Dances At MidnightMature

of his thumb from the corner of his eye towards his ear. "You can see the circuits." A shudder ran through his broad body.

            "So, pretty crude?" Lola asked, playing with a strand of her black hair.

            "Yeah, but it makes you wonder how he lost his eyes. "

            There was a morbid curiosity directed at the Outlanders, the rebels who were fighting against the Bots. If the people feared the Bots, they feared the Outlanders even more. The faceless boogeymen that struck away at the foundation of our society, an ever looming threat to the peace.

            "But the Bots sent 'em running," the man went on as he scratched at the blond stubble forming against the tan skin of his neck. "I would never want to be on the receiving end of Anastasia's wrath, let me tell you."

            "How many casualties?" I asked. My voice was soft and distant, but not exactly uninterested.

            Anastasia was one of the oldest Bots. I'd heard the stories of her, and I'd admit to being dead terrified of her. She would shoot you down without hesitation, and then have a glass of wine while you were a corpse at her feet.

            "Haven't heard an exact number, but I hear it was an absolute bloodbath. Not a lot of Outlanders got out unscathed, and I'm gonna guess that not a lotta Bots went down, even with that sniper freak. 'S just how it is." He shrugged.

            I nodded slowly, pulling my head from my hands. Their conversation turned from the fighting to other gossip that didn't interest me nearly as much. Recent construction by the border, a few watch towers and a few shelters for patrolling Bots. Dull news.

            I busied myself with reorganizing behind the counter, even though it wasn't at all necessary. I tidied up, grabbing a light blue sponge from the sink on the back wall, just opposite of the register so I could wipe down the already shining surfaces. I hummed a tuneless song under my breath, just to take my mind off the never ending buzz of the patrons.

            I was scratching at difficult coffee stain with a nubby fingernail when I noticed two figures walking by the massive windows at the front of the shop. Two Bots, identifiable from their black 

The End

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