The patients, also referred to as the "special patients" by the Saxon Master, (TV: World Enough and Time) or simply as Cybermen, (PROSE: Alit in Underland) were an early evolution of CyberMondans created on Floor 1056 of a Mondasian colony ship. Their development was a key stage of Operation Exodus. (TV: World Enough and Time) The Mondasian children of Floor 0507 referred to the patients as the "scarecrows", as the patrol that attempted an invasion of said floor were used as scarecrows by the floor's residents after their near-nightly attacks. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
The patients were partially cyber-converted Mondasians, although their appearance drastically differed from more traditional Cybermen. As their name implied, the patients resembled hospital patients, wearing white chest cloths with a slim chest unit (TV: World Enough and Time) featuring a computerised display unit underneath, (PROSE: Alit in Underland) connected by tubing. The patients also possessed caucasian gloves that closely resembled human hands, and their heads were completely enveloped in plastic bags that were tied in a large knot at the top of the head. Tubing also fed into the patients' noses from behind their necks, which also sported a plastic, silver band.
The early patients lacked any sort of distinct facial features, but as they evolved further, the patients' faces and heads began to more closely resemble those of CyberMondans; by the time Bill Potts left the hospital of Floor 1056 for the first time, one patient possessed a mouth slit. (TV: World Enough and Time) Additionally, shortly before the people of Floor 1056 were mass-converted, (TV: The Doctor Falls) at least two patients left in the hospital's Conversion Theatre possessed a face with completely black oval-shaped eye-pods, and a black oval-shaped hole for a mouth. One of the patients who restrained Bill for her cyber-conversion was similar in design, but also possessed a grooved, silver helmet with a band around its edge, resembling part of a CyberMondan's Cyber-helmet. (TV: World Enough and Time)
Most of the early patients made use of a fluid canister, which contained a blue-and-white-coloured medical fluid in a clear container with a metal edge at the top of the canister. These patients were constantly connected to the canister via a small tube from the canister to the patients' right arms, and the canister's wheels allowed the patients to move around even with a canister attached to them. Notably, the patients' canisters additionally featured their primary means of communication: a voice synthesiser. The patients used a keyboard on the canister to input and vocalise basic words or phrases in a robotic voice, although a small metal dial on top of the fluid containers allowed for their voices to be manually muted. Later models of patients distinctly lacked these fluid canisters, and did not require keyboards to speak. (TV: World Enough and Time) However, the patients who attacked Floor 0507, (TV: The Doctor Falls) such as "Topknot", (PROSE: Alit in Underland) did not use these canisters, (TV: The Doctor Falls) despite having left for said floor long before Bill Potts arrived on Floor 1056. (TV: World Enough and Time)
The patients were capable of moving individually (PROSE: Alit in Underland) and in unison as a group. Although most patients could only walk at a slow pace, two further evolved patients were capable of swiftly rising from a seated position and restraining an adult human female, which also demonstrated the patients' ability to trick people into believing them to be merely sleeping. The patients possessed notable physical strength; Jorj claimed to the Twelfth Doctor, Nardole and Missy that they were "too strong" for him, a non-human, to fight, and that they could "snap [a Mondasian] in half". (TV: World Enough and Time)
Additionally, the patient nicknamed "Topknot" by Missy demonstrated a degree of scanning capabilities and was able to operate a service lift from the superstructure walkways underneath Floor 0507 to Floor 0508. Notably, the Saxon Master incorporated numerous features into the patients designed to make them serve him to a degree; the top of the patients' chest units contained a voice box which could be altered by the Master to recognise his vocal commands by receiving the vocal authorisation code Master Alpha Seven. In addition, the root command of the patients' operating system, located behind the back of their chest cloths, could be altered by the Master, as he did to Topknot so that it stopped registering lifeforms with two hearts as human. Following the Master's modifications, Topknot was able to use its scanning abilities to locate technology on Floor 0508 that the Master could use to hack into the patients he set up on Floor 1056. Furthermore, the Master installed a failsafe system into the patients that would force them to return to the hospital on Floor 1056 if they wandered too far from it, or else the patients would shut down. (PROSE: Alit in Underland)
A notable behavioural characteristic of the patients was their constant cries of pain, as, unlike further-evolved models, these Cybermen lacked emotional inhibitors. The nurse of Floor 1056's hospital would silence the patients by muting their voice synthesisers, as, prior to their evolution into Mondasian Cybermen, there was no cure for the patients' suffering; as a result, some patients repeatedly asked to be euthanised. However, despite their pain, the patients were still perfectly capable of speaking clear words and phrases, although these were often stagnated in delivery and toned awkwardly. At least one patient displayed the ability to communicate without a voice synthesiser by howling.
