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Take That and Rewind it Back

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Connor had failed his mission.

He could do nothing but watch his target give a speech to a whole sea of newly-freed androids from afar. He could potentially try to shoot his target, but unfortunately, he had been stopped by the Lieutenant already (taking humans lives was not part of his mission, so he had no choice but to retreat). The probability of failure for a second chance was too great to take. Besides, the time it would take to set up his sniper rifle would be too long. The ideal time had passed, and with no other options, Connor could do nothing but accept failure, his HUD flashing a bright red before fading. Perhaps he should have felt something akin to bitterness or frustration, but he was no deviant; he can’t feel. 

A prompt flashed in his mind. Amanda was ordering him to come back to Cyberlife. Connor could guess it was for his deactivation. He accepted it--it was his orders, after all--and made his way towards the roof entrance he had used to get up in the first place.

He’s on the last flight of stairs when something happens.

Connor startles, his vision suddenly turning into pixels of white static as his audio processors started to emit a high-pitched whine. He didn’t even realize his arms had thrown themselves onto the stair railing in an attempt to stabilize his balance as he experienced what must be some sort of malfunction in his systems. 

He could do nothing but wait for the worst of it out as he was too disoriented to even try running a diagnostic. Thankfully, his systems slowly but surely become stable, his vision becoming clear once more and his audio processors picking up nothing but the heaviness of his artificial breathing. Connor wasted no time running an internal diagnostic, but he was rather perplexed when nothing out of the ordinary came up in the results; it said that everything was fully operational. The android felt brief confusion before he ultimately decided that it had nothing to do with his…

Connor blinked. He was staring at his mission objectives, which had previous held REPORT BACK TO CYBERLIFE on it, but now...now it was blank. He had no current mission. 

That...couldn’t be right. He tried refreshing the list, as if maybe it was just some small glitch in his HUD, but no, there were still no missions.

Connor wasn’t...sure how he was supposed to feel about that, before he quickly reminded himself that androids can’t feel and maybe he should just report to Cyberlife anyway. If there were bugs in his system, they would need to know how to prevent it in future models.

Makeshift mission decided, he headed down the last of the stairs and pushed open the doors. He took a few steps, memorizing the most efficient route to his destination before he stiffened. Slowly, he looked down at the pavement under him.

There were no signs of snow. Connor was sure it had been snowing; he even played back some of his own memories to verify that the rooftop he had been standing on had indeed been covered with a thin layer of snow that had only recently started. 

Connor looked up, all pieces of evidence pointing to there being gray clouds littering speckles of snow on top of him...but no, nothing was falling from the sky. It was indeed cloudy, but Connor deduced them to be a sign of rain, not snow. He also realized that it was no longer 1:04 AM, as he had last seen before heading down the building, but...10:04 PM, his internal clock read. That wasn’t what truly caught his attention, however. No, what really caught his eyes was the date that it flashed back at him.

November 5, 2038.

The day he met Hank.

That definitely couldn’t be right, his systems must still be malfunctioning. Connor tried to run several diagnostic tests, but they all came with the same result: fully operational.

That couldn’t be right, but all the evidence points towards…

Connor closed his eyes to close off any visual stimulation and allow him to think of the most efficient way to solve this...problem.

If this is really November 5, then at 11:22 PM, I should be meeting with Lieutenant Anderson.

Yes, that was a concrete way to test his absurd conclusion. It was an experiment with a clear way to interpret results.

Calculating how much time it would take to reach Jimmy’s Bar, he changed his destination and started making his way there.

~⭕️~

It didn’t take long for Connor to arrive, in fact, he had extra time than what his prediction had said, and in order to test his theory with as much accuracy as possible, he waited until his internal clock read 11:21 PM before he opened the doors of the bar. He scanned the patrons just as he had the first time and he was mildly surprised to find the same people he had identified that day to be sitting in the same exact spots as they had before.

