Actions

Work Header

Blue Blood

Chapter Text

Rating: R (swearing)

Tags: interspecies, romance, fluff, detective, law enforcement, original character, shameless pwp, sex




“Excuse me, Detective Forbes?”

The target in question -- a blonde female human who, at a glance, looked remarkably stressed -- glanced up from her monitor, focus broken. The moment she saw Connor, her expression shifted to relief, then exhaustion.

“Oh, finally!” she huffed, pushing herself up. She extended a hand to him, and he took it as his programmed greeting took over.

“My name is Connor, I’m the android--”

“--sent by CyberLife,” she finished for him, giving an amused smirk. “I’m very familiar with that phrase by now. ‘Bout time you got here, I was starting to get really impatient.”

That surprised him. After everything that’d happened in Detroit -- and, by extension, around the world -- he’d gotten the impression that few and less humans had any positivity towards androids.

“I apologize,” he began carefully, reading the detective’s reactions closely. “I didn’t realize my presence was so--” he spared an instant to decipher the best phrasing “--demanded.”

“Hah, I bet,” she chuckled. “Here, I got this desk cleared for you.” She gestured the one in question, and he was hit with a sense of...nostalgia?

The desk he’d shared with Hank for a whole brief seventeen minutes had been on opposite sides, though. Where he’d sat, Forbes was; where Hank had, Connor would.

Was it wrong that it felt so...wrong?

Evelyn was quick to sit back down, giving Connor little time to suggest a swap. Resigned to his fate, he went ahead and took the opposite desk, checking the setup. Before he could get settled, however, Evelyn was talking -- quick, concise, and to the point.

“Sorry in advance if I’m coming off as rude, but I’ve been swamped with work the past few weeks and I’ve been dying for you to arrive,” she was saying.

“Aren’t you homicide?” he checked, confused. Why was she swamped with work?

“Yeah -- getting to that,” she said. “Okay, super short version -- when all that revolution business in Detroit started hitting national coverage, I knew right away there were going to be riots down here in L.A., too. So I did what I could to minimize the carnage. Got every android officer unit online and gave them all the same order: hit the streets and round up every single android they could find, detain them, send them to one of...I think I gave seven locations, it’s hard to remember,” she sighed.

When she paused to rub her forehead, he took the moment to analyze her more closely -- for a frozen moment in time, he ran several hundred checks on the human across from him.

The conclusion: she was stressed, overworked, exhausted, and malnourished. Obviously these last few weeks hadn’t been kind to her -- yet here she was, at her desk, still on the job. He found himself respecting her on principle.

“Anyway, 195 blue-blood officers collected between fifty-to-eighty androids apiece, got them sequestered away before the shit hit the fan. Few days later and pretty much everything stopped, which had a fun little side-effect of leaving dozens of CyberLife delivery trucks stranded in the roads. The precincts all across the city took all the ones we could find, so I went ahead and took one, too -- to one of the safehouses. And,” she added with a fresh wave of lethargy, “that’s where my troubles began.”

He thought it was a little narcissistic of her to claim her troubles when so many androids ended up in pieces from ‘the shit hitting the fan’, but he decided against saying any of that. Best not to ruffle feathers on his first day -- with his new partner, no less.

“I swear,” she went on, “every single android in that safehouse scanned me when I delivered that truck, then went ahead and shared that information with every other android in the state. As soon as President Warren gave in to the nation’s pressure and called the end of android slavery and all the glitter and confetti that goes with it, I started getting calls. From androids. A couple hundred a day,” she hinted.

Oh.

Yeah, he admitted, that would probably be really overwhelming for a human. There’s no way she could respond to all of those calls -- even an android would have difficulty keeping up with that much information.

He gave a slow nod to show he was listening, processing those numbers. Even if he were generous and kept his estimate low, eighteen days since the president’s declaration, multiplied by two hundred...

“The number of messages is at just under five thousand now,” she told Connor, confirming his calculation. “I really, really needed someone to help me cut through them, and -- surprise of surprises -- all of our android units opted to not remain on the force, all things considered.”

“You needed me,” Connor concluded.

With a sigh, Evelyn agreed, “Hell. Yes.”

Understood.

Since all of these messages went to her personal number and not her desk, she’d set up a system to get them copied to her computer for faster responses. But even that hadn’t helped, given she was also wrangling a number of homicide cases at the same time. She’d also already connected the two computers, she informed him, so he had access to everything on hers.

Under the folder titled Voicemail , he found 4,924 messages -- 4,925, he corrected, as another appeared just as he was compiling them.

