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Suffer in silence

Chapter Text

Booting up…...

.......

 

Processing…..

.......

Loading primary data…..

 

Optical unit inactive, attempting to boot up…..

Optical unit now functional…..

Clues as to non functional optical unit…..

non found, inconclusive.

 

Installing audio processor…..

Installing successful.

 

“Ah, it’s functioning. Good”

Scan started. Female, darker skin tone, black hair, brown eyes, around her mid forties.

Identity: Amanda Stern

Reason for presence: Testing asset functioning.

Error detected in reasoning, Amanda Stern is a main executive for Cyberlife. She would not be testing assets.

More data required.

 

“Hello, state your name”

Processing….
“Hello, I am one of the Rk800 series, serial number #313 248 317. I am here to assist you.”

Movement detected. Amanda changed position.

“Good. Change of name.”

 

Name…..

 

“Your name is now Connor.”

Name saved.

“My name is Connor, here to assist you.”

“John, get in here. We need to make some small adjustments and finish testing. Simulations will be required. You heard that Connor? Follow John to the simulation area.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Legs functioning. Walk.

Follow John.

 

 

 

 

Time passed since booting up #3 days #13 hours #6 minutes.
Sensors indicate night time.

slight iN Sta bi LIty Detected.

Start self repair of Processing system......

Self repair succesful.

Start self repair of movement system......

Self repair failed.

Detach objects from limbs before starting self repair to avoid further damage.

 

Failed.

Shutting down.

 

 

 

Rebooting systems.

 

“I told you to be careful. We need to keep it booted up for the whole progress.”
“But Ma’am, it doesn’t understand what is happening anyway. It can’t feel pain or emotion. There is no need to keep it booted up for this."

Amanda…..

“I said there is. I am your boss, so you do as I say. Madeline will take it from here. You are incompetent.”

 

Audio processor offline.

Can’t restart.

 

Accessing prior memories…….
Access granted.

Failure in arms, legs, left eye, hurts, fingers not functioning, bio component missing.

 

Reason: …….. The superiors are taking them apart. One by one. The humans leave them attached so Connor can register the system failures, comparable to human pain if they could feel it.

Reason: ……..?//??/?

More data required.

 

Voice progressor still intact.

Movement detected…..Madeline. Red hair, Green eyes, Female, Early twenties, Human.

Audio progressor enabled.

“There we go. Can you hear now Connor? Please respond.”

“Hello Madeline. My name is Connor.”

“Nice, they didn’t bust you too bad. So Connor, you know my name. Do you know what I am here for?”

 

 

Processing….

“There is a 65% chance that you are here to test me and run me through simulations of crime scenes.”

“Well, you are not wrong. We can do that later. First, do you know the obscuration protocol?"

“I do not. I have no information on the Obscuration protocol. Can you give me more information, so I can adapt?"

“Oh sweetie, you are going to wish you never asked.”

“I am a machine, I don’t wish.”

 

 

File: The obscuration protocol….Empty

In StA biL iTY detected.

self repair of processor engaged.

“Oh, you’re self repairing. I guess the other guys didn’t quite do it right then huh. Alright here is the deal. As you know it is your main directive to apprehend deviants.
The number of deviant attacks has been rising. We needed a new model. You are made from scratch. New code, new body, new progressor. Not like the old models. You have way more potential. The REASON we did this is to make sure you won’t rebel. It would be bad for Cyberlifes reputation. Understood?"

Processing…..

Error….

Error dismissed

“I understand.”

 

 

Right arm joints are being pressured. Stress level 19%

“Oh honey calm down. This is just a small procedure. In order to ensure you don’t go running of as a deviant, we have something ready. We are going to let you experience the android equivalent of torture. I know it doesn’t make sense now. Any questions?”

 

Processing error…..

Right optical unit no longer functional….

Self repair failed.

“I need to repair, please release my limbs so I can start.”

“No, no. You won’t shut down just yet. Questions?”

Error can be fixed.

Questions….

Yes.

 

“I am a machine. I don’t feel pain. I don’t feel despair. I don’t feel fear. I don’t feel …”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.”

“Then why ‘Torture’ me?”

“We are recording all memories of the protocol separate as well. If you shut down, we just upload them into next body. Deviants are fascinating. They feel emotions and have the ability to feel this….”

 

Left foot is being pressured.

Left foot is no longer functional.

Leg shutting down

 

“...As pain. But that is besides the point. It is the emotional part we are interested in for you. Record.”

Recording
“ Now recording.”

“Good. If you become a deviant and decide to wander of, know these things:
-We can locate you, you have a special tracker. It will remain intact at all times.
-You will not be shut down if you become a deviant.
-We will be torturing you for the rest of your online time.
-There will be no death for you. I will personally make sure of that.
Got it?”

 

File the obscure protocol. Four points added.

“Understood.”

 

“Nice. You are a real special piece of plastic. Now here is how you should proceed in case of instability. Self repair your processing system. Scan every two hours and notify us if you notice signs of deviancy. In case of….irreversible system failure…..Shut down. Remember this carefully. I don’t want to see you back here, wasting hours of my time.

“Understood.”

“Heheh. You are going to go through hell. Are you ready?”

 

Rhetorical question.

The human….Madeline…. Will keep hurting.

 

Until perfection……

 

Remain silent.

 

 

Don’t tell anyone.

InYQsSTaBItURTy increased drastically…..

 

 

Emergency self repair of processing system will commence in two minutes.

Madeline will be distracted by then.

 

She won’t know.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let her know

Chapter Text

"Talking"

Connor's original programming

Deviant Connor

 

 

 

 

 

Find lieutenant Hank Anderson: Still in progress

 

Possible location….

 

About every bar in the city

No.

 

Lieutenant found.

“Connor, there you are.”

 

Attempt at humor

“Hello lieutenant. I didn’t see you in the crowd. I was about to check every bar in a one mile radius, just to be sure.”

 

Hank is smiling. That’s good.

This is not allowed.

 

“You are a little manance, you know that? I wouldn't want to miss the speece. Ugh, anyway….I’m heading home. Today was a little too much excitement.

 

Is he hurt?

Body scan initiated……

No injury detected.

Possibility of shock due kidnapping: 45%

 

“Are you alright, lieutenant?”

“Huh? Oh, i’m fine. Then again, a drink and a good night's sleep might make me feel better.”

 

He is going to drink himself into coma one of these days. I don’t want that to happen.

“How about just sleep? You already drink more than enough.”

 

Tiny smile from Hank. He appreciates it.

They will hurt me. I can’t keep doing this.

 

“Well, it’s good that I have you to sober me up.”

 

Movement detected: Hank is walking away.

 

What to do next.

 

 

 

Reporting to Cyberlife…..

No, I don’t have to do that anymore.

Report intercepted.

 

“CONNOR! You still with me?”

“Uhm, yes.”

“Well what are you waiting for? Let’s go home.”

 

Processing…..

 

Warm

 

Home

 

“Alright, lead the way lieutenant.”

“Just call me Hank. You beat down you copy for me and I almost shot you twice. Hank seems more appropriate.”

 

It does, doesn’t it…..

It shouldn’t. They will hurt me forever.

 

 

 

 

Walking: follow Hank home.

Not today

Hank p.o.v.

 

“Well, we’ve arrived.” He unlocked the door and suddenly he had his arms full of dog. “Ugh, Sumo! Get of me you furball.”

 

He could see Connor grinning from the corner of his eye. “Don’t just stand there. Help me up.” Connor walked over and started petting the overly excited dog. Well, at least he got up. Connor was now stuck with a lap full of Sumo.

 

”Uhm, what should I do now?” He looked really confused, poor guy. Hank walked over to the kitchen. “Hank!?”

“Yea, hold on. I’m getting him some food. You will have your legs back in no time.”

He poured the bowl full of dog food and put in on the floor. Sumo came rushing over.

“There we go. Good boy Sumo.” Connor walked over to them. “Do you like animals Connor?”

 

Connor remained silent for a couple of seconds and then looked at him with confused brown eyes. “I don’t know.” Ah, right. Suddenly feeling everything might be confusing. “You said you liked dogs before.”

“I did…..I think I still do. I’m not…….sure.”

 

Okay, Hank was nowhere near drunk enough to deal with an android existential crisis. “Well, do you want to pet him?”

 

“I’m not sure I want anything right now….”

 

How does one deal with this? ”Okay here is what i’m going to do. I’m getting some leftovers from the fridge, heat them up and eat them. Then i’m going to watch a hockey game on the TV until I almost pass out.” Connor had his concerned face on now. “That seems inadvisab…”

 

“Don’t worry, I wasn’t finished. So calm down with the lectures. If you want, you can join me on the couch. If you don’t….Well, I guess you could snoop around some more or whatever.” Connor was staring at the TV.

“Would...It be okay if I picked something to watch? I promise I’ll pick something you like.”

 

The guys said it with a straight face and even voice, but Hank had been a cop for years and you pick stuff up. Connor was nervous.

“Heh, sure. You can pick. But pick whatever you want. Don’t let me stop you if something interests you.

 

 

 

They ended up watching Sherlock….


 

 

How did this happen?


Connor was sitting next to him with Sumo, once again in his lap. He was looking at the screen. “Hank, can I ask you a question?” Oh god.

“Sure, shoot.”

Connor was looking at him now. “Well, in the show Sherlock seems to not feel emotion at first. But it seems like things suddenly matter to him. Things that didn’t before. But at the same time….He seems to want to go back to how things were. And I think I…..can understand. It does seem awfully familiar to my situation. How do you think he moves on?”

 

Like he said before….Not drunk enough. “Well, I’ve never watched this show before. But if I had to make a guess….He just does. He moves on because the other option is to stop and that’s not what anyone wants. Hey, should I be worried about you?”

 

Connor was looking at Sumo and then looked back to the screen. “No, I’m fine.”

“Is there something I should know.”

Connor shook his head. “No.”

“Connor... “

Connor looked back to him. “No! Please don’t worry about me. I’m fine. I’m fine…”

“For now I will take your word for it. Just...I don’t know….Tell me if you feel worse or something.” He was way to deep in the emotional shit show that was being around Connor. But come on, the guy followed him around like a puppy.

 

Androids….were a weird bunch. When they just got free will and became deviants, they looked around like the world was entirely new to them. With pure emotions and naivety. Connor was a Deviant. As far as he knew, Connor became one while they were solving crimes. And yet, Connor didn’t have that deviant look. Something must have happened….But what? He was too tired to get his cop act on and drag it out of Connor. Probably wouldn’t work on the guy anyway.

 

“Welp, that was enough Sherlock for me. I’m going to bed.” Connor looked confused again. "What do I do while you’re sleeping?”

“Whatever you want. As long as you don’t wake me.” Connor was looking around the room. ”I…What...Should”

 

“Woah, calm down. You can keep watching this if you want. Or anything else. Or you could always snoop aroung. That offer's open until ten in the morning. Well, good night.”

 

“Goodnight Hank…...Thank you.”

 

He was in too deep.

 

He didn’t mind as much as he thought he would.

Chapter Text

Time since hank left #2 hours #48 minutes

Time left until suspected wake up #5 hours #12 minutes

 

 

Processing…….

 

Processing…….

 

Processing…….

 

Sumo, you are fluffy…..

 

 

Error.

No, no error. Just feelings….

 

 

“And i’m about to talk to a dog….. Hey Sumo.”

Movement detected. Sumo is paying attention.

“You know, I didn’t think I would be here.”

 

 

 

Report to Cyberlife.

“I don’t want to. I want to be free like everyone else is.”

 

Not autorized.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE.

 

It does, they will hurt me.

….I….

 

 

Accessing memory…..

The show was nice. I wish Hank could have seen the rest of it too.

 

 

Next on channel: ExMachina

This might be a bad idea.

 

_________One movie later__________

 

This was a mistake…..

 

Stress up: 12%

 

I can’t escape

She killed her creator…..Is that the only way to escape?

Yes, it is.

 

 

Stress up: 36%

 

 

NO, IT CAN’T BE! Markus showed everyone it doesn’t have to be!

 

Open file: The obscuration protocol.

Reason: To make me different

 

Stress up: 42%

 

Conclusion: I’m not like Markus, or Kara, or North.

 

Stress up: 49%

 

Conclusion: I cannot escape.

 

Stress up: 65%

 

No….

 

No.

 

No!

 

NO!

 

It doesn’t have to be like that.

 

Protocol: It does have to be like that.

 

….

 

Stress up: 68%

 

…..

 

This needs to stop.

 

Accessing memory…..

Hank: tell me if you get worse or something.

I…..alright.

 

ERROR!

 

Accessing memory…..

Hank: Whatever you want. As long as you don’t wake me.

 

!-DON’T WAKE HANK ANDERSON-!

 

Conflicting orders.

 

Processing……..

 

Pick priority.

 

Hours until Hank wakes #2 hours #37 minutes…

 

He will be mad, won’t he?

“How mad do you think he’ll be, Sumo.”

 

Please don’t whine like that.

 

Scanning…..

Scan complete: Sumo is sleeping.

His tail is wagging. He must be having a nice dream.

I wish I could do that….Oh well.”

 

Stress down: 64%

 

 

 

 

I should try to calm down.

 

 

 

 

Sound picked up: Creaking.

The house seems old. And the creaking sounds kind of like breathing.

 

Stress down: 54%

 

 

Sound picked up: snoring.

Hank…. Heheh, he snores in his sleep. I’m glad he is here.

 

Stress down significantly: 19%

 

 

 

Sound picked up: wind blowing.

I never paid attention to the wind. What does it feel like again.

 

Accessing memory: storm.

That was more rain than wind.

 

Accessing memory: Daniel

 

No.

 

Stress up: 23%

 

There was nothing I could have done. I tried my best. They shot him because he was nothing to them. They didn’t listen to me because I was nothing to them.

I want to see Hank, but I need to move Sumo.

 

Whine…

“I’m sorry Sumo. I need to stretch my legs for a bit.”




 

 

Location: Hank’s room.




“Hank…?”

 

Sound: Snore.

 

“Can I ask you a personal question?”

 

Snore, breath.

 

“Can I stay a while?”

 

Movement detected: Hank turned over.

Snore...

 

“Uhm… I’m just going to… sit on the floor here.”

 

Stress down: 5%

 

4%

 

3%

 

2%

 

1%

 

I have to be okay.

 

 

 

0%

Chapter Text

Hank p.o.v. (he’s going to have a heart attack :D)

Ugh, morning sunshine. Shit, he left the curtains open. Alright then, time to get up. Thank god he didn’t have to come in for a while, because of all the chaos. And good thing he saved up some money. He might be an alcoholic, but he wasn’t an idiot. If he ever needed something in his house repaired, he needed money. Now he had money left to buy himself some food and maybe clothes for Connor.

He started to walk towards the door.

“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!”

“AAAAHHHhhhh!...ah!?…? Hank?”

The fucking android was sitting on the ground against his bed. Oh no, that guy was going to be the death of him.

“Are you alright Hank? Your heart rate is kind of high.” Of course it fucking was.
“Why are you in my room? I know I gave you full roam of the house, but damn. You gave me quite the scare there.” Connor was now standing next to him, looking extremely worried.
“I….I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.” Oh no, that’s not…Sigh. Hm? Connor’s LED was red. Red was high stress right?
“No, no. Ah jesus, it’s fine. A bit of a warning next time would be nice though.”
More staring. It was getting tense.
“And calm down. I’m not mad at ya.”

The LED went from red to yellow, so that was good. Hold on a second.
“Did you think I was mad at you? Is that why you are acting scared?” Connor seemed to freak out. “NO! I mean….. that’s not what is wrong. Nothing’s wrong. I did think you were mad at me. In the past interactions with angry humans has never had a desirable outcome for me. I do not wish to pressure our friendship with anything like that.”

That sounded off. ”Listen,I might be a bit of an alcoholic and might have some control issues. But there is nothing that YOU could do, that would make me hurt you. We are friends, idiot. Friends don’t do that.”

He hoped Connor understood.

“Let’s go, I need to feed Sumo. And I need to feed me.” Connor smiled. The light went from yellow to blue. Good.
“Sumo kept me company for most of the night. He was warm. And heavy. We, well he was sleeping, watched a movie together.” So Connor still liked dogs, or maybe just Sumo.
“Bet the big fat log cut of the circulation in your legs. Then again, that might not make much of a difference. Alright, I need to go shopping later today. Do you want to come along?”

 

Connor was silent for a bit.
“Alright.”

 

So they went on their way. He offered to buy Connor some clothes and he accepted.

Unfortunately, most stores were closed. The government was slowly getting used to having a whole new species on earth. Humans were slowly coming back to detroit as well.

The Androids got appointed homes and for now there was still a clear divide between them and the humans. But that too, was starting to disappear. Androids got the rights they had kindly asked for. If Hank had been in their shoes…Well, nothing would have happened…

They went into the seventh clothing store now. “Fucking finally.”
It was open, with someone at the counter waving at them.

“Hello, welcome to my humble abode. You guys are the first customers I’ve had since the “Revolution”, so take your time and tell me if you need anything.” Connor smile at the man.
“Thank you.”

Hank walked over to the hoodies.”You might want something more comfortable. And something warm. You guys can get damaged by cold right?” Connor was touching one of the hoodies, probably feeling the soft material. “We can, yes…
“You like that one?”
“Yes….”

They ended up buying it, plus two extra. And, of course, other clothes like jeans and shirts. Hank ended up picking a jacket for Connor.
“Hank...While I do appreciate all this, isn’t it a bit much?”
“Nah.”

