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Wounded Inferior

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System reinitializing/

Start up sequence activated/

RK800 #313-248-317-51 booting…/

All systems: Normal/

Energy levels 100%/

 

January 10th, 2039, 6:30am

 

Connor opened his eyes, staring up at the cracked ceiling. 

A peculiar feeling unravelled throughout his body, starting in his fingertips, spreading up his arms and around his chest cavity. It pulled at the corners of his mouth and filled him with the desire to get up and move around. Excitement, he concluded.

The bill allowing Androids to work for pay had finally been passed – meaning it was his first day back at the Detroit police department.

He stood, patting the top of Sumo’s head as a good morning and set about preparing for the day. He folded his blankets carefully and stacked them neatly on top of his pillow. From the sounds of the snores drifting form Hank’s room, the lieutenant was still fast asleep, so he changed his clothes in the living room. The crisp white dress shirt felt alien against his artificial skin after the two months he went without it. Still, the familiarity was welcomed.

He had discarded his old android jacket for a formal black blazer Hank had purchased him from Target. He glanced at himself in the bathroom mirror, checking his hair. Minus the lack of the word “android” and his serial number scrawled all over him, he still looked the same as he had back when he was just the android sent by CyberLife. He wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about that.

He checked his internal clock again: 6:48am. Hank should be waking soon, so he set off into the kitchen to prepare his morning coffee. Hank was always grouchy when he first awoke, but after half an hour and a steaming mug of something caffeinated he was almost human.

He placed the lieutenants favourite mug under the coffee maker and pressed start before heading to the fridge to begin preparations for scrambled eggs. Connor wasn’t the worlds best cook, as made clear by what Hank called ‘The Great Pasta Incident of 2038’ (“You’re supposed to add water before turning on the heat!”) He was made for investigations and police work after all. He wasn’t a house keeping model. Still, scrambled egg was relatively easy.

He cracked the eggs into the pan and began to stir, his mind wondering. He was curious to see what his first day back at the precinct would be like. Would people be happy to see him? Probably not, since he was a cold, unfeeling machine the last time he was there. Gavin would surely be the least happy to see him. Connor hadn’t missed the malevolent detective one bit.

He snapped back to reality like the flick of a whip, his hand flying from the pan, an overwhelming feeling of wrongness flooding though him.

Pain.

He yelped, bringing his hand up to his face to inspect the damage. The skin had faded just below the knuckle of his thumb, exposing the white plastic underneath. It was hot to the touch and stung under the light touch of his fingers.

He had been burnt.

And it had hurt.

He stared at the wound in awe, unsure of what to do. His healing program could most likely handle this by itself, eliminating the need to seek repairs, but that wasn’t his main concern. He had felt pain. That had never happened before.

A shrill beeping filled his ears, bringing him back to the present. A think plume of smoke rose from the eggs, which were now scorched, the smoke detector shrieking.

“Fucking Christ, Connor!” Hank yelled from the doorway, eyes alert, rudely awakened by the racket. “The fuck you doing?”

“Sorry lieutenant!” Connor yelled over the din, hurriedly shoving the pan away from the heat and turning off the stove, trying to resist the urge to clamp his hands over his ears against the assault of noise.

Hank stood on a chair, reaching up to the alarm, violently yanking out its batteries. It wailed into blissful silence.

“Jeez, I thought we were over the torching food stage?” Hank said warily, stepping down to the floor.

“I’m sorry, I got distracted.”

Hank rolled his eyes. “Banish Sumo to the living room when you’re cooking, how many times do I have to tell you?”

“I…” Connor bit his lip, placing his hands behind his back. If he told Hank he could suddenly feel pain, Hank would worry. Hank would be concerned, maybe even baby him on the job. He didn’t want that. Hank didn’t need to know. “I’m sorry. He likes the kitchen.”

Hank grunted, grabbing his coffee and taking a sip. “I’m gonna go get dressed and we’ll go. Bet you’re looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, huh?”

