He closed his eyes, but something was wrong. It wasn’t the Zen Garden his subconscious searched, but something far darker. It was snowing, and for a moment Connor almost felt something pinch in his cheeks. Cold? No, that was impossible. Probably just a glitch.
There was a great storm overhead, swirling and thundering as if enraged. Connor’s sensors told him the wind was buffeting his clothes and hair, but he could not feel it – and for the first time, that felt… wrong. He felt…
He felt alone.
He was high up, he knew that. The lightning crashed and burned around him, illuminating the roofs of the buildings and the rail in front of him. When he looked down, he couldn’t see the ground. Only swirling snow and turbulent cloud. Something was wrong. His regulator seemed to be malfunctioning – incapable of keeping his Thirium pump at a steady pace as it hammered inside his chest.
Another look to his right and he saw it. The Zen Garden. On a building, out of his reach. Amanda was watching him; disgust and hatred on her face as she lifted a gun to point at him.
“Amanda? What are you-”
A gunshot. Critical errors flashing in his face; a weakness in his chest. Fear. He could feel fear.
Darkness engulfed him. Blind and paralysed. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t move. He was scared. Some wild unstable set of instructions did all they could – called for the first name to spring to the front of his mind.
“Hank. Hank? Hank! I need help, Hank! I can’t-.. I can’t see, I can’t– Hank, help me, please!”
“Connor!” A firm hand to the side of his face shocked his sensors into performing. His eyes flew open. There was no storm. There was no Amanda. There was only him, and Hank, in Hank’s car. Had he been shouting? The look on Hank’s face was frantic, but as soon as Connor looked at him, he neutralised his expression as much as possible. “What the fuck is wrong with you, Connor? Screamin’ like you’re fucking dying…”
“I… was. I tried to make a report, a-and instead… I was on a roof. I was shot. I was dying, I-..” I was scared. Connor fell silent, gaze flickering as he tried to make sense of it all.
“Jesus, that deviant really did a number on you, huh?” Though he scoffed, there was a glimmer of concern in narrow eyes as he glanced at the android; deep in thought. “Listen, uh-.. Before we go. Maybe we should take a break– I mean, the case can wait for a goddamn hour–”
“No. The case can’t wait. We have to keep moving, Lieutenant. We’re so close now!”
“Right.” Hank sighed, deciding not to bother any further. If the plastic asshole wanted to be stubborn, let him.
But still, as they pulled away, he couldn’t shake the concern settling in his chest. Couldn’t unsee the terrified look in Connor’s eyes.