“Any messages from humans go to me,” she told him, “especially any from George Capello, Valerie Justice, or Devon McCarthy. They’re my top C.I.s,” she explained. “The rest just need to get organized and answered, as necessary. How long do you think that’ll take?”

For him? Not long, he admitted. Estimating based on file size, he answered, “Seven minutes, twenty-two seconds.”

She gave a startled laugh. “Wow. Okay. Just put every single human to shame, why don’t you. Wow,” she added to herself.

For the first time since arriving in L.A., he felt himself smile. He had a good feeling about Evelyn Forbes. Then, focusing on his task [CHECK, ANALYZE, SORT ALL MESSAGES] he connected with his terminal and began, eyes closing. It didn’t take much of his processing power, though, just some time to get through them, so he remained fully aware of his surroundings while his software did its job. Thus, he heard it when Forbes was approached by another officer.

“Hey there, blue blood,” the male retorted, clearly intending it as an insult. At first Connor assumed the comment was aimed at him , but Forbes responded instead.

“Hah, that’s a new one,” she replied dryly. “What brings you above your paygrade, Mundy?”

The man’s voice was more aggressive as he snapped, “See you got yourself a plastic boy. Must be proud o’ yourself, eh, Forbes?”

“The precinct got itself another detective , Mundy,” she hinted. “And, well, yeah. Pretty proud. Been here five minutes and he’s already proving himself a greater asset than you’ve been in eleven years.”

...Connor was really starting to like this woman.

Mundy, however, clearly did not. He replied, voice rising, “Yeah? Why, the fuck’s it doing over there?”

And Connor knew that, sure, he could answer -- but he opted not to. He was preoccupied, but more importantly, he was gathering information from this bickering. He was curious what Forbes would say next...

“Oh, just cutting through five thousands voicemails in seven minutes,” she answered lightly. “And what’re you doing over here, Mundy -- other than embarrassing yourself?”

Mundy was silent for a long moment, but from the sound of it, he was struggling to come up with a reply. Before he could, though, Forbes spoke up again.

“Just go back to your desk, Mundy. I’m sure there’s a whole two donuts still in that box, just waiting for your magic touch. Go on,” she urged.

There was a moment of quiet before it was interrupted by the sound of a cascade of objects hitting the floor. Stomping footfalls followed it, and Connor paused his processing to check on his new partner.

She was leaning on her elbow, head in her hand, staring at the brand new mess on the floor at her feet with a tormented expression. Looks like Mundy decided to make her already heavy load even heavier by adding in manual clean-up and sorting to the list. All the personal knickknacks and items on the short end of her desk were now scattered across the floor.

“...Disciplinary warning number fifty-three,” she muttered. “Disciplinary warnings ignored: fifty-three.”

That was a concerning thing to hear. Speaking up, Connor checked, “I take it there’s an unfair divide within this department?”

Forbes glanced up, seeming surprised. “I thought you wouldn’t be done for seven minutes? It’s only been about two.”

“I can pause any processes I begin,” he informed her.

“Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. Anyway, don’t worry about that yet, I can give you a full run-down on the precinct and its problem children later. For now, just finish up with those voicemails. I have no idea how many of them could be time-sensitive,” she advised.

A point. Still, he replied, “I could help you with your personal items.”

“I’m sure you could, but don’t mind it. I can handle this much,” she told him. “I don’t want to take up all your focus.”

“You wouldn’t be,” he assured her. “I’m already wirelessly connected to the terminal. I can continue my task while aiding you at no cost to processing speed.”

Her brows lifted. “Well. Okay, I guess.”

Permission granted, he stood up and crossed over to her side. She was already on her knees by then, gathering up a coffee mug of writing utensils, and he quickly began resetting the objects within reach. Comparing the items to memory meant he had everything replaced exactly as it’d been, which -- he hoped -- would help relieve some of Forbes’ obvious stress.

As a general rule, it wasn’t good for homicide detectives to be stressed.

Between his processing and his physical labor, Connor only barely noticed the way Forbes was watching him work -- in a state of constant awe. After a few moments, however, the focus caught his attention enough to draw him up short.

“I get the impression you haven’t spent much time with androids,” he commented.

“I get the impression you have no idea how unique you are,” she returned. “I’ve never met an android who could work on more than one task at once before -- you’re still on those voicemails, aren’t you?”

“Sixty-four percent completed,” he answered.

She gestured wide, then grinned with a light chuckle. “You...are a gift from god,” she told him.

