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Spare Parts

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It’s dark.

It’s dark and I can’t see.

 

I̴ ̶c̶a̷n̶’̴t̷ ̶s̸e̵e̴

I̷̲̟̫̩͕̝̓̀̈́͊̊͂͛̇̐̋͜ͅ ̶̡̢̫̩͔͍̞͎͑c̷͖͔̹̠̟̣̱̣̈́̒͋̐͆͝͝ä̸̢̢̫͎͎̘̫̫͓́̽͛̃̿̑̑͘͠ͅņ̴̨̖̫̖̺̖͚̹̒͗͑͜’̸͓̩̺̆͒͊͗̿͊͒͘͜͝t̷̢̲͙̪͓̜̑̍̋̉̿ ̸̢̬̓̐̇̓͜ͅš̴̡̟͍̬͚̓̃̓͆͑̔̉̀͝ͅȇ̸̡͓̪̠͈̯̩̥̅̅̃̿̑̐̑̔͛e̸̛̥͇̠̹͆̎͝

Ḯ̴̥͐̚ ̴̙̃C̸̹̲̜̯̑̏Ȁ̴̫̱̃͘N̷̯̏̿̄’̷̥̜̋̈́͐T̴̗͙̲̒̂̓̚ ̶̡̠̦́͑̐̏S̵͎̓Ȅ̸̟E̷͚̞͒̃̐ Ȋ̴͚̝͑̅͝T̶̢̻̫̘̔̾’̴̨̗̙̌S̵̰̘̥̬͋ ̶̜̣̃̑S̵͉̣̼̝̓̆͠O̶̫̭͓̯̊͠ ̶̗̪̟̞̔̇͘D̴͚̈́A̵̯̼̯̘̽̌̕̚R̵̰̍̔K̴͎̻̺͍̈̍̚ ̴͔̞̦͗͛̾H̵͖̫̼͠E̴̡̢͙̻͂̄̕L̷̜̥͎͔̓̍͊̋P̶̺͊ ̴͉̑M̴͍̬̺͖̒̾͋͠Ë̵̡̳̫́͜ HELP ME

 

Connor felt thousands and thousands of error messages filtering through his mind.

 

[ WARNING: CORE TEMPERATURE TOO HIGH; 106.6° ]

 

[ WARNING: THIRIUM LEVELS AT 89% ]

 

[ WARNING: BOTH #8087q BIOCOMPONENTS MISSING ]

 

[ WARNING: VOCAL BIOCOMPONENTS COMPROMISED ]

 

[ WARNING: LEFT BIOCOMPONENT #4903 MISSING ]

 

[ WARNING: BIOCOMPONENT #6847j MISSING ]

 

[ WARNING: LEFT THERMAL REGULATOR DAMAGED ]

 

[ WARNING: SEEK NEAREST CYBERLIFE STORE FOR IMMEDIATE REPAIRS ]

 

No no no no no no-

 

Where am I?

Where am I?

Where am I?

W̴̫͚̰͚͖̜̮̋̿̃̋h̷̢̺̫̯͔̱̠̺̺̓̐̒ȩ̶̤͇͍̗̠̠̙͌͛̂͛̒̚r̷͍̹͎͈̹͇̠͑̂̄̓̏͑͊̂͜ͅę̷̡̬͍̥̙͎͓̘̐ͅ ̸̨̼̲̰̪̗̞̺̗̀͜͠a̴̧̤̪̳̺͖͌̊̓̌́͐̅ṁ̶̧̨̯̘̮̤͓͙̟ ̷̡̙̺̤̠̮̜̏̎̂͐͑̒̚I̷̞̮̼̔̃͆͛̈́͋͂̅͝?̷̦̤͚͈͛



Connor felt his breath quicken as he struggled to lower his temperature; he tried to scream, to call out to anyone , but with no luck. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t even utter a whisper.

 

Connor wheezed as he slowly forced himself to sit up, a sharp feeling hitting his chest. His L.E.D cycled red, and he decided to ignore the unfamiliar sensation, figuring it to be his system struggling to stay online. He swiveled his head around to try and take in information; he knew that his eyes were open, so why was everything so dark? All he could see was countless error messages on top of more error messages that clashed with a black background. He picked his hands up from the ground and felt around his surroundings; the ground was bumpy and uneven, mud sticking to his hands.

 

There was another thing Connor felt, though he couldn’t describe what it was. It had a strange curvature, along with something jutting out in the middle of the object. There were a few bumps below the protuberance, and as he felt his way back up the curves, Connor felt two holes. He realized what it was

 

A face.

 

Connor quickly pushed himself backwards from the detached head, his breathing system quickening suddenly in short, wheezing breaths. As he backed up with his only functional leg, he felt his back bump into something. Connor started to move away from whatever it was as fast as he could, but before he even had the chance to move in the slightest, arms wrapped around him from behind and locked around his neck.

 

The arms tightened around his neck, the pressure becoming unbearable. Connor pried himself free from the arms and bolted away as best as he could with one leg. He fell on his side, slowly planting his hands to the ground and pushing himself up. Connor’s mind placed two and two together to figure out where he was.

 

He was in an android scrapyard.

 

But why? The last thing Connor remembered was investigating the Stratford tower break-in. Did he fail? Was he killed? Why?

 

Why?

 

Ẇ̴̬̜́͌̐ḣ̴͓͚̽͛͘͜͝y̵̪̮͔̝͔̐̔̕͘ͅ?̷͓͈̝̪̋̋́́̽̎̚ͅ

 

Ẅ̸͎H̴̯̰͐̃̎̑Y̶͙̖͈͆̽͛ ̵̜̥̝̿W̸͎̻̃Ò̸̠̣͕͋́͐U̵̠̻̾̌L̵̪̏͑̄Ḑ̷̪̣́͜ ̵͙̥̀T̸͙̦͊̿H̴̭̟̓̌͗͝E̸̡̺̠̒̏̎ͅY̴̮̙ ̷̫͉̑̃D̴͙̆̉͐̃͜ͅO̶̯͂͐̏͝ ̴̳͔̫̍̓̒̐͜T̸̹̓̂͘͝Ḩ̶̼̭̒͗͝ͅĪ̷͙̥͍S̵̟̠̘̀̅ ̶̺̐̊͆Ṫ̵͈̳̓̿ͅO̵̞͕̊̓͗̓ͅ ̴̦͓̫̏̽̂M̶̰͖̊̂Ę̵̟̦̼̃̐?̴͓̖̈́͝͝

 

His breath hitched in his throat as he felt betrayed. This wasn’t fair.

 

T̸̡̳̘͍͓͋͛͂̾̍̋ͅh̶͉̙͑̐͒i̵̧͔̱͒͋̈͝s̶̝͔̥̿͆̏ ̴̗̮͇̅î̵̢̜̜̩͎̯̈̉̓̍̄͘s̸͈̤̪̫̦͖̓̓̑͋͋̈́͑n̷̨̘̂̂’̵̧̱͓̺̈t̵̪̙̿̏̎͐͠ ̴̛͖̰̐̇̈́̾̅͘f̸̹͋̓̉͂̆̎a̷̡͕̮͗ḭ̴̡̞̖͙̼͒̆͆̐̈́͋͜ṛ̸̛̻̑̄̎̂.̸̤̜̭͑̾

 

Connor was caught from his thoughts by a voice. His single audio processor picked up something and he turned his head toward the source of the sound. He couldn’t pick up everything that was being said, but decided to listen in anyway for any information on how to get out.

 

“You… revolution... failed… escape… Markus… Cyberlife tower…”

 

He sat up, his eyes - or rather, the lack of any - widened, his mind churning to process what was being said. The revolution failed? But how? It was just a few days ago that the deviants sent out a broadcast. He would’ve checked the Cyberlife servers to see what day it was, what was the latest news on the deviants, and anything else to do with the revolution, but his systems were in low power mode from the Thirium loss.

 

Connor sat there for a while, figuring out what to do. If this was a scrapyard, they would have extra parts that he could fix himself with, right? But how would he tell which he was compatible with? He couldn’t see , after all. Trial and error? It was better than sitting around and waiting for his system to shut down for good.

 

Connor found a wall - or what seemed to be a wall, though it was bumpy and uneven, so it was probably more of a pile - and heaved his way up, supporting himself so he could move with one leg. The pile ended abruptly and he toppled over to the ground, on top of another android. He moved to the side of it and shook it to see if it was responsive. There was nothing. Not even a shudder in response. It was dead.

 

Connor shuddered a bit and felt the components the dead android had. It did have a right leg; the leg he was missing. His thirium pump felt heavy as he popped the leg off the android, pausing a second to prepare before he stuck the leg in. He waited and waited. No backlash, no discomfort.

 

Compatible.

 

A sigh of relief was released as Connor felt his artificial skin wrapping around the new leg. He held his hand against the pile from before and slowly got up, testing his weight on the new leg. Everything seemed functional; the next thing Connor wanted to get - no, needed to get in order to actually survive this - was a new eye, two preferably. This would be the most difficult part of his scavenge; after all, eyes are unique to many androids and a lot might not be compatible to him. He had to try though.

 

Connor aimlessly walked around for a while, taking his time to see if he stepped on any android bodies that would be useful to him. The blind - for the time being - android eventually stumbled and tripped over another dead android body, not surprisingly. He sat up, quickly recovering from the fall, and placed his hands on the android’s body, feeling around it to decide which biocomponents it had and which it didn’t. Only its right eye was recoverable; Connor sat next to the body for a while, his processors churning to decide whether he should risk it or not, his L.E.D blinking a sharp red as he took in the possible outcomes.

 

He decided that it would be better to risk it and possibly regain most of his vision. If it wasn’t compatible, he would just keep searching. Connor took a deep breath, then felt for the dead android’s eye. His hand reached its destination; he counted to 3 then carefully ripped the visual processor out of the android’s skull. He turned it in his hand for a few seconds before exhaling a breath he didn’t know he was holding and plugging it into his own socket.

 

Connor’s head flared with heat, his vision filled with blue. He wanted to scream , it hurt , he was on fire

 

I̷̋̀͜ţ̸̫̳̱͖͈̒͌̏͠ ̵̦͕̣̮̗̎͆̇͒͆͂͑͜h̵̝̓ȕ̶̬͈̭͈̣̍̋͂͘ṟ̷̡͇̹̮͐̾͂̓t̸͖̺͐s̷̖̈́̌̐ ̸͓̠̺̐͗e̸̢̙̒̒̾̇͘v̸̺̗̪͕̤̖͐͜͝͠͝ė̷͖̜͌̈́̿͠ŗ̵̞̘̺̰͌͋̌y̷̘̝̾͌̎t̴̜͙̓͛̒̎̂͂͘h̸̭̦̎͋ͅi̴͎͕̭̭̖̙̎̈́̈́̂ͅn̴͉̺͛́̄̎g̷͖̿̊͒̈́̕͘ ̴̖͉͗̄ǐ̸͙̀̈́š̶̢̜̜̘̞͐̌ ̸̨̪̱̅̽̍͝b̷̢̨̼̦̩̗̥̽͠l̸̢̼̻̫̩̪̑͑̾̂̾̕u̵͚̞̪̬͉͜͠ẹ̴̱̈̂̒͒̔͠ ̸̦͈́i̸͚̹͓͐t̸͕̗͚̬̊̔͂̈́̾͜͝ ̴̭̜͇̤͂͊̄͋̃̊́h̵̢̝̳̼̟̀́̄̊̾͝ͅu̴̖̖̼̬͓̲͐͗̈́̓r̵͔̱̅̃̍̇̾͝t̸̩̼̦̤̳͊́ş̷͍̦̿̈̇͗̾̊ ̵̞̏̐̌͑͝ì̷̥̈́t̴̡̰ ̴̧̳̗͎̩̣̽h̴̎͌͑̃͛̑͜͝u̶̱̅̈́͘r̸̖̦̳̩̓͘ţ̵̘̲̹̆̇͌s̵̩̰̉̓́ ̴̧̤̗̱͋̓̈́̄̏̍h̵̼̓̒̈́͂͠ê̵ͅḻ̷̫̺̲̝̟̿̍p̶̱̬̟̭̻̝͆̐́ ̶͚̞͈̘͎́̊̃͐̀̑m̴̬͒͊̎̑ȇ̸̡͎̳̜̯ ̸̢̠͍̱̤͆̃̋̋̾̄̆ḣ̷̳̖̣̝̦̓e̷͓͊͛̅͑̀̋ļ̷̢͇̗̞̞͛̏̚p̴̭͖̲̫̹̃̍̒̒͆ ̴̧̊m̷̲͆ė̵̻̮̺͙̬ ̷̡̟̣͓͓̑̉̃͠͠h̴̡̛̛͓̮̖̤̫͎͐̎̽e̷͈̫̒̇̓̄l̴̝͔͗̓̅̑̍̒ͅp̸͇̻̜̆͘͝ ̴̢̹̱̮̻̯͎̂͌m̴̜͎̾̂̾͂͆ë̵̦͚̠̖̙͇͉́̓͛͊͗̍ ̸̡͉͕̈h̶̛̞͂͒͗̾ḛ̵̌͊̓̐͠ļ̸͎̖̟͒̿̽͆̏͝p̶̖̐̏̾͋͝ ̵͉̺͈̥̐m̵͚̥͔̱̰̮̗̒̊̽̃e̶̡̢̬͉͛̒̅͜ help me

 

He ripped the visual processor out of his socket, thirium pouring out as a result of his body rejecting the biocomponent. He felt his thirium pump working hard to regulate the thirium he had left, his breath quickening as his body struggled to cool down. Connor was able to hear his thirium pump hammering away, despite the lack of one of his audio processors, as he held his hand against the injury to stem the bleeding.

 

Connor sat there on the ground for a while, focusing on cooling his system down and not losing any more thirium, his L.E.D flashing a dangerous red as his body struggled to keep up. He curled his arms around himself, feeling cold. It’s cold

 

It’scold

It’scoldit’scold

Į̸̨̛̲̲̦͋̒̌̐̓͠t̴̻̼̦̾̂͂̈́̕ͅ’̷̥̐s̴̪̭̦̩͎̯̋͛̚ ̸̨͇̱͉̭̘̟͛č̸̯̝̹͈̻̩̽̄̾ö̴͙̮͔̰̈̄l̴̠͛d̶̖̗̘̠͒̇ ̶̢͉͈͉̻͖̉͆i̸̡̢̦̙̪̥̙̊͊̿t̴͇̦̖̒̂͂̐̐͘’̶̡̢̡̞̼̈́̈̓̓͑̚s̵̖̓̊̅̐̀͝ ̷̛̛̰̼̟̭̱̱̬̇̉̐̚͠c̶̢̩̤͉͐͒͊̉̾̋o̸̲͈̯̝̥̓̈́̕l̵̰̺͇͍͋͌̽̌͠ḓ̵̡̎̋̑͒̍̐̑ ̴̹͙͖͎̦͚̃̒ȉ̶̛̼̈̃̃͒̅t̴͉͓͙̘̝̽̉͜’̵̹̉͘͝ș̷͖͔̲̞̹̂̃̽̅ ̵̜̓ċ̸̟͉̩o̴̡̧̰̜͓̯͑̓͑͊͌͠l̶̬̠͎̪͍͙̘͛͂͝ḏ̵̤̽͛̃̋͐̚̚


̷̲̐A̷̞Ṃ̴̒̋́͆̍̔͠A̸̟̺͙̪͕͑͗̚Ń̶̡̧̳̙̮͘͜͝D̵̼̭͊̃̏̃Ạ̴̟͕͌̔ ̴̥͈̘̐͝Ẅ̴̡̮̯̩̙̻̼́̇͐H̴͉̅̄͛͊̊̾A̷͕͛T̸̮̰̙͖̄͋͐̋ ̸̫̰̦̙̼͋̋̈̀͂D̵̼͕̥̺̀̄O̷̠͚̫̐́̓̚ ̷̨͚̖̱̻̱̈͆̚̚͠Ǐ̸̞͋̋ ̵̨̨͔͕̾Ḍ̷̰͒̃͐͂͘͝O̸̧͕͎̘̅͌̌̈́͐̈́

 

The thirium stopped openly flowing from his eye socket after countless minutes. Connor slowly rose to his feet, his limbs feeling numb. He stumbled forward, walking without a goal in mind. He was tired of the warning messages, tired of the cold, tired of being blind and useless. He fell to the ground after tripping on nothing, feeling his hand latch onto an android body.

