Everything had started so well. Elijah had turned away from CyberLife and had invited Gavin to celebrate his new freedom with him. He had not said a word about why he had withdrawn from the business – his founding and baby – and to be honest, Gavin did not care.
The main point was that Eli was free and out of the dubious CyberLife shit.
Furthermore, Gavin could not refuse a party when that meant tasty free food and alcohol. In fact, the evening went well so far. All the problems they had with each other did not seem to matter anymore. It was great to talk and joke with the older one, while they watched old movies. After hours Gavin felt the wish for something else; a damned toilet.
There was just one big problem: Elijah's swanky house was way too big and everything looked similar. He must have taken a wrong turn because instead of the pretentious living room and the open kitchen he was now in front of an elevator.
An phucking elevator.
Who needed a lift in his stupid villa? Oh yes, his stupid brother.
Yet he could not suppress his nosiness. Maybe it was his natural curiosity or just his instinct as a cop, but he opened the elevator. After he entered, he noticed that there were just the way down, but Gavin knew the damn cellar. A cellar with stairs. There was no space for an elevator.
He had just recently helped Chloe, his brother's personal android and assistant, to get wine and rum out of the cellar for their little party. So for what the hell was the elevator? From the inside it looked similar high tech as the rest of the house. There was even a handprint scanner and as the young man squeezed it, he immediately got an error message. He was afraid that he could not satisfy his curiosity when a voice echoed through the enclosed space. Feeling caught out, his heart stopped just for a some seconds. Waiting for an alarm or his brother’s appearance, the young detective froze.
Then, a heartbeat later, an emotionless voice asked for the password. Probably in case that an android – Chloe – had to use the elevator. Gavin winced. His last two brain cells remembered that the creation of his brother had no finger prints. "Phuck. Where in hell should I enter it? "
“Linguistic input is needed.”
"Great," the detective grumbled, frowning. His nose and the scar on it twitched contemptuously. He put his head back thoughtfully, staring at the awkward white ceiling.
"Is there a hint?" he asked, feeling very stupid, but the voice answered him.
Gavin's drunken tongue said the first thing that came to his mind. It was a number that bothered him and that matched Elijah's self-love. His damned IQ, which he used to rub in everyone’s face. Including Gavin.
"Incorrect. Two tries remain before the alarm goes off and a message is sent to the DPD. "
"What?” Gavin gasped, wincing as the door closed in front of him. He pressed the opening button but nothing moved. Shit - he was hopeless trapped! The detective grabbed at his side, but his jeans pocket was empty. Phuck. His smart phone was still in the living room! He gritted his teeth and looked around nervously. If he alarmed the police, Eli would rip his ass and, even worse, his DPD colleagues would learn of his connection to THE Elijah Kamski. Pale, he turned around and asked the program for another tip.
"It's a date. A tip remains. Two attempts possible until the alarm.”
"Shit, yes. I got it! July 17, 2002. "
"Incorrect. Last hint? "
Gavin gritted his teeth. What else could it be besides Elijah's birthday? His damn graduation date? The exact date of his company foundation? He had no idea! "Yes! Give me the damn tip! "
"GR? That’s a clue?"
He growled, stressed. Eli and his annoying shortcuts! But then he froze, grabbed his hair and cursed before he shouted out his own birthday.
"Access has been approved. Have a nice visit. "
The elevator began to move and Gavin stumbled. After a few seconds it stopped and the door opened. Carefully, he stuck his head out and found himself in a long corridor. Glass. Lights. Strange noises. He stepped forward cautiously, only to see several machines working behind walls of glass.
Of course. A secret laboratory. Why couldn’t his brother not take a break from his research? Miserable liar.
Gavin kept walking, trying to read the information on the displays, but it was pointless. The data made no sense to him. One of the areas looked like an android construction station that he knew from interviews and CyberLife advertisements. The next seemed totally foreign. Stopping at the last section, Gavin began to laugh. The reason was so stupid; the illuminated title of the glass door.
What a dumb name. His brother’s humour was ridiculous like always. Gavin inevitably thought of the old movies he had seen hundreds of times as a child, and driven by curiosity he pressed his nose against the glass. But it remained dark behind.
Only a faint hum showed him that something was going on in the inside. Drunk, he opened the door and entered. Immediately the light went on. At first it looked like another android station, but it seemed a lot smaller. Machine arms began to move and fired small laser beams at something he could not detect. It was lying on a pedestal, hidden behind a bright light. Prying, he stepped closer to catch a glimpse of the thing when suddenly one of its metal arms grabbed him.
And from that point, everything went wrong.
