Mistaken Identity

You ask why I let myself be modified? For fun, in order to find a better work, to pay debts? And how it's like to be changed like I was? I could tell a long story if you like. Here it goes:

One day I went to the hospital because my spine needed to be fixed. I arrived one day before the operation was due.

During the night, I woke up due to somebody in my room. Before I could do anything, that man pressed a mask onto my mouth and nose while also pinning my chest to the bed with his weight. I quickly lost consciousness.

When I woke up, my bed was being pushed around. I could not see anything because I was blindfolded. I could not move because I was bound. I could not talk either because I was gagged. Someone said that I should stop resisting because I'd totally deserve that. I tried some more to get free but these bounds were much too strong to do anything but to amuse the men pushing me around.

When we arrived at our destination, a needle was being pushed into my arm. I was afraid to lose my life - and in some sense you could say that I lost my old life that day. A substance entered my blood and I was being drugged and paralyzed. My heart continued beating steadily, my lungs kept breathing but not by my will. My mask was removed and my head was freed from the restrains. I think I was drooling, but that was the least of my problems.

The bed below me was removed and I hung in the restrains, somebody held up my head while I was placed on a different table. the voice of an instrucktor confirmed that to be good and ordert my restrains to be removed - and instead to fix me to the table. I could still not move a muscle nor make a sound, but I could move my eyes.

They put a cap onto my head and a robotic arm pinched me in several places. It was completely painless and after a long time that cap was removed again. The first thing was a tube being inserted through my mouth. After a few seconds I only felt a slight pressure in my neck and heard the sound of my breath going through the tube. Then one of the the persons was instructed to remove the flesh from my skull. He or she used a laser - I could smell the stinking odor of my burned flesh despite not breathing through my nose. My head was turned left and right, finally the flesh of my face was removed, too. The lump of skin became lose and the instructor asked for it to be cleaned - obviously they keep it as a trophy somewhere. Even though I realized that my lower jaw was part of the "flesh" that was now removed, I was glad that this step had finished. I wanted to take a deep breath but my body just continued it's normal breathing. Off cause I could not blink anymore.

Now they put some kind of frame on my shoulders to hold my skull. The top part of the table was raised to form a seat. The breathing hose hung down from my neck. Now the doctor was instructed to open my skull. They fetched a robotic device and set it on the frame. It carefully sawed off the top of my skull. Some liquid ran down my shoulders when it was removed. They replaced it, the next device did something to my brain. For the most part I didn't feel anything back then, but now I know that the connectors were placed to interface with my mind.

Suddenly my left eye went dark, then my right eye - they were cut off without causing pain. The device kept working, connectors were installed where my eyes used to be. Some bizzare images and patterns flashed in front of me, test patterns for the connectors, then it went dark again. Finally my skull was closed with an artificial skull cap. The table was put back to horizontal position and the frame was adjusted.

Now my upper jaw was being sawed away, too, including the nose. I didn't know that back then, it was just laying in the dark, feeling the vibrating saw in my head, breathing slowly even though I wanted to panic. Then the mount for my breath filter was installed in that place. They cleaned and dried my neck, then they placed a device on my skull that made me inhale and hold my breath. They inserted an endoscopic laser through the tube to cut away my vocal cords. They let me breathe for a few moments before I was made to inhale again and hold my breath while they removed that tube and installed a tube to the filter in it's place. When the pushed the button again, I started to breathe through the yet empty device. I had a sense of smell again - stinking a lot like burned away flesh, much worse than before. They installed a filter cartridge and breathing felt right again: Unencumbered and clean except for some of that smell from my throat. I have to admit that I felt comfortable and safe for a moment until I remembered what's happening to me. Still I started to accept what's happening to me.

There is another connector below my chin, it's for nutrients, charging and more. I'll omit the details, but it's called omniport for a reason. On that day they just routed a combined hose from there into my gullet. Later they'd route the individual parts to the corresponding areas, in and out.

Then my blind head was rolled to the sides and my ears were drilled out till the eardrums were reached; then that part was replaced. For a few few moments I was deaf.

Now the helmet was placed and fixed on my head and neck. I heard the connectors click. From that moment on, I was controlled by the computer in my helmet and I instantly knew it. My eyes and ears are separate prts that were installed that day - cameras and microphones. I noticed that the surface of the helmet is sensitive to touch - but it's rather like knowing the area and the force.

