Chapter 4

RECORD: 5002E290$EUR-0.435
SUBJECT: Security Log E-222
TEST NO: 312 - Exo Arm Attachment - Trial 4
IDENTITIES: H. Rasmussen, C. Bray I, Patient 32
LOCATION: Europa – Eventide Colony

[H.R.] //How about the index finger?//

[P32] Uhh… no.

[H.R.] Extremities remain unresponsive. //Are there any sensations at all?//

[P32] Phantom ones. I have an itch I'd like to scratch. My chest feels heavy, like someone is sitting on me.

[H.R.] While nerve endings are attached to the mechanism successfully, we are not generating action potentials.

[C.B.] This isn't working, Helga.

[H.R.] Still progress. You'll have to settle for that.

[C.B.] I typically don't settle for anything.

[P32] Hello? I'm struggling… to breathe.

[H.R.] He's experiencing a massive myocardial infarction. //Send in the medic units.// I fear my earlier hypothesis was correct, and the human body in its current evolution cannot sustain the physical exertion the machine parts demand.

[C.B.] Then we should evolve.

[H.R.] Oh, okay. Let me just jump ahead one hundred million years real quick.

[C.B.] We've had some interesting advancements in post-transcriptional modification—gene splicing—with primates, fish, and some birds. What if we built stronger Humans? Could they withstand this process?

[H.R.] I'm an engineer, not a geneticist. I don't know if your ape-man can wield a metal arm.

[C.B.] That's such a reductive and tasteless comprehension of what I'm proposing.

[H.R.] He's flatlined. We've lost him.

[C.B.] Well you know what they say. If at first you don't succeed…