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Book: Bounty Hunters of the Palace of Amino
Chapter 59: Remote Neural Activation Controllers

Elena L’Apriscatole and Sonia Por Favor ran like the wind through the streets of the palace, closely followed by Peter the Ace and Panman.

"Mi sento debole!" Elena L’Apriscatole said. She stopped running and sat down against a lamppost.

"What are you doing now!" Sonia Por Favor yelled.

"Non mi sento bene."

"Speak English!"

"I don't feel too well."

"There are still two bounty hunters after us!"

"I feel faint!"

Sonia Por Favor realised that she too was beginning to feel faint. She sat down next to her companion.

"Ho un dolore qui" Elena L’Apriscatole said, pointing to her head.

"you've got a headache?"

"Si, il mal di testa."

"Me too." Sonia Por Favor's vision started to blur. She could just make out the two bounty hunters as they approached. "I feel so tired." She said lethargically.

"Si." Elena L’Apriscatole slipped calmly into unconsciousness.

Sonia Por Favor sat and stared blankly for a few seconds until a sudden flash of realisation hit her. "I know this place." She said drowsily. "I've been here before! I…"

Sonia Por Favor fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

With the orbital battle well and truly over, the next three hours were spent ridding the palace's streets of the unholy army of the night and re-energising its power core. Hundreds of bounty hunters returned from battle and helped the slaughter of the slaughtered. Under intense fire, the stumbling corpses were blown into bite-sized chunks of putrid flesh, causing the auto-street cleaners a lot of inconvenience. It was not long before calm returned. Shopping malls re-opened, theme parks unlocked their gates, highways filled with traffic, and parks and gardens were once again alive with the happy sound of contented visitors. Idyllic bliss.

Sonia Por Favor regained consciousness, sat up, and looked around. She seemed to be in some sort of medical bay. In front of her were several empty beds, each with large screens above them, ready to display the vital signs of prospective patients. On the bed next to her lay Elena L’Apriscatole, still unaware of the cognizant world. Sonia Por Favor was highly confused. How did they both get here?

Two powerfully armoured men and a short, white coated woman entered the room.

"Sonia Por Favor!" One of the men said. "It's good to have you back with us."

Memories flooded back into Sonia Por Favor’s mind. "Peter the Ace!" She said in a bewildered way. "Where are we?"

"You're in the Central Tower med-labs at the Palace of Amino."

"Of course!" She said gleefully. "I remember it all now! We're bounty hunters of great skill and dexterity."

"Indeed you are!"

Elena L’Apriscatole re-acquired her sentience and sat up sharply. "Vorrei una bottiglia di vino bianco."

Everyone looked at Elena L’Apriscatole. She suddenly regained her memories and smiled at the familiar people around her.

"Come sta?" Peter the Ace said. He was fluent in hundreds of languages and constantly astounded everyone with his linguistic abilities.

"Bene!" Elena L’Apriscatole replied.

"Could everyone please speak in English!" Sonia Por Favor said.

"OK." Elena L’Apriscatole said reluctantly. She looked at Peter the Ace and Panman. "Tell me what happened to us?"

"As far as we know," Panman said, "you and Sonia Por Favor went missing during the final atomic struggle of the Ohm-Jahms swamp crisis one year ago."

"I remember!" Sonia Por Favor and Elena L’Apriscatole said in unison.

Panman continued. "It was thought that you'd been absorbed and digested by the bile pits of the Viskerah Gulch but we now know differently. Apparently some of Lawrence's deadly henchmen kidnapped you and implanted remote neural activation controllers deep within your brains. Because of your detailed knowledge of the palace's layout, Lawrence placed you in charge of his unholy army of the night and commanded you to lead the attack upon our command centre. The transmitter that was controlling you must have been destroyed during the final minutes of the orbital battle, that's why you both fainted and then subsequently regained your memories."

"Whoa!" Sonia Por Favor said. "That's so cool!"

"What about the devices in our brains?" Elena L’Apriscatole asked.

"They have been removed with expertise." The female nurse said without a hint of emotion. "You are completely free of their influence."

"Anyway, enough of this idle banter." Peter the Ace said. "The offensive against the palace has been thwarted and the battle fleets of Lawrence decimated. Let's celebrate with a slap up meal at Shely's Sustenance Centre."

"Awesome idea!" Panman exclaimed with delight.

Sonia Por Favor and Elena L’Apriscatole agreed. The four bounty hunters left the medical bay and headed for the restaurant.

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