The Bazaar: Chapter 27


Something had gone horribly wrong.

Faisal wasn’t worried about the squad of MPs who’d ridden to the rescue. The bot had a hardened shell you’d need a surface-to-air missile to crack. It would make short work of them. Of the six who came through the door four already lay dead in the corridor. The surviving pair retreated from the CCTV camera’s field of view. They took potshots from the doorway at the end of the corridor. Sparks flashed along the bot’s armor as bullets ricocheted off its armored shell.

At first the hunter killer tried to pick the survivors off from a distance. It took about a minute for it to learn that a riot gun was a rather imprecise weapon and adjust its strategy accordingly. Now it rumbled down the corridor, clearly intending to finish off the opposition in close quarters.

Yet despite the bot moving slowly and implacably toward the highest priority threats, its sensor system went offline. A skull and crossbones replaced the shimmering diagnostic readout. The skull’s jaw worked up and down in rapid succession, imitating laughter – a calling card from another operator.

“Why doesn’t it shoot?” one of the narcos asked.

At that moment Faisal could have sworn he saw Don Carlos fold his arms across his chest.


One by one little death’s heads began replacing all the information he’d dialed up on his lens, till his whole field of vision looked like a cartoon cemetery, everyone in residence mocking him with silent, imitation laughter.

The nutty professor, Faisal realized. The motherfucker can hack.

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