C:1


Nos-4-A2 hunched over a trash can rummaging through all the garbage. He tossed the rumpled papers out into the filthy Tradeworld alleyway. His only motivation was to find something to eat. Nos-4-A2 had been low on energy ever since he had been defeated by that annoying turncoat. XL. He gritted his fangs in anger at the thought of him. That medaling robot - he should have finished him off when he had the chance.

"Defeat is unacceptable. It's not in my programming! Defeat is unacceptable. It's not in my programming!" The words echoed in his head like haunting thoughts.

Defeat was not in his programming. He couldn't have been defeated! It was not possible!

Juice... Nos-4-A2 plucked a dented, chrome canister from the garbage longingly only to have his hopes dashed. It was just a soda can! He thrust it out into the middle of the alleyway in disgust.

If he could not be defeated, then why had he been reduced to scrounging through garbage to find energy?

"Defeat is unacceptable. Defeat is unacceptable." It wasn't in his programming, but he was, in fact, quite in a defeated state.

"Defeat is unacceptable. Defeat is unacceptable." He was defeated. But, defeat was not in his programing, so wasn't it logical that 'defeat' could not have possibly taken place?

Finally, Nos-4-A2's rusted chrome hand pulled out a battery. Lovely! Oh what luck! He bit into the battery - he would finally have a meal! As he sucked at the battery, and no energy tingled his fangs, the joy slowly bean to melt away. He kept his fangs planted and painfully closed his eyes. There was no energy in that battery, was there? It was dead. But at the same time he couldn't bring himself to let go just yet, maybe if he held on a little longer, he could get something out of it.

With a silent sigh, he pulled his fangs out of the metal coating. It was no use. There was nothing left.

"Defeat is unacceptable. Defeat is unacceptable."

Defeat was acceptable. He feared this was the home stretch of his life. Until he had some power, there was nothing he could do.

The empty battery in his hand only mocked him of his downfall and he squeezed it harder and harder as his anger boiled, until finally he threw it as far and hard as he could.

It landed near the alley mouth along with his arm. Blasted thing. Was he falling apart now, too? Was this the same power-laden villain who had struck fear and respect into both the bad and the good? He glanced down at his dirty, scratched body, his shredded cape, his other arm and fingers - the shiny, smooth surface no more. He inched his tattered wings out, their magnificent energy surge gone. He held the end of one in his palm. They looked like bones; bones stuck together with glue and pinned to his back. It was a disgrace and he hung his head. 'Defeat is unacceptable.' Poppycock and nonsense. Why had Zurg put that into him? Well, one couldn't expect too much of Zurg, he supposed.

His attention was drawn away from his sorrows when he saw some punk nosing around the alleyway. That kid just snatched his arm!

Nos-4-A2 glided as fast as his low energy would allow towards the boy and gave his best threatening gesture.

"I am NOS-4-A2," he rasped through a crackling voice box. "And I am your doom!" He spread his wings far above his head and lifted his good arm into the air. He would have preferred sparks also, but maybe next time.

Sparks or no sparks, the kid looked down-right scared. Nos-4-A2 glowed with pride. Ha! He hadn't lost his hold after all!

He dropped the arm and ran.

"Stop in the name of the law!" A robot-policeman coming up the alley yelled racing towards the boy.

There was a short time of shame, but then his

predatory programming took over and instead of seeing the bot that stole his glory, he saw his next meal.

Nos-4-A2 pushed out of the way until the policeman was past him and then he lunged with a rattling screech, onto its back.

It was difficult with one arm, but he managed to stay on. He tried biting in several different spots but found the cop's shell well protected. Nos-4-A2 hoisted himself towards its neck. He was almost there when the cop, still in the chase, began batting him off.

"No, please! Just one bite!" Nos-4-A2 pleaded, his wings scraping against the cop's back trying to stay on. "I shan't drain it all, I promise!"

The cop sent one more good blow, and Nos-4-A2 fell to the ground, tumbling and skidding to a halt on the pavement. He lay in a heap for a while watching helplessly as his meal zoomed off with all the energy that could have been his before dragging his broken body home. On the way back to the sewers, he picked up his dismembered forearm thankful that he at least had some screws and a screwdriver back in his lair.

His chrome fingers scraped against the floor of the pipe as he drug himself down deep under the city. The dead shells of his earlier victims lining the walls seemed almost like pictures hung in a gallery reminding him of the good old times. Ah yes, the good times when he was on top of his game.

He pulled just to the end of the pipe since he no longer had the flight to go down into his lair. Nos-4-A2 reclined horizontally in the pipe and set to work slowly reattaching his arm. Of course, everything was done slowly nowadays, and it would not go any faster until he got his fangs into something that would give him energy.

He turned the screw leisurely. Maybe tomorrow he would find some prey. He must, or by then he would

surely shut down beyond recharging. He hadn't a charger

with him, and he surely didn't have the energy to go out looking for one. In fact, he didn't really have the energy to get up again. How was he supposed to catch anything then? Was this how it would end? Would he pass away, lying in the robots he had stolen lives from in exactly the same way?

He wasn't sure if he would be able to stay online until the morning. Darkness did sound a little satisfying though. Somewhere where he might rest from all his problems. The beating of rain outside sang a lullaby to him. Dangerous though it was, shutting down a little bit might be nice, just so long as he didn't stay inactive for too long. His lights dimmed even more than the little flicker they had.

Nos-4-A2 could feel the peace flushing over him like a warm blanket. His lights dimmed further.

He couldn't go any further lest he shut off for good. Even so, the lights that lit up his eyes faded away into darkness and he moved and thought no more.


A/N: Okay, here's a question: does it rain on Tradeworld? It's never raining when it's shown, but it never actually says that it doesn't rain.