|ɴᴇʙᴜʟᴀ (cybertronics) wrote in valarlogs,|
@ 2020-04-29 10:17:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, kitty pryde (shadowcat), nebula|
WHO: Nebula & Kitty Pryde
WHERE: the Jean Grey Outreach Centre
WHEN: After this conversation.
WHAT: Nebula's cybernetic arm has appeared, removing her own arm. She needs some help putting it on.
WARNINGS: Low; non-graphic amputation discussion.
One of the perks of the image modulator thing was that Nebula could hide certain things. Things like her optic implant, things like her blue skin, things like when her hand and forearm were crudely amputated and left with a poorly attached cybernetic prosthetic.
She’d known it was coming. From the time she’d started dreaming, seeing herself, the parts that made up her enhancements. Since the optic implant and memory core had arrived, Nebula was just waiting for the rest to happen. It didn’t make it less painful though.
Small mercy that she didn’t have to live through the amputation of her arm though.
The notion of asking Peter was there, but she still wasn’t entirely comfortable being vulnerable around people she knew, the logic wasn’t exactly sound, but given that Kitty had created the image modulator for her, Nebula felt like perhaps the woman would be a good candidate for making sure her arm was suitably hooked up.
She was agitated and anxious though, waiting at the location, so many secrets and the like, holding her arm to her side with her image modulator on, making her just look like an anxious redhead there for a meeting or something.
There were multiple reasons Kitty had agreed to help out. First and foremost, it was the right thing to do. Oh, she couldn't emphasize entirely since she'd never lost a limb, but she had suffered because of her dreams, from torture to actual dying, albiet briefly. And while she could make sure that Nebula was functional, maybe she could ease her mind to an extent. If only as someone who was listening.
And maybe she might enjoy the technical aspect of it, even if the human aspect of it kind of broke her heart.
Kitty wondered if Nebula even cared enough to care about her humanity, anymore. She hoped she did.
She stepped outside, having chosen the Outreach Center for this work, since there was an entire underground lab, "Hey, I just got here myself. How are you holding up?"
“I am… Holding.” Nebula had quickly figured out that she was going to go through a serious amount of discomfort from her dreams. Her father wasn’t as restrained in the dreams as he was in real life, he had more tools at his disposal and less oversight.
It was by no means a pain she was used to, but it was a pain she could tolerate. “The connections aren’t lining up, and I cannot do it one handed.” She couldn’t see behind her elbow, and working in the mirror wasn’t ideal either. “You have nimbler hands than my other associate who might help.”
And if she were honest she was far more comfortable with Kitty than Quill, because Quill was an idiot and Kitty wasn’t.
That didn't sound like a very merry response, but Kitty knew better than to press with Nebula. Her curiosity being sated wasn't worth it. Kitty nodded and pulled out a couple of tools from what she called her dream toolkit. Shi'ar tech, mostly, with a few other additions over the years.
But she thought she needed the Shi'ar tech. While it wasn't the same alien tech as that which produced Nebula, there were enough similarities that she thought it would make things go smoother. Or at least a little less painfully.
"I think I can get it connected and I've got a tool that can manipulate to a much smaller level. It might help reduce... some of the discomfort, at least."
Discomfort was one way to put losing limbs. She knew it was by no means an isolated incident. The process wasn’t something she could quantify, not really, there wasn’t a way to describe things, so naturally, Nebula didn’t try. Instead, she focused on the fact that she at least had people she could ask for help.
“I believe all the connectors are present.” It was just a matter of if they lined up or if a telekinetic was needed. The Maw was involved in a lot of Nebula’s ‘improvements’ after all. With a sigh, Nebula flicked off the image inducer, allowing Kitty to see the alterations. Her skin and the facial implant wasn’t new, Nebula opting for clothes that suited the work needed -comfortable pants, a sleeveless shirt. It allowed the arm that was barely connected to be properly seen.
The left shoulder was primarily plates of metal linking to coils and wires and electronics that made up the whole of Nebula’s arm. There was an annoying stab of shame in her gut, but Nebula quickly pushed it down. Thanos had no hold on her here, she made her own choices.
Even though she’d been prepared for it, it was still a bit of a shock. Kitty knew better than most how much the dreams could change a person, even if most of her scars were deep under the surface. She’d died, she’d watched friends transform, sometimes even more drastically than Nebula had, but it was still always a shock. Hopefully it was a good thing that she could still actually be shocked. Most days she just kind of rolled with it.
