Яппаньки вам,уважаем(ый)(ая)(ое)!

a bit anal retentive to him, and he had the funny feeling that she was doing it just to be snide. Not that he would have admitted that to her.

Now, though, it was coming in handy, because if C&C had chosen that moment to start engaging in some sort of weird 'bot maneuvers, it would be considerate of them to bring the technicians into the loop.

The reply from C&C, however, was disheartening on that score. "What about them?" came the clearly confused voice from C&C.

"You mean you're not doing that?" demanded Kuehier.

That was when the welders and electrical soldering relays flashed into the active position. Even Kuehier, from his comparatively lousy vantage point, could see the maintenance 'bots firing up. He felt clueless, helpless to explain just what was going on.

And then the flying wedge began to move. And even in the darkness of space, its path was immediately discernable.

"Mayday, C&C," Kuehier shouted through the link. "They're on a collision course! I repeat, they're going to ram the artifact!"

He was correct. The flying wedge was angling straight toward the artifact, the 'bots with their electrics coursing and their welders dancing with fire.

And there wasn't a damned thing that anyone in the flying forklifts could do except watch in frustration as the unstoppable battalion charged the artifact...

... doing so in a desperate attempt to save Humanity.

And Humanity, for its part, naturally opted to try and destroy that which might well be its only salvation.

Chapter 9

"C&C ... we can't override the 'bots!" shouted an extremely alarmed Kuehler. "You've gotta stop them!"

And then a confident voice said, "We've got it! Stay clear!"

The new voice on the link caught Kuehler off guard. Not bothering to check with the instrumentation
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