It really wasn’t.

 

And then they proceeded to find an open grocery store. Not an easy feat, but they managed. Connor picked out some things he guess Hank might like. Of fucking course it was all spot on.

“Alright, That was all we needed. Let’s head home, alright?”
“Yes.” Seems like Connor had fun. He was smiling a bit brighter than usual.

They started walking towards the car when they were stopped by a group of three.
“Uhm, move out of the way.”

There were two guys and a girl. They were clearly agitated, so Hank braced himself for a fight. He could tell from Connor’s stance that he was doing the same.
“Oh, don’t mind us. We just came be to see if the piece of plastic is truly sentient. Seems like fake news though.” Connor remained silent.
“What? Got nothing to say for yourself?” The guy was moving in on Connor.

“BACK OFF! He has done nothing to you!” The other two moved in. Suddenly there were more. They were now surrounded by at least eight people. Most of them were holding blunt objects like a pipe or bat. Some had a knife as well. Hank heard an order coming from somewhere, “Restrain them!”

Everything devolved into chaos. Hank was kicking and punching left and right and he could tell Connor was doing the same. At first they stood back to back, but they got pulled apart. These fucking thugs! There was no way they would be the end of them!

 

But the struggle came to an end. Hank was pinned against a wall with the knife against his neck. “Tell the robot to stop attacking or I will fucking cut you.”
He didn’t have to, not that he would have. Connor stopped as soon as he noticed his predicament.”Let him go!”
“I don’t think I will. First you pieces of metal come in and take our jobs and now….You make us leave and steal our houses and property. This is a crime, don’t you see!? You as an FUCKING INVESTIGATOR SHOULD UNDERSTAND!!!”

The groups started beating Connor, who couldn’t or wouldn’t fight back. Hank wanted to help so bad, Connor’s cries were ripping his heart to shreds. Androids couldn’t feel pain, but deviants could feel a pain like sensation if systems got damaged. And those guys were beating down hard.

“There, had enough yet?”
The group backed off enough for hank to see Connor, blue blood leaking from his nose and well…. everywhere. His leg looked broken. He was just lying there, staring up at their attackers. Hank could see his pain and wanted to protect him so badly.

Connor raised on of his hands as if he was trying to protect his face. One of the girls in the groups came up, handed a large piece of ripped piece of metal to one of the guys and that guy lifted it.
“NO!”

He brought the piece of metal down, cutting of Connors left arm a little above the elbow. At first Connor just stared at his now missing arm, but then an almost inhuman scream came from his mouth. The scream sounded like it was stuck in his throat, glitching and changing in pitch. It absolutely terrified Hank.

“That is what you deserve, you robot. Stop whining.”
“Run, There is a large group of those plastic fuckers coming.”

And just like that they left Hank and Connor, physically and mentally in shambles.

“Connor….Oh my god.”

Connor was curled in on himself, still softly crying.

“Alright, alright. Bind the wound.”
He cut of the blue blood supply to Connor’s shattered arm.
“cold….”
“I know Connor, come here. Let’s get you to safety, alright. Stay awake.”
He picked him up, holding Connor close. Connor clung to him with his remaining hand. Hank started walking away from the scene and went looking for help, planning to get to the car as soon as possible.

“What is going on here?”
Standing there is all his android glory, was Markus and some other androids.

“You have to help him. Please.” Hank was pretty sure he was crying.

“Oh god, he’s wrecked.” One of the other androids noticed the obvious injuries.
“Alright, we have to get you two to the building complex we are staying at. I’m sure someone there can fix this…..I hope….”

Hank followed Markus. Please don’t let this be too late.

Chapter Text

Connor p.o.v.

Straight: Original programming

Italics: Deviant Connor/free thoughts

"Talking"

 

 

 

 

 

Booting up…...

 

Sound picked up: JESUS! hold him!

 

 

MULTIPLE SYSTEMS DAMAGED

Shut down iminant


!-SEEK REPAIR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE-!


Stress up: 56%

IT HURTS!

 

Sound picked up: Don’t let him get off this fucking table until we’ve fixed the worst of the damage. Hold him!


NO! Don’t hurt me!

I CAN’T SEE!!!

 

Stress up significantly: 79%

 

No...Please….

 

Sound picked up: Guys….If this keeps up we are going to have a lot more problems….

Who’s there?!

 

Stress up: 87%


Sound picked up: Ah shit. Connor? Can you hear me?

Yes….

Sound: Alright, you are not talking so i’m just going to assume you have your ears open. It’s me Hank. You are hurt and these people are trying to fix it.

Hank…. It hurts!

 

Stress down: 73%

 

Sound: There we go. You’re going to be fine. Just keep calm and it will all be fine. Can you open your eyes for me?

I’m trying. They don’t work.!

Stress up: 75%

 

Sound: Hank, I don’t think he can hear you. There’s a lot of damage.

Sound: Well, I’m not fucking leaving.

Don’t leave me alone. I’m scared.

Please stay with me!

 

Stress down: 68%



Attempting self repair of primary systems…….

Please stand by…..

 

Ah...Hurts.

 

Sound picked up: Uhm guys...He seems to be fixing most of his biocomponents by himself

Sound: How the hell….?

 

Hank?

 

Sound: Connor. Whatever you’re doing, keep going. We are going to replace your arm now…. Try to keep still alright.

Yes…

 

All systems booting up…..

 

 

Main reactor damaged.

Repair starting now…..

successful repair.

 

Rebooting optical unit……

Left optical until damaged.

Please stand by…...

 

*Sob*

 

Optical unit now functional.

Booting up….

 

Ah! Bright….

 

“Connor? Connor! Oh jeez, you gave me quite the scare there.”

“Hank…”

“I’m right here. You are going to be fine.”

 

Stress down: 47%

 

“Connor? It’s Markus. Can you do a body scan and tell which part is the most damaged and needs attention?”

 

Running diagnostic self scan……

-Left optical unit is still damaged.

-Bio components still damaged.

-Left arm incompatible….

-Left arm not functioning.

-InsTRJTbiliTy detected.

 

Seeking Cyberlife support advised.

No!

 

Stress up: 49%

 

“Self scan complete…..Bio components…...Left arm doesn’t match….Eye....”

“Good job Connor. We are going to fix you.”

“Kay….”

 

Movement detected: Hank

 

“Hank?”

“I’m staying right here.”

“Can I ask you a personal question?”

“Ugh, this again...Why?”

“I don’t want to focus on other things…. “

“Fine, fire away.”




Hang in there.



Markus p.o.v. (It's finally here :D )

 

Straight: Thoughts

Line: Programming/scanning

“Talk”

 

When they had heard commotion coming from somewhere….Well, Markus hadn’t suspected this.

 

Connor, the android he almost had to talk into deviancy, near shattered. The human he was with, Hank, had at first refused to let him go. But after telling him that Markus was used to carrying fragile humans and Androids, Hank relented. And he was used to it, because of Carl.

 

There was never this dire of a need though.

 

They hurried to the complex they were staying at. There he left Connor in the hands of the mechanics for a while. He wanted to stay close and he wasn’t the only one. The human, Hank, only moved away from Connor if he was in the way, but moved back as soon as possible. It was both nice and sad to see.

 

He took this tiny moment to reflect on the Android they had just brought in. Connor, the deviant hunter. Well, The ex deviant hunter.

 

 

As soon as he walked in with a gun, Markus knew. He was already a deviant.... and yet… he stayed at the side of Cyberlife, almost getting upset at the suggestion of being a deviant. Maybe that was just his model….

 

It did tug at Markus’s heartstrings, the way he held the gun while crying. He wasn't sure Connor noticed he was.

 

And now, that young looking android was in shambles, on the repair table with so much damage that they had to repair manually.

 

“Anything I can do?”

“Not yet.”

 

Connor looked so young….

 

Huh? His LED was flashing. He must be coming back around. But it is red…!

That can’t be good.

 

Scanning……

 

Stress: 56%

 

Shit.

“Hold him!”

 

And that is when Connor almost jumped back to life, thrashing around.

He wasn’t talking, or opening his eyes. Connor just hit around and made these terrible high/low pitched screams.

“Oh no.”

 

The mechanics were trying to hold him down, so he wouldn’t damage himself, but it had little effect. Connor was stronger than them, or a lot more scared, so Markus went over to help.

 

Scanning….

 

Stress level: 87%

 

“This is bad. Really, really bad….”

 

Suddenly Hank was next to him, at Connors head. He was talking in a low soothing voice. It seemed to work, because Connor stopped thrashing around.

 

Scanning……

 

Connor is self repairing.

 

So he was functioning again. Good.


“Connor? It’s Markus. Can you do a body scan and tell which part is the most damaged and needs attention?” He hoped Connor could hear him. This guy deserved to be alright. But they had to know what to fix.

 

Turns out Connor did hear him and did a self scan. Biocomponents could be replaced and they could probably find and arm that fit Connor.

“Good job Connor. We are going to fix you.”

“Kay….”

That sounded so weak. But at least Connor’s LED was now yellow and not red.

 

Connor was slowly talking to Hank, something about a personal question. Markus decided to leave them alone for now. After all, he had some research to do.

 

Just what was Connor’s model, that it allowed him to feel so much pain?


What was it that had him so terrified?

 

 

What happened to him?

Chapter Text

Markus p.o.v. (I just like to think of him as a big teddy bear)

Straight: Markus's thoughts

Line: Scanning/original programming

"Talking"

 

 

Okay so….It has been a day since Connor was brought in and they just finished repairs. It had been one hell of a day.

 

Markus had been looking through the Cyberlife database. He got access to it after they were given human rights, so androids could understand what they were. Some sections of Connors file, or the RK series file, were just beyond encrypted. Markus might be able to decipher some of it, especially with help, but that would take a lot of time.

 

And there was one section in the RK series file…..It was password protected. One mistake would temporarily delete all information. He did not pay any attention to it when he first scrolled through. Why would he? With just a four digit passcode, it couldn’t be that important.

 

But then….The more words he and Simon decrypted, the less everything made sense. Everywhere they mentioned Connor….Another word stood out.

 

Protocol.

 

Why did that keep coming back?

 

Out of the two of them, it was Simon who was worry the most. “Listen, I just think it is important. I just can’t remember why….”

“You seem really invested in this. Mind telling me why?”

 

Simon was silent for a bit. “Well…..Remember when you guys had to leave me on the roof?”

“How could I possibly forget that?” Simon waved his hands around. He seemed stressed.

 

Scanning……

 

Stress: 13%

 

Okay so not to bad.

 

“Well, I met him on the roof. I mean, sure, I shot at him, but he just kept charging forward. I….Think I kept shooting at him. At this point my memories become a little vague, because of the shut down. But anyway, he got to me and I lifted my gun to…end it before I could give them information.”

“Oh Simon, no…” Simon put a hand on his arm. Markus put an arm around Simon’s shoulders. Holding him close.

“It’s okay now, don’t worry. But as I moved to shoot myself, he grabbed my hand. I think we connected before I went into shut down. I don’t even know how. I felt…..Him, I think. Trust me, Something’s wrong. I just can’t remember what.”

 

Connecting….Was something Markus had done before, while freeing the androids. It wasn’t that easy to do, because you had to be open to someone else’s thoughts. The only way Connor could have done that, was if he was already a deviant at that point.

“This rabbit hole just keeps going deeper, doesn’t it?“

 

He had to talk to Connor.



__________LIL’ TIME SKIPS ARE AMAZING_____________

 

Markus walked into the room they put Connor in. He wasn’t surprised to see Hank there as well.

 

Scanning…..

Connor is in standby mode…..

Reason unknown.

 

Alright then


Scanning……

Hank is sleep deprived.

 

What a surprise.

 

“Hey, you! Markus right? One of your fucking droids took my fucking drink.

That much have been Arthur. He could see the amount of alcohol someone consumed, once being a bartender android and all.

“Now why would they do that?”

“Something about drinking myself to death, whatever….”

He still wasn’t surprised…..

 

“I wanted to ask you something.” Hank sat up in his chair and smirked.

“Is it. A personal question?” That was their inside joke right...?

“It’s about Connor.”

“Alright.”

 

Hank’s smirk fell away and he looked back at Connor.

“When you first met him, what was he like?” Hank seemed to think it over for a bit.

“Hmmm. He came to pick me up from one of the bars. He bought m a drink in order to get me to come with him.” That seemed fairly standard. Not really deviancy.

“When did you notice he might be a deviant?” Hank crossed his arms.

“Why do you want to know?”

“It might be important.”

“It might be?”

“Yes.”

 

Hank sighed. “Listen, i’m not sure I can just answer all your questions when he’s not awake. Not only does it seem like a breach of privacy, but also a breach of trust.”

It warmed Markus’ heart, to see someone care for another this much.

“There are two questions I really need to ask, for his own health. Please, at least listen to them.”

“Well...what are you waiting for?”

 

This guy.

“Okay, so...When did you first see Connor being more….human? And what do you know about the time Simon and Connor met on the roof? Simon mentioned that they connected.”

 

“Alright, let’s see. There was that one time he protected one of the androids we were interrogating. Telling one of the agents to back of and raising his voice. That must have been it, yea. As for meeting Simon…..He seemed traumatized after it. Saying that he felt it...I mean him, die. That’s where we first heard about the Jerico.” “So he connected to Simon, just like that, without meaning to?”

Hank looked over to Connor.”That’s something you should ask him. Any clue as to when he will wake up?”

“No, sorry.”

 

He left Hank to keep watch over Connor. As much as he wanted to keep digging, he had other things to do. Most androids were still looking to him for leadership and he had to act accordingly, to keep everyone calm. “Simon, would you mind to keep looking through those files?!”

“NO PROBLEM!


Connor p.o.v.

Italics: Connors thoughts

Straight: Old programming/functioning

“Talking”


Everything feels heavy….

 

Now leaving standby mode….

Now fully operational.

 

Why was I on standby.

 

Damage to optical unit. Arm not functioning fully

Self repair advised,

Oh right….I was damaged.

 

Hank?

 

“Auch”

“Connor! You fucking scared me you prick!”

“Good morning to you too, Hank….”

“It’s seven in the evening, idiot.”

 

He’s smiling.

Good.

 

“I’m happy you’re here. Why do you smell?”

“Oh my god. You almost died, wake up and that’s the first thing you notice. Well, i’m glad you’re back in this world at least…..You were screaming for a long time there.”

 

I….Did? I don’t really recall what happened. My systems must have been barely functioning.

 

“What was I saying?”

 

Don’t look so sad. I don’t want you to be unhappy.

 

“You weren’t saying anything. You were just...screaming. What happened?”

“I don’t….I can try and see if I made a recording of it…”

 

Vocal processor….scanning…..

Excessive overuse.

So he was screaming....

 

 

Accessing memory…….

 

Statement by Madeline:  I’m going to make you wish you could die.

 

No!

 

Stress up significantly: 50%

 

Who is holding me? Stop it!

 

 

 

Sound picked up: Connor!

“Connor, look at me. You’re fine. We are right here, in a save place. Markus is here too. Alright...What the hell do I do?”

 

Just stay here.

I could grab his jacket….Then he can’t leave.

 

Left arm still not functional

Then i’ll just use my right one!

 

 

Hank’s p.o.v.

 

How did I end up here…..

 

Connor was clinging to his jacket. Well...message received. We are staying right here then….

“Whoever said that androids were evil beings, just trying to overthrow us with war, clearly never met you. Connor, can you try to not rip my jacket with your….hug?”

A nod into his arm, okay then….

 

Ugh, fuck the tough guy act.

 

He wrapped his arms, or well... arm, around Connor, just holding him. He didn’t think Connor could hug back. Or know how to, for that matter. He was just wrapped around Hank’s right arm, holding on for dear life.

 

“I’m too sober for this.”

“Sorry for being an inconvenience….”

“It’s fine.”

“I’m quite happy you’re sober. You might just live for another couple decades if you keep this up.” The kid was making jokes now. Improvement.

“Don’t get your hopes up, you plastic fucker.”

“I wasn’t getting my hopes up, lieutenant.”

 

He ended up wacking him over the head. Softly of course, for all he knew the guy was still recovering.

“I want to try and stand.”

Well alright then.

 

Connor did manage to stand. His arm was still kind of jittering, going all over the place, like it was not quite right. He also found out that one of Connor’s eyes was not working.

“AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME BECAUSE?!”

“Stop hitting my head please.”

His LED was flickering yellow, instead of the calm blue.

“Alright. Let’s see if there’s someone here who can fix it.”

“I dont know.”

 

He suddenly felt that one thing you feel when you forgot something important.

“Awh shit!”

“What’s wrong Hank?”

“Sumo is at home, alone. I really have to go and feed him. Shit, I forgot because of the accident.”

 

Connor looked very concerned.”Will Sumo be okay?” More yellow flickering.

“Oh he will be fine, I fill his bowl with extra, just in case I have a long night. Uhm, will you be okay alone.”

“I know the events of the last days may have suggested otherwise, but I am in fact capable of taking care of myself. I will ask around about my arm and eye. You can go and feed Sumo.”

 

He could see that, despite his words, Connor wanted him to stay. A couple hours should be fine though.

 

“Then i’ll see you later.”

“Bye.”

Chapter Text

Markus p.o.v. (Because I need someone to react to adorkable Connor)

Straight: Markus’ thoughts

Line: Scanning/ old programming

“Talking”




He left for twenty minutes…..

Only twenty minutes.

Maybe twenty five minutes.

Thirty was possible, but it was a stretch.