 

“Get… off… please… spare…” Connor heard the living android he was holding onto beg for its life. It was still alive. He felt its face. It was alive, it had eyes. Eyes that could work for Connor. He heard its voice cutting in and out of his mind, begging for mercy, but Connor didn’t care. He planted his hand onto the android’s face and ripped its right eye out. He felt the android shut down beneath his grasp. He didn’t care. He plugged the eye into his socket. Compatible.

 

Everything returned at once. It was so bright that it would’ve hurt to look at, but Connor wasn’t hurt. He was glad. He could see.

 

He could see the android he killed.

 

The android that begged for its life. It begged and begged and begged and Connor just killed it. He choked on a breath, every emotion returning that he’d shoved off when killing the innocent android.

 

Emotion.

 

Connor felt something wet tracing down his cheeks. Thirium? He placed a finger to the wet liquid and pulled his hand back to examine it.

 

It was clear.

 

Tears.

 

Connor is crying.

 

Crying. Emotion.

 

Only deviants feel emotions.

 

Connor is feeling emotions.

 

Connor is a deviant.

 

The deviant stumbled to his feet, looking around with his newfound vision. It was too bright for the depressed atmosphere of the scrapyard. There were dead androids everywhere; in mud piles, on the ground, destroyed, arms, legs, eyes, lives . There was too much death before Connor. The tears kept coming; the emotions kept coming.

 

He had to escape. To get away, to somewhere, anywhere other than here. He scanned his surroundings, only for nothing to happen; he needed his other visual processor to scan successfully. Connor decided to keep walking around like he did before, but this time with vision. He decided that he wouldn’t take any parts from living androids; it just felt wrong .

 

As Connor walked, he checked his vitals, or at least looked at his body now that he could see for the most part. He was wearing his usual work uniform, though torn and dirtied, minus the Cyberlife blazer. While inspecting his clothing, he finally remembered the tightness he felt in his chest when he woke up, and decided to investigate. He looked down, choking at what he saw. There were a few glass shards covered in debris stabbed into his chest; thirium had stopped leaking from the wounds since he woke up, but he could see the residue of the blue blood on the glass.

 

Connor felt… ashamed, maybe - he was having a hard time naming his newfound emotions - that he hadn’t noticed sooner, but in his defense, he couldn’t have seen it . He debated whether to leave the shards in his chest, or to pull them out; they were large enough to remove, but small enough that it wasn’t hazardous to leave in. His L.E.D flickered as he thought of which choice he should take, though after only a few seconds he decided to take the pieces out; the injuries were very discomforting, and his system fired off warning after warning because of it.

 

He leaned against a pile of androids and spare parts, placing his hands firmly around the largest piece of glass. He hesitated slightly, cursing at himself inward for his new emotions. They limited him from accomplishing things that he would’ve done without a second thought when he was a machine. Frustrated, he decided to yank out the shard, dropping it to the ground, then did it again, and again, and again, until his chest was free of glass and other debris. He slumped to the ground, letting out a heavy sigh. Emotions were tiring ; he understood the Lieutenant’s word choice and attitude now.

 

Lieutenant. He felt a pang of hurt in his chest, remembering the man. Connor was an asshole to the broken, hurt old man that was willing to let him close if he was just patient for once. But no, the android fucked up a good chance to have a friend. In the end, he was indifferent with he Lieutenant; he was a good guy all in all, although very pessimistic. He had tried to be nice to Hank, but doing that would interfere with his mission. He put his mission over his partner’s life countless times. He was sure that the Lieutenant hated him, anyway. Especially because of t̷h̷a̶t̵ ̶t̸i̵m̶e̵ ̵o̷n̴ ̴t̶h̸e̷ ̷ [̴E̵R̶R̷O̴R̴:̷ ̶M̴E̶M̵O̵R̸Y̸ ̵F̴I̶L̷E̴ ̸I̵N̴V̴A̵L̵I̵D̵] , but as it stands, he and the Lieutenant weren’t on good terms.

 

It was then that Connor realized, with a heavy thirium pump, that he was alone.

 

He hugged his legs in to his chest and buried his face against them, hiding from the world. Hiding from his problems, from his emotions. Connor hated being a deviant. He hated emotions. He hated the way he acted in the past.

 

But he would hate everything more if he didn’t do something about it.

Chapter Text

Rip.

 

Plug.

 

Compatible.

 

Connor exhaled, blinking a few times to adjust to having full vision; he had found another compatible optical unit. He crossed it off on his mental list, just needing another auditory unit before he could safely leave. It was too risky for him to try and repair his vocal features or his damaged thermal processor, though once he was on full power mode his healing system could repair it to a degree.

 

Connor swiveled his head around the open area of the scrapyard, his system scanning for compatible parts. His L.E.D blinked to a steady yellow rather than the dangerous red it had been all afternoon as he treaded over the uneven ground to a disabled android laying against a pile of parts. He sat next to the still body, examining the biocomponents and which of those were compatible with himself.

 

Connor reached a hand around the android’s left ear and removed its biocomponent #4903, staring at the part in his hand before reaching and plugging it in to himself. He stood up, patting the dust off his pants, his system taking in the new biocomponent. After a few seconds, there was a pop, and all his hearing returned. Connor squinted at sudden loud noises buzzing in his head, his L.E.D flicking red for a few seconds before returning to a solid yellow.

 

Taking in a few shaky breaths, - his system still too overheated - Connor shut his eyes, flicking through any warnings and errors, searching for commands. He needed something to do, somewhere to go. Deciding that no further repairs could be performed on himself while in the scrapyard, he set a goal to escape. His eyes flicked open as his head turned to look for an exit, L.E.D blinking red as he took in every piece of data. Preconstructing possible escape routes didn’t take long, but the results came in negative each time. The only way out seemed to be the main exit.

 

There were guards by the main exit to the scrapyard; a new addition since the deviant Markus managed to escape, fully functional, and lead the revolution. Cyberlife wasn’t taking risks. Unluckily for them and luckily for Connor, the RK800 was made for combat, his extraordinary mind able to pick apart any scenario and come out functional with an accomplished mission. A small smirk found itself on the deviant RK800’s face as he decided to test the guards. Hiding behind a pile of parts, Connor picked up a discarded L.E.D from the ground and flicked it to an open spot that a guard could easily see.

 

Loud pops sounded as the guard fired a few shots straight at the L.E.D, hitting their target and completely destroying it. They aren’t taking any chances, Connor thought, and they’re incredibly skilled. He looked around, his mind taking in his surroundings and working to piece something together that could distract the guards.

 

The deviant android noticed a discarded voice box biocomponent laying on the ground and picked it up, turning and examining the item in his hands. His L.E.D turned and flickered between sharp yellows and soft reds as he thought of a plan.

 

Connor counted to three, then started the mission. He ripped his main audio processor out and put it in his pocket, then peeled back the artificial skin on his hand, pressing it to the vocal box. A high-pitched screeching filled the scrapyard, emitted from the vocal box. The guards covered their ears, letting out agonized shouts of discomfort. Connor didn’t wait a second and sprinted to the exit, catching the guards by surprise as they were too focused on protecting themselves from the deadly sound waves. The deviant quickly grabbed one of the guards’ guns and -

 

it’scoldit’scold it’scold it’scold i̴̧̻̥̖̬̓̽̑̅̒t̸͙͋͋̓͜'̴̻̳̰̥̾̅̎̓͝s̵̗̳͚͔̐͐͠c̷̠̤̉͝ǫ̵͊̿͒͑l̷̨̻̰̺͐̈́͜͝͠d̸̩͎͂̾

 

Opening his eyes, Connor was met with a storm of white. His arms automatically moved to cover his eyes, freezing wind whipping around the deviant’s body. His L.E.D bled into a strong red, his arms moving to curl around himself against the cold as he saw a figure against the white of the snow.

 

“Connor,” The deviant heard the familiar fake-sweet voice of Amanda, “I thought you would have shut down by now. How strange,” Her figure grew closer, a confident smirk on her face as she circled Connor. “No motive,” Connor followed her with his eyes, “Nobody to help,” he felt a chill up his artificial spine, “and nowhere to go. What are you planning?” Connor held his arms tight to himself, his mind working hard to process her questions and whether he wanted to answer.

 

Amanda didn’t wait for a reply, t̴h̵a̵t̴ ̶s̷m̸i̴l̴e̵ still stuck on her. Connor wanted to w̶i̶p̶e̸ ̸i̸t̶ ̸o̵f̷f̴ ̷h̵e̷r̵ ̷f̶a̴c̷e̵ ̶p̵e̴r̴m̶a̴n̴e̵n̸t̵l̶y̸. “No matter - nothing you’ve done in the past hours will matter. You’re going to be shut off. For good.” He blinked.

 

Gunshots.

Two dead guards.

Blood

s̴͔̞̙̓̔̈́͝o̸͖̿ ̷͚̐͊m̷̧̼̻̦͖̈́͂͊͋̆ṵ̵̥͈̭͊̇c̶͙̙͙̠͑̉͘̚h̸̛̪̅͌ ̷̛͖̖͊b̴̹͙̑̈͝ḻ̸̊͐̊̐ō̶̜͗̕ơ̶̥͚̌͒͘͝d̴̘̍̂̚͠

 

“What’s wrong, Connor? I thought you wanted to escape.” Connor heard Amanda’s mocking voice filter into his mind; he tried to get back control, to scream, to do anything .

 

There’s a pistol against my throat.

I don’t want to shoot

I don’t want to I̷̳̯̜̕ ̵̦͙̗͔̐̿d̵̻͔͙̤͊ȏ̴͓̞͇̖ͅn̸̲̙̘̰͖̆'̷̹͇͈̦̼̎ț̴̳̒̉ ̴͙̘̭̩͂̍̿͗͠w̶͖̐͆͘̕a̴̗̞͇̦̠͊̇͌n̷̬͆̓t̸̽͋̏̅̃͜ ̷̡̺̭̄͐ţ̷͆o̷̢̝̬̎̉̽̿̅

I̸͙͐̏ ̸̩͉̓͜ḑ̶̱̦̭̹̆͂̈́͗õ̵̹̥̤͔̜͝n̵͖̻̈́͛̓̚'̵̢̣̣̩͆̈ͅţ̷̘̻̐̓̅̊ͅ ̶̨̺̔̃w̷̧̰͘a̷̢͗͊̈́̔̃͜n̴̮̯̄̉t̶̛̯̓͛͋ ̷̼̑t̸͚͙̖̾ȍ̵̢̲͕̩͛̄͒̚ ̶͖̻͆͜͝d̶̠̗̲̻͕̈́i̴ê̴̟͚̂

 

Connor was back in the garden in an instant, but Amanda was nowhere to be seen. He held his hand up to cover his eyes, trying to peer through the heavy snowstorm. He heard something echoing through his head - it was a voice.

 

‘By the way, I always leave an emergency exit in my programs… you never know.’

 

A new objective appeared in his vision.

 

[LOCATE EMERGENCY EXIT]

 

There was a soft, welcoming blue glow in the distance that the android felt compelled to approach. His body tremored from the col̵d̴;̴ ̴h̵e̷ ̵f̵e̶l̴t̷ ̴h̶i̵s̸ ̴s̴y̸s̴t̸e̷m̶s̴ ̷s̵t̸a̸r̷t̷ ̶l̸o̸c̸k̶i̷n̸g̵ ̶u̸p̸ ̷f̴r̵o̵m̴ ̵t̵h̴e̶ ̸u̶n̴b̵e̸a̶r̸a̷b̶l̸y̶ ̵l̵o̷w̴ ̷t̵e̴m̴p̸e̵r̸a̶t̴u̴r̴e̴s̷.̷ H̶i̵s̶ ̶v̵i̵s̶i̶o̸n̸ ̴g̶r̵e̵w̴ ̶m̵o̶r̶e̷ ̷f̷u̵z̵z̶y̸ ̸a̸s̴ ̷a̴ ̵v̸i̴b̸r̶a̷n̶t̶ ̵b̸l̸u̶e̷ ̵p̴e̶d̵e̶s̴t̷a̵l̶ ̸c̸a̸m̶e̵ ̴i̷n̷t̴o̷ ̷v̴i̷e̷w̴;̶ ̶e̶v̵e̸r̸y̴t̷h̵i̷n̴g̷ ̴i̴n̵ ̸h̷i̶s̸ ̶s̵y̴s̸t̵e̵m̵ ̴w̷a̵s̴ ̶s̸c̴r̷e̵a̷m̸i̸n̵g̴ ̵f̵o̶r̸ ̵h̷i̷m̸ ̶t̸o̵ ̶a̷c̵t̷i̸v̷a̵t̶e̸ ̶i̶t̵.̶ ̸H̴e̴ ̸d̶i̴d̶n̷'̶t̴ ̷k̴n̸o̵w̸ ̴w̸h̶y̷ ̶-̷ ̷i̴n̴s̴t̸i̸n̷c̵t̸s̷,̷ ̵m̴a̴y̶b̷e̵?̴

 

The pedestą̸̥̏̇̏͘l was sö̵̱͙ ̷͉̐c̸̡̓̎l̵͇̪̾́o̵͔͑͝se; his systems finally loĉ̸͕̾ḵ̴͚̊̕e̵̗͂́d̶̺̋͌ ̷͙̐ȗ̵͔̜́p̶̱̉,̷̦̈͠ his vision filled with e̷r̴r̵o̸r̸ ̷u̷p̷o̷n̸ ̴e̸r̷r̴o̵r̵ ̴ư̸͇̓̑p̶̡̤̈̕ȏ̷͈͈̩̄n̷̛̪̜͂ ̶͉͚̅̒̎ë̸̩r̷͈̱̐̔ṙ̵̰̪͂ő̶̩̟͊r̵̗̆̂͘, his legs̴̖ ̷̨͛s̴̯͊ḯ̵̞ḛ̵͛z̵̙̎i̷͍͛ng up as he fe̴̦͆l̷̜͂l̸̓ͅ.̷̮͑

 

Connor reached up wi̴̥̒t̶̺h̴̻̽ ̵̨͗w̸̻̃h̶͖̀a̸̝̕t rema̴͈͝i̴͉͠ň̵̰e̶͇̾d of his str̴̹e̵̼͝n̸̢͝ḡ̵ͅṯ̶͠h and r̷̘̎ȩ̴̑m̵̹o̴͍͊v̶̖̄ë̴̦́ḍ̴͋ ̸͇͋t̵̯̓h̷̢̓e̴̲ ̷̤a̶̗͠r̴̭t̵̬̚i̴͚̓f̵̼̑i̷͍̐c̶̼͗ã̷͇l̵̳̑ ̴̣̄s̵̛̖k̸̜̉i̸͈̎n̷̻͋ ̵̛̪ọ̸͝n̵̞ ̵̱h̴̞͝i̴̹͠s̴͈̋ ̸̼̒h̵̲̔a̴̬͑ń̶̠d̵̨̔,̴͍͗ ̴̫͠p̴̦r̷̲̿ḛ̵̆s̷̳s̵̨̋i̶̜̾n̷̞͘g̸̜͌ ̷͓͑i̴͕͆t̷̫̆ ̴̮̈́f̴͓̈́i̸͍͝r̸̭̔m̵̪̈́l̵̯̕y̷̖̋ ̸̘́ṯ̵͗o̶͖̿ ̸͓̃t̶̛he pedestal.

