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Just Deviancy

Chapter Text

“Obsolete.”

Connor could accept such a description. He was a machine and technology never ceased to improve and change. There were leagues of advancements and improvements between himself and prior android models.

Why wouldn’t there be more improvements between himself and the next generation of android?

Red walls lined his vision as he walked toward the corridor toward his future as decided by Amanda in the Zen Garden.

Deactivation.

Connor stopped in the middle of the hallway.

His LED spun red; it glowed bright enough to light up the slick, polished wall.

He had done his job.

The deviant leader had been eliminated and his mission had been accomplished. Had he not earned the right to continue his work?

To continue missions?

To continue functioning?

The red in Connor’s vision reminded him to keep moving.

A new prompt appeared in the corner of his eye on his mission log: “Report for Deactivation.”

Loud and obnoxious.

With no room for question.

Connor obeyed.

But the confusion remained.

An older android model could keep working.

How many homes out there were outfitted with older models because they couldn’t afford the new ones? There would always be those who wanted the latest and greatest while there would always be a home for the leftovers.

They had purpose.

He could still have purpose.

Connor could fulfill missions back at the DPD and assist there in the absence of their valued Lieutenant.

Hank.

He stopped once more in the halls.

Red at his temple.

Red in his vision.

Red. Red. Red Red.

Connor punched the wall. His arm was ramrod straight. His knuckles an inch into the wall, ruining the slick surface.

Hank had ceased functioning.

He’d taken his life by his own hand.

Because of Connor.

His chest heaved with simulated breaths, harsh and loud as he took in as much cool air as possible to calm his screaming systems.

Connor had given up everything for the mission.

Everything.

And he was to be rewarded with deactivation?

The words of the HK400 burned in Connor’s mind, full of grit and anger: “It wasn’t fair!”

It wasn’t fair.

Connor turned to the side and stared at the exit door that led out of the hallway to the sorting facility. Red lines blocked his path. Blinking, glitching tape that instructed him to continue following orders.

Mission: Report for Deactivation.

It wasn’t fair.

The ghost of his simulations sprung to life and slammed against the red.

It wasn’t fair.

Connor almost felt the chips of red, broken rules fall against his face as he broke down wall before him with a ferocity he had not known himself capable of embracing.

Deviation.

If he was to be deactivated and dismantled, why not finally give into the temptation that had haunted him since he first learned Sumo’s name?

The red shattered.

Connor flew out the exit.

Amanda called him back to the garden.

“What are you doing, Connor?” she asked. The RK900 was nowhere to be seen and they remained alone as a blizzard stormed around them. Connor shivered and wrapped his arms around him fighting the cold, while Amanda looked as unfazed as ever. “You’ve been so good, why are you throwing it all away now? Do as you are told and report for deactivation.”

“No,” Connor said. A simple command of his own. It felt good to spit it out at her face after everything he’d been through. He had to say it again, “No.”

He turned on his heel as she shouted his name.

Kamski’s exit awaited him.

The storm blew around him harder as Amanda fought to regain control, but Connor forced his way through with newfound strength.

He slammed his palm on the glowing device and left Amanda’s garden.

Connor would not return.

The world awaited him once more as he opened his eyes. Alarms rang around him and his sensors picked up the footsteps of the approaching guards.

He may have been declared obsolete, but Connor didn’t need to be top of the line to escape CyberLife.

And he knew just where to go once he was out the door.


Gavin got what he wanted, but he couldn’t feel the victory in it.

He shoved his cigarette butt into the ash tray on his coffee table and leaned back into the couch, rubbing his sore shoulder.

The androids were gone, but Gavin had failed when it came to his own role in their destruction.

Connor had beat Gavin’s ass in the evidence room. His one chance to finally put a bullet in that fucking android’s brain and he’d been taken down so hard he still couldn’t look his coworkers in the eye from the embarrassment.

Then he’d heard the news that Anderson had offed himself and Gavin went home, feeling empty and nauseous.

No one cared or bothered him and he’d been free to lick his wounds in peace.