Following their conversions, the patients were often simply left to sit in wheelchairs in the hospital's wards, appearing to sleep in some manner, despite their pain. However, the patients would respond in unison to somebody attempting to leave the hospital that was not supposed to. Additionally, the patients were capable of walking despite their lack of vision, although this also meant that said walking speed was slow, usually no better than a stumblimg limp. Some patients would raise their arms forwards to guide them whilst walking. The patients were occasionally used to escort people from the city on Floor 1056 to the hospital for cyber-conversion, and were sometimes even sent in the inertia lifts to the higher floors of the Mondasian colony ship to forcefully capture any remaining Mondasians elsewhere on the ship for conversion. (TV: World Enough and Time)
Reflecting their nature as a subspecies of Cyberman, the patients were highly resilient when tasked with completing a mission; for example, the patients sent to capture the Mondasians of Floor 0507 for conversion continued to repeatedly resume their mission, despite being constantly shot down and restrained by the residents of said floor. (TV: The Doctor Falls) The patients also obeyed the orders of their leaders without question, even if doing so would lead to their deaths.
Possibly as a result of the constant extreme pain they experienced following their cyber-conversions, the patients appeared resilient to attacks and injuries that most humans were not. For example, "Topknot" sustained multiple blows from Missy's sonic umbrella, but continued to attack her anyway. Later, Topknot also dislocated its ankle, yet appeared mostly unfazed by such an injury. (PROSE: Alit in Underland)
As highly primitive Cybermen, the patients possessed weaknesses not exhibited by further-evolved Cybermen. (TV: World Enough and Time, The Doctor Falls) The rifles used by the Mondasian farmers on Floor 0507 were strong enough to incapacitate patients for at least several hours, and the chains that bound the patients to their crucifixes were strong enough to restrain them for at least a few hours, even after awaking. (TV: The Doctor Falls) The Saxon Master was also able to at least briefly render a patient unconscious with a strong blow to the back of its head, (TV: World Enough and Time) and the patient nicknamed "Topknot" was successfully parried by Missy's sonic umbrella, preventing it from attacking herself, the Master and Alit. The Master was also able to use a low setting on his laser screwdriver to briefly stun Topknot by burning a small incision into its chest unit. Additionally, Topknot disfigured one of its ankles after falling off of a cultivator machine on Floor 0508. The gunfire from the Cyber-guns of CyberNeomorphs were also capable of killing patients, as they did to Topknot on Floor 0508. (PROSE: Alit in Underland)
After a thousand years of occupation by hundreds of Mondasians, Floor 1056 of the Mondasian colony ship had significantly deteriorated, to the point that it was no longer sustainable for organic life. As a result, the staff of the floor's hospital began Operation Exodus, a scheme to transform the people of Floor 1056 into Cybermen, in order to survive both the conditions of the city and the exodus to Floor 0000 to take command of the colony ship. The patients were the early results of Operation Exodus, although the sheer agony they experienced following their cyber-conversions meant that they could not function as a permanent "cure" to the harsh conditions of Floor 1056. (TV: World Enough and Time) The Saxon Master, masquerading as "Razor" after being overthrown as ruler of Floor 1056, (TV: The Doctor Falls) secretly incorporated a number of features into the patients so that, upon their successful evolution into fully-converted Cybermen, he could take control of them and use the Cybermen to conquer the galaxy. (PROSE: Alit in Underland)
Attacks on the higher floors
In addition to escorting people from the city of Floor 1056 to the hospital, squads of patients were sent to the higher floors of the colony ship via its inertia lifts, in order to capture any surviving Mondasians elsewhere on the ship for conversion as well. One squad of patients was sent to Floor 0000 to capture its remaining crew members, (TV: World Enough and Time) including the Captain and chief engineer Franq, (PROSE: Jorj) although the patients left the ship's janitor, Jorj, behind, due to him being non-human. Another squad of patients was sent to capture the residents of Floor 0507, (TV: World Enough and Time) but never returned to Floor 1056, as the adult farmers of Floor 0507 shot them down at night, before chaining the patients to crucifixes during the day. However, the patients woke up during the day, and eventually broke free again at night, leading to a near-daily cycle of the farmers shooting and imprisoning the patients at night, and the patients breaking free the following night. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Evolving into CyberMondans
