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Chone replaced the 50mv capacitor with a 100mv beauty he had hauled out of a mobile Newtonian reflecting telescope the previous week. “Still, I’m putting in a shunt here, because I don’t trust this sucker,” he said to Chevine. “I don’t want to die just because this is the best thing I’ve ever done”. Chevine blinked thrice, as he was wont to do. “Glass half empty chickenshit. Unburdened by courage, as usual”. Nevertheless, Chevine stepped back so that he was substantially protected by the armoire. Chone returned the tiny manifold to its housing near the coil, and inserted a 30v in-line fuse that would accept the increased power. He worked anxiously, encouraged by the response he had received from the AMA. ‘While the truly functional Cerebral Doinker remains a dream, your bypass schematics show a promise that has apparently escaped the imaginations of previous researchers’ they had said. Gave him a woody, that did. Placing the electrodes under his eyelids and engaging the coil, Chone instructed Chevine to let the timer decide when his refinements would be tested. And, the timer decided that 6.3 seconds was about right. Chone’s polyester socks disappeared almost immediately, fusing visibly to his ankles. His eyes sizzled, then popped, scattering viscera on the Doinker fuselage. Chone gasped, his blistered tongue darting from between his lips as each of the stubs of hair on his shaved head emitted a tiny coil of blue smoke. After several seconds the 30v in-line fuse arrested the current, and the prototype Cerebral Doinker sat silent. Chone’s flesh bubbled. “Probably a bigger shunt next time, maybe,” proffered Chevine. “Chone?” He nudged the grilled corpse with the toe of his Birkenstock. “Eh, Chone? A little bigger shunt, that’s what I’m thinking. Nice try, though”.
Date Written: December 30, 2005
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