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They made it sound like they'd done her a favor, as if they did this to her out of no other motivation than to save her life. But while she was grateful for the years she'd been given, she never once believed in the altruistic version of events. It was a case of scientists eager to push the boundaries of possibility, and she represented another chance to test their theorems and techniques, a female test subject who later became another valuable asset.

She never intended to be defined by the technology in her body, merely serve her country and pay back those who had given her a second life. But somewhere along the way the bionics began to supersede the woman. Yes, she was faster, stronger, but they forgot she was also human, however altered she may be. They began to see her as property, as something they owned, a tool rather than a person. And when they threatened her freedom, she ran.

They thought they were only pursuing someone with heightened hearing, greater speed, enhanced strength. But they were really chasing someone whose thoughts they could not anticipate nor control, who'd learned from both friends and enemies how to protect herself, to use what they thought were their greatest skills against them. It was her intelligence that made her a better opponent, her determination that hardened her, her heart that truly made her stronger.

She would not become their enemy, but she refused to remain their pawn. One day they might stop looking; she could always hope, at least. Maybe when the next big new technology comes along and her enhancements are considered commonplace and old, maybe then they won't demand she give up her life for their cause. But until then she'd use all that she learned against them, keep herself free from their restraints.