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Bucky Bear and Pizza Dog (Together, They Fight Crime)

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Thank you for purchasing your Stark Industries® Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™.

Warning: Your Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™ is not a substitute for supervision by a caregiver.

Your Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™ is equipped with a limited AI (fully tested to federal guidelines, and with full safety approval); this will adapt to anticipate likely threats to your child in the environment. Your Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™ will then give timely warnings of these threats; you can opt for your Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™ to give any combination of audible warnings, visual warnings, text alerts, or alerts via our ProtecBear™ StarkApp™. If you are using the app or text alerts, please ensure that you have enabled GPS location services.

Please read all instructions and familiarise yourself with the operation of your Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™ before giving it to a child. Improper use voids warranty. Stark Industries® will not be held liable for any injury or damage caused by improper use of a Bucky Bear™ ProtecBear™.

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Situation: Ejected from stroller.
Situation: Visual contact with Steve, Steve’s stroller, Steve’s mother all lost.
Situation: No response to audible warnings.
Situation: Communication with app, communication with cellular phone via SMS, GPS all disabled by primary user.

Primary mission parameters (Protect Steve) remain unchanged.

Attempting to reinstate contact with cellular phone via SMS or app. Blocked by user preferences. Attempting workaround. Workaround failed.

Priority: Re-establish contact with Steve.

Problem: Arms too short to reach concealed label on back where contact information for Steve’s mother is written.

Solution: Find human to read contact details.

Option: Lie in a well-traversed area until discovered by a member of the public. Potential for theft, incompetence. Option shelved currently.
Option: Access law enforcement. Potential for corruption, incompetence. Option shelved currently.

Location of Steve's home known. GPS disabled, but mapping still online. Street sign visualised. Current location approximated.

Option: Walk to Steve's home.
Disadvantage: Slow speed.
Advantage: If cover maintained, can avoid variables of unpredictable humans.
Option: Accepted until better option available.

Walking.

Analysis: At current speed, estimate 38.6 hours until arrival at Steve's house.

Concern: 38.6 hours will cause unnecessary distress to Steve.
Concern: Harm may befall Steve while unprotected.

Harm befalling Steve: Unacceptable.
Option: Remain alert for options which will result in faster reunion with Steve.

Walking.

ALERT: Humans with concealed weapons.
Protocol: Avoid.

Take cover.

Humans still approaching, seem intent on contact. Play dead. Charging last resort deterrent.

Analysis: Last resort deterrent designed to give warning only. Last resort deterrent designed to cause no harm to a child.
Analysis: Last resort deterrent insufficient for fully grown, armed humans.

Re-routing unused systems to increase effect of deterrent.
Safety features preventing full utilisation of systems for deterrent.

Analysis: If destroyed by armed humans, cannot Protect Steve. This is unacceptable.

Disabling safety features.

Last resort deterrent optimised.
Power status: Enough for one use only. Reserve use until no other option.

---

“Bro! Is walking bear, bro!”

“Is not walking, bro.”

Was walking, bro. Walk, bear!”

“Was not walking.”

“Was walking! Is robot bear, bro.”

“Give bear to me, bro. Give, bro. Is normal bear, bro.”

“Give bear back, bro.”

“No, I keep bear, bro. For kid sister. Now we teach this kid lesson.”

“No, please, I get paid Friday, I promise, two days, that’s all you need to wait—”

“No waiting for lesson, bro. We teach you now.”

---

Bad men. Hurt. Hurting boy.

Bad. Bad men. Stop.

—bite

—dart

—growl

—twist

—gun gun gun

---

Situation: Armed human has drawn his weapon. Last resort is reached. Deploying deterrent.

---

“Bro! Brobrobrobro wake up, bro!”

“Uuuuuuuh…hurts like hell, bro.”

“Told you was not normal bear, bro.”

“Shut up, bro. Move, move, forget kid, go.”

---

Bad men gone. Boy gone.

Bear.
Smells: Milk–saliva–skin–human—
Smells: Recent.

Bear has lost its human.

Bear needs its human.

My human will find its human.

---

Attempting to evade dog.

Situation: In mouth of dog. Attempting to move. No movement to extricate from jaws is possible.
No power for deterrent.

Analysis: Being held in dog’s jaws with care, therefore being carried somewhere intentionally.
Analysis: Good dog gives likelihood of good owner.
Analysis: Possibility that being carried somewhere where a person will attempt to make contact with Steve’s mother.

Remain immobile. If dog’s owner does not contact Steve’s mother, then wait for opportunity to escape.

---

My human. Asleep. Chair. Smells: Coffee–clothes–sweat–oil—

—nudge

—nudge

—nudge

—nudgenudge

Awake. Give bear.

I am a Good Dog.

---

Situation: Being held by human.

Still being held by human.

Human has eyes open; respiration and pulse normal, but unmoving.

Analysis: Uncertain if human is unwilling to search for concealed label, or unable to, or if is in catatonic state.

Situation: Human has located concealed label.

Number being typed into telephone is that of Steve’s mother.

Analysis: Soon will be able to return to Primary Mission.

---

“Oh, thank you so much Mr.—”

“Barton. Uh, no problem.”

The woman beamed at the child she was holding on her hip. “Stevie was just inconsolable when he lost his Bucky Bear.” She smiled at Clint. “Of course, after we’d called him Steve we just had to get him a Bucky Bear, and then his grandmother stepped in and decided to spoil him rotten by making it an electronic one.”

Clint looked at the child, who had both his arms protectively around the Bucky bear. He was a blond child with big soulful blue eyes that were looking at the bear with a…familiar sort of intensity. The phrase “sperm donation” floated into his consciousness, and Clint desperately tried to unthink it, but failed.

What the hell was he supposed to say in this sort of situation? “Uh, yeah, he looks much happier with his bear back.”

The child fixed Clint with that intense look. “‘Wengers ‘semble.”

Don’t think about sperm donation don’t think about sperm donation don’t think about hundreds of little tiny Steve and Stephanie Rogerses all across the country don’t think about it.

“I can’t thank you enough. I was thinking of posting a reward for getting the bear back…?”

Clint blinked, trying to banish the image of legions of tiny Captain Americas. “No, I mean, it’s cool, and it was my dog who found it anyway.”

Lucky was sat by Clint’s side, tail thumping on the floor, and generally looking very pleased with himself.

The woman beamed at Lucky. “Aren’t you a good boy?” She turned to Clint again. “Thank you again, Mr. Barton. It’s nice to be reminded that there are good people out there. Now, we need to get you home for your dinner, don’t we Stevie?”

As she turned to leave, Clint could have sworn that the bear twisted in the boy’s arms and threw a salute (or as much of a salute as its stubby arms could manage).

And he could also have sworn that Lucky returned the salute with one paw.

He blinked. More coffee. Today needed more coffee.