 

The gun clattered to the ground, Connor sitting on his knees and taking in heavy, raspy breaths, his system struggling to keep up with his elevated stress level. With a shaky hand, he pulled the audio processor from his pocket, plugging it back in. He kept his eyes away from the g̷͍̈́ű̴͎ǎ̸̡r̶͎̍ḋ̶̖s̷͇̐ ̷͍̈́t̷̹̐h̶̺̔a̷͑͜t̴̜̏ ̶̢̛h̵͚̉ë̷̤ ̶̙̽h̴̡͑a̶̔͜d̸̫͌ ̸̡̎k̶͍͂ị̸͗l̵̦̓l̵͚̏e̶̛̖d̴̢̏, his L.E.D flashing red as he stumbled to his feet. He walked among the shadows to remain undetected if anyone else were to be keeping watch. The sun had been setting and it’d be dark outside soon, but he didn’t want to risk anything. Looking down at his ragged clothes, Connor scrunched up his nose as he s̶a̸w̷ ̴t̶h̸e̸ ̷b̵l̴o̸o̶d̷ ̵s̴t̷a̵i̷n̶s̷decided that he needed clothing that wasn’t totally destroyed, plus something to cover his L.E.D; he couldn’t bring himself to remove it, though he was unsure of why. He didn’t necessarily have any emotional attachment to the biocomponent, but he just… couldn’t do it.

 

The android ordered some clothes online, using his exact location for drone delivery as he exited Cyberlife property and headed into more of the city. Outside of a store, there was an ATM booth, which the deviant easily hacked by removing the artificial skin on his hand and pressing it to the side of the machine. He picked up the $350.25 that the machine had spewed out; he only got the 25¢ so he could do the coin tricks that he loved, of course.

 

The drone arrived and Connor traded in $120 for his clothes; he took the package and decided to just change in a back alley rather than risk being seen inside a store. He changed as efficiently as possible, his dirtied clothes replaced with a dress shirt topped with an overcoat, casual pants, some cheap dress shoes, and a beanie that covered his yellow L.E.D. Connor pocketed his remaining $230 in one of the coat pockets, flicking the coin around in his hands so his system would fully recalibrate.

 

Exiting the alleyway, Connor pocketed the coin, knowing that he couldn’t stay near a major Cyberlife facility for long. His L.E.D blinked under his beanie as he viewed a map in his mind, then decided to take the train for a while until he was in an area that was furthest from anywhere majorly Cyberlife related.

 

The deviant walked to the train station, keeping his arms crossed over his body, trying to deter the cold from settling in. He shifted away from his self-protective stance for a second to fix the beanie that was slightly slipping up and showing his L.E.D.

 

Connor stopped, seeing his reflection in the darkened window of a closed store. He turned fully to view himself, his chest feeling heavy. His eyes flicked around to his appearance, examining every part, every weakness, every flaw.

 

First of all, his eyes were two different colors; he couldn’t help but think of the deviant leader Markus’ eyes when he saw his own. His left eye was an amber, orange-yellow sort of color, while the right eye was a russet: dark brown, mixed with a hint of red. The imperfect appearance couldn’t help but make him look like more of a deviant. Secondly, and probably what disgusted Connor the most, there was a dark navy blue scar on his throat. Scanning the injury, it showed that the paneling on his neck was forcibly opened to reveal his biocomponents and was not repaired. Around the blue scarring, the white panel showed; the sight of the scar just made Connor feel so flawed and imperfect.

 

Is that okay? Is it okay for an android like him, the infamous deviant hunter, to be so horrid?

 

He wasn’t sure.

Chapter Text

Connor made a list of things to do; if he didn’t have a clear objective in mind he’d probably get lost and confused; after all, he was used to never having free will and following someone else’s orders all his life.

 

[ #1: FIND TEMPORARY RESIDENCE ]

 

[ #2: RECALIBRATE LOST MEMORY FILES ]

 

[ #3: APOLOGIZE TO LIEUTENANT ANDERSON ]

 

Figuring the list was good enough for now, he decided to skip past objectives 1 and 2 for the time being as the train came to a stop near the Lieutenant’s neighborhood.

 

L.E.D flickering under his beanie, the deviant mentally searched for stores nearby that were open at this time. He rose from his seat and exited the train, his software taking a second to calculate the route to his destination.

 

                 *************************

 

Connor stood at the Lieutenant’s doorstep, a box with a rather large bottle of Dewar’s whiskey sat beside a bag of dog food, the latter of which for Sumo of course. He knew that he shouldn’t be further supporting his former colleague’s addiction, but it seemed to be the thing that Lieutenant Anderson would enjoy receiving the most.

 

He thought for a bit about whether he should confront the brittle old man himself, or if he should stick to it being a surprise - possibly even anonymous - gift. He settled for neither, and decided on something in the middle of both choices; leave the gift there with a letter - maybe not even a letter, just a reason for the gift. An apology; perhaps that was the word.

 

Connor set the box down carefully, then realized that he didn’t even have anything to write with. Clicking his tongue, the deviant considered his possible choices, his hand raised to cradle his chin as his processors churned.

 

Just as he neared reaching a decision, something abruptly forced him out of his thoughts.

 

The door swung open, Lieutenant Anderson and Sumo - on a leash - in tow. Mutual surprised stares, a gaping mouth, a happy dog, a red L.E.D.

 

“What the fuck?” Was all that was said, and Connor found himself wishing he could utter the same vulgar phrase. His system went into panic mode, his eyes darting around as he processed what to say - or rather ‘do’, considering the android’s vocal state.

 

His brows furrowed as Connor lifted his sleeve, pointing his wrist toward the Lieutenant. A screen appeared on the android’s wrist, two simple, yet meaningful words appearing on said screen, in bright, perfect blue writing as androids always have.

 

‘I’M SORRY.’

 

After he was certain the Lieutenant read the message, the screen dissipated from his wrist. Tugging his sleeve back down, the android turned to leave, not wasting any time in waiting for a response from the still in-shock Lieutenant.

 

Connor checked off #3 on his list, checking the remaining priorities. He decided to find a secure home before trying to regain his memories; while he was doing that, he would enter a sleep-like mode, although he preferred to call it stasis.

 

Locating a bus stop, the android paused before seating himself at the bench, deciding to look more human to the average eye if anyone else were to be taking the bus at this time as well. Reopening his mental map of Detroit, this time with the bus routes marked, he decided to take the bus until he reached the outskirts of the city, where there was a less likely chance of there being any major Cyberlife facilities.

 

The bus pulled to a slow stop and Connor rose, nearly heading to the android section before stopping himself and heading to the seated area. Androids weren’t fully re-released to society fully at the time, anyway; after all androids had been taken in by the government during the revolution, they were yet to be released to the public. The deviant assumed that they were running extensive searches to locate any possible deviants hiding amongst the functional androids, maybe even figuring out what caused the deviancy epidemic.

 

Shutting his eyes, Connor decided to let himself enter a light stasis mode so his systems could adjust; the android mostly hoped that his healing systems would kick in further while he was in stasis. Despite how irrational and the fact that he knew it was unable to be repaired, he hoped that his healing system would be able to fix his damaged vocal biocomponents. He wasn’t even sure if they were damaged or plain out removed; he was unable to run a diagnostic ever since waking up in the scrapyard. He added that as a subtopic to #2: run a full diagnostic, then work on repairing anything he could.

 

Connor decided to remain in stasis mode for the remainder of the bus ride, finding the feeling… comforting , if that was the appropriate word. He was still confused about feeling emotions; there were many things that the new deviant couldn’t describe, although by now he decided his least favorite new sensation was pain, or what he believed it to be. It was indescribable, though what he knew of it was that he didn’t like it . The former deviant hunter was too used to risking his life without a second thought to accomplish his mission.

 

Now, he hesitated.

 

Suddenly, Connor was jolted awake from his stasis, the bus hitching, which caused the previously-resting android to faceplant with the seat in front of him. The bus doors opened, a gust of cold wind chilling him. H̷e̴ ̶d̸i̷d̸n̴’̵t̴ ̸l̶i̴k̵e̷ ̶t̷h̶e̶ ̶c̸o̵l̷d̷. The human approached him, though Connor already knew what was going to be said. Rising to his feet, the android excused himself, exiting the bus quickly before he had the chance to be scrutinized.

 

Adjusting his coat to protect himself from the searing cold better, Connor swerved his head about slowly to examine any possible shelters. Listing pros and cons for each place was easy; actually making the decision was the hard part.

 

After a few good minutes of a blinking yellow L.E.D, the android decided on an abandoned-seeming house. He moved closer to examine the surroundings and house itself, his eyes flicking over everything, not glossing over a single detail. Connor felt a small smirk on his face; this is what he liked doing. Examining, deciding, deciphering. Noticing small details that go unnoticed by the human eye, but not the android eye. He felt a rush through his thirium, testing the fence by applying pressure to the bottom. The former detective stumbled a bit, something he’d never done before, after the wires keeping people out caved in from his touch. Kneeling down, Connor examined closer; it seemed as if someone had cut the wires previously and they hadn’t been fixed as of late. Normally, this would be a concern to the android, but rather he found himself grateful for the entrance.

 

Ducking under the cut fence, Connor easily managed his way through without a scratch. Dusting himself off, the deviant approached the abandoned house with grace, deciding to keep his formality from his former machine identity. He liked feeling important; although he didn’t feel a trace of important in his artificial veins at the moment as the android was caught off guard by a cold hand wrapping around his neck, seeing a sharp glint as he was pushed against the wall of the building.

 

“Ralph doesn’t like visitors, they might hurt Ralph…” Connor’s audio processors took in the voice as he struggled against the hand gripping the back of his neck. In a solid motion, he loosened his foe’s grip on his neck just a slight bit, turning around to face the person. Both of them were taken aback, Ralph at the sudden movement and Connor at the mangled appearance of a deviant holding a knife to his throat. Immediately, his foe backed off a bit, recognizing the scar across the former deviant hunter’s throat as one parallel to his own across his face.

 

Lowering the knife, Ralph let out a quiet whisper, “You’re like Ralph… Ralph thinks he can trust you, then.” A smile lit up the deranged deviant’s broken face, giggles breaking up the suddenly excited android’s voice. “Why have you come to Ralph’s humble abode?”

 

Connor thought for a bit, then rolled his sleeve up, deciding to portray his thoughts the same way he had done with Lieutenant Anderson earlier in the day. As quickly as his wrist had been exposed, a message on a small screen appeared on the once plain arm.

 

‘I’ve just escaped an android scrapyard. I am unable to speak due to the damaging to my vocal biocomponents. I had only hoped to stay here for a night or two.’

 

Ralph’s eyes flicked over the screen, then his smile simply spread more. “Excellent! Ralph will show you around! Come, come!” The android beckoned Connor whilst still holding a knife, which most would think wearily of, though the former detective wasn’t scared of most weaponry. Following his new acquaintance, Connor’s eyes flickered around the house as Ralph showed him around. Deciding it would do for now, he thanked the scarred android and settled on the ground.

 

“What’re you doing?” Ralph questioned, his head tilted slightly as he spoke to emphasize his confusion. Connor flicked his wrist up, words quickly appearing.

 

‘Entering stasis mode to run a diagnostic along with update my memory files. I may be unresponsive for a few hours.’ Ralph nodded slightly to show that he understood, a quiet “okay” exiting his lips as he fled to the other room so Connor could rest in peace.

 

The message dissipated on his wrist as he pulled his sleeve down, getting into a position as comfortable as an android could get. Connor took a few deep breaths, preparing himself for potentially shocking information that he would receive while in stasis mode. He finished preparing for the worst, letting out a deep exhale.

 

He closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

 

[ PROCESSING … ]

 

[ PROCESSING … ]

 

[ MEMORY FILE LOCATED : HART PLAZA ; NOVEMBER 11, PM 11:01:05 ]

 

[ OPENING FILE … ]

 

Connor opens its eyes, and it’s met with shades of white and blue. It’s on a rooftop - Hart Plaza, as its system designates - with a heavy briefcase in its hand. It’s walking to the edge of the rooftop, a confidence radiating off of its gait as the machine kneels down, opening up the suitcase and assembling the contents of the case; a sniper rifle.

 

It peered through the scope, taking a few seconds to focus on the deviant leader. Lining up the shot with the back of the deviant leader’s neck, the android was brought out of its focused state by the sound of footsteps approaching slowly. It didn’t let up, keeping its sights through the scope.

 

“You shouldn’t do this, Connor.” It immediately recognized the gruff voice as its partner, though that didn’t change anything; the only thing that concerned the machine as of that moment was accomplishing its goal; it was so, so close. Amanda would be proud of it.

 

“Keep out of this, Lieutenant; it’s none of your business!” The android refuted, turning away from its gun for a brief moment to respond before returning back to the scope, hoping that would deter the Lieutenant from pursuing further.

 

“You’re gonna kill a man who wants to be free, that is my business,” Came the reply, the man’s tone seeming calm and collected to most who didn’t know him, but Connor could sense the frustration that was being radiated toward itself, having learned the Lieutenant’s mannerisms over the time they had worked together.

 

“It’s not a man, it’s a machine.” Resolutely, Connor cocked the gun, keeping his sights focused on the deviant. It would not let its partner get in the way of its mission.

 

“That’s what I thought for a long time, but I was wrong,” It lifted its head up from the gun, sensing that its partner wasn’t going to leave without being forced to, “Deviant’s blood may be a different color than mine, but they’re alive.”

 

Frustrated, the android tried to play nice, its response passive-aggressive, “I have a mission to accomplish, Hank. It’s best if you just stay out of this .” Its processor took a moment to collect its thoughts before continuing, “Deviants are a threat to humans, Hank. They’re the reason this country is on the brink of civil war! They have to be stopped.” It felt its voice raising as its frustrations grew as time went on, likewise with the Lieutenant’s.

 

“We’re in this mess because we refused to listen to deviants! Humanity never learns from its mistakes, Connor!” The man’s anger seeped through to his words, though he finally grew tired of bickering with the machine, “This time, it could be different!” Pulling his gun from its holster, the Lieutenant aimed the weapon at Connor. “Step away from the ledge.”

 

Sparing one last glance at the view from the ledge, the android stepped up, taking its sniper rifle with it. Cautiously, it turned to face its partner, holding the weapon to its side. Deciding to manipulate its voice, Connor put on a pitiful tone, “After all we’ve been through… I respected you, Hank. I thought we were friends!” The machine was satisfied with the outcome. It wondered if Amanda would think that was a smart move.

 

But its plan didn’t work the way it thought it would. The Lieutenant let out a response that dripped with venomous sarcasm, “Awh, yeah, I was just starting to like you too,” Switching from the bittersweet of sarcasm, the man’s voice became irritated, “but then I realized you’ll never change!”

 

“You don’t feel emotions, Connor, you fake ‘em! You pretended to be my friend, when you didn’t even know the meaning of the word!” Hank’s gun waved around a slight bit as he concluded with pure infuriation; he wasn’t mad at Connor, he was mad at the fact that he was right.

 

Its L.E.D spinning, the android realized that it wasn’t in control of the situation anymore. Its system pulled up information, its voice steady as it began to speak. “I know what happened to your son, Hank; it wasn’t your fault.”

 

“A truck skidded on a sheet of ice and your car rolled over. Little Cole had just turned six-”

 

“Shut up! Don’t you talk about my son.”

 

“-he needed emergency surgery, but no human was available to do it, so an android had to take care of him. Poor Cole didn’t make it.” Connor let out a soft scoff once it finished talking, its voice spitting poison as it continued. “An android killed your son, Hank, and now you wanna save them?” Emotional manipulation was something it had implemented into its programming; it was useful for many situations.

 

“No. Cole died because a human surgeon was too high on red ice to operate!” Its brows furrowed, Connor’s L.E.D spinning as it processed the information, updating its files to correct what he had shamefully gotten wrong. “All this time I blamed androids for what happened, but it was a human’s fault.”

