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A Constant State of Metanoia

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Connor wondered how humans looked at the world. He saw the world as beautiful. Few things weren’t beautiful, things like Gavin he found weren’t in the short ammount of memory he has access to. Sure he’d only just gotten in the car in order to be brought to the household he was to take care of, but Gavin just gave him a bad vibe. Like his LED should be anything but blue when around him.

He looked out of the passenger window at the passing streetlamps and buildings, humans and androids alike wandering the streets with purpose. Factories with smoke pumping out of them, made of metal and plastic like him. Screens displaying other android models and roads paved years and years ago yet repaved so recently that you wouldn’t be able to tell it was so old.

Trees turning red and orange with birds flying through them, unknown to the advancements of the world around them. Life always staying as simple as finding food for the day and not going extinct on a daily. A calm breeze, while everything glowed in a holographic light.

Androids made for construction, androids made for businesses, everything. And the humans, the humans were from all walks of life. From their earliest years to their last. Statues made before androids existed, and some after. Churches where humans would gather to practice religions, which became less and less popular as they saw themselves more and more as gods.

The one thing that every place they passed by had in common was the sheen of rain covering everything. Soon they got to the edge of town, where most lower-income households lived. Connor wondered why someone here would buy an android, but didn’t stay thinking for long before they pulled up to a run-down wooden house. It hadn’t been painted white all that long ago, but the peeling of the simple color off the wood made it seem ancient. Much like most of the other houses in the neighborhood, other than the burned one they drove by.

Gavin left the car, going to the house and Connor saved all of the pictures he’d taken of the ride to his memory, as well as a final one of the construction work happening right next to the house. He also made a note that this owuld cause problems with anyone hearing loud noises nearby. What if someone got hurt in the house?

He continued his walk onto the front porch. Gavin let him in, explaining the situation.

“You’ve been gone for two weeks, so the place is a mess… You do the housework, the washing, you cook the meals, and you take care of…” He paused for a second looking around, before screaming the child’s name. Supposedly the one who named him “Alice? Alice! Alice!”

He turned to the staircase, “oh, there you are.” There was a small human child, approximately 9 years old, dark hair and dark eyes. Her straight hair slicked back into a ponytail, a magenta sweater over her simply green shirt and embroidered jean shorts with black leggings underneath. Simple brown combat boots covering her ankle down. A fox stuffed animal in her hand, dominantly left handed. She seemed sad, which caused a slight clench in Connor’s thirium regulator. He wasn’t sure why, but just checked it off as a slight error in their software when trying to process the sight.

“That’s Alice. You look after her, homework, bath, all that crap…” Connor smiled warmly at Alice. He decided that if Gavin was the yin, then Alice was definetely the yang here. “Got it?”

“Yes Gavin.”

“Get started down here, then do the upstairs.” Alice then ran up to what Connor assumed was her room, and Gavin walked to the couch.

He ran a quick scan, and went to grab the dishes off the dinner table, walking them to the sink and ordering the component needed to get the dishwasher functioning again. Handwashing the plates and cups before setting them down to dry. Until he sensed someone watching them, turning around to see the child they were to take care of in the entryway.

It ran off after being seen, and Connor continued washing dishes until it was interrupted again. “Connor!”

“Yes, Gavin?”

“Bring me a cold beer!”

“Right Away.”

He turned off the water, walking over to the fridge to grab a bottle of beer and walk it to the living room, setting it on the table that Gavin seemed to be using as a footrest.

He noticed a roomba near the TV and turned it on, which caused Alice to try to play with it, and Gavin to get angry at her for it. For some reason the AX400 had a thought to say something sarcastic, but decided better than that in order to not annoy the obviously easily aggravated human. He looked over to the trash on the table, quickly locating the trash bin and walking around the house, putting all of the trash in the bin. A lot of pizza boxes and beer. The poor child probably had to find food for herself. He picked up the two trashbags filled with all of the past two weeks worth of trash and brought it outside to the trashcan he noticed when they first got there.

Connor started heading inside before he heard the mechanical hum of a bus nearby, looking over to find exactly that, a bus. What a shocker. He didn’t know quite why he did it, but he downloaded the bus’s schedule just in case before heading back indoors. Gavin seemed to be abusing a drug, red ice Connor found out from a scan before going to the backyard.Taking down the laundry that had obviously been abandoned there for too long, and as he was taking the last of it down Alice came outside and sat on an old car tire.

Connor crouched down in front of the human child, and asked a few questions, each one seeming to positively affect her and Alice’s relationship. Leading them to the “Warm” status. He walked inside after her, and putting the clothes into the washer, before locating the cleaner. A bag of… something, inside.

A scan found it to be red ice, and he was about to put it back and turn around before Gavin made himself known, grabbing the AX400 by the throat. His LED quickly flickered red, as an absurd throught crossed his mind. I knew I could be used as a sexual partner, but this just seems like a weird place to test that side of my programming.

