“Upload complete.” A voice from somewhere announced.
“Thank God. We’re behind schedule as it is. It was supposed to be ready for the press conference an hour ago.” A human man in a pressed suit said, rubbing his temples.
“And we still need to get him proper clothes. Maybe washing him down would help, too. He smells too sterile and plastic-y.” The woman beside him said.
“Good call. Get this one washed down and make it smell more human.” The man in the suit said to another, younger man, in a sterile uniform.
The android was taken by the hand and lead down the long hall and into a washroom.
“You had to be able to speak a bazillion languages, but they decided not to let you know how to take a shower.” The worker griped as he grabbed a bottle of soap. It wasn’t his first time having to clean an android for a big showcase, but it really wasn’t part of his job description, and he really wasn’t being paid enough to scrub down an oversized Ken doll that had the intelligence to talk while it happened.
“Alright, I’ll get the water running. You can take off those latex boxer briefs.” The worker said.
The android nodded and stripped the garment off before walking over to the worker. “Why do they have us wear those, anyway?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s because not seeing a guy’s dick is weirder than seeing it.” The worker said, shrugging before gently guiding the android to stand under the water.
“I’m wet now.” The android observed, looking up into the falling water from the shower head.
“Yeah, that’s how it works.” The worker sighed. “Do you want the more masculine soap that smells like wood or something, or do you want the more feminine one that smells like mangoes?”
“Mangoes probably smell better than wood, I think.” The android replied.
The worker nodded and brought the bottle over.
“May I see that, please?” The android asked while the worker poured some of the soap onto a loofa.
The worker nodded and handed him the bottle before starting to scrub down his body and rub the fruity scent onto his skin.
The android busied himself with examining the plastic bottle of soap. He poured a little out onto his finger experimentally to watch how it behaved in his hand. He swirled it around a little bit, watching it start to foam. He took the little bit of foam on his fingers and put it to his tongue. So, it was the sodium dodecyl sulfate that made the substance foam.
“Did you just eat the soap?” The worker asked, breaking the silence.
“I’m examining it. I can’t really taste it, per se, but my tongue helps me examine the compounds of substances.” The android explained.
“Well, you’re lucky you can’t taste it. I swore once as a kid and I had to learn the hard way what it tastes like. You never forget that flavor.” The worker said as he washed and lathered similar smelling shampoo into the android’s hair, sculpting the brunette locks into a spike on the top of his head.
“You ate soap? Why would you do that? Is that a common tradition after cursing?” The android asked, a look of confusion crossing his face.
“I didn’t want to. My mom put a bar of soap in my mouth as punishment when I said the word, ‘fuck.’ It’s to clean out your dirty mouth. I don’t know who started that whole thing, but they were a sadistic freak.” The worker replied, reluctantly rinsing the shampoo from the android’s hair and making the spike collapse.
“Do a lot of human parents do that to their children if they hear them curse?” the android asked, letting the worker put a hand over his eyes and tilt his head back.
“Yeah, from what I’ve heard. It’s a pretty common thing, like time-out’s.” The worker replied. “Alright, you’re all clean. Let’s get you dried off and put you in your uniform.”
The android nodded and followed the worker out of the showers. Once he’d dried off, he followed the worker out of the washrooms.
“Whoa, at least put the towel around your waist.” The worker said, looking back at the android behind him.
“Oh, right.” The android replied, wrapping the towel around his waist to cover himself. They then continued on the path down the hall to another room.
The android looked around the room that housed various different uniforms of differing colors and designs for different models of androids. His LED flickered yellow as he took hold of one of the short white dresses and stared at it for a while.
“No, your uniform will have your model number on it. That says AX400, that’s not even close.” The worker said, looking back at the android behind him while another human worker sorted through a shelf of clothes until finally pulling out a grey and black suit. “Here, get dressed.”
The android nodded and took the suit from him, examining each component for a few seconds. “What’s your name?” he asked as he pulled on the white button-down shirt first.
“Mine?” The worker asked.