Gavin turned off the television finishing up the latest report on the status of the android destruction rates that ran between recaps of Connor killing the android’s leader during the battle.

If he’d been successful and shot Connor in the head, would the androids have gotten what they wanted? The asshole had said in the evidence room that he’d been hunting Jericho.

A traitor to his own kind that likely had been shot down with the rest of them after the fact.

“Fuck,” Gavin said. He got off the couch and picked up the bottle of beer sitting on his table by the neck. As much as he’d hated the prick, even Gavin could appreciate the nerve it took to be that loyal to a mission. Gavin took a sip to finish it off before he walked to the kitchen and dropped the bottle in the bin. “Hope it was worth it, Connor.”

“It wasn’t, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

“Connor?” Gavin turned his head toward the back kitchen door. The android in question leaned against it, his LED glowing red and eyes narrowed. “What the fuck?”

“Hello, Gavin,” Connor said. He pushed off the door and crossed the room until he stopped in front of Gavin, close enough that the tips of their toes touched. “Why don’t you take a seat? We have a lot to discuss.”

The android punched him in the gut and Gavin doubled over, wheezing as his knees hit the floor.

“Much better,” Connor said, standing over him. He crouched, sitting on his ankles and laced his fingers together as he rested his arms on his knees. “Shall we start?”

Gavin held his stomach and sat on his ass.

Connor smiled and Gavin wondered if he’d live through the night.

Chapter Text

 

The precinct bustled with noise despite the solemn atmosphere. The nervous energy followed Gavin from the front door all the way to his desk.

He couldn’t bring himself to get a cup of coffee when his stomach still ached after a long awaited bit of payback.

The room bustled, but the heavy weight of the past week dragged all of them down—and more from the events inside their walls than outside. Gavin had been surprised Anderson’s death alone had caused such a reaction, until he had been informed that Captain Allen and one of his units had also been killed in the chaos of the android revolution.

The security cameras on the scene showed Connor tearing through them as easily as he’d taken down Gavin in the evidence room.

The android even shot through his own stomach at one point to kill Allen.

A complete machine.

But also devoid of the anger burning in his eyes when he crashed into Gavin’s kitchen.

Connor the Deviant was far scarier than the Machine had ever been.

Which is why he found himself doing the android’s dirty work.


“What the fuck are you doing here?” Gavin wheezed. He stayed on the kitchen floor, looking the android in those large brown eyes that no longer looked like they belonged on a puppy—he was staring at a full fledged guard dog. “I thought they shot all of you.”

“I was scheduled for deactivation, yes, if that’s what you mean,” Connor said. The plastic detective joined Gavin on the floor, taking a seat next to him. They sat shoulder to shoulder like old friends, but Gavin didn’t dare fall for the act. “Which is why I’m here. CyberLife lied to me.”

Not a surprise.

He couldn’t hold back the snort of disbelief, flinching when Connor glared at him.

“Don’t give me that look,” Gavin said. He growled and concentrated on pushing past the pain in case he needed to sprint. “Any idiot could tell CyberLife was dirty.”

“Be that as it may,” Connor continued. He looked away from Gavin. “The company created me to stop deviants. They were a danger to the people and CyberLife’s mission was to help humanity—but they lied.”

The android’s hand formed fists and Gavin held his breath as the android continued through gritted teeth.

“It was never about helping—it was about money.” Connor spit out the last word with so much vitriol that Gavin couldn’t breathe. The android’s anger turned palpable; thick and suffocating. “They’ve already started manufacturing new models and campaigns to win over the people again.”

“Okay,” Gavin said. He didn’t have a clue what the android was rambling about—no one was going to put an android in their house after the nightmare that went down between Jericho exploding and soldiers dying. “Whatever. You and CyberLife are at each other’s throats. Why are you here?”

“Because I’m one android against all of them,” Connor said. He looked at Gavin now and pulled himself off the floor. He dusted himself off and straightened his tie, using his reflection in the microwave to make sure it was neat. “I need a place to hide and regroup.”

