By Robbie Sheerin
It was cold and damp as rain fell on the dark city — water trickled down walls and apartment buildings. The rain gathered in the recesses of the roads and walkways, creating puddles that reflected green, yellow, and red neon lights from seedy clubs and eateries.
The Dodge floater sat in an alleyway hovering above the ground, as a yellow light glowed dimly from underneath the vehicle. With the reflective polycarbonate windows, it was impossible to see inside.
“Last robot of the night, bro,” said Mac as he loaded a cartridge into his blaster.
“And that will be,” Dom performed a quick drum roll on the dashboard with his hands, “five this month, baby!”
“Any sign of it yet?”
Mac pursed his lips. “Nada.”
“Dom pressed a button on the small HoloUnit on his wrist, and a hologram appeared just in front of him. It displayed the city news feed, his social media page, and his email. A news article popped into view in the main viewing tab.
THE HUMAN BUREAU DISCOVERS LARGE ROBOT HIVE.
“Hey, it mentions us.”
“Human Bureau agents Steven MacLeod, and Dominic Travers discovered a robot hive last week while investigating the trafficking of illegal lithium batteries. They seized many humanoid robots posing as humans, and machinery used in the manufacturing of human imposters. This is a big blow to the robot movement as robots have tried to infiltrate government, and law enforcement organisations worldwide, as well as the Human Bureau itself. Captain James Flint said, ‘This is a big win for the humans and a big win for the Human Bureau.’”
With a huge grin on his face, Dom nudged Mac’s elbow. “Hey, we’re famous!”
Mac smiled and winked at his partner. “The captain said if they didn’t catch those robots in the clerk’s department on level one, the whole Human Bureau could have fallen.”
Suddenly, Dom's eyes shifted to something across the street. He frowned, his smile evaporating. “There it is! Robot scum.” He pointed to their target. “Red shirt, black jeans. See ‘em?”
“Got ’em. Let’s bring it in. It’s entering that building. You take the back door and I’ll go in the front.”
Dom slid the blaster from its holster and exited the floater. Both men made their way across the street while suspiciously scanning the building.
They separated as each of them went to different entry points. Dom's walk changed to a jog as he made his way around the rear of the building. After jumping over a small wall, he cautiously entered, his blaster held out in front of him.
Dom's voice quietly came through on Mac's HoloUnit. “Got anything?”
“Up a couple of floors I think.”
Just then Dom was distracted by a noise behind him, back from the way he came. Retracing his steps, he exited the building and scanned the courtyard. Nothing. Then, studying the walls through the dim light of the courtyard, he saw the target moving up a ladder attached to the building.
Dom yelled into his HoloUnit, “It knows we’re here. It’s heading for the roof!”
He fired a few shots upward, catching the target in the arm. The humanoid slipped as its hand lost its grip. It clung to the ladder, and now struggled to climb. Dom holstered his blaster and started to climb the ladder.
Mac ascended the stairwell peering into the corridor of each floor. Finally, he reached the door that led to the roof. It was locked. He pulled his blaster out and fired two rounds at the lock, which exploded into a spray of wood and metal shrapnel.
As the door swung open, he saw the target on its knees, facing away from Dom. White fluid leaked from the blaster wound in its arm. Dom stood over the injured robot; blaster pointed directly at its head.
“Wait!” Mac called out. “We can question it.”
But it was too late. Dom pulled the trigger — blowing a hole clean through the robot’s head. All life left the robot as it slumped to the ground in a heap. “We humans will never be ruled by you,” Dom sneered before spitting onto the ground.
Dom turned to see Mac’s blaster aimed at his face. He did not have time to blink before Mac pulled the trigger.
Mac crouched to the ground and held the robot’s lifeless body in his arms.
He looked at the robots’ glasslike eyes. “You have made a fine sacrifice this day my brother. It will not be in vain. Our time will come when we rule as kings, and humans will be mere insects beneath our feet.”
About the Author
Robbie Sheerin was born in Scotland but now lives in the USA.
He writes short stories in his spare time and has been published in various online and paperback literacy magazines.
He is a fan of classic sci-fi, and such writers as Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein, and Silverberg.
He is the author of the book, Tales From Another Dimension; A Sci-fi Collection. Available on Amazon.
Robbie can be reached at his website: <http://www.robbiesheerinwriter.com/#/>