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Stuck in My Mind

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“So, what do we know about the suspects?” Hank asked as they rounded the corner onto yet another derelict street. He grimaced; he hated these parts of the city. They were dark and dangerous, and were unfortunately where the DPD spent most of their time. They even smelt bad, Hank was sure they hadn't been maintained for at least ten years. The sooner they got revamped, the better in his opinion. Although, this was one of the very few surviving places that hadn’t been completely swamped with technology. In a way, when they were finally gone, it would be a little bittersweet.

“Natalie Parker, aged thirty-six. She’s a Red Ice dealer and has been convicted on two separate occasions. She does not have a permanent address.” Connor read from the police database, that he had no doubt pulled up in his mind from the passenger seat where he sat next to Hank. His LED swirled yellow as he focused. “Her associate is a AP700, activated in 2033. Registered name Alan. They are believed to be in a romantic relationship.” 

Hank let out a low whistle. “Literal partners in crime. I like it.” He said.

Connor glanced at him, and eyebrow raised. “It’s not a good thing.” He pointed out, a frown on his face.

Hank just chuckled. “It’s cliché. Always exciting when you get a cliché case. It's like you're in a movie.”

“If you say so, lieutenant.” Connor said, slightly perplexed. He had never really understood why Hank, or anyone on the force for that matter, got so excited over ‘cliché’ cases. Gavin in particular seemed to be especially fond of them. Connor shook his head and turned his attention back to the database, his eyes glazed over as he read.

“They are not believed to be particularly dangerous. They’ve been sighted in an abandoned warehouse in this district. Unit forty-two.” He continued. “I believe it’s just on the left here.” 

“Way to get even more cliché – an abandoned warehouse.” Hank took the turning. “Maybe I should retire early. Write a book.”

“Becoming a writer would no doubt negatively impact your health.” Connor said, a cheeky glint in his eye. “You barely move around in your current job.” 

Hank slapped him against the chest. Connor smirked.

They pulled up to the warehouse, marked by a peeling '42', stone and rubble crunched under the wheels of Hank’s car. The warehouse itself was tall, brown with rust and the majority of the windows were smashed in, glass covering the ground before them like glitter. It wasn’t exactly homely, but Hank had seen worse places during his career.

“Right.” Hank double checked his gun, holstered at his hip, before he climbed out of the car. Connor mirrored his actions. Recently, a law had been passed allowing police androids to carry firearms. There were a lot of people who protested it, of course, but Connor felt a lot safer with a weapon at his side. He didn’t agree with guns and felt the world would be a much better place without them, but his job involved people pointing guns at him and half the time, sometimes shooting at him. He had been shot too many times than he cared for. He felt a lot better knowing he could point one back.

The main door hung dangerously off its hinges and was graphited with paint so thick it was beginning to peel. Connor couldn’t even tell what any of the graffiti was supposed to mean; but he had a sneaking suspicion it was anti-android.

Connor took up his position behind Hank as the older man cautiously pushed the door open. 

“Hello?” He called out. “Detroit police, we’re just here to ask a few questions.”

His voice echoed off the walls of the empty building and bounced back to them. Empty, aside from a sleeping bag in the corner with duffels stuffed with personal items. On a table in the middle of the room sat chemistry equipment, and boxes filled to the brim with bags of thirium. Seeing the blue blood made Connor’s stomach crawl, or the bio-component that sat in that area anyway.

There was a sudden crash from their left, and both officers whipped around just in time to watch a streak of grey dart past and vault itself out of one of the broken windows.

“Fuck.” Hank said. He hadn’t been expecting a chase.

“I’m on it!” Connor said as he turned on his heel and darted out after the figure.

“I’ll bring the car!” Hank called after him. “Be careful!”

Connor didn’t acknowledge him, but Hank knew he had heard. He sprinted after the figure, the android, Alan, when a woman joined him. She appeared out of the adjoining warehouse and grabbed Alan’s hand and ran alongside with him.  His scanners identified her as Natalie Parker.

“Stop! Detroit police!” He yelled after them.

They ignored him and kept running, hand in hand. For someone as frail and skeletal looking as Natalie, she was fast and kept pace with her android partner perfectly. But Connor was hot on their heels.

They made a sudden turn and darted into an alleyway that Connor was sure was a dead end. However, when he rounded the corner, they were gone.

He stood in the middle of the alley, not even slightly winded. He scanned the area. They were still there, his scanners had picked up their heat signatures.

