In the bulwarks surrounding the spaceport, Reyes led the inspection tour, a.k.a. contest judgment. “Here we have the Neutron Negatizer.” It rotated vigilantly, panning its water pipe from horizon to horizon. Christmas lights rippled up the pipe.
“They’re bound to notice it,” Ishikawa said encouragingly.
“Well, then, there’s this one.” The Mega-Mortar slowly raised and lowered a cluster of tubes. In his helmet headphones, Ishikawa could hear a sound between a large transformer and a table-saw.
“I hear you have a new girlfriend,” Reyes remarked.
“Yes, in fact she’s quite a nice girl. Though I expect she’d make a dull date.”
“And high maintenance,” Reyes said.
“May whoever made her into a noncon burn in hell.” They paused at a contest entry accompanied by two spacesuited figures that were scanning the horizon. Ishikawa peered into the helmet of one. “Is that supposed to look like me?”
“She must have been converted illegally,” Reyes said. “And there are more. Operations says some are moving autonomously.”