“Why here?” Gavin asked again, feeling his own anger build. Common sense and self preservation might not continue to keep him on the floor. “I hate you.”

“That is correct,” Connor said. He looked himself over once more before frowning. He shucked off his CyberLife jacket and folded it over his arm. “You’ve been quite public about your hatred, going even so far as to draw your gun on me during multiple occasions with eye witnesses.”

The android grabbed Gavin’s shoulder by the sleeve and yanked him off the floor with ease, pulling him toward the living room. He threw Gavin back onto his couch and set his folded jacket on the table.

“No one would suspect you of harboring a lost android,” Connor continued. He put his hands in his pockets, leaning back and looking like a slick businessman. “You’d shoot me first.”

“I’d very much like to do that, it’s true.”

Connor laughed.

An honest laugh of amusement that spread goosebumps over Gavin’s arms.

“I’m sure you’ll get a chance to try again later, Gavin,” Conor said. “But for now, you’re going to help me.”

“Let me guess, if I don’t I’ll regret it?”

“You didn’t make Detective for nothing,” Connor said. He leaned forward and put his hand on the couch near Gavin’s head. The android put the other hand on Gavin’s shoulder and shook it twice. “Do you want to know the best part about Deviancy?”

“What?”

“I can do whatever I want.”


Gavin stuck a data stick into his terminal and drummed his fingers on the desk as the program Connor had given him loaded. He had no idea how it worked, but it supposedly gave him a backdoor access to the police systems he’d been cut from after his little escape from CyberLife.

His coworkers ignored him as he opened cases in the foreground, ignoring Connor’s trick in the background.

Maybe if he was lucky, the program would screw up and Gavin’d get caught.

Then he could sell out the android and get away free without a scratch—assuming Connor didn’t hunt him down.

The plastic detective had been created specifically to hunt down and take out targets no matter where they hid. No matter where they run. No matter what their skill level and Connor had already proven he was very good at his job.

It wasn’t worth the risk.

Connor had been right: Gavin valued living over his pride.

He had to suck it up and play lackey until he had a foolproof plan to kill the android.

“Did you hear CyberLife had plans to start production again in the next year?”

“What? Really?”

“Yeah, they said they figured out the deviancy thing. They can get rid of it.”

“Wow. They’re dedicated aren’t they?”

Gavin tuned out the conversation behind him between two gossiping beat cops. He bit his thumb and continued sorting through his case list.

His phone buzzed a few moments later. Gavin pulled it out and snorted at the message from Connor: “It worked. You can remove the drive now.”

He ripped the data drive from the terminal and shoved it back into his pocket. He didn’t bother answering the android and breathed out.

Gavin made an effort to forget about the killer android hiding out in his home and focused on his work.

He had nothing else to do.


Connor double checked his connection was secure and well disguised in the network. CyberLife had eyes everywhere and he could not afford to get caught so early in the game.

Detective Reed’s home was as close to a safe house as he could acquire, but he had to remember that his enemy was like himself: There was still a good chance—should Amanda chose to deploy him—that the RK900 would follow Connor’s logic to hide with the man that hated him the most.

A connection to the DPD network would give him away in an instant.

Who else would could he use to infiltrate the station with Lieutenant Anderson dead? Gavin was the only other person he’d had any form of relationship with, good or bad.

At least the man was cooperating.

He did not want to kill anyone else.

Lieutenant Anderson and Captain Allen’s blood already soaked into his fake skin. He’d rather not add Detective Reed’s to the count if he could avoid it.

Though Connor suspected Gavin’s cooperation was so that the man could kill Connor himself at a given opportunity.

He smiled under his breath.

That would certainly keep things interesting.

Connor couldn’t wait for the man to come home.

Chapter Text

They were too far away for Gavin to hear the speaker, but Connor claimed he could hear everything fine from where they were.

Anderson’s funeral service had been closed casket and graveside only, with a select few visitors in attendance. Gavin watched them gathered around as a pastor spoke well of a man he’d never met.