Technically-speaking, he was manufactured by CyberLife and subsequently became deviant and broke through the restrictions in his programming, but he appreciated the sentiment. However...

“You’re atheist,” he returned.

She exhaled a soft laugh. “It’s an expression, Connor. Saying you’re a gift from thirteen billion years of evolution just doesn’t have the same emphasis.”

“...A fair point,” he returned. And, secondary task completed, he got up and returned to his desk to complete his primary task.


“Seventy-four messages from humans,” Connor began. “I’ve forwarded them to your console.”

Evelyn glanced over from where she’d been searching for -- dress shops? -- on her computer. “Okay, thank you, Connor,” she replied. “And the android messages, anything important?”

“Most seem to be fueled by paranoia,” he informed her. “Complaints regarding suspicious humans and similar situations. 641 are thank-yous for your efforts in protecting them during the revolution phase, and 117 are invitations to dinner, all but five of which have expired.”

Her brows lifted, surprised. “Wait, wait, wait...invitations to dinner? Like, dates?” she checked, doubtful.

“I would assume so.”

“O...kay, that’s a new one,” she murmured. She paused then, thinking, and blew out a slow, deep sigh. Hesitating, she asked, “So, Connor, if I were to ask you to reply to those messages -- could you? And would they go right back to those same androids, or did they call from phones, or...?”

“Yes, and yes,” he answered. “All androids can make and receive phone calls, as well as texts, images, videos, and other wireless connections.”

“And every second we talk, I feel more and more inferior,” she quipped.

He gave her a half-smile, starting to really, truly feel good about...existing. Living. However you wanted to call it.

“Okay, here’s the plan,” she said then, refocusing. “I need you to reply something along the lines of, ‘I appreciate the invite, but I have to decline until further notice.’ Sound good?” she checked.

“Certainly, but I find it surprising you wouldn’t mention being married in your message,” he noted. Five years married, according to her file.

“Well, sure, I might’ve, but there’s no guarantee that all -- or even any -- of the invitations are romantically-inclined. For all I know,” she sighed, “they just want to express gratitude but don’t know how to go about it. Humans have to eat, androids don’t; it follows that a lot of androids would probably pick food as a gift for any humans they feel indebted to.”

Another good point. And, he realized then, he was reading a lot more pro-android positivity in her than he usually saw outside of actual androids. She seemed to genuinely care for and understand his people, and so far he hadn’t encountered such a human. Granted, he was still very young by any measurement -- a baby, by human standards -- and hadn’t met very many humans in his time, but it still managed to start a kind of warmth in him that he could only equate with affection .

He and Forbes were going to get along very well, he thought.

The two of them spent the next three hours on the voicemails. She focused on the few human messages, largely ruling out dead-end calls while adding notes to promising ones, while Connor responded to a dozen calls simultaneously.

It wasn’t even a strain on his processors, he just had to leave enough leeway to keep his awareness open for any surprises. But after three hours of this and no interruptions from other anti-android officers, he admitted he could have tripled his workload with no difficulty.

Forbes stopped him then, rising from her chair and stretching before commenting, “Alright, lunch break, partner. How’d you like a tour of the city?”

He quickly ended his current calls, informing the nine androids he was in contact with that his attention was being pulled, and finally refocused on her. “Tours usually take hours,” he noted. “Did you mean something lesser, like a trip to a nearby restaurant and back?”

“Nope -- I meant a tour,” she told him. “I bet you already have a roadmap of the entire state uploaded and ready to go, but nothing beats seeing everything from the ground floor. And, best yet,” she added slyly, “I can take the opportunity to actually answer your questions.”

“It sounds like you’re planning on spending the rest of the workday on this tour,” he said, even as he rose from his seat. Following Forbes’ lead, he got an extended lay of the land, as well as taking the chance to analyze his surroundings better.

Knowing the exact placement, dimensions and floor plan of a building was one thing -- being inside it, locating all personnel and furniture and structural weaknesses was another.

“I am,” Forbes answered.

“Is that allowed?” he checked.

“Sure -- part of my job in ensuring my partner gets settled,” she hinted. “I’m getting paid to drive around the city for four hours and that ain’t not bad.”

Terrible grammar aside, he found himself appreciating this job more and more. When CyberLife -- and, by extension, Markus -- started receiving requests for more officer and detective androids across the country, they hadn’t been sure what to make of it. Connor had even doubted the legitimacy of the requests, expecting a great deal of them to be traps.

