Chapter 3

I awoke next morning to the sound of footsteps, at first I suspected that they were just the neighbors on the floor above me but then my door opened. I rolled behind the bed and picked up my pistol. And held it up to see a young woman standing there staring at me. Fear could be seen in her soft blue eyes that seemed to be nearly white in compliment of her dark hair. She was rather beautiful even in her baggy pants and loose hanging shirt her clothes looked more like pajamas than actual attire. I lowered the pistol seeing that she was apparently unarmed and afraid. "How did you get in?" I asked her bluntly.

"Your balcony was unlocked," she stated blankly.

From her awkward way of speaking I could tell that she was an android like myself and was newly created. "Who sent you?" I asked patiently.

"The man from the city center," she stated, "my maker sent me to get you to help him."

"Ok… take me to him," I replied. She just saved me the trouble of finding my next employer. I thought to myself.

She led the way through the building and down through the maintenance hatch. When we reached the floor above the pod-docking bay was. She walked down a dark corridor that led to the lab, the whole place reminded me of something from a horror movie the metal floors and poorly lit walls all caked in rust like the floors below. In the room there were several medical tables and different surgical tools along with several android parts scattered all over the various tables and desks in the place. There was a desk in the corner where the red haired man was sitting working on something. "Good you are here," he stated not looking up from his work, "I need you to do something for me."

"What do you need?" I asked.

"I need combat experience from you," he answered, "I am trying to make a perfect droid that is able to fit in society yet is a good fighter."

"So you are trying to make another me," I commented arrogantly.

"I am going to make you a partner," he boasted, " a female bounty hunter that could aid you in your missions, and in return I get a dividend of your earnings."

"Why the hell do you want to make me a partner?" I asked angrily.

"It would be the ultimate challenge," he replied, "to make a line of androids that are indistinguishable from humans."

Obviously he had other plans besides that in mind, but as long as I am getting paid or until he stabs me in the back I will help him out. "Sure," I replied, "but you are paying me for the data, and the dividend you earn yourself."

"I thought you might say that," he stated boastfully, "and I do more than make droids, I have become a rather good munitions expert."

"I really don't need weapons my pistol does fine," I replied destroying his boast.

He glared at me with the fire in his eyes, I could tell he was trying to outsmart me but failed. He turned back to his work, which was equally frustrating so he just stopped and turned around. "Just go over there," he squeaked in anger.

The android who had remained quiet for most of the conversation let out a giggle at the high-pitched squeak of her masters cracking voice. I found it rather amusing to see the reaction to his insubordinate droid. I waited for his next instruction as I walked over to where he wanted me to go. As soon as I stood there this thing burst out of the wall and latched on to my face. All I remember after that was waking up on the cold metal floor a short time later.

As I regained consciousness the soft-spoken android helped me up. "Are you okay," she asked. Immediately I could tell that whatever the scientist had done to me had changed her personality. She now walked around with confidence instead of like the lost puppy that followed you home. "What is your name?" I asked as I regained my composure.

"My name is Anne," she said with a warm smile.

"Well Anne… I am X05," I replied with a smile, "it is a pleasure to meet you."

We stood there talking for a while, in the dark of the room is where we were comfortable hiding in the dark. We were always going to be hiding something being androids. The conversation ended when the red haired scientist returned turning on the light. It caught the both of us off guard and he seemed surprised to see us getting along. "So…" he said regaining his composure before we could, "You two are hitting off faster than I expected."

"Well," I stated coolly, "you did make her to be my partner."

Realizing that I was more charismatic than he, he just shut up and left foiled in his vain attempt to outsmart. As he left I decided that since my work was done I would just go. As I was leaving Anne asked, "Can I go with you?"

"Sure," I answered with out thinking.

We left the lab area and returned to my apartment where I could change out of my space suit and into regular clothes. I walked into the bedroom and began dismantling what remained of my armor. I took off the gauntlet on my right arm the one that used to go on my left was destroyed a longtime ago. Then I took of the shoulder pad and supporting straps. It was amazing how light I felt after removing only these items. After that I simply removed the bandage from my arm to see that the wound was scabbed over quite nicely and I was kind of relived to see that it was healing. After that I changed out of my black space suit and as I set it on the bed I realized that it was extremely worn and desperately needed replacing. After that I changed into a comfortable pair of black pants and a black-shouldered button-down shirt. I took the pistol out of its holster ad buried it in one of the rather large cargo pockets on the side of my left leg. Then grabbed my wallet off the dresser and went back into the living area of the apartment to see Anne sitting on the couch in her ratty pajama-ish attire. She needs better clothes, I thought to myself upon sight of her. "Would you like a change of clothes?" I asked her.

