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The Hollow Ones

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'Go for things that make you happy' was a lovely philosophy to go through live, but in the end no option for someone who could only choose between things that made him just slightly less miserable. When Gavin Reed decided and went for things, it sooner or later turned to shit and made his life a living hell, while he knew, every step of the way downwards, it was his own fault.

Gavin Reed wasn't good at being human or living in general. He wasn't good at keeping himself alive. He had many scars to show for it. Some of them were especially telling, like the little ones in the crook of his left arm. Others were just plain horrible to look at, like the damn thing that split his face almost in half.

Scars were a form of documented history, so Gavin wasn't ashamed for any of them. That the wounds healed at all was a sign that he was, indeed, alive.

But it wasn't an accomplishment to not feel ashamed of yourself when you weren't able to feel anything.

 


 

Gavin fled the hostility of his childhood home on an unremarkable summer day after his brother was finally old enough to leave the household on his own.

The father, an army man with too little history but with high and way too many expectations, turned Gavin's life into a drill the moment he was old enough to comprehend orders. He got him big and strong with lots of self esteem issues and sub par anger management and emotional instability in no time. And he was still never satisfied. While Gavin's younger brother got mostly left out for his weird lankiness and lack of physical assets, he was still a genius. And Gavin, big and strong poster boy Gavin, certainly was none. Their father only wanted both. So eventually he got neither.

The military school took Gavin in at age ten. He stayed until he was eighteen, emotionally burned out to his bones and his head swimming in heroin.

He left and never saw his father, mother or even his little brother again in person.

 


 

So, with a broken mind full on hard drugs he went without a goal through his early life in freedom. He went without stable income or without a home for years and just didn't care as long he could afford the stuff he needed.

Over the years the things he craved changed its form like some kind of shape shifting demon that never left his side. It started with pills, went on to syringes and these days it was a simple brass pipe.

After so much time Gavin found a place for himself, so he huffed out a stuttering breath as he went on his way home, only to stumble right into brightly yellow police tape.

All shit came down eventually.

 


 

"Oh... he broke the lucky cat, he did...!", he slurred, as an Officer grabbed his arm. Gavin followed wide eyed as he got pulled out of the way and the world tilted on its axis. "He finally died, that asshole. We had still a bet...shit..."

High off his arse he stumbled into his own temporary home and found a crime scene swarmed by funny guys in obnoxious baby blue uniforms and all he hoped for was that they didn't got hold of his stash.

While he was pulled around he tilted left and right like a swinging pendulum and god knew how much time went by till someone took notice of him again.

A guy came to him. So big and broad he was like a mountain and dwarfed all living beings around him. "What's you name, kid? ", he asked with a dark glint in his eye and Gavin told him to go fuck himself.

It ended him on the other side of a silver table and bound to an uncomfortable chair. He almost fell asleep there if the lieutenant hadn't thrown a heavy file down on the table. It landed with a loud 'bang' and rattled thoroughly the little bit of brain Gavin had still left in his skull after so much time wasted on drugs.

"Gavin Reed", the Policeman said drily. Gavin answered with an uncoordinated shrug. "How the hell did you know the guy was dead? Did you kill him?"

Did he kill Joel?
Gavin tilted his head while he thought and felt as if a part of his brain was dripping out of his ear down his right shoulder. His back twitched at the sensation. "No", he said but wasn't exactly sure till he remembered his detour to the Park where he shared half a hotdog with a family of ravens. Their fluttering bodies almost formed a new creature, like a boogie-man in bright daylight while their glossy beaks fought harshly over the offerings. "No, 'course not."

The lieutenant nodded with a tilt of his head. He seemed to mimic Gavin or maybe the whole world was tilting and he would soon fall out of his chair as the room rotated and changed like a rubix cube. Gavin blinked sluggishly.

"Hows your mother?", the lieutenant asked and Gavin's head crashed with a hollow bang down on the table. Everything moved and spun just around him and he was tired of it all. The sheet of metal under his cheek cooled his head and Gavin got lost in a fantasy of tilting over and falling through it like Alice and the looking glass. "Dunno", he mumbled and didn't care for anything.

