It Is a Silly Place

“Surrender, now!” Sweeper said. “Before you lose more bits!”

“Chert just scratched!” the robot growled, swinging with his other hand.

“That’s not a scratch, your arm’s off!” Jiana said, as the rest of it crumbled to join the hand on the ground.

“Chert will bite your—nrrrgh!” WHUMP! Without his other arm to hold him up, Chert’s last swing at me ended up faceplanting him on the ground. I jumped back as his head barely missed me.

“Right.” Jiana swivelled the cyclemech’s head to glower at the rest of them. “Now who else wants some?”

There was a shuffling in the ranks as the rest of the ex-slavemechs hastily backed away, leaving the odd fallen-off bit behind.

I pulled out my Optica and glanced through it at the fallen Chert. “Access panel, access panel…ah, there.” I tripped a switch, and the panel covering Chert’s CPU slid open.

“I’ll take it from here.” Sweeper moved the shared body up and extended a data interface from one finger. “This won’t hurt a bit.”

Jiana sniffed. “That’s what men always say.”

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