The wind was strong and the rain was pelting down, not that it mattered much to Hocat, he had his trusty extendible umbrella and it kept the worst of it away from his vision sensors. Machka rode along on his shoulder, rubbing up against his brain case, it was the warmest and driest part of his body.
It was late and he needed an oil top up. On a low bridge in a street packed with restaurants he got out his old acoustic guitar and began to play. It was a soft and gentle melody. Machka stirred and stared at him with her wondrous green eyes. Her tail shifted side to side.
“Yes, my precious one, it's time to earn that tuna you love so much.”
Machka arched her back and rubbed up against him.
A group of potential customers came closer. Machka began to mew in tune with the song. Hocat felt he would cry if he could, it was always so beautiful to hear his little one sing.
Most of the passing group took no notice of them, except for an old lady who swayed with Machka's pining. The old lady swiped her hand over the collection hat, using a wireless connection to transfer credit. Hocat tipped his head.
Hocat felt a little better. Machka would be getting tuna tonight.
Maybe it would be a good night after all. But it wasn't to be, Hocat felt a spark of surprise and dread. Another robotic being was padding across the bridge. From the myriad of different sized parts and the odd way it walked there was no doubt that it was a scavenger. A part pirate. A bulldog with two cyborg front legs and white left electronic eye waddled next to it.
“Let's go, Machka!” Hocat clutched his guitar and his beloved close to him as he fell backwards off the bridge.
There was a moment of blissful free fall before they landed on the street below. The robot stared over the edge of the bridge. Its haunting red eyes seemed to scan them to see if it was worth the bother.
A moment later the bulldog leaped down. Hocat and his kitty ran with Machka balancing on his head and hissing at their canine foe.
“No my dear, you're tough, but he's too big for you.”
The rhythmic thud of the scavenger following suit echoed up the narrow street. The fiend most probably wanted to rip out his memory cards and sell them.
Pretty soon they were blocked off in a dead end. The robot pirate and his growling partner advanced slowly.
Hocat held his trusty guitar, after Machka it was what he loved the most.
“I like the dexterity of your fingers, I will have them.”
Hocat scanned the area for escape. It was between them, but there was a chance he could make it. Sprinting forward, Hocat jumped and grabbed hold of the bottom rung of a fire escape ladder. Pulling himself and Machka up he was stopped by the sudden tug of the metal jawed bulldog clamping on his foot. Its thrashing and weight made it too hard for him to climb any further. Making the split second decision to save them both Hocat released his leg and scrambled up the building. The dog dropped with a clank.
On the top of the building Hocat and Machka looked over. The scavenger was jumping up and down, but it couldn't reach the bottom rung of the ladder.
Finding a discarded piece of drainpipe and using it as a crutch Hocat hobbled along with his fuzzy friend on his shoulder.
“Come on Machka, let's find you some dinner.”