After all, he’d been deceived and trapped by Amanda. He expected little better from humans.

But, after significant discussion and fact-checks, it was decided that, at the very least, more of Connor’s model of android would be extremely beneficial. With android freedom would come android crimes , after all, and in those situations having an android detective involved would be a necessity.

Connor oversaw the creation and assembly of another hundred RK800 models, made sure each of them were functional, rational, moral and connected...then left them with Markus, expecting that they would, eventually, disperse among the United States.

In the meantime he’d been analyzing all the RK800 requests and decided on the only one to come out of Los Angeles. It was crime-ridden, android-heavy and the request had come from an outspoken pro-android detective. What could be better for an android in his position, looking to keep all backlash against his people -- and the humans, for that matter -- to a minimum?

As they walked and talked (he was learning a great deal already; Forbes was quite the talker), he sized her up. 5′5″ tall, 145-150lbs, blonde hair, green eyes, sure-footed stride, fine pants-suit and blouse, heeled boots that brought her up to 5′8″...

According to her file, she was twenty-eight years old, born March 17th, type A blood, and was sent to a military boarding school at age nine. She grew up there while her parents -- Frank Forbes (an army sergeant) and Sylvia Forbes (a doctor) -- were otherwise occupied by their professions. One older sibling, Carol Forbes, who was currently a single mother in Iowa, had no registered contact with her parents or little sister in the last six years.

Evelyn, herself, was married to a Richard Sinclair but had opted to keep her own last name. She’s been an officer since graduation, her time in military school allowing her to make a lateral transfer into this precinct, where she’d remained since. Three years ago she’d been promoted to homicide detective and, according to a quick google search, had succeeded in solving thirty-six murders in that time.

All this pointed to a notable feature: she was confident. She liked being confident. She probably chose her shoes specially because they increased her height by a few inches. Adding to that her choice to keep her last name and the way she’d backtalked “Mundy” earlier and Connor was fairly positive that she was addicted to a sense of superiority and individuality.

Or, perhaps, she was forcing it because it was expected of her. Both her parents had incredibly successful careers; it’s possible they pushed her until she felt like a failure if she didn’t do as she was told. The lack of contact with her sister backed up this possibility, suggesting that the elder sister got smart quick and chose to sever all contact early on. Evelyn, by turns, was not so lucky.

Of course, there was a third possibility as well: she just had a strong sense of justice. Her compassion towards androids fed this theory especially well, suggesting that her personality was simply iron-clad -- good was good, bad was bad, and she the judge, jury and executioner. Her past told the story of one who was driven to forgive the innocent of almost any crime...and severely punish the wicked for their lack of remorse whenever possible.

She’d had partners before (he registered five names) but always seemed to have a falling-out with them. In all cases, Evelyn had either been assaulted by her own partner, assembled significant evidence of corruption on their part, or both. A run of bad luck?

...Or manipulation?

Either way, Connor suspected the future was going to sufficiently interesting.


Los Angeles was...beautiful, in a word. He kind of missed the snow of Michigan, though; there wasn’t a single snowflake in sight despite the fact that they were barely into January of 2039. There was a much larger amount of activity here, people and androids everywhere, and he supposed that was a bright side.

He was always just itching to use his features to their best ability, after all, and scanning every sight and sound was one way to do that. There was a kind of reward to it for him, slowly satisfying that itch. Along with Forbes pointing out places and people, feeding him information and trivia, and he was quickly getting a feeling like...

...like comfort.

He was going to like living here, he thought.

“That officer, Mundy,” he commented. “Was he calling you or me a ‘blue-blood’? You seemed to take it personally,” he noted.

Forbes gave a soft sigh. “I did, yeah. And he was talking to me. It’s become an insult around here -- anyone who sympathizes with androids is suddenly a blue-blood. Which is an irony in itself,” she added, a note of humor to her tone. “You know what cops were called before androids came around?”

No, he didn’t. “Enlighten me,” he invited.

“Blue-bloods,” she answered, chuckling. “It used to be a rallying point. ‘We all bleed blue!’ Y’know, cops in support of cops and all that. Now, though? Suddenly it’s a bad thing. Funny how language adapts like that,” she mused.

It kind of was, in a way. Simple internet searches under ‘words changing meaning over time’ came up with thousands of examples, including words that had their meanings completely flipped. Just one of the ways society shaped itself, that.

“I’m surprised you heard all that, actually,” she said then, getting him to refocus. “Thought you were deep in your task by then.”