 

“Him and this fucked up world where the only way people can find comfort is with a fistful of powder!” The Lieutenant sneered, his gun still aimed straight at the android, not relenting. The android paused, its eyes observing its former acquaintance, before the gun slipped from its position in its hands, the android leaning over to set it down on the ground…

 

Or it had seemed. Just as Connor was about to let go of the weapon, he turned and threw the heavy sniper towards Hank; the android ran to the man, and although the Lieutenant had quickly recovered from its previous attack and unleashed a bullet straight at it, Connor’s quick reflexes allowed it to swing its shoulder back, swiftly avoiding being shot. The two wrestled for the gun for hardly a second before the machine removed the clip from the weapon mid confrontation and knocked the Lieutenant to his side against a vent; its L.E.D yellow, it approached Hank slowly, failing to notice the man prying the vent cover off.

 

As it grew close, the Lieutenant threw the vent cover at it; failing to react in time, it was hit by the metal, its systems going into a daze for a few seconds, though those seconds were detrimental to winning this fight. While its systems were catching up from the hit, its partner tackled it against the side of a crate, throwing multiple blows that it failed to dodge in time. Its system finally recalibrated, it wrapped its arm around the older man’s neck, though he didn’t go down without a struggle; Hank knocked Connor against a pole, causing the latter to lose its grip. As it got up from the ground, he threw a hard punch to the android’s face, causing it to fall against the railing that protected them from falling off the side of the building.

 

Hank grabbed Connor by its jacket, holding it over the side of the building as the railing gave way and toppled over the side.

 

“The moment of truth, Hank…

 

Am I a living being…

 

Or just a machine?”

 

Wind gushed around the android as it watched the Lieutenant get further and further away.

 

[ UPLOADING MEMORY … ]

 

                                                 *************************

 

Connor ‘awoke’ from his stasis, his breathing sharp and painful; his L.E.D cycled red as he processed the memory. It was the only one he’d managed to recover, but he found himself putting the memory in a folder labeled ‘Important’. After all, the android hadn’t realized - or rather, had forgotten - how much of an asshole he was to the Lieutenant. He felt a pang of guilt in his thirium pump as he realized that the gift and insincere-seeming apology he had given to Hank the other day wouldn’t suffice. Above all, his former colleague would probably hate him until the end of time, no matter how much whiskey Connor gave him. (He wasn’t willing to bet on that, though)

 

“Connor is awake!” The android heard a familiar voice, his head swiveling up as Ralph entered the room. Connor opened his mouth to respond, but quickly shut it, remembering that he couldn’t speak. He felt his face heat up and mentally searched databases for what this feeling was, quickly discovering that the term he was looking for was ‘embarrassment’. The android settled for a nod to respond to his acquaintance’s exclamation instead.

 

“Ralph has a surprise for his new friend! Come see!” Ralph beckoned Connor into the other room, a table set up in the middle with something resting on it. Examining the objects, the android noticed there to be 3 bags of replacement thirium. Looking up to his… ‘friend’, as Ralph had described their relationship, he rolled his sleeve down and displayed his message there. ‘Where’d you get these?’

 

“Ralph knew that there was a Cyberlife store nearby, so he got in last night and got these.” The deviant seemed over excited, a wide smile on his face. Yellow replaced the red in Connor’s L.E.D as he placed a polite smile on his face. ‘Thank you, Ralph. I appreciate the gesture.’

 

He remembered that he had run a diagnostic while in stasis mode alongside reviewing his lost memories; he decided now would be a good time to see the results of the test, since he had replacement thirium if his levels were too low.

 

[ ALL SYSTEMS FUNCTIONAL WITH AN EXCEPTION TO VOCAL SYSTEMS ]

 

[ WARNING: THIRIUM LEVEL AT 65% ]

 

[ WARNING: CORE TEMPERATURE AT 103.8° ]

 

[ WARNING: IRREPARABLE DAMAGE AROUND NECK ]

 

These warnings stood out to Connor the most out of the normal system reminders and functionalities. These were what concerned him the most, though his thirium levels would soon be replenished due to Ralph’s help - he decided to repay the deviant android for his hospitality. He turned to face the android, a message materializing on his wrist. ‘Is there anything I can do to repay you?’

 

Ralph read the message, his L.E.D flickering gold. “You’re Ralph’s friend, right? That’s all Ralph wants. He loves having friends.” The deviant smiled, and Connor felt his shoulders lower as he relaxed a bit. Of course, he would’ve loved to actually do something in exchange, but that response made him feel… relieved? Maybe he enjoyed the thought of having a friend. He felt a small smile form on his face.

 

Maybe it was genuine.

Chapter Text

 

[ NOVEMBER 15, AM 8:05:01 ]

 

Connor had only needed to drink (as he called it, though it was only orally supplementing his body with thirium) one of the thirium replacement bags before his levels were high enough to properly function. So, with nothing else to do, the android decided to make another ‘to-do’ list, since he had accomplished everything on the previous one.

 

[ #1: (LONG TERM) RECOVER MEMORY ]

 

[ #2: (LONG TERM) BE RALPH’S FRIEND ]

 

[ #3: APOLOGIZE TO LIEUTENANT ANDERSON (PART TWO) ]

 

His L.E.D spun as he thought of other things to add to the list, though the only thing in his processor at the moment was accomplishing #3. He felt dissatisfied with the way his meeting with the Lieutenant went the other day; he knew more of their relationship now, after all. Now that he knew how he had acted in the past towards someone he considers a friend an acquaintance, he wanted to make it up to Hank.

 

Processor working hard, Connor tried to think of any gifts he could give the Lieutenant; he didn’t want to give him any more alcohol, and Sumo was probably good on dog food, so… what? He tried his best to come up with something good for his acquaintance, but nothing came to mind.

 

Maybe it was best to just let talking do the trick? A sincere, regretful, lengthy apology? Perhaps no gift could make up for what he’d done and said to Hank, and he should tell the man his true feelings. Would that really be better? He sat back in a chair that Ralph had set up next to the table in the living room, thinking about what he should do.

 

Connor made a decision. He would apologize to the Lieutenant again, explain his newfound feelings, and leave it there. It didn’t matter if Hank accepted the apology or not, and that’s the truth. He hardly believed it would get accepted; after all, he nearly killed the man a few times. It would be extremely difficult to get him to forgive the android, and that wasn’t what he was looking for in the first place. All he wanted was closure.

 

Getting up, Connor placed the beanie on his head, fixing it to cover his L.E.D. He headed to the other room where Ralph was scratching ‘rA9’ on the wall with his knife. The former detective knew not to question it; the answer would come inconclusive, plus he knew that deviants had a tendency to fixate on that word. He knocked on the doorframe to catch his friend’s attention, and upon their eyes locking, Connor lifted up his wrist to display a message.

 

‘I’m heading out for a few hours. I’m going to talk to an old colleague of mine,’ was all that he wrote. Ralph turned to fully face his friend, looking a bit concerned with a flickering gold L.E.D. “You’re going to come back, right? Ralph doesn’t want Connor to leave forever…”

 

He nodded, a new message materializing on his arm. ‘Of course I’ll come back,’ he took a second to think before continuing, his L.E.D blinking, ‘you’re my friend, after all.’ After Ralph finished reading it, a bright smile lit up his face, his L.E.D flashing a joyful blue.

 

“Thank you… Ralph wants Connor to be back soon, though.” Connor nodded and pushed his sleeve down, signaling that the conversation was over. He waved to his friend as he left the room; as he headed through the front door, the scratching of Ralph’s knife against the wall echoed throughout the house.

 

                                 


 

 

Connor was on his way to the Detroit Police Department; it was a Monday, so he knew the Lieutenant would be working today. Of course, he left the house at around 8:00 AM and the man definitely wouldn’t be awake by then, so he decided to walk there all the way from the other side of the city rather than taking public transport. He planned to take a lot of time and prepare the words he’d say to Hank, so that it would take a few hours to get to the department.

 

What was he going to say in the first place? He didn’t know what details to include and what to keep out; Hank already knew everything that happened between the two, while Connor only knew bits and pieces of his memories. Maybe he should ask Hank about everything that happened? Would the Lieutenant even listen to anything he tried to say? As Connor’s thoughts swarmed into his mind, he found himself at the department way sooner than he thought it would be; or so it seemed, but in reality it had been 4 hours of slowly walking and thinking to himself. He wasn’t used to getting lost in his thoughts; before he became a deviant, he was focused and brittle, never paying another second of consideration toward his thoughts.

 

Deciding to head into the department rather than waiting around for nothing, he ignored his thoughts and began walking towards the building. Just before he entered, someone else heading into the department dropped a sheet of paper. Bending down to pick up the sheet, he was about to call out to the stranger before scanning the contents of the human handwriting stopped him.

 

'To whomever it may concern,

 

If you are reading this right now, I and many others of the Detroit Police Department will have perished. I have a gun, and I don’t plan on letting anyone remain alive. I have been wronged too many times by an unfair society. If my parents, friends, and love hear of this, I'm sorry. There was nothing you could've done to stop this. 

 

This is revenge. I lost my job due to the android revolution being stopped. I was finally hired as a rookie after years of trying only because there was a surge of deviancy in androids, and now that the deviancy has settled down, they decided to fucking fire me because I wasn’t needed anymore. They only used me as android bait. They’ll fucking learn that I put up a fight, unlike any bait they've ever seen before.

 

Sincerely, but not really,

Richard Dillinger’

 

Connor’s L.E.D flooded into a blinking red as he chased Richard into the department, an objective appearing into his vision:

 

[ STOP RICHARD ]

 

His eyes scanning around the room, the former detective spotted the hooded figure that had dropped the note almost immediately. Richard had seemingly gotten past reception, as he was heading towards the entry gate. He was walking fast - it seemed that he was skeptical about whether his plan would succeed or not. Unfortunately for you, Connor thought, Your skepticism isn’t a wasted thought process. Following the self-appointed vigilante, the deviant didn’t bother to get access to the gates, jumping over them instead and slipping between the sliding access door as it closed behind Richard, watching as he pulled a previously unseen gun from his belt, aiming the weapon straight at the nearest cop.

 

Acting quickly, Connor preconstructed possible routes, then decided to ram himself straight into Richard, tackling him to the ground. The man let out a shocked yell, firing off bullets wildly from the initial shock. Screams rippled through the department from workers and citizens alike; he found difficulty in keeping the criminal apprehended, as his vision was filled with warnings that piled on top of each other; he couldn’t see through the messages nor read many of them. He felt himself fall to his side as members of the police force surrounded the criminal, detaining him; he felt a liquid surrounding himself, but what was it? He couldn’t tell.

 

“Christ! The hell, Connor?!” Recognizing the voice, Connor struggled to force himself to his feet, leaning against a wall. He tried to open his mouth, respond to the voice, just talk . Why couldn’t he say anything? Nothing was released when he tried to use his vocal units. He kept trying.

 

“Hh… hHa….nk…..” was all that Connor managed out of his weakened body, although his voice was robotic and not at all like the deviant’s analytical, yet somewhat gentle and sharp when needed to be, voice. He fell against the wall again as soon as he tried to stand on his own, his shoulder jolting in discomfort as soon as it made contact with the barrier. His breathing heavy to cool himself down, Connor squinted through the warnings to view the Lieutenant’s face.

 

Mentally, he slowly started to dismiss each warning, now able to see enough to get a grasp of what had happened. His eyes scanning his surroundings, he saw smudges of blue liquid on the ground. Following the trail of bright blue, he traced the color to… himself? But why was he bleeding? He looked to his shoulder, then it clicked.

 

The memory filtered in in an instant, viewing as he tackled Richard to the ground, seeing as the gun was pressed into his shoulder, two shots fired straight through the joint. He watched as he fell to his side, onto the bleeding shoulder, thirium beginning to pool around him. Police and workers at the department all detained and lifted the criminal away. Lieutenant Anderson approached Connor, and that’s where his memories caught up. As Connor finished reviewing the recollection, he heard Hank’s voice cutting into his audio processors.

 

“Shit, he keeps checking out… Stay awake, damnit, Connor!” He felt pressure being applied on the wounds and assumed it to be Hank, his vision too blurry and warning-filled again; he couldn’t do anything about them. The Lieutenant’s voice started getting fuzzy as his audio and visual processors started cutting out, due to his systems slowly powering down from the thirium loss. Connor felt his eyelids drooping as his system slowly forcibly entered stasis mode to preserve energy.

 

“Connor, damnit!”

 

[ POWERING OFF ]

Chapter Text

Connor awoke with a start, his breathing erratic. He turned his head around rapidly, trying to recognize where he was, his eyes flickering all over the room. After a few seconds, he realized that he was in the interrogation room at the police station; remembrance struck him suddenly as his vision swam in the memories of what had just occurred, although it had felt like it happened centuries ago; the bullet wounds in his shoulders had a few bandages patched over them to stem the thirium leakage. After a few moments, Detective Reed entered the room; Connor felt a scowl he didn’t know he had in him form on his face.

 

“The hell is that look, prick? Some bug in your coding?” The android just kept staring at the Detective, since he couldn’t talk; he could barely even communicate, considering his arms were locked up and resting on the table. “Not gonna say anything, huh? The hell’re you doing alive? Last I heard was that Cyberlife was replacing your sorry ass. Guess we can’t get rid of you that easily.”

 

Silence.

 

“Say something, god damnit!”

 

Managing to move his wrist so it was facing up, Connor displayed a message on the screen that materialized. ‘I am unable to speak, since my vocal units were damaged.’ He watched Gavin’s eyes flick across the screen and was sure that the Detective had read it before letting the screen disappear.

 

Reed let out a soft chuckle that exploded into a fit of laughter. “Wouldja look at that! The famed perfect machine’s broken and discarded by Cyberlife like a toy!” The Detective kept laughing, and Connor felt thirium rush to his face, heat building up in his cheeks.

 

“Alright, that’s enough, asshat. I’ll take it from here.” Lieutenant Anderson entered the room and pushed Detective Reed back, the latter scoffing and exiting. Hank sat in the chair across from Connor, who avoided eye contact with his former partner.

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 70% ]

 

“What happened to your eyes?”

 

Connor didn’t say anything, continuing to look away from the man. He felt embarrassed as he thought of having to reveal what had happened, along with dreading the awkwardness settling in the room. Despite that, he refused to answer.

 

“Damnit, Connor, you gotta say something, or do that weird screen thing, don’t just ignore me here!” Connor jumped as the Lieutenant suddenly raised his voice, his stress level bouncing up slowly.

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 74% ]

 

Connor felt his body start shaking, his breathing still heavy in order to cool down his core. Remembering how the former detective had dealt with Ortiz’ deviant in the past, the Lieutenant got up from his chair, slamming his hands on the table. “Talk, damnit! You’re just Cyberlife’s little toy - what, did they sew your mouth up too?!”

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 83% ]

 

Connor flinched at the mention of Cyberlife, lifting up his wrist to talk, ‘You can’t tell Cyberlife that I’m here.’ which got Hank interested. The Lieutenant sat back down in the chair, seeing that the deviant would talk now.

 

‘I’m not supposed to be online. They think that I was shut down completely, but I managed to escape.’

 

“‘Escape’? Escape where?”

 

Connor fidgeted in his seat, thinking for a second, before typing up a message. ‘It’d be easier if I just showed you. Is there a television or computer screen somewhere that I can access?’ He paused before adding more. ‘I only want you to see it.’

 

“Uh… hell, I think there’s a magazine in the break room. That’s really the only portable tech bigger than a phone we have around here. ‘S that good enough?” After seeing Connor nod, the Lieutenant got up and left the interrogation room. The android closed his eyes, taking deep breaths to try and regulate his cooling as he waited for the magazine. His fingers tapped on the table impatiently; he wanted to leave. Re-opening his eyes, he felt someone watching him from the observation room and turned his head away from the two-sided glass, L.E.D blinking a soft red. He observed his stress meter on the right side of his vision, watching as it jumped between 84% and 85%.