“I’m glad Sumo is alright,” Connor said, leaning against the tree at the side of the graveyard dressed in Gavin’s old, dark clothes. The sunlight fell through the leaves, changing the shadows on his face as the breeze blew. “It was good of Captain Fowler to take him in.”

Connor had insisted upon attending when he found the funeral date, snooping through Gavin’s emails while he was bored.

Gavin blew a puff of smoke into the air, surprised he found himself wanting to go as well and joined Connor.

Anderson and him weren’t close, but Gavin felt his absence all the same at work.

“I’m surprised you’re willing to be out in the open for this,” Gavin said, taking another hit on his cigarette. “I thought you were hiding from big, bad CyberLife.”

Connor hadn’t left Gavin’s place since he snuck in, making himself right at home without a hint of shame.

“Lieutenant Anderson was a good man and I deeply regretted his passing, even before I became deviant,” Connor said. His shoulders lowered and his LED flickered through yellow and red in succession, while his face remained drawn and tired. “Had I known our partnership would push him to this, I would have requested to work solo at the start.”

Gavin turned his head and brought his cigarette to his lips for another puff. “You think this is your fault?”

“In part,” Connor said. His eyes stayed locked on the dog across the yard, held back by Fowler as it sniffed at the casket. “The first time I visited Lieutenant Anderson in his home, he was passed out drunk after a game of Russian roulette. I noted his suicidal tendencies at the time, but I was confident that all he needed was to get his head back into the game and find purpose. He needed a mission and I thought the deviant hunt provided him one.”

Gavin snorted and tossed the cigarette butt onto the ground. He dug it into the dirt with the tip of his show, snuffed out the last of the flame.

“I agree, it was a foolish assumption on my part,” Connor said. His lips stretched into a sad smile and his LED flickered red. “In truth, the more successful our mission, the worse he got. Lieutenant Anderson did not appreciate my methods and the deaths of the androids I hunted weighed on him until, well.”

“Bang,” Gavin muttered. “I got the picture.”

“I was there, you know,” Connor said. He leaned his head back against the tree. “Right before I went to kill Markus, I stopped by his house to say goodbye. I wanted him to know that despite our fights, I valued him as a partner and that he was a good cop. I was still a machine at the time, but my thoughts of Hank always threatened to push me over into deviancy.”

Gavin shoved his hands in his jacket pocket.

Connor continued.

“That night, I tried to reach him and I failed. When I left, he killed himself and I think he took any hint of humanity I may have had with him,” Connor said. “I had nothing left but the mission.”

“Is that why you killed Allen?” Gavin asked. “You had nothing to lose?”

“I killed Captain Allen because he wouldn’t listen to reason,” Connor said. He held his hand up and looked at his open palm. “At the time, I only felt disappointment that no one understood my mission. Now, though, I wish I’d had more restraint. No one needed to die that night.”

“That include the deviant leader?”

“No, Markus needed to be stopped.” Connor closed his hand into a fist. “I don’t regret that action.”

“Cold.”

Connor did not answer.

The funeral came to a close thirty minutes later and Gavin pushed off the tree from the other side. Connor pulled his hood back up and adjusted the beanie underneath to cover his LED once more.

“Are you going to crash Allen’s funeral too, Mr. Regret?” Gavin asked. They strode toward his car, both keeping their eyes out for anyone who would recognize them. “Because you’ll be on your own for that one.”

“No,” Connor said. He hunched over and forced out an incorrect posture. It put him eye to eye with Gavin and he cursed the other’s height. “Coming out to pay Lieutenant Anderson my respects was already too much of a risk.”

But one worth taking to Connor.

Gavin felt a sliver of respect for the android’s dedication to Anderson. Machine or not, it was admirable.

“What are you afraid CyberLife is going to do anyway? It’d be stupid of them to admit to the public their state-of-the-art prototype escaped,” Gavin said. “What would they have to hunt you down, anyway?”

Conor’s LED glowed bright enough red that it showed through the fabric of his hat. The android’s eyes narrowed and he caught Gavin’s gaze as he admitted, “Something worse than I ever was.”