"That would be nice," she replied looking down at her current attire.

She followed me into the bedroom and I immediately started digging through the wooden dresser for something that would suit her. I found an old white shirt that was too small for me, I couldn't tell you where I got it but it would do her nicely. Then I remembered that the previous tenant was female and that she left some of her attire in the closet. I got up and walked over to the closet and pulled out a hangar with a matching outfit on it. I handed the outfit to her and started to leave the room when she asked me, "Do you mind if I take a shower?"

"No go right ahead," I answered as I walked out the door and closed it behind me. As I sat on the couch I was surprised by how much social information the technician had taken from me and applied to Anne. I heard the water start to run and as I dozed off. Slipping in and out of consciousness I started to remember my old maker and how he taught me everything I knew, my mind raced as I watched him being eaten by the strange race of mutants I felt myself try to fight them but was un able to control any of my actions, I was watching myself as I fought a losing battle. One of the creatures came near me and pounced and I woke up with a jump to find myself back in the living room with Anne sitting next to me Dressed in the outfit. It was amazing how normal clothes amplified her beauty. "The pants fit me nicely," she said realizing that I was looking at her, "but the shirt is a bit tight."

I explained to her how that was the style for the time and commented on how she looked in the white shirt with a black vest that was draped over it. The black studded belt went nicely whit the dark blue jeans, I thought to myself.

Seeing how I had very little to do in the apartment I decided to take her out into the city, to test her social adaptations and also to find out how far the city had traveled. Seeing how the cities on the ground were so sparsely scattered across the planet it would take days to get to the next town if we only traveled at night. That was the down side to the city. When it is out in the middle of know where I lose business seeing how most of the people are upstanding elderly citizens who earned their right to live here. I was the only exception to that.

I opened the door for Anne and followed her out closing and locking the door behind me as we left. We went downstairs and into the lobby where the two old ladies were talking to another tenant and they immediately stopped at the sight of us. There was no doubt in my mind that the elderly trio was gossiping about me and that was proven when they stopped talking at my approach. "Good morning Bethany," I answered with a smile and a bow, in response to the death glare that she was giving me. We walked out of there mainly because the old people stare is one of the things I hate most. We walked down the walkway enjoying the early morning sun. As we strolled along through the city with its tan and off white colorings the sentry droids were slowly starting to increase in numbers around us. I felt for my gun as one of the metal droids stepped in front of me. It Towered over me as its reverse jointed legs slowly stretched. The thing raised its bulky forearm to my face so that I was staring down the barrel of the wrist-mounted gun when Anne stepped in front of me. The droid retracted its arm and walked away.

"What was up with that thing?" asked Anne in a concerned tone.

"I think they know I am an android," I answered blandly.

"I take it we should not go around announcing that," she stated flatly.

We walked to the edge of the city and I leaned against the handrail and looked out at the rolling hills and endless grassland of the countryside bellow. "Wow," commented Anne, "this is beautiful."

Obviously she didn't get out much but then again I didn't ether when I was first made. Right after my master died it took me ages to adjust to the live alone deal. Socialization took even longer. Compared to my own experience she was progressing nicely. "How old are you?" I asked trying to start a conversation.

"Seven," She answered. "Until fixit met you I had to stay by him."

"Really," I commented, "I am the same age as you. Fixit, is that what he calls himself?"

"Yeah, that is what he calls himself. I think that he thinks he is some kind of hero or something," she answered.

We stood there talking until about noon, the topics changed every few minutes. Honestly it is the most I had talked to anything since my master died. As we talked the city slowly became fully active, the cleaners slowly disappeared as the city awoke. People filed out into the city, on their way to work or where ever they were headed. It wasn't long past noon when the mayor of the town came on the city PA system and announced, "The city will be moving day and night now until we reach the tropics, have a nice day." As soon as you heard the click as he hung up the microphone the city lurched to speed steadily accelerating until we were cruising across the plains. We could feel the wind in our hair and you could hear the wind whistle between the buildings and antennas throughout the city. The city lurched again as it reached its maximum speed. We moved away from the edge of the city and went back to the maintenance hatch that led to the bottom of the city. As we walked down inside there we found the entire area to be full of busy working androids all of them were still in their skeletal state, but they were working to restore the rooms and some were helping in the lab, building more of themselves. We parted the crowd to see Fixit sitting in the corner counting his cash. "Well hello there," he squeaked gleefully, "as you can see I have made more of them. All of them fit for the city. Man they are selling so fast that I had to make some just to help."

