Jim, an airforce pilot is badly injured when his ejector seat misfires him into his canopy. Because of his injuries he's put on the cyborg program, both legs and arms are replaced and he has a power pack in his bowels.

His life as a pilot over he's recruited into the FBI and retrained, at the end of his training he is offered a unique opportunity, one that suits his new body and talents, that of a bodyguard. He'd be on temporary reassignment to the secret service. He did five years before the agency took an interest in him again, calling him in for an interview

He's offered a strange assignment, that of a body guard to a crime lord, he'd be undercover and there was a kicker, he'd be an observer in his own body. He'd have an implant fitted in his brain to turn him into a quasi-android.

He'd be sitting on an override switch, he'd have a locator beacon that he could trigger as well, the idea was that he'd be supplied to the don as a totally dumb and totally loyal servant, a fully trained bodyguard that would put your life before his.

They knew that he was 'making inquiries', they needed a willing body to go forward and were looking for volunteers.


An unspecified future

"You can have the afternoon to think about it. You're not the first we've asked but you're near the top of the list, you'd be an asset to the team."

"Well thinking it through as you've explained it, and given I'd be back to normal in a year, I don't see that there's much to consider," I replied. "After all I'm half artificial anyway."

Actually I was intrigued, life guarding politicians was boring, most of them were assholes, spoilt divas whose egos were greater than their combined intelligence. This sounded like a slice of real life, my psychological profile showed that I had the mental stamina and it would be strange to take a back seat and let an AI run my body.

"So you'll take the assignment?"

"Yes, it's an about face from what I'm doing now, it looks like a challenge worth taking on."

"Well we're very grateful, we'll give you a day or two to sort your affairs out then you can report to the hospital for a full briefing."

The hospital was a secure research facility; the unit doing the work was actually set up to undo what they were doing to me. As with every advance there were those who perverted it, the cybertech was an enhancement for those who suffered a stroke or brain damage, originally meant to rebuild the mind but now used by the unscrupulous to enslave, especially young beautiful women.

Letting the artificial intelligence control my body for the first time was strange, I could see, hear, smell and everything but I had no control, I couldn't make my eyes move to look nor control any of my limbs, the program they installed overlaid my skills, my martial arts and gunplay, they enhanced my street fighting skills, integrating straight into my artificial limbs.

They took me to a warehouse for a demo, having me take out three men and score seven bulls on snap targets, whoever reported back to the boss gave me high marks because the next day a handover was arranged.

We met another car in an underground garage and me and a case full of money changed seats, leaving me to ride off into an unknown future.

"So, this is the boss's new toy huh," I heard the gate guard say.

"Yup, it's done nothing but sit there since I picked it up."

"Charlie said it's quite good, he heard from Greg that it took Frank, Butch and Willie down."

"It's a good job they cost more than they're paying you, you'd soon be out the game with that paunch."

We drove on after the exchange, stopping in front of an elegant house; another guard came down the steps and opened the door.

"Out," he ordered.

"I thought these things could think for themselves, he was ordered into the car and now out, how are these things meant to work?" asked the driver.

"Dunno, they told me to take it to the study," he replied, then turning to me. "Follow me."

I watched from my mental perch as we traversed the hall and climbed a grand stairway, he led us down a panelled corridor and knocked on a stout oak door.


Opening the door and directed me through. I could see the blond's eyes assessing me as the guy sitting in front of the desk stood.

"So this is it, half a million bucks for a human robot."

"It's not a robot, it's a cyberman," a voice from the far corner said.

"Same difference, it's got a head full of electronics."

"Yeah, better than the sawdust you got. The boss is waiting bring it in."

"Walk." He instructed me. "I can't see the boss telling it what to do all the time."

"He's got a key to turn it on, it'll become operational then, then it'll have to look at your ugly mug to id you as a friend otherwise it could have your balls off for breakfast."


The bosses study's only concession to modernity was the flat screen comport, the rest was Edwardian or Victorian, leathered oak desk, ornate chairs, even a chandelier and booklined walls.

He stood excitedly waiting. "At last, Gunny's had one for nearly a year."