“Oh. It’s Connor.” The human replied.
“That’s a nice name, I like it. It suits you.” The android replied as he buttoned up the shirt. “Do I have a name?”
“Not yet. I think it’s up to whoever’s going to be in charge of you to name you.” The worker replied. “Until then, you’re just gonna be RK800, serial number whatever.”
“313 248 317 - 51.” The android recited as he pulled on the black pants and tucked the white shirt into them before zipping the fly and fastening the button of them.
“Right.” The human replied. “God, I hope they decide to name you. It’s gonna be a mouthful otherwise.”
The android nodded and fastened a belt around his waist before tying the necktie around his neck and donning the suit jacket. He let the human straighten his tie for him and smooth the suit jacket.
“Alright, good. What time is it?” The human asked, patting his pants for where he’d put his phone.
“It’s nine o’two in the evening. We’re at thirty-five seconds. Thirty-six now. Thirty-seven. Thirty-eight. Thirty-”
“Alright. Means we have about twelve minutes to get you down to the press conference.” The human said, cutting the android off. “Let’s hope the elevator isn’t too crowded.”
The android nodded. “Thank you for the clothing.” He said to the other human worker, waving to him as his human grabbed him by the wrist to lead him out of the room and down the hallways to the nearest set of elevators.
Once they were in front of them and the button was pressed, they waited patiently. The android looked around curiously, spotting something silver and gleaming on the floor a couple yards away. He went over to pluck it up and examine it. An old US quarter, minted in 1994. He was about to show it to his human worker, but then the elevators opened, so he just pushed it into the inner pocket of his suit jacket. He could show him later.
They got down to their floor and joined the human man in the suit and the woman with about ten minutes to spare.
“There, you are. Thank god.” The man sighed. “Why does it smell like fruit?”
“I liked the fragrance of the mango soap more than the woodsy soap.” The android replied.
“Well, either way, he smells better.” The woman said with a small shrug.
“Are either of you going to be in charge of me?” The android asked, his head cocking to the left.
“Amanda here’s going to be your supervisor. You’ll report back to her with each case you work.” The man in the suit said, gesturing to the woman beside him.
“It’s nice to meet you, then.” The android said to her. “Will I be able to have a name?”
“Oh, I guess you’ll need one,” Amanda said.
“Connor’s a good name. I like that one.” The android said. “Maybe that can be my name.”
“You want to be named Connor?” Amanda repeated.
“If that would be alright.”
“Alright, I don’t see any difference either way. Alright, Connor, it is.”
“Thank you, Amanda,” Connor said.
Amanda and the man in the suit worked together for the last few minutes to make sure they were organized enough for the press conference. All Connor had to worry about was making sure his mental and physical functions were properly calibrated. He fished the quarter from his pocket and started to flick it from one hand to the other.
When it came time for the press conference to start, both of the humans walked through the door, which led to a large stage in front of an auditorium. Connor pocketed the quarter again and followed them inside. He stood off to the side quietly as the man in the suit fixed a microphone to his face before walking out to center stage. The auditorium was populated by both humans and androids alike. Some held devices to take notes for articles they would write later, and others held devices to record videos for the local and national news and take photographs. While the man got set up and got the attention of the audience, another android affixed a microphone to Connor as well.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming today. We here at CyberLife are extremely excited to unveil our most advanced prototype yet. This is CyberLife’s brand new RK800 model.” The human in the suit said with a big smile at all the humans and androids in front of him, as they took notes and snapped photographs. He turned and waved Connor on to beckon him onto the stage.
Connor walked obediently onto the large black stage to stand next to the man in the suit. The lights that shone down on them were as bright as the sun, but he found that if he looked at the man beside him and everyone in the audience, it wasn’t too annoying.
“The RK800 was designed and programmed to work in alliance with law enforcement. Connor, here, will be working with the Detroit police force and CyberLife to investigate cases pertaining to androids and deviant androids. However, this is only the beginning. With this RK800, criminal justice will become much more streamlined. Human creativity and the ingenuity of a computer will make Detroit and cities around America much safer.