"What about me?" asked Anne in a depressed tone.

"What about you," mocked Fixit, "I don't need you anymore."

Anne turned and ran out of the complex. I rushed after her trying to get to her I ran into one of the droids. "Hey! What do you think you are doing?" it growled angrily.

I just ran past it and up to the surface where I found Anne sitting in the alley leaning against the Dumpster. "What do I do now?" She asked between sobs.

"You come with me," I said comfortingly, "we can live together and you can help me as a bounty hunter."

I helped her up and she threw her arms around me, I could feel her warm body as we embraced and as we separated I noticed that she was blushing.

Chapter 4

That was the longest week ever, I thought to myself as I felt the city lurch to a stop just over the city. It was nice to have finaly stopped a lot of the people got motion sick man was it a mess. I doubt that anyone will ever experionce a more disgustiong thing than seeing hundreds of people vomit in different parts of the city. The cleaning driods had a field day with that. Man if I was them I would demand better pay because that was just gross. Anyway the city stopped just off the coast of the Isle de la Mere, mothers island to the locals. The city was on a beautiful island with clear waters long warm beaches, you know the regular paridise. The city itself looked like the inside of a hotel. All the buildings were painted in a combination of sky blue and the color of the sand on the beach. It went nicely with the senery but it was a bit over the top. Just on the outside of the town on the way up the mountansise was a forest of palm trees. It was very peaceful. In the center of the town there was a small transport station with about three shuttles sittingin it. One of the shuttles lifted off to greet us and help the citisens down to the island.

"We're gonna miss the speeder!" I called to Anne in the shower. I had collected the beach supplies and sat on the couch waiting for my acomplice who was tacking extremely long. I mean she usualy took awhile but this was insane. I sat on the couch looking arround at the room and how much it had changed since I started rooming with Anne. Well since she moved in I have turned the couch into a bed and she has invaded the very esence of the room. The walls were now decorated with wallpaper and pictures of god knows what, the floor was now carpeted and we had a full dinet set incase we ever did entertain. The only reason that I realy admired it all was that well, I did it myself.

In the time it took to get here Fixit the little bastard that lived in the basement of the city had mass produced his droids and was now selling them to whomever was interested. Honelstly I didn't like him for two reasons: one, he still hasn't paid me for the information, and two he created Anne who was just like me only to abandon her for money and profit. Either way if I run into him in a dark alley his ass is grass.

"Hey, X… can you grab me a towel?" Anne called from the bathroom.

"Sure," I replied. I got up and grabed her a towel and walked through the bedroom to the bathroom door were I tossed the towel in.

"Thanks," she replied.

I heard the squeak of the old faucet as the water stopped running and listened from the couch as she left the bathroom and got dressed. A few seconds later she emered from the bedroom in her baithing suit. I sat thee and stared for a second amazed by her beauty yet again. "You like it?" she asked.

That's a stupid question, I thought to myself. "Lets go wait for the transport." I said avioding the subject. She laughed and we left and went out to the transport. Ans we borded the craft we noticed that all of the people on board looked like store manakins with their thick plastic skin. Then I saw him in the back Fixit siting their in the back in bermuda shorts and a purple hawian shirt. "Don't look now but your favorite person is in the back," I wispered in Anne's ear.

"I see him she wispered back, "if he says one word I am going to…" before she could finish he looked up and said "Well if it isn't my two favorite people."

"Go to hell," Anne growled and I grabbed her arm in restraint.

Fixit stepped forward and looked at me. "What do you think of my merchandise?" he asked.

"I think that it is crap that you still owe me a lot of money for, and that you abandoned the only good piece of work you had created for the prospect of money," I answered bluntly.

"You have a lot of nerve," he replied as he stepped forward. I braced myself getting ready for anything as he walked right up to me and handed me a check for the service I had proveded.

"Thank you," I snarled, "that is one less reason why I don't like you." He backed off and we took our seats in between two of his androids. All the way down to the city they gave us dirty looks. As the transport touched down with a soft thud we disembarked and stepped out into the streets. The heat of the city was a shock to our system as we stepped out of the air condititioned craft. We walked along the boardwalk untill we came to a beach we liked. We stepped out onto the sand and headed down to the water. Half waythere we set up the blaket and umbrella then we ran into the waves. I watched as she dove into a wave then I went under myself and came up behind her. Grabed her arround the middle and threw her into the next wave. When she surfaced afew seconds later she was laughing histericaly. "You!" she said in between laughs, "are… dead!" As she finished her statemend she dove ontop of me and we rolled around in the waves and I came out on top.

