A Potential Potemkin

Sera snorted. “I want you to know that if I end up singing ‘Jailhouse Rock’ in the impound yard, I’m blaming you.”

“I’ll take that risk,” James said.

“Look out! Traffic cams report automechs closing at speed along the cross street!” Lisasaid over the com. “We’ll make it by, but they could intercept you. I think they’re trying to split us up.”

“Roger,” Sera acknowledged. “James?”

“On it.” James swung the cannon to the left. As they approached the intersection, he could catch glimpses between buildings and street signs of the gleaming cars moving to meet them.

Then James spotted something in his peripheral vision—then turned and stared in outright disbelief. “Oh, come on!

Ahead to the right, the ground rose sharply, with stairs up to a plaza about twenty feet above the road. And at the top of those stairs, a young mother had just lost her grip on the handle of her baby carriage. It had just begun rolling down toward the busy street, on a direct collision course with Sera—and two Marauder automechs.

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