E, type E stands for Executioner, like type O stands for Operator. For short, you can be called 26E, so do only refer to yourself, and be referred to with either title and no other.”


Again Robin, now 26E, did the same salute and responded in the same respectful manner as she saw 21O do, thinking it’d be the best option in this case.


“I see you’re a fast learner, I like to see that.” White commented, though Robin did not react to the praise, she received too many false ones in the past to appreciate them anymore.


“Now let me explain why you are here, and what the role of your type consists of. The type E is the top of the line type of the combat units, but unlike Battler units whose job is to frontline, Executioner units are better made for striking at the enemy when they least expect to, they act from the shadows.” White said.


“So like assassins?” Robin found herself asking, she didn’t quite have the grasp of the situation yet, but so far she didn’t have any way to do anything but obey, and she was used to doing that for survival.


This was not any different, for now, if she obeyed, she got to live, as far as she could tell. White hadn’t been explicit about it but Robin was more than used in reading between the lines when someone spoke.


“There is also something else E types such as you are used for. As you could see when we passed by, we have some more than curious units here, some that love to get into territories they should not, finding classified information, such as your former humanity for example.”


Robin could notice a pained look in 21O’s eyes, it passed as quickly as it came, but enough for her to notice, though it wasn’t her place to question this, nor the time.


“Often when those too curious for their own good units find this information, they tend to attempt to run, and an Executioner’s job is to silence them.”


So she was correct, executioner was just a fancy word to define their job as assassins.


“We’ve received word that in your previous life you were quite proficient at both of these things, so we would like to use your knowledge to strengthen our forces.”


Not like she could say no, could she? Wouldn’t she end up dead just there if she refused? White’s words definitely hinted at it.


Obey your orders or perish, it was written all over White’s face, and the way she spoke only screamed at her that her hunch was correct.


Once again she held a hand to her chest and told her new Commander that she was willing to cooperate.


“Good, now, 21O will guide you to your room so you can get settled in, and get acquainted with the place, we will begin testing tomorrow.”


Was she even getting the luxury of a room of her own? If she had to be honest, Robin still did not know what to make of this yet, too many surreal things, and too many questions left unanswered, that probably will remain as such, but as far as things went these androids were being rather gentle with her, despite the intimidating aura the Commander had around her.


For someone that more often than not didn’t have the luxury to even have a blanket to keep herself warm at night, this was certainly so much more than what she ever had.


It was almost overwhelming.


Remaining silent, she now followed this Operator woman to where she was supposed to be staying, and when they arrived at the door she couldn’t help but notice the sign next to it that mentioned her new name next to it, so this room was indeed her own and no one else’s.


The room itself was nothing special, a bed, a table, and some kind of technological thing she laid her eyes on, she’d never seen it yet her mind told her it was called a terminal. She frowned, how did she know the name of that thing? 


One thing caught her eyes the most though, and it was a worn brown bag on the bed, her own bag, the only thing she ever owned, albeit stolen, but she did need something to place what little things she needed somewhere.


“That is yours, correct?” 21O asked from behind her, as she inspected the thing, trying her best to be gentle with it, not quite knowing the extent of her full strength yet.


She nodded at the question, still busy looking if it still held the very few things that were in it, pleased to see they were still all there.


“Commander White has been very strict regarding that item, no one but her and I knows about it and I assume it will have to stay that way. However, she wanted you to keep your personal belongings.”


Robin gently set the bag back down, before turning her gaze to the Operator.


“You don’t have to be so formal around me.” she told her.


“My apologies, but this what the protocol imposes, I must be respectful towards you.” the other woman replied. “And in your specific case, I cannot help but hold you in high regards, us androids have been made to serve humans, and you’ve formerly been one.”


Robin however frowned, if there was anyone worth or being respected so much surely it wasn’t her. A pirate and murderer did not deserve anything.


“I apologize, but I am unused to receiving any kind of respectful words, and besides, I do not wish to be worshiped, since if I guessed correctly I am now just your equal.”


21O looked confused, was she not expecting this kind of answer?


“I am saddened to hear that you did not have pleasant experiences, however Commander White did not bring you here wishing you any harm.” she replied to her, 21O’s posture stiffened, as if afraid to speak these next words.


“If I could give a word of advice, I would suggest not to anger the Commander, and to not ask too many questions. As you heard, units that are too curious get punished, so I’d have to tell you to be the one carrying said duty instead of falling victim to it instead.” 


The way the woman spoke was gentle, was her Operator getting already attached to her? Or was her programming that told her to look up to humans speaking in her place? 


“I do not plan to get myself killed anytime soon, humans do not normally get a second chance at life.” Robin lightly chuckled, but her humor wasn’t shared from the other woman in the room.


“What happens to an android instead?” she asked, curiosity getting the best to her despite what she’d just been told. She did have to make sense out of this sometime, no?


“In our specific case, when an android dies a retrieval team is sent down to Earth so we may repair them, but, since you’re an E type, the people that will die from you hand will also be reset, their memories will be rewritten to cancel what dangerous information they may have found.” 21O’s green eyes stared at Robin’s own ones, she looked back from behind the visor.


“Your memory is special, so do keep in mind what I’ve just told you.”


In other words, if you let your usual hunger for knowledge get the best of you, you could get your own self rewritten, and say goodbye forever to the person you ever were, not really something she wanted to happen, at all.


No, that was not going to happen, she was not willing to lose her memories, she could not forget.


“Will do, thank you for telling me.” she replied to the woman with a small smile.


“My job is to ensure the safety of my assisted units, you are no exception.”


Robin just nodded. Safety huh? Where were these people when she and her people truly needed to be kept safe? Though she supposed she shouldn’t blame them when they weren’t at fault for anything that happened on her planet.


She walked over to the window of the room, sitting on the chair next to the desk close to it, she could see the blue of the ocean of her home planet from it.


She sighed, telling 21O that she would have liked to be alone for a bit. She felt bad for saying it after how kind she’d been to her, but she truly did need to think, and a lot, and fortunately the woman understood her wishes. 


So, thinking back, she had somehow died, though her memory was being rather unclear how, these androids supposedly found her, somehow salvaged her being, her mind and knowledge and gave her an entire new body that looked exactly like her previous one but it did not feel like it, it was much heavier and stronger.


And now somehow they wanted her to fight alongside them, by fighting machines and aiding them to keep curious stragglers at bay?

 

Just what the hell had she gotten dragged into?



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