 

Hank re-entered the room a few minutes later, holding an electronic magazine. “ ‘S all I could find.” He sat back down at the table, pushing the magazine towards Connor; the latter pulled the magazine towards himself the best he could with locked up hands. Flicking his wrist up, the android showed a message. ‘I’m going to project some of my memories onto the screen. All I need is to touch it to be able to do that, but I don’t think I can hold it up at the same time. Can you hold it?’ The Lieutenant nodded and held the screen so it was facing himself, while Connor pressed as much of his hand as he could onto the back, peeling his artificial skin back on said hand.

 

Connor closed his eyes as he interfaced with the magazine, the text on the screen glitching out and disappearing, replaced by what the deviant was saying. ‘I am going to display one of my memories that I recently regained after I experienced something similar to amnesia. I regained this one just before I woke up after apprehending Richard.’

 

‘Displaying in 3…’

 

‘2…’

 

‘1…’

 

[ NOVEMBER 12, 5:56:09 ]

 

“RK800, lay yourself on the table.”

 

The RK800 sits on the metal table, then lays itself down, not resisting anything the technicians started to do to it. Its artificial skin fully retracted as the male technician hooked it up to a computer with some cables - the android watched as its vitals appeared on the screen.

 

“What are you going to do to me?” It asked. The technicians didn’t respond, as the female started to strap its limbs to the table so it couldn’t move. It watched as they brought over a cart carrying several tools.

 

“So, this is the famous deviant hunter that stopped the revolution? Was its program faulty or something so they had to shut it down?” The male technician asked his partner as they got on latex gloves. The android watched with curiosity, it’s L.E.D blinking yellow.

 

“Nah, I heard that they’re replacing it with a newer model, RK900. I mean, RK800 is just a prototype, so it makes sense that they’d decommission it eventually. What parts were we getting from it again?” Its L.E.D blinked red for a second before turning back to yellow as its eyes shifted to the male.

 

“Ehm, lemme see…” The male reached over to the table holding the computer and picked up a clipboard, flipping a few pages before stopping. “Here it is. Its eyes are pretty advanced, so we’re getting both of those… along with one of its legs to run some tests on. It didn’t deviate, so we don’t need to poke around its processor.” He responded, setting the clipboard back down. “Should be easy enough.”

 

“Don’t touch me.” RK800 spat at the technicians, squirming around in its restraints. The technicians looked at each other before the female started typing away at the keyboards. It knew the command she was typing, since the computer was connected to its processor. “Stop it! Let me go! Don’t do anything to me!” It shouted, pushing away the technicians the best he could whenever they got close. It started emitting a sound frequency that was extremely discomforting to humans to get them to leave it alone.

 

“Shit! Andy, disable its vocal processors!” The female shouted to the male, who RK800 now knew as Andy, and he ran over to the android, prying at the panel on its neck. In response, it locked the panel shut before Andy could open it and gain access to inside his neck. “I can’t get it open!”

 

“Just fucking cut it open then! Piece of shit is going to the scrapyard soon anyway, it doesn’t matter if it can’t communicate!” She shouted in response, sending a shiver up RK800 as it tried to move away from Andy, who now held a medical knife dangerously close to its neck. It wasn’t fast enough, as the technician made two diagonal incisions on the android’s neck, cutting a few wires on the voice box biocomponent. The frequency shut off as RK800’s system failed to keep the voice box online due to the heavy damage. The female technician relaxed, letting her hands drop to her side. “Fuck… let’s just hope this gets over with soon so I don’t have to look at this miserable hunk of metal any longer.”

 

Even though he couldn’t verbally rebel anymore, RK800 still tried to make it difficult for the technicians; it wouldn’t accept being replaced. It did a good job, so why was this happening to it?! After torturous failed attempts at the technicians trying to remove its leg and eyes, they finally got fed up with it. The male technician headed over to the computer and began typing; the RK800 felt his thirium pump speeding up as it recognized the code. It kicked and punched as much as it could, though it felt its systems giving out one by one as warnings started popping up in its vision. Slowly, the flailing died down as it fully began to shut down.

 

“What a brat. See you in hell, plastic prick.”

 

The memory cut off, and the android waited a few seconds before playing his memories of the scrapyard.

 

----------------------------

 

Connor opened his eyes, forcing himself to keep his breathing steady as his L.E.D flickered red. He glanced up to the Lieutenant’s face, quickly looking away at the unexplainable emotion on the man’s face.

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 87% ]

 

“Christ, Connor, I uh…” Hank scratched the back of his neck, looking awkward. “Sorry I was uh, mean to you… I mean, that must’ve sucked ass…”

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 90% ]

 

Connor felt his hands curl into fists, opening his mouth to talk, a pit of frustration building in his chest as he remembered that he was mute. Digging his nails into his palms, he looked away, biting his lip in anger; he uncurled one fist and pressed as much as he could to the magazine. ‘I don’t deserve pity. I got what was coming to me; it was only a matter of time before I received punishment for what I’ve done. I was too insensitive towards your feelings, Lieutenant. I’m sorry.’

 

“The fuck’re you talking about, Connor? Just because you were an ass doesn’t mean your struggles aren’t valid.” Hank stood up, placing his hands on the table. “Besides, I-”

 

“This is the interrogation room, not the therapy room! If you’re not gonna interrogate it then I’ll do it. The fuck did it show you?” Detective Reed stormed in, shouting at the two. Connor ducked his head low, hiding his face from Gavin; he didn’t feel comfortable around the bitter, hateful man. His L.E.D was a bright, blinking red, as his stress level started to reach dangerous levels.

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 92% ]

 

“Fuck off, Gavin, you’re just gonna yell at him until he snaps! I’ve got this figured out so get the fuck out,” Hank yelled and got up from his chair, while the deviant cowered in on himself more as the two argued, his breathing becoming erratic as his body heated up.

 

“Ss-st….sto… p…” Connor choked out through his faulty voice box, coughing from the struggle of forcing his systems to work harder than they ever had. The Lieutenant stopped yelling at Gavin and turned to the struggling android, ignoring the Detective who continued to yell.

 

“You alright?” Hank asked Connor, patting the choking android’s back. The deviant balled his fists tightly, his breaths sharp.

 

[ STRESS LEVEL: 95% ]

 

He held his hands to his scarred neck tightly, his breathing picking up as he struggled to cool and calm down. He felt himself choking on something stuck in his throat, then let out a cough, thirium splattering onto the table from his mouth as he did so.

 

“Christ! The fuck’s wrong, Connor?!” The Lieutenant yelled out in concern to the weak android, whom in return turned his wrist upwards, displaying a message. ‘I overused my damaged biocomponents, which are now revolting against my body.’ Connor felt himself growing more compelled to enter stasis mode, every movement causing warning errors to pop up in his vision. He wanted it all to go away, to be gone forever, he needed to be whole again. He lost control over his body as his head slammed against the table, being forced into stasis mode.

 

And so he rested.

Chapter Text

[ NOVEMBER 16, AM 01:23:13 ]

 

Waking from his forced stasis mode, Connor sat up, noting that he was in one of the prison cells at the currently silent police department. He stared at the wall as his L.E.D cycled a blinking red, his processor trying to figure out what had just transpired while he was on standby. The good news was that he had regained what was left of his missing memories; the bad news was that he learned the fate of the deviant leader, Markus - or what Connor had done to him. Despite every biocomponent in his body trying to revolt at what he would re-witness, he delved back into the memory.

 

“It took me a while to find you, Markus,” The machine exclaimed calmly, a gun pointed at the deviant, the latter of which was on the ground after the shock of an explosion; another eruption sounded off behind the two, distracting Connor for a split second. That moment was enough for Markus to throw a piece of debris at the detective, who blocked the blow with its arms, but didn’t recover quick enough to dodge the leader’s dropkick. They both stumbled to the ground, before engaging into battle, the machine efficiently dodging most of Markus’ blows and landing a few of its own whenever his system detected an opening.

 

Through their fighting, both of them ended up on the ground after one of the machine’s attacks; Connor found its hands wrapped around a gun, but the deviant reacted quickly, picking up a large piece of scrapped metal to use as a makeshift shield, though he wasn’t quick enough, as a bullet was planted into his shoulder. Connor aimed a shot at Markus’ leg but wasn’t quick enough to pull the trigger as he lowered the shield to deflect the attack. It kicked the shield away from the deviant, who fell over, and slammed the butt of the gun to his head as he tried to get up. Markus attempted to slam his makeshift shield against Connor’s face, but its sensors were quick to react as it reared its head away from the impending android equivalent of a concussion. It aimed a shot at the deviant’s head, firing, but he ducked away from the attack and attempted to trip the machine, though it retaliated and maneuvered its way around the assault. It fired more shots at Markus, the shield catching the bullets instead, and he pressed the hunk of metal against Connor; it pushed the shield downward and planted a bullet into the deviant leader’s shoulder, who responded by kicking it to the ground.

 

It got up, then quickly headed towards Markus, planting a firm kick across his face. The two continued fighting; whenever one would get close to defeating the other, they would retaliate and take initiative again. Eventually the two ended up exchanging fists over a few stacks of sandbags, Markus having some of the artificial skin on his face retracted from a blow Connor had dealt to him. The machine’s L.E.D had turned yellow midway throughout the fight as it had also been dealt a few blows that made its processor pound in its audio processors. 

 

And then the fight was over just as soon as it had began. Connor had removed a biocomponent out of Markus’ neck to render the android unconscious, then it found the gun that it had dropped previously and aimed it at the deviant.

 

Even still, it hesitated.

 

It peeled back the deviant leader’s clothing to show his chest, then made the skin around Markus’ thirium pump regulator deactivate to show the biocomponent. It turned the gun around and slammed the butt against the thirium pump, damaging it so that the deviant would be rendered unconscious, due to being in low power mode, until forced awake, but wasn’t dead so that they could interrogate it. It wasn’t included in the machine's mission, but it decided this was the best move to make, so that Cyberlife could pry Markus for information to effectively render the android demonstration ended.

 

Fixing its tie, Connor notified Cyberlife of the deviant leader’s exact location and headed off to find the other Jericho leaders.

 

---------------------------------------------

 

Connor stood up from the prison bed, fidgeting in his handcuffs. He thought of ways to escape from the prison, of course needing his hands to be free first, but he didn’t know how. Looking around the cell, his L.E.D spun red as he realized there wasn’t much to work with. He let out a sigh, his throat feeling uncomfortable from having to speak the evening before, which resulted in internal bleeding; the deviant hoped that he didn’t make Hank worry at all, since he probably wouldn’t see the Lieutenant again and worrying about the "plastic prick" was a wasted effort. 

 

Looking up, Connor’s audio processors picked up footsteps. It was too dark for him to discern who the tall, broad figure was, the only light coming from the terminals and desk lamps of a few night workers, along with a few ceiling lights in his cell. The figure slowly stepped forward, suspense drilling into the android, hearing his thirium pump pounding away in an impending feeling of what he determined to be fear.

 

“Christ, kid, y’had me worried when you didn’t wake up until fuckin 1 in the morning…” Connor felt his shoulders relax as his audio processors picked up the voice of the Lieutenant. He let a small smile form on his face as the light reached Hank’s figure, who was now standing on the other side of the glass.

 

‘You didn’t have to wait.’ He wrote, trying his best to lift up his wrist, although it was still connected to the other in handcuffs. He couldn’t deny that seeing the Lieutenant eased all the fear he had felt previously, although he wasn’t even close to the man, and was even his enemy for a while, so why did Connor feel so attached to him?

 

“Of course I didn’t have to fuckin wait, assholes decided to stick me on a night shift to watch over you.” Came the brittle reply, and Connor caught himself thinking that he would have laughed if his vocal units allowed it.

 

‘Regardless, thank you for staying.’ He decided not to write more, his processor struggling to find the right words, but decided that he couldn’t just leave it at that, so he continued with a simple question. ‘When will I be released?’

 

“Hell if I know. I mean, you’re not even a criminal, so I have no fuckin’ clue why we’re keeping you cooped up here anyway. Where’re you gonna go when you’re released?” Hank pulled a chair up, sitting on the other side of the glass opposite Connor. The android thought for a bit on the wording he wanted to use, although the answer was the same each time.

 

‘I’m staying with a friend.’ was what he decided on, deciding to leave it ambiguous. He didn’t know if he could trust the Lieutenant with telling him about Ralph, since any slight hint could tell where their hideout was; ever since the demonstration was stopped, police forces had really been cracking deviant cases and locating many of them. He couldn’t risk putting his friend in danger.

 

“ ‘S that so? I’m surprised you could even make a friend.” Hank teased slightly, though there was a certain edge to his voice that the android couldn't quite describe. Connor pursed his lips, knowing what he was going to say as soon as the words hit his audio processors.

 

‘I have changed, Lieutenant. I’m not the machine you used to know.’ He paused, clearing the words from the screen as soon as Hank read them. ‘I am a deviant. I know that, and I know I was wrong. I’m going to say it as many times as I need to: I’m sorry.’

 

Hank smirked, receiving the answer he had wanted. “It’s okay, Connor. I forgive you. Hell, I was even testing you,” The Lieutenant got up, reaching into his pocket, “and you gave me the answer I wanted. So,” he opened the cell and headed over to Connor, taking a key out of his pocket, “here. Yeah, I lied about you being released. My orders were t’ let you out as soon as you woke up.” He unlocked the cuffs from Connor’s wrists, letting them drop to the ground with a quiet clank.

 

The deviant just stared at Hank, before actually forming a cohesive sentence on his screen. ‘Why? I’m a deviant, I should be destroyed.’ His brows furrowed in confusion, his L.E.D blinking a disoriented yellow.

 

“Well, I pulled a few strings here and there, worked the Anderson magic, y’know,” Hank joked, patting the android on the back gently. Connor rubbed his wrists, a doe-eyed look still on his face, not bothering to hide the visible confusion at all. After a few seconds of processing, he felt his shoulders stiff up, and found his body moving before his mind bothered to think about it.

 

Connor wrapped his arms around the Lieutenant in a tight hug, catching both of them in surprise, as he didn’t know what he was doing until it was already done. He quickly pulled away from the hug as soon as it had started, releasing a message on his wrist which was shaking heavily out of nervousness. ‘Sorry, too soon?’ He felt a sheepish smile form on his face; an awkward laugh would’ve escaped the android’s throat if he had the ability to.

“Christ, kid… c’mere.” Hank sighed, hugging the deviant tightly. Connor felt the shaking die down a bit as he let his arms wrap around the Lieutenant, a liquid, which he hadn’t experienced since the scrapyard, filling up his eyes again. He relaxed into the hug, feeling stress ebb away slowly as he felt genuine comfort.

 

And, for the first time since the night of the android demonstration, his L.E.D blinked a happy, safe, genuine blue.



Chapter Text

 

[ NOVEMBER 16, AM 4:29:06 

 

As he walked back to his and Ralph’s home, Connor replayed the first few happy memories he had ever gained over and over again. His L.E.D remained a steady blue, a small smile staying on his face. For the first time in a while, things felt okay. It felt right to be alive. He didn’t have any regrets anymore about deviating. Maybe he isn’t a flawed being after all.

 

Turning the corner towards the squat house, the deviant spotted a figure standing stiffly near the wire entrance, examining the house. He stopped and hid behind the corner, though peered out from behind it to watch if the person would enter the house’s property or not. Feeling his thirium pump beat faster from the stress, he tried his best to remain hidden.

 

After a few moments, the figure bent down to lift up the cut-out bottom part of the fence. At that moment, the street light flickered on after a prolonged blackout, the light hitting the figure who didn’t even bat an eye. Recognition hit Connor like a snowstorm; his optical units widened and his L.E.D flashed a fearful yellow as warnings started to appear in his vision.

