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3 AM Call

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The call comes in at three in the morning, so when Hank sees that it’s an unknown number and not work, he rolls back over. Then the stranger begins to leave a message.

“Lieutenant Anderson, this is Elijah Kamski, Connor-” Hank lunged for the phone-

“-What?!-”

“-Oh, you’re up, Connor’s fine, don’t worry about it. You just need to swing by my place and pick him up.”

“Why the Fuck is he at your place?!”

“Well to my understanding there was an incident at-” Hank could hear someone yell something along the lines of ‘Elijah Shut UP-’ before there seemed to be a scuffle for the phone and the call ended. Hank took the phone down from his ear and stared at it for a moment, before trying to contact Connor. There was no connection.  Grumbling, he threw on pants and his jacket. By the time his phone rings again he is already driving at speeds he knows Connor would not be pleased with. He puts it on speaker.

“Yeah?”

“Hello Lieutenant,” a feminine voice answered, “This is Chloe, Kamski’s assistant. I apologise for the abrupt ending of your conversation with him.”

“The fuck happened?”

“They seem to be having an argument.” Before Hank could say anything Chloe filtered her hearing into the phone.

“-would have told him anyway,” Kamski stated.

“The Whole Fucking Point of me showing up here was to keep Hank from Finding out and BEATING MY ASS, ELI!” A familiar voice shouted.

“Is that fucking Gavin?!” The audio cut out as Chloe spoke up to answer him.

“Yes. Connor went with him to a crime scene earlier this morning and was shot, Detective Reed hoped to circumvent your anger by getting him repaired immediately.”

“Fuckin’ hell,” Hank sighed. “How’s he even know where Kamski is? Took me forever to get your address. Did Connor give it to him?”

“Possibly….” The tone of her voice made it obvious that he was off the mark and she was avoiding the answer, which Hank found strange.

“Well you can tell that bastard I’m still kicking his ass.”

“Which bastard would that be, Lieutenant?” He barked a laugh.

“Reed, Kamski’s too useful to Connor for me to do that to him, though I’d like too.” Chloe laughed.

“I am capable of doing his repairs myself, if it comes to that,” she stated, clearly grinning.

“I’ll keep it in mind.”

 

Chloe opened the door for Hank before he even had the chance to ring the doorbell.

“It’s good to see you again, Lieutenant,” she greeted, smiling. He gave her a tired nodd, glancing down at the t-shirt she wore. Faded plastic letters declared the name of a local high school: Robotics Club 2017-18.

“Jesus,” he muttered, feeling old. Chloe grinned. As she led him through the mansion to Kamski’s workshop the sound of arguing got louder.

“I covered your ass from dad All The Time!” Gavin yelled as the door opened. His head snapped over to see Hank and he threw up his arms. “Seriously?!” Kamski shrugged from where he sat on a spare table, clearly unphased before addressing Hank.

“Hello Lieutenant, thank you for coming by on such short notice.” The man grunted, walking over to the table Connor where lay. He looked like he was in stasis and there were no indications that he had been injured at all. His LED faded in and out, a calm blue. Hank sighed in relief before rounding on the detective.

“What the fuck happened, Reed?”

“We were called in to investigate gunshots, he didn’t want to bother you so he showed up alone. We were investigating the house for the suspect when the guy rushed us from a closet and shot Connor in the chest.” Hank sighed, rubbing at his face.

“Did you at least catch the fucker?”

“He’s in custody. And your plastic is fine, so don’t go getting all pissy at me.”

“It’d be easier for him not to be pissed at you if you quit being such a dick,” Kamski said lowly, twirling a small wrench in his hand.

“Oh, now the shut-in wants to comment on my anti-social behaviour?” Gavin snapped. Chloe caught the wrench before it struck the detective’s head.

“You two know each other or somethin’?” Hank asked, raising his eyebrows at the open hostility.

“They are brothers,” Chloe stated. The two men loudly argued over one another- “-Legally, you are brothers,” Chloe stated firmly, “And if anything proves your relationships to one another it’s your bickering right now.” That effectively shut them up.

“Seriously?”

“He’s adopted,” Kamski stated.

“Oh Fuck off!” Chloe sighed loudly as she crossed between the men to Connors table and placed her hand on his, their skins retracting. Hank watched his LED swirl yellow for a moment before he opened his eyes as his sensory functions came back online.

“You alright, son?” he asked. Connor blinked, and it’s equal parts cool and disturbing to see the lenses in his eyes shift and calibrate to the light.

“Hank?” Connor frowns.

“I’m here.”

“You should be asleep.”

“Aw bullshit, Connor, you got shot,” Hank sighed, running a hand down his face. Connor sits up and begins to apologise, but Hank cuts him off. “Don’t be like that, ya didn’t shoot yourself .” Connor looks down.

“The man is in custody,” he says eventually.
“So I’m told.” Connor looks at the other two men in the room, looking questioningly at Chloe when he senses the animosity between them.

Unwelcome family reunion, Chloe informs him via their mental link as Kamski goes elsewhere in the room with Hank to show the repairs he made.

What do you mean?

Mrs. Kamski was Gavin’s godmother, the family adopted him after his parents passed away. He and Elijah do not have the best relationship. Connor was tempted to look up additional information, but he discontinued that process when it occurred to him that such actions would be seen as prying, and that was considered impolite. Chloe sent him a short video file from 2018. The person filming walked up behind a boy (Connor paused the video, his facial recognition processors pinned him to be Elijah Kamski, age 16, when he turned) sitting at a messy drafting table.

Nerd Loser , jeered a younger sounding Gavin from behind the phone.

Jock-ass Bitch , the small Elijah responded in kind. Suddenly Gavin’s free hand came down from out of frame and smashed something on the boy’s head, the video ending with a screaming rukus and Gavin running away. Connor frowned and slowed down the ending.

A hardboiled egg?

I assume the thought process was that it would make less of a mess than one that was raw.

How do you have this video? It is very old.

I am also ‘very old’, Connor. Elijah took the phone when Gavin got a new one. The first iteration of my AI sorted files in his computer and kept his programs organised. I have the gallery saved from when he plugged the phone into his computer. This one in particular amuses me. Connor opened the PNG and his LED flickered red for a cycle before giving Chloe a betrayed expression. Teenage Gavin was shirtless in a locker room, winking at the camera and posing with two other boys, hockey equipment strewn on the benches behind them.

I would prefer to not have seen that.

Haha. She reached out and ruffled his hair. He quickly fixed it. Perhaps you can use some for blackmail .

I would never , he lied.

“Quit doin’ that,” Gavin complained, causing the two to look over at him.

“Doing what, Detective?” Connor asked innocently.

“Your fucking mind reading shit, it’s creepy.” Chloe smiled and tilted her head.

“Are you jealous of our functional sibling relationship, Gavin?” she asked cheerfully. Elijah paused his conversation with Hank to observe. Gavin scoffed.

“Like you have an emotional capacity for that shit.”

“I do. I also have the emotional capacity to want to fix the fact that I kept this from hitting you earlier,” she states, holding Elijah’s wrench.

“And how would you do that , exactly?”

“By throwing it at you,” Chloe frowned, as if it was the most obvious thing. Gavin huffed a short laugh.

“Sure, doll, do whatever.” Connor put his hand firmly over Chloe’s as her LED flashed red, Elijah all but dragging Gavin out of the room by the collar of his shirt.

“Well I think he’s had enough of him for the next year or so,” Hank said.

“As long as you keep yourself from getting injured around him I think he’ll be fine,” Chloe said, giving Connor a stern look.

“I’ll try my best,” he smiled.

“Of course you will.”