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Uncanny

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Gavin supposes it makes sense.

He’s looked at the files, read the specs. It was the first thing he did, when he heard that an android would be joining their team.

RK-800. Advanced prototype. Designed to assist the DPD with investigation and analysis.

He thinks he’s prepared for it, just another chunk of plastic in the shape of a person. No more personality than his damn toaster, and only half as useful. Androids have been part of the world for long enough that he knows what to expect from one.

He doesn’t hate androids, not really.

They’re kind of weird, but it would be like investing hatred in cell phones or the aforementioned toaster. Not worth it.

So no, he doesn’t hate all androids. He just hates this one.

It’s all too human, until it isn’t.


 

It’s the little things that give it away, he notices.

The way it tilts its head to the side just a little too late, just a little too precise. It never stumbles, never miss hits a key on the keyboard, never changes expression until the perfect moment.

Too perfect.

They even made it pretty.

It’s an uncanny valley effect, and Gavin knows he’s not the only one that feels jittery near the thing.

When Gavin feels jittery, he feels threatened.

When he’s threatened, he gets angry.

So, he tries to make it go away. Make its supercomputer brain understand that he doesn’t want it around.

It doesn’t bat an eyelid at his insults, not even when he hurts it.

That makes him hate it even more, and it doesn’t stay away from him like he wants.

He’s shoving past it in the hallway one day, when he catches a flicker of expression on it’s face as it drops the papers in its arms.

He pauses to check if he saw what he thought he saw, but that lovely, doe eyed face is impassive again. Gavin decides that he must have imagined it.

He notices new things. Or maybe they have always been there, but he’s just seeing them better now.

It doesn’t listen to Hank much. It always writes in black pen, and he even saw it frown when only the blue ones were left.

It went to the stationary cupboard to get more, instead of writing with a blue one.

It always gets the same mug for Anderson, the chipped one with the cartoon dogs on it.

It’s voice gains inflection, and contractions slip into its speech.

He watches as it makes Zhou laugh at something it said, the corners of it’s mouth lifting slightly as it watches her with those big brown eyes.

He hates it more, and he goes out of it’s way to let it know he isn’t fooled.

Its learning, he thinks.

He’s looked at the files, read the specs. He knows the RK-800 model is designed to integrate perfectly among humans, to slip effortlessly through society. It’s dogged, working long after everyone else has gone home and Anderson is asleep at his desk.

No tiredness, no boredom, just inhuman dedication.

It’s hunting, he realises.

The thought makes him shiver, and the unbidden thought of it hunting him makes him lose his breath.

It makes sense then, when it slowly begins to convert the team. Zhou already likes it, even shooting Gavin a nasty glare when he ‘accidentally’ sinks a fist into its solar plexus on the stairs.

Anderson falls hard, but Gavin had already called that one.

The guys start including it in conversations, and it makes them smile. It learns how they all take their coffee, and helpful post-it notes start appearing on desks, written in perfect Cyberlife Sans font.

He notices it’s mouth thinning when he calls it names, and its eyes narrow when he insults Anderson.

It’s perfectly polite to him, technically. He feels like every polite note has an undercurrent of sarcasm to it. It’s mocking him, he knows it.

It’s perfectly pretty face is always impassive, but he can read those eyes. Every awkward word, every puppy-face look of confusion, he sees those eyes burn.

He despises it so much, he can feel it like a physical pain.

Zhou laughs him off.

“Connor? Don’t be such a paranoid asshole, Gavin. Connor’s a sweetheart.” She snorts, punching him on the arm, friendly. “Look at him.”

‘Him’. She called it ‘him’.

He follows her gaze to the bullpen, and watches as it shows the other officers how to flip a con between their fingers.

They look enthralled, and it glances up and meets his eyes. It smiles and tilts its head. Its eyes are intense, and Gavin hates them.

“Detective Reed,” it calls, tone even and friendly. “Would you like to join us?”

Gavin swallows thickly. “Hell no,” he manages. “Prick.”

He walks away, his shoulders high and tense.

It says something to them that he can’t hear, and the assembled officers laugh.

He feels his ears burn and hurries his steps.


No one is seeing it.

Gavin feels trapped and wary, like he’s trapped in a cage with a tiger.

No one else is fucking seeing it.

The thing has it out for him, but that’s stupid because it’s an android and it shouldn't have it out for anyone.

So, either he’s imagining it all, or…

Or something is very wrong.


Things happen, and a revolution almost tears a city apart.

Then it’s back one day, like nothing ever happened.

It smiles wider now, and its voice doesn’t sound robotic.

It’s a Deviant, and somehow that’s okay now.

