“すみません!” said a dour-looking man in a suit, nimbly sidestepping KS-983.

The water had sufficiently drained and dried in the sunshine to allow its backup power to come back on, and the unit shuddered back to life, pulling itself aloft with its four tiny propellers. Multiple errors were streaming in from its primary solid-state drive, forcing KS-983 to rely on its backups. The pre-reboot information came in distorted and full of artifacts.

Three, possibly four assailants.

An anti-drone flechette, slicing through the air.

A deluge of water pouring down.

Master John, kicking and screaming as he was hauled away into an unmarked van.

“Master John!” KS-983 cried. It buzzed over to the suited man. “I must retrieve Master John! Have you seen him?”

“英語は話せません,” said the man. KS-983 could not understand; its translation software was on the failed primary drive, and its wireless connection and satellite tracking were non-functional.

It was fully mobile, 89% functional, and yet completely lost in an unfamiliar city. Whoever had taken Master John was fading away by the second, and KS-983 had no way to track them.

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