2020-03-29 - We Can Rebuild Her Better Stronger Faster


The time has come. The entire RESCUE team gathers to help with the operation to upgrade Ava and get her back to fully operational and better than ever.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Mar 29 01:58:51 2020
Location: Wellspring - RESCUE Campus - Disaster Zone - NYC

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Theme Song



Once sterilization is complete, Veronica rolls in. Sterilizing her wheelchair is quite a challenge, but she is damned thorough about it, and has clearly done this before; she came prepared for this to take a good long while. With that process complete now, Dr. Veronica Kelsey checks to be sure her patient has similarly been scrubbed down, both organic and non-organic bits.

"OK. How are you feeling, Ava? You ready for this?" Roni inquires, as she nods to one of her assistants holding the VR headset. This is how they will be handling anesthesia for most of the work today. They won't even need any locals right now.

Ava looks over with her monoptic vision from her seat at center stage, gowned and hooked to monitoring equipment that snakes through the seams of her surgical attire. Without her helmet or eyepiece, the amputee is visibly less of her normal self - shaved bald, with the hem falling through here one thigh should be, and showing a sunken eyelid that neatly completes the scar from her forehead to her cheek. But regardless of appearances, the woman seems in good spirits.

A smile graces her face at the familiar sight of her soon-to-be surgeon and overseer of the procedure. "A little… stuffed," she admits, glancing to the tube going between her legs. "But I'm ready to roll. How're you, 'Doc?"

"I"m doing OK. Thanks for checking." Unlike the first time they did this, Roni and Ava have over half a decade of experience now together; their comfort with one another, their friendship, shows through even their professional demeanors. Roni rolls over to Ava and gives her mighty shoulders - for one as small as she - a shrug. "Sorry for that. But given how long the last phase is going to go, it's necessary." Ava's dignity is as much her patient as the rest of the woman.

"OK, team." the doctor offers, looking around. "Let's get ready. Ava, settle back. We're going to run this just the way we planned. Let's get the new socket interfaces in place. We're going to start from top to bottom. Ava, brace; you're going to get light bleed when we have to open the eyelid for placement."

When Hank enters he sighs very faintly. "Apologies, minor mishap with the drains in the sterilization shower…I'll rework them later." Because…yeah…FUR is a thing. Gowned up properly, he is wearing a mask over his mouth, and his visor is on. He moves to take up position and serve as an assistant and nurse, projecting three different data feeds from his visor into the air above the table from from his visor. One shows what he's looking at, and then he zooms in to about 40x magnification, one thing - his nose is uncovered, just in case he can smell anything amiss during the procedure, he's no Catseye, but his senses ARE super keen all the same.

Over coms he sends a private message to Domino. «Everything green, Neena…so far we're five by five.»

A smile behind his surgical mask to Ava. "Any discomfort?"

He is otherwise prepared to make himself useful as an assistant. This is not his rodeo!

"Just the tube stuck up my chamber, but that's normal. You're just in time for the show," The tattooed patient assures before dutifully laying back against her chair's headrest and giving Roni a reassuring look of affirmation. "Will do," she responds before shutting her remaining eye.

"OK. Starting with the eye." Veronica offers, nodding to Hank as she rolls around to the head of the chair and then reaches down, using the gears to roll herself upright in place so that she is high enough to do this work. She uses her gloved fingers to gently part the puckered eyelid and open the bare, empty eye socket. Increase light on four, please." This increases the illumination right on Ava's eye socket.

Roni adjusts her grip so that one hand can hold both lids open, and then reaches over to pick up the new cybernetic eye. "Hank, I am going to need probes one and three, and forceps alpha, please." Once the eye is carefully inserted, Roni has to confirm alignment using Hank's holography and a sensor in her own glasses. Then she has to attach the eye to the housing in the socket, so that it will stay in place and be manipulatable by Ava's own eye muscles.

"Ava. Let's blink twice, please." Roni offers, as she lets go of the lids.

Ava holds herself mostly still during the insertion, though the shift of her remaining eyelid betrays an instinct to look around at what she cannot see. Once her second eye is installed, the shaved vet reopens her other green eye and allows her lids to flutter.

"Adjusting four, Doctor." Hank says immediately and does as requested, he even provides that 40x mag view of what's going on. The other two panels he's projecting show Ava's vitals, and readouts on her cybergear respectively. No doubt it is redundant, but having it floating there in the air is convenient if nothing else.

