Made in Our Image

Dusk ground the last light of day away. A black-clad soldier followed the winding river of dips and valleys created by rolling hills spotted with trees.

A voice chirped to life from the assault rifle he carried. “Are you still mad at me?”

It was the newest model with tech reverse-engineered and improved on from the XM-25. The difference lay in the VAST chip. The Variable Action Smart Target chip gave his weapon artificial intelligence. Derek’s was the only one that had a personality, and a name- Mabina.

“I thought I silenced you, Mab.”

“You did. I linked up to two satellites, checked all frequencies- even the restricted ones, and deemed it safe to switch back.” She sounded pleased.

“You did, did you?”

“You didn’t answer my question, Ceese.”

“I know. How much farther is it to the next target?”

“Thirty-three point one miles. As of ninety seconds ago the target was alone. Would you like me to retrieve the file?” She was eager for the next chance to prove herself.

“No need. I know who we are after.”

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