Death Otter said to the bartender-bot of a perfectly sleazy bar in what looked like the worst neighborhood. It was so bad that the bot was programmed to ignore people for the first two times they tried to get its attention. You couldn't put a price on that attention to detail.
The bot swiveled its dented gunmetal grey casing towards her. "You want a drink?
" it burbled.
"I want to meet Grannie,"
was her response. "Who do I talk to about that?"
She knew the robot couldn't answer that. She also knew the question would be overheard.
"You want a drink?"
Then from behind, "I can tell ya how to meet Grandma."
A subtle emphasis on the last syllable. Cool. If he was pissed off, he was probably a loyalist. Exactly who she needed.
Death Otter turned around...and looked up. And up. Big chunky alien guy. She grinned. It grinned back...though in his case, it was probably a threat display of all those fangs. "Go on."
"First, I punch you until you stop moving,"
he replied in that gruff, gravelly voice. "Then I punch you until you're not even you anymore. You're more like...hey bartender, what's that drink called? The one with fruit and ice?"
The bartender clicked then ventured, "A smoothie?"
"Yeah. A smoothie. I make you into one of those, and take it to Grandma to have with her breakfast tomorrow. And that's how you meet her."
Still grinning, Death Otter looked past the slab of meat threatening her and spotted another, smaller and more refined looking slab of meat watching from a table over in the back with a smug expression. Ah, there's my guy.
To the meat slab she said, "Cool, you go with that. Have a good one,"
and slipped past him with a quick duck and dart. She made a beeline for Smug Alert's table. Meat Slab whirled around and grabbed her backpack...and that's when the second thing she did came into focus.
One of the bouncer-bots had activated and plunked across the bar, and it now reached out from behind Meat Slab and put its hydraulically strong hands on either side of Meat Slab's head. And began to compress. Meat Slab immediately released Death Otter and tried to pry those arms apart, but it was predictably like trying to bend steel.
Death Otter took a seat at Smug Alert's table, grabbed his drink and took a swallow from it...then immediately made a face. "Jeez, you put that swill in your mouth? Didn't your Grandma teach you anything?!"
She met his eyes across the table then and added, "I'd like to have a word with her."
Smug's eyes narrowed, but he made no attempt to retrieve his drink. "I've got five more guys just like him,"
he growled, "You're obviously in the wrong bar. Why don't you run back to..."
"Yeah, BZZZT no,"
Otter cut him off. More metallic stomping ensued as the other three bouncer-bots made their way to Smug's table and took positions around it. "I'm not really interested in pleasantries. You CALL your five guys over, or whatever you ACTUALLY have on your side in here. We'll dust up right now. Or you can tell me what I want to know, and not only will YOU walk out of here, but you won't have to drag your friend's HEADLESS CORPSE out with you. It's BARGAIN NIGHT up in here! Two for one, you can't GET better value than that!"
The Meat Slab struggled in vain, then emitted a muffled yelp as the bouncer bot increase the pressure on his head.
As one, the other bouncer-bots slammed their fists into their palms. It sounded like pans being hit together.
Looking a lot less smug, Smug fished a bit of actual paper out of his pocket, and a pen, and wrote a note. He folded it in half and pushed it over the table to Death Otter. She took a look at it to make sure it wasn't some smart-ass thing, then tucked it in her own pocket. "You know if you try to do this,"
Smug said, "you're dead. There's worse than me between you and her."
"There'd better be,"
Otter shot back as she got up. "This isn't even my final form."
Leaving him puzzling over that, she turned and left the bar. A few seconds later the bouncer bots returned to their normal sentry positions, leaving Meat Slab gasping and holding his head.