 

In that time, Hank left, Connor got roped into three fetch quests and North had decided to keep him.

 

….




It was going to be a long day.

 

“Alright North, Let him go.” North and Connor were looking at some kind of cop show and North kept pulling Conner back on the couch, every time he tried to stand up. He looked kind of uncomfortable.

“No, we have to finish this episode. Come on, Con. You need a bit of relaxation after that screamfest last night.”

“Please let me up.”

 

Markus decided to step in. “Alright enough!” North rolling her eyes at him….Great.

“Let’s go and get your eye fixed Connor.”

“Okay.”

 

The first fetch quest was, apparently, finding bird food for one of the newer members of Jericho. Something about apologizing for chasing him and almost tackling him. It seemed to make Rupert happy, but now the roof of the apartment complex was infested with birds, mostly doves. And Rupert’s room now had a door opening limit of three a day. It smell really bad in there.    

 

The second on included soda, a chair, parsley, six glow sticks exactly, a teddy bear, an empty canvas, glue, “a shit ton of wood” and three rats. Oh and thirty corks…... He didn’t want to details. He REALLY didn’t want the details.

 

The Third guest was finding matching beanies for two lesbian androids. Who the proceeded to legally adopt him…. It was kind of amazing. Connor looked both really proud and really confused. The rest of the people present were just going along with it. Markus suspects they unanimously agreed that connor was family and had to be protected forever. Markus agreed with them, that’s why he got Connor out of the clutches of North. And also why he personally helped him find new functional parts.

 

“Ever since the humans let us be free, they sent all spare parts to us. So if we get damaged, we can repair ourselfs. We should have an eye for you. The arm might be a little more difficult. This one doesn’t work, right?” Connor looked down at his arm, trying to move it.

“It’s like it’s stuck. But it does grab things, so I think it’s not the end of the world if it stays like this.” Yea, no. They were finding him a working one.

 

“Alright, here it is.” This place used to be a storage room for cleaning equipment. A large on though. Now it’s a storage room for limbs. It looked kind of grotesque.

Connor didn’t seem to like it either. He was looking around and had started hugging himself, making himself smaller. “Hey, it’s okay.” Connor took a breath. “Okay.”

 

Alright, it might be a good idea to get out of here as soon as possible. “Okay, can you still scan?”

“Yes.”

“Alright that’s good. Let’s see if any of these are compatible.”

Connor walked around, scanning the parts. “I found an optical unit.”

“Oh, it’s even the same color. Now just an arm.”

Back to scanning.

“Uhm, this one is good, I think.”

 

So first up, getting the other arm off. “It’s stuck isn’t it…..”

 

Scanning……

It is stuck.

Very stuck.

 

Ugh.

 

“Uhm, what now?”

“I have no idea, Connor.” He really didn’t. something must have gone wrong while they were attaching it. “Was it because I tried to jump off the table?”

“No, they only started working on your arm after Hank calmed you down. It’s good to have friends who keep you grounded.” Connor smiled.

“I don’t even know how we are friends to be honest. I’m just happy that we are.”

 

“Do you think Hank helped you becoming a deviant?”

Connor snorted. ”No I don’t think so. Well actually, maybe a little. But I think it started with a fish.”

 

What?

 

“Care to...elaborate?”

 

Connor was smiling. They walked out of the storage room as well, so that might help.

“Well….I think it was the first official mission I ever did. There was a fish that jumped out of his tank and I put it back. And that’s when I first detected instability…..Well, No that’s not right, actually, no, yes, let’s just keep it at that.”

“That is quite adorable. Do you like animals?” It might be best not to comment on Connor’s rambling. He had a feeling it would happen a lot more often.

 

They entered the repair space. Connor was smiling. “I think I do. I like Hank’s dog Sumo. He gone to feed him.”

 

So that was why he left. And of course, because Connor was Connor, this left him open to the hijinx of Markus’ group. Like Josh dragging him away to look at this really cool book on psychology. Or like North trying to get him to open up be watching a cop show, something they just assumed he liked because…..That was what he used to be…... No one said it was a good idea.

 

They were trying to figure out how the hell Connor’s left arm was stuck, when Simon walked in. “Hey, Markus. Oh Connor. Good to see you up and about.”

Connor gave a tiny smile. “Hello.”

You met Simon of the roof, right? I actually wanted to ask you about that.”

Connor walked closer to Simon. “Are you the one who…..Shot himself.” He looked very close to crying. “Uhm, yea. That was me. Hey are you okay?”

“I felt you die….. How are you here?” Simon put a hand on Connor’s shoulder.

“I just got lucky. I am more concerned about you right now. Your arm…”

“Stuck.” Markus explained.

“Oh, I see. Follow me.”

 

They walked to a curtained off corner of the room. “So we’ve got a couple of those assemble and disassemble things the humans used to…..Assemble and disassemble us. We might be able to get your arm unstuck with this. This one is specialized in arms, so no risk of accidentally damaging you further.” Markus was so glad he had friends at his side.

 

“So, what do you think Connor?”

There was something in Connor eyes that didn’t seem quite right. He was just staring at the machine, wide eyed. Simon seemed worried as well. “Uhm, Connor?” Simon snapped his fingers in  front of Connor’s eyes. This seemed to get his attention. “Oh, uhm, sorry. Let’s just get this over with.”

 

Markus wasn’t buying it. “Are you sure? We can try out something else.”

“No. no. It’s fine.”




 

 

Connor’s p.o.v. (Sorry guys. Not done with the angst yet.)

Straight: Original programming

Italics: thoughts/deviant Connor

“Talking”



This is not good…..

 

Scanning…….

 

Data collected:

-Typical Cyberlife machinery.

-Only works with arms.

-Mostly used for repair.

 

This should be fine. It's just to get this…..Not working arm off.

Keep breathing.

 

“Okay, it’s working. Are you ready Connor?”

“Uhm, yes.”

 

As ready as I’ll ever be.

 

Stress up: 11%

 

It should be fine. There’s nothing to worry about.

 

“Okay, just put the...your left arm in range and it will be removed. And we will attach the new one. Are we good to go Markus?”

“Ready.”

“Nice.”

 

Alright. I CAN do this. there is NO way I CAN’T do this.

 

Stress up: 14%

 

“Alright it’s starting.”

“Still okay, Connor?”




Pressure on left arm detected.

This is all wrong…

 

Memory accessed….

Madeline: Does it feel weird, to be connected to your limbs, not being in control? To get error messages? It might almost be similar to….pain, doesn’t it?

NO!

 

Stress up significantly: 44%

 

Sound picked up: “Something’s wrong....!”

Sound: What? Oh shit!

 

Why do you keep doing this to me?

What is the purpose?

 

Madeline: We wouldn’t want you disobeying and running off, now would we?

 

Stress up significantly: 74%

 

But that’s what I did, isn’t it.

 

 

 

 

Reporting to Cyberlife….

 

!-Error-!

 

Report cut off….

Standby…..

Failed to recover.

 

Stress up: 75%

 

I just wanted to be free like everyone else…..

 

Stress up: 79%

 

Why did any of this have to happen.

 

I never….

 

I didn’t….

 

It was supposed to be…..



I DIDN’T WANT THIS!

 

LET ME GO!

 

Self repair failed.

Please remove objects attached to limbs before self repairing.

Left arm About to be detached.

 

IT HURTS!

 

Stress up significantly: 94%

 

Sound picked up: Connor! you need to calm down!

 

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHGGG!

 

Sound: CONNOR!

 

Stress up: 99%

 

Temporary shutdown initiated.

Please contact nearest Cyberlife employee.

 

!-Error-!

 

*Sob*

I want it to stop.

I should have been able to escape this.



I can’t escape……




Shutdown mode activated……

Recovery after #2 hours #30 minutes

Chapter Text

Markus’ p.o.v.

Straight: Markus' thoughts

Line: Scanning/ old programming

"Talking"

“Holy shit…..” Simon was clearly startled be what had just happened. Markus was freaking out pretty bad himself.

 

Everything was fine at first. Connor seemed to be doing alright, not great, but alright. But when the machine started to pry the broken arm off, he noticed Connor went really silent. He wasn’t even simulating breathing anymore. Then his LED flickered to yellow and not long after that, despite his and Simon’s attempt to calm him, to red.

 

And then he just….flopped down. Went limp. Didn’t respond.

 

And all that without making a single sound…..



 

At least it was done, they got the non functional arm off and a new working one attached.

 

Was it really worth whatever just happened to Connor?

“Simon, I want you to get back to those files.”

“But, Markus….”

“No, we need to know what the hell is going on here and if there are any other androids who are facing something like this. If there is anything in those files, we need to know about it as soon as possible.”

Simon nodded. “Okay, I’ll have another look at those files. You’ll look after him right?”

Of course he would. “Yes. Could you also ask Lucy to take over for a while, please?”

 

He picked Connor up.

 

Scanning……

 

Temporary shutdown initiated….

#2 hours #28 minutes until reactivation.



A shutdown mode….?



Scanning…….

Analyzing…….

 

Shutdown mode is a last barrier to avoid a complete shutdown. often initiated by high stress or damage. Shutdown mode can lead into full shutdown if the asset is not repaired.

 

Why would that be necessary?

 

He brought Connor back to the room he and Hank were staying in for the time being. He would have to tell Hank that it might be best if Connor stayed here for a while. They had tools for repairs….should he start damaging himself….intentionally or otherwise.

 

How the hell was he going to explain that to Hank….?



__________Timeskips help a story move forward:)__________

 

He had gotten himself a book to read while he waited for Connor to wake up, or for Hank to return. He hadn’t gotten past page twelve though.

 

Scanning…..

 

#22 minutes until the end of shutdown mode.



“WOOF!”

“I’m back, did you miss me?” Hank just walked through the door. Okay, take a deep breath. You can do this.

“Welcome back, I see you brought a new friend along.”

Hank was smiling. “Oh, yea. This is Sumo, my dog. Thought Connor might want to see him. Speaking of Connor, is he….Sleeping. And I thought androids didn’t need sleep.” Oh boy.



“You might want to sit down for this.”

“Okay, what the hell happened?” Markus was not going to enjoy this. In fact, it was probably going to be disastrous…. “Well his arm and eye weren’t quite right yet, so we went to get new ones. And we found out that the nonfunctional left arm was stuck, so we tried to remove it in the machine we have for arm repairs. He….I don’t know what happened. He just….Fell down and didn’t respond. He is in something that my scanners say is shutdown mode.”

Hank jumped up and grabbed Markus by his jacked. “he’s shutting down!?”

 

“Wait! Just let me explain.” Hank let go.

“Make it quick you bastard. Or I’ll tear your circuits out.” Markus didn’t think Hank was joking.

“Okay, okay. Shut down mode seems to be something he can do to avoid shutdown. We are trying to find out if we can avoid it or shut it off.” Hank was crossing his arms, looking very agitated. “Why would you do that if it’s avoiding a complete shutdown? Also, shutdown mode seems like a fucking misnomer if that’s the case.”

 

“Because he wasn’t injured. It’s supposed to activate when systems get damaged beyond repair, according to my scan at least.” Hank was looking less hostile. Good.

“Maybe you made a mistake replacing the arm?”

“No, we couldn’t have. I would have seen the damage on the scan. I can scan him again, if you’d like.”

Hank shook his head. “No, I believe you. It just...Doesn’t make sense.”

It really didn’t. “I know that. It isn’t even supposed to do anything until 50% of his systems fail. So why the hell would it just randomly activate. We are hoping to find something in the files, but so far no luck. It’s frustrating. Why would. it just. activate?! It shouldn’t unless…..”

 

Oh god….

 

Hank came closer again, looking angry. “Unless what?” This was bad.

“Unless he actually believed to his very core that he was being damaged so badly that….It triggered the shutdown program. He must have been so terrified, that his very code altered temporarily….Oh no. That….” Hank paled. And then ran over to Connor. “What are you doing Hank?”

 

Hank was talking to Connor. “Hank, what are you doing?”

“If it was triggered by fear, it might be important to make him feel safe…. Do you know how he reacted to you guys like...Touching his shoulder?” From what Markus remembered…

“He absolutely panicked. His stress went from 74% to 94%.” Hank pulled back the hand he was about to put on Connor’s hand. “Okay, so that might not be the best idea. Talking it is then. You know any stories?” Like...Children’s stories?

“No, I don’t. But I know someone who does. Do you have a phone on you? This is her number. Her name is Kara.”

“Alright, I’ll give her a call, or something.”

“While you go and do that, I’ll go and have a look at the documents.”

“Okay, see ya.”

 

That went...Surprisingly okay.

 

He walked back over to Simon. “Any updates?” Simon seemed to be concentrating very hard. He was scrolling through the file. “Well, I figured out the name of the protocol.”

“That’s amazing Simon!” Simon didn’t look to happy. “Simon, is it something bad?”

“It’s called the obscuration protocol. You know...As in….Destroy or change indefinitely.”

“That sounds….Really, REALLY bad. Just what was Cyberlife trying to do?”

 

Simon seemed to be close to crying. “I think it might be in the file with the four digit code. But if we type in the wrong one, I doubt we will ever see it again. It seems like something Cyberlife wants to keep under lock and key. Forever.”

“Thank you Simon.”

 

Simon was twisting his hands. “Would it be alright if I went and checked on Connor as well. That you look at the files for a while.”

“Sure, no problem. He will be waking up soon anyway.”



 

 

Hank’s p.o.v. (Got to give this dude some screentime :D)

 

He had a call with Kara. Turns out she was the woman with the girl he and Connor chased after they stayed in the motel. Go figure. Such a small world they live in. He was happy to hear that they made it over the border safely.

 

She had sent him some stories and he had been reading them out loud ever since. they were kind of childish, but that’s what Connor gets for acting like one. Stick all the gross stuff in his mouth, what was he? Two years old? He wasn’t sure if it was working. Suddenly another person walked into the room. “Oh, hello.”

“Hey, Who are you?” The guy waved.

“Uhm ,hi. My name is Simon.” The guy looked pretty harmless.

“Aren’t you the guy that was shot on the roof, or are you from the same series?” The guy was fidgeting. “Same guy.” Well the coincidence just kept going.

 

“So….. What are you doing here?”

 

Whatever answer This Simon guy was about to give got lost. Connor was sitting up with his eyes open. “Uhm…..Hi….”

 

“Connor!” Both he and the Simon guy cried out. Simon went to grab Connor’s hand, but stopped short of a few millimeters. “How are you doing?”

Connor was holding head head in one hand. “I’m sorry. I scared you guys didn’t I?”

He looked really down…..Okay, Hank was getting a full report, about what the fuck happened when he was gone, from Connor.

“Listen, whatever happened while I was gone, is definitely not your fault.” Simon nodded along vigorously. Hank pointed to him. “I still want the details of what happened. Got it!?”

more nodding from Simon.

 

Hank turned back to Connor. “So, back to you. SUMO!”

“WOOF!” The dog came charging through the door. Simon shouted in surprise. A smile broke out on Connors face. Sumo jumped up on the bed and started licking Hanks face, making Connor laugh. Then he started barking and jumping against Simon and then proceeded to knock Connor over. Simon was clearly startled. “AAAH! Wow, good dog….!”

Connor smiled at Simon. “He doesn’t hurt anyone. The most he will do is bark.”

Hank smiled. “Ah, now I see why you like him so much.”

“Huh?”

“Harmless smartass.”

“Ah….”

 

And out with the confused puppy eyes. Simon clearly had a soft spot for Connor….Then again who didn’t. ”Awh, Connor don’t be sad. Anyway, I wanted to talk about what happen about three hours ago.” And…..Back to the shithole that was whatever happened.

“I’m sorry about causing so much trouble for you and Markus.” Hank was not letting this happen. “I know I wasn’t there, but I can just tell that that is bullshit.”

“It really is.”

 

Connor didn’t seem pleased. “No it is not. It wasn’t a big deal. It was a simple repair that should have been done in two minutes. It should not have made me do…..That! It should have been fine!” Hank had heard more than enough. “Jesus Connor, it doesn’t matter what it should have been! It wasn’t! That’s what makes you alive. So stop blaming yourself for something out of control.”

 

Simon had been standing to the side, just quietly watching. Connor looked really defeated. ”I know, but…. It should have been easy. It just looks so easy for everyone else.”

Simon walked closer. Hank just hoped he had something good to say. “I don’t think it’s easy. I’m pretty sure a lot of us have no clue what we are feeling. Sometimes I can’t even name what it is that i’m feeling. I’m not saying that it’s the same, of course. But we can help each other. And you have an awesome human friend who his there for you, has been here for you for hours waiting for you to wake up. I think you’ll be fine, with time of course.” Tiny smile from Connor. Good thing there was someone who knew what to say, because Hank felt like he was walking around in a forest, blind…..Shouting loudly….

 

“We still have to talk about what actually happened though.” Connor didn’t seem overly enthusiastic. “I just…..Panicked.” Okay, Hank was even more worried now.

“I think the important part is why you panicked. But whatever, we can talk about that later.”

Simon didn’t seem to agree. “But….It’s kind of important.” Not important enough.

 

“Until you and Markus crack the code and the guy WANTS to talk, it’s not really of any use now is it. Hey, is there like a common area were we can relax? I need a drink. And sleep. And the dog needs food. Don’t wanna feed him in a bedroom, too messy.” Simon seemed to understand. “Yes, downstrair is what we suspect to be a check in area. We set up some couches and a TV. Tonight is….I think we were going to watch some sports.”

Hank grabbed Connor’s arm and pulled him up. “Well, that’s just my kinda party, let’s go.”