A low rumble of a chuckle at Ava's dry commentary. "Right then." Ironically…such talk might have gotten a blush from the man, but his is a medical procedure, so he's in full Med Pro Mode(tm).

"OK. Register positioning, check match." Veronica intones. She is so business-like when in this mode; Ava's life may not be in her hands right now, but her future is. "Registration complete, match within half-degree tolerance." she then answers as she checks the readouts in her glasses, on other screens, and in Hank's projected holograms.

"Let's move to the arm. Hank, can you go ahead and open up the arm, while we get the socket ready?" she asks. Then Veronica and another assistant work on removing the existing casement housing, and then installing the new one, with its tiny meshed hole and magnet, perfect for the interconnection to the new limb.

"Ready, Hank? Come around my chair and line up the arm with the socket. Hold it there, if you will, while we work on the armature." Veronica nods to her other assistant. "Let's get the chair's arm raised … just a bit more … now lock in place. Velcro bands, stabilize the arm." More work, and then Roni nods. "OK, Hank. You can let go, now. Everything is in the right position. Let's seat and socket the arm and check registration."

This careful coordination is why they prep so much beforehand, so everyone knows what to do before it even needs to be done, long before Veronica ever says anything.

"Of course, Doctor." Hank shuts down the mag feed while he unpacks and preps the arm. Light reflecting off his visor, he nods encourage the to SHEnut gallery, and then keeps on working.

"Ready." He confirms. It is interesting - Hank is usually fairly assertive but he is -always- mindful of chain of command, and there's nothing but professionalism here while they're working on this.

Moving carefully as directed, he holds the arm in place, once again providing the mag feed just in case. "Everything scents good, Doctor, no abnormalities I can detect."

A brief moment to make sure that the data feeds from the newly attached limb show green, and then he smiles. "Going well, Ava. Good as new in no time."

Once advised he can, he removes it and then in anticipation of her request, he starts unpacking and prepping the first of the two legs to be replaced.

With her eye fully installed, Ava blinks a few more times with her newly restored pair before falling still, doing what she can to remain stable but pliant for Roni's adjustments. The exposed metal socket of her shoulder, newly exposed, receives the new part with the reassuring firmness of well-machined tolerances. Connections seat smoothly but for now there's no data feed. The lights inside the cyborg remain out, but only for a little while longer.

"OK. Hank, thank you for prepping the first leg. Let's move into position." Veronica offers. She lowers herself back down and rolls to position; this she can do while seated, which is helpful. Things continue along the same pattern from there: they remove and replace the socket housing, then examine to be sure of correct positioning, then attach the new limb, then check registration and position and continue to the next. In just under an hour, all of Ava's external replacement cyberware is in place.

"OK, Ava. We're going to open the front of your gown, and apply the local anesthetic. Initiate your VR helmet. We'll be about forty minutes installing your new communication hub." This is in fact the only classic and standard surgical portion of the entire procedure, and even it will be almost entirely endoscopic.

"Hank, adjust your magnification field to run to the millimeter wave, so we can track the exact positioning of the module." Veronica offers, and then gestures to her other assistant. "Let's open up the module. Run final check on all telltales and confirm firmware."

Once the limbs are in place Hank smiles behind his mask to Roni. "Glad to be of service, Doctor." The surgeon is like the captain of a ship - she's the big kahuna, and Hank is mindful of that. He keeps the feeds live, clearly pleased with the progress. The chest surgery however is going to be a different fish entirely to land, but he nods a crisp assent to Roni, adjusting the mag feed and nostrils flared and super senses peeled - alert to any signs of abnormality.

Super Schnoz - definitely not AMA approved, but man, might just come in handy!

The familiar weight or her prosthetics is a help to the bionic women even if they're all still offline. With a limp arm and synthetic toes dangling at the end of her chair, Ava looks once more like what - to most people beyond the room - is her old self. Reopening her eyes to look down past her knees, the cyborg takes stock of her new hardware briefly and smiles before lifting her gaze to the doctor seated before her. "Will do, Doc. Nice shiny parts you put on me. I hope ya didn't spend too much time polishin' 'em."

With that parting remark, Ava reaches up and settles her VR helmet into position, making a few small adjustments for fit before leaning back again. "All plugged in. You can have your fun."

"Initiate VR sim, please." Veronica commands. Then she turns her head, only briefly. "Neena, if you want to take a walk for ten minutes, now would be the right time." Veronica is not questioning the connection between these women; she is just trying to avoid Neena crawling out of her skin - or pounding on the plate glass of the observation booth - when seeing Ava cut open.

