Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

I am Charlie. I have been augmented with idog software. I can understand over 6000 words of English. I like food. I like warmth. I love my master.

He navigates the garbage-strewn alleyways with the expertise of someone born post invasion. I am only two years old. I follow him with undying loyalty. Together we study the open plain of an abandoned city square. A rabbit scurries sixty feet away yet I sit frozen. Not until my master gives the signal will I move a muscle.

Finally he lets me know it’s time to proceed. We slip along tight against the burned out buildings, hiding in the shadows as much as we can, avoiding the open space.

With a thunderous explosion the clouds part and a saucer drops from the sky like a weight, thudding hard onto the concrete of the square. My master reacts instantly, twisting and diving through a half-boarded up window into a long abandoned tenement. His familiar whistle pierces the air and I follow him through the opening.

Their humanoid detectors have located his form and they will not give up easily as they continue their relentless pursuit to abolish his kind.

My master sprints across a cluttered family room and bursts through a paper-thin door into a dingy hallway. I follow at his heels. Together we make our way toward the fire escape. Suddenly a lean muscular rottweiler jumps from an apartment doorway and lands in front of us, slobbering and growling like a hellhound. I skid to a halt on my four blonde paws, my master coming to a stop beside me. My father was a Pit-bull. My mother was a German Shepard. I remember them both dearly. I am a handsome dog who knows how to fight.

But my idog implant gives me other options. I quickly send the rottweiler an imessage. She receives it and I know that she too has idog. “Where is your master?” I type across the inside of her eyeball.

“He no longer moves.”

“So he is dead then?”

“I am not a doctor. I am not qualified to say.”

My own master has had enough of this and raises his weapon. I give him a familiar whine and a wink. He lowers his gun. “Hurry up then. We must move quickly!”

I turn my attention back to the rottweiler. “My master would have killed you had I not just intervened. Let us pass.” She looks up at him, then at me again, and bows back inside of her apartment doorway.

Together my master and I jump out onto the fire escape. Air drones buzz down and fire their lasers. My master dives into a dumpster and I follow. A blast from above explodes a cinderblock wall and knocks the dumpster over.

We scramble out and down the alley. Then another turn, and over a low cement wall and down an embankment. We are free. Soon we arrive in an old part of town, one we are familiar with. Yet, something has changed. The roof is missing from the Main Street Plaza. Suddenly a saucer drops from the sky. My master is blasted and instantly obliterated into a cloud of red droplets. I dive behind a pile of garbage, catching my breath.

I wait for hours, yet no one seeks me. My master is gone; I have witnessed this with my own eyes. After a time I realize that nobody is ever going to look for me. I slink from the rubble and make my way back toward the rottweiler’s apartment. Perhaps she has some ideas.

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