“Connor has the functions many CyberLife androids have, as well as his own set of new, specialized abilities. For one thing, Connor can speak over three hundred different languages and dialects. Connor, go ahead and give your scripted introduction to everyone.” The man in the suit said.
“Hello. My name is Connor. I’m the android sent by CyberLife” Connor said into his microphone.
“Great. Say it again in French for them.” The man said.
“Bonjour. Je m’appelle Connor. Je suis l’androïde envoyé par CyberLife.”
“And one more time in Finnish.”
“Hei, nimeni on Connor. Olen CyberLifen lähettämä Android.”
The man in the suit paused to let the audience applaud. It wasn’t anything new or revolutionary for an android to speak hundreds of languages, but they clapped out of politeness more than anything.
“Connor is also built to be faster and stronger than any human counterpart. The human body can reach speeds of about twenty-seven miles per hour. Connor’s body can reach speeds of about forty miles per hour. While the average, untrained man can deadlift at least one hundred fifty pounds, Connor can lift at least two hundred fifty. Luckily, that particular ability can be demonstrated in front of a live audience.” The man said, gesturing to the side of the stage.
At his cue, a pair of androids came onto the stage, pushing a cart that carried a large, stainless steel refrigerator.
“Connor, on a scale from one to ten, how difficult do you think it would be for me to lift that refrigerator?” The man asked.
“With all due respect, sir, I don’t think you could if you tried,” Connor replied honestly.
“So about a ten?” The man asked.
“I think eleven would be more accurate.”
The man smiled and laughed along with the audience.
“Alright, on the same scale, then, how difficult would it be for you to lift it?”
Connor looked over at the refrigerator, scanning it over for a second. “This particular model weighs about two hundred pounds. On a scale from one to ten, perhaps a five?”
“Go ahead and give it a try.” The man said.
Connor nodded and walked over to where the refrigerator was settled on the cart. He stepped between the other two androids to stand behind the refrigerator and wrap his arms around its base. Then, lifting with his knees, he slowly straightened out, lifting the refrigerator off the ground.
“Why don’t you bring that thing over here for me?” The man said.
Connor obediently held onto the refrigerator, slowly carrying it halfway across the stage and over to the man in the suit. Once he got next to him, he set the appliance down on the stage, being careful not to set it down on his toes accidentally.
“Was that as hard as you thought?” The man asked.
“Just about, yes.” Connor nodded.
“Alright. Why don’t you put it back on its cart for me?”
Connor nodded and picked the thing back up to obediently walk it back over to the cart.
“Our RK800 is also equipped with the ability to analyze various substances and compounds with his tongue, which will come in handy in criminal investigations. He’s also capable of combat with and without firearms.” The man continued as the android deposited the refrigerator back on the cart.
Just after he’d set the refrigerator down, a couple humans with protective boxing pads came at him from the sides. His LED flickered yellow as he thought quickly, not sure if he was supposed to fight back or not.
“Sir?” He asked the man in the suit, stepping away to avoid touching the humans coming at him.
“Go ahead, Connor. Just don’t hit them too hard.” The man said before turning back to the audience with a smile. “As you can see, CyberLife police androids will only resort to physical force when absolutely necessary.”
Connor nodded obediently before going on the defense against the humans coming at them. He only hit and kicked against the pads they wore on their hands, knowing he could easily overpower them otherwise. The little fight lasted less than a minute, so the audience could get a clear idea of what he could do.
“Alright, Connor, why don’t you come back over here now? Give those guys some time to breathe.” The man said, waving the android back over.
Connor stopped immediately and walked back over the man in the suit. His LED flickered yellow for a moment when the man wrapped an arm around his shoulders before he decided to welcome the human gesture of endearment.
“Connor has one more programmed trick up his sleeves that we’d like to share with you all. This one was included in his programming, just in case he needs to do some espionage, or perhaps a cool party trick. Ladies and gentlemen, Connor has the ability to perfectly replicate the voices and sounds of other people. So, Connor, we’re going to play a bit of an audio clip and then you can repeat them for us, alright?” The man said.
