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One day, Dorian expected to be deactivated again.

After all, he was already considered obsolete by the justice system. No result produced by his internal CSI-lab were considered admissible in the court of law, at least, not anymore. Dorian had gone from being considered the cutting edge of law enforcement technology to obsolete in four short years. Where would he be in another four? In ten? He was built with technology that was already racing forward and leaving him to fall behind. The MX-43s were proof of that. Yet even the MX-43s weren't guaranteed to be in use for more than a handful of years at least.

Dorian has a limited lifespan to be a police officer, only a short window of time to do what he was made to do. What he wants to do.

It was only because of John that Dorian was allowed to be awake, let alone anywhere near a crime scene. If John had proved to be even a bit amiable to working with an MX then Dorian would currently be working for NASA. Away from people, away from all connections and everything which made him feel alive.

Yet he wasn't alive and that was the crux of the matter, because no matter how 'alive' he felt, or considered himself to be, ultimately he was property. He was DRN 0167 and owned by the police department. He was an android and he had no legal rights. It meant that as soon as the police department decided he wasn't worth keeping around then he would be gone. And even he couldn't get a say as to where he'd end up (NASA may not even want him by that point).

The average police car was replaced every 100,000 miles. That translated into about 3 to 4 years of active use (the average was 3.428 years but the actual time varied by city, state and departmental policy). The police replaced their hardware more regularly than civilians. Over the few months since he had been reactivated, Dorian had seen that some MX-43s be replaced, due to extensive damage or worn hardware parts that were too costly to fix (at times it was more cost efficient to get an entirely new android than to fix an old one). Dorian had never seen a unit numbered lower than 100 in the charging stations. There were no first generation MX-43s. Not anymore.

Even with Rudy Lom taking care of his upkeep, at some point there weren't going to be any replacement parts available for him. DRNs were no longer manufactured and while there was some overlap between an MX-43 and a DRN, some of the chips, hardware and software were no longer supported by the technology industry.

Dorian existed day to day knowing that it would only take one bureaucrat or one accountant to run a cost/benefit analysis on the expense of him continuing to function for the decision to come down to pull him from active service.

Or if John died.

Or if John decided that he didn't want Dorian as his partner anymore. Or that he no longer wanted to be a cop, choosing instead to retire on medical benefits like John could have chosen when he'd first woken up from his coma. And because Dorian lived in a society were being human was what mattered and the fact that he thought, felt and came to decisions of his own free will wasn't taken into account, one day he would end up abandoned by his creators.

“Dorian, come on!”

“Yes, John,” Dorian said, blinking twice as he shifted his processors to pay closer attention to his partner who was already turning away.

“Noodles wait for no man,” John said cheerfully.

“Especially when you don't eat,” Dorian said, dryly.

John flashed him a smirk over his shoulder before continuing on. Dorian followed and closed the file on his thoughts about the future. He would have plenty of time to think about it later when he was recharging.

End