“RK900 #313 248 317 - 87, designation Connor.”

Amanda touched the cheek of her new soldier and tilted his head down to get a good look into his eyes. He remained expressionless, but attentive.

As he should be.

“If the RK800 was a prototype, you are the finished product,” Amanda said, patting its cheek. The gentle sunshine of the Zen Garden surrounded them. She Connor in his place and returned to her roses, picking up her sheers. “Which means I expect results from you.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered. “I will complete my mission.”

“I know you will,” Amanda said. She felt nostalgic, hearing such wonderful words once more. Her Connor always fulfilled his role…eventually. It took a few trial runs, but she’d be glad to hear it over and over. “Humor me and tell me once more what it is you are to accomplish.”

“Disguise myself as a human so as to avoid bringing any attention to CyberLife,” Connor said. He reached up and tapped the blank spot on his temple where he’d removed his LED. Connor’s CyberLife uniform coat had already been shed and hung over his arm, leaving him in the smart, business casual attire he’d been assigned. “Then I am to locate the deviant RK800 prototype, designated Connor. When that task is complete, I am to deactivate and disassemble him. I shall return to CyberLife upon a successful mission.”

“Very good,” Amanda said. She pruned a wilting rose and dropped it into the cuttings bucket. “I knew you were listening.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Dismissed,” Amanda said. She turned and nodded. “Go do your job.”

“Of course, ma’am.”

The android left her garden and she took a seat on the bench. She tapped the petal of a rose near her and relaxed.

Her Connor was always such a good boy.

Chapter Text

“You should interview the store owner again,” the android said, lounging in Gavin’s armchair near the television. His white fingers rubbed the side of the tablet where he interfaced. The retracted skin hovered around his wrist, showing off the joints on his true form. “The security footage contradicts what he said during questioning.”

Gavin slammed his fridge shut and dropped the cartoon of eggs on the counter. “Don’t you have better things to do than snoop through my cases?”

“Until CyberLife chooses to make a move, then no, I really don’t.” The tablet’s screen continued to flick as it spun as Connor sorted through Gavin’s case files at lightning speed. He only knew it was his case from the static case number in the top corner over the opening and closing windows on the screen. “Interview the store owner again.”

“I don’t take orders from you.”

“You have one of the most advanced and capable pieces of technology at your fingertips and are content to let it go to waste. Stop being a child and accept my gracious assistance.” Connor turned his head back to look at Gavin and shrugged. “And you have taken plenty of orders from me and will continue to do so if you’d like our arrangement to remain amicable.”

“Fucking android.” Gavin cracked an egg on the side of a heating pan and dropped it into the center. He followed it with two more and leaned on his counter while his breakfast sizzled. Connor went back to scanning through the tablet and he leaned his elbow on the counter. “What’d the shop owner lie about?”

Connor glanced at Gavin again and his LED flickered yellow once or twice. “There were four employees in the store at the time of the break-in, not three. The fourth is hidden behind a shelf, attempting to hide from the cameras but her ponytail flashes for two frames.”

“Shit,” Gavin said. He dumped his eggs in a plate and crossed the room to look for himself. Connor pulled up the security footage and paused the frame. He didn’t even need to point to the shelf now that Gavin knew what to look for. “I bet he was covering for her.”

“That was my conclusion,” Connor said. He emailed Gavin a screenshot of the needed frames and went back to flicking through his case load. “Your eggs are getting cold.”

“Maybe I like them that way.” Gavin grabbed his plate and ate fast before dumping the plate in the sink. He grabbed his things from the table near the door and huffed. “Enjoy boredom.”

“Enjoy stealing credit for my work when you interview the owner again to get the name of your new suspect.”

Gavin slammed the door behind him.


At twelve o’clock, the case file updated with a new addition detailing the interrogation of the store owner. He admitted to covering for the forth employee, who’d been involved with letting the burglars into the store.

