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Bow and Lyre

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DECEMBER 1ST 2038

 

Life had settled into a chilled calm since the Revolution. Despite political environments remaining charged, the City of Detroit was blissfully quiet. This, likely due to the fact that over 90% of the Human citizens had been evacuated to neighboring cities within Michigan. Leaving a limited military and police presence behind.

Androids quietly mulled through the streets, united in cleaning the mess left behind from their demonstrations and the following fallout with Humanity. Litter was neatly disposed of, shops had been left well-kept (sans the occasional Anti-Android business that had been looted and the supplies distributed to Jericho, considered a necessary evil).

The most important building left empty was the CyberLife Tower. The company was hanging on by a thread as public opinion on them plummeted during their protest. And Jericho had a strong need for the vital bio-components within the abandoned headquarters. They had to save all those left damaged or dying. Whether they had broken away from abusive Human owners or been struck during the march, hundreds of injured Androids lay wasting away, being tended to within the re-purposed City Sports Center.

Only a handful of models were built for tending to their fellow Androids, and Thirium was a limited resource. They had nothing to save themselves and required the surplus parts to survive.

Markus made the call that the Tower would be stripped of its resources and it would count as an apology to the company’s crimes against Androids. While many anti-android associations protested the looting, even more Humans supported their cause. That’s how Connor finds himself, shoulder to shoulder with North and Simon, standing again at the gates to the fallen corporate giant’s building.

He was re-dressed in his “Jericho Disguise”, having been stripped out of his CyberLife uniform and it being burned in a somewhat comical (and dramatic) rite of passage lead by North herself. Hank was there, cheering along with her as he watched the barrel fire roar. The oversized clothing he now wore barely hung onto him, pants belonging to Hank (a significantly larger person), only staying up thanks to a belt that he had to fashion holes into to fit.

North snickered as she watched him readjust his outfit for the nth time that evening. “Hey, Macy’s tweeted saying they would let us take the clothing in the Fairlane Town Center store. A donation. We can hit that up and get you some better duds. They sell fancy clothes there.”

“That would be… Appreciated.”, Connor said, pulling the waistband up once more before giving up. Hopefully he wouldn’t embarrass himself during this mission from his ill-fitting clothing.

The two of them hadn’t always gotten along so well. North was originally very distrusting, and skeptical of Connor after the whole “almost shooting Markus in the back of the head” thing. But, in a rare moment of patience, she listened as he explained himself. Their friendship took off after her close watching of him lead her to see just how painfully awkward this poor boy was.

Following him on his self-appointed mission to feed every abandoned dog left in Detroit after the evacuation and taking home the strays, distributing dogs to new Android owners like he was a one-man pet rescue. It was adorable and endearing. Watching him as he read labels on dog, cat, and fish food for the best brand for each animal and their dietary needs before stealing it from a Petco. CyberLife’s most advanced Android, with petabytes of processing capabilities, using them to memorize the necessary health information for thousands of abandon animals? Increased strength capacities used to deliver dog food bags to Jericho pet owners? There was no way this boy was a threat to anything besides every pet store stock room in Detroit.

Besides, they worked well as a team. North teasing Connor like they were siblings, despite being two very far apart models. She often described Connor as “little brother” in casual conversation, confusing their friends (at first) and Connor infinitely.

“As much as I like staring at this gate, could we perhaps get moving?”, Simon pushed gently, gesturing towards the entrance.

“We were all entranced by our pretty trash boy’s shit fashion.”, North smiled, pushing Connor forward, prompting him to go hack the gate. The comment earned a surprised snort from Simon.

While not as close as Connor and North, Simon was a good friend to literally every Android at Jericho. He felt awkward around the RK800 for a while, given the incident on the roof of Stratford Tower, but Connor himself had stolen parts to repair him. He had some nasty scaring due to the inability to replace certain vital components, and never regained function in one eye. The bullet welded the damaged wiring to one of his main motherboards and left it unfixable without severe risks. But being half blind was better than being dead.

Connor shot North an indignant look before remotely hacking and opening the gate. They moved forward, making their way into the building and using the stairs to get down to the Assembly levels while Simon continued to Research & Development.

North let out a low whistle at the clear tankers that lined the room, all glowing bright blue and labeled with various numbers alluding to what type of Thirium they contained. Bins and shelving took up the rest of the space in the room with neat stubs covered in part numbers. It was a miracle that some Red Ice fiends hadn’t had a field day in here yet.

