Suburban Firefight

“He wasn’t?” Joshua said.

“Not for a long time, anyway.” Josh felt the compartment lurch as the robot (he assumed) jogged for cover. “I used to be him. Then this happened, and I realized…” The compartment shook violently as an explosion left Josh’s ears ringing. “Later for that,” the voice said.

“Um…I don’t want to distract you,” Joshua said. “But is there any way I could see out?”

“Oh, right. Sorry.” Padded panels slid open in front of Josh and to the left and right, revealing video displays showing the neighborhood. Up the block two other robots were visible, crouched in firing position behind an up-turned delivery truck.

“So what do I call you? Alexis? Alexa?” Joshua asked.

“If you like. But Silverfox will do. Or Fox.” A rifle appeared in the right-hand monitor, held in Fox’s right arm, and fired back. “And reinforcements are half an hour away. Great.”

“Shouldn’t you be worrying about innocent bystanders?” Josh asked. "Collateral damage?

Silverfox said grimly, “In this neighborhood? Not anymore.”

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