I cry sometimes walking around my own place
Wondering why she cries sometimes
Talking about her own place
Somewhere around the mountains
No one could dry her fountain
Till she got tired to complain
OCTOBER 4TH 2039
Hank upturned the collar of his brown leather jacket and tried to enclose the fabric around himself, silently cursing his thin Knights of the Black Death t-shirt for not feeling warm enough in the artificial breeze. As he stared out at the rounded windows at a tranquil blue sky, he could feel the irony of witnessing such a beautiful bright view in such a sombre, sterile space.
“I hate these metal death traps,” Hank grumbled, trying to conceal a shudder. “They could at least turn off the air con, I mean I’m a shiver away from hypothermia.”
A those words the android beside him turned and took a hold of his hands, something Hank was quite used to but he knew this wasn’t just a sweet gesture. It seemed more like when the doctor tells you to turn your head and cough.
“Connor, I’m just exaggerating—. I just don’t know why we couldn’t drive there, at least we’d have Sumo with us right now. I mean for God’s sake you can bring a freaking chihuahua on board but a loyal Saint Bernard? No, of course not that’s—.”
“Hank, he’s 170 pounds—.” Connor interjected, moving his hands from Hanks and prepared to explain the importance of abiding by safety regulations on an airplane but he was interrupted by a sarcastic Hank.
“Are you fat-shaming my dog, Connor? It’s bad enough you changed his chicken chew treats to some cabbage-quinoa mess, which you’re probably fine with but those of us who can’t turn off our sense of smell are suffering from 170 pound dog farts…” Hank continued to complain and Connor allowed him to vent, turning his body to face the lieutenant, scanning over the males face. “He’s just as civilised as you are. You both put the same amount of crap in your mouths.”
Connor noticed the slight way his lips pulled up in a devilish smirk that told the android he was simply joking. “Firstly, this airline allows dogs up to 70 pounds and Sumo exceeds that by a vast margin. Hank, I assure you the pet air travel company I chose has an excellent reputation, I wouldn’t put Sumo in danger. Secondly, those chicken chew treats contain several harmful ingredients, including maltodextrin. And lastly, the last thing I put in my mouth was…”
“Alright, alright, let’s keep it clean. Jesus Christ Connor, we’re not joining the mile-high club just yet.” Hank shook his head, a flush of crimson creeping up his neck. Connor wasn’t sure of what the mile-high club was but had never heard Hank mention it before or knew of any pre-existing memberships to such a club. Before Connor could question the reference the amusement on Hank’s face was once again clouded with concern. Connor scanned over his face, noticing the way his brows knit together in worry, his body language reeked of apprehension. His eyes were fixed on the seat in front of him, his jaw was tense and as the android’s eyes followed down the human male’s body, he saw Hanks fingers tightly gripping the arm rest, so much so that his knuckles were white.
Connor chose to take a comforting approach, “Oregon will be a new start. I know it might be hard moving away from Detroit, especially during this month but this is what you wanted, Hank.” Connor placed his hand on Hank’s shoulder and watched as the older man took a deep breath. “You wanted to get away from the overabundance of technology and the town we’re going to will suit that criteria well. In fact, I have a plethora of interesting facts about the city we’re moving to. It is one of the few cities left in the United States of America that have opted out of President Warren’s Live for the Future initiative, so it is much like living in the age of the early 2000’s. It was originally inhabited by Native Americans but now as the town heavily relies on the influence from the Prescott family it has strayed from those origins somewhat. The Prescott family are a wealthy family who have enhanced and rejuvenated the town, even funding the police department to an extent…”
“Wealthy family, huh?” Hank let out a hearty sigh and rested his head back against the leather headrest with a soft thump. “As long as I don’t have to deal with another rich kid with a manbun then I don’t care who takes care of the town.”
Connor ignored the comments and attempted to continue, “They have introduced a famous photographer into their known college and the town has only one recent disappearance since—.”
“Connor, can you just…” Hank huffed and took another deep breath before giving Connor’s thigh a gentle pat. “I know you’re trying to make me feel better, but I think I just need to sleep and pretend like none of this is even happening right now.”
Hank grew up in Detroit. It wasn’t going to be easy leaving the memories behind. He was there to see the progression of technology, from the first smartphone to the now revolutionary androids living amongst human beings. He was there to contribute to the formation of what he used to think was the best law enforcement team in the Midwest. However, it was also Detroit that homed his complete mental breakdown when his pride and joy was ripped from this Earth. It was Detroit that made him feel that his piddly-ass problems didn’t matter because he was replaceable. However, it was Detroit that brought hope to his heart when he thought that all was lost. It was going to be hard for Hank to come to terms with him leaving but it needed to be done, they had to start a new chapter in life. The force was more than happy to see the two off, they all believed it would be better for Hank, even Gavin Reed gave them a goodbye card although Hank saw it more like a good riddance card. Captain Fowler was even able to pull a few strings and get them both some connections on the Oregon Police Force. The small-town cops were eager to get a drug-busting lieutenant from Detroit, one that came with his own android, but they were getting a shaggy haired 53-year-old with a twink android who just couldn’t leave him alone. Either way it was going to be an experience for both parties.