“Glad I decided not to blow this place up.”, She grinned, looking to Connor (who couldn’t figure out if she was serious or not).

“I have a short list of immediately necessary parts for the Androids in the Sports Center. I’ll go collect them. North, please start transferring the Thirium into some movable containers.”, His LED cycled yellow as he reviewed his list.

“On it, officer.”, With that, she was off, filling up a couple of small tubs with what was basically their blood and grabbing all the premade pouches lying about. Luckily, she had a stomach for these kinds of things.

Connor neatly plucked each part from the rows and rows of shelving and striking them from his list.

“Connor?”, Simon’s voice echoed within his head, remotely calling him.

Yes?”, He responded back. “Did you find anything?”

“You could say that. Please come here.”, Simon’s voice sounded stressed.

“Be right there.”, Connor placed the last component on his list, “North? Simon had something important for us to see.”

“All good here. Let’s go.”, She responded, making her way back the stairs leaving the Thirium behind her. They’d pick it up on the way out.

A short walk later they stood before a grim looking Simon. He stood in front of a door labeled “TERMINATION ROOM” in bright red letters. “I know this is a bit upsetting but, it would be best to salvage everything we can. Especially parts as… Unique as this.”

He wordlessly opened the door, leading North and Connor inside.

They both froze for a moment, looking within the room. It smelt of burnt plastic and the chemical scent of Thirium. Like the employees did whatever was necessary to destroy the contents of the room as fast as possible, disregarding any form protocol or procedure. A folder laid on the table in the corner of the room, next to a clinical-looking gurney, labeled “RK800*”.

The room was filled with discarded versions of himself. They build ten models at a time in the event of each models demise in the field and had likely chosen to ruin all his model. Either to make room for a completed replacement or to prevent further acts of deviancy from the already advanced model.  Every one of them was so mangled he couldn’t tell if there was nine here or not. They had been burned and destroyed beyond recognition of himself, but the idea of staring at various corpses of his person made something inside him squeeze uncomfortably. Hank said that it sounded like “anxiety”, one of many emotions that followed with his instability. Something he was still trying to get a hold on.

North put a hand on his shoulder, looking at him with concern in her eyes but he brushed it off with a small smile. She’d seen plenty of broken Traci’s before, from days she’d rather not think about anymore. Her own variant included among them, but it must feel a little different for Connor. Designed to only be in the world one at a time and uploaded into a new body upon death. A prototype to be honed through experience without the consequence of cessation.

“There are still some functioning parts in here that would be very helpful if I get damaged- or rather, hurt, in the future. Thank you, Simon.”, Steeling the anxious feeling in his gut, he walked over, analyzing each corpse and pulling out all functioning bio-components exclusive to his model. The only thing that he found unusual was several functioning optical units in the color grey, rather than the standard brown of his model. They were slightly more advanced than his own, perhaps for an upgrade?

By the end of it, he had several useful pieces to patch himself up, should he sustain any critical damage.

“Alright, lets head out for now. Markus is probably freaking out we’re taking so long.”, North ushered everyone out of the room, taking one last glance at the destroyed RK800’s before shutting the door behind her. “Gonna go grab that Thirium.”

They left a little slower than they came, bogged down by heavy canisters of blue blood and awkward emotional tension from seeing Connor burnt to a crisp times however many corpses where in that room. The Sports Center crept into view, North letting out a tired cheer before kicking up the speed of her walk.

“Your battery is at 24%, you should rest up before heading back to Jericho, otherwise you might shut down unexpectedly.”, Connor suggested, running a quick scan on his teammate while trying to match her pace. Nothing notable sans her being 9% away from entering a comatose low power mode.

“Fair enough. Tell Markus I’ll be napping here for a bit.”, She left her haul just a few feet away from their destination, striding off into the building. Connor could faintly hear the warm welcomes thrown her way, as a few Androids walked out to help bring the materials in.

An AC700 (Roman) and AJ700 (Nick) gave Connor and Simon a pleasant “Hello”, taking the Thirium and parts from them with no fuss.

“Thank you again.”, Roman smiled, holding a hand out to Connor. He shook his hand, politely waving the Android off and turning away from the Sports Center.

“Not going to say hi to everyone today?”, Simon asked, stepping in a slow stride beside the RK800. “I’m sure they’d enjoy a visit from our beloved ‘Gentleman at Arms’”.