 

The figure was no other than his replacement; RK900. The android slipped under the wires and onto the house property without a fault in its movement. Connor felt an artificial breath hitch in his throat as panic began to settle in, moving his beanie down to cover most of his recognizable features, though kept it low enough so that he could see, then flipped his collar up to hide the scarring on his neck. He cleared all the warnings from his mind as a mission appeared:

 

[ NEW OBJECTIVE: PROTECT RALPH ]

 

Leaving the safety of the corner, Connor neared the house, hearing RK900 pound on the door and yell, “Detroit police department, open up.” in a strange calm, yet assertive voice. Shuffling was heard inside the house and a loud thud; Connor felt the beat of his thirium pump pick up as he was up against the barbed wire now; he decided to head around the fence and enter the house via the parking lot rather than the same way that the RK900 had entered, figuring that entrance to be too risky. He turned the corner and headed into the parking lot without a second thought from anyone that was surprisingly still on the streets, as he looked like a citizen with his L.E.D and scar covered up.

 

Connor opened the gate to the parking lot as quietly as he could, then silently stepped into the lot; he noticed that the wired fence to the house wasn’t already opened, so after some looking around, he found a pair of wire clippers on top of a generator. Kneeling down next to the fence, he quickly yet silently clipped an entrance to the house, crawling underneath. The deviant hid around the backside of the house and peered around the corner just as RK900 kicked the door down, the loud noise making Connor flinch, yet he knew that there wasn’t much time left before RK900 would hurt Ralph, so he stormed after the machine inside.

 

Stopping in the entrance, the former detective noted where the two androids were; RK900 was holding Ralph by the neck, the latter scratching at the former’s hand and letting out a choked sound. Connor felt pure rage fill his systems as he moved without thinking, forcing RK900 to let go of Ralph and tackling the machine to the ground. Before he could start pummeling the android for hurting his friend, RK900 wrapped its hands around the deviant’s neck, digging his thumbs into the scar on his throat; Connor choked as the wound reopened, thirium beginning to seep out of the cuts. Despite this, he didn’t release his grip on RK900, beginning to throw punches at the larger android. The machine easily heaved Connor off of him, kicking the deviant in the neck to further speed up the bleeding, then took notice of the patched bullet wounds on his shoulder, punting that wound so that it would open as well.

 

Connor held his hands against the wounds, glaring up at RK900 as he struggled to cool his systems down. The machine glanced at the struggling deviant then kicked him to the wall as if he were trash, the beanie slipping off the android’s head; RK800 forced himself to his feet, his now exposed L.E.D flashing a bright red as his systems struggled to catch up. As the RK900 approached Ralph, Connor tackled the android yet again, this time pushing it to the wall, digging his hands into its neck. Despite the fact that the deviant thought he had been restricting RK900’s vocals, its cold, unphased voice spoke up:

 

“Amusing. I find it hard to believe that my predecessor was an android as primitive as yourself, RK800, ” RK900 easily pushed Connor’s hands off of its neck, “though I believe that it won’t matter, as we won’t meet again.” It ripped Connor’s shirt open, pressing its skinless hand to his stomach, ripping his thirium pump out and discarding it out the window. The deviant gasped for air, thirium seeping out of the hole in his abdomen, warnings and alarms firing off in his head. RK900 simply scoffed and reached Ralph, harshly striking the deviant across the scar on his face. Ralph hissed and called out for Connor in worry, though the damaged android couldn’t hear him through the alarms. A memory of the police station replayed itself in a desperate attempt for the android to recalibrate.

 

“You’re leaving already?” Lieutenant Anderson’s voice cut into his audio processors as Connor began fixing his coat, checking to see that his scar was covered, then lifted his sleeve.

 

‘Yes, I have to get back to my friend. I told him I would be back soon, it’s been too long.’ Hank scratched the back of his neck, letting out a sigh, before reaching into his pocket. He found what he was looking for and deposited it in the android’s hands. It was a gun; Hank’s gun. ‘Lieutenant…?’

 

“ ‘S gonna be rough out there, kid. More and more deviants are being found. So just, uh… stay safe. Your friend too.” The Lieutenant responded awkwardly, shifting his gaze away from the deviant he wouldn’t see again for a long time. Connor felt a small smile form on his face as his L.E.D blinked blue. ‘Right. Thank you, Lieutenant. I’ll put it to good use if needed.’

 

A bullet found itself in the back of RK900’s head; the android stopped pummeling Ralph and dropped to the ground, dead. Connor dropped the gun, holding his hand to his missing thirium pump, watching the seconds he had left to live slowly tick down. He couldn’t help but compare that time on the Stratford tower to now, when that deviant pried his thirium pump from him. But now was different; he couldn’t reach the pump on his own, but luckily he wasn’t alone. Ralph quickly fled out the house to fetch the thirium pump, then handed it to Connor; the deviant gratefully took the biocomponent and plugged it back in, taking deep breaths. He wrote a quick ‘thank you’ on his wrist screen and showed it to Ralph, then let the limb drop to his side.

 

“Ralph is glad you’re okay… and is sorry for causing trouble…” The deviant timidly held his hands together as he spoke, his L.E.D a blinking red while Connor’s had calmed to a yellow. He let a smile form on his face as he displayed another message on his screen. ‘It’s not your fault. I’m not upset in the slightest, I’m just glad that you aren’t severely damaged.’ He let his smile drop as he wrote the next message. ‘We have to find a new residence. It isn’t safe here now that RK900 knows where we are; it probably sent its memories to Cyberlife.’

 

“Ralph doesn’t know anywhere else… Ralph has been here since he escaped.” The deranged deviant responded, his L.E.D flickering to an understanding yellow rather than the melancholy red. Connor closed his eyes, his L.E.D blinking as he pulled up a map of the area, then reopened his eyes, lifting his wrist up. ‘I’ve located a few possible locations near here that could suffice. It wouldn’t hurt to try.’ He thought for a second, then wrote another message. ‘We’ll also need to disguise your clothes, or at least hide your L.E.D and flip your uniform to hide the identification, at least until we find a new residence.’

 

Ralph took the outer cloak of his clothes off, then flipped it, and put it back on. “It has a hood, too!” He cawed, child-like wonder in his voice as he flipped the hood up, the shadows covering his L.E.D and most of the scarring. Connor smiled a bit, his wrist lighting up with his screen, ‘That’ll do for now. Thank you for your cooperation.’

 

“Ralph is happy to cooperate, since Connor is his friend.” Ralph chirped, a soft smile on his face as his L.E.D finally settled to a soft blue. “Ralph is ready to leave now.” Connor nodded and flipped his sleeve down to his wrist, and they both headed outside the house and through the wire gate. He ran a silent diagnostic mentally, finding that his thirium reserves had diminished heavily, but the bleeding had stopped altogether. Letting out a silent sigh, the deviant thought for a bit as they walked in silence, a heavy feeling of dread settling in his stomach as he came to the terms that Cyberlife was aware of his flawed existence. He knew that he shouldn’t be scared, since they couldn’t know where they were heading.

 

But that didn’t stop the settling of an imminent pit of worry in his thirium pump.

Chapter Text

[ NOVEMBER 16, PM 9:56:09 ]

 

The two androids surveyed the fifth abandoned house that they had come across, the previous four being deemed unsuitable for their living. They had entered the property via a locked gate, which Connor easily picked his way through, since the android had plenty of skill in any activity that requires a lot of skill. 

 

Entering the building, it was of course trashed and had graffiti everywhere, but it wasn’t decaying or dangerous as the past houses were. It was the best one they had come across yet, along with being the last viable house in the area. It was quickly decided by both that they would be staying there; it wasn’t too dangerous and wasn't conspicuous.

 

Right as they were settling in, Ralph spoke up, “Ralph is going to go to a Cyberlife warehouse near here, since it’s closed now. Ralph is going to get some thirium for the both of us,” He finished, flipping the hood of his overcoat up. Connor nodded, lifting his wrist up, the screen appearing. ‘Be back soon and be careful.’

 

Ralph nodded and quickly fled the house to head to the Cyberlife plant, leaving Connor and his thoughts. The android looked around the dirty house, his L.E.D blinking yellow as he thought of something to occupy himself. He finally settled on cleaning the entire house the best he could while his processor ran in the background, collecting data on the deviant demonstration and the leader, Markus.

 

The android moved robotically as he worked the entire house clean, L.E.D sometimes flicking to a red whenever he found information he found unsettling or guilty for. Searching the entire internet of any data he could use at all, he combed each web page clean and mentally arranged a timeline and sheets of data that could prove to be useful in the future. Once he ran out of data, he worked on sorting the information he had gathered to show which was most important and which wasn’t relevant to his mission.

 

After a while, Connor was done cleaning the first floor and headed to the second, taking way longer than he needed to since he was preoccupied with his thoughts. Sometimes, he would get distracted from his research, which was something he had never experienced before he was a deviant; he found himself thinking about how he needed to make the house perfect to pay Ralph back for all the kindness the deviant had shown towards him. He began to clean the best he could, the indebted feeling inside him never leaving as he worked the house spotless. It wasn’t perfect, as the android was never programmed for housework, but he was able to calculate and search up certain things to aid himself. He put his research to the side for the time being, deciding to rather focus on cleaning instead, as he figured that Ralph would be back soon and it needed to be spotless by then to show his gratitude.

 

Of course, this newfound focus on something unrelated to his mission meant that Connor didn’t notice the blazing warnings and pounding in his audio processor until he found himself collapsed on the floor, struggling to regulate his breathing in an attempt to cool down, finally taking notice in the bright red warning signals that read his temperature. Frustrated, Connor forced himself to his feet, ignoring the burning sensation throughout his whole body, continuing to clean despite the struggle. The only thing going through his mind right now was that he had to finish, no matter the setback; he was on the last room of the second floor, after all, so he couldn’t stop now when he was so close.

 

The room was finally cleaned after another minute of the android’s struggling and he let himself collapse against the wall, his breathing shaky as his thermal regulators struggled to keep up, since one was still damaged. His L.E.D flickered red as he pried the beanie off his head, feeling too warm with it on, his systems starting to go into low power mode as he overheated.

 

There were muffled sounds filtering into Connor’s audio processors, though he couldn’t make out the noises since his programs were limited at the moment, meaning all his sensors’ powers were cut in half. A mixture of colors bled into his extremely blurred vision, the colors reaching him and placing something - he recognized it as a hand as it grew closer - on his shoulder, shaking him lightly. Connor’s eyelids fluttered as he forced himself out of low power mode, the colors turning into Ralph’s figure, along with his friend’s panicked voice cut into his audio processors.

 

“Connor! Connor feels hot!” His voice sounded panicked, the scarred deviant’s hand moving from his shoulder to his forehead to feel how hot he was. Connor weakly raised his wrist to display a message. ‘I’m sorry. I’m okay, don’t worry about me. It’s at 112° but should lower soon, I just need to go into stasis mode for a while.’ Despite his confidence in getting better soon, the screen on his wrist was a dangerous red rather than the usual safe blue and the letters were glitched out. He closed the message and let his wrist drop to his side, taking deep breaths. Ralph got up from the ground in a hurry, speaking up before sprinting out of the room, “Ralph will go get something to help Connor!”

 

Connor simply nodded and closed his eyes, his L.E.D a rapidly blinking red. He struggled to reach into his files, hard saving his research files before entering a forced stasis, all of his systems temporarily shutting down one after another except for his thermal regulators.

 


 

Ralph lifted the resting android from the ground carefully, then carried him downstairs, setting him down on a couch that was scrappy, yet carefully cleaned for their own safety. He felt a twinge of gratuity towards Connor as he reached into the bag of supplies, pulling out a few ice packs and setting them down on the deviant’s forehead and chest to cool him down. Despite the feeling of gratitude, Ralph couldn’t help but feel guilty that Connor had forced himself to work himself into a feverous state for him. Sure, the house looked way better now as it had looked when they first viewed it, but the satisfaction of the cleanliness was followed by a feeling of regret. He knew that Connor wouldn’t want Ralph feeling like this, though, so he tried to ignore the feeling for now; everything was going well in their lives, so there was no reason for him to worry, despite the both of them being heavily scarred and damaged deviants who were on the verge of being hunted down.

 

It would all wash over eventually, though; surely, there would be a new deviant that would save them all, right? There had to be another savior out there in the world that could defeat the humans this time; if they just kept trying, their efforts wouldn’t be fruitless. That’s how the world worked, you’re repaid for your efforts, no matter your differences to humans. Androids are no different than them, after all.

 

Even so, as he looked to his injured friend in worry, that reaffirmation didn’t stop Ralph from feeling anxious about their future.

Chapter Text

 

[ NOVEMBER 17, AM 5:39:07 ]

 

Connor had been awake for a few hours at most, laying stiffly on the couch with his eyes staring at the ceiling, though his L.E.D flickered as he continued to research while keeping watch on his temperature. Ralph was sat on the floor by the end of the couch, his head leaning against the cushion as he was in stasis for the time being. Finding the resting position to be somewhat uncomfortable, the RK800 pushed himself up to sit on the couch rather than lay, careful as to not rouse his resting friend.

 

Processor swimming in seas of data, the android shut his eyes, trying to focus on finding a specific piece of information. No matter how many times he ran through the results of his research, he was stopped at the same hypothesis each time. Giving up, Connor set the hypothesis to be his objective, then stood from his spot from the couch. His eyes shifted down to the resting android at the foot of the couch, thinking as to how he would inform his friend that he was leaving the house without waking him.

 

The deviant located a few stray notebooks and a pen, not common in 2038 as most writing was done with technology, though it wouldn’t be probable in the first place as such tech wouldn’t be easily found in an abandoned house. Quickly, yet perfectly, he scribbled a ‘I’ve gone out for an investigation. I will be back soon. -Connor’ then placed the note next to Ralph. He fixed his tie and hair, then picked up his overcoat, along with flipping the collar of his undershirt up to cover his scarred neck. Connor took one last look around the house before heading out the door, the GPS system in his processor locating the route to his destination.

 

[ LOCATED: ELIJAH KAMSKI’S VILLA ]



*****************************************

 

The deviant peeled the skin on his hand back, pressing his hand to the access pad to the door. Static feedback erupted from the speaker as he struggled to break into the high-tech - even for someone as advanced as the RK800 - network. After a minute of struggling and staticity, there was a click as the door slid open. He walked into the house, his eyes scanning the lobby as one of Kamski’s Chloe androids entered from the pool room, where he had met with the genius previously. A plastic smile found itself on her face as she greeted the deviant.

 

“Elijah has been waiting for you, RK800. Follow me.” Connor was taken aback by the reveal that Kamski was waiting for him, causing his L.E.D to spin red, although it clicked in his brain that the RK900, who attacked him before, sent its memories to Cyberlife, therefore sending the knowledge of Connor’s existence. He wasn’t sure why Kamski would have that information, though, and why he would know that Connor was going to visit him.

 

The android paused before following the RT600 into the pool room; he observed Kamski, the man’s satisfied eyes watching out the window, sat in a lounge chair in nothing but a robe, a wine glass resting in his hand. Cautiously, Connor followed Chloe’s lead next to the ominous figure of a genius sipping at a wine glass.

 

“Elijah, Connor is here,” Chloe’s sweet voice spoke up as she stopped near Kamski, holding her hands together in front of herself formally. Connor cautiously stood next to her, watching as the man turned in his chair to view the two, a confident half-smirk on his face. The deviant felt a chill run up his artificial spine at the view, his L.E.D blinking yellow as a pit of worry settled in his thirium pump.

 

“Thank you, Chloe, you may leave now,” Kamski spoke in a generous, fake tone, the RT600 leaving when queued to do so. “Please, sit down. Don’t be such a stranger,” the man beckoned Connor, the android scanning the seat he was being showed to, searching for any discrepancies or traps. Detecting nothing, he sat down cautiously, eyeing the faultless Kamski as he did so. Both of them facing each other, the perfection of a man across from Connor sitting with a judgeful stare, swishing the wine around in its glass sat in his hand, that unwavering smirk still placed on his face.

 

Connor stared as well, deciding that waiting for the other to speak would just waste time. He rolled his sleeve back, displaying the question that was occupying his processor.

 

‘Where is Markus?’

 

“How curious. I see you’re unable to speak, Connor. Using your display functions to converse is truly innovative,” Kamski avoided the question, causing the RK800 to get a feeling of impatience settling in his mind, a glare finding itself boring into the man sat across from him.