The deep voice of the Policeman reminded Gavin of a home he never had. He sounded so much like his dad, but without the constant shakes of anger. Though his voice was still dipped into a heavy coating of disappointment. At least that part sounded familiar and put Gavin's mind at ease.

"Knew her. Went to school with her. Knew you, too. "

Gavin shot up, stared out of bloodshot eyes and wanted to turn into a wild thing with long teeth and big claws so his anger would actually 'mean' something to someone who got mauled to a bloody death by it. "What the fuck do you know about me, huh?!", he whined instead because he couldn't decide at which of the at least three lieutenants in the room he should yell and it seemed... unfair, all of a sudden.

The Policemen didn't laugh at him like his dad did. They didn't stand up for a round of a much needed disciplinary beating. They just asked more questions.

"How did you know your pal died? No blood anywhere in the hallway, no corpse... What tipped you off so early?"

Gavin took a deep breath while he sat up again and held on to the arms of his chair because it felt as if he was about to tip over the highest point of a roller coaster. "There was n ambulance, with flashing lights n shit, but paramedics drank coffee an there was no blood, but the lucky cat was broken an there was a whole homicide squad working the place, what the hell... "

While he mumbled he tried to think really hard about the things that stumbled through his mind the moment he got home. "An Joel was an arsehole that never paid full price an he was a dumbass too, who sold stuff in his own home an-... ", he blinked. "The lucky cat was broken..."

The lieutenants frowned. "Whats with that cat?"

Gavin's eyes filled with tears as a sudden burst of anger made his face tingle burning hot like through the pricks of countless needles. "It was mine!", he screamed. "It was mine an he took it anyway 'course he was a coward and now hes dead, 'course hes stupid!"

The sudden burst of wild energy shook his shoulders and made him want to peel the skin from his face. He tried to stand up so fast that he got wrenched back down by the handcuffs and almost pulled his shoulder out of its socket. "It was mine!"

He rattled through some deep breaths as the heat burned itself out and left him with the bitter feeling of dread and the taste of regret on his tongue. "Took it to shoot that arsehole. Said I shoot him if he ever touches Lijah... but never did..."

He should have. Gavin 'so should have' done that. Was Lijah alright? Gavin hadn't thought of him in what felt like years and now he wanted to cry even more. But instead he again ripped on the cuffs and slammed his heel against the nearest table leg. The thing shuddered with a metallic hum but did not move an inch.

"You shouldn't tell a police officer that there are people you want to murder, you know. And what has the cat to do with it? Did you hide your gun in that thing?"

"Not miiine", Gavin drawled as his head tipped to his right shoulder. "Dads, that old sack of shit. At least good for somethin... "

"So it wasn't your friends gun that was used, it was yours. Your friend broke the cat and got it, but the intruder took it from him and shot him. He took the gun with him, we didn't find a weapon there."

"What a lucky guy", Gavin mumbled and would have given his left arm to get the damn gun back, so he could stomp down to the riverside and get more stuff. The last hit left him with a hollow tingling in his fingertips and now he began to feel reality and he didn't like it. "Don't mess with my stuff, i still wanna use it", he stumbled over his heavy tongue and the Policemen made a face in utter distaste.

"No chance, kid. Everything's gone. I know how to search. I know the hideouts. After my guys are through, there will be nothing left. "

And he didn't even pretend to be polite enough to say sorry, that arsehole. Gavin sniffed and bit his tongue while a scream of anger tore out of his throat, because he wanted. He wanted so badly, he needed. The stuff was gold and turned his life for just some minutes into something he enjoyed, because it made him feel. He couldn't remember how to be anything but angry and now he was empty because they even took that from him.

What was he pretending for. The tears burned his eyes and felt like fire on the paper dry skin of his sunken face.

"You know who would want to kill your friend?"

Gavin laughed and twitchy hiccups shook his frame. "Everyone", he gasped. Joel had no friends, he had clients and costumers. "He sold that shit to kids, do you think a guy like that hasn't a target on his forehead."