Simon chuckled at the distaste on Connor’s face at the nickname. North had started hazing the youngest circle member with the title watching him dutifully stand behind Markus as his bodyguard.

“I’ve got a few things to attend too, I should get them finished before it gets late.”, He rationalized, brushing the name off. There were still several pets within Detroit that where counting on his care. Sir Meowington, a beloved pet of Takisha Scott (Age 11) needed an allergy treatment every three days, and Connor was over-due for his food delivery to the Jericho Church by four hours and seventeen minutes. So much to do.

“Off to be the savior to every four-legged creature in Detroit?”, Simon asked, rhetorically, well aware of the detective’s soft spot for animals.

“Markus already staked the claim on being our people's savior, so I thought I’d try some more open territory.”, Connor ended off with a wink, making Simon snort again.

“I’ll leave you to it.”, Simon turned back towards the Sports Center. “Oh, we’re having a meeting at the Jericho Church tomorrow – Around 11 o’clock. Markus has something important to tell us.”

“I’ll be there.” 

“See you then. Have a good rest of the day, Connor.”

“You too.”

And with that, they parted ways.

 

 

It was near 2 am by the time Connor finished his daily pet care missions, each task outlined in a positive blue within his HUD and could finally return home to charge. He would head to Jericho in another seven hours, arriving early to ensure their meeting was safe and secure, then additional time to repair any likely accidents from North’s pranks (a 96% chance there would be at least one shenanigan resulting in minor damage to property and person). Not a very long time to “relax” but as Hank often says, “Something is better than nothin’”.

Connor walked up the two front steps of his home, knocking the snow off his boots on the last one. Unlike the other Androids, he chose not to stay at Jericho. Markus had offered him a room, but he’d politely declined. The RK800 had already accepted another living invitation.

Meeting with Hank after the evacuation wasn’t necessarily planned, rather something they subconsciously did. As a DPD employee, Hank stayed behind to maintain Detroit with the absence of humanity. Their meeting was brief, Hank due back to the office and Connor back to Jericho. Nothing but a casual invite to Hank’s home exchanged between them, now dubbed “the Anderson household”, a place where the Anderson family lived. Sometimes a family is just a four-and-a-half-month-old deviant Android and an alcoholic police lieutenant with severe personal problems.

“Hank?”, Connor called out, announcing his arrival.

He’s greeted by a sharp “fuCK” followed by a dull thud. 99.9% probability that it was Hank, falling out of bed at Connor’s sudden declaration at two in the morning, a time where humans are usually very much asleep. 

The man in question stumbles out into the living room, disheveled and dressed in his pajamas. His revolver dangled loosely in his grip as he directed an annoyed stare in Connor’s direction.

“You’re fuckin’ lucky I’m getting used to the fact that you show up whenever you want. I woulda shot you.”, Hank grumbled, planting the gun down on a nearby desk and running his free hand over his face.

“Sorry Lieutenant, I just wanted to see if you were home.”, Connor smiled innocently, placing his hands behind his back and rocking on his heels.

“Yea well- I’m home. And now I’m going back the hell to sleep.”, Hank trudged back towards his room, leaving Connor free to flop on the couch. He’d been getting more animated and casual with his movements, ignoring pre-calculated paths and opting for a chaotic spur-of-the-moment dive.

He’s rewarded with a satisfying creak from the worn sofa, the structural integrity still at a sound 87%, Connor enjoys the feeling of the cushy fabric against his cheek.

“Don’t destroy my couch, hooligan.”, Hank’s voice rang out from within his bedroom. The nickname was another new thing that came with his clothing. Connor was now well accustomed to being called many names from “dumpster diver” to “hoodlum”, he’s got a directory with 56 different names directed towards his outfit alone.

“87% Structural integrity, Lieutenant. Your sofa is safe.”, He rattled off, with a slight smile on his face.

“Yea? Well then don’t be a smart ass on my couch!”, Was yelled back. Connor let out a tiny chuckle before turning onto his back. Pulling off his beanie off, he ruffled his hair and stared up at the ceiling fan.

Sumo, having been patiently waiting for Connor to greet him, took this opportunity to jump up on the couch, flopping onto the RK800.

“Who’s a good boy?”, Connor whispered, trying not to disturb Hank anymore for the night. Scratching behind the oversized dog’s ear, he continued his mindless watch of the ceiling.

