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Renegade Robot


One
"Life is no argument, for the conditions of life could include
error" - F. Nietzsche
It was no job for a superhero, but Wyatt Lorenzo knew what he
was signing up for, so even when people began to taunt him with
names like Jani- Tor and Scrub-Or, he just laughed and shrugged
it off. Someone had to take care of the 'do-gooders' before it was
too late. He liked to blame it all on his virtual best friend, the one
who was forever texting him into doing things he did not want to
do, from phoning Jan Johnson in the eighth grade, to pulling a
certain stunt on a certain day in high school, to taking this job
with his actual best friend, Jalopy, and so he had followed the call
of the text and it had led him to this day, where he found himself,
in his mid-twenties already, a gainfully employed Botnik in the
service of Mankind, living alone on the outskirts of Rubble Land,
doing his part to stem the tide of correction.
Wyatt had discovered the neighborhood while on a mission with
his team to clean out some rampaging CGB’s (concrete gobbler
bots). These little guys, shaped like fat gray packing tubes about
nine inches high and five inches thick, with pairs of extensible
claws reaching out of the top and bottom and a thin slit down the
middle on one side, were designed to break down buildings of
concrete, glass and steel, excreting nothing but nitrogen-rich soil
and oxygen. O nce you discover them it's usually too late to save
their target building, but they're fairly docile and easily
dismantled. A little Cherry Coke goes a long way towards their
final deactivation. Wyatt could’ve wished they'd let the little
buggers do a little more damage before they'd completely
neutralized the infestation; as it was, the locale was still littered
with wreckage-filled lots only partially consumed. Still, the rents
were cheap and the remaining structures were relatively safe, for
the moment.
Two of the team weren't very respectful to Wyatt; Randy, the
team leader, and Hazel, his right-hand man. They'd been doing
this work since the early days of the first hints there might be a
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