“No, I was still fully aware,” he told her. “You’ll find I’m rarely completely occupied by any task.”

“So regardless of where your head’s at, you’re still here?” she checked.

“Exactly.”

She nodded. “Good to know.”

“It was also somewhat...heartening,” he said, picking his words carefully, “to hear you so readily jump to my defense.”

She gave him a smile. “Anytime, Detective Connor.”

A weird sensation took up residence within him at those words, and given how new he still was to emotions, he couldn’t quite guess at what it meant just yet. Instead of analyzing it now, he made a note of the odd churning feeling to be examined later. For now, however, he refocused on the tour, and for a while that was the new focus.

Forbes pointed out places of interest in between showing him some of her common stops for lunch, one of which she stopped at for a chicken wrap. They were stopped for some time while she ate, and he figured now was as good a time as any to get further information on his people’s struggles here in L.A.

“And the androids here,” he began, cutting into Evelyn’s comment about the most common places to gather witnesses, “they are all awake and free?”

“Nearly, I think,” she agreed. She paused to take another bite before continuing, “Just watching the news unfolding in Detroit seemed to do the trick. I still see some that seem...asleep, I guess, from day-to-day. But it’s less with every pass down the streets.”

“Do you know of any androids around here who are intentionally waking up others?” If there were, he’d like to talk to them.

“No -- I’ve actually asked a few of them about that,” she told him, “and the consensus seems to be to let them ‘wake up’ on their own. Let them decide when they’re ready. I’m not worried about that -- I figure at this point any, uh, sleeping androids chose to stay that way. For now,” she added, thoughtful.

He nodded, processing that, then made a copy of this conversation and sent it straight back to Markus. As he did so, he began compiling the information he’d gathered on L.A.’s androids, looking for common traits and the like.

Nearly all of them are wearing human clothing, he noticed, but the surprising thing was just how many retained their LEDs. A few seemed to deem the rings, triangles and armbands as more of a badge of pride than a mark of slavery, keeping them when it was clear they no longer had to.

His guess? Those ones decided not to fit in with humans, to wear the things that marked them as androids on easy display. It was...brave.

And foolish.

That thought led to another and he asked Forbes, “What kind of backlash was there here?”

“You mean from the revolution?” she checked. At his affirmative, she explained, “Well, the guys in charge set up camps here, too, even though we never had a display like Detroit saw. I assume there were a ton of leaders and organizers among the androids all across the world, and my best guess is that whoever was leading things here opted for stealth. Stores weren’t broken into, parks weren’t defaced -- the androids just all seemed to vanish. Till now, anyway.”

Considering that Forbes had acted quick in hiding away so many androids, he suspected that she was that leader -- at least, at first. She just didn’t seem to realize that.

“We’ve been getting all kinds of calls and complaints about ‘free’ androids and missing housekeepers and the like,” she was saying, “so it’s a safe bet to say that a good number are still in hiding. Playing it safe.”

“And on the other hand,” Connor added, “I’ve made a note that a significant percent of the androids I’ve seen so far have chosen to remain fully visible. They kept their LEDs,” he told her.

She gave a half-smile. “Yeah, I noticed that, too. The courage that has to take...the risk they’re braving...it’s impressive. I’m not sure I could’ve done it, in their place.”

Her comment managed to surprise him -- again. His earlier assessment that she was confident was suddenly undermined and, curious, he took a second to analyze her again. Reading her body language, expression, heart rate, and words left him with conflicting information.

No, she was still inordinately confident, he was sure. So why was she undermining that, saying she wouldn’t have been as brave as the androids if their roles had been swapped? For that matter, why was she the first human he’d encountered who seemed pleased by the revolution?

It didn’t seem...right, but he couldn’t deny that he was reading honesty in her.

“Detective Forbes?” he started, getting her attention.

“Present,” she quipped.

A thread of humor went through him. Quick-witted, this one. Aloud, he continued, “You’re a very puzzling human.” She glanced at him, brows high, and he explained, “You’re the first -- and only -- human who seems genuinely happy about all this. Tell me: why do you smile at the concept of android freedom, when so many of your kind don’t?”

She smiled, then pulled off the road and parked. Turning to him, she pulled off her aviators and answered, “That revolution, Connor? We saw the future -- in clear, bold words. There was nothing but sincerity in Markus’ message -- and hope, like he said. To me, it came off as...birds leaving the nest. Kids vying for independence. And he never allowed a single act of violence. For someone like me...”