I stopped in front of him.

"Right, the lot of you out!" he said turning to the two that brought me in.

As they left he went over to his desk and retrieved an envelope from a draw. "Let's see how you work."

He pulled out the paper and read a string of numbers A12EC74F. Suddenly the eyes flicked from side to side as the Ai began to function fully; assessing its surroundings for threats.

"Cyber," he addressed me.

"Yes," I heard myself answer.

It was weird, the short sessions we'd had back at the facility had been the same but different. Then I was ready to intervene with my stop switch, now we were up and running for real with the first bailout date set for three months from now.

"I am your master, my orders supersede all others understand."


"You will address me as Don Carlos, understand."

"Yes Don Carlos."

"Good. Now this is my daughter, Jacinta." He held up a picture. "You will meet her later; you are to follow all of her orders as well."

"Yes Don Carlos."

"Your primary duty will be to guard me but if we are attacked you will aid my daughter, see her safe, I'll have Bud go over that with you, show you where the safe house is and how to get in."

He gave it a string of other do's and don'ts then called in one of his underlings. He took it and briefed it on the house and grounds, giving it the plans to study and showing it the escape tunnels and weapons stores.

It also got briefed on the town house where his daughter lived and the caches and tunnels there as it could be guarding his daughter when she went to university in September. The photo it'd been shown was of a schoolgirl but university made her an adult, probably nearer twenty than the fifteen of the photo.

It was shown the safe house, well photos of the approach and entrance. It was a secure set up, the 'house' was an old underground explosives store, a huge bunker with a lift down as the entrance. You drove the car on and keyed a code into a hidden panel and it dropped you down to a transit warehouse where you could park the car.

For the first week we just stood at his elbow and looked and listened. There was one murder and two drug deals I could have stopped but more importantly I was getting to know who was who in the organisation, who the contacts were, all valuable information in three months' time when I got pulled out.

At the end of the second week he made one of his rare excursions out of his 'country house'. He was visiting the city for a meeting and staying with his daughter, I looked forward to seeing all the new faces, seeing what they were like and who their trusted lieutenants were.

We moved at night in convoy, it sat next to the driver in the bosses' bullet proof limo, the journey was uneventful and it was out to cover him while he hurried inside. When it followed I was stunned to see the beautiful daughter that greeted him inside, she had long hair, nut brown with blond streaks.

My bodyguard self didn't linger on her but surveilled for threats, tracking around the room while I wanted to see more of the girl. The boss moved on, going with his daughter to the small lift. I got a better look, she looked five eight with a slim figure, from the back I liked the way her buns moved, flip flopping in her shorts as she walked.

The three of us got into the small lift, as we crowded in my hand brushed across her thigh.

"Hey!" she reacted.

"Don't worry sweetie," her father said. "He's my new Cyberman, you could stand naked in front of him and he wouldn't notice."


He knocked on my head with his knuckles. "He's full of electronics up here, no interest in sex at all; you'll be safe with him."

"How sad, Daddy you can be cruel sometimes."

"I didn't make him that way, he was programed when I bought him, still he'd make the perfect chaperone for you."

"I don't need a chaperone."

"No, but you'll need a bodyguard when you go to university."

"We'll talk of that then; I've got Shelia here and Danny if I need him."

"Danny's getting on, he wants to retire, that bullet in his hip is getting to him, says he has rheumatism in the cold and wet."

"But he's a nice man, at least I can talk to him, does this tin man of yours talk as well?"

"We'll talk about it later, right now I want to get to bed, my man here can sleep on the single in the nannies room and the rest will be downstairs."

"Alright, I'm going back to bed as well, I need my beauty sleep."

"Okay sweetie, take him with you and show him his room."

"Aww dad," she complained. "That's on the top floor."

"Exercise won't hurt you, go on be off with you, I've got some matters to sort out, I won't be needing him till much later and he's human enough to need sleep and rest now and again."

"Does he understand what we say?"

"Yes he'll follow orders; I've already told him to obey you."

She looked at it with deep brown eyes, her heart shaped face and pert nose making her model quality in the looks department.