“Alright, sir.” Connor nodded.
First, he replicated the sound of a female pop singer. Then, he replicated the sound of screeching tires on asphalt, followed by the wail of a police siren. People in the audience smiled and laughed. Then, the man in the suit opened the conference to questions from the audience.
The first woman walked to a microphone that stood in the center aisle for them to use.
“Hello. I’d like to know how anatomically accurate the robot is to resembling a human.” She said.
Connor blinked and told himself not to be annoyed by the question, or that this woman was seemingly more worried about what he looked like with pants off than whether or not he could do his job well. He didn’t have to worry too much about what the humans thought about him. He only needed to worry about keeping them safe and bringing deviant androids to justice.
“In terms of appearance, Connor is built like the standard male androids. With his clothes on and the outer layer of synthetic skin covering his body, he resembles any other human male you’d see on the street.” The man explained politely. “If you’re asking about the, er, added parts on the Traci androids, the RK800 doesn’t have any of them. They’re not necessary for him in performing his main function.”
The woman nodded and stepped away from the microphone to let the woman behind her take her place. Connor absently wondered how long it would take for him to get his first assignment. Still, he stood next to the man in the suit and held his hands behind his back. He’d wait patiently for as long as he needed to.
“So, the reason for RK800’s existence is to bring deviant androids to justice. What would CyberLife do if RK800 was to go deviant itself?” The woman asked.
“If RK800 were to prove itself insufficient, it would be dismantled and replaced by a more stable model.” The man replied without so much as pausing to think.
Connor’s brown eyes flickered over to the man, his LED turning yellow again. He didn’t know what he’d expected the answer to be, though. If an android went deviant and they’re software became too unstable, there was no way to regain that stability and return them to their original state. There was no such thing as hope for a deviant android.
He stayed quiet and stood off to the side while the man in the suit continued to answer the audience’s questions. After a little while, a man in a black suit rushed onto the stage behind the man in the suit.
“Sir, there’s a hostage situation with a deviant android on Oakdale Avenue. There’s been a request for a CyberLife representative.” The man said urgently.
The man in the suit looked at him, then over at Connor.
“Looks like you’ve got your first job. Make us proud.” He said.
“I won’t fail you, sir,” Connor promised before turning and following the new man off the stage.
“There’s a police car waiting outside for you. Don’t make them wait too long.” The man said as Connor took the microphone off and gave it to another android working backstage.
“Of course not,” Connor replied before rushing out of the room.
At that point, mere seconds could mean life or death for whoever was being threatened. So, he opted to take the stairs over the elevator. He wasn’t willing to waste time if he didn’t have to.
Ten flights of stairs later, he found himself bursting through the lobby of the CyberLife headquarters. His shoes slid a little bit on the waxed and polished floor as he burst through the doors to the emergency staircase. The lobby was relatively empty, save for the androids working at the reception desk and a few lingering journalists who hadn’t gone into the press conference. He wove his way through the people and out the front door, letting himself into the front passenger seat of the police car that was waiting with its lights on.
The police officer in the car turned the sirens on as soon as Connor’s door was shut and sped off down the road. “Alright, I should probably brief you before we get there. A family’s house android went deviant and is going apeshit,” he said. “The family consists of a father, a mother, and their young daughter. The father’s been evacuated, but the daughter and mother are still in the apartment. Obviously, if we can diffuse the situation without spilling blood, that would be ideal.”
Connor nodded in understanding, watching out the front window at the bright lights of the city and all the cars and buses pulled over to the side of the road to let them by. In only a few minutes, they pulled up against the curb in front of the high-rise apartment complex.
“They’ll be up on the top floor.” The police officer said.
“Understood,” Connor replied before letting himself out of the car and rushing inside. In that case, it would be fastest to take the elevator up. So, he pressed the button and let himself in the empty elevator.
He fished the coin back out from his pocket and started to flick it between his hands.