The non-stop flight of one hour and forty-nine minutes felt like an eternity to Connor as he calculated his time to arrive, watched an in-flight movie called Clueless that he knew Hank would have ridiculed and once that was finished he settled for watching Hank drool on his lapel. He didn’t mind the sleeping male so much; he was used to it by now. Their relationship had been a shock to them both but as it bloomed a few comfortable traits developed, one of which was Hank using Connor’s sturdy shoulder like a memory foam pillow. It was time for Connor to disturb the drooling mans sleep and he gently nudged him awake.
“Hank, they should be making an announcement soon as we are about to land.” Connor said as he moved a few stray strands of hair that had fallen across the Hanks face.
Hank only grunted and folded his arms across his chest. Connor wasn’t sure if that frustrated grunt was from his nap being disturbed or the reality that he was officially out of his hometown of Detroit. Nevertheless, the journey wasn’t over yet.
A flight attendant soon made an announcement on the speaker that prompted Hank to wipe the drool from his mouth and rest his head back against the black leather seats. “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Portland International Airport. Local time is 4:44 and the temperature is 63° Fahrenheit. For your safety and comfort, please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened…” Connor looked over at Hank to ensure he had not unfastened his seatbelt in silent protest and was reassured when he saw that the man hadn’t made a move. “…We would like to thank you for joining us on the journey and we are looking forward to seeing you on board again the near future…”
“You wish.” Hank scoffed, quickly unfastening his seatbelt. Connor shook his head and stretched over the older man to secure his seatbelt once again. “I thought deviants were hot for rule breaking?”
Connor gave Hank a look that could only mean ‘don’t test me’ before he quickly diverted the conversation. “I have already booked the car to rent for the drive from Portland to Arcadia Bay. It should take no longer than 1 hour taking a rest stop of fifteen minutes into account.” Connor didn’t need to look at Hank to know that he was rolling his eyes at the organised androids list.
Portland was the closest major city to Arcadia Bay and was actually Hank’s first choice when they decided on moving to Oregon, however, after Connor’s lengthy research all signs pointed to Arcadia Bay being destined for the couple. It was now or never, no reason to delay their destiny.
It wasn’t long before Hank and Connor disembarked and were in the company of their boy – Sumo. The Saint Bernard looked happy to be back with his loving owners, his tongue hanging out of his mouth as Hank took the time to pat the good dog. Connor attached the leash to Sumo and gave him a firm scratch behind his ears which was much appreciated by the dog.
Hank smiled down at Sumo, “Don’t worry, buddy. Next time we’re all getting on a plane together or not at all.”
Connor scowled at Hank, “He was with—.”
“The best pet air travel company with an excellent reputation.” Hank mimicked. “Yeah, I got it, Connor.”
Connor kept the scowl and marched off ahead of Hank, a firm grasp on Sumo’s leash as Hank trailed after him making a half-arsed attempt at an apology.
Before long the shoe was on the other foot with Hank scowling at Connor as he looked from the android to the bright red mini hatchback. “What the fuck is this, Connor?”
Connor simply smiled smugly and sauntered to the car to help Sumo get inside. “This was all they had available.” He said matter-of-factly, he would have felt bad for getting a car that he knew Hank would disapprove of if Hank hadn’t made fun of him only moments ago.
“Next time I choose the car rental company.” He huffed, getting into the drivers’ seat and slamming the door on the way inside. He put the key in the ignition and let out an exaggerated groan. “Hear that? That’s the engine, it sounds like Sumo’s stomach after eating those cabbage treats.”
Sumo seemed to bark in agreement as Connor went to the passenger seat beside Hank. “Don’t agree with him, Sumo. The engine sounds fine and those treats are delicious.”
“Says the person who can’t and won’t eat.” Hank chortled. “This car is just nothing like my—.”
Connor only had to press one button to silence Hank. Seat warmers. Connor sat with the same smug smile on his face as he listened to the peaceful sound of silence as Hank drove to their new home.
It was a while of driving in silence, the scenery of Oregon feeling like a foreign land in comparison to the new age of Detroit. With the lack of his CD’s Hank resorted to the radio. He fiddled with the radio until a faint song came on. “What kind of crap is this?” he mumbled as he tried to switch to the next station, but his hand was quickly swatted away by Connor’s. Up until then Connor hadn’t exhibited much of an interest in music, only fondness and amusement when he would watch Hank try to dance to heavy metal music but there was something about that song.
“Wait, I think I like this one…” Connor said closing his eyes as he listened intently to the song. He was able to detect which song it was, a small piece of information coming up in his vision. “Title: To All of You. Artist: Syd Matters.”
“What kind of group is called Syd Matters?” Hank complained “Can’t we put on something a little more—.” His words faded into nothing as he glanced at Connor’s face, listening to the music at peace and decided to end his griping. He settled for mumbling, “Of course, you develop a music taste that’s the complete opposite to mine.”
Hank couldn’t help but keep glancing at Connor as the music played in the background.
‘Welcome to Arcadia Bay’