"I win," I stated with a smirk. We were laying in the shollows of the water and I could care less that people were staring. A wave washed over us as Anne kissed me. It was the most interesting thing to happen in my short existance. As I laid on her in utter shock I heard her say "I win."

For the next hour she could not look me in the eye with out laughing. We dried off and laid out on the beach for a while, honestly I am not sure how long it was but it was nice, up until Fixit tryied selling some of his droids on the beach. After we noticed some of his sales walk by we left. We headed back to the appartment to change then headed out on the town. As we touched down firthe second time, we left the craft and headed for the boardwalk. The town was rather small and besides the litle surf shops and tourist nic nac shops the boardwalk was the most interesting part of the town. We steped out onto the platform and headed down towards the amusement park section. As we walked along in no real hurry talking between ourselves I noticed that the area had become most crouded with the androids of fixit's design and that some were following us. Their sheer numbers had me unnerved especialy since I knew that they could hanle themselfes quite nicely in a fight. We contnued as more of them folowed us. "Don't look now but we have some friends," I whispered to Anne.

"I was wondering if you noticed," she commented.

"just folow allong and we'll see if it is not just paranoia," I cometed as I turned into the alley. Anne was right behind me as we walked down the alley it was so narow that you could only go down single file. I let Anne slide past and I turned to face the line of persuers. Unfurtunately our presumtion was corect. The andriods lined up and walked in the alley. I took my fighitng stance relaxing and swaying irregualarly. The first in the line took the crane martial art stance, a rather flamboyant one-footed stance that was easily overcome by a high attack. I lunged forward at the android, it kicked with its raised leg. I cought the kick and fliped the android by the leg smashing his head into the pavement disabling his core system. As I stood up the next one was right on top of me. It punched I leaned back avoiding the punch then did a back handspring kicking it right in the face forcing it back into the line. At this point I was fed up, I reached for my pistol. I found nothing but an empty pocket as more antroids filed in the alley. I stedily moved bacward untill Anne and myself were up against the wall of the builings. At this point I decided that it would be bertter just to escape. I lifted Anne up to the wall as several andriod arms grabed me. I shook them off and climed up the drain pipe untill I reached the top. Once I was on the wall I looked behind to see that several of the droids were on tier way up the wall. That is when I kicked one of falling on to the rest. Then ran. I took anne by the arm and led her to the transport where we boarded and the crafttook off towards the flying city Luminos. We ran to the apartment and locked the door. Then Anne tipped over the table making a makshift baracade. I ran into the back room and grabbed my pistol, then we ran behind the couch and waited to see what woud happen. We sat there for about an hour n silence bracing ourselves everytime whe heard footsteps. Anne jumpend when the ice maker in the fridge turned on. As we sat there together on the floor I started looking out the window at the stedily setting sun. it was beautiful in between the buildings reflecting off the water. I was immediately brought out of my daydream by Anne leaning on my shoulder. I felt the warmth of her body as she slipped into a deep sleep. There was a knock at the door and Anne woke with a jolt. I stood up and walked to the door. As I moved the table I looked thourhg the door to see that it was bethany the lonely old woman who lived three rooms down. I opened the door and hid the gun as best I could. "Can I help you?" I asked with a smile.

"Can I borow a cup of sugar?" she asked holding up a mesuring cup.

"Certainly," I replied as I lead her into our small kitchen and haded her the bag, "take as much as you like."

She took the bag and left with a small thank you. She wasn't the nicest of women but she had her moments. As she left I closed the door behind her with a sigh of relief.

"Who was that?" asked Anne with a yawn.

"That was Bethany our neigbor three doors down, she wanted some sugar for her cooking," I answered looking out the window at the stars emerging in the night sky.

"So what is on our Agenda for tomorrow?" asked Anne.

"We'll find out tomorrow," I answered, "but for mw we should probably think of a way to handle the droid problem for the night."

"Fixit probably expectsa retaiation," replied Anne, "so all of the droids will be protecting him, so I think we will be safe."

"Okay," I repied laying down on the couch, "good night then."

Anne walked into the bedroom and I watched her slip onto the darkness then closed my eyes. Well today wasn't as boring as I expected, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.