Double Dilemma

by SJHundak/S.J.Willing
originally published at 01:08AM on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I walked away from Sweeper. This didn’t sit well on my stomach, marauder or not, killing humans like this just wasn’t me.

I sat on a rock, visually scanning the horizon as I took a smoke from my pocket. She said they would kill her, that meant somewhere out there she was being followed by a hunting party. I could only hope Sweeper would be fixed enough to help me hold them off. I had too little firepower to do more than irritate them.

“Strake…” Sweeper’s speech sounded odd, crackly. “Strake, it’s a trap. She’s been loaded with nannite virus. Systems are shutting down.”

My gun was instantly in my hand and I threw the smoke away. This was turning dangerous.

“Can you repair?”

“Not sure,” Sweeper said. “Shutting down vital systems to protect…”

Behind me Sweeper died. I didn’t give up hope yet, he’d had this before and survived. Except last time he hadn’t been as damaged as this.

I had my problems to deal with, ten black figures flitting across the desert told me I had company of my own.