“We should consider manufacturing some kind of covering for the exposed wiring,” Kitty murmured, following it with her eyes down to where the semi-attached arm was. She lifted up her tool, creating a holographic zoomed in display of the connectors. “You run the risk of exposure to elements, and I can think of a few pliable materials that could replicate skin, or at least seal off the exposed bits.”
At first glance it looked like everything was lined close enough that it would be possible to get everything set. Kitty gripped the arm with one hand and angled the tool with the other. “Can you grab your bicep and hold it in place? Also, I have no idea how much this is going to hurt, I’m sorry.”
The changes have been… something. Nebula couldn’t deny that. She’d spent long enough inside when her skin changed colour that it was rather self evident that even she struggled with it. She knew she wasn’t the only one that went through those changes though; Yondu was blue, she’d seen that before she’d started changing too.
“That might be helpful, yes.” She had no idea how her new systems would react to this atmosphere, it wasn’t like Thanos was around to make sure she was reacting properly to the surroundings, the work on her parts wasn’t being conducted the same way it had in this other life that was affecting her. “The hologram alters perception, but it does not protect parts.” Obviously.
Wrapping her hand around the cybernetic bicep, Nebula braced herself for whatever might come, “Don’t worry, I am used to it.” Although the pain never really came to these levels in her life, dreaming of the ‘upgrades’ her Father made to her, well, it braced her for most of it.
"Give me a week or two and I'll come up with something and we'll do a few tests to make sure it's effective and doesn't like, chafe or something." There were some kind of receptors in this tech and Nebula obviously felt pain which meant they acted like nerves.
She couldn't even begin to figure out the details of how that worked and doubted Nebula had the patience or inclination to sit still long enough for the required scans.
"Okay, I'm applying pressure now." Kitty pushed the arm against Nebula's bicep and then flicked a dial on the tool. There wasn't so much as a clicking sound but she could feel the forearm when it attached to the rest of Nebula, though again she couldn't quite describe it.
It probably was much more obvious to the cyborg. "I think that's it."
In some ways it was like her body knew what it was missing. The portions of her that changed as the dreams progressed, the alterations to her body, the upgrades that were made, it was like they slotted in when connected properly. Her optic implant had instantly synced up with her synaptic drive in her skull. The portion of her brain that was now a computer. Nebula’s teeth clenched, more in annoyance from the memory than anything Kitty was doing.
“A lack of chafing would be preferable.” It wouldn’t matter that no one could see why she was uncomfortable if her arm was constantly being irritated.
The feeling came back to her hand the moment all the connections were fully wired, her forearm whirring a little as the joint in her wrist calibrated with her elbow and shoulder, whatever technology it was that kept all of her systems running together linking so that Nebula could flex the residual discomfort out of her fingers. “It is,” the knuckles on her robotic hand clicked as she flexed them into a fist and then back. “Thank you.”
It mattered that Kitty took the time to help, the least Nebula could do was say thanks.
“I’ll get to work on something then, as soon as I can.” Kitty promised. She’d have to run simulations and then fashion a number of alternate materials and see what worked best, but she didn’t think that would take too long; she already had a fair idea of what was needed. Nebula reminded her of a couple of different people she knew and she could start from those templates.
“You’re welcome. Everything optimal?”
She’d gotten mostly used to how her parts worked, the memory database, her scanning program, the recorder in her skull. It took a few thoughts to get the arm enhancements to sync with her brain component, checking the systems in there. Her fist clenched, the tips of her fingers sending sensations up her arm.
“It is, yes.” She’d work on any calibrations she needed to make now that it was suitably attached, but her arm was one she could mostly work on alone. “Do you… Do you mind if I come to you later, with any… developments.” She wasn’t sure how many more alterations would affect her, but at any rate, it was possible that her optic or synaptic drive might need poking at some point.
"Great." Kitty nodded her head, "I don't mind. I'll give you my number, you can call any time." She figured this definitely rated potential emergency contact. Maybe she didn't really know Nebula, but she didn't really care about that sort of thing.
Kitty was an X-man, and when the X-men were at their best they helped people. Sometimes she lost sight of that in the marinade of her own trauma, anger and bitterness.
There was still the struggle of disconnect for Nebula, between what Thanos strived for her to be, better than Gamora, stronger, smarter, more deadly. Constantly under construction. But Nebula half remembered what it was like to be human, whole and a person, the short time she spent free with her sister. “Thank you for this,” it was important for her to accept help, and know how to ask for it.
She was still working on building friendships with people because of just how hard it was to connect the way normal people do. Maybe she’d do better with cybernetic parts instead of human ones.