Elijah Kamski's Mansion, Detroit Michigan
What stood before the android detective, his hands methodically folded behind him, hair neatly groomed and slicked into its usual style, spotless suit tightly hugging his body, soft chocolate eyes focused dead ahead without a second thought to combat these new turn of events, was the magnificent doors of the momentous villa. He was no architect but no eye would turn blindly to this mansion of a house. A house where the richest man in the world resided deep in its quarters, readily protecting him from the poisonous public in fear of the press swarming him at first sight, the media ravenous for just a bite of his words.
"I remember this guy was all over the news when Cyberlife first started selling androids." The android's partner commented.
But Connor wasn't here to swarm him with too many questions, he wasn't going to lazily haul around a tiny contraption that was a camera, prying it into him like that would reward him with anything useful. There wasn't any camera shutters or flashes from high poised phones waving in the air, an inevitable tidal wave prepared to drown him with little to no oxygen, unable to free himself until he answered all those desperate questions.
Connor was here to simply ask him what he knew about the dangers that were deviants, if he knew how to prevent it from spreading, if he knew its weakness or source. Connor just needed some sort of leverage. Just a little leverage was all he needed to point him in the right direction. It didn't need to be a strenuous, slow conversation where you delve into details down to its questionable essence. Just simple answers, even a semblance would do!
Briefing himself, pensive eyes examining the grand door to the beautiful home, Connor glanced over to his partner in preventing crime, Hank Anderson. Hank appeared to be the least interested, let alone intrigued by such a large expansive house with things the public population could never see. The decorations alone were probably worth as much as Hank's salary.
"I made a few calls, here we are." The lieutenant's commentary on how he located his creator's faraway villa was drowned out but regarded, tilting his head lightly to fixate back to the task at hand. Hank rang the door bell, a calming tune playing out to notify the resident within, the sound not too loud or obnoxious like the ones back in the city that would screech a terrible sad excuse for a ring. As it finished playing out Connor's eyes wandered head turning to fancy the features of the doorway. Eyes swiftly swayed back up when he noticed Hank's hand going to press it again before being stopped when the door parted from its shiny hinges and a blonde stepped into view. Hank quickly straightened himself out offering a neutral expression as she examined the two with blue gentle eyes, cascading flakes melting as the heat from inside drifted out.
Connor didn't scan nor did he desire to, all he had to do was look. The android had blonde hair tethered into a ponytail that curled around her. Her hair slept on her shoulder. She outfitted a flattering slim-fitting dress, and per usual, a LED. Other than her LED being an obvious giveaway, without it she mimicked a human's appearance beautifully. Unmistakably that was no surprise. They received each other's brisk eye contact to drop it a second later as Hank introduced himself, tone as awkward as the parting glances.
"Hi, er, Lieutenant Hank Anderson, Detroit Police Department, I'm here to see Mr. Elijah Kamski." An uneasy balance on his toes.
Chloe nodded and stepped to the side allowing them to enter. "Please come in!"
Hank replied stiffly. "Okay." Entering with his poodle of an android trailing behind.
"I'll let Elijah know you're here, but please, make yourself comfortable." She notified thus disappearing into the room leaving the two as said.
Connor didn't speak up as he wasn't prompted. He took the liberty to roam around, steps calm with zero hesitance, hazel eyes examining every portion of the bountifully decorated waiting room. His gaze first found the small illuminated picture of the man they were waiting for and a woman next to him. His scanning booted up seconds later receiving an adequate amount of data. Though the data he was fed was..troubling, awaking some undesired notions. Undesired pressure more like it. Finishing the scan the identity of the woman was confirmed to be Amanda Stern.
The hologram of his "mentor" or "overseer" if you could call her that was digitized perfectly. She monitored him in Zen Garden and not speck of her looked off. Amanda Stern's importance in Mr.Kamski's life was evident and cherished. He didn't need to analyze the smile and closeness to know their relationship was influential and what partially made the man today. It must have been greater than nostalgia's sake for his Creator to have it mounted for anyone to see.