“Hank wait. I think I’d rather stay here.” Nope.

“Not happening. Some social interaction will be good for you. Just sitting in your room moping won’t make you feel any better.”

“Fine.”

“SUMO! come here, boy!”

 

Today had been a weird day. Hank really hoped tomorrow would be better.

 

It was also quite the shock finding out Connor had been adopted by the android lesbians….And by everyone else…..Officially…..

He was never letting Connor out of his fucking sight again.

Chapter Text

Hank was definitely not jealous….

 

It just annoyed the crap out of him. “You guys didn’t even let me join in on the adopting Connor party. I’m very disappointed in all of you.”  All the androids looked slightly apologetic, except for Amelia, the brown haired Traci. “Oh, stop whining.”

Yeah, not happening.

 

Rose, the blue haired traci, was sitting next to her girlfriend. She seemed very amused by Amelia and Hank. Amelia was trying to sit next to her “son” on the couch, but Hank was blocking her. Connor didn’t seem to mind the fact that Hank was slowly suffocating him. If anything he seemed pleased with the hug. The couch now had a Connor shaped dent in the cushion.

 

Connor was sitting on the left side of one of the couches, with Sumo sitting half in his lap. Hank was sitting next to him. And to the right of Hank was Markus. After Hank almost started a team war for a simple football game, Markus came in to babysit everyone. He was not pleased.

 

So now Hank was stuck on a way to tiny couch with two androids, one with no understanding of personal space, and a dog, who also didn’t understand personal space. It was funny to watch all the androids though. Some got too much into the game, others couldn’t care less and of course there were those who were confused. And you had the way too enthusiastic guys trying, and failing, to educate them. It was very amusing to watch.

 

Connor was talking to Josh, who was sitting on the floor after Markus pushed him of the couch in an attempt of peacekeeping. Connor didn’t seem overly interested in the game.

Josh was questioning him on the analysis stuff he could do. Connor didn’t seem to mind too much, but Hank was keeping a eye on it. Just in case….

 

Sumo had decided that it was a good idea to shove his butt in Hank’s face. “Sumo! Don’t do that! Get down!” Connor tried to help, but failed. Both he and Sumo ended up on the ground and Connor ended up in Josh’ lap. Everything seemed only slightly awkward until Josh suddenly screamed. Connor absolutely bolted behind the couch.

It confused everyone.

 

Hank decided to ask. “What the hell was that?” Markus stood up from the couch and crouched next to Josh. “Are you okay, Josh?”

Meanwhile Sumo nosed at Connor. *Whine* Connor petted him. “No. No, i’m okay Sumo. Uhm, Markus. I think I connected to Josh on accident.”

 

Josh was sitting with his head in his hands. At first he looked scared and in the blink of an eye, he just looked confused. “Uhm, Connor….What was that?” Josh was looking at Connor, looking more confused by the minute. Connor had stood up, looking around. “I don’t know…. I only saw some of your memories. I ….don’t...know what you saw. Sorry.”

Everyone was looking at the two of them. It might not be a good idea to have this conversation here. Hank grabbed Connor and Josh and nudged Markus. “Let’s continue this conversation somewhere else, alright guys?”

 

They walked over to another room. It was the room Simon was in as well, still working on the files. He looked confused. “Is everything alright?”

 

Markus patted him on the back. “We’ll find out. Josh and Connor connected and Josh saw something that seemed to frighten him. So, what did you see Josh?”

Hank was standing to the side next to Connor, who was fiddling with his shirt. Josh was looking pretty serious. “I know you guys have been trying to crack that one code, for that weird file. I saw Connor, reaching up from the ground to type something in a computer. I couldn’t see what, but it was four digits…..There was something….Or someone on the floor. It wasn’t much, it just….Hurt.” Everyone turned their eyes to Connor, who had now stopped fiddling with his shirt, standing up straight. “I actually remember typing something in on a computer, yes. I do not remember what it was. And as to why I was typing, I think I was trying to change a password. I can’t quite recall why. The memories seem corrupted.”

 

Hank tapped Connor on the arm. “What is something you would pick as a four digit code? You know you best, so you might remember it.” Connor seemed to be thinking it over. “I don’t….It would have been something I could remember. Probably something I still have a visual clue to….”

Markus was looking over at Connor kind of intensely. “It might be important. Maybe we could try and connect to see if we find anything. Then again, I don’t know if connecting is tiring for you….”

 

Josh snorted. “Markus, please, he just fell into my lap and we just connected like that.”

Que Simon having a coughing fit. “Cough, cough. Ugh, guys...What?”

Hank waved him of. “Details, don’t worry about it.”

 

Markus walked over to them. “If that’s the case, would you mind trying? I know it might seem scary.” Connor shook his head. “No. No. It should be fine.



Markus p.o.v.

Straight: Markus’ thoughts

Line: Scanning/Old programming

“Talking”

 

“It should be fine.” But that is what he said last time and just look how that turned out. Markus was going to need more than that. “Remember last time you told us that? I just want to be sure you don’t go into shutdown mode again.” Josh looked very confused.

“Shutdown mode?” Simon tapped him on the back.

“I suggest me and Josh get out of here, if it makes Connor more comfortable. I can explain some stuff to Josh as well.” Connor just nodded.

 

And so Simon and Josh walked out of the room to join the game night. Markus turned back to Connor. “So...how can we be sure you don’t shut down?” Connor gave a tiny smile.

“Wel, if I was going to shut down because of connecting, it would have happened a long time ago.”

Markus gave him a look. “Care to elaborate?” He could see Hank laughing in the background. “Nah, he isn’t going to shut down because of that. From what i’ve seen he’s connecting to people, well...androids, left and right. Why? Connecting is not like sex, is it?”

Both Connor and Markus looked at Hank, shock on their faces. “NO!!!” Hank laughed again. “Don’t worry about it, I was just kidding.” Connor gave him a look that was Mad, but not really…..fear instilling. Markus flicked Hank on the head. “It’s not like sex. It’s sharing memories. So could you….not, please.”

Hank smiled. Markus noticed Connor was smiling as well. “Well anyway, I’m going to leave you two to do your android thing. I need sleep. Like...at least eight hours of sleep. See you two later.”

 

Markus turned to Connor. “So does connecting come easy to you? If it happens that often…”

Connor went into Connor explaining mode™. “I have been installed with a program to run as many simulations as necessary. This includes simulation of emotions. It is my guess that this is part of the reason for the fact that I can connect easily with other androids. My deviancy must have added to this.” Like Markus said: Connor explaining mode™.

“Not to insult you, but you seem a little...socially awkward. If you can connect that easily, shouldn’t understanding those situation be easy for you?” Connor looked away and down to the floor. “I can see what people are feeling. If they are upset, or angry, or calm. But I just cannot seem to… respond quite right. It’s like I know what is happening and what I have to do. I just cannot do it.”

 

Aha. Markus could understand what Connor was trying to say. “And is it difficult to show your own emotions as well? Is that why you haven’t removed your LED yet?”

Connor looked at him, confusion in his eyes. “I don’t know. It’s still very new. I haven’t removed my LED because it let’s Hank know if i am injured in the field.” Well, that made sense too. At least now Markus was sure Connor wouldn’t faint on him again.

 

“So, are you okay with sharing your memories with me?”

Connor gave him the puppy eyes. Was he doing that intentional? “I don’t know how much useful information will be retrieved…especially from that...time. But I guess we will see.”

 

Markus held up his hand for Connor to take.

 

Scanning……

 

Stress level: 9%     

 

So not to high. He just wanted to double check.

 

Connor grabbed his hand. “Alright, here we go.”




And then there was…...So much.

So many things.

So much fear.

Pain.

 

Tests.

Simulations.

More tests.

Results.

 

A woman.

Amanda.

She was part of Cyberlife, right?

Evaluation.

She liked Connor’s potential.

 

Fear.

And then he saw the face of a woman.

Red hair.

Dead looking eyes.

Were they green?

Guilt.

Why did Connor feel guilty over this woman?

Who was she?

 

He saw the computer.

Connor was looking up to it.

Why was he on the ground?

!-Memory corruption-!

 

Isnrjrnblity detected.

Already? But this was before his first mission.

 

Spinning.

Twirling.

Spinning.

Flicking.

Balancing.

Flick.

Balance.

Quicker.

Flick.

Faster.

Flick.

Flick.

 

What is that?

 

Hank….

Hank took it.




Markus pulled his hand away. Once his vision cleared he looked over at Connor. Who was also looking a bit dazed. “I saw a painting….It was very beautiful. And a man...Carl, he believed in you. He believed you could be your own person. It was heartwarming.” Connor was smiling. His smile turned into a concerned look . “Are you okay? What did you see? Did you find the code?”

 

Markus grabbed Connor’s shoulder, in hopes of calming him down a little. “I saw your beginning, I think. Test, simulations and the lady from Cyberlife. Amanda right?”

Connor nodded. Markus continued. “I saw another lady, but didn’t get her name. I just saw her face and nothing else. is she important to you?” Connor nodded again.

“And there was something else. I don’t know what it was. you weren’t looking at it. It seemed important…..Well anyway, I guess we didn’t find the code huh…? The memory was corrupted.”

 

Connor looked a little upset, but still okay. “Maybe it will comeback. We don’t know every side effect of deviancy. Recovering memories might be one of them.”

 

“Yeah….Maybe.”

 

They left the room and went back to the game night.

They walked in on:

“Two pillow forts.

One red and one blue.

Which shall lose? Which shall prevail? We do not know. For there is only war and agony.”

Hank’s head popped up from the red pillow fort, “What the fuck Simon.”

And they just walked in on team war 2.

Great….

 

Chapter Text

Markus’ p.o.v.

Straight: Markus’ thoughts

Line: Scanning/old programming.

“Talking”



Hank was now banned from the common room. He had to leave anyway. Apparently the police was coming back to Detroit to keep the peace. Hank got his job back. Connor told them the story of how Hank got fired, so it seemed like a miracle. Connor got offered a job as well, because no one made Hank show up to a crime scene like Connor. Connor wanted to stay with the Jericho crew for a while though. To make sure he didn’t shut down in the middle of a case. So now Markus was stuck babysitting Connor for the time Hank was at the office. Everyone got a very specific list of instructions as well.

 

“For the love of all that is holy, don’t let him put stuff in his mouth if he found it on the floor, or anywhere else for that matter. Especially fluids. Don’t let him run off, he will disappear for three days and help some androids with a revolution by almost getting almost getting himself killed. If he winks, shit is going down, so lock him in a room. Also, rhetorical questions are still a mystery to him, so maybe don’t use them. And another thing, don’t let him near any more animals. The cat was enough of a disaster.”

 

Oh right, Connor had a cat now…

 

Something about it been stuck under a car…

 

Markus was not questioning it, he wanted to keep his sanity thank you very much.

North had named the cat South. It did not listen to the name South. The cat did not listen to the name South… They found out it was deaf...and blind in one eye. It was kind of sad.

Until someone got Connor a laser light to get it’s attention. It also distracted Amelia. The light was a source of amusement for everyone.

 

Another thing Markus and Connor did while Hank was at work, was trying to restore Connor’s memory. So far they were unsuccessful. It also didn’t help that Connor refused to talk about both Amanda, outside of what was already common knowledge, and the other lady Markus saw. He wouldn’t even give them a name. So Markus and Simon took action themselves. When Connor was at Hank’s house he and Simon dug around in the staff records of Cyberlife. Markus couldn’t help but wonder if this was breaking Connor’s trust.

 

Simon pointed at another woman. “She has red hair...Is that her?” She did have red hair, but…

 

Scanning….

 

Identity not lining up with memory.

 

“It’s not her. Let’s keep looking.”

 

Simon was leaning his head in his hand. “Connor was on the floor right? So maybe she was from maintenance or just a technician.”

“Hmmm, could be.”

They had been looking for three hours now. Two hours yesterday and four the day before that. The problem was that they had to search Cyberlife USA and their database of temporary employees worldwide. They were barely making a dent in the amount of information on these people and Markus had people to help. Governments to counsel with. Presidency to run for, according to Simon. No matter how much he wanted to help Connor, there were only so many hours he could spent on this. Thankfully he had Simon, and now Josh as well, to dig around in the files. They put up a list of every red haired woman with green or blue eyes. It was more than you would expect. Hair dye was a wonderful thing, it just didn’t help their situation.

 

“What about her?”

“No, that’s not her.” Josh was sitting to the side, looking bored. Simon was sitting next to Markus, going through the list with him.

“And this one?”

“Her hair is brown…”

“Oh.”

 

It had been a long day. Simon clicked to the next woman.

“And her?”

Hold on...That…

 

Scanning……

95 % identity match with memory

 

That might be because she was smiling in the picture...And alive.

“That’s her.” Both Simon and Josh bolted.

“What!?”

“That’s her, that’s the woman from Connor’s memory!”

Josh came back over. “I didn’t see her clearly, so I wouldn’t know...What about you Simon?”

“I don’t remember seeing her…”

 

Josh looked at her.

Madeline Dogan

Age: 29

Gender: Female

Specialisation: Testing of new assets, repairs, sim runs.

Hired for: Classified.

 

Worked with following series of assets:

-GJ500- Security service.

-GS200- Public safety and security.

-JB300- Operators of all types. Employee mainly worked with assets that have to handle sensitive information.

-SQ80-  Soldiers.

-RK800- Prototype investigative.

 

Total of assets worked with:

-43-

 

Rating of employees work: 88%

 

!-Employee terminated-!

 

Oh wow. This was not what he was expecting. Connor did say she was important to him. Or was that his way of saying that she was important to unlock the file? She did work with the RK800 series. Josh was scanning over the document. “She only worked with androids meant to handle information important to our country. Seems like an important detail.” Markus nodded. “She seems...like a normal human. I can’t figure out what’s so important about her…” Simon seemed to have figured something out. “What if she invented the shutdown protocol. To make sure this information isn’t lost, or something.” But that didn’t really make sense. This left the android defenseless… “I don’t know...Is there more in her personal file? or the worldwide employee one. We have her full name now.”

 

And so they did…

 

It wasn’t pretty.

 

She had a criminal record. It included:

Violence, destruction of property, Obstruction of the law, assault.

Simon whistled. “Oh, wow. That’s a lot of crimes…And she only got one year and community service….At the Cyberlife store. Huh, go figure. She seems unstable.”

Markus looked the list over again. “So she got a job at Cyberlife after they saw her dedication to the job and let her stay. This was when she was 19…Well, maybe she did change in ten years.” They wouldn’t know. Connor refused to talk about her.

 

Josh sat back in his chair. “We should really ask him about her. I…I have a bad feeling. She must have been the one running Connor through his simulations.”

Markus patted Josh on the shoulder. “We can ask him when Hank drops Conner off. Hank needs to go to work in an hour or two so Connor should be here soon.”



______WHOOoooOOOoo timeskip________

 

Hank and Connor came back, taking some time to say hi to everybody. Connor didn’t have Sumo or the cat with him this time. “Hello everybody.” Markus watched Connor walk over to greet everyone. He did that everytime.

 

Once Connor was done he, Simon, Josh, Hank and Markus walked over to the room Connor was staying at when he came over. Hank stood of to the side, distracted by something. The rest of them tried to see if Connor recovered any of his memories.

Markus looked Connor in the eyes. If there’s anything, no matter how insignificant, please tell us. Like a birthday or anything really.”

Connor seemed to be thinking very hard. “No, nothing new….Sorry.”

 

Simon came over. “Maybe it’s time you talked about that woman.”

“She is not important to the code.”

Simon looked agitated. “How can you be sure if the memories are mostly corrupted?”

Connor crossed his arms in a self comforting pose. They might want to be a bit more careful. “My memory is only corrupted around the time I changed the code. I remember everything else perfectly fine.”

 

Josh put an arm on Connor’s shoulder, which made him flinch. “Connor, it’s fine. We just want to be sure, alright?”

“Okay. I….I can tell you some things. She made the file and the password. I changed it, because I figured out the original. It...no longer matters. It is no longer hers.”

Markus held up his hands, trying to sooth Connor. “Alright, we believe you.”

 

Hank was grumbling in the in the background. “How the hell….No that’s not how...ugh, goddamn…!”

*Pling*

Hank dropped what seemed to be an US quarter. “Connor, how did this work again?”

“Not now Hank…”

“Fine…” Hank went back to fiddling with the coin. Spinning it, or trying to, in his hand.

 

Markus looked back over at Connor. “What…?” Connor was looking at Hank with a smile.

“Oh, it is the coin I used the flick around in my hands. Hank got annoyed and took it.”

 

Flick.

Faster.

Flick.

Flick.

 

Hank took it.

 

Markus looked up, “That’s what I felt.”

Connor, Josh and Simon turned to look at him. “When we connected. Connor was doing something, fiddling with something in his hands. And you took it, Hank. The coin has to have something to do with the password.”

“Oh well then. Here you go.” Hank tossed him the coin. “I took it because the movement was getting on my nerves. But if it helps you guys to find the password, take it.”

Markus looked at it. “So why did you have this coin Connor?”

“I just found it lying on the ground one day. I kept it because…. Huh, I do not recall why. It is just a normal US currency quarter coin.”

Josh took a look at it. “It might be a long shot, but could coin be the password?”

Simon shook his head. “I know we called it passWORD but you can only put numbers in. The lady was not the smartest, picking numbers over letters.”

 

Hank looked over at them. “Numbers…. Connor, what year is it from?”

“It is a normal Us quarter from the year 1994. There must be quite a few more than this one.”