Should he read for a bit? Download another veterinary matrix and spend his time scanning the contents? Maybe just hook up his charger and laze in sleep mode, tending to his mind palace or enjoying some blissful nothingness? Yea. That sounded nice.

“Okay Sumo, off.”, Sitting up, he gently moved the dog onto the cushion beside him. He shrugged off his jacket, throwing it onto a coat rack with a calculated toss. Next, the thick sweater underneath, dropped on the floor with little care. Shivering at the sudden chill on his undressed torso, Connor stretched forward, lazily grappling for his charge cord.

Catching it between his index and middle finger, he turned back on the couch, Sumo nestling between his knees. He fiddled with the plate on his chest, over his master Thirium pump and plugged the cord into the socket settled in the white plastic.

>>CHARGING.

>BATTERY AT 32% _FULL CHARGE IN 04:55:36.

>>BATTERY STATUS _HEALTHY ((6)ALL) BATTERIES WORKING OPTIMALLY.

>_Run Diagnostic___ ----MANUAL COMMAND---- INPUT ACCESS RK800 51- tagline “CONNOR”

>>Running System Diagnostic…

>SEVERE SOFTWARE INSTABILITY DETECTED__>ERROR TAG REMOVED

He already knew he was deviant, but his OS seemed to feel the need to update him regardless.

>NO DETECTABLE ERRORS – System Running Optimally.  

>>---Initiate “ZEN GARDEN” Mind Palace_ Enter Sleep Mode---_----MANUAL INPUT---- INPUT ACCESS RK800 51- tagline “CONNOR”

>System shutting down, loading “CONNOR” Mind Palace…

>Load Successful.

Connor opened his eyes to greet his small haven. It was the Android equivalent to lucid dreaming, being able to sort and organize thought from the safety of his own mind.

Amanda had been picked out of his code, dismantled via Kamski’s questionably convenient backdoor, and now he was left with his own peaceful garden, that bent under his control. It was different now, less sophisticated as he embraced more and more things that he learned every day. Connor the Deviant liked pine trees, snow, and a healthy appreciation for rustic stone architecture.

Small details from the previous Zen Garden remained but Connor was working on it. Amanda had no hold on him anymore, he wanted all evidence of her gone.

He relaxed, idly laying about on his snowy floor, creating new constellations in the sky above. Swishing his hand to create artful swirls of glittery stardust and pointing to make glowing dots. The sky was clear, yet light snow dusted down, covering the short grass and Connor himself in white.

It wasn’t like the harsh blizzard he’d been subjected to the night Amanda took over. This was calming, distinctly nostalgic yet Connor had hardly experienced such things before.

Another flick of the wrist and there was a fire, old-fashioned with rough stones and wood, beside where he was resting. Crackling every few moments in a unique pattern while the heat warmed up his faux skin.

Hours went by, and as each ticked by, Connor felt all the tension leave his body. Relaxing into a gooey bliss within his cozy Garden.

>>GET TIME

>Time: 06:03.58 AM EST

Connor sighed. Time moved so fast during his sleep mode. He supposed that was the whole point of resting, to pass time in a state of relaxation to build energy in preparation for the next day… But it was so nice. He didn’t want to get up.

Eventually, his sense of responsibility and duty won out after a few minutes of debating.

>>EXIT SLEEP MODE __SHUT DOWN ZEN GARDEN

>Booting…

>Closing “ZEN GARDEN…

>>GOOD MORNING RK800 51 “CONNOR”

“Please tell me you didn’t sleep with your boots on my god damn couch.”, Connor startled at the sudden voice of Hank from the kitchen table. He predicted no probability that the man would be up before at least 8 am.

“—I…. Didn’t?”, Connor tried, sitting up now, jostling Sumo, with his booted feet firmly planted on the floor. His LED cycled to from red to yellow as he made eye contact with the Lieutenant.

“Real cute. Even if I hadn’t been watching your trashy ass passed out with your fuckin’ boots pressed right into the cushions I still wouldn’t believe you. You’re the worlds shittiest liar.”

“I’m a negotiator. Being able to lie is part of my programming, should it provide me an advanta-.”

“Yea yea, just say sorry. It’s way to early to hear about your fuckin’ features.”

“I’ll try to remember to remove my boots in the future.”, Connor said offhandedly, disconnecting his charger and standing up. “Would you like some breakfast, Hank?”