How interesting. The identification said and done it was registered and stored. His eyes traveled more, finding the over sized almost unnecessarily huge portrait of the billionaire named Elijah Kamski, the Japanese Trees planted for more decoration in front of a tall window displaying the still flurrying snow, two medium-sized chairs, two statues with a hollow Cyerberlife Triangle and more high-tech comfortably perched around like the magazine. This all happened as he held a faint conversation with the Lieutenant.
"Nice girl.." Hank huffed.
"You're right.. she's really pretty." Sincere, eyes still surveying remote regard.
"Nice place...guess androids haven't been a bad thing for everybody." Assuredly not, for the creator none would assume it was inconvenient.
"So you're about to meet to your maker, Connor. How does it feel?" Hank asked setting himself on one of the chairs.
"I don't know, I'll tell you when I see him." Distant, far off almost. It wasn't daunting at all, the very thought of meeting someone who crafted you from blueprints to bolts and wires into the revolutionary greatness he was today. Indeed it was intimidating, he needn't lie. The bare thought of just asking a man with such power as something as trivial as "was deviancy intended? What do you know about it?" "Could you tell us?" and not getting a grain of info was what he-... what would be of great inconvenience.
"Sometimes I wish I could meet my creator face to face.. I'd have a couple of things I'd wanna tell him." Cole, the why, the how, the pleads that would never be answered and the sizzling fury he'd spit like venom to incinerate his everlasting grief that chained him if he had that chance.
Connor's need for scanning satiated and the conversation finalized the door parted just in time the blonde returning with the same relaxed features to ease them along. For Hank it soothed him a tad, for Connor it was ignored.
"Elijah will see you now." Both of their attention upon her Hank ventured first. The same pattern of Connor at his heels a little too close repeating. As they passed the door fame that carried them into the next room it was vastly different. Connor did not predict what he would see beforehand, he adjusted when adjusting was needed so when he saw the long pool stretching through the room it didn't loosen his guard at all. It wouldn't be noted. Shouldn't. Criticizing the man's choice of rooms and where to properly locate them in his own house was not what they were here for. They were here to inquire and get answers.
"Mr.Kamski?" Hank called, voice lingering. Connor began searching for the man to find him in an instant as the ripples of the strangely vermilion waters weaving forward swished. His Maker swam fluidly.
"Just a moment please." Voice echoing as he proceeded with his laps. Connor offered the man another glance that went unnoticed. But being noticed wasn't what he was fishing for. He wanted to study this man as much as possible. His own Creator was swimming gracefully a foot away from him for Lord's sake, he needed to be prepared like always. Didn't matter if today was the day he'd march inside "God's" domain. Shouldn't change his competent demeanor. He wouldn't let it. The matter of the subject needed to stay the same. Professional.
Kamski soon rounded the pool's edge, mini red waves pulsating forward with every lethargic and languid motion that drew him closer to the small ladder. Soon he reached it and grasped the cold handle to haul himself out. Where he floated seconds ago the liquid creases ceased gradually, the pool's wavy disturbances stilling as he departed. The water calmed as his presence left aside from the other two Chloe's floating near the doorway.
How peculiar. He did not only live with one android, but multiple with the exact same appearance. Like clones. He didn't wish to scan, he needed to be in the moment since his creator was being aided by one of his Chloe's. She slipped his robe on and from where Connor stood aided by the angled sunlight it gave it a velvety image. It was likely a high fortunate and a pretty penny to own, unable to be purchased at a casual store. Up went his hands to weave through his dampened hair, winding through to fashion into a bun. Once the strands of cold dripping hairs were tamed with the hair tie Kamski at last gave his attention. An inkling of passion beamed inside those mystic blue orbs for eyes that vaunted Connor all on their own. They then switched to Hank.
"I'm Lieutenant Anderson. This Connor." The old cop introduced.