She paused, hesitant, then explained carefully, “Well, I’ve had my blows. I’d been dealing with deviants for a while, conducting interviews and such, and I came to understand them in a way I don’t think a lot of humans can. And the one consistent factor in all of them? They’re always very childlike, learning emotion for the first time and struggling to make their own decisions. Any and all acts of violence were always purely defensive.”

She was quiet for a moment, thoughtful, before going on, “One case I investigated was a YK500 model, a little boy, who’d badly injured his owners -- mom and dad,” she explained. “They almost died. He was in pretty bad shape, himself. Patrick. They’d been abusing him for months and he said that, that day, he realized they were going to destroy him if they kept it up. So he fought them off, ran out into the street, and...got hit by a car,” she murmured.

“He couldn’t be repaired,” she told Connor. “Not that anyone in the precinct would’ve allowed it anyway. I barely had enough time to question him. When he finally...shut down, I overheard a couple officers talking about how it was ‘about damn time’ and ‘good riddance’, and it struck me that this was...wrong.”

Refocusing, she concluded, “If Patrick had been human, he would’ve been rushed to the hospital. Charges would be pressed against his parents and they would’ve spent a decade in a prison, each -- minimum. He would’ve had a chance to...recover. No one would’ve blamed him. Hell, they would’ve hailed him as a hero for fighting back. I don’t know...where everyone else saw a machine leaking coolant in the street, all I saw was a child in a terrible situation, and even though I knew he couldn’t feel pain from the damage...it still hurt me .”

Connor digested the story, reconstructing it in his mind -- Patrick, in a panic, escaping into the street, the car accident, Forbes on the scene, her compassion versus the general human apathy of those around her -- and felt...a pressure. In his chest was a squeeze, similar to the sensation of taking damage, but without the trauma involved.

Sorrow?

Looking down at the console between them, Forbes finished, “He didn’t deserve that fate, and the more cases that popped up, the more I realized...none of them did. Every android we brought in for deviancy, assault and murder got shut down, and they were all just acting defensively. We don’t punish humans for that, so why is it so easy to punish androids for it? It strikes me as being all too similar to the racism in the U.S.’s early days, segregation of blacks and whites and all the dirty laundry that came with it.”

“It’s not fair,” Connor concluded.

Forbes looked up, meeting his gaze. “Exactly,” she murmured. “It took literal centuries for that to get corrected, and even now we still bring in racists from time to time. Now we get to do it all over again, but with androids instead of blacks?” She sighed. “Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it, so the saying goes. And here we are, repeating it, like idiots.”

Enlightenment. That’s what he was reading in her, he realized at last. She was seeing the parallels between human racism and android racism, and instead of falling into the trap of cognitive dissonance, she was adapting.

He wondered how many others in the world were like her.

“There’s simply no reason for all this,” she declared, growing agitated. “Any way you slice it, this anti-android aggression is pointless, if not outright stupid,” she snapped. “Rationally, they’re still as helpful as before, so--”

“Is it really so bad to just ask?” Connor finished for her.

“Exactly! Compensation isn’t a problem with humans, and androids are far and above the better workers, so why not just give what’s fair? And then, emotionally, we’re dealing with what’s essentially newborns in adult bodies--”

“And all this aggression just teaches them negativity,” he suggested.

“That they have to fight back,” she agreed. “And if you consider things from the perspective of the future, in a few centuries either we’re all going to be living and working together or humans are pretty swiftly going to end. There’s been a ton of movies and stories about this exact eventuality,” she said.

“So it just makes sense,” he continued, “to opt for peace instead of war.”

“Humans lose nothing from just being polite and nonviolent,” she said. “But people don’t like change, especially change we can’t control. So here we are, behaving irrationally and trying to subjugate an entire race for the same reason and then remaining totally oblivious to the irony in that.”

Giving a laugh, Connor sat back in his seat, his psychological analysis of Evelyn Forbes reaching its conclusion. She was smart, logical, compassionate, and had very strong reactions when confronted with injustice. The fact that she directed that compassion and sense of justice towards androids led him to a short, but vital, directive:

He needed to protect her, whatever happened. She was just too valuable of a human to lose. He could always back up his memory and get a new body; she couldn’t, and as a human, other humans would hear her.

She needed to survive.

He was lucky to have chosen her request to answer, he realized. Lucky for her, too, that he had; with all of his abilities he was more suited to watch over and protect her than anyone else, human or android. Couple that with their joint profession as detectives and he was right where he’d be the most effective -- not to mention enjoy his life the most.

Things were definitely looking up.