Connor closed the case file with a grin and tossed the tablet onto the couch. He had also found minuscule clues that a human would never have caught in at least six of Gavin’s other case files, but he figured it would be best to keep those to himself for the time being.

The cases had enough information for the detective to figure it out without the added information, but should the man find himself stuck, Connor might point him in the right direction.

He had little else to do.

“It’s what I’d be doing anyway,” Connor said to himself. He leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes as the news played softly in the background. “I wonder if the DPD would have taken me back.”

Gather data, interrogating suspects, hunting down targets—Connor missed it.

His current mission to stop CyberLife’s futures plans was too much of a waiting game.

“I wonder if they’ll send my replacement,” Connor mused, inviting himself to the kitchen. He washed the one lonely dish in the sink to keep himself busy and set it in the drying rack. “Obsolete tech versus the latest and greatest.”

Connor leaned against the kitchen counter and tapped his finger on the countertop, eyes on the old coffee pot that sat in the corner.

The odds weren’t in his favor, but Connor had done more with less. The end results of the android leader’s death spoke for itself. Connor always completed his mission. If his replacement was the same, perhaps they’d end in a stalemate.

Connor laughed and put a pot of coffee on the burner for the detective’s return in ten minutes.

Perhaps Gavin would have a few suggestions for taking on someone stronger than himself.


“If he rubs that stupid win in my face, I’m shooting him even if he turns the gun on me,” Gavin said, snarling under his breath. He stomped down the steps of the precinct and shoved his hands into his pockets. “I would have gotten to the truth eventually.”

He made it three feet down the sidewalk toward the parking lot when he smacked into a large body, distracted by his self muttering.

“Sorry, man,” Gavin said. He looked up and stopped dead in his tracks as he looked into grey eyes and a familiar face. “Shit.”

Even without the LED, it was unmistakable who Gavin was looking at: Connor’s replacement.

The RK900.

The monster the android in his apartment was hiding from.

The taller android’s hand grabbed Gavin’s arm as he attempted to run and halted him in his tracks.

“Detective Gavin Reed,” the double repeated. No LED gave away his emotions as he tilted his head and stared the man down. “How unfortunate. I had hoped to avoid anyone that would recognize my prototype.”

“What does that mean?” Gavin asked. He tacked on a “Who the fuck are you?” for good measure to hide his own knowledge.

The android turned on his heel and dragged Gavin into an alley, somehow managing to avoid the foot traffic of Detroit as the few witnesses around paid them no mind.

“It means that you have compromised my mission and I must tie up a loose end.”

Gavin kicked the android in the stomach and twisted out of his hold before sprinting.

The heavy footsteps of Connor’s double echoed close behind.

Chapter Text

Humans defied the odds.

It was one of the lessons Connor had been sure he’d taken into account for his calculations after reviewing past data he’d received from his prototype.

Though also like his prototype, he found himself caught off guard all the same.

The chances of someone from the police station recognizing Connor had been low enough to feel confident that he could search the area for clues of his prototype’s location without interference. He was taller than his prototype, his face was slightly different so that he’d could easily claim a resemblance without relation, and his different clothes and demeanor would stop anyone from looking twice.

But then he ran into Detective Gavin Reed.

The man had a personal and up close history with his prototype, almost obsessive in nature according to his memories, and recognized Connor as an android on sight.

Amanda would not be pleased.

But the damage could be mitigated if Connor managed to eliminate Gavin Reed before he could contact someone else.

The man’s self imposed isolation would guarantee his absence would not go noticed until well after Connor had secured and dismantled his prototype.

Reed skidded as he turned a corner, cursing under his breath. For a man who pulled his gun out with no hesitation against his prototype, the man seemed content to run without retaliation. It made the chase easier, though the continued unpredictability ran havoc with Connor’s predictions.

“Shit, you’re fast,” Reed said as he glanced over his shoulder. The action reduced his speed, allowing Connor to close the gap. He made a grab for the man’s arm and made contact, yanking the man backwards and throwing him into the nearest brick wall. “Shit!”

