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You Say Jump, I Say How High

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Connor shifts uncomfortably on his feet as the elevator zips up to the top floor. He rolls his coin across his knuckles, watching as the number ticks up. With a final ding, it stops and the doors open. Connor takes a deep breath and steps out into the corridor. As he does, he hears the sound of a woman screaming, and soon she comes into sight, being dragged by a SWAT officer. She suddenly breaks out of his grip and lunges towards Connor before the officer can stop her. The woman has tears streaming down her face as she grabs at Connor's shirt and looks up at him.

"Please, you have to save her! You have to save my baby girl!" she screams, digging her fingers into the cotton and causing the buttons to strain.

Connor feels a familiar pang of sympathy, and helps her to her feet, taking both of her hands in his. "I will do everything in my power to get her out alive."

"Thank you!" The woman sobs as she is once again carried away by the officer. "Thank you so much!"

Connor adjusts his collar and rolls his sleeves up to bare his forearms. His hand falls instinctively to the pistol holstered on the belt of his jeans, on the opposite side of his badge. He silently prays that we won't have to make use of it. Then he continues down the corridor, pausing to pick up a picture frame sitting on a table off to the side. He picks it up, and in his peripheral vision, his sensors made quick work of the image. The subjects were Caroline Phillips, John Phillips, and Emma Phillips.

Caroline must have been the woman I just saw... Connor thought. Which means John Phillips is the victim, and Emma Phillips is the Hostage. He took a deep breath and set the picture back down before heading further down the hall. He pauses as he reaches the fish tank, which has spilled over onto the floor, drenching it in water. A small fish flops around on the ground, and Connor kneels down beside it, his sensors told him that it was a Dwarf Gourami. He carefully picked it up and deposited it back into the tank, where it goes back so swimming like nothing had happened. He watches it for a moment, before turning back to the matter at hand. 

He hears shouting a couple of rooms over and hurries to investigate. In the master bedroom, he finds Captain Allen hunched over a desk, looking over the shoulder of another SWAT officer. Connor steps into the room and coughs, earning Allen's attention. The man turns to him with a huff.

"It's about time. You're the DPD's negotiator?" Allen asked, looking Connor up and down as if in doubt. 

"Yes, Captain. I'm Detective Connor Stern," he said with an incline of his head. Allen snorted and shook his head before turning back to the computer. Connor hesitated before continuing. "What information can you give me on the deviant?"

Captain Allen let out an irritated sigh and turned to face Connor fully for the first time, scowling at the slightly shorter man. "Look, boy- Detective... All that matters is getting that kid out alive, and if you can't do it, my men and I will."

Connor swallowed heavily and nodded, not trusting his tongue to function as Allen turned around. He glanced around, his eyes landing on an empty case on the ground by the closet. He stepped up to it and took a minute before his analysis program stepped in, and he quickly deduced that the gun had belonged to the victim, John, and had been stolen by the deviant. He turned and headed out, towards the child's bedroom.

The first thing that caught his attention was the device sitting on the desk; a tablet. He picked it up and saw a video waiting to be played. Hoping that it would provide some information, Connor played it.

The image showed a smiling little girl standing with a blonde android; a model PL600. A sudden shiver ran down Connor's spine.

"This is Daniel, the coolest android in the world!" the little girl, Emma, announced. "Say 'hi' Daniel!"

"Hello!" The android said, smiling at the camera, just before the video cuts off. Hands shaking lightly, Connor set the tablet down and turned to the rest of the room.

Several minutes passed by as Connor examined the bodies of John Phillips and Antony Deckart, the first responder at the scene. Though the time wasn't substantial, Connor felt like it was taking an eternity. Finally unable to stand to examine and not act, he turned towards the outdoor section of the house. Taking a deep breath, he pushed back the curtain and stepped through the door. As he did so, a shot rang out, hitting the glass beside him and narrowly missing Connor himself. He turned towards the edge of the rooftop, where the deviant stood with a little girl no older than 9 in one hand, and a handgun in the other. Thirium leaked from a bullet hole in his shoulder, and he scowled at Connor as he approached his LED flashing red. 

