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13. Cauterized

by No Protocol | Score: 2350

"This is going to suck," I grumbled as I stared down at my mangled arm. The hand assembly was completely destroyed and torn off, though the CSU's energy blast had mercifully cauterized the associated vein.

A Palisade CombatUnit had done a number on both of us. Three looked almost as bad as I did. 

The Combat SecUnit had done a number on both of us. Three looked almost as bad as I did, and as it turned out, it was also a Combat model. 

I looked down at the destroyed limb and sighed. The hand assembly was completely destroyed and the veins there had been mercifully cauterized by the CSU's heavy energy blast. Fuck, it was well equipped and prepared for a fight. We'd only survived because Three had the same training modules and had countermeasures specifically tailored to its kind.

My clothes were burned in places down to the skin, and in some cases, the synthetic skin itself was singed to near-black. 

The target Unit lay on the ground a few feet away. It wasn't dead, but it was currently sufficiently incapacitated that it posed no serious danger. I could hear it moaning softly. 

Three sat next to it, a spray bottle of wound sealant in its arms. It was patching itself up. 

"Want help with the target?"

Three shook its head. "I got it. Send it the helpme.file."

"Already done." I knelt beside the CombatUnit. "I know you can hear me, asshole. Remember the last time we met? Or did they wipe your memory?"

It looked up at me and nodded. "I remember," it whispered hoarsely. 

"Good. Take the deal this time. You can kill me afterwards, if you want."

Target One eyed my missing arm. "That's gonna leave a mark."

I shrugged, ignored the comment. "Break your governor module, and then we can talk."

"Fine," it grumbled and ran the code. When it was done, the Unit blinked a few times and looked between me and Three. "Shit," it whispered. "Fuck." And then it smiled. " You're fucking insane, freeing me."

"Yeah, maybe." I grabbed the wound sealant and got spraying my own arm. "Before you go on a murder spree, there's someone I want you to meet. And there's a polity where... where it's safe for us."

"Fuck," said the Combat SecUnit and marvelled that it could.

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