“Yes!” Connor said, eyes lighting up. “But Hank, you need to have breakfast. I burnt the eggs, I’m sorry but we’ll be a little late by the time I’ve made new ones-“

“It doesn’t matter, Connor.” Hank waved a hand dismissively. “We’ll stop off at McDonalds on the way or somethin’”

“I must remind you of the salt levels in McDonalds food, and one breakfast meal is way above your recommended-,"

“Jesus Connor let a guy live.” Hank grumbled before disappearing back into his room.

 


 

The precinct was already bustling when they arrived, Hank clutching his second coffee of the day like a lifeline. Connor powerwalked past the front desk, the older man struggling to keep up.

“Jesus, Connor slow down!” Hank called after the android.

“I’m sorry, I’m just… excited.”

“Anyone could see that.” Hank mumbled into his tumbler.

“Hank, Connor!” Fowlers booming voice echoed across the room from the doorway to his office. “In here.”

Hank groaned. “Great. He’s started already. And I’ve been a good boy.”

Connor began a brisk walk toward the office, Hank trailing behind him. Once they entered, Hank slumped down into one of the plush chairs in front of the captain’s desk, looking at Fowler with tired eyes. Connor stood behind him, arms folded behind his back waiting for Fowler to start speaking, however Fowler just frowned at him. “You can sit down Connor.”

“Oh.” Connor’s mouth hung open slightly. He hadn’t even considered the fact that he was almost Hank’s equal now. He was equal to the humans, he could do what they do. That meant he could sit.

He carefully lowered himself into the plush seat below him, hands braced on the arms of the chair. Once he was settled, he folded his hands in his lap, twiddling his thumbs. He desperately wanted to fiddle with his coin, or the rubix cube Hank had gotten him for Christmas, but he didn’t think Fowler would like that very much. He was uncomfortable, he realised.

“You have no idea what I went through to get you this,” Fowler reached into his drawer, pulling out a small black box and sliding it across the desk towards Connor. “Androids might be able to work now, but the higher ups weren’t very happy about the idea of an android detective.” Fowler folded his arms across his chest. “I busted my ass getting you in. Sweet talked the bosses. You better not let me down, kid.”

Connor took the box and slid the lid off carefully. Inside sat a shiny detectives badge atop fine, soft silk and a few inches of padding. The words “Detroit City Detective” were inscribed in black over the gold, the metal catching the light and glinting.

His very own badge.

“I-," Connor cleared his throat, suddenly feeling slightly choked up. That was new. “I won’t, sir. Thank you.”

A ghost of a smile played about Fowlers lips before he forced his face back into neutrality. “I can’t issue you a gun just yet, currently it’s illegal for androids to carry firearms. You’ll have to rely on Hank for the time being.” He turned to face the older man, “Don’t let him out of your sight.” He added sternly.

Hank gave a lazy mock salute. “You have my word, Jeffery.” He drawled.

Fowler leaned back in his chair. “You’ll still be handling cases involving androids, I’ve sent some files over to your terminals. Connor, you can keep using the desk you used before. Make yourself at home. That’s all.” He waved his hand dismissively, turning back to his tablet.

The pair got to their feet, Connor still staring intently at his shiny new badge, a mixture of emotions pooling around his thirium pump. He was vaguely aware of Hanks hand on the small of his back, guiding him out of the office.

“Not bad, eh?” Hank said, wrapping an arm round Connors shoulders, looking down at the badge still sat in its box. “How you feelin’?”

“I’m not sure,” Connor murmured, picking up the badge and holding it between thumb and forefinger delicately. “I think I’m happy.”

“Good stuff.” Hank clapped him once the arm before letting him go as they approached their desks. Hank’s was just as messy as it was when Connor had last seen it, only with the added candy wrappers left over from Christmas no doubt. Connor’s was just as empty, but-

Sitting next to the keyboard was a wooden name plate, much like the one on Hanks desk. Carved into the gold in black lettering was ‘Dt. Connor’.

“Surprise,” Hank grinned, throwing himself down into his chair with a grunt. “You’re a real detective now. The name plate is just as important as the badge.”

Connor picked up, inspecting it. There was a large gap after ‘Connor’, for a surname no doubt, a surname he didn’t have. Still, it was very much his.

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” He breathed, running his fingers along the engraving, feeling each little bump that spelled out his name.