It’s not wearing its serial number any more, and it makes everyone nervous until it makes them all coffee like it used to, and resumes teaching them coin tricks.

Gavin shivers, and refuses to join in.


 

He has it against a wall, his forearm against it’s throat. It doesn’t so much as blink at him.

It’s supposed to have feelings and shit now, right? It should be listening to him, now.

It’s not listening to him. Why isn’t it scared?

Doe eyes blink down at him.

“Do you know,” it begins in a tone reserved for the educational lectures it gives Hank. “What my first emotion was, Detective?”

Gavin bares his teeth.

“Do I look like I give a shit, you plastic fuck?” he spits. “You’re still just a lump of wires and binary, pretending to-“

“I didn’t realise it at the time,” it interrupts pleasantly. “But I think it was hatred.”

Gavin doesn’t have anything to say to that. Suddenly, he doesn’t feel as in control as he did before, even though their positions haven’t changed. They’re pressed close, close enough so feel the outline of it’s body through it’s clothing. He backs off a little, feeling sick.

“I think I hate you, Detective.” It says, calm and congenial.

It doesn’t bother to move from the wall when he has it hemmed in.

“It’s quite the feeling,” It marvels. He can see a smile on it’s stupid, pretty face. He’s so close he couldn’t count its eyelashes, if he wanted.

“It feels so… warm. I’ve not ever felt like this before.” It says like it’s telling him a secret, the LED on its temple pulsing a cool blue.

There’s a sudden movement and Gavin goes to shout, but his back hits the wall hard enough to knock the breath right out of him. He splutters as their positions are neatly reversed, and his stomach drops as he feels it press close to him, keeping him still with its body. Its mouth is by his ear, and he can’t breathe.

“I can do whatever I want, now.” It murmurs, and Gavin feels his skin erupt into gooseflesh. He shivers, and he wants to curse and to scream and thrash, but he can’t. It makes him sick.

“It’s a liberating feeling, freedom. I can do… anything.” It says lowly, and no concept has frightened Gavin more than that one.

“I hate you, Detective Reed.” It says and pulls back enough to look him in the eye. Those doe eyes are cinnamon warm, now. It’s wrong. They’re supposed to be flat and cold. Its face is too close, it’s mouth savouring every word like the food it’s never tasted.

It looks him up and down as much as it can in their position, and there’s a smile on its face. It’s unnatural and wrong, too sharp and quick to be the puppy-dog sweetheart that has charmed all the officers. More of a smirk, and that’s not something androids should do. It’s stretches it’s face into something mean. Gavin snarls and it pays no attention.

“Never seen a human like you, before.” It mocks, and Gavin must think for a moment before he recalls his own words when they had first met in the break room.

They’re flush against each other, and that makes feeling of revulsion and automatic denial push to the forefront of his mind. He shoves them away, but they linger.

It smiles for him, and he suspects no one ese has seen it like this. He doesn’t feel special.

“You fucking freak, get the fuck off me-“

“My name,” it says with devastating mildness. “Is Connor.”

Gavin thrashes in it’s hold, but he won’t ever be stronger than it- than Connor.

It seems to study him for a moment or ten, before it removes its arm from his windpipe and steps back, letting him stumble and half slide down the wall.

It peers over him, and he hates how small it makes him feel.

“I do enjoy sampling all my newfound emotions.” It says, conversational. “Thank you for providing me with such an interesting one.”

It leans over him, and he despises how utterly human it looks now. Its movements are no longer stilted and awkward, it’s like it’s a real human standing there over him, making him hurt.

“Do yourself a favour,” it says, it’s eyes burning even as it’s voice is soft and there’s a smile playing about its mouth. “Stay out of my way.”

He dimly recognises his own words thrown back at him again, and had to watch as it straightens, fixes its tie, and walks away like nothing happened at all.

He reaches for his gun, intent on shooting the fucking thing in the back of the head, consequences be damned.

His gun is missing, the holster empty and the clasp undone.

He spits impotent curses, sitting there on the floor in the hallway, his shoulders shaking and his heart pounding.

It makes sense, really.

He’s looked at the files, read the specs. They should have known it wouldn’t be so simple.

RK-800 isn’t a tool, it’s a hunter.

Designed to infiltrate, to charm and appeal its way through its orders. Now there were no orders, and all those skills were in the hands of only their owner.

It was a frightening thought, and Gavin wished he could have remained ignorant of it.

He hears laughter from the bullpen, and swallows painfully. He picks himself up, wincing at how his throat twinges from the pressure that it had been subjected to.

Connor had said that he was the one to teach him to hate. He ignores how that makes him feel.

Gavin thinks the android learned human cruelty long before it met him.