Jugaad

Summary: Innovation starts in the streets.

A column of police bots paraded down the slum's main venue, flanked by robotic dogs scanning for injured protesters. A wounded girl, no older than fourteen, clutched her broken leg in agony. A police dog approached her, scanning her face and drawing a police bot over. Like the others, they were vaguely humanoid in shape, and programmed to deliver forceful replies to suspects. As such, few survived to repeat offenses.

The police bot raised an electrified baton built into its wrist, preparing to drop the weapon on the teenager's head. She silenced herself in a futile attempt to deter the imminent beating. She sobbed uncontrollably, but the faceless, humanoid construct was undeterred. The systematic removal of humans from public sector employment eventually ended with the police force.

Suddenly, the street came to life. Fireworks erupted from the windows. Thick fog issued from homemade smoke bombs. Butane cannons launched metal cans and junk at the first rank of robotic enforcers, knocking them to the ground. The electromagnetic spectrum was filled with white noise on the police communication frequencies, causing the robots to clumsily stumble into each other.

The chaos lasted for several intense minutes, before ceasing with the alacrity it started. The robots reformed their rigid formation, before the rear-echelon units broke off to search the area. They recovered the one that loomed above the injured girl, its prone limbs entangled in a hand-woven net. They saw footprints that indicated help, and she was long gone.