Cogs and Gears
Whirr. Ish. Whirr. Ish.
As they rushed through the underground sewers, the rhythmic wheeze of compressors and drag of metal joints echoed through Keith’s head, and he knew something was going to be replaced. After the night he’d had, that seemed inevitable. The lack of security at their target had been off-putting, but who needed turrets when you had Goliaths? Weaponized beasts designed to appear as tamed dire wolves, they were more metal than monster, if they’d ever even been alive. They were in vogue among the upper-crust who’d gotten tired of imported tigers. Sleek and well-trained, a mixture of magic and science, the most expensive had designer pelts. Keith hadn’t noticed. Keith had been more concerned about the metal teeth that had taken a chunk out of his left arm. His sleeve had been replaced with oil-stained ribbons. Keith limited movement in his left. Things were messy enough as it was.
This was going to be a set back. He’d been designed to required less down time between missions. Needing any was rare enough, that they might need to take his eyes today. The lenses clicked and twitched whenever they recorded, a sound that only ever echoed in the inside of his head. Keith made the assumption with all the inconvenience of someone buying an extra loaf of bread. Even though reviews were normally reserved for missions that had gone bad, they always had the option of taking his eyes. He hoped they didn’t. The air in the storage unit he was kept in was always stale.
It had been a messy fight, but their target was achieved with two bullets from a very specific gun. Whys were above his pay-grade. Keith’s interests lay firmly in the whens and hows of this world.
Their check point was up ahead.
Without checking behind him to make sure he was still followed, he started climbing the service ladder that lead to the next leg of their escape route. They emerged on the other side in between two buildings. A strategically parked automobile blocked view of them from the main road. Its tinted windows would make them invisible from the outside. Keith took the driver’s seat. The moment his partner got in beside him, he locked the door.
And for the first time since the first born of Congressman Li’s mistress went down, Keith tensed. This wasn’t a conversation that could be interrupted.