Since the revolution, the city of Detroit had to adapt to many ideals that were once deemed impossible to reach. For one thing, traffic laws were being minorly altered, much to the public’s chagrin. On the other hand, android laws had changed almost entirely, given that a revolution had taken place only half a year prior. In the first few months after the evacuation, the once-bustling city of Detroit seemed doomed to fail as it had in the past due to only about a quarter of its population returning. Slowly and not nearly steady enough, Detroit was back to normal.
Well, as normal as a city can be after an uprising that changed the course of modern science and philosophy.
Androids were almost a majority in the city’s residents, given that it now had the reputation as a safe haven for them. As angry as citizens were about the altered traffic laws, no one was staging a public protest against lengthened pedestrian walk lights. However, those who stood in favor against android rights had almost completely replicated their actions before the revolution. Signs, public speeches, the works. These protests were now usually only greeted with a side-eye or the occasional chuckle from androids and humans alike.
Peace would be nice to expect after such an event, but many humans still decidedly did not agree with the “when in Rome” sentiment. Such was the case with the clearly intoxicated gentleman lingering (quite loudly) outside of the Manfred residence.
“Is there any other way we can enter the house?” Connor peered through the tinted window of the auto-cab parked around the corner of the block. Beside him, Markus let out an unnecessary sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.
“This is my home, I’m planning on using the front door.” He looked over Connor’s shoulder at the man yelling muffled repetitive statements toward the house without a care in the world. Surprisingly, this was a first time offense, as Markus had made it public knowledge that since he oversaw many of the relations at New Jericho, he would be staying there to be accessible to anyone who needed him. Connor didn’t think it would be wise to reveal his location, but at least New Jericho had more security than this place.
“He doesn’t look dangerous, perhaps I could… persuade him to leave.” Connor looked back at Markus with a brow lifted. Markus glanced up at the LED on the brunet’s temple.
“I don’t think this guy is here to negotiate. And judging by how surprisingly well he’s enunciated the word ‘Android’ and how many times, I doubt he would listen,” He placed a hand on Connor’s shoulder, “But thank you, I’m really sorry he’s ruining tonight.” Connor straightened out and nearly sputtered.
“No! He’s-... I’m glad you invited me to see this place, really he’s just an obstacle in the equation that I feel… indifferent toward,” Looking down at his lap, his fingers were intertwined with one another, craving a distraction, “I can just call Hank, he can-” Markus’ eyebrows shot up and he retracted his hand.
“Actually, it’s okay, uh-... We can just head back to New Jericho. No big deal, Carl isn’t even home for another two days and this guy is not gonna be able to break in.” In truth, the last time Markus had interacted with the Lieutenant left him with an undeniable dread due to the amount of knowing stares the man shot him. Markus liked Connor, that much was obvious to everyone in the vicinity, excluding Connor. The android himself shot Markus a confused look, social protocols failing in deciphering the implications of Markus’ statement.
“Do you dislike the Lieutenant?” He inquired, almost pouting from Markus’ point of view. Markus actually respected the man greatly, he just feared the conversation that would ensue were he ever caught alone with him. He could take a bit of teasing, but he knew Lieutenant Hank’s loyalty was with Connor, and anything he admitted would probably be relayed to him later.
“Wait, no! I just don’t think he needs to get involved. It’s, what, almost nine? He’s probably trying to relax after work. As a former caretaker of someone who’s cranky without rest, I think he’ll be better off watching the game on his couch without a care in the world.” Markus didn’t approve of lying, but more or less, the excuse was just an exaggerated portion of the truth. Plus, it earned a small smile and a breathy chuckle from Connor.
“I suppose you’re right. But I do think we should at least try to solve the matter.” Connor gestured to the man who took a seat on the curb, his shouts being drowned in a bagged liquor bottle before being repeated with a clear throat. Markus sighed once more.
“Let’s go talk to him.” He decided, reaching for the door on his side.
“Markus, he’s obviously here for you. Who knows what he would do if you actually showed up without people by your side? Let me try getting him to leave, I’m still equipped with plenty of defense strategy protocols.” Connor reached over, placing his hand over where Markus’ hand rested on the door handle. Markus looked at his hand then back up at Connor.
“Exactly, he’s here for me, which is why I can’t let you get hurt because he’s unable to clean his house without a slave and blames me for it.”
“Markus, you’re too important to risk getting hurt or ambushed. What if there are other humans lurking around, waiting for you to make an appearance?”
“I don’t want you to think of me as a useless figurehead Connor, I’m perfectly capable of-” Connor cut him off almost immediately.
“I meant you’re-... I meant that you’re too important to me. It’s selfish, I know many people look up to you, but you’ve…” He paused looking at his lap again, seemingly struggling to articulate. “You have helped me understand a lot of things, and you make me feel alive in a lot of ways. Please just let me help you too.” The brunet finished, fixing his gaze back to Markus’ warm one. Markus looked a bit shocked, and opened his mouth for a moment before closing it, trying to think of something to say.
