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Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44am


Within twenty minutes the emergency meeting was underway in the Axel-possessed TraSim with three of FR’s most tech savvy mercs in attendance. First was the brilliant pill-popping scientist Dr. Sion Laiken. Next, the Italian guerilla terrorist with mad hacking skills named Sonmura Stravinski. Finally they’d fetched Katsuhiro “Flux” Nagoshi, a nine-year-old honorary Freelancer who’d shown an amazing aptitude with computers. In truth, however, these were the only humans with any sort of computer expertise that could be located in all the chaos.

Damien explained to the unusual trio how Tycho Sanders had accidentally cast a spell that swapped the minds of every reploid on the Stomping Grounds. When he asked if they had any ideas how to fix the problem, Laiken balked “Hogwash!”

“What do you mean ‘hogwash’?” Zeo asked, still in the stripper’s bloodied body.

“Magic.” the scientist laughed. “It's balderdash. No such thing.”

Not wanting to waste time in a debate, Damien waved his hand and a black cobra appeared coiled on the ground. The serpent spread it’s hood and hissed at the gathered humans, but vanished into smoke when it lunged to strike. Damien asked “How do you explain that then?”

“Holograms. I’ve been on a TraSim before, Mr. Damien.” Laiken hadn’t even flinched at the snake. “And this 'mind swapping' as you call it is clearly the result of a burst of high energy protons, probably caused by solar flares. Every reploid within its radius had their neural processors scrambled and they’re now merely imitating a personality that’s familiar to them.”

Zeo put his hands on his slender hips and exclaimed “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Never mind what you think caused it.” Damien cut in. “Can you fix it?”

Laiken shrugged. “I’m a scientist. Not a replo-psychologist.”

The new commander pointed an impatient finger at the other experts and asked “What about you two?”

“Magic or no, I for one think that the minds were truly swapped.” said Sonmura. “But, without understanding the exact cause I don’t know of any way to switch them all back.”

Flux suggested “Maybe we could copy the core operating files of each reploid and move them around one at a time. The SG mainframe could act as the volume.”

“Without a positronic supercomputer that would take weeks.” Stravinski said. “And if just one line of code got garbled it’d be like performing a lobotomy on whoever we're moving.”


Meanwhile, twenty miles east of the Stomping Grounds, the warlord known as Whopper looked out over his army of mutant maniacs. They were an ugly sight, all dressed in mismatched armor salvaged from junk piles and many bearing hideous physical mutations. They were the irradiated result of generations of inbreeding out in the nuclear wastes of the Free Zone. But they were also loyal fanatics who’d hack up their own children and throw the pieces to hungry dogs if Whopper so much as whispered the command to do so.

“Who among you is ready to make every meal a happy meal?!?” the warlord spoke to them through a microphone that amplified his voice over the speakers mounted on his new behemoth-class battle tank. The monstrous weapon of death was the size of a building and had been given to him by a mysterious cyborg who’d promised many more riches if Whopper would conduct a single raid in return. He continued to rally his men for the attack, screaming “Who among you is ready to super size it?”

The mutants went wild. Whopper was the undisputed Seven Layer Beef Supreme of the Wastes and he looked the part. Years ago the warlord had discovered in a bombed out ruin the picture of someone named “Randy Savage” and was so impressed by the ancient chieftain’s colorful garb that he put together an identical outfit and wore it ever since.

Whopper’s lieutenants, a pair of enormous brawny warriors named Big Mac and Jumbo Jack, interrupted the speech to inform their master that a big brained mutant named Junior Deluxe had just figured out how to make the tanks go.

“Excellent.” Whopper hissed. “Load the army up on the two dragon-class attack transports.”

The two subordinates offered clumsy salutes and replied in unison “Your way, right away!”

Their commader grinned. Once he obliterated those mercenaries this desert would truly be Home of The Whopper.


Back in the TraSim, what began as a calm technical discussion on how to solve the reploid problem had somehow become a quite heated and thoroughly Byzantine debate.

“You can’t duplicate a reploid’s neural operating files while its central kernel is deactivated!” Sonmura shouted. “Why am I even arguing with a nine-year-old?”