"Five by five on all tests and registrations, doctor." Veronica's second assistant offers, and Roni nods. "OK. Administer local. Nurse, betadyne please, site alpha. Hank, I am going to need the number three blade, please."

This is actually the only time in this entire procedure when they are going to cut Ava. And Roni has prepared nearly a month for this to be sure that this cut is as small, and as safe, and as easy to recover from as possible. Veronica's gloved hand reaches out, wide open, as the handle of the scalpel is dropped in and she closes around it instantly, then brings the blade into her field of view. "Ready suction and sponges."

And then the cut.

A small inch-wide incision is made just below Ava's zyphoid process. Then suction is applied, and sponges, to clean up the bit of blood as Veronica's fingers prise open the flesh.

"Hank, attach the probe to the unit. Then bring the unit into my field right."

Once the unit approaches her right she gathers it, left fingers keeping the wound open, and she wiggles it slowly through that opening. Then she takes the probe in hand and watches the millimeter wave - far more accurate than ultrasound - tracking the positioning of everything as she wiggles the unit into place, sliding it behind the zyphoid process and up behind the sternum. A quick release of the unit, and then she activates another head, and literally micro-bolts the thing to the back of Ava's sternum. Then drags its magnetic head around the sternum and micro-bolts that in place just below her skin.

After that, some more suction, the probe is removed, and then they spray in some antibiotic gel, sealant, and then stitch up the wound.

"Phase two complete."

"Number three blade." Hank takes the sterile scalpel out of the autoclave, hands it with assiduous care to the doctor as requested. He tweaks a couple settings on the holorigs, and then splits a screen to monitor the VR feed for Ava, because one cannot ever have enough redundancy in surgery. Not ever.

Even as he is asked, Hank is in process of attaching the probe, and then moves to field right. The mag view from his visor is actually zoomed out, 40x is enough to see the cells themselves, she needs to see close up of the surface of Ava's skin, not /that/ close.

A moment to dab at Roni's brow with a gauze sponge, Hank offers her a sip from a water bottle, this is not a short process, after all.

A sigh of relief once that wound is sealed again. "Phase two complete, aye." Hank confirms, nodding approval to the other assistant.

"OK. Let's clean, and then set a monitor to observe the wound site as we proceed. Thirty times, Hank. I want to be able to observe the improvement in clotting and early rebuilding with the new medium." Veronica answers.

That done, Veronica looks to one assistant, and then the other. "Ready all four Phase Three syringes for deployment. Toni, bring up the code monitors, please. Prepare for activation of nanoswarm alpha at my command."

On command, they position the four syringes to different spots on Ava's body: the base of her throat, her left ribcage, her left hip and her right upper thigh. They are injected as one, releasing the inert nanoswarms into her bloodstream. And then the activation command is given, and the nanites orient themselves and immediately set about the task of laying the fiberoptic cabling that will connect each of her cyberware pieces to the hub they just installed, including one that will go all the way up to the inert burnt-out stentrode still in her skull.

This is going to be a while.

"Hank, second monitor, zoom out and give me location traces on the nanoswarm, please. Millimeter wave adjustment, let's trace the leads as they are being run."

Hank nods. "Thirty times, Doctor." He keeps his visor targeted on the wound so they can view the clotting and rebuilding as required and requested. Hank shifts to get out of the way of the assistants with the syringes, and moves to a terminal, feeding the info through his visor to the second display, and then moving the vitals monitors to the third with a swipe of his hand through the holo, and positioning it along with the VR feed and systems monitors, three columns now on the screen.

"Millimeter feed live in three…two…one…" A nod when the swarm is deployed. "Zoomed out on monitor two, feed is go, Doctor Kelsey."

He constantly tweaks the readouts, finicky is far too mild a word to describe his attention to the details.

And he even has time to send another encouraging text to Domino.

One might notice an impish gleam to his eyes, even through the visor when in Posse's VR there enters a 'chibi' Domino with a HUGE head and big spot on her eye that hugs the Borg's face.

Vitals holding normal and nothing strange - good or bad - about the wound's healing. The only thing to catch the eye about the process, at least for Hank, is just how thoroughly tattooed the brawny vet's torso is. Ava tenses at the synchronized injections and they're followed by a slight rise in her pulse but it almost immediately settles back down as she loses herself again in the simulation, letting the bright images and tranquil sounds carry her away again from the world around her.

