B785 (Cyborgs: More Than Machines #3) by Eve Langlais

B785 (Cyborgs: More Than Machines, #3)

Sheldon is the cyborg Einstein (formerly IQ221) disconnected from emotion, socially awkward with an off the charts intellect, and completely disinterested in sex. The only difference is that Einstein kisses and awakens his Sleeping Beauty as a last resort as nothing he’d tried to fix the cyborg female worked.

Sheldon & Amy in The Big Bang Theory

This scene says it all.

Fair warning: I ❤ Sheldon and Eve Langlais did him justice. *fangirl squee*

Bonnie as our Sleeping Beauty is a unique heroine. She’s a former good-time girl, regularly binge drinking and sleeping with so many men that she loses count.

“Hey, the more the merrier. You should try it sometime. A good, old fashioned gang bang might loosen you up.” Bonnie leered at her. Chloe’s lips tightened. “No, thank you. Some of us prefer to be choosier about our partners.” “Prude.”“Slut.” The vulgar word, so crude and unexpected, hung in the air between them. Hurtful. True. A slap that almost sobered her. Anger swept through Bonnie, anger and… shame.

That’s until Bonnie calls her sister Chloe to pick her up when she’s too drunk to get home and Bonnie causes them to crash, which sees them both repaired by turning them into cyborgs.

Bonnie gets lucky in that the military outfits her with the ability to turn off her pain receptors at will, gifting her with the means to withstand the torture the female cyborgs were subjected to in order to break them. Among the torture techniques was rape.

Funny how it never occurred to any of the jerks that perhaps she’d never possessed a choice. That perhaps she’d done the things she had out of self-preservation or to protect the others, protect the ones less mentally able to handle it. Men always assumed because she didn’t put up much of a fight that she wanted sex with them. Not really, but back then, while she’d not been given a choice and had to let them do as they pleased, now she called the shots.

…she’d been around enough to handle the emotional and physical rape. But poor Chloe. She never deserved it. But she’s found happiness finally, despite it all.

When rape failed to cow Bonnie, she was subjected to further torture in the pit where she lost her organic eyes. In Bonnie’s place, I’d have submitted by now but she was determined not to let the General win. It gave her perverse satisfaction. However, when our male cyborg rebels liberate Bonnie’s sister, the General lies to Bonnie by telling her:

All the female units are being terminated, except for you. You, I think we’ll keep. I hear the prisoners on Gamma thirty-one have been rioting since they broke their last sexdroid.”

As soon as he’d told her Chloe was dead, she gave up the fight and gave up living.

Poking, prodding, and the other things they did to the shell encasing her conscience didn’t touch her. The military did its best to wake her, but stopped short of killing her. A shame, because she wanted to die. However, suicide was not an option for a machine meant to live forever. She gave it her best shot, though. Holding her breath achieved nothing. Refusing oral sustenance just sent her nanobots into overdrive drawing nutrients from the objects around her. How could she kill herself when her very body betrayed her? With no other available option, she did the only thing she could. She shut down her mind. Inwards she pulled her senses, imagining her synapses going dark, closed her eyes against a world that long ago lost all color. She pictured herself turned to stone, a true robotic statue, unresponsive to all stimuli.

It worked. Bonnie appeared to be a malfunctioning, ultra-realistic sexbot that the brothel manager is about to dump in the trash because he’s been unable to figure out what’s wrong with her despite many attempts at repair, until Einstein comes upon her while trading his technical expertise in exchange for payment so his fellow male cyborgs can fulfil their sexual urges and control their testosterone levels.

Einstein’s first impressions of the brothel workshop are true to life:

Einstein couldn’t help but make a sound of disgust as he saw the mess some of the female robots were in. “What are they doing to them?” he muttered. “Anything and everything, ” Bob replied, running his hands almost lovingly down the intact arm of one bot whose head hung askew. “It’s why we don’t use human girls anymore . It’s easier to reattach a robot arm than a flesh one. Less messy and noisy too.” Einstein didn’t ask why someone would want to remove a limb during sex in the first place. Some things, a cyborg really didn’t need to know.

From my review of feminist non-fiction The Purity Myth:

Real Dolls -woman replacements for the men who buy them. They’re tailored to a buyer’s exact specifications and can basically do whatever they want to them without consequences. An interview with a repairman is disturbing: ‘he spoke about badly mutilated dolls with their breasts hanging off, their hands and fingers severed.’ Whether they’re men turned off real women by porn, simply intimidated by independent women, or unable to attract a woman for their misogynist attitudes, isn’t clear but the danger they might represent to a real woman in future, is.

Einstein is Sheldon through and through.

“You mean you brought a sexbot back?” Seth’s brows arched up. “Einstein, you dog.” “I possess no canine DNA.”

