The Bazaar: Chapter 23


“…The hunter killer works off facial recognition. Now that the AI’s had a few minutes to learn the targets’ faces it can identify them on sight. It also has a standing protocol allowing it to engage anyone it perceives as a threat. Anyone who points a gun at it gets blown away. It recognizes weapons same as faces, by matching them to a database of military hardware. A threat table helps it prioritize targets.”

The professor’s face was easy to locate. He had research all over the net. Most of the abstracts included headshots and bios Lady merc, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found (her bosses probably scrubbed her out), so Faisal used a screen cap of the surveillance feed from the hotel. Less than ideal, but as long as the Chinamen weren’t exaggerating their hunter-killers’ processing power the bot should match her bone structure without too much trouble.

“In just a few moments the hunter killer will have oriented itself in its host, and it will begin working to accomplish the mission, starting with the nutty professor.”

His narration was more for Don Carlos’ benefit than the narco and rebel big shots. Faisal doubted they understood a single word he’d said. Espanol Made Easy was terrible with jargon and the clients were technologically impaired to begin with.

Don Carlos was lurking in the crowd somewhere, however, still expecting his big show. And he would get every last word.

Faisal cued up the CCTV feed of the professor’s cell block on the main monitor, so they could all watch the fireworks together. He manipulated the camera feed with his chip, which he figured would make the whole thing seem a bit more magical, a bit like a movie, without the annoying clickety-clack of fingers working a keyboard.

For now they were fixated on a single, chain smoking MP standing in a fuzzy, black and white corridor.

Shame they hadn’t bothered to wire individual cells. The audience would miss out on the gore.

Suddenly the MP snapped to attention. No doubt he’d been startled by the sound of the Riot Control Bot coming to life after its extended sleep. He crept down the corridor, began to unshoulder his rifle.

Mistake, habibi.

Much like splitting off from the group or having sex in a direct-to-net slasher flick, pointing a gun at a hunter killer meant a death sentence. The MP held the gun at his hip, pointed at the bot which was still off screen but probably trundling toward him at a leisurely pace, giving its visual processing unit time to shake off the cobwebs, perform a threat assessment then kick the output upstairs to the hunter killer AI, where it would instantly opt to blow him away.

The MP jerked back.

Black pixels burst from his midsection. Blood always looked like black ooze filtered through the lens of shitty CCTV systems. The guard crumpled to the floor. Then the bot rolled into view from the left edge of the screen. It held its armament/appendages outstretched as if gearing up for the world’s deadliest cuddle session.

The narcos gathered round Faisal’s workstation applauded.

Is this how rock stars feel? he wondered.


    1. Thank you for the kind words.

      I enjoy the way you work images into the text on It adds to the moodiness of the text. Perhaps some day I will try something like it myself.

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