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A young woman learns about sex.
You can't question me."
"Bitch," she said. "Half of Washington is in a panic. Even now there are people outside the precinct calling to destroy the robot."
"Are you telling me you can't handle this situation, Commander? It seems that you are causing your own problems. No one would know we are here unless someone from your precinct leaked the story."
She slammed her hand down on the table and then wInced.
"Your robot won't talk either."
"I told him not to, to wait for our lawyer. You have called her, right?"
"He keeps asking about you though."
"I expect he would."
The door to the Interrogation room opened.
"It's okay, Commander," said the woman. I recognized her. She was one of the two RIB agents who came to my office. "I'll take it from here."
"Agent Greene," I said, putting on the most fake a smile I could muster. "Where's your partner, Agent Pataski?" I spoke so brightly you'd think we were meeting at the country club.
Greene glared at me. "I'm the one asking questions here," saId Greene.
"You can ask whatever questions you like, but I won't answer them. I've asked for my lawyer. I have not given up my rights. You cannot question me."
Greene slammed her hand on the table.
"That's how you are going to play this?"
I sighed. As much as I wanted to reply 'I'm not playing,' which I wasn't, that would be answering a question. That would open me to another barrage of questions I had no wish to answer.
"On advice of my counsel, I decline to answer."
"You're in a world of shit here, Shipley."
"I dare you to say that ten times fast."
Her face turned a marvelous shade of red.
"What is it? Talk or shut up? I'm getting mixed signals from you."
She stared at me, unable to believe that I was that much of a smart ass. But she didn't know the real Evaline Shipley, and I was just getting started.
"And just what is in your craw, Agent Greene? It can't be very pretty because I see wrinkles forming around your eyes."
"I thought you said you wouldn't talk."
"No, I said I wouldn't answer questions. I can ask as many as I like."
Her eyes narrowed as she realized I wasn't her usual prey.
"You bought a pleasure 'bot serial number XB109856."
I sat there in my chair, my lawyer's brain saying "Objection. Asked and answered."
I said nothing.
"Did you know he was sentient before you bought him?"
That was an interesting question. Did they know, or just was suspicious that Cicily planted Andrew at Peck's for me to buy. Just who was she investigating, me? Or Androdyne? Now that was a tantalizing wrinkle.
"Tell me, agent, does the RIB think that Cicily Well's death was just a little too convenient?"
I saw her swallow. Yes. She was suspicious of Cicily Well's death.
"What do you know about that?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "On advice of counsel, I decline to answer any questions."
"Goddamn you, Shipley! You're just are a rich bitch, aren't you? You'll do anything to protect your wealthy friends."
I sighed. It really was a shame. Greene and I were on the same side. She was just some poor cog in the government wheel, subject to the mechanizations of the rich and powerful as I was. And she didn't like it. Greene breathed with the fire to take a few of those people down a peg or two. I did too, but I couldn't tell her anything. I needed every bit of the information I had as weapons in my own fight. No, we couldn't join forces and brandish our figurative swords together. It would only mean my imprIsonment If I gave her anythIng to work with.
"On advice of counsel, I decline to answer any questions."
Shuttled out of the police station through a back door, the RIB agents were about to load me into square truck with no windows. I saw Andrew brought to a similar truck emblazoned with the emblem of the RIB. They cuffed his hands in behind him, which was silly since he could tear through the cuffs.
"Evaline! Evaline!" he called. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, Andrew. Don't worry about me."
Another RIB agent shoved him forward into the van.
"Hey," I said.