The lieutenant was silent till he wasn't anymore. "Speaking out of experience?"

When did Gavin get his first drag? His head tilted as his eyes turned direction. Some day in June, it had to be. It was weird how much he remembered clearly. He took the pipe and the noise stopped humming. Since then time had stopped and nothing changed.

"So it could have been anyone. You were lucky that you weren't there, then."

Gavin snarled. "It's Bigby that piece of shit. If someone dies it's always him. If someone breaks their bones it could still be him, dunno."

The silence felt deafening and Gavin's head felt mostly hollow. He sniffed again and bit at the collar of his shirt because in the Park he missed a drop of mustard and it tasted better than the bile that crept up his throat.

Suddenly a pair of cool hands laid on his cheeks and lifted his head. The lieutenant looked him in the eye like predator on the prowl. A glint of something. Gavin felt a shiver run down his spine.

"You know Bigby?", asked the policeman. His calming deep voice made Gavin close his eyes and ask himself if he got hypnotized like the pray of a cobra. "'Course I know."

"You think he shot him? Himself? What makes you think he was even there?"

"'Course Joel was a dumbass who bought from him", Gavin mumbled and thought for a second. "An Joel's his boy-toy."

The hands were cool and dry. While Gavin's head felt way too big, his skin felt much too tight for his body. His bones ached. His teeth clattered.

"... Holy shit..."

The Lieutenant patted his face. Weirdly gentle but annoying as hell because Gavin just wanted to sleep till everything ended. "You saw him? You know him?!"

Gavin blinked as his collar slipped through his teeth and a thread of saliva clung to his lower lip. "No one 'knows' Bigby."

"But you 'did' see him, didn't you. You know where he is?"

Gavin's head tilted into the Policeman's hands as his head felt heavier and heavier. He shrugged. "Know the bunker, 'cause Joels a coward an never went alone. Said he gives me some shit, so I went. Never will laugh again about evil lairs, holy fuckin shit, the guys like... dunno... Nega-Batman or something."

Gavin didn't feel anything. Not at the sight of the place, the people or the gun in his face. He had broken someones elbow that day and got knocked around a bit. Gavin was sure he hadn't cared, anyway.

The lieutenant lifted Gavin's head and patted his face again as Gavin started to nod off. Annoyed Gavin wrinkled his nose.

"Hey. Hey, kid. "

"What. "

The lieutenant grin was wide like a sharks and the look in his gleaming eyes felt like a storm. His coat smelled like rain and mist. "I offer you a deal here", he said oh so slowly. "You will help me get Bigby... And I will get you out of all of this."

Gavin blinked sluggishly. The lieutenant lifted his brows. "We will get you on the road again. Upstanding and sober."

Gavin let out a bone deep sigh and closed his eyes. "Don't wanna be sober. That's the whole point... "

The lieutenant tilted his head. "Wanna see your mum?"

The last time Gavin hugged anyone, he hugged his mother goodbye. He remembered her fragile frame and her hollow eyes and her pleads for him to try, please just 'try'. He remembered her touch like a toxic thing that burned him down to his bones and made his lungs feel full and empty all at once.

"...please", he mumbled as his eyes filled with desperate tears again.

The lieutenant dropped his grin like one would let go of a mask and his right hand found its way into Gavin's greasy hair. His head swayed against the Policeman's shoulder and that calm and rumbling voice sounded nothing like his fathers.

"Then you want to be sober. Come on, kid."

 


 

Benjamin Walker, the Big Bad Wolf of Detroit, hadn't been anywhere near as big or bad as he ever had wished to be. He had been just a distributor while the bigger guys cooked the red horrors and got them to town. But he had been a brilliant lead. A much needed loose end.

While Gavin sobered up, lieutenant Hank Anderson ripped the Detroit Red Ice underworld apart like it was his fucking mission from god.

Gavin's ugly excuse of a life got again slightly less miserable as he took his chances to infiltrate the Detroit police force all on his own. He didn't know where else to go and Anderson knew him. Well he didn't, but he did because he knew his mum.