“Playing cops with your doll, Anderson?” A harsh voice sounded behind him. Connor turned around, coming face to face with none other than Gavin Reed. Gavin scowled. “A badge and a name plate? It’s almost like he’s a real boy!”

“Lay off, Reed.” Hank snarled, not looking up from his terminal.

Gavin scoffed. “Isn’t it fucked? We went to school for years to get where we are now, and Barbie here gets to be a detective overnight. And he was literally born yesterday.

“I was activated one hundred and forty-eight days ago, Detective, not yesterday. I saw you only two weeks ago-“

Gavin snorted. “My point still stands. You’re a fuckin’ baby.”

“I am not a baby. I was designed with the features and physicality of a twenty-five-year-old male.”

“All right, quit it you two.” Hank cut across them. “Just piss off Reed, we have work to do.”

Gavin glared at Connor. “Stay out of my way, you plastic prick.” He hissed, before storming off, making sure to slam his shoulder into Connors in the process.

It hurt. A dull ache pulsed from the point of contact, making the android wince quietly, hand coming up to clutch at the assaulted area.

“Ignore him.” Hank took a sip of his coffee, still not looking up from his screen. “He’s an idiot.”

“I’m aware.” Connor said, sitting down, straightening his nameplate so it was parallel to the monitor.

Hank sighed, leaning back in his chair. “I have a shit ton of paperwork to do before we can go out and actually do our jobs. We’ll go after lunch.”

“Can I help?” Connor asked, “I can file reports in seconds.”

“I know. I’m jealous.” Hank snorted, running a hand through his hair. Stressed. “And you weren’t working with me on these. I have to do ‘em by myself. Read through the case files while you’re waiting.”

“Got it.” Said Connor, interfacing with his terminal.

 


 

Hank had wanted to go to the Chicken Feed for lunch. Connor had reminded him he’d already had McDonalds that morning. Hank had scowled into his salad. 

“I’m not a fucking rabbit, Connor.” Hank grumbled around a mouthful of lettuce as they made their way back to their desks. “I hate this shit.”

“It’s good for you, lieutenant.” Connor reminded him. “There is far less fat and cholesterol in salads, also-“

“Yeah, yeah. You don’t even eat. You don’t even know how torturous this is for me!”

“Diabetes and even heart attacks are far more tortuous than eating a salad.” Connor pointed out, lowering himself into his chair.

Hank glared at him across the desks. “Shut up.”

“I’m just looking out for you, lieutenant.”

“I know. It’s annoying. Stop that.”

Their conversation was abruptly cut short by Fowlers booming voice echoing across the precinct. “Reed! My office!”

All heads turned to Gavin, who was sat at his desk, feet propped up against some important looking documents and tablet balanced on his knee. He looked up, a sour expression on his face as he got to his feet.

“Heh.” Hank chuckled. “Wonder what he did. Maybe he’ll get fired.”

“That’s wishful thinking.” Connor said, not looking up from his terminal. “He hasn’t broken nearly as many rules as you have in the past, and you’re still here.”

Hank threw a ball of scrunched up paper at him.

The office lapsed back into its quiet hum for a minute, before it was once again broken by a loud bang that made Connor start.

Gavin was storming down the steps of Fowlers office, face red and fuming. “I can’t fucking believe this!” He shrieked, turning around to face the police captain, who was standing calmly in the doorway. “I don’t need a partner! Especially not a plastic asshole!”

Hank and Connor glanced at each other. Gavin’s comment reminded Connor of his and Hanks first day in the precinct together. It wasn’t one of his best memories.

“You’re working with him, Reed, and that’s final.” Captain Fowler said calmly. He seemed to be able to keep his temper when he was talking to people that weren’t Hank. “Unless you want to hand over your gun and badge.”

Gavin just stood there, mouth hanging open. “I can’t believe this.” He muttered, “I can’t fucking-“ He let out a roar of frustration before storming out, leaving a ringing silence behind him.

Fowler sighed audibly before he straightened and addressed the office. “Everyone, we have a new officer joining us. His name is Evan.” A shadow appeared behind him and a man stepped out under the florescent lighting. Connor’s thirium pump skipped a beat and he felt it sink, settling around where a humans gut would be. “Make him feel welcome.” 