“My partner and I just want to ask you a few questions.” Connor spoke to the open air. “You’re not in trouble.” Yet, he added in his head. The evidence back at the warehouse was more than enough to convict the pair to at least two years behind bars, if it could be linked to the couple, and Connor was sure it could be. There was no one else around, after all, and who hangs around abandoned warehouses?

Before he could react, Natalie darted out from behind a dumpster and charged directly at him, poised to tackle him to the ground. Connor grabbed his gun and pointed it at her, his hand steady.

He opened his mouth to shout a warning, but he was cut off by a deafening clang sounded, accompanied by a blinding pain that spread like lightning throughout his skull. He dropped to the ground, his optical units cutting out momentarily. He groaned and looked up, his vision fuzzy. Alan was stood above him, a crowbar held aloft in both hands.

 

WARNING: MAJOR TRAUMA DETECTED

BIO-COMPONANT #7357b DAMAGED, SEEK ASSISTANCE.

 

He ignored the pain and the thirium dripping down the back of his neck and got shakily to his feet. He still clutched his gun, and he raised it, primed to shoot.

But the injury to his head had slowed him down. He was defenceless as the crowbar came down again, this time it struck across his forehead.

 

WARNING: MAJOR TRAUMA DETECTED

BIO-COMPONANT #7357b, #9809y DAMAGED, SEEK ASSISTANCE.

 

His visual field filled with static and errors and blue blood dripped into his eyes. He cried out, the pain too much, as he dropped in a crumpled heap to the hard ground below.

Through the muddles of pain, he was vaguely aware of stomping footsteps retreating, their vibrations traveling through the ground. The suspects were running away. He couldn’t let that happen. 

Blindly, he fumbled for his gun. He grabbed it from the asphalt beside him and pulled himself up onto one knee. He squinted through the static, took aim at Natalie’s shoulder, and fried.

She screamed shrilly and stumbled as she clutched at her now bleeding arm.

“Natalie!” Alan yelped. He grabbed her by her good shoulder to steady her. 

Connor climbed to his feet, his gun still raised. “Stop!” He shouted, though his voice sounded odd to his ears.

Alan turned on him, an animalistic snarl on his face. With one arm wrapped around Natalie, he reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a sleek, black box, which Connor immediately recognised as a taser.

“Don’t get any closer, asshole.” He warned. “Let us go.”

“I can’t.” Connor’s voice was laced with static, and it sounded weak. He winced as he stepped closer, the pain clouding his judgement. “You’ve assaulted a police officer. I-,”

Alan growled and lunged forward. Connor tried to jump out of the way, but the world swum in front of him. Alan pressed down on the trigger.

WARNING!

 

WARNING!

 

Connor let out a strangled scream as volt after volt of electricity entered his body. Sharp pain gripped him as he crumpled to the floor and begun to seize.

 

WARNING: MAJOR TRAUMA DETECTED

BIO-COMPONANT #7357b DAMAGED, SEEK ASSISTANCE.

 

WARNING: BIO-COMPONANT #8456w CRITICALLY DAMAGED. SEAK IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE.

 

“Connor!” He heard Hank call from far away. Connor’s vision had become clouded. Natalie and Alan turned on their heels and bolted, pushing past Hank. The lieutenant was poised to give chase before he noticed the android convulsing on the ground.

“Shit!” He exclaimed. He rushed over to Connor’s side and crashed to his knees beside the seizing android.

Hank grabbed his radio from his pocket and brought it up to his mouth so fast it almost smacked him in the face. “Requesting back-up, officer down!” He said urgently into the machine. He grabbed Connor’s shoulder and tipped him onto his side into the recovery position. Through, his panicked haze, he didn’t even pause to consider if it would even work on an android. As he twitched, blue blood poured from Connor’s mouth and onto the ground below his head. He spluttered around it weakly.

“We need a technician. Suspects escaped, one’s injured so they won’t get very far.” Hank tossed his radio aside to set his full attention on Connor. “Fuck! Connor, hold on, ok?”

Connor didn’t say anything, instead he spluttered around the blood in his mouth as his twitches began to subside. He suddenly began to feel very, very weak…

“Hold on, son!” Hank repeated desperately. He rested a trembling hand on the android’s forehead in a feeble attempt to comfort him. Connor weakly reached out, his arm shaking violently, and grabbed at Hank’s shirt. 

“It’s ok.” Hank said. “Help is on the way. You’re ok.”

Connor hiccupped around the blood pooling in his mouth. Tears begun to fall from his eyes. The warning in his vision sent a cold jolt of fear though his bio-components.

MaASSIVE TRAUMA DETECTED. 0:30 SECONDS UNTIL SHUTDOWN.