Those Damned Machines

"Come on, then," Spike said. "You're the genius here. Fix it!"

Glancing up from the tangle of wires before her, Fred frowned. She sat and stared at him for a moment with that pouty look on her face and then she rolled her eyes. "It's not as simple as rebooting a computer, Spike."

"You've done more complicated things than reboot one of those damned machines," he tossed back.

"And it's taken a long time," Fred reasoned. "Days. Weeks. Even months. At best now, we have an hour. Less."

"So what? You're just gonna give in? Like that?"

She cringed. "Well, no. Of course not. I just…"

Spike leaned down to where she crouched on the floor. "You just what?"

"I'd strongly suggest you leave now and go as far away from this place as possible," she said. "That is, if you don't want to risk being blown into so many pieces there won't be anything left to identify your body with."

"I'm fine here."


"You're staying," he said. "And so I am too. I'm not leaving you here. Any blowing up, we'll do together."

"That's very sweet but-"

"I suggest you get back to work. I'm putting my life in your hands, lil bit."

Fred smiled nervously. "In that case, be quiet so I can do this. And hand me that."