Sunday, November 05, 2017

Don't shoot the red robot

“Don’t shoot the red robot,” he said, hunched over in the seat next to me. The robot had appeared suddenly ahead of the stream of traffic. I inched forward. “Careful”, muttered the boy next to me, ducking down below the level of the dashboard. The GPS showed a side street in a few metres and I prepared to cut across the oncoming traffic and make a right turn as soon as I could.

 “That was close,” sighed the boy as we picked up speed in the new direction. “How many more do we have to go?”

 I checked my cell phone for the latest figure. “There are still seven robots at large in this area. Mostly green and purple – and just the one red one. Won’t you call it in? Maybe they can send a squad to pick it up.” I scanned the area as I drove, listening to the turret on the roof of the vehicle. It swivelled round making its own scan and any change in its movement indicated a possible sighting.

Suddenly there was a pop from the turret. I hadn’t picked up anything, but it had fired. I parked at the side of the road and we stood and looked around. The shop-lined street was busy with mostly builders and customers of the small industrial area. In an alley we spotted the purple shape that had triggered our turret. Now immobile, we hauled it into the back of the car and placed it next to the three robots we had already picked up.

“Let’s take them in,” suggested the boy. “The bounty will get us through the week and I’m nervous with that red robot in the area.”

“Yes, let’s,” I agreed. “It would not be right to shoot the red robot.”

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