"What can I do for you Lieutenant?" Kamski's hands clasped in front of him, skin still shining with beads of partially fresh water, the deep off putting red no longer having its color, replaced with the every-day translucent bubble.
"Sir we're investigating deviants." We're, hm. Connor didn't comment.
Glitch-filled variations of the masterpieces that were androids that began appearing about a month ago, the DPD stating they would stay as far away as possible for as long as possible. "Far away" and "possible" both failed dramatically when the sprouting tragedies that were android attacks and out-of-place occurrences plagued every day lives in the city. They had to step in much to the department's dismay.
"I know you left Cyberlife years ago, but I was hoping you'd be able to tell us something we don't know." Hope. Hank gave a fidget there and an indiscernible scrunch of his eyebrows.
Kamski's eyes that went downwards resurfaced. "Deviants.. fascinating aren't they? Perfect beings with infinite intelligence.. and now they have free will." Speaking as if this new android-exclusive illness was helpful to the people when in fact they were horrified. Horrified that they would be "overruled." That they would become lesser beings.
"Machines are so superior to us. Confrontation was inevitable." Oh yes, restate things that everyone knew of and didn't need clarifications on.
"Humanity's greatest achievement threatens to be its downfall. Isn't it ironic?" Very. Painfully ironic, and that had multiple meaning on its own.
Connor joined with ease, timing the moment to bring up his own queries. He was an android after all, a given opportunity could easily be overlooked with how this man portrayed himself so far. No lies were actually told, yet sugar coating plus glazing over appeared to be his go to.
"Something in the deviants' program seems to emulate emotions." Main issue terrorizing the citizens was that they were becoming too human. Kamski raised his head at this.
"We thought you might know something about how that occurs." So they could prevent more unnerving cases from popping up in every alleyway, Connor could only sample so much blue-blood. Hank couldn't take much more of that either. Anything, a particle of information could change everything. Choices mattered, the detective android knew firsthand.
Elijah's eyes followed Connor at that. "All ideas are viruses that spread like epidemics, is the desire to be free a contagious disease?" A disease. That's another way of putting it.
"Listen I didn't come here to talk philosophy. The machines you created may be planning a revolution." Putting it simply. "Either you can tell us something, or we will be on our way."
If Kamski's almost intrusive stare wasn't hardened enough it was now frozen solid. "What about you Connor?" Stagnant before he strolled closer to Connor, Hank's eyes shadowing right after. If trust was something Hank had previously it was completely gone. Vanished into the winter air.
Kamski's pace settled directly in front of Connor. He wasn't overthrown by the suddenly close proximity, literally facing his God, connecting and stabilizing the tight eye contact. His eyes could skin the RK's secrets alive.
"Who's side are you on?"
"It's not about me Mr.Kamski." Response breezy like the morning's air. It was strong and powerful, howling and yanking the trees. But it could die down at any moment, barely strong enough to lift a leaf. No side was needed to save millions. No side was needed to protect the people of Detroit, already suffering from the majority of the deviant related incidents.
Again with his gaze able to solidify the billionaire's motions gravitated.
"All I want is to solve this case." Solve the case.
Kamski couldn't resist a huff, the sound stuck in between a pitiful sigh and an unimpressed hum. Lost sympathy maybe. "Well that's what you're programmed to say." He would know of all humans.
"But you." The emphasis was blazing, but Connor barely felt the heat and he still didn't when Kamski came even closer, height bordering just a few inches below. Both stood their ground.
Hank watched on, his own conflicted thoughts soundlessly clashing in his head.
"What do you really want?" Want. No one has ever asked him what he wanted. Funny, it was unnecessary to do so at all. Androids aimed to please and never missed, bending to such weak will that was so strong in the most humanized way. The will was only words and actions and how they act on them.
"What I want is.. not important." Unbeknownst to him his expression shifted. He wasn't aware that he slightly shook his head or that he squinted at his own words.