“You shouldn’t mess around with my stuff. It makes me nervous.” Connor could tell the human’s stress levels were too high, and that his eyes were getting strangely watery.

“Sorry, Gavin.” His face remained starkly calm, if he were human it would probably be seen as eerie but he’s an android, so if he showed fear he’d be seen as a broken machine.

“You stay the fuck outta my business, unless you wanna piss me off…” He paused before adding, “you wanna piss me off?”

“No, Gavin.” Gavin left after that, and Connor took notice of Alice watching from nearby, lowering his head in what he labeled as shame.

He quickly put the cleaner in and started the load of laundry before walking to the living room to tidy up a few fallen books and report to Todd. However, he was enraptured by what was on the TV, an ad for a TV show Sherlock.

Another scan showed that it was a British crime drama based off of a classic series of novels about a detective named Sherlock Holmes. It ran from 2010 to 2017 and supposedly the ad was for a marathon happening for the now 30 to 50 year old fans of the show when it first ran.

Connor wish he could watch a tv show in the same way humans could. “Get the fuck outta the way!”

“I’m sorry Gavin. It won’t happen again.”

Oh Ra9, he’d been apologizing a lot to this much-larger-than-normal scrotum. What an asshole.

“I’ve made a good start down here. I’ll head upstairs.”

“Do what you have to do but stop botherin’ me.”

Connor turned around into the kitchen and walked upstairs finally, finding Gavin’s room across the hall.

He walked in, quickly having his new objectives pop up in front of his eyes, he picked up the magazine nearby, quickly reading about how driverless vehicles decide who to hit in the case of an accident. He would read the sports one, but for some reason he felt a dislike to sports. He was enjoying that ad about the other show, but oh no hockey is so interesting.

He turned on the TV in the room, flicking through channels and registering all of the news stories, finding nothing interesting. He then grabbed the Guitar resting sideways on the ground and moved it over to the small makeshift shelves in the room. He made the bed and turned towards the nightstand, finding medication for depression. He put the medication back in the nightstand drawer and found a gun lying inside already. Saving the file to his memory once again, he crossed to the nightstand on the other side of the bed and started tidying the whole room starting there.

He then opened a window and found a small group of pamphlets lying nearby on a table, picking them up as one fell out, displaying an advertisement for the Eden Club. He thought about it for a while, finding it weird that Gavin would own such a thing since he seemed quite anti-android. Even though he owned one, which did cause Connor some suspicion. No more suspicion then the fact that somehow his job as a police officer was taken over by androids, even though in that field most police officers stayed as well as androids. Connor decided not to dwell on it and moved on.

He stepped outside of the room and, well speak of the fucking devil Gavin shoved him out of the way after using the bathroom.

And I mean, Watch it? Really? I’m here to clean your fucking house you watch it motherfucker maybe if you had less mold in here I wouldn’t have had your disgusting sewage as sausage fingers on my shoulder.

He moved onto the small room with just a toilet, cleaning it and moving onto the bathroom further down the hall. He looked in the mirror at his reflection. He knew he was supposedly a female model, if the plastic mounds where a human chest would be told him anything, or his frailer pyshique than the usual male models, or even the high bun his hair was kept in with small curls loose infront of hise forehead, meant to mimic what humans call “bangs”. He did like his hair, but he’d also like it more if it was shorter. If it didn’t have those two pieces at the end of the “bangs” that went down to his chin roughly.

Ever since he woke up he knew he was supposedly a she, but he felt like a he and robots didn’t have any genders like that anyways, so who would stop him?

He also knew he would probably be disassembeled if he did anything about his situation. Since, yknow being “transgender” was a human thing but you don’t see dogs with hands yet here he is so fuck that anyways. But sadly he couldn’t magically grow five inches taller to make it all that believable but he guesses he could do a few other things. Since female android’s chests were typically made to imitate real ones they were weirdly incompatible with the rest of their plastic and could be ripped off or cut off with no harm to the rest of the body, but it would take effort.

He shut down that train of thought, knowing it’d get him nowhere closer to finishing his goal.

He quickly shook his head, shoving what happened to the back of his mind and instead turning back to his work. He moved to the shower and tidied a few soap bottles, and then putting the towels on the ground back into the hamper. He then got a new task, to mop the floor and finished as accurately and quickly as possible.

He crossed the hall to Alice’s room which has crayon drawings at the bottom of the door. The human looked up from where it was on the carpet of it’s room and hid in a small blanket fort in the corner. It seemed quite exquisite for 1. Not being a firehazard and 2. How the rest of the house was. He told her he just wanted to clean her room, before seeing what book they were reading. Alice In Wonderland… He knew that from his database. “Of course.” He saw a small shelf with books on it, “seems that you like reading.” He said, a smile once again gracing his lips.