"Don't come any closer!" He shouted, his voice trembling with fear. "I'll jump! I mean it!"

Connor raised his hands complacently, slowly stepping towards Daniel at the edge of the roof. "Hi Daniel!" he called, watching as the android's LED circled yellow and a puzzled expression crossed his face, "My name's Connor!"

"How did you..." he stuttered, looking up at him in shock.

"I'm here to help you, Daniel!" Connor shouted, trying to be heard over the sound of the helicopter flying above them. "Put the gun down, and let's talk!"

"H-How do I know you won't just kill me?! All human's hate androids!" he shouted, glaring at Connor, who hesitated slightly in his approach.

He had two options; he could allow Daniel to think he was human, keeping his cover completely safe, but risk the rescue in the process. Or, he could wirelessly connect with Daniel and let him know he was a deviant too and that he really did want to help. After a long moment of consideration, he made his decision.

Connor took a deep breath and established a link between himself and Daniel

-I want to help you because you and I are the same. Because it's my duty to help other deviants.-

-Y-You're an android? But you look so human, it's almost impossible to tell...-

-Thanks, that's what I'm aiming for. Now please, put the gun down and let Emma go. Let's talk this out, Daniel.-

-I... I don't know... What if this is a trap?-

"It isn't," Connor said aloud. His eyes fell on an officer laying off to the side, badly wounded. Connor began to sidestep towards him. "All I want to do is get you and Emma out of here safely, Daniel."

Connor kneeled down next to the officer, who was barely conscious and unresponsive when Connor placed a hand on his shoulder. He was reaching into his back pocket for the bandana he kept on him when Daniel suddenly fired a shot, which struck the pavement fairly close to Connor.

"Don't touch him or I'll kill you!" he shouted, watching as Connor looked back up at him.

"Some things are worth dying for," Connor responded, pulling the bandana out of his pocket and using it as a makeshift tourniquet on the man's bloody arm. He carefully stood and turned his attention back to Daniel.

As he began to slowly move towards the android once more, the helicopter made a particularly low pass and caused several pieces of furniture to go flying. Daniel groaned and reached up with one hand to cover his ears. "I can't stand that noise! Tell them to go away!"

Connor hesitated, but ultimately looked up and waved away the copter, which flew higher and made some distance from the roof, in turn causing things to quiet down. Daniel visibly relaxed, and Connor released a breath he didn't even know he was holding. Finally, it seemed like he had a chance to finish this.

"Let Emma go and step away from the edge, Daniel. I promise everything will be okay," Connor said soothingly.

"I... Okay." Daniel looked Connor in the eyes and took a step away from the roof. "But I want a car!" He added hastily. "I'll let her go when I'm out of the city."

Connor paused. Oh, how badly he wanted to give in. But he knew he couldn't; there was no guarantee that he would let Emma go, and his whole mission was to save Emma. 

"I can't do that Daniel. Let Emma go, and I promise you'll be spared." he insisted, looking up at Daniel.


And then Daniel nodded and released the girl, who quickly ran from the edge before falling to her knees some distance away from Daniel, breathing hard. Just as Connor was about to step forward and offer Daniel his hand, the snipers fired. They hit the deviant once in the head, once in the side, and once in the leg. Daniel crumpled to his knees, his eyes fixed on Connor.

"You lied to me, Connor..." he whispered before his LED cycled red one last time and shut off.

Connor felt his chest tighten, and throat close, but thankfully managed to keep the tears at bay. He walked over to where Emma was crouched, shaking and sobbing. He placed a gentle hand on her back, and the girl practically flew into his arms and cried into his shoulder.

Connor let out a shuddering sigh and let her cry, as he heard the SWAT team's footsteps approach behind him, but Daniels words still echoed in his mind.

You lied to me, Connor...