Gavin never contacted her, even as Anderson made clear that he called her one day to let her know. He only told her that Gavin was alright, but he didn't want to talk to her.

It was also the year Elijah Kamski rose up in the news again. A hundred Interviews, thousands of pictures and the first time Gavin saw his Brothers face in years. He looked good. His eyes were bright, his voice was steady and he had that healthy glow that people had who were alive and did stuff right.

Gavin stayed away from him, too.

Red Ice was now a none option for him to put his fluttering mind at ease. But nothing burned him out in the way that damn stuff had done it. He needed something to wake him up, to make him feel. Alcohol didn't do that for him. It made him just sluggish and even more angry. But lashing out made him feel at peace.

Gavin made the drill his life again, because he didn't know what else to do. When it hurt he was alright, because he could still feel something.

As he went through the motions of his qualifications, he noticed that there was no red tape, no questions and not even a psychological evaluation. It shouldn't even be possible for a guy like him to get into the policeforce. He had to have a damn profile somewhere so much shit he got into. He didn't dare to ask and went even out of his way to not cross lieutenant Anderson's path if he didn't need to.

As he got his first position, he got partnered with an older officer named Scott Marshall. Gavin hated the guy with all the pathetic remnant of his heart. Not even was Scott just a useless poser, he looked at Gavin and just knew. He once was with the drug squad and 'knew what signs to look for'. His senior partner meant for guidance got instantly the connections between the track marks on his arm and Gavin's shivery bursts of aggression. Red Ice fucked with your head. You could quit it, but it was never just left behind.

As far as Gavin was concerned it didn't matter, because he couldn't remember a time where he wasn't empty or angry, anyway. But Scott felt smug and oh so righteous. He didn't care about the years of bone hard work it took Gavin to form a personality and get to know who he actually was and wanted to be. He just saw a junky and one that worked embarrassingly well at it.

Gavin's partner set his stress levels on fire and pushed him to the limits of his fragile sense of self worth. Because yes, Gavin was no genius and the brawn was always the replaceable tool.

Scott Marshall made his hands itch for something to hold, for a plunger to push down or a pipe full of smoke.

On a miserable night in November Gavin got drunk out of his mind and played a little game. What a useless fool shot himself in the face and cried because he came out of it still alive?

Anderson sat at his bedside in the hospital and didn't say anything, while Gavin felt the broken skin of his face stretch and shift and heal and 'scar'.

The Therapy sessions that followed where agonizing. He didn't want to talk because there was nothing to talk about. He was hollow like a damn fake-person and everyone around him already knew. There was no reason behind his doings, just a sense of staying in motion. He had no life, just an objective that held him going, but it was alright that way. As long as he went forward, he wouldn't stop to look back.

As he came back to work, Scott Marshall was gone. Some days later the first police drones were introduced. Hollow people, just like him, but there was no anger and no want for anything.

 


 

When Gavin looked in the face of a drone, he saw so much of himself. So used to follow orders and to be a subservient lowlife, that he had needed so badly to get into a field that got him the structure he now needed to function at all. But also so desperate for something to change that he fought others power over him constantly.

In the end Gavin knew he was made for this kind of work. There was no other purpose for him.

His brother seemed to think so, too.

Elijahs unseen work formed all the pillars of Gavin's new life as a Detective. Old reports of his drug addiction vanished out of sight. A complete mental breakdown turned into a survived murder attempt.

Gavin knew non of this could have been changed through legal ways. So he made sure there was nothing that linked him to 'Kamski' but his mothers maiden name.

 


 

Even through Gavin despised the hollow drones at his workplace, he could appreciate them for the gift to him that they were. They made the work easier and safer for all humans involved and since they all tilted their heads when he left the bullpen, Gavin had no doubt, that these things were a way for his brother to... just have a look. Maybe he was worried. More likely Elijah was curious.

But as 'the android sent by Cyberlife' made an appearance in the bullpen, Elijah was long gone from the Cyberlife board. The monster he created chewed him thoroughly and spat him out. Gavin heard of his residence on the outskirts and even thought about a visit these days.