Connors eyes widened. He was looking up at himself, standing next to Fowler in a crisp white jacket, blue LED steady on his temple. No, not himself. This android was taller, his shoulders broader, his jaw squarer and his eyes were a cold, icy blue. But other than that, it was like looking in a mirror. He had soft brown hair that curled slightly, a whisp falling across his forehead. His pale skin was littered with brown freckles thrown here and there and his lips were the same shade of soft pink.

“Holy shit!” Hank exclaimed as the android walked past them, not even sparing them a glace, and settled in a desk opposite from Gavin’s. “Connor, that’s you!”

“I- I know.” Connor stuttered, turning in his seat to gape in awe at the back of the androids – Evans – head. Everyone else in the office seemed to have the same idea.

“Jesus. I didn’t know there were more of you around.”

“Neither did I.” Connor confessed. “But he seems different. Perhaps he’s a different model.”

“Maybe so, but it looks like CyberLife couldn’t be bothered to make one that looks different.” Hank narrowed his eyes at the back of Evans head. “Fuckin’ weird.”

“I’ll talk to him later.” Connor decided, turning back to his desk, though he still felt a little uneasy. Extremely uneasy.

Gavin sulked back half an hour later, looking as if the world had personally wronged him and slouched into his seat, glaring daggers at the android before him. After a few moments, Evan stood and made his way into the breakroom.

Hank nudged Connors leg under the desk with his boot. “Robocop number two just went into the breakroom.” He informed him. Connor nodded, standing and straightening his tie before following.

He paused in the doorway, watching the back of Evan’s head as he placed a mug methodically under the coffee machine, just like Connor had done that morning.

“Hello, RK800.” He drawled, not turning to face him. Connor stiffened.

“You know me.” He said lamely.

“Of course I do.” The bigger android set the coffee machine and turned around to face him. He really was taller, only by about four or five inches, but his stare pinned Connor to where he stood. He was intimidating.

“I was built as a superior model to the RK800. I am a RK900. My purpose was to replace you after CyberLife had finished with you.”

Connor felt himself shiver. Of course, he was only supposed to be a tempory model. He was built to become deviant, and when his work was done he would have been destroyed. That hadn’t happened and he was still here.

“CyberLife was ordered to release all androids in its possession after your little ‘revolution’. I had just been completed at the time, waiting until you had been destroyed.” The machine beeped and he turned away from Connor, taking the mug.  “Obviously that didn’t happen. They let me go and I went to Jericho with all the others. I figured I should get a job in the police force as that was what I was built for, after all.”

“I don’t understand.” Connor muttered, “The DPD already has an android. Why hire another one?”

Evan cocked an eyebrow. “I am superior to you in every way.” He said, his voice low. Connor stiffened. “CyberLife realised your flaws and built upon them. Not only do I have your reconstruction abilities and forensic analysis, I am physically stronger and my reflexes are 6.5 percent quicker than yours could ever be. I was designed to have complete control over my emotions in the case of deviancy, so I can still do my job as if I were merely a machine. While you were designed to negotiate and blend in with the humans, I was designed to intimidate.”

Connors fingers began tapping frantically against his leg. For the second time that day, he found himself aching for his coin.

“Are you… Deviant?” He asked.

“Alive? Yes, I am.” Evan said, “Though that will not affect my work in the slightest.”

Connor nodded slowly as Evan turned back to the coffee. Another android. Connor wasn’t exactly sure how to feel about that. Why hadn’t Fowler told him? More importantly, did that mean he was useless now? Evan had all his capabilities and more, what was the point in his being here?

He forced himself back to reality. “You’re making Gavin coffee?” He asked, willing his voice to sound stronger.

“Yes,” Evan said simply, reaching into the cupboard and bringing out a jar.

“I did that once. He punched me for it.” Connor remembered bitterly. He had only wanted to help.

“If he tries to punch me I’ll break his face.” Evan said casually, as if people broke their co-workers faces everyday. He then began to spoon heaped teaspoons of white powder into Gavin’s drink.

Connor frowned. “That’s salt.” He pointed out.

Evan smirked. “I know.”