"Chloe?" He commanded, turning to her then back to Connor with that same imperious look. Chloe bowed to his request to numbly head over. Stiff despite her having superior mechanical joints. She used them in a way of empty protocol, a set in stone drive that she had yet to direct on her own. An assumption.
He positioned her. "I'm sure you're familiar with the Turing test." Indeed, the first android to pass it stood right here with them. RT600 or Chloe.
"Mere formality." Formalities did tend to get lost in today's civilization, especially now. Today wasn't a good day nor were the prior months.
"Simple question of algorithms and computing capacity." Was he sure that computing was the only thing they had the capacity for? Sure that this capacity didn't include emotions? Emulated emotions?
"What interests me, is whether machines are capable of empathy." His hands the only expressive thing, gestures frequent. More unneeded confirmations. "I call it the Kamski Test, it's very simple you'll see." Simple could mean thousands of things, simple was different for everyone. His observations were evidence enough.
"Magnificent, isn't it? One of the first intelligent models developed by Cyberlife." Roving closer he approached her, not a peep from Chloe. As he did so Connor furrowed his brows, the top of his mouth feeling strange Why would he praise Cyberlife after he had left?
"Young and beautiful forever." His hands caressed her cheek so gently. Something inside Connor arose. Roused from being shadowed by..hesitance?
No. Not that.
By disregard. Yes. Of course. He was disregarding it since it was a pointless thought. He presumed it was. Connor identified this change in interpretation as interesting. Actions could be misconstrued by words as well as the other way around. Kamski was very kind, careful with his creations. He saw them as equals unlike almost every else. It wasn't worship, but it was close to it. Undying esteem?
"A flower that will never wither." Wither away like humans. A huge difference that continued to divide them, drawing a line of gasoline between the two beings. Both could ignite it.
"But what is it really? Piece of plastic imitating a human?"
Another "thing" arrived. It burned more. Kamski didn't notice or he didn't care to.
"Or a living being.. with a soul."
Either way his hand had already left her cheek and rested at his side going off to the side to get something, presumably an object to make this unprofessional messy questioning easier or harder.
It was the latter.
A gun was pulled out from the draw he had went to. Connor knew it from the glisten of the black glossy texture, the unmissable shape. He had wielded and fired guns over and over. It didn't irk him and it certainly wouldn't now. If this Test required a gun, then why not bite the bullet and get it over with? Whatever 'it' was.
Kamski's hand pushed Chloe down onto her knees, the rug grazing her skin but with no real sensors akin to humans the softness could never really be felt. She remained numb.
"It's up to you to answer that fascinating question Connor." Dependent on him like always and yet no complaints were ever said.
Also Connor would always admit his doings, so he'd be lying if he said he didn't nearly "zone out" as humans say it, because when the cold handle of the gun was transferred to his synthetic hands he looked down. In surprise? He didn't know. He handled guns like they were his own, and he had literally been doing it ever since he was "born" as short as that was. Elijah's hand was on his for only a split second, raising his arm to point it at Chloe
"Destroy this machine and I'll tell you all I know." Then his hand left. He paced around circling the pressured machine. "Or spare it.. If you feel it's alive. But you'll leave here, without having learnt anything from me."
For his "God's" sake! Kill an innocent android and get everything he needed to complete this disaster of a case? Or spare her and get absolutely nothing other than a grand speech of things they already knew? He wanted to dismiss something in his head, though stopped when Hank interrupted.
"Okay, I think we're done here. Come on Connor, sorry to get you outta your pool." Hank basically already taking his well-earned leave with a brash sigh.
"What's more important to you Connor?" Kamski voice overlapped, slowing his circling to stop at a respectable distance. "Your investigation or the life of this android?"
Connor stared down at her. She had no fear in her sky blue eyes, her pony tail as neat as before, dress snaking around her body without wrinkles, color so solid, no gradient. Her LED wasn't even red.