Where his brothers enjoyed lusty appetites for food and flesh, Einstein ate because he had to and as for sexual relief, well, he just didn’t see the appeal. Inserting a part of himself into the lubricated orifice of another for a few minutes of friction? Why? He just didn’t understand it, like he didn’t grasp their excitement at visiting a bordello featuring robotic females programmed to aid with ejaculation. Again, he couldn’t figure out where the appeal lay. However, not grasping why his fellow brothers needed sex didn’t mean he spoiled it for them. Much.
“Don’t forget to run decontamination protocols when you’re done evacuating the semen from your testes,”

Einstein’s kiss awakening Bonnie is life-changing. Bonnie feels completely safe in his care, probably because he’s the first man not to rape or hit on her. This has an unusual side effect: he presents a challenge, so she does everything she can to seduce him.

His geeky, stutter-y trying-to-hide-arousal embarrasment just eggs her on. Einsteins reaction to her flummoxes him and for the first time ever he has no idea what to do, so he runs.

He took to hiding out in the gym and when she found him there and insisted they spar, pinning him more than once to the mat with a triumphant grin when he just couldn’t bring himself to block her, he almost gave in to his baser human urges. He found a new hiding spot in the engine room, but the cyborgs there ribbed him about his “girlfriend” and gave him up when she came looking. Heck, even Seth ridiculed him, using their mental communicator to call him a “chicken ,” and “an idiot for not eating the cake.” What did food have to do with it?

Finally succumbing opens Einstein up. He gives her treats, starts to fear for her life, feels jealousy and defends her honour:

“So we’ll take turns. Although, if you’re the Bonnie the soldiers used to talk about back on the base, then the way I hear it, you used to handle more than two back in the day.” Lucky her, even years later in space, her reputation preceded her….

“How.” Whack. “Dare.” Kick. “You.” Punch. “Speak to her that way,” Einstein shouted, enunciating each word with distinction. “No matter what her past or what the military made her do, Bonnie is a guest on our ship and a lady. As such, you will treat her with respect!” “Yes, sir .”

Insecurity starts to bother Einstein. He’s too inexperienced when it comes to sex and relationships.

What did he have to offer her? He was a science geek among his brethren. The weakest in battle. The smallest cyborg among a horde of giants. She deserved so much better.

He underestimates himself:

“I was a juvenile delinquent in foster care who came to their attention because I hacked a secure website.” “Must have been some hack.” “Apparently, the CIA took offense at a fourteen-year-old getting past their safeguards.”

“According to records? Twenty-five. Apparently, they kept me incarcerated for quite a number of years before entering me in the cyborg program.” “No wonder you’re so clueless. You never really had a chance to live.”

A smart computer capable of thinking was a risky prospect. A smart computer capable of thinking who discovered he possessed free will and was enslaved? That made a menace the human military couldn’t tolerate. If they’d caught on. Once Einstein discovered what they’d done to him, he easily circumvented the programming of his creators without them suspecting a thing. However, freeing himself wasn’t enough. He also quietly began to liberate others, starting with the other two IQ models stationed on other bases. In an uprising they planned under the military’s very noses, they released their brothers in bondage from the reins shackling them. But they didn’t count on the rage of the cybernetic solider units when they discovered the perfidy done to them.

It’s wonderful watching Einstein grow in confidence:

“Nothing a shower and some therapy won’t fix.” “Therapy?” Bonnie’s brow arched. “I thought you said you were okay?” “Physically, but mentally, I think I need some healing.” Immediately, her face creased in concern. “What can I do to help?” “Get the shower going.” “How is that supposed to help?” Seth laughed. “Oh, princess. I think you’ve created a monster. Brainiac here needs some sexual healing, which means I should get out of here.”

“Emotions are hormonal imbalances. I control my hormonal levels. Or did until I met you.” She wrinkled her nose and laughed. “You know that wasn’t exactly the most romantic declaration.”

“I might have woken you from your sleep, but you woke me to my humanity.”

Fairy tale quotes:

Like a flower unfurling in sunlight, or more aptly, the sleeping princess who wakens at the gentle kiss of her prince, her eyes popped open and she awoke.

“Just like in the fairytales, good triumphed over evil.” “Your stories forgot to mention the fact the hero almost dies of a heart attack in the process.” She chuckled. “Oh please. You have a biomechanical heart and I have healing nanobots.”

Because I am more than a machine. More than a tool for the military. I am Bonnie. Flawed princess, enhanced human, and cherished lover of the most wonderful man in the universe. Despite what the future might bring, she had everything to live for. And best of all? She was loved.

I won’t let anyone, and I mean anyone , take away my happily ever after without a fight.

And I love how the other male cyborg rebels accept Bonnie into their family:

“Why? Is it for boys only? Are you all hanging around in your underwear telling fart jokes? I can fart on demand if I have to. Heck, I can even belch the alphabet. Want to hear?” “No!”

“Just following protocol, Pita.” “Pita?” Her nose wrinkled. “My name is Bonnie.” “Not to me you aren’t. In my books, you’re P. I. T. A. PITA as in pain in the ass.”

This is the first book I read after migraine stopped me from indulging in my addiction. And I enjoyed it immensely. Einstein is adorable and I absolutely loved watching his transformation. B785 was just the right thing to cheer me up and supply a quality fix. Funny, sexy, romantic – and okay, the cheese was thick in the second half – that’s the reason for 4 instead of 5 stars.

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