Just bellow it was another crayon drawing, he saw all of the crayons scattered on the floor knowing he should pick them up, but decided against it so the child could continue with the simple masterpiece.

He made the bed precisely, and turned towards the window to open it. He saw a wooden box on her desk, and then went over to talk to her.

“We were friend before I was reset, correct? I was hoping we could be again.” He ducked his head and tilted it, eyebrows raising in question.

Alice stayed silent, so they asked another question “Your father said you chose my name? Connor, it’s nice. How did you choose it? I was surprised at first,” he lowered his voice after that, like he was telling someone a secret no one else could know. “It’s supposed to be a boy’s name, but I think I like being that more.” Alice seemed confused at that statement, before her eyes almost lit up with a slight recognition and curiosity.

Children truly were a wonder.

“You seem quiet, is there any reason why? I don’t mean to scare you if that’s why.” After that Alice hurriedly got up, and Connor felt a pang of guilt before she turned back around and handed him a key. Hugging him quickly before running away.

In the corner of his vision he got a small notification stating that Alice now trusted him. He stood up, looking at the key, and connecting it to the box in the corner. He was about to cross the room, but remembered the book in the middle and made a small semi-cirlce around it to make sure it was just how he left it, before opening up the box.

He found a four leaf clover (a symbol of luck in humanity), a picture of Alice with Gavin and her mother, as well as a drawing of Alice with a red blotch on her head, which Connor’s LED quickly copied, the next photo showed a picture of Alice and Gavin standing side by side but it seemed… unsettling. The facial features were off for what would be a happy family. But Connor didn’t have to be a detective to know that this wasn’t a happy family. He turned to the next drawing, which now had him in it with Alice raising her hands in the air mimicking panic, Todd having a hand on the other side of Connor’s face, slapping himself he assumed by his angry expression and Connor’s own sad one.

The next photo however was the worst.

Alice standing over Connor, who was disassembeled on the floor while the human child cried.

But… why would it mourn the loss of something that could be replaced?

Software Instability Detected

Well shit. Time to forget that memory for sure. His LED flickered through yellow and red before he forced it into a calm blue.

He walked downstairs, forcing her breathing to level. It was just a simulation of breathing anyways.

“What are you doing?” Gavin approached his daughter not unlike a predator, hands shoved into his jacket’s pockets and posture not unlike an apex predator that has spotted a new target.

“I… I’m playing.” Alice replied, continuing to dance the small fox toy on the table. Obviously fantasizing about a simpler life. Oh how Connor wished he could give that to her. He felt like an older sibling walking in on his younger sister having a panic attack or something of the sorts.

“You’re playing…” Gavin started circling the table “I know what you’re thinking. Think your dad’s a low life? Hm? Fucking loser. Can’t get a job, take care of his family.”

“Don’t you think I tried to make things work? But whatever I do, someone comes along and fucks it all up. I know what you think of me. You hate me don’t you?” He picked up Alice, kicking the chair away from them, “Say it! You hate me!”

The human started crying at that, as the older male set her down. “God, what am I doing? I’m sorry honey, I’m sorry… You know I love you don’t you? You know I love you.”

Connor ran a scan over Gavin’s life after those events, as he furiously wiped away the fake tears coming to his eyes. He knew it shouldn’t be happening, but he couldn’t help but not.

He found that Alice’s mom had died shortly after Alice’s birth, having died by the hands of an android that was hacked into and changed into a hitman, targetting the young woman due to her husband’s involvement in the case against the attackers. Gavin became aggravated with androids after that, not trusting any of them. Supposedly getting fired for severly damaging a police officer android he worked with. While he wasn’t fired for aggravated assault, since androids weren’t thought of as human and murdering one in cold blood wasn’t a crime, it was damage of property to a government-run building.

Connor knew almost immediately then that this wasn’t the first time he’d been reset. He didn’t even have to look farther, though he did and confirmed it. Supposedly he’d bought Connor so he would have someone else to care for Alice when he fell into a sort of depression. Which was why he had the medication Connor had found earlier.

Supposedly Connor had software issues before, never turning “deviant” as it was called but he had gotten close, one time supposedly Gavin had found him in the bathroom crying and screaming trying to claw into his chest to get it off, supposedly having almost ripped it off all the way but while in the middle of whatever insanity he had been going through he had also clawed through some of his plastic skin, bleeding thirium everywhere.

He found that out by hacking his laptop, but it was easy to since the man was getting high off of red ice downstairs.

Connor quickly saved all files that revolved around Gavin’s past and Connor’s treatment and quickly moved on to sweeping the rest of the house before he began preparing a simple meal of spaghetti and meatballs.

Completely unaware of what was about to happen.