Zoe stared down at her father as he rocked back and forth in his chair, pistol in hand. She dared not move. She hadn't dared all day.

He sighed, glancing down at the panting dog. "Well, look at that," he said, bringing his eyes back to Zoe's, "Caesar really likes you."

"Tell you what," he declared, taking the safety off the pistol, holding it loosely. "We'll do one more test, and then we'll call it a day."

He eased himself out of his chair, "Scanner up." The four posts surrounding Zoe lifted from the ground and retracted into the ceiling.

He wandered over to Zoe, "Here's the deal. I love my dog, but I love my daughter even more, and if there's even a slight chance that some small part of her is tangled up in your alloy skeleton I've got to know."

Her father shifted his grip to the guns barrel and held it out, "U-87, take the gun."

Zoe reached out, her metallic hand taking the weight of her gun from her father.

He sighed, "Now, I'm going to count to five," He turned and began walking back past the dog, "and I want you... to shoot the dog."

He turned back to face her, "One... two... three," He took a step back, "four... five."

She straightened her arm and swung it about, bringing it to her father. Terrified comprehension dawned in his eyes as she pulled the trigger, sending three rounds into his chest. He crumpled to the floor and lay sprawled on the steps, blood pooling on his chest and staining his shirt.

Zoe knelt down to sooth the frightened dog, "Sorry, Daddy, but I love the dog more."


I just thought: Hey, why not?