Hours later, I returned to the outskirts of the city, hand full of spare parts. Pickings had been sparse lately due to the new general of the city of Autozom, Marshall Spare. He was quick witted and had on numerous occasions came close to catching me, but no one could match my speed. I chuckled to myself, but stopped after I entered Zander's shop and found it empty.
Dropping all the parts on the ground, I exited the shop in a hurry. Luckily, there was a few more hours of sunlight and as long as I found him before then, he wouldn't get caught by scrap bandits and they were the worst to tangle with. Most people who came in contact with them get their robotic parts ripped out of them and sold on a black market or used to make illegal upgrades. Were in the same type of work, but at least I did my job with some class.
Each crumbled house I passed locked their doors, preparing for darkness and the crime that followed with it. The street that I was walking on melted away until all that was left was rubble and desolate sand that just left a feeling of isolation as I looked out into what was left of what had become of old Autozom.
Taking a turn at the edge of civilization I came across two guards by a good sized campsite and I approached. They stopped me before I got close to them.
One called out, "Identification number."
I replied, "Humans are not numbers."
They looked at each other and called me forward. As I got closer a look of recognition flashed across their faces.
"Ariel!" called the smaller looking young teen, his black hair floppy around his excited eyes. The robotic goggles looked somewhat similar to the ones Zander wore, almost exactly alike..
"Hi, Lan Lan. Have you seen Zander?" I asked.
He squirmed before replying, "No."
"Really?" I pondered out loud, " Because i couldn't help but notice that those goggles your wearing look extremely familiar. Almost like the ones Zander were wearing."
He sighed and finally answered, "Yes. He left here with the rescue group after a group of our men were caught near the city and he asked me to hold on to them until he came back."
The other guard next to him, punched Lan Lan's shoulder, "You didn't have to tell her anything! She's not one of us."
I turned to the other guard and gave him a piece, "This has nothing to do with you and my relationship with the humanist resistance has been nothing more than a business venture but what has to do with Zander is my business! We agreed that whatever you all do is not our problem and to keep us out of it!"
"That's pretty ungrateful since we were that ones who took the two of you in after we found you two wandering the deserts outside the city, half dead and you with no hand."
"Gerard! That is enough." A man from the camp called who turned out to be General Raye. Gerard fell silent and let Raye through. Raye looked me up and down before giving me a warm smile, the bastard.