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Renegade Robot

by Tom Lichtenberg

Copyright 2010 by Tom Lichtenberg

Smashwords Edition Copyright 2010 by Tom Lichtenberg

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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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. Once 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.

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