"I think I have just the tech' you're lookin' for," Waheed smiled as he made his pitch to Zahra. She sat in the only other chair at the table, across from the pudgy, cigar smoking cybernetics dealer. On the other side of the dingy, smoke-filled room, a couple of punks chatted quietly on a couch in the corner, one of them with their feet resting on a small fridge. Two loaded e-pistols lay on the table in front of them, amid piles of Dust -a popular drug for youth gangs around Blue Sky. The walls were lined with cheap shelves, mostly empty, except for a few plastic-wrapped neural implants. A heavy set man stood silently by the closed entrance door with a laser rifle at his side.
"Oh yea? What's that?" Zahra eyed Waheed.
"Regenerative nanites." Waheed slid a small plastic wrapped package across the table.
Zahra brushed her long black hair back over her shoulder. "I'm listening."
Waheed brought up his hands for emphasis and leaned over the table. "Check it out. We install an army of microscopic nanites. They crawl around your 'borgs core, sort of like a bloodstream, looking for damage. If they find any, they go to work -instant, fully automatic. You can literally watch structural damage disappear right before your eyes."
"I think I heard about this. Go on."
"It's cutting edge tech' -really rare. Self-repairing, too. Any of the nanites are damaged, they can replicate -recycle the malfunctioning units for new ones."
"What about the power system?"
"Feeds off your 'borgs reactor. Hardly any draw at all -wouldn't even register."
Zahra leaned forward. "How'd you get your hands on this?"
Waheed took a puff of his cigar. "Like I said, there's a new dealer in town. You want the good shit, you come to Waheed."
"I might be interested. What if I'm lookin' to upgrade my whole crew?"
"Fifteen?" Waheed slapped his hands down onto the table.
"These are expensive -I don't think you can afford it."
"I got the cash. Don't worry about that. Can you do it or not?"
Waheed sat back against his chair, taking another puff. "I don't have fifteen in stock."
"Alright, well how many can you do?"
"I can do eleven units."
"Okay. But before we start talking about price, I need to ask you a question."
"Any problems with the nanites?"
"What do you mean?"
"Problems -vulnerabilities, weaknesses, defects. Anything I should know."
"Nope. None." Zahra eyed Waheed skeptically as he spoke. She remained silent. "They're Solid," he repeated.
"Positive. These things are top of the line."
"I'm giving you a chance to be straight with me," Zahra spoke coldly.
"I'm being straight with you." As Waheed spoke, Zahra noticed the punks in the corner had stopped talking and were looking in her direction. "This 'tech is the edge your crew needs."
"Right." Zahra leaned back casually and slung her arm over the her chair. "I heard a rumor -a couple 'borg gun runners on Eagle Bay had some kind of malfunction -looked like they just started melting right there on the spot. Word is they had nanites installed and the things went haywire -recycled their entire core. All that was left was a few spare organs in a puddle of scrap metal."
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Angels and WormholesScience Fiction
A star-faring religious cult has created an army of robotic zealots designed to follow holy scripture. As the robotic menace spreads across the galaxy, it takes prisoners to be 'excommunicated': hooked into a neural simulation of eternal torment. Ca...