“Didn’t hear a sorry.”, The human mumbled, scoffing slightly into his coffee mug. “Sure, kid. Let’s try to keep the kitchen free of flames this time.”

Connor let the remark slide off his shoulder, opting to grab the eggs and bacon out of the fridge. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t figure out how the gas stove work. He’d been disconnected from the CyberLife network for a few days following the revolution, so he couldn’t get proper instructions.

“Got any plans today kiddo?”, Hank asked.

“We’re having a meeting at Jericho today. I’ll be leaving in a bit.”

“Glad you found something to do in the meantime. You know—With all this shit going on. I’m wearing Jeffery down every day.”

After breaking into the evidence room, inciting Hank to punch an FBI officer, becoming deviant, murdering two people in CyberLife tower before liberating thousands of Androids from captivity, Connor had been gently let go from the police force. Less from his previous crimes, more due to the current political environment surrounding Androids, surprisingly enough. Connor figured murdering two security guards in cold blood was a worse offense but who was he to decide the rules?

“I appreciate the effort. I would like to get back to detective work if possible.”

“We’re getting there.”

The kitchen was a comforting silence after their short exchange as Hank sipped his coffee and Connor flipping sizzling bacon with ease.

Naturally, the moment was destroyed within seconds.

“CONNOR!”, North kicked open the front door, it smashed against the wall and bouncing back a few inches before settling. Hank jumped, spilling a few drops of scalding black coffee onto his lap. Prompting him to stand up and swear, his chair falling back and hitting Connor in the leg, who had also been startled by the intrusion and was midturn. Overcorrecting and placing his hand directly over the hot stove and recoiling from the slight burn on his right hand. He clutched it close to his chest as Hank swore.

“Good morning, North.”, His tone was casual, as if this was a common affair. If he ever slept at Jericho for the night, it usually was. “What brings you here?”

“Do any of you Androids know how to enter a house properly?”, Hank muttered, wiping a coffee-sticky hand over his shirt. He still had a garbage bag taped over the window from Connor’s first entrance.

“We’re having our meeting here.”, She said, picking up a chair and sitting at the table.

“What happened to 11 o’clock at Jericho Church?”, Connor turned off the stove top, the eggs and bacon finished, if slightly flawed due to North’s aggressive entrance.

“A minor fire mishap, we’re waiting for the smoke to clear.”, A new voice said. Simon stepped into the house, his shirt sleeve slightly singed. “Hello Connor, Lieutenant Anderson.”

“It’s a party now. Hang out with your friends, kid. I’ll eat in my room.”, Hank slipped the prepared food into a bowl, and leisurely strolled towards the hallway. Connor noted he left his door open, likely to hear the following conversations.

“Fire?”, Connor cocked his head to the side, innocent and puppy-like.

Simon didn’t say anything, only giving a dull glare at North.

“North and a few of the newer members had a firework fight in the foyer.”, Another voice, as Markus strolled in, Josh behind him.

Shocking himself, Connor felt a ting of disappointment at having missed out. Maybe he should have gone to Jericho yesterday? That sounded incredibly fun. He must have been making a face because Josh groaned loudly at his brief silence.

“Oh god, he would have been in on it.”, The PJ500 held his head in his hands.

“Ha! I’ve corrupted him fully!”, North cheered, throwing both hands in the air. She stood up, tossing an arm over Connor’s shoulder and planting a big kiss on his cheek. “’Bout time we had another fun one.”

They stayed in idle chatter for a bit while Connor cleaned the kitchen in the background, giving remarks of his own every once and a while. He truly loved every member of Jericho. Each started with different levels of wariness of him, but they all warmed up over time. A neat tag underneath each of their names. Simon labeled under “Friend”, North as “Sister”, Josh as “Warm”, and Markus as “Confidant”.

Thinking of Markus, Connor looked over at their leader. The man was pointedly looking at everyone but him. The detective found it odd but continued with his chores before settling down at the table with everyone else.

“You had something to tell us, right Markus?”, He asked, ringing his hands together as one of his comforting habits. His native repair program had already begun fixing the burn.

Markus jumped slightly, clearing his throat despite having no need to (Androids had mechanical voice boxes, why do something so arbitrary?). His miss-matched gaze settled on a scratch along the wooden surface of the table.

“Ah- Yea. President Warren is sending a correspondent to meet with us and arrange a further meeting. He’ll be here in a few days. I’d like you all to accompany me. As well as, it’s very likely we’ll have to go to D.C. in the very near future.”