The Android was a hollow thing, sickeningly smart, but without anything inside. It made him think of a universe were Elijah was the one who got hooked. It made Gavin angry. It made him 'sick'.

The thing that was named Connor followed lieutenant Anderson around like a pet. It was a horrifying precise tool and got its first 'deviant' in a manner of minutes at the crime scene, as Gavin was told.

Hollow things that investigated hollow things...

The thought made Gavin angry. What was there to investigate when it was just broken lines of code?

But the thing at the table didn't look like a hollow one at all. It shuddered and quivered and Gavin got 'reminded'. His Frustration made him pull his gun and 'fuck' did he want to shoot that snarky drone right in its damn goofy face.

Anderson pulled his gun in a wicked stand off as if Gavin was some kind of unhinged super villain.

Who knew what the old boozer remembered after he drank himself almost comatose and forgot that Gavin ever existed.

Gavin's finger curled and he tasted anger like boiling hot blood on his tongue. But he went. He let the hollow thing be. Something wasn't quite right with it, though.

Gavin smelled the cheap booze on Anderson's Jacket as he left and felt familiar heat curl up in his guts. Of course he knew why Anderson did it. The tragedy of lieutenant Anderson's downfall was an open secret in the precinct.

But it didn't make the lieutenant any less of a damn hypocrite. Like Gavin he new there was no future for him and like Gavin he went through the motions of every day, because he didn't really want to die, but sometimes he just wanted to stop existing.

So it was especially weird, that of all things it was the hollow tin can that straightened him out.

The Android sent by Cyberlife was somehow not just a hollow person but he was learning and Gavin 'could watch it happen' with every day that followed.

If a hollow thing like that could learn to be a living being... where would that leave Gavin?

No therapy, no nice words and no connection to any human had had the power to make Gavin feel alive.

As the Androids rose up and marched through an evacuated Detroit, Gavin sat on the window of his apartment and watched them move, while the walls around him shook through their marching step.

Detroit was empty now but Gavin stayed because he had nowhere else to go. He didn't know what to do with himself, so at Monday he just... went to work.

The precinct was empty, not even the drones were there. It reminded Gavin of old fantasy scenarios. What would he do if he was the last human on earth?

Well, now he knew. He was the idiot who went through paperwork.

It was nice that the electricity was still working everywhere, so Gavin went for coffee. On his way home he saw some deviant drones and asked himself what made him so hateful of hollow things that were so much like him. Nothing changed the following week and Gavin got some good leads for the latest homicide.

On the ninth day someone else got inside. Gavin lifted his eyes from his desk and scowled. The flickering LEDs made clear they were Androids, but it was the face of their leader that made Gavin hesitate. That guy was Markus, the thing from the news.

Thing... Gavin chuckled darkly. He shouldn't call him that if he was most likely more human than Gavin. He stood up and went in their way. Gavin made clear they saw the holstered gun at his side, but lifted his hands to show he had no intention of using it. "What do you want? Here's nothing but paperwork and shitty coffee. Just go away."

An android women went with wide eyes for Markus arm, while another, a huge black fellow, stepped closer to them. Markus lifted his chin. "It's not just data and paper. You have some of ours and we want them back."

Gavin blinked. Did they? The drones were all gone, weren't they? But then Gavin remembered the evidence locker. Connors personal accomplishments of his time at the precinct. And right as he thought about that little shit he went through the entry way. Their eyes locked instantly and Gavin was surprised to see the rawest emotion of annoyance on his goofy face. "I'm sorry, Markus. I was sure nobody would be here. I was wrong."

He stepped around them without any hesitation - because he knew if Gavin wouldn't pull his weapon 'right now', he would be able to disarm him easily in close combat. Gavin didn't. "Hello, Detective Reed", Connor said in even parts hostile and annoyed.

Gavin didn't lower his hands and answered with a sharp grin. "Well, hello there, dipshit. How's life these days?"

