MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 55
" It was suggested, but no one here has a clue as to how the justice systems work there. "  Said Aukous.

" So, we are going to be thought of as bounty hunters like the others? "  Asked Hulmara.

" Yap. "  Replied Aukous.

" Sounds like Ventan will be leery of everybody. "  Said Orin.

"  Or, he has become so used to be hunted that it doesn't bother him anymore. "  Said Pace.

" Lots of possibilities.  One thing for sure however, he is a very dangerous being. "  Said Orin.

Not long after passing though several military security stations, a few introductions, and some anesthesia, they found themselves with new hair and faces.

" This is such a good job every body should have it done. "  Said Pace holding a mirror with out stretched arms.

" They weren't kidding when they said there would be an adjustment faze. "  Said Hulmara staring at her reflection in the window.

The next few days were cathartic.

" When we get back, I want to get the metallic eyes. "  Said Hulmara.

" Why do you think they did not want us to know how many beings have had their looks altered? "  Queried Pace.

" Data banks reset at 999,999, and the records were at 11,014. "  Tent said.

" Anybody could be anybody.  This is really good work.  When the doc wakes up, I have a million questions. "  Said Pace.

" Funny, but rumors have been going around about this procedure for a long time.  I wonder it's not more common. "  Said Orin.

" There have been a lot of documentaries, and all kinds of link programs based on the Medical accomplishments on Uldra.  You need to spend more time watching the link programs. "  Said Aukous.

" Seems to be a very common practice. "  Trent added.

" Looks absolutely natural. "  Said Aukous.

" Before I change back, I'm going to have some fun with a few old lovers. " Announced Hulmara.

" Where did the doc go? "  Asked Pace.

" She is in her quarters.  She'll probably sleep awhile. "  Aukous said.

" I didn't really get the chance to thank her. "  Said Orin.

" I wonder how much of her is original? "  Aukous asked.

" Trent, how about an update on your where a bouts. "  Pleaded Pace.

" Well, by now I should be in high enough concentration at the entrance to the Corridor to be able to function in two independent locations.  We will have to enter the Corridor at leased one light year from my location there. "  Trent replied.

" Wouldn't be funny if you concentrated our self from the other direction, and that you was on Ventans side. "  Hulmara said.

" That is a possibility.  However, my base personality is probably the same regardless of which part of me we are talking about. "  Trent stated.

" I hear you say it, but it's going to be a while before I understand it. "  Aukous said.

" I hear that a lot.  It is a different existence.  Every now and again I wonder what I'm doing in the opposite direction.  How far away am I from myself?  What if I do not like me?  What if I fight myself?  It is a mind bender if think about it too much. "  Trent stated.

Several hours later the doctor entered the common compartment.

" Hello! "  She said.

" Hi. "  Said Aukous.

" Hello, how would you like to be addressed? "  Asked Trent.

" You must be Trent.  Well, I am most accustomed to plane old Doc, and I have a million questions I would like to ask you."  Doc said.

" Any time you would like ask me a question, please feel free to do so.  However, do not expect me to have the answer.  I do not fully understand the knowlage I have bonded to.  You have a far greater useable knowlage base than I do. "  Replied Trent.

" How far from the Corridor are we? "  Doc asked.

" We should be there in six hours.  Is there anything you need? "  Asked Orin.

" No, not really.  I stocked the med bay, and added the info necessary to handle most every contingency. "  Doc said.

" Why did you want to go on a deal like this? "  Asked Pace.

" I think this will be a good brake in the monotony of the daily surgery, which is never ending, and with few exceptions the same in every case.  Plus who knows what kinds of medical info's out there.  Maybe a myriad of significant advancements in techniques and medicines. "  Doc explained.

" Has there ever been a problem with reversing this type of procedure? "  Hulmara asked, rubbing her nose.

" No.  It's a simple surgery. "  Doc replied.

" I did not notice a society with anything close to being able to produce advanced medical techniques.  In fact, most of the civilizations we encountered, and referenced in the databases were quite basic in development. "  Trent added.

" Maybe we can make a few friends by providing some advancements to their medical systems. "  Said Doc.

" Why haven't there been closer contact with the Corridor civilizations? "  Asked Hulmara.

" Wars nobody wanted to get involved in, distance, and lots of places to explore that are closer.  So many places to be, and so few beings to be there to do it. "
Said Pace.

" Will the authorities help if we need them? "  Asked Hulmara.

" We can't rely on them.  In fact, the military cautioned us about contact with them, as did Trent based on personal contact. "  Said Orin.

" Trent, what would you suggest? "  Asked the Doc.

" Ask no personal questions, be open to new experiences, trust no one, do not get separated, and be patient. "  Trent replied.