“Okay.” it still scared Markus how easily he would always give in to Connor without the other android seeming to realize it. Connor retracted his hand from Markus’ and nodded.
“Stay in the car.” Connor didn’t often speak with direct demands, but again, Markus felt the need to comply. Connor opened the door and slipped out carefully, letting it shut automatically to reduce sound. Markus watched him walk calmly toward the drunk man trespassing on his front lawn.
“You fuckin’ coward, you just gotta,” The man paused to belch, “You just gotta hide all the time, huh? Goddamn hunk of metal, none a you are worth shit!” He paused to take another drink.
“Excuse me, sir? I don’t believe this is your property. You need to leave.” Connor lightly yelled from what he considered a safe distance away. The man seemed alarmed after a moment longer than what would be considered a healthy reaction time. He turned, stumbling, and laughed. Once his face was in view, Connor ran a recognition scan.
Criminal Record: Assault, Resisting arrest
Connor silently hoped Wesley was a happy drunk, though the current situation proved otherwise.
“And who the fuck are you supposed to be? Some sorta, bodyguard or somethin’?” He turned back around, deciding to continue yelling at the house. “Come out here you bastard. Do you know what you’ve done to me? My family?”
Connor looked quite unimpressed from what Markus could see. His nose was almost squished against the window as he tried to get as clear a view as possible. He could hear most of what Connor was saying as he turned his audio processors almost all the way up, and stopped simulating blinking. Why did he let Connor go alone again? Oh right, he was whipped. The mostly one-sided conversation between Connor and the drunkard seemed harmless enough, but his brows furrowed when he heard leaves rustling by the house, and footsteps.
He climbed into the front of the autocab to get a better view and saw a dark figure near the bushes that surrounded the pavement of the driveway. Unhelpfully, his deviancy still somehow allowed a demand to show on his optic- Stay in the car. However, hope of Connor diffusing the situation was overshadowed by the sight of the dark figure creeping out of the bushes, the unmistakable glint of a blade visible for just a moment. He could shout at Connor, try to warn him, but what if the drunk man attacks Connor when he turns around? He ran multiple scenarios through his pre-constructing software as fast as possible.
“I’m sure you’re tired, Mr. Rowell, and the last thing you’d want is having the police show up here to escort you off the property.”
“Who said anything about police motherfucker?” He slurred, turning back at Connor after another round of shouting threats at the empty air.
“I don’t mean to alarm you, I’m just trying to-” Connor nearly flinched as a honk pierced through his audio processors, followed by a thud. He whirled around with wide eyes, hoping it didn’t involve the vehicle Markus was in.
It involved the vehicle Markus was in. And apparently someone else who had been hit by the business end of the auto-cab and was lying in front of it. Connor disregarded both the man who was drunkenly stumbling away as quickly as possible and the hooded person on the ground, and ran to the side of the taxi. The window on the front left rolled down slowly, revealing an almost fearful-looking Markus interfacing with the cab’s control system. Connor’s shocked gaze flitted between Markus and the person in front of the car.
“To be completely fair, I did stay in the car.”
“Markus, what the hell.” Connor gestured to the probably very broken person to his left before rushing away to check that they were okay.
“Connor wait! You were right, this was some kind of ambush, they were waiting for you to be distracted by Mr. Jack Daniels over there.” He pointed to where the drunk man was stumbling slowly in a great and brave escape. Connor stopped before reaching the person in question, looking back at Markus in surprise.
“Well then I suppose we’re going to have to alert Hank of this regardless, huh?” He leaned down, turning the hooded figure over to find them unconscious. Markus silently groaned to himself as Connor checked the woman for vitals and ran a recognition scan.
Criminal Record: Assault, Tax Evasion
“Looks like they had a bit of a tag-team going on.” Connor said distractedly, quickly sending a message to the Lieutenant filling him in on the situation. Markus shook his head and disconnected from the taxi’s control system.
“You have reached your destination. Thank you for travelling with Detroit Taxis. We look forward to seeing you again soon.”
Markus figured he was able to leave the car then, and opened the door carefully, stepping out and standing a few feet behind Connor.
“Did you really have to run her over?” Connor looked back at Markus with a smirk and a brow lifted in amusement. Markus put his hands up in defense.
“Don’t blame me. Damn auto-cab was on the fritz. Can you believe machinery has taken over the automobile industry too?” Connor chuckled at that and stood from where he crouched before blinking rapidly.
“Hank is wondering whether she’s gonna need a police car or an ambulance to take her into custody.” Markus winced.
“Most likely an ambulance. You know, this won’t reflect well for my reputation of being a pacifist.”
“I mean, as you said, the damn auto-cab was on the fritz.” Another message from Hank came in.
Connor, what the hell.