Connor tilted his head. In a movement faster than anything Gavin ever saw, the androids fist buried into his stomach and Gavin tilted over, almost going onto his knees. It didn't keep him from laughing in shallow wheezing breaths. "So good, huh?"

Connor loomed over him. "I'm sorry, Detective, but I have no time for our bromance today."

Gavin took a deep wheezing breath and stood up. He swayed for a step or two and shook his head like a wet dog, but then he just turned and got the key from his desk, because why the fuck not. "Then come with an keep your hands to yourself. Fuck, are you made out of iron? Holy shit...!"

He didn't need to look around to make sure Connor followed him. "Aluminum, Carbon fiber and yes, Iron is involved. You would be surprised, Detective."

Gavin huffed and opened the door. "It's like Lijah made you guys out of a miniature model building kit. You know the first thing he ever made was a dog. Looked like a demon tin can from hell."
Gavin asked himself if he made it, so it would chew their old mans leg off. But like every first try invention it hadn't really done anything right. Gavin had seen his following inventions only over the news. What a shame.

Down the stairs the lights went on and the panel flickered to life. Swiftly he used Anderson's access code to get the right lockers up and stepped aside. "There you have it. Get them an get out."
Markus rushed forward and the other two helped him instantly to get the strung up androids safely to the ground. Gavin leaned against the wall and got reminded of his time in the hospital when no one cared but Anderson.

"You know his Pass codes?", asked Connor who suddenly stood beside him. First Gavin was tempted to ask why he wasn't helping, but then he remembered Connor was the reason those guys where here in the first place. They would remember too, surely.

"I know that old drunkard longer than you do, dipshit. I was right where you are now", he said and somehow the words didn't taste bitter anymore. "You think I wouldn't know the horrible passwords the old man comes up with?"

Connor looked at him in thought. "I guess you would. What are you doing here, Detective?"

Gavin's eyes followed the first android that got lifted out of the room. "I do my job. The world didn't stop turning just because you guys got brains. People kill each other, anyway."

Markus stood in front of the last one, arms lifted, but hands shy to touch. There was no blue blood to see, but Gavin was sure that Markus could see the remnants. "Aren't you lonely?"

Gavin perked up and turned. Connor looked at him with open curiosity. Gavin blinked. He didn't feel lonely at all, no. So he shrugged.

Markus carried the last one outside himself, cradled in his arms like a lost child. Gavin snorted at the lack of a look or any kind of thanks, but he was human, so... he wouldn't be his greatest fan either, were he in their shoes. Connor followed Markus at the heel.

"Connor?", Gavin said to hold him back. Connor stopped instantly and turned. Gavin observed his restless twitching fingers, the creases in his cloths and the haunted look in his eyes. A person learning to be, that already saw too much. "I was wrong", Gavin said simply. "I am sorry."

He didn't feel sorry, really. He didn't feel anything. But as he saw Connors awkward smile he thought for the first time, that being hollow maybe didn't matter as much.

 


 

The next day at work he was greeted by a dog. A huge thing that had no problems to get its paws on his shoulders and run Gavin over in a single jump. "Sumo, get here you damn dork!"

Not before a long hot tongue got dragged over the left side of Gavin's face. Anderson got the dog on its collar and pulled it away with ease. "Morning, Reed. Miss me?"

With a groan Gavin sat up - as the dog came back in an instant and curled in his lap as if it was made for a dog to sit in. "Like foot fungus", Gavin said, but gave in and curled his arms around the huge bear hound to give it the hug it clearly craved. It felt good. To have something warm and trusting in his arms. Something that liked him. "Why do you take your pet to work, Anderson?"

Anderson sat in his chair and crossed his ankles on the desk. "Because no one is there to care", he said and pointedly lifted his brows.

Gavin looked at the huge dog in his lab, pushed his fingers through its thick fur and guessed, yes, no one cared anyway.

The next few weeks they were mostly alone together. Since investigating crime scenes in an evacuated city didn't do much for them and their track record, it wasn't so much about the work but to keep each other busy.