"Come on then," she addressed us.

"See you in the morning," she said to her father, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

It followed her a short way down the corridor, though I'd never been here before my AI companion had the schematics of the place in its memory. I watched as it reviewed them, following through its eyes as it checked the blind spots.

I could smell her perfume wafting through the air behind her, her hair bouncing with her step. I could guess at her figure under her loose top, she looked to have a slim waist, her shoulders held straight along with her back, compared to the bimbo in the front office back home she was a goddess.

She led it up the stairs, her short skirt showing me her toned legs, her flat shoes slapping as she quickly climbed. She showed it the room, leaving a fading trace of her perfume behind.

My Ai companion methodically undressed and I slept as it slept, I had been awake while it slept before, like sitting in a dark room when you can't open your eyes, scary too when you hear unidentified noises. I wondered if it dreamed or what, I dreamed, strange dreams sometimes.

It accompanied him to the first of the meetings, it was about territory, the one boss that not been invited was nibbling at the edges of my bosses and another of those present. A few soldiers had met with 'unfortunate accidents' but now things were heating up.

My boss had one of his rival's men taken down two weeks ago; one of the other bosses men had gone down two days ago, that was news to me, it tied in with a flurry of phone calls yesterday and the hurried meeting we were here for.

The apparently neutral one was here to mediate, listen to their grievances, see if matters could be settled amicably before the FBI or someone got a sniff of what was and might happen. My boss laid out his terms as did the other.

The meeting broke up with further negotiations agreed and we made our way home, all safe and secure in the armoured limo my AI companion scanning for possible trouble. I had to admit it was a good bodyguard, whoever wrote the program was good at it.

Back in the house the tension lessened. As they were in the city they ordered in, they couldn't go out without commandeering the restaurant so ordering from it was the next best thing, life could go back to normal after this little tussle was settled.

It was with the boss when the delivery was made, the sudden gunshots made us both jump. My AI had both guns out and was striding to the door.

"Wait!" the boss shouted behind me. "Get Jacinta out of here!"

The AI took us out and to the back of the house, using the old servant's stairs to get up to the bedrooms, rushing with only one gun out as it got to her door.

It thumped the door. "Jacinta, let me in."

"Who's that?" came the demand back.

My Ai choked on the question, it'd never been asked to ID itself before.

"Jim," he strangled out. "I'm here to take you to the safe house. Hurry up we have bandits in the house."

I was stunned, did it pick my name on purpose or was it a one in a million random choice? Had some of my identity leaked into it?

"Daddy's Cyberman?"

Another pause and. "Yes."

Another unexpected development, this thing was never supposed to be self aware to this extent.

She opened the door wearing shorts and a half t shirt that left her midriff bare. It took her in its arms, one hand curling around to just capture the curve of her breast, the t shirt pulling to show one satiny cup.

It rushed her down the basement tunnels and into the underground car park. The keys were in a magnetic box in the wheel arch, it put her down, pulling a gun again and kneeling on one knee to retrieve them.

He had her in the car and used one of the tokens in the coin tray to let them out, driving calmly away with her hiding in the back seat.

"You can get up now," it said as we turned a corner.

Jacinta sat up. "What happened?"

"Guessing I'd say the food delivery was an invasion, your father sent me to you as soon as the first shots were fired, that's all I know. My task now is to get you to the safe house and wait for them to come for us."

She sat back chewing her lip, I could see her in the rear view mirror, screwing her face up and biting her nails. The drive was twenty minutes, fifteen of them getting out of the city. It got us there and parked on the lift, keying the code it jumped back on as it descended, edging around it got back into the driver's seat.

I wondered how she was doing; it'd not looked at her for a while now. I saw her state, her eyes were red, if she'd had mascara on it would have run with her tears. She looked somewhat shrivelled as it helped her out, taking her in its arms as she sat on the edge of the seat and kicking the door closed.

It walked the empty space to the door in the near wall, holding her on its knee as it punched another key into another box. A broad hallway appeared, lights flickering on as the heavy door cranked open, the schematics flashing up from memory.

