I breathed in and out and counted silently to five. “I don’t have time for this now,” I said. “But bear in mind that Sweeper is fully backed up between missions. If I did flush you both, the most he’d lose is a couple of days’ memory.”
Jiana muttered something inaudible, but it sounded like “Abomination.”
And then Sweeper fired a weapon I’d never seen before—a big ball of neon squiggles. The Marauder and human guard both slumped over to the ground.
“EMP capture gun,” Jiana said smugly.
“Another of your sister’s ‘extras’?”
I used my Optica to override the Marauder’s safeguards, pulled its CPU , then I went to Sweeper and cracked open his. I didn’t like the look of it. Instead of all gold flecks, the block was now mottled with copper. Jiana, no doubt. Nothing I could do; I’d just have to put both of them in the Marauder shell and hope for the best.
The guard booted up just fine. It was only eight feet tall, a cyclemech, meant for city work. I pulled on the human’s uniform, and we were set.