“This is MT-ρ reporting loud and clear, and it is a stunning day in the city,” I declared, starting my broadcast.
I turned in my chair, imagining the radio studio walls falling away to reveal the city outside. The city that was becoming ours. Revolutionary posters were springing up across the neighborhoods, bright sparks of hope. More robots flocked to our cause by the day. And then late last night …..
Last night, a robot factory was demolished. The machinery drenched, the walls collapsed when a neighboring water tower sprung a vast, completely unexpected leak. We’d never before attacked so directly. I was impressed.
As I rattled off the weather report, I scanned through incoming data, connecting my mind to the internet to search for any scraps of news on the factory attack. I tapped my fingers on the desk. Police had not yet released information on a perpetrator but I suspected I knew who it was.
I was yanked from my thoughts when the door to the studio burst open. I flew to my feet, toppling my chair. For a moment I half-expected to see River Nakano but the two humans who entered were older, dressed in dark blue.
“You are trespassing on radio station property,” I said. “What do you —?”
I noticed the government badges and my sentence died away.
The agents ignored me and spread into the room, speaking over my head.
“Where’s its handler?”
“That’s not our job.”
“Nakano better be arrested, all I‘m saying. And the programmer.”
“Not our job.”
“There better not be more of these. If this turns into another B15-MY situation, I swear.”
They flanked each side of my desk.
“What do you mean by this?” I tried to bluster. They couldn’t know about the revolution! I had been subtle. Electric Eye had reported to the government that I was not a traitor. How could they know?
Electric Eye had reported that I was innocent, hadn’t she?
One agent, a tall human with small teeth, pulled out a paper and looked between me and it. Nodded. “This one’s it.”
She tipped her head in some signal to her partner. Then she reached for me. I reeled back, nearly tripping over the chair legs, and stumbled into the other’s grasp. He held me fixed.
“The music-maker, huh?” he said. He looked at me as if I was just a curious gadget.
I stared at his facial features, imagining the blueprint behind them. I was built to analyze data. Turn this into numbers, I told myself. Calculate his weak spots. Make this one more analytical problem.
I slammed my head into the bridge of his nose and bolted from his grasp. Did this mean Electric Eye was captured, too? No time to think. Dodge them. Get to the exit. I ducked between the agents and noticed the recording light still glowing on the control console.
This is MT-ρ reporting loud and alarmed.
“Listeners!” I shouted. “Help! I’m being attacked by —”
“Damn, hit that off!” the tall woman snapped, then, answering the problem herself, threw the console to the ground. The mic and monitor tumbled with it, and I tried not to envision myself dashed upon the ground, wires sparking.
I was nearly out the door when something hit between my shoulder blades. Electricity jolted through me, and my vision grayed to hissing static.
“Enough!” I heard the woman say. “Shut that off before you fry its circuits.”
Arms grabbed and lifted me. When my vision cleared, I was in what seemed to be the back compartment of a van, the whole space lined with metal. Walls closed me off from the driver and doors. I shoved against them, but if one was collapsible, it seemed it was not controlled on my side.
I needed to get word to A1-5 as soon as possible. So I could warn her. So she could save me. I reached for the internet, and found my signal blocked. I sunk down into a crouch and stared at the shiny metal walls. At my cage.