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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 20: Millions of Artificial Nerve Endings

Peter the Ace carried the decapitated head of Justin into the Blenheim's cyborg construction lab and placed it carefully into a small spherical glass bio-chamber at the centre of the room. Panman followed close behind, having just helped Tara into the luxuriant guest quarters.

"Time is short." Peter the Ace said, calmly activating the D.R.A.R.B.C. (Decapitation Recovery And Robotic Body Construction) device.

Several tubes and various instruments of extreme delicacy connected themselves with Justin's lifeless head. His brain was instantly flooded with synthetic blood and nutrients.

"Life signs!" Panman said gazing at the brain scanner's data screens. "He's going to be OK."

"I think you could be right." Peter the Ace replied, operating the machine's controls with phenomenal dexterity. "But he will need a completely artificial body. I hope he can come to terms with that fact."

"Yeah. I bet that he'll be so pissed off when he comes round. There was no way we could recover all the bits. I think the cyborg splatted most of them anyway."

Peter the Ace continued to program the correct command sequence into the D.R.A.R.B.C. device. More instruments and tubes attached themselves to Justin's face. The bio-chamber began to rise slowly towards the ceiling accompanied by a myriad of unnecessary flashing lights. Words appeared on the monitor;


PHASE ONE: NEURAL MAPPING

ENGAGED.....


Laser scanners began to probe the cauterised neck of Justin, trying to make sense of the nausea inducing damage.

"We should have given him some body armour like ours." Peter the Ace said, continuing to work.

"Yeah." Panman said. "That 'I’m a trainee Bounty Hunter' sweatshirt that he was wearing is quite useless against the discharge of high energy weapons."

"It's very fashionable though!"

"Oh yeah! I wouldn't disagree with you there!"

More words appeared on the stylish monitor;


PHASE TWO: APPENDAGE FABRICATION

ENGAGED.....


Several robotic arms rose out of the floor and began constructing artificial limbs in a most complex and intricate way. Metal tubing, wires, servos, multifarious micro mechanisms and a multitude of electronic apparatus were combined with perfect precision.

"That's really cool!" Panman said with delight. "I've never seen this thing working before."

"Me neither." Peter the Ace said. "I never usually come across disembodied heads that need new physiques."

Panman looked at the well designed monitor.


PHASE THREE: BODY ELEMENT LINKING

ENGAGED.....


The artificial legs, arms and torso were slammed together with a crunch that would scare the pants off a mucous blending mind warrior. Sparks, white hot and fizzing, fluttered in several directions as powerful acetylene torches performed some serious welding. Exposed areas of circuitry were quickly covered with strong armoured plates. It was starting to look like one mean looking synthetic body.

"It's a much better looking body than his old biological one." Panman said walking around it in admiration. "You've done a good job!"

"I haven't finished yet, my friend." Peter the Ace said, punching a few buttons. The display on the best selling monitor changed.


PHASE FOUR: SYNTHETIC SYNAPTIC SYNCHRONISATION

ENGAGED.....


The bio-chamber was lowered accurately onto the neck of the new body. Three hundred thousand, two hundred and fifty five unseen nano machines set to work connecting and sequencing the millions of artificial nerve endings into the natural ones hanging out of Justin's ragged neck. Peter the Ace and Panman watched the progress of the nano machines on the monitor.

"Wow!" Panman exclaimed. "They work fast!"

"They do." Peter the Ace said with calm satisfaction. "The engineers at the Palace of Amino certainly know how to build great equipment."

The display on the most excellent monitor was, once again, altered.


PHASE FIVE: CONSCIOUSNESS RETRIEVAL

ENGAGED.....


A beam of purple neural energy was focused on the forehead of Justin. His eyelids started to flicker in a frenzied fashion. The metal fists of the awesome body began to slowly clench and unclench rhythmically, the arms swayed gently. Justin opened his eyes and looked around in a much disorientated way. The monitor information was updated for the final time.


SENTIENCE RECOVERED,

DATA COMMUNICATION REALISED,

MIND-MATTER LINK ACTIVATED,

MOTION STRUCTURE IMPLEMENTATION INITIATED,

ASSIGNMENT CONCLUDED - END PROGRAM.


"Justin's back!" Panman exclaimed.

Justin attempted to walk towards the two bounty hunters. He immediately lost his balance and fell forward in a heap of metal. "What's happening?" He said in a distressed, synthesised tone as he tried, unsuccessfully, to stand up.

"You may remember," Peter the Ace said, "that while on board Lawrence's massive mother ship, your body was incinerated by serious laser fire."

"No way!"

"It's true." Peter the Ace said. "Due to our rapid and skilful escape, we couldn't recover it, so I constructed a new and improved artificial body for your head to sit upon. I hope that you like it."

Justin looked down at the metal physique below. "What?!" He said, this time managing to get to his feet.

"It'll take you a few hours to get used to it, but you'll eventually come to prefer it to your original one."

"Yeah!" Panman said. "It looks great!"

"Oh no!" Justin cried artificially "Why did this happen to me?"

"Fate." Peter the Ace said.

Justin was not comforted by that answer. He staggered around looking very gloomy. "Are you saying that I was destined to end up like this?"

"Absolutely! The same way that Panman and myself were destined to become awe-inspiring galactic superheroes."

"Great! Bloody great!" He started to walk around with more confidence.

"Justin?" Panman said.

Justin turned. "What?"

"Now that you seem to have mastered the art of walking that thing, how about mastering the art of using it to make kebabs?"

"Give me a break!"

"The quicker you get back into the normal routine the better."

Panman pointed in the direction of the galley. "Off you go. We'll be on the bridge."

Justin wandered heavily out of the lab, grumbling synthetically.

"You were a little hard on him." Peter the Ace said.

"No." Panman replied. "It's for his own good."

"You're right. Let's get back to the bridge."

The two bounty hunters entered the bridge and sat down in their lavish command chairs.

"INCOMING DISTRESS CALL. AMINO EMERGENCY CHANNEL."

"Display it on my screen." Panman said. He read the message. "It's from Lew Brain Ache's megatronic brain!" He said, looking at Peter the Ace. "He and Jayne Eye-Catcher were on a mission near the Sombreus Nebula when they where shot down by pirates."

"That's very close to us." Peter the Ace said. "Blenheim, locate the origin of the signal."

"ORIGIN OF DISTRESS CALL: PLANET LEMMINGIA."

Peter the Ace punched in the coordinates and the Blenheim thundered onto its new course.

Justin entered the bridge with a plate full of kebabs.

"Excellent!" Panman said, stuffing three into his mouth at the same time.

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