It took her to a bedroom up the hallway, laying her on the bed then went back up and into a communications room, switching various things on. It plodded back to the bedroom, Jacinta was lying curled.

As she heard it she straightened, turning to face it. "Have you heard anything yet, my mobile doesn't have any bars."

"No, and I want that phone, we'll need to strip the battery out just in case."

"Just in case of what?"

"This place is not secret if your mobile phone can be tracked here. And you'll have to stay off the net, no logging on anywhere, I don't know how secure communications are here but we don't take chances."

She turned away, her mobile lying next to her. I watched it take it and dismantle it, removing the battery as he promised.

"Do you need anything? I require nourishment."

She lay unmoved. It stood for a second and then turned. I watched as it selected ingredients and tuned out. I wondered who had survived the attack. Was the boss okay, wounded or dead? Whatever outcome we seemed stuck here for the night.

I wasn't worried but my AI companion probable wasn't into entertainment, it'd not bothered with it so far, I didn't fancy staring at a blank wall waiting, or a bank of screens and icons. When I snapped back it was eating in the communications centre, keying in words and phrases and running searches on the news aggregators.

I sat for half an hour as the news of the city scrolled down the screen, no news of the gun battle to be seen. It had been over an hour since we fled the scene; surely the police presence was large enough to be noticed.

Jacinta came in her, bare feet padding the floor. "I am hungry now, will you cook me something."

"I'm watching for news."

"I can watch for news, it's more important to me than you."

"Yes," it said standing and freeing the seat. "What food do you want?"

"Something simple, burger and fries. Oh, and a Mango slushy."

I could sense the incomprehension, the memory scan widening as it sought answers.

"We have meats, fish, vegetables. There is wine and spirits, some beers, coffee and tea. I can call up a fuller list if you want."

She swivelled the seat to face me. "Oh god you're a cyber, you eat what your given."

She stood. "Where's the freezer? I'll choose and you can cook for me, you can have some too, taste what good foods like."

"This way."

It took her to the store room, loads of dried goods, cans lining the wall.

"The freezer is over there."

She looked where he was pointing and saw the walk in freezer door.

He hadn't been in here so it was a shock to see hanging carcases and boxes of chickens.

"Never mind," she said. "We'll try the cans, see what's in them."

She chose canned steak in gravy and instant mashed potatoes.

I tuned out, wondering why there had been no news. There had to be a clamp down of some sorts, possibly because I was missing, it was a possibility but a long shot at the moment, I had no need of being pulled out just yet.

A sneak peak showed the food ready, the steak chunks steaming on a plate while the potatoes were nearly mixed. I waited while it took the tray back to her; she turned and complained as it entered.

"They're stuck on these, it won't let me go to twitter."

"Good, a secure system. Here's your food, I have brought you water as well."

I felt sorry for her, my co-habitant wasn't built to function sympathetically, it had a 'get the job done' attitude and a machine intelligence driving it.

"I thought you said there was wine."

"There is."

She looked at it standing waiting. "Well go and fetch it then."

"Yes," it answered, obeying her orders as ordered.

I switched off again and relaxed in the darkness, practicing my meditation. I'd give them half an hour, see what's happening then.

Voyeuristic nightmare

When I looked again it was back in the in the bathroom washing Jacinta's clothes, they were gravy stained with smears of mashed potato.

My immediate thought was what was she wearing, she hadn't brought clothes with her, I didn't think there were any here. I mentally sat back, I'd find out soon enough, in the mean time I watched as it struggled to clean the stains out.

I watched in anticipation as it walked back with the wet clothes, making its way to the communications room. Jacinta was sat in a slightly stained bra, her breasts covered by the satiny material with slight bumps where her nipples pushed on the fabric.

"Here are your clothes, what shall I do with them now?"

"They need drying," she said as she span around.

She was wearing a thong, the same silky satin.

"Oh, give them here. Watch the news, that's all your good for." She said annoyed.

She disappeared off while its attention focused back on the flickering screens. Jacinta had somehow added her friends to the twitter feed, I saw updates about what café some were at, planning for tonight's night out.

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