This is a fragment not included yet in the non-book Autonomous Rifle which Alan pretends to be writing (at).
Jackdaw, Editor

‘Olding. Is that a nonce word or did you make it up?’ noose (not capitalised) asked the recumbent rifle.

‘What,’ answered AR-666, no interrogatory rise in its voice. It narrowed its eyes, in a manner of speaking, suspecting noose was winding it up.

‘Tea time!’ billowed the cloud, anxious to head off any confrontation that might end, as so many did, in gunfire and tears.

All three — the noose known as noose (not capitalised), the rifle AR-666, and their host the cloud — had the gift or curse of reading each other’s thoughts, so they laughed at what noose was pondering: how both ‘tears’ and its homonym were often-seen results of gunfire inside this particular cloud.

AR-666 experimented narrowing and widening its eyes. ‘Strange phrase, “narrowed her eyes, narrowed his eyes” – I’ve been reading it a lot lately in that series by that new author. Whatever can it mean?’

The cloud and noose shrugged their shoulders which though literally impossible was figuratively cliched enough that they all knew what they meant. ‘We don’t know,’ they chorused in case their non-gesture did not inform the rifle.

‘I like my own nonce word better,’ said AR-666. ‘Olding. Want to know what it means?’

noose made a show of looking down at the city they were overflying, and the cloud set out tea things.