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"Hybrid" is the twenty-first chapter of Blame!, and the third chapter of Volume 4.

Synopsis

At the open entrance to Toha Heavy Industries, Killy is faced with Sanakan’s human form. Although he prepares to attack, her mannerisms and his information-augmented senses tell him that it is actually Cibo. From the cyberspace, she has reinstantiated her mind in Sanakan’s body, effectively escaping from her previous body as it was killed. They try to enter Toha, but the door pushes them out again, almost smashing them.

A malformed Exterminator appears; it tries to open the door, but fails and simply dies. Cibo concludes that entities of the Netsphere such as the Safeguard are blocked from entering or interacting with Toha.

Killy and Cibo journey upwards, seeking another entrance. Cibo’s body begins to decay due to a radiation; she suspects they are getting too close to the megastructure.

At another door, Cibo’s borrowed body begins to unmake itself altogether. She realizes it is being signaled from the remnants of the local Safeguard. She begins to morph into its mechanical form as Sanakan’s persona begins to resurface. Constructing her graviton weapon, she moves to attack Killy, but he has an idea.

Killy opens the door, grapples the emerging Sanakan, and heaves her into the structure. Even just over the threshold, Toha’s defense mechanisms remotely purge Sanakan. Her violently metamorphing body is returned to Cibo’s control, manifesting as a version of Cibo with Sanakan’s proportions.

Character Appearances

Notes & Trivia

  • The Exterminator exhibits random growths and anatomical multiplication, as if mutated badly. Presumably, its construction was addled, either by Cibo’s compromising of the Safeguard control vehicle, or by attempting to download in proximity to Toha’s defense perimeter.

Blame! - Volumes and Chapters
Volume 1 The Net's OffspringMemories of EarthTechno NomadsEX-LOGThe AuthoritiesEscapeSilicon Souls
The Builders
Volume 2 EX-LOG - Nest RuineThe CapitolThe CorporationNet SphereSafety Guard
Volume 3 The Great SurfElectrosilos FishermenPlantersAwakeningAssaultBasic LanguageMassacre
Volume 4 Backup CyberspaceLimit CancelHybridToha Heavy IndustriesElectronic KnightThe Eighth Cave
Volume 5 HackingScattered SpaceGravity FurnaceVersionCave 13Cease Fire
Volume 6 Sanakan and CiboVibrationCollapseDissolutionDisappearanceBeautiful LifeUnofficial Megastructure
Volume 7 Central NexusClass 1 Critical Effect WeaponCaptureAnti-Intrusion Electron Space
The Megastructure's Internal FissureSpecial Safeguards
Volume 8 Inside the MegastructureMultiple Dispersion Molecule MovementProvisional Connection CertificationRaid
UrgeLevel 9Far-Off
Volume 9 Parallel Electricity Storage Tank ClusterThe CallerLacking EscapeThe CaptorAnother MeetingPeople
The Observer
Volume 10 Unified Metal BeamsContinuumOrganicBurning SiliconRescue of the ReceptacleExterminator, First ClassRetrieved ConsciousnessThe Edge of the City