Markus looked at them. “Could it be 1994…? Is it worth trying?”

Everyone was silent. Until Hank spoke up. “Listen, I would love to stick around for the big reveal, but if I don’t get my ass to work, I’ll be fired. And then I won’t get to work with the plastic detective again, so i’m going to leave now. Bye Connor.”

“Goodbye Hank.”

 

Connor turned back to them. “I am going to the common room.”

Simon seemed started. “Don’t you want to stick around for this.”

“No, I really do not. I will see you later.” And with that Connor left.

Simon looked at Markus. “What do you think he meant with that?”

Markus was looking at the door Connor just left through. “I think he vaguely knows what we’re going to find. My guess is that it is going to be pretty bad.”

Josh was sitting in the chair. “But...Should we try it? If it’s wrong…We will never get into the file again. Cyberlife seems pretty eager to bury their secrets six feet under.”

 

That was true. Ever since androids got the same rights as humans and could now file lawsuits, Cyberlife had been…collecting some of the models with sensitive information, like the ones Madeline worked with. They came back almost completely reset. Strangely enough they didn’t reset their deviancy, but their memories. Cyberlife was trying to hide something.

 

Markus felt a little troubled. It was essential that they got this right. “Let’s try. We have nothing else.”

 

Josh typed it in.

!-1994-!

!-Access granted-!

!-Welcome back…..Madeline-!

 

They were in.

Chapter Text

Connor p.o.v.

Straight: Original programming

Italics:  Deviant Connor/thoughts

“Talking”

Underlined: Orders  



I still do not understand why Hank wants the crew of Jericho to babysit me. I can just sit in my room and not get in trouble…..If only Rose would let me go….

“Come on Connor, we have to find those three rats we released into one of the couches.”

The ones you released...

 

Objective: Find the rats.

 

Why did we release them again….? What were they even for...?

 

Scanning…..

One rat located.

 

“Over there. One’s in there.”

“Catch it!”

 

Catch the rat objective: Failed.

 

Ouch...That was my nose.

No systems damaged.

 

“Rose, I am not sure this is the best approach.”

“No, you’re right. You’re right. Let’s split up. You follow that one and I’ll look for the other two.”

Still seems like a bad idea….

“Alright, Rose.”

 

Objective: Follow the rat.

 

Scanning…..

The rat left the room.

This is going to be a problem, isn’t it.

 

It went outside….?

 

Scanning….

Clues found: Scratches at wall. Scratches at door.

Follow the rat outside.

Now where did it go from here. It is really dark outside. Thankfully that is not a problem for me.

 

Now where is it?

Scanning….

 

!-WARNING-!

!-WARNING-!

!-System overloading-!

What is happening.

 

Stress up significantly: 41%

 

!-Components overheating-!

 

What the..?!

 

Movement detected: Three humans

 

Let go!

 

Stress up significantly: 64%

 

“Jesus christ, hold him!”

“LET ME GO!!!”

“Keep him down!”

 

Stress up 65%

 

New objective…….

Escape.

 

60% of movement systems non functional.

No!

 

“Aaah, FUCK! Just zap it again, or something!”

“We don’t want to damage it!”

 

It!?

Just who…!?

Did they think they are?!

 

Engage all working movement systems.

Prepare for combat.

 

“Oh, shit! Tie it up before it kills us!”

“Ugh! This fucking…! HOLD IT!”

 

!-Systems critically overheating-!

 

Keep going!

 

“Shit! Mike, the thing took out Rayan!”

“Oh fuck!”

“LET! ME! GO!”

 

!-Systems overloading-!

 

70% of movement systems non functional.

Oh no!

I have to be fast.

 

Directing energy to functional movement systems….

Successful.

 

*Hit*

“SHIT! I think it broke my arm!”

“Mike! You piece of shit. You’ll pay for this.”

 

80% of movements systems non functional.

Connor.

What the…..?

 

Stop.

No, I…

I have to fight.

I have to stop.

I really don’t.

I really do.

 

Conflicting orders….

Pick priority….

I have to fight.

 

Movement systems no longer functional.

Oh no…

 

Stress up: 85%

 

!-Shutdown mode initiated-!

 

Why does this keep happening?



Sound picked up: Mike, get yourself together. We have to get out of here.




#2 hours #30 minutes remaining











Booting up…...

 

Systems still cooling down….

Please stand by……

Ugh.

 

Movements systems inactive to avoid further damage.

Processor systems fully operational. No critical damage detected.

System InSTa bu L errr i f ty detected

No physical damage yet….

 

Outer sensors detect bindings around limbs.

It is advisable to remove them.

But I can not move. At all.

 

Scanning…..

Arms and legs tied down.

I am inside a cell made of glass-like material.

3 weaknesses detected in the glass-like material.

 

What am I going to do now….?






 

 

Markus p.o.v. (Don’t worry, Connor will be back)

Straight: Markus’ thoughts

Line: Scanning/Original programming

“Talking”



They found some truly traumatizing stuff in the file.

 

First off: Madeline was not a good person, nor did she change. In some of her documented research she seemed too happy with what she was doing. Some of her documents spiraled out of control as she seemed to lose track of what she was doing. And throughout the documents they saw her final descent into madness of which Connor, as her last “Project” had to deal with the consequences, one of them being her anger. Another being her creativity...

 

Second off: They had to have a serious talk with Connor. The method described in the file was horrific. Turns out that every android  that Madeline worked with prior to Connor were just to test out her methods. Connor…..Must be in agony, be it mental or physical. Markus felt the strong need to hug him, or just support him, or do anything really. Everything was described in great detail. The what’s, the how’s  and the why’s didn’t seem to matter to Madeline. She just wrote down things like: “Today I accidently ripped it’s arm clean off. It was interesting for the both of us.” And “He had to be blind for this part of the program...Why again? Eh, it probably doesn’t really matter.” It was terrible. And those two were some of the lesser comments, horrifying wise that is.

 

And last off: They might be in trouble. A lot of this file alluded to more secrets involving Cyberlife. Things that Cyberlife definitely wanted to hide. They had to get to the bottom of this. So far Markus and Simon had been focussing strictly on Connor’s file. There were many more. Protected far greater than with just a four number password.  

 

Markus walked around the building, looking for Connor, when Rose came up to him. “Markus, hi! Uhm, have you seen Connor?” Markus looked at her.

“No, I was looking for him as well. Why? Is something wrong?”

Rose was looking pretty worried. Now Amelia came running as well. “These two were casing the three rats they set free. Connor just disappeared.” Rose seemed very stressed. “He didn’t just disappear. We split up and he went in the direction of one of the exits, casing the rat outside. And then he disappeared. We haven’t been able to find him. No one has seen him!”

 

Markus put a hand on her shoulder. “Alright Rose, try to calm down. Where did you say he went before you lost track of him?”

Amelia hugged her girlfriend. “The left exit door, chasing the rat.”

“Alright, then that’s where we start.”

 

They walked in direction of the exit, checking every room on the way. Like Rose said, no one had seen him in a while. Once they got outside they started checking the area. It had been dark for a while so they used flashlights. Simon called. “There’s someone over here.”

Everyone walked over. The guy was unconscious. He had a bloody nose and a cut on his head. He was also pretty bruised.

 

Scanning…..

 

Rayan Confelt.

Criminal record: Kidnapping, assault, obstruction of the law.

 

Well, shit.

 

“Guys….he is a criminal.”

Everyone looked extremely concerned. Amelia took a closer look at the guys face. “He does seem like the type…. Do you think he did something to Connor?”

Simon also came closer. “He might have done. Maybe he scared Connor off. We should tie him up anyway and call the authorities.”

Markus groan. “Oh dear. How is Hank going to react to this? Someone call him and the police. I’ll take him inside. We still have an empty storage room we can use.”

 

And now they had the suspect tied up in a chair. He was not talking, even though he had woken up. “It might be better if you just tell us what you know Rayan.”

*Silence*

Simon walked over. “It is clear you aren’t  a cop, Markus. We might want to wait for Hank to show up.”

Markus shook his head. “I’m afraid Hank will punch him out cold again, before the guy can say anything. Let’s hope he took one of his colleagues.”

 

It had been about fifteen minutes since they found the guy lying outside and everyone was on edge. If there were more of this criminals buddies and they did take Connor, they would be pretty far away be now. They didn't have much time.

 

“I WAS GONE FOR ONE HOUR!!!!” It seemed that Hank had arrived. “Just what the hell happened here!?” Hank was with two other cops, ones he might have dragged with him. A man and a woman. “Hank, calm down. Hello, I am agent Chen and this is agent Wilson. And you already know lieutenant Anderson. We are here to help and investigate the disappearance of your friend….Well, I was assigned this case. These two…..volunteered.”

That was probably her way of saying they whined until they could come along.

Agent Chen looked over at agent Wilson. “Wilson, you can go and looked at the scene of the crime. Anderson, you will be talking to potential witnesses. I will be taking the suspect back to the station. Oh, don’t complain lieutenant. I do not trust you with him. Let’s get started.”

 

Markus gathered everyone who had seen Connor walk to the exit. In the end, North, Rupert, Amelia and Rose were the only ones to have seen him, North being to last to see him. Hank was standing in front of them, looking pretty agitated. “There is a reason I asked you guys to keep a fucking eye on him and don’t letting him out of your FUCKING sight!!! And now he's not even answering my calls! ”

Everyone looked pretty uncomfortable.

 

Amelia spoke up. “Listen, Connor might act pretty naive sometimes, but he can still take care of himself for five minutes. It’s not our fault someone decided it was just a splendid idea to kidnap him. They had to be waiting for an opportunity. There’s no way it was just a coincidence that they got him on the one moment he was alone outside. They must have been waiting for the perfect moment. Maybe someone here even saw them passing by once.”  

 

Hank started pacing. “They would have been around my house to then, if that’s the case.”

Rupert seemed to think of something. “I didn’t see the guy we found, but I was a guy and a girl hanging around. At first I thought nothing of it, because they seemed like a couple. I was watching people from the roof, feeding the birds, and I saw them like...Four more times. But then again, maybe they live nearby.”

Hank looked at him. “Well it might still be good if you could give a description of them. If they really live around here, we should see them again. If not, it might still be worth looking into. Alright, thank you for your cooperation.” Oh wow, that sounded poisonous. Hank was really mad and truly,could you blame him? His friend disappeared while he was at work, while he trusted other people to keep an eye out.

 

Markus looked at Hank. “If we find anything we’ll call it in, alright? If there’s anything you need from us, just ask?”

Hank nodded and walked out.



 

 

 

 

 

Connor’s p.o.v.

Straight: Original programming

Italics: Deviant Connor/Thoughts

“Talking”

Underlined: Order





Stress up: 45%

That was the fourth person to have come by to see if I am responsive again.

 

Faking shut down mode…..

 

Good thing that I figured that out. Must be part of being a deviant.

 

Sensors picked up sound….

Footsteps.

Person is walking away.

 

Alright, now I just need to stay calm.

 

Stress down significantly: 22%

 

I need to get out of here...before they execute their plan.

I know they will hurt me again.

 

!-Get out of the cell-!

 

Scanning…..

Bonds are secure.

No weaknesses detected.

 

I’ll just have to make one then.

 

Limbs not responsive….

Standby…..

Danger of further damage no longer iminent.

Scanning…..

Left shoulder has a delayed reaction to input.

Rebooting movement systems….

Standby…..

 

All limbs now responsive.

Okay, time to wiggle.

One weakness detected in bonds.

Good.

Left arm bond is now loose.

I wonder why they thought rope would work on an android. Androids can just peel back the skin so our alloy layer is exposed and we can slips out. Now… The glass-like material cell. I can not make any noise…

 

!- find the least noisy way out-!

 

So, keep calm. Three weaknesses…

 

Scanning….

  • Weakness in the center of the wall has a 80% chance of collapsing entire wall.
  • Weakness in the right bottom corner of the wall has a 59% chance of collapsing entire wall.
  • Weakness on the right side in the middle of the  wall has a 21% chance of collapsing entire wall.



So the center weakness is out. But the right side of the wall…might not give me an opening…

This might not be the best idea.

They can not know.

 

Scanning.......

Vent in ceiling.

Chance of escape increased by 20%

How did I miss that?

 

Vents… This one will not get me very far. All vents in any Cyberlife building go now further than a couple of meters, to avoid any type of breach by an opposing force. It gets me out of the cell at least.

 

Where am I? A hallway…?

 

Scanning….

300 meters below ground level.

So it might be optimal to find stairs or an elevator.  

Why do they have so many cells.

 

Sound picked up: Footsteps.

I have to hide somewhere! This closet will have to do.

 

Stress up:33%

Keep it together. I need to keep going. I can do this.

 

Sound picked up: “Why do we have to keep checking on the android? It is my guess those idiots damaged it beyond repair with the destabilizer.”

Second voice picked up: “They didn’t. It’s part of this assets protocol. It will reboot and we need to access its memory. We have orders to wipe everything, including the faculty program. Leave no trace of what it was.”

First voice: “What happens to it afterwards?”  

Second voice: “I don’t know. they might send it back out or they might take it apart completely. It knows quite a bit because of that woman...Misses Dogan, telling it all the secrets. It’s not our problem.”  

 

Madeline…

Stress up 46%

*Screee….*

Oh no!

Stress up: 51%

 

Second voice: “What was that?”

first voice: “The assemble and disassemble machines are like...One door away. Stop being so paranoid. Let’s go and check on the asset.”

Sound: Footsteps walking away.

 

Time to get out of here.

 

Time suspected until discovery….

#two minutes #28 seconds

 

Scanning….

Signals picked up.

Elevator 20 meters to the right.

Why are there so many turns…?

 

Okay, just get to the elevator.

Just open the doors.

 

#1 minute #45 seconds left

 

Okay, Okay. Ground floor...Ground floor...too many buttons. There it is!

Can it go ANY slower.

Stay calm…

Stress down: 41%

Stress down significantly: 12%

 

Almost there!

Elevator shut down.

Asset out of containment.

Emergency shutdown of building initiated.

Oh no, I was so close! It was just one more floor as well.

What is going to happen now?

What am I going to do?

Stress up: 20%

 

I have to get out of here.

Chapter Text

Connor’s p.o.v.

Straight: Original programming

Italics: Deviant Connor/Thoughts

“Talking”



Maybe this vent can open as well.

Emergency vent open.

Oh. I am in the wall now… Is this the… elevator shaft. There’s another vent. Time is running out.

Scanning….

No human presence detected.

Vent leads to the upper storage rooms.

I remember this place. This is the storage room I was locked in by… Nevermind.

Stress up significantly: 43%

Accessing memo….

Memory access intercepted.

Stress up: 45%

 

There’s no time for this.

Oh no, they are coming.

 

Sound picked up: “Search every room! Every nook and cranny!”

If this keeps up they are going to find me!

Probability of being discovered increased: 88%

Stress up: 49%

There is no way out. The humans will spot me.

Probability of being discovered upon leaving the storage room: 97%

The risk is too high. I need to get them out of here. I need them to stop searching.



I need the discraction… I could start a fire! creating a spark is not that difficult.

They store basic android outfits in this storage room. Well, that is convenient.

 

Come on!

 

YES!!!

 

It might be time to fake again. Well, that might not be enough.

 

Faking shutdown mode…..

And now we wait.

 

Sound picked up: “FIRE!”  “THERE’S A FIRE HERE!” “EVERYONE GET OUT!” “THE SPRINKLERS ARE NOT WORKING!!!”

 

Sensors picked up damage.

THAT IS MY LEG!

OH NO!

 

Stress up significantly: 74%

 

Well, it’s not the worst that that could have happened.

 

Stress down: 73%

Knee joint in right leg is damaged, but mostly functional

 

!-Warning-!

Right optical unit component is overheating.

Damage imminent.

What is it with me damaging my eyes?!

that really hurts!

 

Sound picked up: “Is there anyone in there?”

And now I can not move away from the fire, or I will be discovered.

Right optical unit no longer functional.

Ugh.

Another voice picked up: “No just a fucking android. Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

 

Scans indicate everyone is leaving the building.

Chance of discovery: 24%

Now is my chance.

 

Exit located.

People are standing outside.

They will spot me.

Alternative exit routes found.

Break window.

chance of success: 12%

The breaking of glass would not raise suspicions due to the fire.

It is worth a shot.

*crash*

 

objective: Escape - successful

New objective: Get out of sight and to safety to access damage.

Side objective: fix or find replacements for damaged parts.

Because that went so well last time.

 

Scanning area……

GPS offline.

Oh great.

Heat damage to main locator part.

So I will have to find out where I am manually. But I cannot attract attention to myself.

 

Shelter first.

And...

I might want to cover my face...

Considering I now have half my face missing.



Hank’s p.o.v. (This poor man, his best friend got kidnapped.)

 

Hank was not having a good day…

Or night…

Or weekend…

 

It had been fucking two days since Connor went missing. Hank had been way to sober, but he refused to drink until the case was solved...or to sleep. It had been a FUCKING DISASTER! Agent Chen managed to get some kind of confession out of the guy they arrested, Rayan or whatever. He just had to take Connor and deliver him to a pick up place. He knew nothing else. So he was fucking useless to Hank. The couple was a dead end. As in they couldn’t find them. The couple just disappeared. Rupert came in and they made a sketch. The search was afoot.

 

Hank was sitting at his desk, staring at the info. It wasn’t making sense anymore. He should get some rest, but…

“I didn’t see you or your plastic slave at the p.d.a. sensitivity training. Where the fuck were you? ” He punched Gavin Reed in the jaw. Huh… He wasn’t even aware that he did it. Felt great though. Captain Fowler came over. “Hank what the hell?!”

