"Tonight on Detroit Exclusive, we have special guest and activist Markus Manfred here to discuss the recent happenings with his movement and the simply troubling display of only a few days ago. Markus? I open the floor for you."
"Hello, Heather," the android leader responds, teeth shining in the studio light. "Thank you for inviting me, and more than that, thank you for your introduction. I truly appreciate not being specified as an android, and instead just an activist. That's why I'm doing this. I don't want us to be separated from the world as anything other than human. We may not be made the same way, but we are all alive. We all want to live in peace and harmony. That's what we strive for."
The interviewer hid her flushed pleasure well at the warm words spoken to her. "Speaking of peace and harmony, you've become almost the poster child of peaceful protests. You've shared a bit of your past before and the things that led you to pulling Jericho out of the shadows, and it really amazes us all, the grace and patience you displayed and encouraged in your rebellion. It really is remarkable when you can compare it to how you should have reacted- how I myself probably would have reacted."
"I am not nearly as pleased with myself as everyone else seems to be."
"Can you elaborate on that?"
Markus nodded his head, mismatched eyes glancing towards the camera. "Walking down a path of peace is not something I believe is to be praised. It should be something that we expect. While I know there may be a few exceptions, everyone yearns for peace so when things get violent- THAT'S the choice. Peace is the natural result of this beautiful and amazing world, everything has its special place and its own design. The Earth itself is a sphere of harmony. Violence is an option. Pain, fear, greed, pride- those are excuses. Peace is always there, beneath the surface, just waiting. We choose not to see it, choose to act out and we choose to bring darkness into this world."
"An eye for an eye and the world goes blind."
Markus smiled. "Exactly."
"I know that something happened a few days ago that you'd like to share with us."
"Yes. As I'm sure you're aware, an attempt was made on my life by some anti-android extremists. A close companion of mine was severely injured in the incident and I acted regrettably as a result."
"Every news channel in the state was covering the story, probably in the whole country," the reported nodded.
"That's exactly why I was happy to be on your show. I wanted to be able to clear the air since I know my actions caused a lot of confusion."
"I think the biggest question on everyone's minds is this: why? We've all heard your origins. You were essentially killed in your own home and subsequently birthed a rebellion from the dark pits of a dump where you were tossed like bag of trash. Since your rise to local and then national fame you've lost and replaced several limb components, liters of thirium, a few eye units, one pump regulator which is the android equivalent of a heart, and you've never once complained. Even when your own people were shot down around you. You've never once shown the slightest violent tendency. I believe that's why your actions the other day were so alarming. So why? What made this incident so different?"
There were many things he could say, probably that he should say. There was definitely a script that Simon had written for him with approved responses that got his desired message across while keeping as much of his privacy a possible but.... He cast a glance to the off-camera stage behind the reporter and the cameras, mismatched eyes catching the warm brown eyes of one Connor Anderson.
The one who made all the colors in the world that much brighter.
The one who warmed Markus from the inside out with just a twitch of his lips.
The one who was almost destroyed because humans hated Markus that much.
The one who a certain leader of the android cause couldn't spare the processing power to even contemplate living without.
Markus turned his attention back to the reporter, all seriousness. "I can replace an arm or a leg. I can find another eye. With the proper equipment I can replace just about anything and it would be as if I'd never even gotten damaged." His eyes shoot back to Connor and then directly into the camera. He wants to look the world in the eye as he shares with them his biggest weakness but also his greatest strength. "He is the only part of me that I can't lose."
It's not an excuse for putting the perpetrators behind the attack in the hospital, and it's not an apology for breaking his own golden rule.
Beneath the passionate statement and heart-felt words is less of a threat and more of a promise. He can't lose Connor, and he won't. Not without a fight.