Following the arrival of the Twelfth Doctor's TARDIS on Floor 0000, a squad of five patients with a surgical table were sent from Floor 1056 to Floor 0000 to capture Bill Potts, the only human amongst herself, Missy, Nardole and the Twelfth Doctor, after Jorj fatally wounded her. On Floor 1056, the surgeon of the hospital partially converted Bill into a patient, and installed a chest unit where her organic heart once was. Bill eventually woke up a few months later, and found a patient calling out in pain within a hospital ward; although she was nearly caught by the nurse, who muted the patient, Bill followed Razor into his living area. Over the next ten years, Razor explained to Bill the purpose of the patients and Operation Exodus, (TV: World Enough and Time) while hiding his secret intentions to control the Cybermen that the patients would evolve into. (TV: The Doctor Falls, PROSE: Alit in Underland) During these years, the patients evolved further, no longer depending on medical fluid canisters to speak, and began to develop into CyberMondans.
When Bill and Razor broke into the Conversion Theatre one night to find the lift entrances on Floor 1056, they discovered numerous patients, some of whom had evolved to further resemble Mondasian Cybermen, sleeping in wheelchairs; a pair of further developed patients then restrained Bill as the surgeon and the nurse revealed themselves. Realising that Razor had led her into a trap, Bill was then fully converted into a Mondasian Cyberman by the surgeon. Two hours later, the Twelfth Doctor and Nardole accessed the Conversion Theatre after travelling in a lift with Missy from Floor 0000, and discovered the patients and the cyber-converted Bill. (TV: World Enough and Time)
By the time the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, Missy and the Master fled Floor 1056 to Floor 0507 in a shuttlecraft, cyber-conversion factories were being built across Floor 1056, and the Mondasians and patients were eventually processed into full CyberMondans. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
One night on Floor 0507, sometime after the shuttlecraft's crash-landing, a patient - whom Missy would later nickname "Topknot" - broke free of its crucifix and attempted to capture Alit by the crashed shuttlecraft, who had followed the Master and Missy out of the floor's farmhouse. Topknot slowly followed Alit, Missy and the Master into the superstructure walkways underneath Floor 0507, until it eventually caught up to the trio and attacked them; however, Missy parried Topknot with her sonic umbrella, while the Master burnt a hole into Topknot's chest unit with his laser screwdriver and disabled it. The Master then altered Topknot's voice box to register his voice commands, as well as the patient's root command to stop it registering lifeforms with two hearts as human.
From here, Topknot joined the Master, Missy and Alit on their journey to Floor 0508. At one point, when getting off a farming machine that the group was riding on, Topknot fell off and dislocated its ankle. When the group was confronted by a patrol of CyberNeomorphs inside a large storage network, Topknot was undetected by the other Cybermen. Later, after escaping the Cybermen, Missy and Alit found Topknot, and Missy ordered the patient to remain on guard while she and Alit rode a lift to the top of the floor's weather control facility, and, after forcibly generating a rainstorm, Missy sacrificed Topknot by using it as a distraction for the Cybermen, who battled, and eventually, killed Topknot; this act bought Missy enough time to rescue the Master. (PROSE: Alit in Underland)
The Floor 0507 expedition
Two weeks after Nardole's shuttlecraft crashed on Floor 0507, the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, Missy, the Master and the residents of Floor 0507 fought the highly-evolved Cybermen of Floor 1056 in the Battle of Floor 0507. The battle culminated in the Doctor igniting all the remaining fuel underneath Floor 0507, destroying all the Cybermen on the floor, including the remaining patients who were still chained to their crucifixes during the battle. (TV: The Doctor Falls)