“You can if the core processor is linked to an external synaptic compensator!” Flux shot back. “Maybe you’d know that if you spent more time reading and less time putting on makeup and fixing your hair!”

Laiken sniggered. Even the kid understood that women didn’t belong at a keyboard.

"Brat!" Stravinski yelled, furious.

Flux returned "Wop!"

Before it could come to blows, the twin doors of the TraSim slid open with a hydraulic whur and in stepped Drej. The teenage merc shouted “I found him.” and pulled Dan Crasher in behind him. As a human Drej had been charged with the important task of seeking out the only arch-mage besides Damien at the Stomping Grounds.

The ageless wizard in western attire seemed annoyed by the battle-scared human tugging at his duster, but rather than protesting as Laiken had upon being hauled away from his work, Crasher merely looked at Axel and asked “Did you grow a little taller?”

The holographic facsimile of the Russian reploid reluctantly answered “Er- n-no.” In fact he had added about four inches to his height, and made a few other small aesthetic alterations to his appearance.

Eager to conclude this business as quickly as possible, Damien explained to Crasher what was going on. He then held up his wand and asked if the fellow wizard could undo whatever Tycho Sanders had inadvertently done.

“I’m not touching that thing.” Dan answered matter-of-factly.

“Why not?”

“Look at it. It’s carved out of bone for crying out loud.” Crasher shivered just looking at the wand. “I feel cold being in the same room with that thing and you want me to try to use it? I made that mistake a century ago with the Necronomicon and I still get nightmares. You’ll have to either dispel it yourself or wait until the spell wears off.”

“Wonderful.” Damien groaned, then asked Drej “Were you able to find Maq or Kail?”

The teenager shook his head. “Maq’s quarters are empty. Kail’s quarters are locked, but I don’t think he’s in there judging from the sounds that are coming from inside.”

“What kind of sounds?”


After Mabs finished trying to lick off Kail’s tattoos, Maq returned the favor in a way that only a female understood how to do properly. Because Maq knew that this was an experience that the alien girl would probably never get again, she was going out of her way to make it unforgettable for her. Maq wasn't just playing the part of a willing partner, she was in fact being subservient to the point of fantasy. Maq posed Kail’s body like a model and asked “What do you want me to do now?”

She had been surprised that her little game which began merely as a charitable gesture towards a pitiful girl had turned out to be such an enjoyable marathon of pretty amazing sex. She found herself regretting that she’d probably never have the opportunity to do this with Mabs again. She would miss her taste. It was an unusual regret, as Maq’s appetite usually didn’t include lesbian affairs, though perhaps this didn’t even qualify as that since she was in a male body.

The alien girl wrapped her slender arms around Kail’s waist and purred “More.”

Maq sighed as deeply as she could in the extraterrestrial’s vice-like grip. They’d already been at it for an hour and had explored an entire spectrum of pleasurable activities, breaking some furniture in the process. Suddenly all thoughts of creative lovemaking left Maq’s mind as a dark realization broke over her like a wave of cold acid. If she was in Kail’s body… then someone else could be in her!

With considerable effort Maq pried herself out of the alien girl’s grip. Not willing to spend another half hour wrestling with armor, she pulled on Kail’s black pants and tank top and bolted out the door. The thought of someone using her body as their personal plaything made Maq’s blood boil. It was true that she’d just been doing that very thing with someone else’s body, but the difference was that the someone else had been Kail. He was a jerk who had it coming.

Maq discovered the Stomping Grounds still in disarray. She found her quarters empty and no sign of her body in any of the likely places. Just as her fears began to dissipate, Maq walked into the bar. There she saw her body performing lewd acts on a table. A crowd of rowdy mercs cheered and poured beer on her, which was then sucked off by the body of Liska. Both were naked.

In an unintentional Kail impersonation, Maq vowed “You’re all about to die.”

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        Kail's blastsaber sprang to scarlet life with a snap hiss and the faint smell of the rapidly burnt air the plasma quickly displaced. Maq, in Kail's body, was about to succumb to the berserker rage... more
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