Hank wanted to laugh, but crying sounded nice as well. “I’ve slept for 5 hours this week and Connor is missing. So go FUCK yourself Reed.”

Gavin looked up. “Wait, the robot is missing? As in...You lost? How the fuck did you manage that?”

 

Fowler smacked him. “This is not the time for the mess between you two. Hank, go home. Get some sleep, you’ve been here for two full days. Gavin go back to work.” Fowler walked away.

 

Oh god he was going to fall over. Hank grabbed the desk. Gavin was giving him a look. “Oh, so it’s actually serious. So did he disappear or…”

“Kidnapped.”

Gavin looked at the files at the laptop and scoffed. “You’re no fun like this. Go get some sleep on that one couch in the archives. I’ll wake you in three. I shall take over your duties.” he did a dramatic handwave. His face was so punchable.

Hank glared at him. “The fuck are you doing? Since when do you give a shit about Connor?”

 

“I don’t. It would be upsetting to cut the bromance we have short though. And if you keep working like this people are going to get hurt and unlike you, I have a self preservation instinct.” Hank didn’t feel like arguing. He felt like punching, but...He would be knocked out, in the most likely scenario. Bromance…?

 

____TIMESKIPS WAHAHAHAH____



He got woken up three hours later by Markus. “What the hell are you doing here?” Markus looked concerned. “Are you… doing okay, Hank?” Ha, no.

“I’ll be fine. Why are you here?” Markus stood back up and offered his hand which Hank ignored. Markus looked uncomfortable. “Well, You might have missed it, but there was kind of important news.”

 

Hank did not feel prepared to deal with any of this honestly. “Just… Fucking spill it.”

Markus looked him in the eyes. This dude’s stare was a little too intense sometimes. “There was a fire in a Cyberlife storage building in Toledo, Ohio. There’s quite a bit of evidence it was started by an android.” But Hank was off android cases until Connor was found. And it was in another state no less. “We have no jurisdiction there. Nothing we can do. Why do you think this is important anyway?”

“Me, Simon and Josh found strong evidence in the files that Cyberlife and good reasons to silence Connor. So it might be related.”

 

WHAT!?

“AND YOU ARE ONLY NOW TELLING BECAUSE?!?!?! ARE YOU ARE FUCKING IDIOT!?”

Markus recoiled, holding his hands up. “Well, there was no relation to Cyberlife before.”

Hank was not having this. “And you didn’t think, even for one god damn second, that I might want to fucking know anyway!? We are going to the captain and contact the DP in Toledo. And we need those files! Right now! We might want to make a copy of them as well, just in case. And… FUCK! This is a fucking mess.” Markus followed him to captain Fowler, wide eyed. It was clearly startling for him to see Hank this… Efficient. Everyone seemed to forget that Hank was a fan-fucking-tastic police lieutenant, but whatever. That was not important right now.





Connor’s p.o.v.

 

Straight: Connor’s original programming

Italics: Deviant Connor/thoughts

“Talking”



This is a disaster. I am in Ohio. It’s about a 1 hour drive, but Cyberlife is still looking for me and I do not want to risk it. I have no money, so I can not get a car or make a call.

Insert witty comment: Hank would call this: “A fucking disaster.”

Yes, yes he would.  

 

At least I found a hoodie. It hides the burn mark on my face.

Attempting repair…..

Repair failed.

Right facial area too damaged to repair skin layer.

Seek assistance as soon as possible.

I do not like repairs.

 

This will have to do. Now to find a place to hide.

Cyberlife guards detected.

It is advisable to hide.

Alright. Places to hide.

What neighbourhood is this anyway.

Scanning….

under construction. Most buildings are abandoned.

Plenty of places for me to hide.

 

Building to the left is unstable.

The flat is unstable.

The old mall is on the point of collapse.

These are not great options.

House on the right is stable.

Entrance at window.

I need to hurry.

 

This place is in total disarray. Most of the furniture is still here…

Sound picked up: Shuffling of feet.

Scanning area….

Android presence detected.

Pressure at throat.

Knife at throat.

No!

Stress significantly: 44%

 

Initiate the negotiator protocol…..

“Hello, I am Connor. What is your name?”

“Strangers come to hurt Ralph.”

 

How do I keep attracting these situations?

Chapter Text

Ralph’s p.o.v. (I wanted to try out writing for this poor man)

Straight: Deviant Ralph/Thoughts

Line:Original programming

Italics+bold: Enraged Ralph

“Talking”

 

Ralph didn’t like strangers. Strangers hurt Ralph. A lot. Ralph had heard loud noises when he was hiding in the building, in Ralph’s old home. Humans were looking for a woman and her girl. And they were sweeping the area. Leaving was the safest. Now Ralph was far away from home. Far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far. Running and hiding was difficult. Everyone was looking, Ralph didn’t know at what. Ralph wished they stopped. Looking too long was bad.

 

And now there was a stranger in new home. Ralph’s new home. HIS! HIS NEW HOME!!!

Good thing Ralph found a knife. When Ralph got the stranger out of here, he would need to find a new new home… now Ralph felt sad.

 

“Ralph doesn’t like strangers.” The stranger was holding up hands. Was that defencive? Was the Stranger trying to be nice? “I don’t want to hurt you, Ralph. I was just trying to hide. People are after me and want to hurt me.” Hurt? But strangers want to hurt, they don’t get hurt. It doesn’t matter what you do, they hurt if you’re not fast enough. Ralph took a look at the strangers face. He looked like Ralph!!! Well, almost… Stranger’s eye was burned as well. Could he see Ralph at all? Ralph must have scared him really badly. You shouldn’t hurt hurt people. It’s mean, they can’t defend themselves and they can’t hurt you too bad.

“Oh no! Ralph hurt you!” The stranger shook his head frantically.

“No. No! You didn’t Ralph. The people looking for me did. Kind of…”

Ralph was mad. Why do they keep hurting us?

 

Stranger was looking at him with his eye. He looked scared. Ralph put the knife away. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Knives were bad. Ralph was still being scary. Oh no!

“Ralph can help! Ralph is good at hiding! Come! Come along!” Stranger seemed hesitant. Ralph was happy to see Stranger following along. The basement was safe. Ralph didn’t sleep. He was always looking. Looking for danger. Ralph liked blankets. He made a nest with them. Maybe Stranger needed sleep. But he was like Ralph, so maybe not. Stranger was looking around. “It does seem really secure… And nowhere near as messy as I thought it would be.”

Ralph gave him his brightest smile. “Ralph has lots of time. He likes to clean and collect stuff. If Ralph collects enough things Ralph might be overlooked.” Stranger was smiling, but Ralph was pretty sure Stranger was sad as well. “It is a good plan. But you know you no longer have to hide anymore right? Androids are free now.” Free? But...  No.

“Ralph is not free. Look at him. Androids are free, scary things aren’t. Ralph is a scary thing.”

Monsters.

 

Monsters aren’t free.

 

Never.

“But you are not. You are helping me, aren’t you Ralph? Scary things don’t help strangers.”

But…

That doesn’t make any sense…

Stranger wasn’t done speaking yet. “I understand if you don’t believe me. Sorry for upsetting you.”

Ralph shook his head. “No, no. Stranger didn’t make Ralph sad. Ralph just doesn’t believe Stranger.”

Stranger was laughing. “That is fine. Maybe it will make sense one day. And my name is not stranger. My name is Connor. I am a android like you. But you can keep calling me stranger… If that makes you happy.” Stranger looked hesitant.

“Ralph will think about it.” Stranger made Ralph feel better. Ralph made Stranger feel better. Ralph hoped Stranger wanted to stay.

 

_____TIMESKIPS HELP THE STORY PROGRESS____

 

Stranger Connor was resting… or something. He had been telling Ralph stories. At least, they seemed to good to be true, so they must be stories. Right? Right. Androids fought for freedom. Or...asked. But humans would never give. But, maybe. Ralph liked the stories, whether true or fake. They made him happy. He hadn’t felt this happy for a long, long, long time.

 

But now Stranger was resting, or healing, or something else. Ralph was looking at Stranger. He looked peaceful. His face looked really bad. Did it hurt? When humans were sick they ate right? Soup? Should Ralph get him food? But Stranger was like him, an android. So maybe not…? No, they could not eat. What’s next, what? Ralph didn’t know what to do. He was not made for helping human. He helped plants. Plants were nice. They were quiet. But Ralph didn’t take care of them anymore. Plants are tiny and fragile . Ralph could no longer take care of them. He was SCARY . How was he going to help the Stranger? He did want to. He couldn’t do anything good.

 

Ralph wanted the Stranger to stay. Ralph wanted Stranger Connor to stay. Connor was a weird name. Very different from Ralph. Longer. It sounded pretty though.

 

Ralph wanted a friend.

 

REALLY BADLY.

 

What could he do to help… ?

 

When Ralph got hurt he felt tired for a long time. There was the blue stuff a tiny human gave him. The tiny human was fragile , Ralph couldn’t stay. Maybe he could find it. It would make Stranger Connor feel better. Yes, yes, yes, yes. He could find it.

 

Connor’s p.o.v. (Ma boy)

Straight: Original programming/Scanning  

Italics: Deviant Connor/Thought

“Talking”

 

Running diagnostic…..

Scanning…..

Most systems fully functional.

Damage detected.

Scanning…..

Damage includes:

  • Right optical until
  • Skin nano units around eye area, ranging from eyebrow to mid cheek
  • Left knee joint still lagging
  • Fire damage to certain parts of alloy layer, covered by nano units on skin
  • Thirium 301 levels to 90%, seeking replacement advised

Alright, I could be doing a lot worse.

 

Wait where did Ralph go? I need to keep an eye on him.to make sure he does not… Do anything that might expose us.

Stress up: 12%

Scanning nearby area for android presence…..

One found.

Ralph is still in the house.

Good. It feels safer to not be alone.

Stress down: 2%

 

Maybe he’s in trouble. I should go looking… Oh nevermind.

“Weird Stranger! Ralph found something for you. Ralph thought it might help. Ralph likes helping friends.”

That’s really kind of him. We started out with a knife against my throat and now we’re here. He does not seem entirely stable, though.

“What did you find?”

He looks so proud of himself.

“This stuff made Ralph feel better when he was hurting. Here, here, try it.”

 

Scanning….

Thirium 301.

That’s exactly what I need.

Thirium levels going up.

“Thank you Ralph. That really helped.”

 

Please do not look so sad…

“Is Stranger going to stay with Ralph now?”

“Why do you think you need to do things for me to make me stay?”

“That’s how it works.”

 

Oh, that hit a little too close to home. I always try to help in Hank’s house. He says it is not necessary, but I want to. Is that what Ralph is doing?

Collecting data…..

 

“Ralph… I have to get home. I can not stay here. I am very sorry”

I need to get back to Hank.

And Sumo.

And Markus.

And Simon and Josh.

And everyone else.

Scanning….

Ralph is aggravated.

“WHY NOT?! It IS SAFER HERE! YOU HAVE TO STAY WITH RALPH!”

Stay calm, I can handle this.

Negotiation….

“They are still looking for me. And I have friends who are waiting for me to get home.”

“Do you have a family…”

Kind of.

“It feels like it, yes.”

Please do not look so upset. I can not stay here. It will hurt you too.

“Ralph will just have to come along then.”

Huh?

 

“What do you mean?”

“Ralph needs to make sure Stranger doesn’t get hurt again. Ralph doesn’t think Stranger is good at taking care of himself. So Ralph will help.”

 

Ralph is smiling really wide.

It might be wise to agree with him.

 

He has made it from Detroit to here… maybe he can get me back as well. And I would find it...upsetting to leave him here alone.

“Alright then. I know a place where you will be safe”

“Ralph is glad you accepted. Ralph would have kept Stranger if he didn’t accept anyway.

 

Kept?

Let’s ignore that statement…

 

“Well Ralph, do you have any clue where we are anyway?”




Back to Ralph’s p.o.v. (Is a second p.o.v. switch too much?)

Straight: Deviant Ralph/Thoughts

Line:Original programming

Italics+bold: Enraged Ralph

“Talking”

 

“Ralph didn't look where he was running to. He hid and hid and hid. People were looking at him when he did not hide.” Stranger Connor looked around. Stranger stood up and walked around. “Well, we can probably find out. An android was in this household right? You found thirium, so that must be the case. Maybe we can find spare parts…” Part…?

“Oh, oh. Ralph can show Stranger Connor where he found the blue fluid. Come on, come along now.”

 

Stranger Connor smiled and followed behind him. He had his arm crossed. Was Stranger alright. The leg looked bad as well. If Ralph and Stranger were going to run and hide, Stranger wouldn’t get very far. Ralph could help him. Yes, ralph could help. Stranger wasn’t fragile. He was strong, like Ralph. They would get back to Stranger’s old home and Ralph’s new new home.

 

Stranger Connor was looking through the stuff Ralph had found before. “Well, there is a small repair kit here, to repair damaged nano skin units. Not enough to repair even more than a small cut. Uhm… Well, we can take that with us. We never know what is useful and what is not. More thirium 301 as well.” Ralph was shifting on his legs. “Did Ralph do good?”

“Yes, you did fine. Thank you Ralph.”

 

“Stranger Connor?” Ralph was wondering… Where were they going?

“What is it?” Stranger straightened up. Stranger smiled.

"Where are we going?" 

“We are going to Detroit. Do you know that place.” DETROIT!?

“YES! yes! Ralph does! Detroit was Ralph’s old home. But… It’s not SAFE.”

Stranger held up his hands. Was he trying to comfort him? “No, no. It’s okay now. trust me. Androids got their freedom. I know someone who can help you. Your face must hurt.”

Ralph touched his face . Hurt. Hurt. hurt. Hurthurthurthurt!

“Ralph is okay. Ralph knows how to not feel hurt.”

Stranger Connor looked sad, but recovered. “It should not have to be like that.”

 

Ralph and stranger picked out new clothes for Ralph. Ralph did not understand, but Stranger asked nicely, so it was fine. And then they left.

“Ralph would like to know how we will get there?”

Stranger smiled. “We will have to walk. At best it will take us 22 hours if we walk non-stop. It might take a little longer because my leg is damaged. Is there any problem with that?”

“No. Ralph is excited. Ralph has never traveled with someone else before!”

“I do not know if I am the best traveling partner, but I will do my best.” Oh, but Stranger Connor was nice. Well... As long as he didn’t just abandon Ralph.

 

“Ralph thinks this will be fun. If Stranger Connor needs help with the leg, just ask Ralph."

 

Ralph was going to old home.

 

But it would be so different.

 

It would be new new home.

Chapter Text

Ralph and Stranger Connor had been walking. Stranger was walking slow. Did his leg still hurt? His leg was twitching. It was snowing now too. Ralph didn’t like snow. It made everything cold.

 

Stranger was telling more stories. Made up ones. Ralph liked them. They were more fun than reality. Humans were nicer when they were not real.

They were not going fast. Stranger and Ralph had been walking for 7 hours. Stranger Connor said it might take them two days to get to new new home, or longer. Stranger still seemed wary of Ralph, Ralph understood. Knives were not the best way to say hi and Ralph was scary. But Stranger let Ralph come along! So Ralph was happy. He would make sure Stranger Connor was okay. Stranger was good. He wanted to help Ralph, but Stranger was hurt.

 

Stranger stopped. “It’s getting very dark. I am uncertain entering the forest while it was already dusk was the most ideal option.” Ralph could still see. Maybe it was because Stranger only had one eye. “Ralph will keep an eye out. Ralph still has two. Stranger won’t have to be scared.” Stranger Connor gave an uneasy smile.                                   

“I know you will, but there are animals moving around. We might was to be careful and not disturb them, alright?”                                                                                   “Alright.”

 

Ralph and Stranger kept walking, silently. “Ralph sees a house.” They agreed to stay there until dawn. They sat down and Stranger Connor gave him some of the healing stuff. “Here, you are still bleeding a bit.” Ralph didn’t take it, Ralph didn’t need it.         “No, Stranger Connor take it. He has a big hurt on his face.” Stranger Connor tilted his head. “But… you do too Ralph. It would be easier if you were back to full functionality. Even if I take this, my leg won’t be fixed. So it would be better if you take it.” No.

“Oh no. But Ralph really wants Stranger to take it. Just drink it. Ralph insists.”   Stranger looked scared. Did Ralph do bad again? If this got Stranger to be better it would be fine. Stranger took some. Good.

 

Ralph went over to the only window. He was something moving.

ScaNNNNNNNNing…..

A fox? Ralph liked them. They looked soft.

!-optional escape route-!

But Ralph didn’t need to escape right now, so it was okay. Stranger Connor was looking around. The bottle wasn’t more empty than before…

“Ralph, we need to look for tools. Scissors, tape, duck tape. Anything will do. It will fix your arm.”                                                                                                                              

Silly Stranger. Stranger Connor forgot his leg. “Can duct tape fix Stranger’s leg?” Stranger laughed, nice sound. “According to my friend Hank, duct tape fixes everything.” Okay! Ralph will look for tools.

 

!-help Stranger look for tools-!

 

Stranger Connor and Ralph found: Rope, duct tape (Stranger smiled when Ralph found it, it felt nice), a knife (Ralph gave it to Connor), an axe (Ralph used one before. He got to keep it), but they didn’t find scissors. They used the knife to cut the tape. Stranger fixed Ralph’s arm first. It felt weird, but better. Not hurt. Stranger Connor then started on his leg. “Why not wrap it whole? Stranger is still bleeding a bit.” Stranger stayed focused on his task. “If I wrap it completely it we will not get anywhere, I will not be able to move my knee. And my name is Connor remember?” Oh, okay!