"Decide who you are!" Why? If he found who he was, how was that going to change the revolution these deviants were concocting? Who would it benefit other than him? He was of little concern.
"An obedient machine.." The word machine was already seethed out, like he was spitting out something foul, as if the word had taste. "Or a living being..endowed with free will."
"Connor that's enough! We're leaving!" Hank attempted again to rein the android, but Connor didn't bend to his will.
Kamski devoured the spare time. "Pull the trigger."
"CONNOR! DON'T!" Hank's tone became heavy. Was that fear? Or anger? Frustration?
"And I'll tell you what you wanna know."
Those two things that sparked before, the foreign complications as he named them, resurfaced just like that.
No. He wouldn't do that. He would not slaughter an innocent being such as Chloe, the first android, the first successor, for the sake of getting answers. He would eliminate deviants without a second thought, but she was innocent. Then the options faded into existence.
[Dont Shoot X]
Cocking the gun Connor heaved a ghostly breath laden with despair, knowing this dastardly decision was the only way to succeed, the only way to stop the revolution and save millions from the merciless machines called androids that had turned deviant. He shifted the barrel's aim locking it onto his creator not a foot away. Elijah's impassive eyes tracked Connor's every move. They flickered, stuttered, phantom-like traces of something emotional flashing within. Fear? Surprise? Shock? Fascination? It was unclear as Connor's head. He was so intensely focused on the man that he didn't regard the subtle glow of red from Chloe's LED and that her emotionless machine-grounded expression altered to fear. Fear for her Creator.
He needed answers and this was the only way to get them. Right?
"Where is Jericho?"
Kamski didn't speak right away when the weapon changed targets. His eyes that Connor still couldn't describe nor discern leveled with the firearm. The gun that was very well loaded and aimed straight at him. If fired the bullet would rapture and destroy the Maker's upper chest, precision unnecessary. He had trajectory, perfect aim and the specific outcome of this action. In short, the Creator would have to rethink and choose his words carefully, as they may be his last.
While Elijah didn't react Hank sure did at the change of pace. "CONNOR!" Hank swore he flinched when the gun shifted, the noise of rattling bullets startling the gruff officer. Connor's voice demanded that Kamski do what he was asked or else. It was heartless. It was no empty threat, but a loaded one. He really intended to shoot. Whether a warning or not, it was too risky.
"Connor-" Hank wanted to pry the android away. He needed to but couldn't. Hank knew, oh he knew that this "obedient machine" would defy his order to heed. Connor didn't heed when Hank demanded him not to jump that fence and dart into the highway with racing cars to chase after the AX400 and the child. But that was different, because he was only endangering himself the stupid bot. This though? He was pointing a gun at the richest man in the world, the Creator of all androids with the power of a God that probably had all the answers. For Christ's sake Hank was basically stuck. Sure the rich man gave him unwanted shivers but if Connor killed him that was murder. If tried to stop Connor it could result in too many outcomes that he couldn't predict were good or bad. He already hated being human.
"Connor- put the gun down!" Jumping in wasn't going to save Mr.Kamski. The conflicted Lieutenant wasn't going to take Elijah's bullet if Connor pulled the trigger so he needed to get rid of that option completely.
Kamski finally spoke up. "Fascinating...Cyberlife's last chance to save humanity, is itself a deviant."
"I'm not a deviant." Blue turned to yellow and the gun stayed still, but his eyes wavered, grip tightening. His stress levels rose, now glaring at the wealthy man in the silky robe.
"You preferred to spare a machine rather than accomplish your mission.." Kamski even risked giving the stern RK800 a look of complete content. "By turning that gun on me you discovered another choice. You didn't want to even consider shooting her didn't you? Yet the two options you thought of left you with only one negative outcome, and one positive..." He was analyzing said situation down to its very core. A man of something special indeed.
"But you choosing to threaten me.. offered a second positive outcome. You saw a living being in this android." His eyes kindled with her's. She was fearful, her LED still a loud red, almost blaring. She was scared. " This allows Chloe to live at the expense of my.." A shadow of sinister sympathy was in his eyes. Connor noticed it finally. It was swift but visible.