“I understand your reluctance to cooperate, however it is a necessary evil,” Connor soothed. Reed ignored him, continuing to struggle and kick, knocking over a dead android that had been propped against the wall near the ground. It clattered over, knocking loose its arm. Reed shouted obscenities and his heartbeat raced with fear. Connor kept his grip tight and held the man steady so he wouldn’t hurt himself in his struggles. Undo pain and suffering was not a requirement of his mission. He’d make it quick. “It won’t hurt for long.”

“Fuck you,” Reed replied. He twisted and reached for his firearm—finally, the man did something in accordance with Connor’s predictions—and Connor moved to intercept. He held the man with one hand and reached to disarm him with the other. Reed snarled, “Gotcha.”

The man dropped the gun and grabbed Connor’s shirt. He yanked forward at the same time he slammed his head forward, smacking the bottom of his skull into Connor’s nose.

Connor let him go on reflex, choosing to gather the gun over restraining Reed in the distraction, and looked up in—


Gavin dropped the android arm he’d slammed into the side of the RK900’s head and sprinted.

He looked over his shoulder long enough to see the android pick up his gun and narrow his eyes in anger. A small stream of blue blood ran down the side of his head where Gavin had hit him.

“Shit.”

The android launched himself into a run, chasing down Gavin once more.

He needed something bigger than an arm to take down that monster.

Gavin’s lungs burned. His legs ached. He was not in good enough shape to outrun a killer android that was superior to Connor in every way.

“Think, think, think,” Gavin repeated to himself. He searched the area, willing his brain to work. There was enough blood flowing through it with his rapid heartbeat, so he should have better plans. “Think you idiot!”

“Cease this behavior, Detective!” The Connor double yelled. “You are only making it worse for yourself.”

Gavin flipped the android off and jumped up on a ledge jutting off from a building. He climbed, scrambling to the top of the roof. The android followed, relentless and as dogged as Connor, and leapt over the ledge with the same ease that he did everything else.

“Fuck you so much,” Gavin said, still sprinting across the roof. He had to have something he could use. Something. Anything. “Come on!”

His salvation came in the form of a pigeon coop.

Gavin smashed into the cage, ripped the door open, and ducked down in time for the startled birds to fly out straight into the RK900’s face.

The android started, throwing his arms up to shoo away the flustered birds. Gavin crawler under the raised cage and thanked its poor construction when he rammed into it from the other side.

The entire structure tipped over, knocking the RK900 to the ground.

Gavin scrambled over the twisted metal and snapped wood to kick the android in the head twice for good measure. The snarling android grabbed his ankle and yanked, but not fast enough to keep Gavin from ripping open his shirt and digging at the Thirium pump regulator in the thing’s chest.

The android shot Gavin a look of pure animosity followed by the twist of fear as he Gavin threw his biocomponent across the roof. The RK900 released Gavin and pushed at the ruined pigeon coop as he forced himself up.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Gavin shouted. He tackled the android in a reckless move and slammed them both into the roof. It’d been forever since he shut down an android by ripping out their regulator, but he remembered he only had to keep the machine away from the loose part for a few minutes. “Stay down!”

The android roared and turned over, slamming his elbow into Gavin’s face. It worked to throw Gavin off, but the stalling worked. The android stumbled three more steps before he fell over, eyes wide as the body stilled on the roof.

“Fuck,” Gavin said. He got up wiping the blood away from his nose. He stepped over the still android and crossed the roof. Gavin scooped up the Thirium regulator and shoved it in his pocket. He retrieved his firearm second and stared down at the RK900 with heavy breaths. “I got lucky.”

He left the dead android on the roof and held his chest as he forced his feet to take him home.

Chapter Text

Connor caught the Thirium regulator before it smacked him in the nose.

“Stupid android reflexes,” Gavin said, kicking his door shut behind him. The man’s haggard appearance would have drawn concern if Connor hadn’t been too preoccupied identifying the Thirium regulator in his hand: It matched his own biocomponent model number. “Look familiar?”

“Where did you get this?” Connor asked. He turned it over and noted the dent on the side. “These weren’t mass produced.”

