Alice watches the skies for attacks like the one that killed her parents. She lives in slavery to machines: yet she's content, supported by her minder, Dr. DeVeaux. Marika.
Then the program is shut down, and Alice is forced to return to normal functionality.
Loss of purpose...loss of time...loss of her machines.
And the revulsion of her beloved Marika, at Alice's loss of helplessness.
Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference between her physical self and the near-perfect biomechanical copy.
But a bioandroid isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters, her coworkers, or even her wife. As her view of herself evolves, love, passion, reality, and memory war within Celia's body until she must choose between human and machine.
Pain. Pleasure. The sensation of touch…we feel everything through our skin, that delicate membrane separating “I” from “other,” protecting the very essence of self.
Until it breaks. Or changes. Or burns.