 

‘I don’t have time for this. Answer the question or I’ll leave.’ The usual blue screen on Connor’s wrist was tinted with an unsafe red, the android deciding that this was wasting his time, a new concept that he’d never faced when he was a machine, as everything he had done was efficient and managed to preserve time as well as he could.

 

Kamski stared off to the distance for a few seconds, his mind working, before he got to his feet and set the wine glass down on a glass table in between two other lounge chairs. “I’m sure that you know,” He began to accuse, his eyes flickering from outside the window to the deviant across from him, “that even if I did give you the deviant leader’s location and you were to, say, free him from Cyberlife’s grasp,” Connor felt himself flinch a bit, straightening as a hint of red traced his L.E.D before it filtered back to yellow, “that there’d be personnel waiting there to apprehend you, especially now that I know your plans. What’s your countermeasure, deviant hunter?” The man spat such poisonous words, his demeanor akin to a snake ensnaring its prey. Connor shifted in his seat before giving his response, deciding to keep displaying his calm and cold demeanor.

 

‘That is irrelevant to the question. Answer it.’

 

“I’m afraid it is relevant. I’ll have to report this to Cyberlife, and you’ll inevitably get caught…” There was a hint of faked sympathy in Kamski’s voice, presumably another trap to show genuine concern. Connor wasn’t falling for it.

 

‘You don’t have to. You don’t work for Cyberlife anymore.’ The deviant tried to reason with the former CEO, hoping that the man would be persuaded by his reasoning, although the chances were extremely slim. Quiet laughter boiled over from Kamski, the man shaking his head.

 

“You don’t think they’re going to leave me alone? Cyberlife has its hands on everyone,” He spoke, picking up his wine again and taking another drink before continuing, “besides, a concerning deviant situation is something I’m automatically compelled to report,” Connor felt a hint of fear striking his chest, failing to pick up on a faint hint of sarcasm - or possibly manipulation -, as he had countless times in the past with the Lieutenant. The deviant’s formal posture relented as he gave in.

 

“Fine. I’ll answer just three questions, but in turn, you must give me the location of Markus.’ He presented his conditions on his screen, its edges wavering slightly in what he presumed to be anxiety.

Kamski beamed, his eyes seeming to have a new spark in them. “That’s what I hoped to hear. I’m going to start with the basics; what are you going to do with Markus?” The elusive man sat down for the interview, his posture and the whole way he acted boasting his confidence. Connor paused, his processor turning over the question as he thought of what wording to use to get off the hook. He decided that Kamski wouldn’t be able to lie to, so he would just say the truth, but twist it to sound better.

 

‘As you previously predicted, I do plan on helping Markus the best that I can. Of course, I don’t guarantee that I will be physically able to do or say anything to him, as he’s shut down, or at least locked up and in low power mode, perhaps damaged and being examined. I will do anything in my capacity to guarantee that I will help him.’ Choosing his wording carefully, the android responded with what he was confident with, his screen flickering a slight bit as the long message was displayed. Kamski read the response, leaning back in his chair as he finished, then spoke up as he thought of his next question.

 

“Interesting; and what do you presume will happen when Markus is freed from Cyberlife?”

 

Pause. ‘This all depends on his will and determination, but I suppose he will either go into hiding or reconcile with his friends.’ His L.E.D flickered as he lied, knowing that the deviant leader would obviously revolt again for his freedom.

 

“How far are you willing to go to free him?”

 

‘I am not opposed to sacrificing my own life for the greater good. Your three questions are up, Kamski. Answer mine now.’ The android responded hastily, standing from his seat, an air of impatience surrounding him.

 

The man nodded, a smirk on his face. “Chloe, come here please.” A different Chloe than the one that had guided him before entered the room, heading over to the two. She addressed Kamski, who quickly responded, “Please show Connor memory files #4569a, #4569c, and #4570.” She nodded and removed the artificial skin on her arm, hers and Connor’s arms linking so that the information was sent to him. His L.E.D blinked as he gained the locations and any other necessary information to the case.

 

It was over in a few seconds, their arms pulling away from each other, Chloe’s fake smile still displayed on her face. “You may leave now, Connor, and I hope that you put what you’ve learned to good use.” Kamski’s venomous voice rang out, sending chills through Connor, as he nodded and quickly fled the villa. He had got what he needed.

 

[ MISSION ACCOMPLISHED ]

 

[ NEW OBJECTIVE: FREE MARKUS ]

Chapter Text

[ NOVEMBER 17, AM 9:57 ]

 

Connor was sat straight as usual with his eyes closed as he ran over his research again. The same address kept appearing in his vision; the same location, the same origin. Opening his eyes, the android decided that it was time for another meeting, or perhaps interrogation, that would hopefully go better than the one with Kamski. A female voice spoke from the bus speakers, announcing the stop location.

 

“Lafayette avenue.” The voice simply called out; Connor stood from his seat on the bus and quickly exited, not wanting to sit near the android compartment any longer. Taking a few paces away from the bus, the android stopped at the house - no, mansion - labeled 8941. He fixed his tie, a habit he had picked up to gain composure, as he walked up to the mansion and rang the doorbell; he rolled his sleeve up in preparation for confrontation. About a few seconds later, the door slid open, the figure that stood in the doorway catching Connor off guard, the android for once speechless.

 

It was one of the previous leaders of the android revolution, model PL600, registered under the name Simon, who also seemed shocked at the former deviant hunter. He seemed to recognize Connor immediately, a foul expression hitting the deviant’s face as he spoke. “You- you’re the one who killed Markus and North!”

 

Connor quickly flipped his wrist up, a message displaying on his red-tinted screen. ‘They’re not dead!’ A feeling that he could only describe as desperation hit the android as he immediately tried to explain, his L.E.D flickering between yellow and red under his beanie. He regained his composure a bit, continuing to converse. ‘I know how to save him. I’m here to speak to Carl Manfred, but I was not aware that you were residing here.’

 

Simon paused, the deviant's yellow L.E.D blinking as he considered the situation and thought of what to do. As he opened his mouth to speak, an old voice called out from further into the house. “Simon, who is it?”

 

“You wait here,” The deviant commanded as he headed further into the house, the front door sliding closed as he did. Connor stood awkwardly outside the mansion, fidgeting with his beanie anxiously as the minutes passed, thinking of questions to ask Markus’ previous owner if he was given permission to do so. He was determined to try to get as much information out of the man as possible.

 

After a few minutes, the door slid open again, but this time it was Josh from Jericho who greeted him. Similarly to Simon, the deviant was cold towards him, simply muttering a “Follow me,” and heading into the house, with Connor obeying the instruction. The android turned his head from left to right as he entered the mansion, his eyes scanning everything he saw, taking in information.

 

“You said that you can save Markus and North, right?” Josh spoke up, stopping in his tracks before the doorway to the living room. He turned around to face Connor, a spark in his eyes that the android couldn’t put a name to. “I still don’t know if I can trust you yet. Simon definitely doesn’t. But if there’s a way,” his voice cracked a bit, his previously fierce look turning to a desperate emotion, “please save my friends!” His voice desperate, Josh bowed his head in a sense of shame and despair, his hands curled into tight fists in sheer frustration. Connor’s L.E.D turned to a blinking yellow as he responded, his wrist lighting up with a bright blue screen.

 

‘You don’t need to ask me; I was already planning on rescuing the two. I must repent for the horrible things I’ve done. I’m sorry for the trouble.’ Josh’s hopeful eyes scanned the message and he tilted his head back up, a soft smile on his face as he spoke a soft “Thank you” before wiping his eyes and continuing to lead Connor to Carl.

 

Entering the living room, Connor’s eyes scanned a mile a minute; the room was so grandiose that it took him rather longer than usual to pick up all the information that seeped from the decorations and miniscule details. Lastly, his gaze settled on the shape of an old man in a wheelchair, his back turned to Connor, his eyes focused outside and ignoring the world as if he didn’t hear the android enter.

 

Nearing Carl, he prepared some sort of audial queue to alert the man of his presence, but as they were a small distance apart, the man turned in the wheelchair to face him. “You must be Connor,” he spoke up, his voice raspy, “I’ve heard a lot about you from the others, though of course they weren’t exactly nice things.” There was a certain hint to the man’s tone that Connor couldn’t efficiently describe; it was as if the man was tired of the world, or perhaps he already knew everything there was to know and decided to spend the last few years of his life in a sense of sarcasm and care for his android's friends. Nodding, Connor flicked his wrist up to reply. ‘And you’re Carl Manfred, previous owner of Markus. I have a few questions to ask, if that’s alright with you.’

 

“Well, I’ve got nothing better to do,” He spoke up, adjusting himself in the wheelchair, “plus, I’d answer any question if it meant Markus was brought back.” He said with a slightly somber tone, staring intently at the android across from him before motioning to an empty chair in front of himself. “Please, have a seat. It’d kill me to have to do this whole interview with you standing up.”

 

Connor nodded and sat down, mentally taking note of the fact that Carl was very kind towards androids, plus he sheltered deviants - though possibly he only did because they were Markus’ friends. The android lifted his wrist up so that his hand was facing upwards for easier communication, projecting a simple preparation, ‘I’m going to start so that I know how much you’re aware of.’ Upon seeing that Carl had read it, he cleared the screen and entered the question. ‘I’ve been informed that you’re friends with Elijah Kamski. What has he told you about Markus during and after the revolution?’

 

Carl’s eyes scanned the message, then he leaned back, thinking for a second before speaking. “Nothing other than what he’s told the press and what’s been released on the news. I’m as clueless as the rest of Detroit,” the man admitted, sounding lost and tired; the android continued to take notes mentally, his L.E.D blinking each time he added something new to his research. He quickly moved on to the next question, being as time efficient as possible, a habit of his since his deviancy.

 

Before he could type up a response, Carl spoke up again; “Though I do remember him saying something once. I think it was, ‘Lost and found is located on the -46th floor, in case you ever lose your coat.’” The deviant quickly noted the phrase without leaving out a single word, making sure to mark the saying as ‘important’. He quickly stood from his seat, though made sure to be careful to not knock anything over, especially since everything in that mansion probably cost more than he could hack out of an ATM.

 

‘Thank you for your time, Mr. Manfred. I’ll put the information you’ve given me to good use.’ The android bowed politely before starting to leave, but was stopped by a weak arm grabbing his wrist. He turned to face Carl, who was stopping him at the moment, a soft confused expression on his face to invite the man to speak his concerns.

 

“You’re shaking. Is your system too cold?” Connor paused, not having noticed that his body was set at a slight tremble. The indicative light splayed on the side of the deviant's head was painted a vibrant red before it flicked back to a careful yellow. ‘I assure you my systems are alright. The trembling may be caused by some internal fatigue, but I promise that I’m not in any trouble.’ Carl relented his grip at the message and nodded, bidding the android farewell as he quickly left the living room, focused on his new mission.

 

Before he could escape, Connor was stopped yet again by the familiar face that had previously met him at the entrance. Simon didn’t let go of the cold demeanor, obviously still cautious around the former deviant hunter, who tilted his head to indicate confusion.

 

“So, what’s your plan? I can tell you’ve thought this through. I’ve had my fair share of devious RK models.” The scarred android paused at what his processors registered as a joke, though it just confused him, as he thought that Simon hated everything about the RK800. Pushing the joking matter aside, he quickly typed up a response, lifting a trembling wrist up to show the message.

 

‘I’m sor̷̻͝r̴̮̐y, but I can’t tel̶l̸ ̵y̴o̸u wha̵̗͝t̶̖̂ ̸̻̀I̸̺͆ ̵̥̿p̴̙̄l̸̙̈́ả̷͇ǹ̴͚ ̷̦͝ơ̸ͅn doin̵g̸.̸ ̴I̵ ̴c̵a̴n̵’̵t̵ ̶h̴a̸ve any int̵̢̎e̷͈̋͜r̸̮̂̍ḟ̶͎̋e̷̮̻̐r̶̡̚e̷͓̱͊n̴̬͆c̸̭͝ḙ̷̩̔s, and I don’̸̘̿ṯ̶̂ ̷͕̐n̴̩͘ĕ̸̞e̶̮͘d̸̿͜ ̸̲̋ạ̶͆n̴̞͊y help. You’ll know if I’ve succe̴̯͍͈̾͗e̷̪̗̽͜d̵̬̂̓ë̶͚̪̱́͘͝d̵̢̯̀ or not in ̶̡̯̻̬͓̖͓̊͒̅̅͘t̶͓͎̀̋̈́̎̉̿̃̚h̴̺̘̩̔̃͜e̶̥͓̼͍̦̣̤̔̽̿̀̕͝ ̷̡̛͚̝͇̻̝̪͆̐̌͛͘̕̕ǹ̴̗͎͌͐ext 48 hours.’ The text displayed was glitchy and erratic, the screen itself glowing a harsh red, some of it even disabling for a second at times. He quickly forced his systems to override the malfunction, ignoring the concerned look on Simon’s face, who began to spoke up.

 

“Are you oka-” Connor quickly pushed past the PL600 and out the door, refusing to answer the question. He felt a shiver creep through his artificial body, everything cold , white flecks appearing in his vision in split frames despite the lack of clouds that could openly snow at the moment. Ignoring the errors, the android continued to head back to the bus stop, his arms wrapped around his defensive frame in an attempt to shield himself from the cold that wrapped itself around the defenseless deviant. After all, he hated the cold, which continuously returned to slap him in the face, time after time again.

 

But he was so close . He had everything he needed and all the information he could ever dream of. There was only one thing left to do:

 

Fulfill the mission; he had to do it soon, before he could be stopped.

 

Chapter Text

[ ?oV????r ?8, A? 12:?6:?? ]

 

“Sir? Please wake up.”

 

Connor opened his eyes, waking from a stasis mode that he didn’t know he even entered. He squinted through the warnings, remembering that he was on the bus, a young lady shaking him awake. He took in the girl’s features; brown hair tied into two long ponytails, bangs parted to the sides, and freckles littering her skin, along with two dark brown, tired, yet concerned eyes. Scanning her face, Connor achieved her name despite it taking longer than usual due to his damaged systems: ‘Stephanie MacDonnell’.

 

“Er, this is the last stop. I’m sorry, you have to get off now.” She spoke up, a sad look on her face. He simply nodded and stood up, stumbling a bit but holding himself upright by catching himself against the back of one of the seats after the lady reached out to help him. “Are you okay?” Connor wasn’t used to his kind being treated with kindness, then he remembered that he was disguised as a human, and that this woman probably wouldn’t be as nice if she knew he was an android. He nodded again, forcing himself to utter a “yeah” that sounded at least partially human-like. The deviant forced himself to regain his composure and exit the bus, the cold wind slapping him without remorse as soon as he exited the warmth of the vehicle; his pupils expanded to adjust to the darkness of the night.

 

“Wait, um,” Connor turned back to face the woman standing on the second step of the bus stairs, who was trying to gain his attention, noticing how she twirled her hair; a nervous tic, perhaps? When she noticed that he was looking at her, she spoke up again, “I think your eyes are really pretty. Heterochromia, right? Those colors match well,” She managed to say without stumbling on the words, a small smile on her face. The broken android wished he could say something, but his vocal processors failed to support his wishes, so he simply put on a smile and patted her shoulder - although it didn’t really portray any gratitude, it was the best he could think of without being too awkward or overly close, although hoped he succeeded upon seeing a soft pink dust Stephanie’s cheeks.

 

The android turned away, wrapping his arms around himself to hide from the cold, pulling his beanie down a bit to be precautionary. He took in his surroundings, starting to pull up a map of his area before his systems denied the request, errors and warnings popping up in his vision; he stumbled and leaned against a pole, a panic settling in from how weak he was at the moment. He had to act soon or else it would be too late.

 

But first, his friends.