In another world and in Hank's hologram projection, the sparkling white top of a cloudlayer breaks to reveal a lush valley with a wide, meandering river and a border of steep mountains. Perspective drops, gliding down along thermals with the quiet rush of air, until a black speck arcs upwards from a far-off mountain peak like a spotted cannonball. Winds shift, the course of flight bends, and the speck grows in size as it's revealed to be… almost round, very spotted, and approaching very fast with arms fanning out just before impac—

Ava's head flinches a couple inches to one side as the hologram becomes nothing but black… and the little white V of a plunging neckline. There's a pause, then the bionic woman audible snerks as her lips press together to suppress a laugh. "Alright which one of you goofs hacked the video?"

Veronica watches Ava's reaction and then glances around, having no idea herself just what happened. "Do I need to worry about this? she asks, but decides not since Ava does not sound distressed.

They wait for almost an hour and a half while the nanoswarms do their jobs, laying the fiberoptic connections that will interconnect her cyberware without the wireless signal that caused the vulnerability in Ukraine.

Once that process is complete, Veronica directs the team as they issue the shutdown order, the nanoswarms retreating to their injection sites to be extracted. Then it's time for the next phase.

"OK. Nadia, if you would, please, scrub in. All of your gear should be in autoclave three. Hank, use the test unit, please. Attach to the magnetic relay point on the central control, and send signals to each piece in order. Start with the eye. Confirm response codes and self-check data from each against the codebook and let me know if anything is off." Veronica remains firmly in control.

"That would be me, Posse." Hank admits promptly so as not to let Roni worry, and with a bright chuff of laughter. Sorry, just because this is serious business doesn't mean that there can't be a LITTLE fun, and the prank was harmless.

Once Doctor Kelsey gets back to the task at hand, Hank nods assent. "On it, Doctor." It is probably endlessly mystifying to most how he manages to do /any/ fine work with the sheer size of his hands and fingers, still, the delicate tasks are handled swiftly and efficiently. "Tester attach, magneto couple complete, reading is solid."

Having memorized the code book, Hank queries and confirms the acks as they send their responses. "Slight delay in left leg module, recalibrating…second ack within spec, all signals confirmed…" He tosses the signal feed off his screen to Roni's visor. "…confirm, please." Because: Redundancy is redundant…but errors are /costly/.

Veronica checks Hank's readings, and runs them against the code keys stored in her systems. "Yep. Those line up. Good."

And then finally Nadia is scrubbed in, and suiting up in her autoclaved gear. "Alright, let's open up the replacement stentrode, please. Nadia, that's yours. When you're ready, move into position and activate your tracker. Then shrink down, and we'll get you inserted. Tune your communications to Hank's unit, and he can lead you where you need to be.

What follows is pretty simple for everyone else, as Nadia shrinks down to microscopic size, is gathered up in a saline solution, and is then injected into Ava's shoulder close to her neck. Hank can guide her up the jugular and then around through the branch through the brain.

From there Nadia can first isolate the old stentrode, disconnecting it from everything, then shrink it down and put it away. Then unshrink the replacement stentrode, move it into place and connect it everywhere it needs to be. Coordination is key.

With the new stentrode in place and connections made, Ava's VR sim is ended briefly, while she performs multiple tests, bringing the new cyberware online one item at a time and assuring that each one is working one-hundred percent five-by-five. Once that is complete, Hank can guide Nadia back to her extraction point, and out she comes.

"Thank you, Nadia. Very well done. You may stay if you like, or you can scrub out. Your choice." Veronica offers, and then she readies the team for the final phase of the operation. "Prep the final swarms. Ready the signal spikes as well, please. Hopefully we will not need them, but we must be prepared. Ava, you can return to your VR when you are ready. Toni, Io, prepare to monitor and control the swarm.. You can go in shifts. We'll be at this for a long time, so don't wear yourself out, just make sure at least one of you is on-duty and tuned in at all times."

And then they inject the final nanoswarm, which starts moving through Ava's entire body, building a tight latticework mesh of carbon fiber nanotubes right at the substrate level beneath her skin. This is the final part of the secret of what they have been working on: one part subdermal armor; one part Faraday cage inside Ava's body to shield her electronics from EMI and future EMPs; and a latticework that should serve as the physical anchor for the holographic camouflage network Hank has been perfecting. But they will be watching this go on for almost twenty hours.

It's going to be a long time.

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