Cyber Scout

“Whoa, never seen that mod before,” Peter said. The short, athletic man sat down in front of pink-haired Lyra with a smile; his eyes glowed with a soft green color. They met at the cafe for a blind date. The golden stars in Lyra’s eyes faded leaving their natural sea-blue color. “Where’d you get those?” he asked about her eyes.

“I was born with them,” Lyra tilted her head at him. “Why? Where’d you get yours?” she asked with a hint of sarcasm.

“Eh, they’re nothing special, but they get the job done,” Peter replied. “They were already almost obsolete when my dad got them. And he had them for a while before he handed them down to me,” he paused suddenly and stared at Lyra. “No jokes about having my father’s eyes,” he said with a slight smirk to let her know he was kidding. “I’ve heard that one too many times already.”

“Huh,” Lyra was equal parts confused and amused. On a whim, golden stars glowed in her eyes again. Lyra took a moment to look Peter up and down through her star sight. A soft purple aura glowed around him, he was obviously a Zero. However, his aura almost disappeared completely around his eyes. Lyra turned around and eyed the rest of the patrons and staff in the cafe. Each of them glowed with the same soft purple light and each of their auras suffered from dark spots around their body. Thanks to a few cybernetic limbs she was able to confirm the pattern; their aura was impaired by the enhancements.

“Does everyone have cyber-parts?” Lyra asked.

“Yeah,” Peter chuckled. “Don’t you?” Lyra shook her head. “Whoa, really? I didn’t think there were any pure humans left.”

“It’s that ubiquitous?” Lyra asked in surprise. When Peter nodded an agreement Lyra reached into her jean pocket and pulled out a node. She immediately began typing a message to someone on it.

“What’s that?” Peter asked.

“Node. It’s like a cellphone but better,” Lyra replied without looking up. Though, she did give him her attention again once she finished her message.

“Phone?” Peter chuckled. “Everyone has a communication module installed at birth, who are you texting that doesn’t have that?”

“My boss,” Lyra replied. Then after a moment she corrected herself. “Well, my boss’ assistant.”

“That’s… that’s an odd thing to do on a date,” Peter said.

“I know, sorry,” Lyra apologized. “I’m not really looking to date someone long term; I just wanted someone to talk to about your Earth,” Lyra shrugged. Peter tilted his head and narrowed his eyes. “Dating apps make it super easy to meet someone fast. But, since learning everyone on this Earth was a cyborg, my job’s pretty much done.”

“You keep saying “my” Earth,” Peter said when she gave him a chance to talk. “Does that mean you’re from a different one?” Lyra nodded.

“And your job is to learn about Earths… why?”

“I help decide if an Earth is ready to know about the multiverse,” Lyra replied. Then, a chime came from her node.

“So if you’re telling me about it, does that mean we’re ready?” Peter asked.

“Even better,” Lyra grinned. “I just got a reply. My boss, Ms. Sharp, is very interested in an Earth full of cyborgs, congratulations!”

“For what?” Peter asked.

“Ms. Sharp’s going to buy your Earth. You guys are so lucky!”

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