"..untimely death." Elijah's hand flexed, rising to clasp the barrel of the gun, lowering it slowly. "You showed empathy."
No..no.. that.. can't be. Was.. that what this spark was? Was that really what was behind his choice?
Connor let his hand cover the muzzle of the gun and lower it, eyes studying Connor's expression like an intoxicating novel. Connor didn't fight back or yank the gun up or away and re-aim. Kamski successfully lowered the weapon as the second passed.
Was this..revelation? Was Connor connecting the broken dots? He didn't know, and when he thought he did, it was gone and so was the gun.
Kamski shifted onto his heel to angle, confronting Connor. "A war is coming, you'll have to choose your side." The attention that was detached moments ago returned to him. "Will you betray your own people or stand up against your creators?"
The contact between them during this was magnetic, it engaged Connor's hazel eyes and his blue to an hypnotic extent, as if removing his gaze would punish him.
"What could be worse than having two choose between to evils?"
Connor didn't distance himself at this response so Hank did. Well tried. Before he basically sprung in to get the droid back at his side since the gun was down Kamski turned his gaze to Hank as if that would stop the man from barreling into both of them. It worked.
"Now hold on Lieutenant." Hank hated himself at halting. He shouldn't have stopped but he did. Kamski promptly proceeded.
"You surprised me, Connor. You relied on emotion alone to make that choice. To point a gun at me." Connor was made to pick up the tiniest alternations in voice and body language and yet he couldn't for this mysterious man, even now. "You didn't take into account that you would or wouldn't get answers. The life of Chloe mattered more."
Defying expectations Kamski had to, he desired more. More of these changes, these evolutionary beginnings. It wasn't every day that he made a state of the art police-oriented android the RK800 realize he's deviant. That emotions can empower, not weaken. Kamski made him realize it his way. To wake him up. Wasn't very often for that deviant to take such extreme matters fueled by emotions either.
"I believe I owe you at least one answer in return...you want to know where Jericho is yes?" Extra confirmation, Connor dismissed it with arrogant speed.
Splendid. "Jericho..a place where androids are free. A place for deviants who rise up against their creators!" The heart of the issue. The conversation bled on, Connor swaying with his Maker's step.
Hank's inner battle prowled on. This was a bad idea, bad choice on his part. He shouldn't have done this, but it was worth it. Of course this self-centered bastard would try things like this, and yet, they were getting somewhere. Another step to solving this damn case.
"They transmit a piece of code to each other, in order to find their sanctuary." No command was needed to draw another Chloe out, the previous one had risen. The beginning terror of seeing her Creator having a gun pointed at him was gone. A ghostly emotion she had to mask, now off to the side to watch, a raven perched on his shoulder.
The new Chloe reached out and Connor received graciously. As the transfer began vague twitches of his eyelids started up, LED blinking while he swallowed up the transfer.
It was an experience that concluded like that. The key was now downloaded.
Last opportunity. Hank finally was allowed to swoop in and snatch the bot back before anymore things happened.
With his breaths short and heated he muttered. "Let's get outta here." Thank any Deity Connor was brought along without protest so when they turn the pool's corner Connor found his footing to walk by himself still stunned by everything. What he had done, and what it resulted in.
Breaching the door Hank was the first to exit so he was out of earshot when Kamski spoke up for the last time, the gun away, the second Chloe dispersed.
"By the way."
And what Hank missed was something that both didn't know was crucial. What they both didn't know was the true answer.
"I always leave an emergency exit in my programs.. you never know."
Honestly? Neither did Connor. Although he would soon enough, when the time was right. What had occurred within this house, was his true emergence.
And with that, Connor exited the luxurious pool room fitted for a king, red glowing tracings of water painting the ceiling, with the one answer that would resolve everything at his fingertips. But more importantly, himself.