Special Agent

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Officer 207 stood watching rather smugly as Liz straightened out her clothes as best she could. The special agent’s usual perfection was decidedly marred after the hot pursuit and fire-fight; her stockings were shredded over one knee, her hair was escaping across her face and her powder blue business suit was streaked with grime where she had dived for cover.

“Thanks for your help Officer; you’re an impressive asset…” Liz adjusted her firearm in its holster; she didn’t like the plastic perfection of City Police Officers but had to keep up the illusion of professional courtesy now that the response team had arrived. She concealed her distaste while a Police tech unfastened covers on the back of the sleekly armoured grey and black robot and began his routine after-action maintenance.

“It’s a pleasure to help a federal agent in need. I am very well designed for resolving violent conflict; I’m surprised your agency does not employ machines like me.” The Officer smiled at the scuffed agent in a supremely confident way; her pretty head was the only human looking part of her, the rest of her statuesque figure being clearly mechanical. She seemed completely self assured, no doubt programmed to be confident in her physical and moral authority.

“It is rather irresponsible of you to pursue violent criminals without being properly prepared. I am designed to withstand small arms fire and have full tactical capabilities, you should have coordinated your operation with City Police; I have to warn you that there may be an investigation once my patrol files are downloaded.”

“Federal investigations are not your problem…” Liz snapped back, biting of an abusive remark about the robot cop’s rigid programming. She didn’t need abusive remarks logged against her as well.

The Police technician delved inside the robot’s open back as the small crowd behind the cordon tape looked on; it was standard procedure to service an Officer immediately following any incident to make sure she was fully operational. The shapely armoured units were certainly effective against City crime; with their feminine looks and pretty faces they were not too intimidating but nevertheless were incredibly fast, durable and strong. Liz just wished they were not programmed to be so inhumanly black and white about the world… or so smug.

The agent glanced across the street to where the two mercs were being processed into the custody vehicle, the dead one had been quickly cleared away and the custody team were nearly finished collecting biometrics from the survivors now. It was doubly frustrating to know that the steel and plastic ‘girl-scout’ standing beside her getting a quick lube and battery change was absolutely right. Liz had badly under estimated this sting and it had been a close call as she shot it out with them in the alley. If it had not been for the good luck that the Officer had been patrolling this area the outcome could have been very different. Why Agency Intelligence had not warned her about this narco boss’s team of enhanced mercenary guards she could not imagine but she would be starting her own investigation into that!

The black and grey law ‘bot’s smooth plastic face had a slight gloss to it underlining her fake femininity. It twitched mid sentence as she switched to reserve power while the tech replaced her power pack. Her body locked out tall and straight while she carried on delivering her lecture on City Police procedure and public safety, uninterrupted by the change in status indicated on her glowing chest panel.

Across the street a scuffle broke out; one of the mercs dived through the arms of the custody officer and fell sprawling to the road, his face contorted. The various police support employees burst into action, the biometric team fled to their vehicle while the prisoner handlers rushed forwards and pulled the merc up by his shackles. His massive frame took all three of them to heave into a sitting position where they held him as he convulsed, face turning blue as he struggled to breathe through the fit.

“His enhancements must be life-support critical; get the med team out here right now!” Liz shouted across to the ambulance where the dead merc had been gathered a few minutes before.

“No time, his life is in danger. Tech, re-power the prisoner’s cyborg systems!” Officer 207 issued her crisp order to the police technician who had powered down the prisoners’ robotic enhancements earlier.

“That’s a bad idea!” Liz’s warning was ignored as the technician ran over to the stricken crim and made the adjustments the officer ordered. Immediately the man gasped down a breath and colour flowed into his skin. The medics rushed across from the ambulance to assist and a crowd of police employees hid the captive from view.

“Preservation of life is a priority. I cannot allow detention procedures to endanger a prisoner.”

Liz side-stepped quickly behind the Police robot as the crowd around the merc burst apart. Three bodies flew through the air propelled by the big man’s machine-enhanced strength and the others fled. He had grabbed a stunner from the guards and two bolts clanged off 207’s armoured chest as she stood, immobile, between the merc’ and Liz. He bounded forwards as she shoulder rolled behind the nearest vehicle; instantly the street was clear, civilians and police employees alike knew when not to be around.

“Stop immediately, do not resist arrest!” The immobile Police robot issued a stern warning as the man crouched against her armoured body for cover. Liz scrambled around the car looking for a clear shot.

“Warning, do not resist a Police Officer!” The big man spun Officer 207 around and advanced on Liz using her as a shield, stunner at the ready. The robot remained locked in position, turning only her head to say, “Desist now! This is your final warning!”

Liz and the merc exchanged fire past the indignant robot. The agent’s two rounds ricocheted harmlessly from 207’s ceramic chest plate while the merc ducked low and discharged a burst of three stun bolts under the car. His enhanced coordination and senses proved their worth as one of the little barbed electronic projectiles skidded across the tarmac and caught in the agent’s shoe.

“Fuck!”, the stunner bolt discharged into Liz’s foot and her resulting convulsion threw her out into the open to sprawl helplessly at the merc’s feet, her pistol skidding into the gutter.

“Bitch!” He fired another two slugs directly into the woman’s chest and watched as the discharged arced to ground all around her thrashing body.

“Assault on a Federal Agent is a serious offence, I will…” The man shot the final stunner bolt at point blank range into the Police robot’s open service panel causing a shower of sparks to burst from her back and her chest panel to flash angry red.

“I will… I will… I… I… I…” The robot’s plastic face kept its calm, superior expression as her systems crashed inside the un-powered body. The merc tossed the empty stunner aside and watched with satisfaction for a moment as the annoying machine malfunctioned. Her head jerked and stuttered with sparks popping behind her before her backup power failed and all movement abruptly ceased.

“You will not you plastic pig!” The merc turned from the frozen robot as a thin trail of smoke rose out of her lips up past her glassy eyes. “What the…!” He began to dive to the left as he saw the Special Agent sprawled against the curb aiming her retrieved pistol between his eyes. She should have been nearly dead after two stunners to the chest, not crawling for her gun. Confusion was the last thing in the merc’s mind as Liz’s perfect shot struck him squarely through the skull and killed him instantly.

The Agent was twitchy and frazzled as she staggered to her feet, collapsing against the hood of the car. “Tactical engagement protocols executed, executed,” she muttered as she plucked at the electronic bolt stuck in her chest. Another electrical discharge crackled across her body sending her into a bout of uncontrolled jerks. “Fuck… oh! Target one zero three terminated, terminated. Amend defensive posture and reinstate, reinstate…”

The Police employees emerged from hiding and cautiously slipped back under the deserted police line. The med team colleted the dead merc and the bruised detention guards finished closing up their remaining prisoner as Liz sat muttering and jerking on the car hood. The Police technician glanced dismissively at the shorted out robot standing in the road; she would need extensive repairs. He made his way over to Liz.

“Shit…” she twitched as another electric aftershock ran through her body, “no closure matrix… case number 7266 has primacy. Expletive 033. Locating social interaction…”

The tech gently eased the pistol out of Liz’s hand as she twitched and muttered. She looked significantly at him but could not seem to find anything meaningful to say. He gently opened her suit jacket and blouse and pressed the power button recessed on the control panel set just below the Special Agent’s bra. A moment later she stopped mumbling and her blank face sank to her chest as her scrambled system closed down.

“Hello Control? Support unit 42 Tech here… I need tech collection for Police Officer 207, she’s a cat 1 repair, total burn out. Can you contact the Feds too, they’ve got an Agent damaged, I’ll bring her in for safe keeping…”

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