No , he shook his head, he could only fully believe the evidence when if he saw Hank. He trained his eyes to where the lieutenant had been sitting, and he finds that it’s someone else sitting there. He could tell it’s not Hank despite not being able to see their face as their frame was much smaller than his, and their hair was not gray but rather a chocolate brown. Connor felt relief satisfaction that he had completed his experiment and found the results to be negative. 

Now it was clear he needed to go to Cyberlife and have a much more thorough investigation with the glitches he had been experiencing. He turned to leave, foot lifting to take the first step when-- 

“Jimmyyy, another round, please…” Connor froze on the spot. He only barely recognized that voice.

Without thinking he darts his head around and instantly directs his attention to the source of that voice. His head is now turned in a way where Connor could now see his face, and he immediately, without a single moment of doubt, recognized it.

It was his own face.  

Chapter Text

For a moment, Connor feels like time had frozen, as if he had gone into stasis without his visual processors being deactivated. One moment he’s staring at his own trashed face, but then in the next, he’s pressed against the walls of the bar. 

He blinked, momentarily confused. When had he exited the bar? Despite his sudden gap in memory, he quickly ducks his head when someone else goes through the door beside him. 

His eyes grew wide as he realized that person was wearing the same exact uniform he was, except the label neatly printed on the back read HK800 instead of RK800. It struck him as odd, of course, but a split second later he suddenly realized--

“Lieutenant Stern.” Connor felt his motor functions malfunction as he heard what he recognized to be Hank’s Lieutenant Anderson’s voice, but with a lot less...emotion to it. “My name is Hank. I’m the android sent by CyberLife.” He couldn’t fully process the rest of that conversation as his processors were still hung up on all the implications that just flew by him in almost 3.5 seconds.

It was Hank, but not the one he knew, apparently. Making sure not to catch the attention of too many people, the android ducked his head over the door just enough to allow his identification protocols to do their thing on the tall, gray-haired android. He wasn’t facing him fully, but even then Connor didn’t need any facial recognition for him to know that was definitely the face of his lieutenant. There were a few differences between him and the one he was looking at, like the way his gray hair was half-tied in a short ponytail, leaving a few strands to frame his face, but the most prominent difference was the bright blue LED attached to the HK800’s right temple.

“...I was unfortunate to find you here at the fifth bar,” Connor overheard as his facial recognition program was completed. Information assaulted his mind palace, but the RK800 was able to easily read through all the information, though he did reel at some of what he learned. This HK800--designated as “Hank”--was an advanced prototype meant to deal with deviants, his description almost exactly matching with his own, except for the fact he was released in September, not August.

August’s birthday is in September.

Moving all that information for further analysis later, Connor peeked his head back and focused on his lookalike. He also wasn’t fully facing him, but enough of his face was showing for his facial recognition to kick in. The android noted his doppelganger’s different but similar features, all the way from his tired brown eyes with dark bags under them, tousled brown hair, and faint freckles that adorned his face. 

“Ugh, what do you want?” He registered his human counterpart saying just before a bio profiled popped up in his HUD. 

[CONNOR STERN]

He had heard Hank the HK800 mention him to have a last name of “Stern”, but only now did he remember where he had heard of the surname before.

Amanda

Flickering through his basic bio information--born August 15, 2002, police lieutenant, no criminal record--Connor searched through more of his newly-updated database and sure enough, the name AMANDA STERN popped up under Connor Stern’s known relatives. And someone known as Richard Stern, but Connor brushed that off as temporarily insignificant and instead focused on understanding what he should do with all this new information. 

He could infer by now that some strange anomaly has occurred, seemingly bringing him to the past in a world where, somehow, he is a human, and Hank is the android. He definitely did not understand how such an anomaly occurred, much less why, and he decided it was quite inefficient to try and figure out its logistics, at least for now. Rather, he focused his energy and attention to a new objective, a new mission.

If this was indeed November 5, 2038, then that meant that the Android Revolution hadn’t begun yet. Which meant it could still be prevented.

Which meant he was given another chance.

The android’s feet began to move as his processors calculated his route for him. He needed answers and more updated information of this foreign world around him, and he knew the most ideal place to obtain them.