Then his hand caught an arm and he exerted his full strength. The entire arm tore away from its shoulder....
needles would cause this mech body no damage, but why make trouble? They had more destructive weapons.
"Ran into us," he said mildly. "We figured something wrong--honest men would be standing where they were. We stopped them."
The four members of the Squad were inspecting the damage.
"I guess you did," one of them said, admiringly. "You must be super mechs too?"
"That's right. I'm Duggan, Al--Merle Duggan, and this is my friend, Ted Rusche. We work on the 80th Level--rockhounds."
"Duggan?" The man's voice was suddenly strained. "Maybe you're not so clear as you pretend. A woman got in the way by accident, supposedly, of their getaway from the bank. Her name was Duggan too."
Duggan started forward, remembered the ugly expoder muzzles and backed away.
"Was her name Janith?" he demanded.
"Radio report didn't say. Contact them, Joe," he told one of the other faceless men.
"Couldn't be you hired these two to kill her and pretend the robbery?"
It takes a while to understand that the main character is somehow blinded in a mining accident (the first paragraph should have been italicised, it's a quote from much later in the story.) From then on, it's a story of a guy throwing his old life away to try to just be normal again.
It's a pretty good story about a dark future. Writing is workmanlike, characters have some flesh on them.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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