Captured by numerous arms, Gavin froze in horror. The machine started to tear and to rip; clamps encircled his arm and pulled him closer to the lasers. Before he knew it, he began to scream. Bracing him against it, Gavin hoped to come free, but it just almost dislocated his shoulder – it felt like the abominable machine was tearing his arm off.
A sharp pain suddenly shocked is brain. God, he was stabbed and shot before, but it was nothing against this terrible feeling. It felt as he was burned, pierced with thousands of sharp needle and skinned alive – all at the same time. His nerves began to scream, his body trembled uncontrollably and he lost finally his balance.
He stumbled forward. Fighting with his free arm, but every move was wasted. Just losing more energy, the burning became more instensiv.
The pain was so too much- forgotten was his resistance as he went down on his knees, too exhausted and agonized to fight. Then the engine stopped and his relief lasted only a short, sweet moment.
Gavin could feel the clamps around his forearm and wrist, squeezing his blood flow. With growing panic and his last energy he cried blue murder - until his wrist rested above the
pedestal and the lasers burned his flesh.
Gavin’s eyes rolled back, his body went limp and the pain sent him into a gracious faint.
* * +++++++ * *
When he came to senses, Eli leaned over him. His brother’s voice sounded strangely distorted and his own head throbbed violently. However, that was nothing compared to the pain in his arm - no, not in his arm. The pain was in his forearm and everything under his wrist was deaf. He tried to move his fingers but couldn’t.
"Shit- what - my arm? My hand? " he croaked in panic, and Eli squeezed his shoulders. "Gav, you have to breathe! Do you hear me? Take a deep breath. "
"My arm! What is wrong with my phucking arm?! " His voice had risen shrilly as he felt his eyes burn. It was off. He was sure the machines had torn off his god damned arm. He would die. Bleeding out in this scary room. Thanks to his crazy brother.
"It's fine. Look."
Eli raised his brother’s arm and it was completely intact. Now he could also feel the touch on his bare skin. His sleeve was gone, but his arm was still there. Though, when Eli turned it slightly, he saw that his skin was flushed on his wrist. The skin and his fingers twitched. Looking closer, he saw a few strokes.
"What the hell?" Gavin murmured before realizing what he saw.
A barcode. He looked like a fucking supermarket product!
His brother followed his gaze ... and looked worried. No, not just worried - he looked really anxious. What followed were scientific nonsense and investigations. Chloe brought him something to drink and painkillers, while Elijah ran one test after another. He explained that the machine was a prototype to develop prostheses. In fact, he was lucky that the thing just tattooed him and had not torn his arm off and replaced it. Even so, Gavin was not in the mood to rejoice.
It was always the same. Every time he met with one of his brother's inventions, things went awry.
"It could be worse, Gav. You've got a cool new tatoo."
"Are you kidding me? What's worse than being burnt market like a cattle? I am looking like one of your stupid robots!"
"Technically this is not correct. The serial number is not at the wrist. "
"Seriously, asshole? I will punch you in your dumb face when you dare to joke about this shit! "
"Ah, come one. It could be worse- it could be in another place. You might as well have tramp stamps now. "
This time he hit Eli in the arm. But that did not stop the bastard laughing.
* * +++++++ * *
"That's not good." Chloe's warm voice sounded genuinely concerned, but Elijah had calmed after the tests. He leaned back and stared at the screen, where ‘ERROR information doesn’t exist’ kept flashing.
"Do not worry. That's probably the best. The data is gone and there's nothing left to worry about. "
He ignored her doubtful look. The next few years proved to him that he was right.
* * +++++++ * *
RK800, Connor, android revolution, deviant robots and in the end even equal rights. Damn a lot of shit for a year.
Gavin could not wait for 2039 to come. The next year could only get better. At least he hoped it, but hardly that it was approaching, Connor came with a new surprise.
In fact, with Connor, he had been able to develop something of a friendship, and he was one of the few robots he accepted, along with Chloe. He even went so far as to apologize to Connor for his previous behaviour. After that it got better and he treated Connor almost nicer than some of his colleagues. Somehow the android could deal in a very positive way with Gavin’s asshole nature and his insults – not an easy skill to master, according to Tina.
Another point helped the detective to respect the android. One time Connor has rescued him in a drug case. The junkie had almost blown Gavin’s head off, but then Connor arrived as his shining saviour. Also, yeah, the plastic asshole was ok and Gavin began nearly to relax around some of the other plastic toys …
and then the day came when Connor brought a new android. He and Markus had found him. How exactly and where, Gavin had not noticed. Actually, he did not really care.
Connor had just told him that they had some problems with the recent robot. In which aspects exactly, remained open. If Gavin had understood the android correctly, the new one was neither deviant nor a machine. The virus had not worked completely and he or it was still in the process of deviancy. The firewalls seemed too strong, but Connor and Markus asserted that the new guy was not a danger as long as it followed his protocol.
