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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Gwen and Rusty reach a dim chamber far below the bunker

The room was empty of anything except for piles of broken-down machines, which were arranged in front of a platform along the back wall. Behind the platform was another door. Gwen would have liked to see what was on the other side: but by now she could hear the steady tramp of robot feet coming down the stairs. Gwen and Rusty hid in one of the stacks of machinery and waited.

Big Lugs started to fill the room. Each one of them carried its burden to one or another of the heaps and piled it on top. Once they'd done that they clomped to the middle of the room. As Lug after Lug went through this ritual they formed up in ranks and stood silently. Apart from the spinning wheels in their heads every one of them stood as still as a statue.

When the last Big Lug had joined their ranks they all hummed the same low note. After a moment, the door in back of the room opened and another robot came out and looked them over.

This robot wasn't a Big Lug: Gwen wasn't sure, but she thought his model was called the Myrmidon. She'd never seen one before. It looked back and forth at the offerings and seemed pleased.

"Kneel!" It cried. "Kneel before your King!"

The Lugs lowered themselves to the floor and bowed dow

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