Red heels clicked on the metal stairs that led up to the windowed control room of the Biological Cybernetics Corporation satellite base. For the first time since childhood, Biocybera felt cold. Slender fingers gripped the railing in front of the window as she looked down at Earth. She could see the place she spent her childhood– the sock of the United States. She could see Europe, where her empire began. In her mind, as she looked at each location, she recalled the events that transpired there.
Biocybera stood in silence for several hours while her technicians kept the station in orbit. None dared interrupt her reverie. The fear of retribution was still fresh, even if the scars left by long-removed collars were rapidly fading.
Despite a space station filled with an army of people, both military and civilian, Biocybera felt desperately alone. She furrowed her brows and clenched her fists around the rail she held. Brown eyes searched the earth far below for some place that had once made the brown-haired woman happy. Tears loomed threateningly in her eyes, only to be blinked away without a thought.
Her entire life since she was three was spent in misery, searching for success. She owned three quarters of the world now, and smiles were as alien to her as bravery in one of her soldiers.
Her three generals were gone now. Morticea killed herself. Biocybera still had no idea why. Psiblast and Obsidian went down in a hail of bullets, trying to protect Biocybera. There was too much brain damage for her to repair, or to even transplant their brains into cloned bodies. Emptiness enveloped her, and she turned from the window and glanced around at her technicians.
Not a single individual in the room held any affection for her. They followed her out of fear, nothing more. None held to her ideals. They feared to insult her even when she was not present, even with no generals.
The woman felt like a disease. She walked purposefully back out of the room. The metal halls felt like home to her, clear of even the tiniest speck of dirt. She climbed up a set of stairs to one side, heading to her own bedchamber.
The door was open. Biocybera paused and leaned forward to look into the crack between frame and door. Her narrow field of vision gave no insight, and she stepped inside warily. She began to reach up to the lines of diminutive pockets on her undersized vest, but stopped when she saw who was present.
“Morty?” she asked quietly.
Before her stood a blue-skinned woman. Her black hair was coated in dreadlocks made of ice. The blue woman smiled. “Mom, I was waiting!” she chirped. “I want to show you something amazing!”
“Morticea, I thought you were dead.” Biocybera adjusted her silver pince-nez, and lowered it out of the way of her eyes. “I watched you.” She stepped forward slowly. Her eyes darted to Morticea’s hands. No gun. Relief began to build. “Did I send you on a mission, and just have a bad dream?” she asked. Dangerous hope began to well up.
“No, Mom. I really did die.” Morticea laughed. “You’re not that crazy yet, but you’re getting there.” She smirked. “Your father is making sure of it, isn’t he? I don’t think he even cares about your training anymore. He’s given up, because you’ll always be too weak.” She shrugged, then stuffed her hands into the pockets of her daisy duke shorts. “Come, look what I brought to show you!” she urged. “It took a while to get it.” Morticea jerked her head toward the simple, unadorned bed.
Uncertainty clouded the empress’s mind as she walked slowly to her bed. She closed her eyes in dread, then looked down.
A scream caught in her throat.
She was looking down at her seven year old self.
The child wore the same vest the woman currently wore. Underneath, there was a mess of rags, tied roughly around torso and hips. The child’s feet were bare and covered in dirt. Blood and bruises adorned the child’s chubby face and body.
“It’s you, Mom. Your father had her in a tube in his base. He told me to bring her.” She grinned slowly and walked behind the shaken brunette. “He said there’s a mission I need to do for him. Just like old times, right?”
Biocybera tensed as she felt the ice-like arms of her first general wrap slowly under her own. Morticea’s hand slid up her creator’s exposed belly, then paused on her breast. “Third from the left, top row.” she whispered as she plucked a round capsule from the named pocket.
Biocybera didn’t move, save to close her eyes and relax. “This is how I go?”
“He would prefer you screaming, but this works.” Click. The capsule popped open. “You replaced your gun. This one uses bullets, doesn’t it?” Morticea marveled at the sleek black barrel and the short handle. “This will kill you rather painlessly. It should completely liquefy your brain in less than a second.” Morticea seemed to purr as she slowly lifted the gun and tapped it against Biocybera’s chapped, dehydrated lips.
The older woman slowly opened her mouth. She could feel herself shaking. A tear slid halfway down her face, before the cold that radiated from Morticea froze it in place. “Good night, Mom.” For a moment, Morticea choked on the word. as the sight dug into the roof of Biocybera’s mouth painfully, and she felt blood.
The blast from the gun echoed throughout the base, and soldiers rapidly marched to their leader’s room.
The door was locked, and it took five agonizingly long minutes to hack into it and get it open.
As the door slid to one side, the soldiers stopped in their tracks. The woman that ruled their life was standing tall, half-nude in front of the mirrors that faced the earth. There was a bullet lodged in the wall near the door, and Biocybera held her gun tightly.
The soldiers were silent as they waited for their leader to acknowledge them.
The woman did not.