And that meant above all one thing: to put him at the side of a person who could watch him and command.
Of course, the choice fell on the one without a partner: Gavin. Tina had laughed at him after a heated discussion with the Captain, which Gavin as usual loosed. Now he glared morosely into his second coffee cup and pulled his sleeve down again. The tattoo was thin and black on his skin. He could be glad that he did not get a serial number like an android. That would be a shame and the unwanted, embarrassing tattoo had already brought him some strange looks. Especially from his dates.
Gavin took another sip and looked at Tina, who leaned against the table and grinned at him. Her bun was a mess, but it looked really cute. Her officer hat lay next to her mug and so he could get a good look at her face. Her checks were red and her eyes were sparkling with malicious joy. A look he loved, when he was not for him.
In the past they had dated for some weeks, but decided that it would never work. The fun, especially in the bed room, was great, but they had searched different things and broke up – one of the best decisions of his life. His other, past relationships never ended well thanks to his job and his behaviour. No one stayed for long, but Tina, the best, had his back for years.
"What do you think? He should also be a police android. Maybe even a detective model. I hope you don’t wreck him after two days. " Gavin rolled his eyes annoyed by her words. He was still too tired and waited for his beloved coffee to unleash its glorious effect.
"As it sounds, that thing is a faulty scrap heap. Sure, I have to get the garbage again and clear it for others," he complained loudly, ignoring the warning gaze sent by Connor from across the station. As well, the frozen pose of Tina, who got a nervous twitching in her face. He should realize too late that she had wanted to warn him. "It's probably blow itself up … and taking us all with it to hell. Such a fucking droid can suck my balls. " Gavin only shrug his shoulder. Enjoying the caffeine.
"I give a shit about the stupid thing."
The voice sounded so deep and close to his ear that he jumped up with a loud ‘phuck’ and whirled around. The insult on his tongue died. In front of him was Connor - or rather something that looked like Connor and not at the same time. He was taller and without a doubt wider around his shoulders. His physique was designed to intimidate others and his frightening charisma was enhanced by his rigid expression. Cheekbones were more pronounced, sharper and his chin more prominent. His brows stood a little more obliquely, giving him a hostile look. But most impressive were his eyes:
Insensitive, hard and penetrating. Made to terrify others and drag their most awful secrets to the surface.
Gavin felt his throat go dry. The thing was a heads taller than him. At least. Even his voice was the same, but where Connor’s was warm and friendly and softer by nature, this strange android was missing all the cheerfulness. It was hard as stone, cool and distant. Certainly powerful as a quake that Gavin went through the bones.
"I'm RK900. The android that was sent by CyberLife," it rattled off his program like Connor once did. Gavin's brows lifted, while his stomach tingled at the same time and his face burned with excitement. And maybe with a little shame thanks to his former words.
"Are you crazy? What the fuck, tin can? "
Barely noticeable, the eyebrows contracted a little further and the LED of the android turned yellow. "Incorrect. I am the android RK900. Your new partner. I'm faster, stronger, more resilient, and better equipped than my predecessor." Stiffly, the creepy thing reached out to him.
It looked as real as any other android, but its behaviour was distressing on one side and so lifeless on the other that it left Gavin shivering. He stared at the big hand and all of a sudden he developed goose bumps. In a short-circuit reaction, Gavin poured his coffee into the robot's face. Tina backed away and the whole area stared at them. The machine only blinked lazily once, but the LED shifted nervously between yellow and red.
"Don't touch me, tin can!" Gavin growled with an overload of hostility before he turned on his heel and charged into the bathroom. Indignant and annoyed looks followed him. Connor was already running to his successor model to look after it.
Gavin had no head for all that. Behind his temple, there was a throb. Adrenalin rushed through his veins.
Fight or flight! , screamed every part of his body and his heart pumped the blood rapidly through his veins. A splash of water landed in his face before he dug his fingers into the sink and stared into the mirror. His face was glowing. His pupils were dilated and his lips trembled.
Gavin looked like he was being interrogated for hours. He cursed with his jaw tight and grabbed his tingling wrist as he continued to study his appearance in the mirror. Hoping it would help him to calm down.
A hopeless wish, since another problem appeared, while he was whispering repeatedly “Crap” to his reflection.
The shitty tattoo itched like hell. Gavin turned the tap again and tried to soothe the itch with some cold water. Slowly, the unpleasant feeling became better, but when he pulled his hand back, the detective paused.
"What kind of bullshit is this?" Gavin growled with a new surge of panic.
The barcode was not black anymore.
It shimmered in the same bright blue as an android’s LED.