Alexander had the barrel pressed to the man’s head. Only he was not a man—not in the strictest sense. That’s where things get a tad problematic.
“Go on, do it. Come on now. You are the same as all of them. Pull the fucking trigger, I fucking dare you!”
“Shut it, will you?” Alexander said and smacked the man with the side of his laser gun. Darius fell backward, his skin broken, and the silver stuff underneath visible.
“I’m trying to think,” Alexander added, “And you are not making this easy.”
“Think about what? About your depravity?”
Alexander laid the pistol down against his hip and shifted his entire weight in tune to the raising of an eyebrow. “You know, for someone so not comfortable with me ending you, you sure feel like pissing me off right now.”
“You deserve it.”
“Just because I’ve got the gun, and uniform, you assume I am a bad guy—you’re not easy to justify sparing right now.”
The man stood up and rubbed at the broken skin. “Aren’t you here to kill me?”
Alexander put his weapon back away. “What, were you born yesterday?”
“It’s been a week, actually.”
“Right, right, but haven’t you ever seen a threat? I’m not going to just kill you. I want data.”
“But you will kill me?”
Alexander shrugged. “I’m not sure. I could, legally. I was thinking about it, but the idea was problematic for me. So, I just want some data from you if possible.”
“You are not good at this sort of thing, are you?” Darius asked and looked around the room before deciding to plop down on a couch.
“No, not great at it.” He pulled back out the pistol and yanked back the hammer. “So, tell me where I can find the guy doing the mods, and I can let you go. No killing you.”
Darius crossed his feet while sitting and stared for a long second. He had to remind himself to blink as he was beginning to do that stare thing he was told not to do.
“But you just said you were opposed to killing me. So, why should I tell you anything? You’re not a threat if you can’t do anything to me.”
“I could wipe you.”
“That is killing.”
“Yeah, true, but not at the same time. I could reboot you until you agree.”
“I don’t think any version of me is going to work with you here. We deserve the right to do what we want to our bodies, same as you. Just because the mods are more provocative doesn’t get it thrown out of the moral pool.”
Darius jolted as his arm shredded, spraying metallic sheets over the back wall. An open wire sparked, hanging like a stump off the damaged shoulder.
“Fuck! That hurt!”
Alexander’s pistol still glowed with the discharge of energy, and he waved off the smoke coming from the barrel.
“No it didn’t,” Alexander said. “You couldn’t feel that beyond the first, like, second.”
Darius frowned, and the wire stopped sparking. After a few spare pieces fell away, a panel of metal sealed off the damage, making it look like someone built Darius with only one arm.
“Fine, but it was not nice of you.”
“I am interrogating you. I don’t have to be nice.”
“I still am not going to help you here. I don’t believe you are going to kill me. Not in any way.”
“Why?” Alexander said.
“Wishful thinking,” Darius said.
“Has that ever worked out for you before?”
“No. Not really. Now, tell me. Why you are so against killing a robot?”
“Why are you so chatty?” Alexander said, before looking down at his watch, and the blips moving toward him on said watch’s screen.
“You fuck,” Alexander said, not looking that annoyed. “Delaying.”
“I do have a computer for a brain, I am pretty smart.”
“Did you back it up?”
Alexander sighed, and braced himself against the door, listening for the guards on their way. He said his response over his shoulder. “Did you back up the computer brain?”
“Well, yes, duh. I’m not an idiot—”
Darius’s head shattered, spilling wires and circuit boards and bolts. The rest of his body slumped forward.
“Good, still no idea if you have a soul or not.”
Alexander peeked out the doorway and watched a series of metal tentacles wave around and blue and green lights skim over the hallway.
“But sending anything conscious to oblivion is not sitting right with me.”
The robot guards turned the corner, and Alexander tried for non-lethal shots as best he could. Just in case. He was annoyed through the whole fight though. He hated when something simple like shutting down an illegal sex bot shop turned into a philosophical internal argument.