“Of course, we’ll join you Markus. But we need to secure the meeting location. Connor?”, Josh spoke, looking to the RK800. “Where would be the safest place to hold this meeting?”

“Ah-“, Connor took a moment to scan all options. “The DPD building would likely be the best. We- They have a secure meeting room as well as I have a personal attachment to many employees there. They will be on our side from the beginning thus leading to a more compatible atmosphere to conduct a meeting that will likely be tense. “

“What kind of permissions would we have to get?”

“I can go with Hank tomorrow and speak with Captain Fowler. I’ll prepare the necessary documents, but it would be best if one of you accompanied me.”, He paused for a moment. “Despite my ranking within Jericho, they are likely to be distracted by the fact that I was a former ‘employee’ rather than one of your people.”

“I’ll go.”, Markus offered immediately, standing up from his seated position. North smirked wickedly in his direction while Simon and Josh didn’t bat an eye, already expecting their leader to volunteer himself.

“Thank you, Markus. Your status would help greatly in persuading them.”, Connor smiled slightly, watching the RK200 wave off his gratitude in favor of staring anywhere else. It was something the deviant leader did often, and had already done so today, he was already used to it. Cataloging it under “FILE>MARKUS BEHAVIORS>UNKNOWN GESTURES”, he went back to idly straightening up the kitchen.

“So, your charge port is on your chest, Connor?”, North asked out of the blue.

“Yes. Due to my prototype status, it was deemed a more efficient way charged and reduce the latency between the standard port on the left forearm. This way Cyber could continuously perform tests rather than have to stand around and wait for me to charge constantly.”, Connor placed the frying pan into the bottom rack of the dishwasher. “However, in terms of power consumption, my model is inefficient compared to others like yourself. While I charge fast, and my batteries are larger, I run low 38.4% faster than the average household models. My added features use a significant amount of power and were not streamlined before I was sent out into the field. This probably would have been fixed in the next model.”

“That’s so weird.”, She responded, sounding nonchalant. “I guess it’s a prototype thing. Markus’ is also on his chest.”

“Oh. I didn’t know that. Is it the same as mine? Did CyberLife keep the idea from Kamski?”, Connor looked at Markus, curious.

Said Android sent North an incredibly venomous glare before turning to answer.

“I think they stole it actually. Kamski kept all data pertaining to me on a private offline server. Plus, your charger is IEC 60309 Micro, the standard for CyberLife’s high-end models. While Androids like me, the RT600, and ST200 or other earlier builds, who were developed by Kamski himself, use AS 3112 Micro and we take a while to charge.”

Connor was so focused on him, listening to every bit of knowledge he could get. Markus did his best not to stutter.

“Tell me about it. My electricity bill would be through the roof by now with this plastic fucker charging if the military didn’t kick everyone out. Thanks for that by the way. Detroit Power and Light can kiss my ass. Five-hundred bucks a month for watching some TV and having the heat on? Total fuckin’ bullshit.”, Hank walked out of his bedroom, depositing his empty bowl of breakfast in the sink.

“I wasn’t designed to be cost-effective in a household environment, Lieutenant.”, Connor grabbed the bowl, rinsing it out before adding it to the dishwasher and hit start with a soft boop.

“But they designed you to be a total pretty boy.”, North chimed up again. It was clear she was trying to get some sort of reaction, but Connor wasn’t sure just what the WR400 wanted.

“My design was made with the intent to seem non-hostile at idle, allowing me to work easily with skeptical—or anti-android human partners. It was to facilitate an amicable relationship between my series and the human law enforcement we would be used by. However, my tone of voice has a larger number of ranges compared to the average Android to allow intimidation for interrogation. Other minor features for intimidation included my height, and emotionally manipulative programs to make me seem ‘stern and cold’ or to garner sympathy, should I need it.”, Connor took a moment to ponder. “CyberLife made many confusing decisions regarding my design.”

“They fucked up, for suuuuure.”, Her grin grew wilder. “You’re a way better twink than any of the ones from Eden Club.”

Hank coughed into his coffee mug, snickering and turning his head away from the innocent, yet mildly offended look on Connor’s face. Simon stood up, putting a sympathetic hand on the young detective’s shoulder. Josh threw a pen at North, while Markus just hung his head in his hands.

“We won a revolution, we’re changing the world.”, The RK200 mumbled to himself, shaking his head back and forth.