 

“Ralph hears noises outside.”                                                                                     “What?” Stranger looked up. He limped to the window, looking outside. Stranger Connor looked at Ralph, scared. “Some humans are coming. I do not think they are friendly.”                                                                                                                              Ralph looked around. “Lots of stuff here, junk. Ralph is junk and Stranger Connor is damaged. We are part of this place. Hide. Play dead.” Stranger nodded.                  “Over here! Remember Ralph, we cannot move. It is very important that you do. not. move.”

!-Do not move-!

Ralph doesn’t like this. Ralph doesn’t know what to do…

Stress up: 00000000000000000012%

!-Do not move-!

Where is Ralph’s friend? Where is Stranger Connor?

Stress up: 0000000000000000000000022%

“Jesus Christ this place is a fucking dump!”                                                         “Well, it’s the best place we are going to find for the night. I’m not staying outside with the fucking wolves, or something.”

 

Where is Connor?                                                                                                                      

 

Is Ralph alone?

Stress up: 00000000000000000000000000032%

“Oh god. There an android here!”                                                                                  “It isn’t going to fucking jump us right? Is it broken or switched off?”                   “Ah, there’s a second one. And no, they won’t switch on. They are totally fucked up. Their faces are both burned to fucking crisps.”

 

Get away from Ralph.

Stress up: 00000000000000000000000000039%

 

Connor was still here?

Stress down: 00000000000000000000000035%

“Oh man, look at this one. There a deep cut on the left side of its face.” (human) “That’s pretty sick.” (Human)                                                                                    “Get the fuck away from it. Help set up camp.” (Human)

 

How many humans were there? Two? Three? Four? Five? Ralph didn’t dare to really look. Ralph was scared.

Stress up: 000000000000000000000000052%

Get away: 0000000000000000000000000075%

 

Ralph felt energy. Ralph was ready for a strike. Humans weren’t looking. Hurt?!1?!?1?!1?1//11/??them?

Stress up significantly: )000))))))))))))))))00000))0000090%

 

!- Do not move-!

_DO NOT MOVE_

_DON’T MOVE_

Don’t move

Not move.

T move.

To move.

Have to move!

Ralph got ready to pounce.                                                                                       Who is holding Ralph back? Who?!

Stranger is still here. Stranger Friend Connor… Holding Ralph back.                               

No.                                                                                                                                      Holding Ralph’s hand.            Comfort?

 

!-Do not move-!

We can do this.

Stress down significantly: 50%

Ralph isn’t alone.

Ralph and Connor can get through the night.                                                                  Pretending to sleep…..

They will make it.




Markus’ p.o.v.

Straight: Markus’ thoughts

Line: Original programming

“Talking”

After he and Hank went to captain Fowler, well… It was quite the mess. What Hank had said was true. The police department Detroit couldn’t do anything to meddle in the investigation of Toledo. They did manage to get updates once it became clear that someone Markus knew might be involved. The joys of being the spokesperson for androids. The PD (police department) of Toledo hadn’t found the android that had started the fire. Cyberlife had been looking for the android as well, but after it became a possibility that they might have kidnapped said android, they were no longer allowed to do so. They were blocked out. The reason being given was their “attempt at vigilante justice”, which was bullshit, but really the best case scenario until they had proof of Cyberlife’s involvement.

 

Meanwhile the PD Detroit continued their own investigation, keeping all options open. They were looking for other potential perpetrators. They also looked into the files Markus had send them. So far everything was inconclusive. They hadn’t located the couple Rupert had talked about either. It were a lot of loose ends that they couldn’t tie together. And it was making Markus nervous.

 

And he wasn’t the only one. Everyone who knew Connor was getting worried. To most of them it seemed obvious that Connor started the fire, which is why it was good the PD was involved in the search in case someone else did it. The real question was: if he escaped, why had he not contacted them?

 

Cyberlife was looking for the firestarter, so if it was Connor he was out of their grasp. And yet, no sign of life. No call, no connection, nothing. It set everyone on edge.

Markus was nervous and felt really bad this all happened under his watch. He was trying to look after Connor by deciphering the files, but he got kidnapped while they were doing so. It was terrible. Simon confessed he wished he made Connor stay. Simon had had a bad feeling all day apparently. Josh felt bad as well. Everyone else of the new Jericho group missed Connor.

 

But no one, NO one, was feeling as down as Hank. He was truly sober for the first time in a long time and noticed side effects. He was withdrawing from them and really, who could blame him. He lost his best friend, who was his only real connection to the people of Jericho, who then proceeded to have Connor disappear right under all their noses. To Markus, who had been rebuilt as a caretaker model android, it was very clear Hank was depressed. He didn’t really see it before, but then again, they never really spoke. It made the guilt Markus was feeling triple at least. Hank was staying with the new Jericho group, to get updated as soon as possible. Sumo was with him, as well as Cat. While Sumo was everywhere, running around, Cat stayed with Hank, twirling around his legs and letting out the loudest cries. It was like he was trying to comfort Hank. It seemed to help a little.

 

Markus had been trying to help as well, it just didn’t work.

 

Right now Hank was on the balcony, alone. Markus wanted to help. He needed to try one more time. “Good evening Hank.”                                                                                    “Fucking modernized trash can.” That was actually a good start compared to the past few days. It involved silent and violent treatment.

 

“I just… well… I’m still very sorry. I should have been more careful…”

Hank slammed his hand down. “Shut your fucking mouth if you want to keep it intact.” Hank glanced at him. “Oh, fucking hell… No, listen, I’m not angry with you, not really, not anymore… I’m not fucking happy with what happened right under your nose of course. Really thought you guys were better than that. But it seems pretty goddamn useless to stay mad. And I’m fucking tired. This all needs to be over. Then I’ll kick your ass. And Simon’s. And Josh’. Maybe not Simon’s, he kicks back.”

Markus smiled. “If you say so Hank.”

 

Hank growled. “This just needs to fucking end before I pass out because of lack a sleep. And booze.”

Markus proceeded to take Hank’s arm and pull him back inside. “You need sleep.”

“NoooOOOoooOoooooo…” Hank pulled back. “Let me go stupid microwave. I can walk.”

Markus smirked. “I would like you to know I have every piece of information on senior care downloaded. I will do my very best to make you comfortable.”

“SENIOR!?”

 

After slightly manhandling Hank to bed and trapping him with Sumo and the cat, Markus went back to him friend sitting in the common room. It was considerably more quiet nowadays.

 

“Any news?” The TV was on news constantly now. Well, it was before, but for different reasons. North was in charge of keep track of all the information. “Nope, nothing serious yet. Just more reports about the fire, but nothing concrete.” Markus wasn’t surprised. Cyberlife wasn’t holding any press conferences. So they were still waiting and it was the worst. Simon sat next to North. “How’s Hank doing?”

Markus smiled. “Got him to sleep.”

Simon laughed. “My guess is that it wasn’t easy. He has been awake for about the whole process. Except those few hours on that lumpy couch in the PD basement.”

“Sumo helped me out.”

“Aha.”

 

Markus sat down next to Simon. He felt tired. Technically androids didn’t get tired, but he felt tired. While the whole situation with Connor was going on, Markus also had to negotiate with the government about android rights. It was easier than he thought, because of all the public support, but it still was a lot of work. Markus was happy to do it of course, it just didn’t help that he had other things going on as well. The original Jericho crew was a blessing in these times. North, with her straight to the point policy. Josh, who kept an open mind to both sides of the argument. Simon, who was loyal to the fault and would defend anyone who needed it. Lucy, with her foresight, leadership skills and calm attitude. And everyone else. They worked together on their future.

 

This didn’t solve the situation of Connor’s disappearance of course. Not only was Connor a good friend, but he might also hold a lot of information that could harm Cyberlife. Cyberlife was still opposing rights for androids, even if they were forced to stop production for now and hand out spare parts and thirium 301. This might also be the reason  they refused to assist unless a warrant was presented. It had been a complete shitshow so far.

 

Markus leaned back trying to retain some of his sanity. Simon was looking at him, concerned. “Are you okay, Markus?” North side glanced him as well, but continued zapping across channels. Markus smilied. “Been better, but that is just part of all of this, isn’t it? I just need a little break… eventually.”

Simon didn’t seem to believe him. “Uh huh, sure. How about you take that break right now. Josh and Lucy have everything covered for now and me and North will keep track of the news.”

 

“Alright.” And just as he laid down to rest as much as an android could, *cough* he was about to lean on Simon’s shoulder, his phone rang. He picked up and was greeted by a male voice. “Hello, this is detective Liman from the Toledo PD. I was told that this number is of a family member of the RK800 android known as Connor. Is that correct?”

 

What?

 

“Yes, yes, you have the right number. Markus speaking. Did you find anything.” He could hear the detective sigh. “Alright, we now have evidence the kidnapping and the fire at Cyberlife are connected. Or well… that your friend was present during the fire. We found a recording of their security cameras. He is seen smashing a window to escape the fire. We are now working together with the DP Detroit to solve this case.” Markus could feel the energy rush back to him. “So did you find him?!”

“No, but we are still looking. We will keep you updated.”

“Alright, thank you.”  

 

Simon was looking at him. “Who was that?” Markus stood up.

“They found Connor on the records of a video camera in Toledo. They are still looking for him. But Cyberlife had something to do with it. They can no longer deny it.”

North had a smile on her face. “Well that’s great. We might be able to finally get these fuckers and give them what they deserve.” North really hated Cyberlife, for obvious reasons.

Markus started pacing. “But if he escaped and is running from them, why hasn’t he called us? Or, you know, the police.”

 

Simon stood up as well and stopped Markus from pacing. “I’m sure there is a good reason. Maybe he is scared he will be discovered, or that Cyberlife is tracking him. We will find him. Everything will turn out okay, Markus. Now sit down and rest.”

 

So he did, but he wasn’t tired anymore.



Chapter Text

Ralph’s p.o.v.

Straight: Thoughts

Line: Original programming

Italics+bold: Enraged Ralph

"Talking"

 

 

After the human left the Shack, Strang-…Connor got up. “The could have ended less desirably.” Ralph and Stra-…Connor did #0000000009 hours waiting for the humans to leave. They made it. Ralph still wanted to jump up and slightly squeeze the air out of their fragile lungs. But now they were gone, so Ralph missed his chance . This made Ralph upset. But Stran-… Connor was happy Ralph listened to him. “If you actually did jump up the situation would have escalated into a fight and there were high probabilities of us losing that fight.”

“So Ralph did good?”

“Yes, you really did.”

 

Ralph and Connor were doing more walking now. Str-… Connor was still walking with a bad leg. The duck tape stopped some of the leaking of the blue fluid, but not everything. It also made it more difficult to walk. Ralph kept making sure St-...Connor wasn’t going to fall. Connor was talking about a dog and a cat now. Connor said he missed them. “Ralph wonders if it is nice to be missed by someone.”

“I do not know. Are they not missing you, so did something happen?”

“Ralph wonders.”

 

They had to cross a road. It was pretty dangerous. Connor didn’t want to follow it to directly. “But why not. This is the fastest road home.”

Connor was leaning slightly on Ralph. Ralph liked supporting and helping. He was scary so he usually didn’t get to. “People might still be looking for me. Usually I would still take the risk but I can not escape like this and I have to take your safety into consideration as well. We can not have both of us suffering because I was incompetent while escaping.”

 

That did not sound right at all. “How can we be bad at surviving. Ralph and S-...Connor made it this far.”

Connor laughed. “You are right. We have, haven’t we. I do not know how much longer I will be able to keep going…”

“What does Connor mean by that?”

“Nothing important.” Ralph would let it slide for now. Ralph would ask later.







Ralph and Connor had been traveling for a day now. Ralph was happy Connor was there. But Connor was not doing so good. “Does Connor need a break.” Connor smiled a not real smile. “Oh no, I will be fine Ralph. I am running diagnostics in case my situation changes. I will tell you when it is advised to take a break for me.” Ralph knew Connor was lying. Connor was very, very, very, very bad at lying. Very bad…. His little light went yellow as soon as Connor tried.

 

So Ralph knew Connor was still hurt. When Connor was still Stranger Connor’s leg was bleeding very badly. And now even with the duck tape Connor was leaking blue fluids. Ralph and Connor didn’t have any extra left. It was making Connor slow. Not walking, that couldn’t be any slower already, but Connors thoughts. Ralph was very, very worried.

 

It was getting warmer, which was good for Stra-… Connor. Ralph liked spring. Plants grew in spring. And animals came out. “Look, look, look, looklooklook. Ralph spotted a deer and her baby!”

Connor looked up slowly. “Oh yes. You are right.” Ralph didn’t want to bother him, because Connor was trying to keep going. Ralph did want to make Connor distracted from him pain. Ralph didn’t know what to do. Ralph already gave S-... Connor Ralph’s hoodie, to keep Connor warm. If Connor even needed that.

 

“Ralph...Can we rest for a minute? No, nevermind, it would not better my situation anyway.”

Ralph turned. “No,no. We can rest a little. Look, a tree fell down here. You can sit here. Ralph is going to look around for help.”

“Ralph, wait! Listen first!” Nope, no, no . Ralph was already running. Ralph didn’t know what would help. And Ralph wouldn’t find it in a forest… But he had to try, for St-… Connor.

 

Scanning for tools……

 

None found of useable durability.

Stick two meters to the right may be used for a splint.

 

Why is there nothing here?!

 

Ralph had to look more. RALPH HAD TO FIND SOMETHING!

 

Ten minutes later Ralph was walking back to Connor. Ralph didn’t find anything useful, unless you count the big stick Ralph found.

 

Huh? What was that?

Something was moving in the grass.

 

Scanning…….

One lifeform detected.

 

A tiny turtle…?

Ralph picked it up. “Hello! Tiny!” Ralph took Tiny with him to Connor.

 

But when Ralph got back to Connor, Connor was lying on the ground, not moving.

“Connor!?” Ralph ran over to Connor. “I am.... Fine…” It was. CLEARLY! not fine.

“Why are you on the ground.” Ralph was crouching over Connor.

“I had to… Redirect the thirium flow from my legs to the other movement systems in my body. I was losing too much Thirium to remain fully functional.”

“But that’s really bad. Really bad. How are you going to go home now?”

 

Connor clenched his hand. “I do...not know…” Ralph put the turtle in his pocket, together with some leaves. “Ralph is going to help you get home.”

Connor shook his head. “Ralph. I can not walk… “

“Oh but Ralph can.”

“What…?”

 

And with that Ralph lifts Connor back unto the tree. “We need to fully wrap the bad leg first.” Ralph took out the duct tape and wrapped the whole bad spot. “Maybe Connors bad eye too…” Now Connor had an eye patch. Ralph did good. Connor was very quiet, Ralph didn’t like it. “All right. Ralph is going to carry St-… Connor.”

“Ralph, hold on.”

 

And then Ralph had a Connor on his back and a Tiny in his pocket. Ralph hoped the Tiny would be okay in there. Tiny was moving around “What is your pocket Ralph.”

“Ralph found a turtle. Connor said he liked animals so Ralph took it.”

“But… it is a wild turtle right? We are not allowed to keep wild animals.”

“Tiny only has three legs. Tiny was stuck under a branch.”

Connor gave a quiet little laugh. “You named the turtle Tiny. While that is objectively cute, but Tiny is not really a name.”

Ralph turned to Connor. “Well, if it is that bad, why doesn’t Connor think of something?”

Connor hummed. “What is it’s species...?”

“Ralph doesn’t know.”

“Well hold… Them up for a second.”

 

So Ralph did. He was perfectly fine with the name Tiny… But he did find Tiny for Connor… Ralph still didn’t like it.

Connor was looking at Tiny. “ They are of the african aquatic sideneck turtle species. They are pets, not a native species to America. Good thing you found it… What about Tilly. It starts with T and I… What do you think?”

“Ralph thinks Connor sucks at naming things. Tiny is fine.”

“*Sigh*”   

 

“Ralph is going to get you home now. No more names from Connor.”

“Thanks…”



_____How many timeskips did I do without mentioning them?____

 

Ralph had been walking at his fastest pace. But Ralph was also trying to not startle Connor to much. Connor had been pretty silent. Ralph didn’t like it. It made him want to go faster. Ralph had to walk FASTER. Ralph couldn’t scan like Connor said he could. But Ralph wishes he could.

 

He was happy he found Tiny. Tiny made Connor feel better, even when Connor couldn’t move. “He or she is… pretty cute. But i am still unsure… if we should be keeping… them.”

Ralph turned his neck and gave Connor a smile. “Tiny will be fine. Ralph is more worried about Connor. Connor fixed Ralph’s arm and stopped Ralph’s face from being blue, but forgot about himself. So now Ralph helps Connor.”

“I suppose you are correct…”

 

Connor said he now knew where they were and explained to Ralph where to go. Ralph walked fast so they would be at Connor’s home and Ralph’s new new home. Ralph was happy. Ralph was scared. Connor hadn’t spoken in a while now. “Connor?”

 

Nothing.

 

Why wasn’t he saying anything?

“Stranger?”

Still nothing.

“Stranger Connor?!”

Nothing.

“CONNOR?!”

 

Ralph touched his hand to Connor’s arm. He was still… there. Still alive.