My first order was to get myself cleaned in a small shower, to put on a new shirt and to lay on a regular hospital bed. Before I did that, I needed to wait some time after the needle was removed from my arm and still some time before the computer estimated that I could safely use my muscles; then it made me do all this. Talking was off cause not yet possible back then, but also I knew that any other communication was forbidden unless necessary for a given task.

A sheet was placed on my whole body and helmet, then I was rolled to a small room and ordered to stay there. The door was locked. That was necessary to prevent others from finding me, but I felt happy to fulfill these orders, and if I looked at the door and wondered weather I should try to break free, I felt great satisfaction from deciding not to leave. I'd have happily starved in that room just because of that order and would have felt satisfaction from doing so. The computer made me be aware of being nudged like that. Also I was aware that although I could make it not do that, if I had tried to resist orders, it would again take complete control of my body anyway unless it would be an emergency.

I could listen to the radio, watch TV and I even had some games - all in my head. My internet access was filtered but I couold read most sites. I still wanted to tell somebody about the mistake, but when my meal came, I let that person fill my stomach by using the omniport, emptied myself into a bed pan and wiped. After that I ignored that person completely, avoiding any communication just like I was ordered to. During that night I learned that my camera eyes never shut off, but I slept well just moments after deciding to sleep.

The next day I was ordered to lay on the bed, the cover was put over my helmet and I was brought to the same room again. I noticed that I did not want to resist nor did I fear anything happening to me.

I was ordered to stand. The instructor asked me: "Are you completely operational?" I nodded. "Healing as expected?" Nod "Any other problems?" Nod. "Let's see …". He connected his tablet to my helmet, then he found that my back still needed to be repaired. The computer was actively supressing a considerable amount of back pain. "Change of plans: We'll install the big package in this one. Today we'll do the legs and the hands. Lay down on the table, discard the coat and relax until we are done".

I did relax while they cut off my legs above the knees, sliced my skin along the tighs and again sliced away almost everything below the hips. They connected metal tubes to the bones and encased them with my skin - they had to stretch it a lot but again not painful. Off cause I wondered weather I should rather panic, but I knew that the computer assumed no threat to me.

Then they modified my hands - or rather they replaced everything except the skin on my four fingers. These new hands are strong and useful: I can split all the finges to the wrist and move them individually - even like having two thumbs. Once I lifted a truck and these hands weren't damged.

I was brought tom the same room. When I received my nutrients, the person said "Here comes your favorite food". I wished to taste pizza - and I actually tasted pizza. Not the best pizza, but quite good. I was quite surprised but the computer prevented me from showing my emotions.

Using the pot was difficult, I needed to be lifted by two people since I could not use my hands. They were still bandaged and all I knew back then was that they were missing a thumb. Still it felt not only OK, but perfectly reasonable to let it happen to me. One of them carefully folded the sheet over my body to just expose the head.

On the next day a plate was installed on my back and my bones were replaced with an artificial skelon with motorized joints. My intestines were removed in favor of batteries and a metabolic generator, half of my lungs made room for this wheel in the middle of my chest. Also they removed my manhood, I didn't even notice that till later. On my whole front I have a shock-absorbing plastic shell below my skin that absobs the shock in case that I hit something while driving.

I wasn't put back on the bed that day but into a stasis chamber. It's like floating in the air, every part of my body was mildly tingeling while it was healing. I noticed that my batteries were charging and didn't feel hunger nor thirst. But it causes you to be tired while you are inside and even the day after.

It seemed that it only took a day for everything to heal, but I emerged a month later and I was asked weather everything was in good order - I could only nod. Then I first got these new legs: I can extend them here above the knees, the tubes in my legs are part of that mechanism. My knees and feet are double-jointed so I can fold them any way or turn them around. The cover of the chains doubles as boots.

After my legs were installed I noticed that my computer would nudge me to usually not extend and to not walk but kneel while driving. Now that I'm back to being myself, it does the opposite. I think I could change that, but people treat me like a service bot when kneeling and like a man when standing.

