“Before we throw in the towel kin we see if the Doctor has any ideas?” Joss asked.
“That should be pretty pointless,” Jim remarked.
“Yeah,” Tim added, “Kim stopped some of his plans before they ever got started. I can't see him having a good idea.”
“Well I'm sure as heck going to try and do anything I kin for Ron and Kim,” Joss said as she headed out the door with Wade right behind her.
Jim and Tim looked at each other and shrugged, the fact they didn't trust Drakken's plans didn't mean they were admitting defeat. “Didn't the Doc say the things could be burned?”
“I do believe I heard him say that.”
“Do we have any thermite left?”
“Six little canisters. I think they're still on our workbench.”
“Booyah!” they exclaimed, giving each other high fives.
“Load one of ‘em on a cross bow, impact fuse.”
“Heat seeking guidance system is better for delivery.”
“'Cause we don't know if it has a body temperature. Shego could be the warmest object in the room.”
“Okay… Hey, didn't Shego have some sort of short-range flamethrower? Something from some bad guy in Chicago last summer?”
“Yeah, that's in storage around here somewhere.”
“And we got to find out about those polarized lenses Drakken had. We need to see what we're going to torch.”
“Nay, he only said he thought they would work. If video picks him up we don’ need no steeenkin’ polarized lenses.”
“No bloodsucker is gonna to get our sister!”
Drakken was already deep in consultation with Wade and Joss when the twins got into the larger lab. They'd heard Kim mention Bebes, and figured a female shape which lay stretched out on the workbench was one - except that this had a black wig which matched Shego's hair and a uniform that looked like Shego's. Wade had been startled to see the Bebe, but grateful Drakken hadn't used any of the Kim wigs or outfits that had been stored for the project.
“--with me to the Villain's Guild dinner last year.” He noticed the arrival of the twins. “Glad you two could finally make it,” Drakken snapped. “I need to borrow a brain. Which of you two is the better fighter?”
“Borrow a brain?”
“Don't worry,” the blue man assured them. “You'll get it back.”
Jim and Tim looked at each other, and simultaneously pointed to Joss.
“What?” Drakken and Wade said together.
“We were, er, sort of teasing her when she got here. We're about the same age but we're seniors in high school and she's a sophomore. And she, ah…”
“I learned them some manners,” Joss finished, “at the same time. I've got two older brothers and grew up on a ranch. I'm tough.”
“And she fights dirty,” one of the twins mumbled.
She glared at them, “Someone need me ta repeat that lesson?”
“What's the matter?” Joss demanded. “After all the times Kim whipped ya, ya know a girl can fight as well as a guy.”
“I don't know if this is a good idea,” Wade warned her. “Can I try?”
“Well, besides the fact you can't fight either I need you to try and get another Bebe or two put together in case anything goes wrong. If this fails the Jack will know we're on to him and may cut his losses and a couple throats before leaving.”
“But I can--” Wade began before Joss interrupted.
“I'll do the brain swap thing. When can we start?”
“As soon as we get the apparatus set up. It's in storage locker seven, isn't it Wade?”
“Five,” Wade said gloomily. He didn't want Joss involved in this and he wasn't sure the blue man's memory could be trusted.
“What can we do to help?” Jim demanded.
“We'll need you both to fly out in the second hovercraft. One of you can bring back the first -- I'm not sure if either Shego or Ron will be in any shape to fly.”
“What can we do right now?”
“You can help bring out the pieces for the brain transfer machine. I think set up will pretty much be a two man job.”
“That will give us some time,” Tim said, “We're going to see what we can put together while you're working.”
“The Bebe isn't going to need your help,” Drakken muttered to himself.
Wade thought they should have taken more time setting up the brain switch apparatus. He would have preferred to quadruple check all the connections. But Drakken wanted to rescue Shego, Joss wanted to rescue Ron, and the tweebs were anxious to see their sister rescued; so Wade had to settle with double checking the assembly.
The twins worked on their own projects, Jim completed two visors which projected an image from the tiny camera located on the nose piece to a screen in front of the wearer's eyes.
Tim rummaged around the materials Drakken had taken off the workbench, he could only find four of the thermite capsules. He still liked the idea of an ignition fuse on a contact trigger, but couldn't figure out a delivery method which offered a good chance of success.
As the twins worked on their tasks a second lab table was brought over next to the table which held the Bebe and cleared of projects so that Joss would be able to lie down on it.
She sat on the lab table as Drakken checked over the switches and settings.
“I put in some pressure gauges so I can measure what you're up against. The robot should be stronger than the vampire, but Wade tells me it may have siphoned off some of Ron's power. In terms of the brain, I used a blank drive for this Bebe. There's no programming at all on it. My brain transfer machine moves brain consciousness from one individual to another. Because I need a place for the second consciousness to go it is basically a matter of switching minds. Since the robot has no consciousness it's a blank slate -- I don't need a home for its consciousness while you're in there. Your primary consciousness will be in the robot. But you will retain a low level of brain function in your own body; you'll keep breathing and may even be able to talk. And if the Bebe is destroyed full consciousness should be returned to your body.”
“Will I feel what it feels?”
“I don't think it feels in the conventional sense. Not in the sense you feel anyway. You will be aware of what is happening to you, but you shouldn't feel pain. Are you ready?”
Joss took a deep breath, “I think so.”
“Quiet, please!” Drakken announced. “Joss is getting a new body.” Jim and Tim stopped their work and fell silent. They realized they would soon be on their way to the old mining town and began to frantically gather any tools and materials they thought they might need to take with them.
Wade helped Joss lie down on a lab table. “Belt a couple straps around her,” Drakken ordered.
“Why?” his partner asked.
“She will maintain minimal contact with her human body, we don't want her rolling off the table and injuring herself.”
Wade looked reluctant. “Jus’ do it,” Joss told him. “Not too tight. Remember, I'm not a prisoner or nothing.”
“You're very brave.”
His heart missed a beat when she smiled at him.
The blue man checked the settings one more time, and threw the switch. The machine glowed and hummed as Joss slowly closed her eyes. On the other table photoelectric cells opened as Joss looked out on the world through a new pair of eyes.
“Ohmygosh!” the robot exclaimed, “I'm seeing new colors… This is… It's so… Wow! I can't describe the way things look.” She cautiously moved her arms and legs. “I feel a little weird. Or do I feel? I'm not sure… This is different.”
“The servomotors don't work exactly the same as human muscles. Practice moving around on the hovercraft to get in touch with your new body. But can you leave now to rescue Shego and the others?”
The robot appeared slightly unsteady as it followed Jim and Tim with their loads of equipment towards the remaining hovercraft. Wade and Drakken hoped they saw growing confidence in its gait as it disappeared down the hall.
“Should I help them load?” Wade asked, “Or should I monitor Joss with you.”
“Neither. Get back to work on another another Bebe like I told you. We need a backup plan. We're short a couple pieces to finish another one - you'll need to jury rig something or figure out how to make my old parts fit your version.”
“I think Jim and Tim are working on backup already.”
“Two more hostages, that's all we need,” Drakken muttered.
There were too many lives at stake for Wade to argue.
Wade had told Tim to bring the first hovercraft back to the Lab as soon as they landed in Dross. If the plan with Joss failed they wanted to go with the next plan as quickly as possible. What Wade hadn't said was that the second attack would prove to the vampire that its location was known. The twins had figured that out for themselves. They would not be bringing the hovercraft back. If Joss failed the hostages would be dead before another rescue mission could be sent out from Middleton. Jim and Tim saw themselves as the last hope for a rescue and wished they had a better sense of what they could be facing.