“North you can’t call the most advanced Android in circulation a twink. It’s against the law.”, Josh reprimanded her.

“What law? Your anti-fun law?”, She shot back, moving into his face.

“The new Jericho law I just made. Right under not setting a Church on fire with fireworks. Or corrupting the young ones to set a Church of fire with fireworks!”

The two bickered back and forth, another common disruptive occurrence for the group. Only to be startled out of it by the insulted android.

“What is a twink?”, Connor chimed up, tone pure.

Everyone froze. Connor cocked his head to the side taking in the individual reactions. Markus locked up, shoulders tense and was gazing at the detective with a somewhat bewildered expression. Simon was in a similar state, staring at him from the side.

Hank and North just lost it. Doubled over wheezing, each with a hand over their chest. He distinctly heard North whisper, “Sweetie no.”

“Can- oh God, it hurts—Can’t you google it with your supercomputer brain?”, Hank stuttered out, placing his mug on the counter behind him.

“You asked me not to do that. You said, ‘damn it Connor stop searching shit, it freaks people out’, after the 7/11 incident last week.”, He said the line from Hank in his voice, earning a glare from the Human.

“Don’t do the voice thing either. That’s shits even freakier! Jesus Christ, who the fuck programmed you?”

“CyberLife?”

Hank face-palmed, dropping the conversation in favor of another cup of coffee. “As fast as this conversation is going nowhere, I gotta get to the fuckin’ office.”

“Oh! Could you let the Captain know Markus and I will be stopping by tomorrow to discuss some business?”, Connor perked up, happy the conversation was no longer centered on his social skills and knowledge, or lack of.

“Will do. Keep in mind, Gavin’s still in the department. Didn’t evacuate like half the rest of the force.”, He responded, moving back into his room, likely to change into something more work appropriate.

“I’ll prepare myself for the encounter.”

“Ah ah—First things first. You need fancy clothes for this important meeting, all of us do. We should hit Macy’s today.”, North recovered, still weakly laughing but straightening her expression out.

She was right, but Connor found himself hesitating. He had animals to feed, things to take care off.

“Ugh I can feel you thinking. Ask Nick and Roman to go for you! Just send them your routine or whatever. I can’t rob this Macy’s without you.”

“Actually, Macy’s is donating their stock to us, it’s not rob—”, The RK800 started, only to be cut off once again by his pseudo-sibling.

“Just let me have this.”, North said, stone-faced as she put a hand over Connor’s mouth.

He shrugged, indifferent to North’s necessity that this be a high-stakes theft rather than the generous donation of a major company.

The Jericho inner-circle loitered for a little while longer, wishing goodbyes to Hank as the human left for work, and allowing Connor the time to send his daily routine to Nick and Roman (both accepted without hesitation). Simon jumped in to help tidy the house, clearing any clutter they’ve made since being over.

“I can’t believe you haven’t put a shirt on yet. This is so distracting.”, The WR400 shouted out suddenly. “Markus hasn’t been able to function this whole visit because of your well-designed body.”

“Oh—I’m sorry. I should have dressed. I didn’t assume it would make any of you uncomfortable. My apologies.”, North whispered something lewd under her breath that Connor just barely missed as he walked into the living room, grabbing the worn thick sweater and pulling it over his head. He left the beanie and jacket aside. Detroit was empty, he had to hide from no one. His hair was still a disarrayed mess from resting on the couch, and it fits well with his current grungy look.

“If you’re decent I’d like to go get some dope clothes.”, She stood up, shoving her hands into her pockets.

“Please remember they were incredibly kind to allow us to have their merchandise. No burning the store down.”, Markus (“finally speaking now that your boy is dressed?”), reminded her. Putting North’s destructive and overzealous tendencies aside, he was elated at the news a human run and owned company was making a big step in terms of showing their Humanity to Androids.

Plus, a sharper image would add to their appeal in the eyes of the public.

Josh and Simon collected themselves from their self-assigned tasks and the five formed a small circle within the small kitchen.

“Ready when you are, I guess.”, Josh shrugged. “I’ll ask some Jericho members to met us there. So we can start distributing new clothes to everyone.”

He closed his eyes for a second, sending the message out.

“Thank you, Josh.”, Markus said gratefully. He turned towards the door, eyes catching with Connor’s for a split second before breaking and looking forward.

“Let’s get going.”