“Milord, I am bound to protect milady. I must get her safely to the telepad and off of this colony.”
The policeman’s gun had not lowered. “I can’t let-” But the officer stopped and put one finger to his ear. He kept his eyes on 231 and nodded grimly. “Maybe I can. They’re calling everyone to the telepad. The separatists have plasma mortars.”
Few things could damage a telepad. Plasma mortars were one of the few that could. Between the shells’ concussive blast and star-hot gel, the protective dome would not hold up long.
Not much time.
“Milord, I must insist-”
“Let’s go. Down to the emergency line. And you give me that gun.”
Sophia still clung to 231’s arm, stubbornly staring away from the corpse of the separatist. She started forward at the law enforcer’s command, tugging at his elbow. 231 relaxed his grip on the rifle, flipping it around in his massive hand and handing it to the officer as they passed.
“To the left,” the officer said, slinging the rifle by its strap. “The station’s at the next alley.”
There was an emergency station on the same block. 231 cursed inwardly.
“You should help them,” Sophia said. “You should stop them.”
“You should stop the… separatists, or whatever,” Sophia said, turning onto the main street. “You’re a really good fighter. You could help.”
231 followed a step behind her, automatically scanning the crowd. The panic was starting to spread. Clusters of people stared at them, whispering.
“My mission is to protect you. That always comes first.”
‘But you could save people! You have to try!”
Definitely a squadmate. “Yes, Milady.”
Somehow, she chuckled at that. 231 felt his shoulders relax.
“It’s weird,” she said, “but I think that’s what God made you for. Fighting.”
“I don’t know about God,” 231 said, “but it’s definitely what humans made me for.”