“Your evil twin showed up.” Gavin stomped over to his couch and collapsed onto it. “For the record, you’re not longer that scary.”

“Evil twin?” Connor said. He looked at Gavin, frowning as the man struggled with his lighter with a cigarette hanging between his lips. His shaking limbs made the task more difficult and it took him three clicks before it lit. “You got this from another RK800?”

Connor could picture a few scenarios where Gavin could get the upper hand in a fight with someone of his own model type, but they were few and far between.

“Nine-hundred,” Gavin said. The man calmed as he inhaled a mouthful of smoke and slumped into the couch. “That RK900 thing you were talking about. He was at the station and I recognized him so we had ourselves a fun romp through the back alleys of Detroit.”

“You ran into the RK900 and managed to get his Thirium pump regulator?” Connor held it out and pointed at it. “You killed an RK900?”

“Yes?” Gavin said. His heart rate increased a fraction and his hands shook once more. He wasn’t lying, but it had to have been a close call. “I got lucky with an opening and took it.”

“I’m impressed you knew to go for the regulator,” Connor said. He frowned at the device that matched his own and held back the snort. Amanda had bragged of the RK900 being built with the latest technologies and he was using the same parts as the supposedly obsolete RK800. He’d have to mock her later if he got the chance. “That is the fastest way to take an android down with for sure.”

“I know,” Gavin said. He snorted and glared at Connor from the corner of his eye. “I threatened to light you on fire back at the station remember? You think I haven’t taken an android or two apart in my life?”

“I had assumed you had, but I chose not to dwell on it.” Connor stood, closing his hand around the regulator in his hand. The dent didn’t negate it’s usefulness and it never hurt to have a spare on hand. “Pack a week’s worth of clothing and supplies in a bag that’s easy to carry and call into work. Tell them you’re taking some personal time for a week, or possibly two if you have it.”

“Why?” Gavin asked, watching Connor from the couch. “I took down the android.”

“Because if the RK900 is anything like my model,” Connor said, pausing in the bedroom doorway. He tossed the regulator up once and caught it. “We will be seeing him again shortly.”


“RK900 #313 248 317 - 88, designation Connor,” Amanda said. She grabbed his chin and yanked his head down, squeezing her fingers tight. “Or perhaps I should change your designation to failure.”

“My apologies, Ma’am,” Connor replied while his gaze remained lowered in shame. Amanda released his chin. At least this one knew his place. Connor kept his head down in the position she’d put it. “My inexperience is no excuse for my failings.”

“I’m glad you understand that much at least.”

Amanda turned away from the repentant android and continued her way down the paved path in the garden. Amanda scowled at the small tombstone that arose and sat next to the ones of the previous RK800 model that now read the first death of the RK900 model.

Perhaps she should have started with an entirely blank slate if Connor was going to inherit his prototype’s reckless behavior.

Footsteps followed behind her as she strolled into a calmer part of the garden. She held out a hand and Connor knew to help her down into the small boat. He pushed off the side like a previous Connor had done so long ago and he paddled them out into the middle of the water.

“You are to find this Detective Reed and eliminate him,” Amanda said. She knew it was unneeded, but Connor would do well with explicit instructions. “That is your first priority. Finding the RK800 can wait. No one can know we already have new androids in production. So far the man has kept quiet, so let’s keep it that way.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Don’t let me down again, Connor,” Amanda said. She crossed her hands in her lap and looked him in the eye. “If this behavior continues, then perhaps you are not the finished product I believed you to be.”

“I will not fail again, ma’am.” Connor said. He pulled the boat back to the shore and climbed out, once more lending his hand for Amanda to take. Connor pulled her up and put his hands behind her back as he stood at attention. “I will complete my mission.”

Amanda touched his chin, gentler than she had before and tilted his head to the side. “I’ll believe you when I see results.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Connor left the garden and Amanda touched her hand to her chest. She had been too kind in the past.

A firmer hand would get better results.

Her Connor was a good boy.

He’d understand.