Henry pulled the small hand off the forearm. He shook the hand and looked at how nimble the fingers were. Turning to the young man in a t-shirt next to him, "Tyler, you see these hands can be off of any damn Bot, you never know where they come from or what they're wired for."
Tyler looked on, sipping a soda. He covered his mouth as burped.
Henry squinted his eyes and lifted the hand and forearm off the table and placed the pieces into a hole in the wall. He pushed a button next to the hole, and a glass door sealed the hole shut. "This here is the Ossuary, Tyler," said Henry, then looked to notice Tyler staring out the window. "Tyler! Tyler"
Tyler snapped his head around.
"Tyler you payin attention? This is important, I don't want to see you just cleaning parts your whole life."
Henry was mechanic, a Bot mechanic, and he had a very impressive reputation. His shop took in all kinds AI Bots. He could rebuild them, or if a part was needed, people knew to come to Henry and he'd have it.
Tyler finished off his soda, and put the bottle down on the table.
A cell phone buzzed on the table. Henry looked down. He shook his head. "Tyler. Tyler I gotta go into town, you'll have to watch the shop for me the rest of the afternoon. Shouldn't be a problem. You know where everything is."
Tyler shook his head. He watched Henry pull on his jacket and walk out of the shop.
Tyler turned and opened a cupboard, pulling down a small flask. He smiled, popped off the top and took a swig, letting the drink burn down his throat. He looked at the bottle and sunk into a large easychair, taking another swig.
Tyler's eyes were half closed when the siren blared outside the shop. Suddenly a team of emergency workers burst through the front door of the shop. One crewman barked orders guiding the team in. They carried a large stretcher with a figure lying on it. They dropped the stretcher down in the middle of the shop on a worktable.
"Hey man, we need some help here!" Yelled the crew leader. His hair was in a crew cut, and he had a large gash on his cheek.
Tyler tried pushing himself up, but slumped back into the easychair. The crew leader looked down at Tyler. "Did you hear what happened? We had a major accident down at the Whittola mine. We've got a team of 20 down there and this Bot is the only one that knows his way around here."
Tyler looked down at the Bot. The Bot's face looked organic. The Bot turned to face Tyler. "My foot's been blow off and I lost a hand. I've gotta get in shape and get back down into the mine. You hear me?"
Tyler looked back. His eyes were bloodshot. The crew leader noticed the flask on the armrest next to Tyler.
"Where's Henry?" said the Bot.
"Uh, out. He had to go into town."
The Bot shrugged, and stared up at the ceiling. A radio beeped and a voice cackled. "We gotta move! You gotta hand around here?"
Tyler looked around. "Just a minute." Tyler went to the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of cold water, and poured it into a glass. He gulped down the full glass of water.
Another crew member called out. "We need to get back to site, maybe we can send a Drone in."
"Quiet!" snapped the Bot, "I'll get back into shape."
The Bot waved a hand at the crew leader.
The leader looked around the shop, pushing pieces around the shelves. He pushed over a storage box, and knocked down a chair.
"Hey don't do that, man," Tyler insisted.
"Then get an arm," snapped the disabled Bot, "now!"
Tyler opened a drawer, looking through used Bot parts. He shook his head. He didn't find any arms. He pulled up a foot that was in pretty good condition. He put it down. The Bot grabbed the foot and put it on the table.
"Sorry man, can't find any arms here," said Tyler, "maybe we can try to whip up a modification?"
"Modifications are crap! I need an arm!"
Tyler wiped sweat off his forehead. "Wait a sec."
He grabbed his cell phone and said 'Henry' making the phone dial up Henry. The phone rang 8 times, and Tyler hung up.
Tyler looked around the room. "Ok I think I've got something."
"A hand? You got me a hand?"
Tyler went to the far wall. The Bot tried raising his head up and following Tyler's movement, but the Bot was in no condition to observe, and his head sunk back down onto the stretcher. Tyler rubbed the window at the Ossuary, clearing away the steam over the glass. Tyler punched in the code next to the window and got a long beep confirming the code. He pushed the large button and the Ossuary window slid open, as dry ice steam flowed out of the window.
"What's that?" said the Bot.
"The Ossuary," said Tyler, "I think Henry might have a hand held up in here."
The rest of the crew looked at each other. Tyler carefully pulled the hand out of the freezing chamber and carried it over to the injured Bot. The steam still rose off of the hand.
"Looks good," said the Bot, "get it on, and foot too."
Tyler shook his head. "I'm not sure, Henry said to be careful about the Ossuary."
"Damnit, put that hand on now!"
Tyler used his oscillator and connected the wiring to the Bot's central nervous system. The hand seemed to purr to life, and the Bot flexed all the fingers. "Very strong!" said the Bot, "good choice."
Tyler snapped the foot on, and the Bot practically jumped off the stretcher. "Let's get out of here," the Bot charged out of the shop, followed by the rest of the emergency crew. Tyler slumped back into the easy chair. He took a swig from his flask.
Henry came back in.
"What happened? he said, surveying the mess in the shop.
"Uh, there was an emergency," said Tyler, "the mine collapsed and crew master Bot was brought in. He needed a hand and a ..."
Henry put his hand to his head. "No, no, no."
"What is it?"
Henry ran over to the Ossuary, punched in the code and opened the window. "The hand! The hand! Where is the hand?"
"I re-connected it."
"You what?! You re-connected THAT hand."
"There were over 20 miners stuck down there. They were depending on me!"
Henry shook his head. "Tyler. Oh, Tyler," he said. "That hand was a battle Bot hand programmed by military intelligence. It is practically a weapon of mass destruction. We've been had. There's no mine collapse."
"The hand," said Tyler, "the hand is gone?"
"The hand is gone, and heaven have mercy on us, for what they will do with that hand."