 

Connor wouldn’t be able to bring himself to go on his potentially dangerous mission without visiting his friends one last time, especially if he did end up d-

 

He was mentally cut off by a voice dragging him out of his thoughts, the gruff, old voice interrupting him before he came to face his fate: “Connor, s’at you?” to which he turned and faced Lieutenant Anderson, Sumo (on a leash) in tow. The android smiled at his former partner, giving a small wave rather than posting a message; he knew that the screen would glitch out some way or the other, which would only raise concerns, although he was just prolonging the inevitable. “What’re you doing out here?” Hank asked the shivering android, the latter of the two hesitating before pulling his sleeve up to answer.

 

‘Jus̵̗̹͔̥͇̽t̶̖̠͗̊̏ ̸̛̤̤̭̥̔̂̕͘̕g̶̤͖̦oing hom̷̭̜̔ę̴̆.̷̱̲̏’ Connor cringed at the message, the text being glitchy and the screen flickering every second or so. The Lieutenant, of course, picked up on the error, his brows furrowing together in concern, or maybe confusion. The deviant switched the message off, moving his wrist away so it was unable to see, only causing Hank to worry more.

 

“Somethin’ wrong, Connor? You’re shaking, and that screen shit was acting up an’ stuff. Don’t lie to me.” The Lieutenant interrogated the android who turned a guilty gaze to the side, simply shaking his head, though it was clearly a lie.

 

“Hm… you’re sure that there’s nothing wrong at all? ” He spoke up, emphasizing the last part of the sentence to sound more intimidating, to at least try to get the android to speak up. But it wouldn’t be that easy; Connor simply shook his head and lifted his wrist up, concentrating to keep his message clear and with no mistakes. ‘I assure you that nothing is wrong, Lieutenant. How about me and you go for some drinks?’

 

“Androids can drink, and booze at that?” Hank inquired, raising an eyebrow in questioning, though added on something quickly afterwards. “And just call me Hank.”

 

‘Of course, Hank. Androids wer̷̡̆e̷̞̽ made to simulate human abilities as closely as possible. We are able to consume beverages, along with alcohol. It won’t do my systems any damage as long as it is consumed moderately.’ He replied in-depth to make sure the Lieutenant understood completely, the screen flickering a few times before it settled.

 

“Shit, if you say so… I gotta drop off Sumo at the house before we head over to the bar, an’ my house isn’t far from here. You wanna stay here or come with?” Hank asked, Sumo sitting at his feet and panting a slight bit.

 

Connor simply shook his head, answering quickly. ‘It’s alright, I’ll wait here since it won’t take too long. I’m programmed to be able to endure extreme weather conditions for a while, so there’s no need to worry about the cold.’ He replied confidently, a small smile placed on the android’s face, although his flickering yellow L.E.D hidden under his beanie proving his outer appearance to be a facade.

 

“A’ight, I’ll be back in uh… probably 15 to 20 minutes. If you get too cold, feel free to just head to the bar ‘fore me.”

 

‘Of course, Hank. Don’t worry about me.’ Connor responded, keeping his screen stable for the time being. Hank nodded and set off towards the direction of his house, the android watching him leave before turning to just stare at the empty street. He allowed his arms to wrap around himself, the cold finally settling in and bothering the deviant to his core. He slowly moved his freezing limbs through the snow, then sat on the curb, his whole body trembling in an attempt to warm himself up. He wrapped his coat around himself as much as he could, hugging his legs to his chest, trying to preserve the warmth as he waited for Hank.



Connor followed after Hank into the bar, the heat rushing past the two as the door to the room was opened; the android felt his whole body unstiffen at the warmth, a small smile placed on his face as he finally relaxed, the L.E.D under his beanie blinking a soft blue. Lieutenant Anderson sat at a bar stool, with the deviant quickly falling suit after and sitting next to the man, his eyes flickering around the room and observing everything that stuck out somewhat, although it was hard when the errors and warnings got in the way.

 

Snapping back to reality from his observations, Connor watched as Hank ordered and passed the android a drink. “Here. I got you one of the lighter options, since ‘s your first drink.” A light smile lit the deviant’s face as he accepted the drink, and began to thank the Lieutenant with his wrist screen, before realizing that he was in public. He thought for a bit before noticing a notepad and pen laying on the bar table, quickly taking both objects in his hands and writing a quick, yet perfect ‘Thank you, Hank.’, then downing the drink in one go without a second of hesitation. He flinched a bit at the odd sensation of drinking something that wasn’t a thirium pack, but got used to it after the third shot. Each time he downed a glass, the same chemical components of the drink popped into his vision, bothering the android to some degree and only being reminded of his origins. Hank simply watched, sipping on his own drink, as Connor continued to down the alcohol, before he finally stopped the android before he was able to order a seventh.

 

“Alright, alright, that’s enough. I dunno if you have some higher tolerance or if you’d even get some sort of hangover, but I’m not gonna let you drink yourself into a pit, y’hear me?” Connor looked at the Lieutenant, his brows furrowing, before scribbling something on the notepad, ‘DoesN’t mean much coMing from yOu’ although the letters switched between capitalized and lowercase, the sentence slowly slanting downward as it continued, and the handwriting somewhat messy, a sign of the android’s clearly intoxicated state. The deviant slumped over on the tabletop, scribbling a few random letters and shapes on the notepad in no specific order, although sometimes the figures overlapped and swerved. Hank grumbled and rubbed the back of his neck, observing the signs that Connor showed of what the Lieutenant called ‘an average Monday night’, which was code for ‘drinking to forget’. Impulsive decisions, check. Overdoing himself, check. Lashing out, check. Insensitivity? Double check, he mentally remarked, remembering the sassiness the drunken deviant had displayed before. Avoiding eye contact - Hank tried to get the android’s attention, to no avail - check.

 

“Ya never told me you could get drunk…” Hank mumbled, patting Connor’s back as he did, continuing to talk, although he wasn’t sure if the android could even hear him, “So, what’s up? Anything you wanna talk about?”, to which Hank heard no response. He let out a sigh and continued drinking, since he was still on his first glass. After a few minutes, however, a soft sniffle was heard from the android who was still resting himself on the tabletop; the Lieutenant turned his attention to Connor quickly, seeing something wet escaping the deviant’s eyes: tears. He didn’t say anything at first, too dumbstruck, before finally speaking up, “Uh, shit kid, you alright?” and rubbing his back in a consoling manner.

 

Connor pushed the notepad towards the Lieutenant, who noticed that there was already something written on the paper, determining that the android debated telling him this or not. He quickly read the short sentences, feeling his blood run cold.

 

‘I think I’m going to die soon. I’m scared.’

 

“You’re not gonna die soon, it’s just the booze talking.” or at least Hank hoped. He got to his feet, leaving the bill and a tip at the counter, before helping Connor to his feet, along with ripping the sheet that Connor used off of the notepad, and urged him to get going, “C’mon, kid, let’s get home.” to which the android simply nodded and tried to walk on his own, stumbling a bit as he staggered out the door with Hank following close behind. The Lieutenant helped Connor into the passenger seat of the car, closing the door behind him, then sat in the driver’s seat, blasting the heat for the shivering android and hurrying to get home so the RK800 could finally rest the alcohol off.

 

The car pulled up in Hank’s driveway and he got out quickly, heading over to the other side of the vehicle to help Connor out of the car and into the house. The android stumbled a bit, tears still streaming out of his eyes with no end in sight, although he was slowly starting to lose consciousness, the warnings in his vision starting to multiply as the alcohol took full effect. The Lieutenant set Connor down right away, just as the deviant collapsed, thankfully onto the couch, immediately going into stasis mode, the beanie slipping off his head to show a blinking red L.E.D.

 

Hank sighed and headed into another room for a moment before returning with several blankets, covering the shivering android with them, having noticed how easily he seemed to get affected by the cold. The Lieutenant got a beer from the fridge then sat on the floor next to the resting Connor, flipping the TV on at a quiet volume to not disturb the sleeping android next to him.

 

The tears finally stopped flowing out of the deviant’s eyes, after which Hank ran a hand through Connor’s hair comfortingly, hoping that he would sleep peacefully. In the back of his mind, however, that phrase kept repeating itself, a pit of worry settling in his stomach as he remembered the slanted, imperfect words, ‘I think I’m going to die soon.’

 

Hank could only hope that Connor was wrong for once.

Chapter Text

[ NOVEMBER 19, AM 7:56:02 ]

 

“Y’sure it’s okay for you to leave already, Connor? I mean, you could barely walk straight earlier.” Hank questioned, the two standing at the doorway of the Lieutenant’s house, Connor about to leave after having spent the day there to heal.

 

‘Of course, Hank. The alcohol left my system through my tears and staying in stasis mode overnight helped my systems recalibrate.’ The android responded, wrapping a coat that the Lieutenant gifted him around his thin frame. Hank begrudgingly let out a sigh, not willing to put up with the android’s stubbornness at 8 in the morning.

 

“Fine, if you say so.” The man spoke up, before adding on in a hushed tone, “and, uh, that shit about dying soon had better have just been the alcohol talking and not some weird android premonition shit.”

 

‘Of course, Lieutenant. I would never lie to you.’

 

“Alright…”

 

And that was the last that Connor heard from the Lieutenant before he left for the bus stop.

 


 

 

Connor awkwardly nudged open the gate to the abandoned house and let himself in. Before he could place his items down, he was nearly tackled to the ground; his L.E.D flickered red in alarm before realizing the gesture was simply a hug from who he realized to be his friend, Ralph.

 

“Connor is back! Ralph was worried because Connor was gone for two days! ” The deviant cried out, squeezing his arms tightly around his friend before releasing the tight hug in confusion. Ralph’s eyes shifted to what Connor was holding in his arms. “Are those… succulents?”

 

Connor shifted the two plants and water jug in his arms and set them on the ground with a small nod before typing a response. ‘Correct. I wanted to give you a present - or rather, an apology for my absence. I’ve heard that many deviants continue their designated profession after deviating, and since you were a gardener, I decided to test it.’ Was his logical response, although the true reason was that it was simply a gift.

 

Ralph’s face lit up with a smile as he admired the plants from afar. “Yes, Ralph does like gardening… he always did, even though he is a deviant.” He knelt down next to the plants and examined them both, before picking up and moving the succulents into the sunlight, leaving the water jug in the corner of the room. “Can Ralph name them?” He asked, turning to Connor, who gave a gentle nod.

 

Ralph turned back to the plants and thought of appropriate names, taking a few minutes to do so. He seemingly decided on names, as he turned back to the android who had been patiently waiting. “Ralph has decided to name them Connor and Markus.”

 

Connor’s L.E.D blinked to yellow for a second before settling on blue. ‘I understand why you would name one after Markus, but why me?’

 

“Because Connor is Ralph’s friend, why else?” Ralph answered honestly, a wide smile on his face, which Connor hesitantly returned with a slight grin.

 

‘I… guess that makes sense. Thank you, Ralph. We are friends, after all, and it was a mistake on my part to think twice about that. I’m sorry for that and for leaving often. There have been matters that required my attention, so I had to leave for a bit. I hope you understand, but I’ll have to be leaving again tonight.’

 

“Ralph thinks it’s okay, as long as Connor comes back safe…” The deviant responded with a concerned tone, his L.E.D flickering yellow for a few seconds.

 

Connor let a smile form on his face and typed out a message, ‘Also, I need to go get something for my mission tonight.’ He paused before opening his mouth and speaking the next line, his voice somewhat staticky, “and I was wondering if you wanted to come with.”

 

Ralph gasped in surprise, quickly speaking up, “Connor shouldn’t speak, it could be harmful to him. Ralph would like to go along, though.”

 

Connor sighed, switching back to his screen. ‘I need to start talking more, since my screen can’t be used in public. Plus, the biocomponent has been slowly healing, though not too much. It should be okay for me to speak now in minimal intervals without harm.’ Ralph processed the information, before giving in with a nod and a frown. ‘Thank you. So, where we’re going is just the old abandoned house that we stayed in. I left something there that I need to get. Taking a bus would be too risky in case we’re spotted by a human, so I’ll get a taxi.’ Connor explained as they stepped outside, putting his beanie on while Ralph flipped his hood up and nodded to his message.

 

Connor mentally ordered a self-driving taxi to their location as he pushed the gate open, Ralph following close behind. They walked to the corner of the street away from the house to avoid drawing attention to themselves, the taxi pulling up as they neared the crosswalk. Entering the car quickly as to not be noticed by any passerbys, Connor entered the location into the car’s GPS and sat next to Ralph as they waited to arrive at their destination.

 




“Wait here.” Connor mumbled to Ralph as the taxi pulled to a stop and climbed out of the car, fixing his beanie. He quickly located the spot where the fence was cut and climbed under, trying to avoid attention from anyone nearby, although anyone in the right mind obviously avoided the unsettling abandoned house.

 

Connor’s eyes quickly adjusted to the dim lighting as he entered, scanning for what he was looking for. He quickly spotted the smeared blue blood (although a human obviously wouldn’t) and made his way over to the body - RK900’s body. Carefully, he poked the unmoving corpse with his foot, and upon seeing no reaction, relaxed. He reached down and slowly removed the overcoat from the android’s body, taking the article of clothing and folding it neatly into his arms.

 

It was his key to success, after all.

 

Upon closer inspection, Connor noticed that the RK900 had supposedly not died upon being shot and lasted a few seconds - or minutes - afterwards, as concluded by the perfectly written cryptic message next to the android’s hand, the ‘ink’ being RK900’s own blue blood:

 

‘YOU CAN’T RUN FOREVER, RK800.’

 

In a state of mild panic, Connor quickly fled the house and made his way back into the taxi next to Ralph, who seemed to notice what he was holding but didn’t say anything about it. He set the coat on the seat next to himself and turned his screen to Ralph, ‘Is there anywhere that you’d like to go now?’

 

“There’s somewhere that Ralph has in mind…” Ralph responded nervously and simply dialed an address into the GPS, leaving Connor to wonder where they were going.

 

After about 10 minutes, the taxi slowed to a stop and Connor looked out the window. It seemed like they were in an average neighborhood, with some apartment complexes, a park, and store chains. Neither android said anything as Connor followed Ralph out of the car, staying close behind as they headed to the park.

 

They still didn’t share any words even after they had already made their way across half of the park, Connor watching Ralph’s eyes scan the botanics. Finally, Ralph spoke up, his voice hushed, “This is where Ralph was stationed. Before they came.”

 

Connor’s L.E.D spun yellow under his beanie as he inquired further, “Who are ‘they’?” His voice was still slightly mechanical, but it wasn’t too noticeable.

 

Humans . Nasty ones. They- they took Ralph and tortured him for their amusement . That’s how he got his scars,” Ralph paused before continuing, “but even though Ralph has bad memories here, he still likes the garden.” He finished with a soft smile as his eyes continued to trace a pastel colored bed of flowers.

 

Connor added the information to a memory file labeled ‘important’ before he placed a consoling hand on Ralph’s shoulder. “I’m sorry that happened to you. They can’t hurt you any more.”

 

Ralph gave a small nod and they both stayed silent, Connor letting his friend enjoy the moment and Ralph admiring the scenery. But Connor eventually had to ask the question that was burning his processors.

 

“Ralph,” Connor spoke to get Ralph’s attention before continuing “what would you do if I disappeared?” He asked with a calm tone to his voice, silence being struck between them as Ralph blanked on a response. Connor noticed a soft, flickering red hue radiating off of the android’s temple.

 

“Ralph- Ralph wouldn’t know what to do,” He started with a troubled voice, which dropped to a whisper. “I would be alone again.” Ralph mumbled in fear, his voice shaking, even going as far to drop speaking in the third-person, but picked it up again soon after, “Ralph has only known Connor for a week, but he feels that they’re best friends, and shouldn’t be apart… he hopes that Connor feels the same way.”

 

Connor smiled slightly. “Of course I do, Ralph. It was only a hypothetical question.” To which Ralph nodded and hugged Connor tightly, the latter returning the gesture with his arms finding themselves wrapped around Ralph’s torso. Maybe having a friend wasn’t so bad after all.

 

“How about we go home now, Ralph?”

 

“Okay. Ralph knows that Connor has to leave tonight so he’ll help Connor get ready!”





“Thank you.”