“You humans have an odd way of saying thank you,” Sourcemind said.
“‘Thank you?!’” I said as I stood up. “I had him right where I wanted him!”
“From my vantage point it appeared you had a 97.8 % chance of survival,” Sourcemind explained. “You came to collect Tau’s head, did you not?”
“Not literally,” I said. “I’d of gotten more had I brought him in alive.”
“You’ve cost me my glory in the great beyond,” I said.
“You ridiculous organics and your superstitions,” Sourcemind said. “The only thing that happens when you die is that you cease to be. There is no alternate state to look forward to.”
Izok was bald so I had no choice but to pick his knogin up by the beard. Disgusted by the mess, I instantly dropped it.
“Yeesh,” I complained as I removed a pillow from its case and bagged my prize. “This thing is leaking everywhere.”
I tied the pillow case shut, then tied it to my belt.
Sourcemind piloted Ninety-five behind the throne, where there was a door. He rapped on it three times. After waiting a moment, he used Ninety-five’s saw hand to cut a hole around the lock, then kicked the door down.
I followed the metal monster. We found ourselves in Izok’s own personal harem, a room with no furniture to speak of, just several oversized pillows filled with exotic females of various shapes, sizes, colors, and species.
My impromptu colleague of sorts projected a red laser grid over the room and stood silently for a minute until he pointed a finger at the back right hand corner. I walked over with him to find a wiggling blanket.
I lifted it up to find a trembling human woman. Her head was bald but even so, she was beautiful. She had a pair of deep blue eyes, full red lips and a figure that would make you look twice, maybe even three or four times more. She had no jewelry or make-up on, just a simple white cloth robe.
Sourcemind clutched her arm and dragged her off. The woman slapped at her captor’s hand and scratched her nails along the floor, trying desperately to hold on. The other ladies remained quiet and still. It was a safe assumption they were no strangers to disturbing sights.
“What are you doing?” I asked as I followed Sourcemind back into Izok’s chamber.
“Our business here is complete. You have what you want. I have what I want.”
“LET ME GO!” the woman screamed but alas to Sourcemind, she might as well have been an insignificant ant.
“She’s what you want?” I asked. “What the hell are YOU going to do with a woman?”
“It is of no consequence to you, human,” Sourcemind said. “I shall take my leave now…”
The robot’s shoulders sagged and its head dropped. Its grip remained firm. I pulled out my boot knife and tried to pry its fingers apart.
“Please!” the woman shouted. “Don’t let him take me!”
The monster woke up. It was Ninety-five again. He turned and pointed his saw at me, letting it run just inches from my throat.
“Well, if you put it that way.”
Ninety-five hoisted his hostage over his shoulder and walked off. She kept kicking and screaming until a syringe popped out of one of the robot’s fingers. He stuck her in the neck with it and she passed out.
The elevator whirred.
“Ninety-five!” I shouted. “Wait!”
The contraption looked at me.
“You’ve got to take me with you!” I declared.
Ninety-five looked up, as if deep in thought, then looked back at me.
“That is not within my mission parameters.”
He retracted his saw hand and replaced it with a missile, which he used to knock a massive hole in the wall. Twin jet thrusters popped out of his back and he took off into the night sky with his prey.
The elevator dinged. Six shai goons poured out.
“I’m not paying for that,” I said, pointing to the destroyed wall. “That one’s on the clank.”