I barely had time to try out the new legs before I was ordered to enter a machine. That machine burned away the upper layers of my skin and all my hair and finger nails. It did not hurt, all the pain was blocked. When I emerged I was given this new skin. It was lethery like a motorcycle unitard, but on the other hand very stretchy, the inside very slippery and when it touched my burned skin it was calmed immediately. I released each of my track-legs in turn to slip into the skin, then I slipped into the arms and fingers and let the people close the front side - or it rather closed itself. The seams vanished immediately and after it bond to the helmet, the color changed to the hospital's brand. At the same time I could feel touch again - just like on my helmet and on my chains. Back then my new skin was numb but by now it bonded with the nerves in my original skin and feels natural.

The skin has integrated LED headlights and a license plate that I can show while driving but I can't fake it. The skin is very sturdy and self-healing. I got these titanium shoulder pads, too, and in my helmet, there are rods that connect my head to my body, so I'm protected if I have a crash head-first - not that I'd intend to.

Finally they installed a speaker system, but only the computer was allowed to use it back then. It had a more robotic voice but I changed it by now. Sometimes when I let the computer do a task using my body, it still uses the robotic voice. Computer, say something – "Something".

When everything was tested I was ordered to spend some hours in the stasis chamber again to desinfect, then to move into my designated storage and wait. I let the computer drive me and watched my environment. I remembered the things and locations but all the people I met were just numbers and ranks to me. I can't even remember their gender. This did not change while I worked there, but I could tell them apart. Some were nice, some weren't, and sometimes I might have taken oders very literally on those.

The storage area was a small room near the parking lot. There were two boxes for cyborgs on tracks like me, they were next to each other and a total of four beds for normal cybors, one on top of the boxes, three on the other wall. The boxes were 1.2 meters high, had no door and were just large enough to kneel within. I sat on the back of my tracks and rolled into one of these boxes. It's quite comfortable in there if you are a cyborg. I plugged in the cable for my omniport, got some nutrients, some fuel and charged. While doing that I turned off the room'slights remotely and my eyes switched to infrared - I saw the light from a surveillance camera. The computer stopped me from winking into the cam like I used to do. Within seconds, I started sleeping. I needed that, too.

One man was already turned into a working drone for the hospital, I met him later. During the following days and months, two more regular men and one cyborg like me arrived. When I worked with them on a task, they seemed to not be conscious in the way I am, they just reacted to commands.

I was mostly ordered to assist in the hospital, but sometimes I would drive to an accident to assist. These orders usually weren't verbal, instead it's like I remembered having received the message. I liked doing whatever I was told, even dirty work would not bother me since my skin is easy to clean, a short shower is enough to wash off everything.

By the way, if you ever have one of the service cyborgs like me or like them, don't feel bad for using them for everything. If you exceed their time limit for the day's work, they will deny your request or let the computer handle doing simple things. I wasn't allowed to work beyond my hours either. Sometimes I slept or played computer games while my body sorted the laundry, sometimes my computer just refused orders.

After some months the the guy who had drugged, gagged and restrained me was arrested while breaking into a mansion. They realized that I was not him but they were unable to undo what they had done to me, it was never supposed to be done. The computer in the helmet and my brain have become one, if it's removed, I'm shut down, too. They tried that just in case I'd recover. I woke up a week later when they put it back and noticed the time jumping forward. Therefore I was deemed to not exist anymore and declared legally dead. My body would be my own heritage. Now I am the property of my mother. You can imagine the awkward situation between us.

Fortunately she asked me why I was not me - finally the right question. The computer explaned that it could be me because I'm still inside; the computer had the order to erase and replace that other guy's personality while integrating itself. That man is a convicted contract killer, so this makes sense, but the computer didn't find him and therefore skipped erasing me. It explaned that if she ordered it to be me, it could forward most controls to my personality and allow me to use the voice. Off cause she did that. So now I'm almost back to being myself - but in a much different body and legally I'm still dead. We're still trying to change that.

Also we're still fighting a legal battle with the hospital about the price of the hardware versus the price for my tissues. They say that it's useful expenses, that I had donated my organs and also they want money for having fixed my back. The last thing they did, I feel much better. They sold my organs wich isn't covered by donation so we argue that they owe us that amount, also we demand at least a payback plan since this body is quite expensive and we only agreed to much lower costs. With this new body I can do some well-payed work, too, and I could pay back everything in a few years, but if we'd lose at curt before I'm declared to be alife, she might be forced to sell me instead.

Now you know my story. I like being like this - especially not having back pain. I somehow even liked it when I was the property of the hospital, but either way it doesn't magically make your life suck less. It just sucks differently and you have to make the best out of it anyway.