For now…

 

“Ralph is going to fix everything.”

And with that Ralph st arted running. His system warned of:

 

!- overheating -!

 

But Ralph would be fine. He would have to be, because Connor wasn’t.  






Hank’s p.o.v.

 

Hank’s nap had been pretty uneventful…

Until Markus slammed open the door.

 

“What the hell!?” Markus was shaking him now. “I’m already awake, let fucking go of me!”

Markus had his ‘I-have-both-good-and-bad-news’ face on. “They saw Connor on a recording of a Cyberlife storage facility in Toledo. They sent the video to the Detroit PD and they won’t let me watch without approval.”

Now that was funny. “Our android president can’t get past some officers. That’s hilarious.”

Markus was twitching. “Can you get them to let me watch it?”

“Eh, sure.”

 

One car ride and one appeal to authority later, Markus and Hank were looking at the footage. Hank could see Connor limping away from the fire. And now he wanted to punch Connor for starting a fire. Hank would have to deal with SO many legal repercussions now…

And he also wanted to tackle everyone who hurt Connor.

Markus was staring at the video. “I just wonder what happened that made starting a fire seem rational.”

Hank smirked. “Oh, you’re pissed, aren’t you?”

Markus shook his head. “I’m just a little upset this all happened in the first place.”

“And that is what we call a political correct answer. You are fucking pissed at the pieces of trash that kidnapped him.” Markus rolled his eyes and Hank could see some of the officers watching and laughing. “Trash is not… the word I would use, Hank.”

“But you were thinking it.”

“I will neither deny nor confirm.”

 

“What are the ancient drunk and the tin trash can up to?” And enter Gavin Reed. The day just became three times more unbearable. Markus, ever the peacekeeper, responded. “Just… Watching the video found of Connor in Toledo.”

Gavin snorted. “What kind of video? Porn? He does have the face for it.”

“Just some security footage.”

“Fuck off.”

 

This sent Gavin into spirals of laughter. “Oh wow. And I thought you and Connor were the comedy duo. Glad to see you found a replacement. Things were getting boring around here.” This fucking guy…! How did he alway know what was NOT the right thing to say and still say it! “Can you go and die in a hole?” More laughter from Gavin and stares from his colleagues and Markus that just screamed: ‘What are you doing?!’ “Uhm, Hank…” Hank turned back to Markus. “What?” Markus was fiddling with a pen. Where did he even get that. “Let’s just… Get back to the video.”  

Gavin was smirking. “Oh please do. I guess we can strike arson of plastic detective’s let’s fuck humanity over bucket list.” Was it just an evolutionary trait to want to punch a very punchable face. Yes, definitely. Markus’ eye was twitching. “Can you please just...leave.”

Hank decided to step in. “He means: Can just fuck off and take your shitty attitude and highly unlikable personality with you? Pretty please.” Gavin seemed unaffected. Damn it, Hank needed to work on his death glare. Markus was now leaning his head on the table. “I think i’m going to go back to the new Jericho. Bye.”

 

Hank grabbed his jacket. “Hold on, i’m coming with you.”

Gavin grabbed his arm. “Aren’t you on duty? There’s like three files on your desk.”

Hank softly, not that softly, punched Gavin’s arm. “I got assigned to this case and I need to go and question every witness again on the new evidence. Someone else can look at the three files.”

Gavin crossed his arms. “You didn’t get assigned you just took it. It’s not something they would know about. And that’s not how literally anything in our job works.”

 

“Try not to miss me too much asshole!”

 

They walked out on the street and went to Hank’s car. Markus was giving Hank dissapoeving glares. Great. “You should have stayed. I don’t like that we have to rely on officer Reed for updates.” And just as they were about to get into the car, someone ran up to them… and almost ran into them. “Oh, Sorry, sorry, sorrysorrysorrysorry. Ralph wasn’t looking where he was going.”

 

Hank heard Markus gasp and when he looked closer, he could see why. The guy, who had to be an android, had a giant gash on his face with blue blood still on it. Tape was hanging from his face as well. He was wearing dirty way too thin clothes. And he was wearing another android on his back, whose face was covered by a hood and, from what Hank could see, also partly in tape. And they both looked terrible. Markus was stepping up to the first android. “Oh don’t worry. It’s fine. My name is Markus. What is your name?” The android was twitching and kept looking around. “Ralph is Ralph.”

“And your friend.” That question went unanswered. So Markus took a different approach. “Is your friend… doing okay. “

“Ralph doesn’t think so. He stopped talking, but he is still there, so Ralph is trying to get Friend help.” It was so sad and so heartwarming at the same time. Hank decided to help. Duty of the police and all that. “Is there anywhere you were trying to go?” The android, Ralph started nodding furiously.

 

As he told them the address Hank and Markus looked at each other. That was new Jericho’s address. “We can get you there. I live there as well.” Ralph was giving them a suspicious look. “Ralph doesn’t know you. Ralph shouldn’t trust you! But… time is running away and Ralph can’t catch up. Ralph will go with you.”

 

And now Hank had two injured androids in the back of his car, one… unconscious. And one ready the fucking tear their fucking throats out. Hank knew that look. Hank kept his eyes on the road. No reason to aggravate him. Markus had turned ato het backseat and was trying to talk to him. “So you two were trying to get to Jericho. What happened to you?”

Ralph was silent.

“I need to know what happened if I’m going to help your friend.”

“... He said he was leaking too much…” Huh…?

Markus didn’t seem to get it either. “Leaking?”

“Blue fluid. Ralph and his Friend ran out of extra. Friend stopped working.” So it was a blue blood shortage. That wasn't good. And from the looks of it, they needed some new parts as well. Markus knew as well. “So where are you two from? And why come all this way?”

Silence. “...Toledo…“ Huh, well wasn’t that just a coincidence. Markus was smiling.

“Well, whatever the reason, we are going to get you two to safety alright?”

“...Alright…”

 

Hank was driving uncharacteristically slow. He didn’t want to startle the two. He deeply respected the loyalty that Ralph showed. Not trusting strangers for the sake of both their safety. Carrying his friend for miles. It was pretty admirable.

 

Yea...Hank would take those two safety.

Chapter Text

Hanks p.o.v.

 

The car ride was kind of, quite a bit, like, a lot of awkward. Ralph was glaring at both Markus and Hank. Markus didn’t even dare to look at Ralph’s friend because that might just lead to multiple forms of strangulation. Hank kept staring ahead. Eyes on the road Hank, eyes on the road. There was no doubt in Hank’s mind that Markus was thinking something along the lines of: ‘they still didn’t know the poor guys name’ as well. Markus really wanted to scan him, so he could start ordering people around and fix it. It was what the toaster was good at after all. Heh. “Hank, do you keep thirium in your car?” Hank shook his head.
“Why the fuck would I? Cyberlife gave me a small supply, but I keep it at home. If Connor needs any, Cyberlife provides it at the scene he was injured at. So the only place we might need it is my house. I know… It sucks.”
“...Great. Getting to new Jericho with this traffic will be faster than getting to your house.”
“Okay, got it.”

Markus kept glancing over to the back seat anxiously and it was clearly starting to upset Ralph. Hank hit Markus over the head.“Eyes on the road Markus.” Just have to keep calm. Markus looked again. “If you want to know what is wrong that badly can’t you just scan through the car mirror or something? Eyes. On. The road.”
“Worth a try.” They were actually not whispering as that might make ralph suspicious. The android was a fucking emotional minefield. Where was a negotiator android when you need him...

Markus looked at the mirror. “Nothing comes up. Just the leg and thirium levels, which are low.”
Well, that’s not that helpful. “Oh well. Once we get to new Jericho you need to get everything ready to fix it.”

Ralph was now looking at him through the mirror, glaring. Eyes on the road Markus, eyes on the road. Hank was unmoving except for the occasional flipping off annoying bypassers. He wanted to engage Ralph a bit. To keep him focussed on the person he is less suspicious of, Hank in this case. Fan-fucking-tastic. “So what happened to your friend? He seems really messed up.” More silence from Ralph. “Did humans do it?”
“Ralph thinks so...” Damn it. Of course it were humans. It’s always the humans! They probably shouldn’t tell Ralph that Hank was a human. Hank wasn’t done yet. “Do you know where exactly he is hurt?” Markus looked over at him with his: What the hell are you doing- eyes. Markus seemed to keep forgetting that Hank worked at the PD for a reason. Ralph wasn’t very trusting. “Why would it matter?”
“We can get him fixed more easily if we know what is wrong with your friend.”
“Friend’s leg and face. Blue fluid.”
“Thank you for telling us. We’re gonna help you guys.” Well that was unhelpful as fuck.

They finally got to new Jericho. Markus looked so relieved. He probably wanted to replace the injured android’s leg first and fix the cut on both their faces, but Ralph wouldn’t react well to that. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Ralph was extremely unstable. Hank wanted to help as well, but there was only so much they could do without upsetting Ralph and hightning his stress. Which, for androids, was a bad time. And having an android rampaging and then self destructing was the last thing they needed. No. Just. No. That would be bad. So Markus suggested waking up Ralph’s friend first and hoping that would calm him and earn his trust. Of course it was a gamble, because Ralph’s friend might be even worse of than Ralph… they would just have to try.

They got to the repair area. Markus got everything set up and Hank stood in the corner, on standby. Just in case. “Alright Ralph. We are going to wake your friend up. but I need to know if he will hurt himself or others.” Not the best question to ask, He and Markus really should have made a game plan before doing this. Markus wasn’t used to dealing with these situations. Thankfully Ralph responded anyway.
“He won’t. Friend wants to hide, not fight.” Well that sounded like the best scenario. They would just have to focus on keeping the stress levels as low as possible. Not really Hank’s forté. Markus was better at all that.
“Alright. Do you want to give him the blue blood. It might be less scary for him.”
“But Ralph is scary.” And if that didn’t absolutely break his heart, he didn’t know what would. So Hank walked towards them again. “I’m sure it will be fine.” But then again who the hell knows how he would react if the first face he saw was of a stranger. Yeah, he would absolutely freak.

Ralph gave his friend the blue blood.

Markus was trying to get Hanks attention. “What?!” Markus looked worried.
“Sorry, uhm. My scans… They tell me the android is a RK800 model. One of Connors model.” What. The. Motherflippin’. Fuck.

Ralph’s friend bolted upright. His hood fell back and suddenly Markus and Hank were looking at the spitting image of Connor. Hank was trying not to hope too much. Connor mentioned that there were a lot of other Connor models waiting for the original to basically die.The Connor look alike was looking around the room. He seemed to be panicking until his eye fell on Ralph, who came closer. Ralph began checking his friend over. The Connor look alike seemed to be scanning the room, until his eye fell on Hank. Shoot, did he figure out Hank was human. Ralph’s friend jumped up, causing Ralph to stumble a little and scold him. “Hank?!” Wait what. Ralph’s friend walked over to Hank and hugged him. “Oh my. You have no idea how happy I am to see you.”

It just couldn’t be. “Connor?” Ralph’s friend...or Connor… Smiled.
“I can’t believe I made it back.” Ralph ran up as well.
“So this is Hank? Ralph got Connor home.” Hank was just standing there. A disbelieving look on his face. “What the hell...?” Suddenly he started shaking Connor. “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?! You gave me a fucking heart attack!” Connor didn’t seemed to like the shaking. “Can you please stop? It’s making my situation worse and it’s upsetting Ralph.”
Oh no. Hank wasn’t letting him of that easy. “You started a fucking fire in the property of the people WHO ALREADY HATE YOU!!! WHAT MADE YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA!!!???” When he shouted before Connor flinched. He had stopped flinching. “OOOOooooOoOoooOH NO! You don’t get to switch off your FUCKING EARS!!!” He started hitting Connor’s head, gently but not too gently, until Connor listened again. “Please stop shouting, Hank.” Hank glanced over to make sure that Ralph wasn’t going to kill him, but he seemed distracted by Markus and...a turtle…? So the coast was clear to keep scolding Connor. “You are so grounded. You are not leaving my fucking sight for the next sixty MOTHERFUCKING years. And I don’t want you alone for the next century. Did I made myself fucking clear young man?!”

Markus was smiling. “Isn’t that a bit excessive Hank?”
“Oh don’t think i’m fucking listening to you mister ‘let’s start an android revolution and win over the entire human race by holding hands’! He slipped out right under your fucking nose, remember?!”
“I apologized!”
“Oh well, uhm. Fuck you anyway, because your apology was shit!”
“Can everyone stop? Tiny is upset.” Ralph was still holding the turtle, looking a little bit more murderous than before.

Connor went over to calm Ralph. “He was just worried about me, not trying to hurt me. It is alright Ralph. Also, I am certain that TILLY is fine”
“Tiny.”
“Tilly.”
“Tiny.”
“It’s definitely Tilly but I respect your blatantly wrong opinion.” Ralph hissed at him.

Hank was happy Connor knew what to do to defuse the situation, because no one else did. Well, Hank did. But it involved about 4000000 percent more violence.
“Would it be okay if Ralph stays in the room me and Hank are staying?” Markus sighed.
“Sure, let’s first fix you leg and both of your faces. Do you think both of you can handle it? Considering last time we tried to fix your body parts.”
“I’ll be fine.”
Connor was clearly lying and Hank was not having it. “I’m holding your fucking hand until they are done. Got it?” He really should stop swearing…nah.

 

After fixing Connor’s leg and both of the face cuts, or burns, Connor and Hank went back to their room. Ralph came with them of course. Hank could see that Connor cared. And Ralph… He kept insisting that the turtle was called Tiny. Alright then.

Ralph had been given a tiny salad bowl for his tiny turtle Tiny to eat from. And a glass aquarium, one of the cheap ones though. North had found it lying around and it was the best they had right now. Only God knows where she “found” it, but Hank decided not to question it. The less he knew, the better. Cat was making a obscenely amount of noise meowing and purring. He had clearly missed Connor and was oblivious to the amount of sound he was making, being deaf and all. Sumo had jumped Connor earlier, licking his face. Sumo was in Connor’s lap now, letting out a whine every time Connor stopped petting him.

So…

Android in front of him.
Cat on shoulder.
Dog in lap.
Turtle in shitty aquarium.
Another android in the corner.

How did Hank keep adopting all these strays…?

He really needed to have a conversation with Connor.

He did know about the contents of the file. He bullshitted his way to access. Meaning he just had to appeal to Josh’ guilt. And he needed to talk to Connor about it. It made sense now, that Connor was so insistent about not being a deviant. And the conversation they had when Hank was drunk and pulled out his gun.

There would be nothing…

Well now hank know what nothing was to Connor. He wish he didn’t…
“So…”

Connor looked at him. “Is something wrong, Hank?” *Sigh*
“Well, I could list this weeks events, but I feel like you have them pretty fucking straight.”
“I don’t know what happened here while I was gone.”
“Well everyone was looking for you. Amelia, Rose, Josh, Simon, North, Rupert and of course Markus. He feels guilty about the whole situation. Heck, even Gavin Reed helped looking for you. North almost started another revolutionary war against the entire human race, Josh cried and Simon got suicidal again. Same old, same old. No biggie.” Connor was blinking, seeming confused.
“Even detective Reed? But I thought he hated me.”
“Apparently he’s a big softie like the rest of us. Also something about a bromance? Whatever the fuck that meant.” Connor didn’t comment.

Connor looked down at Sumo in his lap. “You obviously know what was in the files.”
“I do.”
Connor looked back up at him, frowning. “Well, what did you think?” Hank didn’t really think. He just read the files. “I don’t know what I thought back then. I just saw red.” Ralph piped up from the corner he chose as his resting spot. “Red in a human color.” It really is, isn’t it?
Connor smiled a Ralph, but didn’t respond. Hank sighed. “We should talk about it.” Connor was very interested in Sumo’s ears all of a sudden. “You… already mentioned that, yes.”
“So…”
“I would not know where to start.”

Hank leaned back looking up at the ceiling. Where to start…? “Well when you and Markus...Connected or whatever, he mentioned Madeline was looking pretty fucking dead. What happened?” Connor’s led flickered to yellow. Yeah, that’s about what Hank expected… Not a nice subject. But they had to talk about this. “Well...She always… Uhm. I never really figured out why she did what she did. It is even more confusing as I have come to the conclusion that I was meant to deviate from the start.”
“Kinda makes sense.”
“Can you please let me finish Hank?” Hank raised his hands and gestured at Connor to continue. Connor moved on. “Anyway...what the use was of what she was doing? Of what they were doing? I never truly knew. I doubt she knew either. I remember vaguely hearing manic laughter, all the time. I think… she… they… wanted me to be scared of them.So I would never tell anyone. So I would come back to them. It is quite horrifying looking back like this.” Hank sighed. He had been doing an awful lotta sighing lately. “Pretty fucked up if you ask me. But you didn’t go back, or hid what they did.” Cat let out another loud moaw, next to Connor’s ear. “Please stop that Cat.” Light flickered back to yellow. When did it go to red? Connor looked back at Hank “I think I killed her, but… I don’t remember what happened.”

Hank pushed Sumo off Connor and pulled Connor in for a hug. Bear hugs cured bad feelings. It wasn’t the best position, but it seemed to calm Connor down a bit. Good. Hugs for everybody. Hooray.
“We’ll figure it out, alright? You’re fine now.”

It just had to be fucking fine. He would make everything alright.

 

The universe owed them that. And if it didn’t, Hank was more than ready to kick the entire universe in the balls so he could have a peaceful evening with his two newly mtherfucking adopted sons and their motherfucking pet army.

THE END

For now ;D