When we left the city, there had been seventy-three of us. Now we were nineteen.
And the armadogs were closing in.
The armadogs were silent stalkers. They didn’t howl or bark like their biological counterparts, and unless they were close, you couldn’t hear them. Their big, spongy footpads absorbed sound on both grass and dirt. They communicated with each other and their controllers via Service-Web, and humans had never had access to Service-Web. Why would we need or want to know all the mundane details that kept our workers working?
Darcy fell into step beside me. “Jimmy says they’re less than four hundred meters behind,” she said. “We need to find a place we can defend, Shelia.”
I glanced at her face, a pale smudge in the grey, early-morning light. The bandage around her head was seeping blood again. But no time now to stop and change it.
“How much firepower do we have left?” I asked, not breaking the fast trot we had been moving at most of the night.
“Two flame pistols still have a charge. And one scrambler, but it’s low. A few grenades. We have tons of bullets, but well, you know…”
Yes, I knew. Bullets rarely stopped an armadog. “Be on the lookout for a place to take cover. And tell Jimmy to let me know when they’re within two hundred meters.” Then we would have to make a stand regardless. Continue reading Flying