Together, even with two rows of work desks between them, they listened to the news, went through files and cleared out the deviant case.

Gavin was surprised to see Connor appear one evening and watched as he cooed at the dog and hugged Anderson in a way that made Gavin think.

Maybe he hadn't stood right in the same place as Connor did today. The thought made him cringe, but also feel weirdly at peace. "Get a room, fuckers. "
"Go fuck yourself, Reed!"

Gavin laughed and blindly petted the dog that sat patiently beside his chair.

 


 

"Since Androids are free now, we can't order them to work with us, but we still have to take in consideration what they were build for", said Fowler and pointed to the guy in the corner of his office. He had stood so still, that Gavin didn't notice him as he got inside. "This is the last one build, the RK900, made for Police work. "

Gavin lifted his brows. "RK? Like Connor, then?"

The guy shifted his gaze and his eyes reminded Gavin of ice and fire and hollow ones. "Not like Connor. No. I am better."

Fowler snorted and Gavin used the awkward silence to scan the android in his own way. He was indeed bigger than Connor. Broader and his legs were longer. He looked like he was build for violence and war, but still lean enough to make him look unassuming and kind of harmless - if it weren't for his unsettling grey eyes.

"Since he was build for all the work we are doing and has no other purpose right now, Elijah Kamski sent him our way", Fowler said and Gavin perked up instantly. "Connor did brilliant work, so yes. Why the heck not. Damn billionaires and their pet projects."

Gavin tilted his head to the Android. "You know Kamski?"

The Android nodded. "Certainly, Detective", he said. His LED flashed a single spark of yellow, before it turned back to calming blue. "My body was discovered in the cyberlife testing and calibration lab as Mr. Kamski went through an inspection by the time of the evacuation."

He blinked unevenly. "If the Revolution hadn't taken place, Cyberlife would have produced twenty thousand of my kind for distribution to precincts all over the US. Since that didn't happen, I am alone."

Gavin snorted. "So, another prototype?"

The Android 'scowled'. He looked annoyed. It was unnerving to see a face that was so familiar and at the same time so very strange. "No prototype. I'm the finished product. But as things are now, I am unique."

Fowler cleared his throat. "And here we have it. That's why he's here. There is your new partner."

...wait, what?

"Sir, I'm not sure-...", but Fowler lifted his hands in defeat and rolled his eyes in exasperation before Gavin could even start. "Don't ask me. Kamski instructed to get this one to Detective Reed. Maybe he heard about you in the news of the Deviants case and recognized you. It's not so long ago you got shot in the face, son. The media circus was horrible. Maybe he heard of it. Maybe there is one rich asshole that just wanted to be nice."

Fowler groaned and put his face in his hands. "And damn it, I can't look a gifted horse too deep in the mouth. To many guys resigned or were killed in the uprisings and our workload is horrendous. So if we can get one more guy on board who doesn't sleep and is a brilliant detective, I can't say no."

Gavin blinked unsure between the RK900 and Fowler. "I... wasn't complaining."

Fowler pulled a face. "Good, because it would be useless. Now, get the hell out and do your damn job."

Gavin went in a daze and sat down at his desk. His new partner followed him on his heel, but all what Gavin could think of, was that Elijah wanted the Android with him. Why would he send a traumatized artificial thing like that to someone who would most likely despise its guts?

RK900 sat down at the other side of his desk. He looked...frustrated. Gavin recognized his posture as one of great discomfort. He looked like a person who never saw so many people at once and now decided he did not like it.

Gavin could sit a lot longer here and just bewilderedly stare at him. But in the end it was way easier just to ask. "Why did Lijah send you to me?"

The Android focused on him instantly and tilted his body forward so he could support his weight on his elbows on the desk. "Mr. Kamski said I would be able to do what I am build for. He also said, I would like you."

RK900 stared, made no secret of it that he was most likely scanning Gavin from top to down. Whatever he saw made his shoulders loosen and his face loose its grim expression. "I don't know how to like people", he said and it sounded almost like a confession.

Gavin wanted to punch Elijah in the face.

That damn genius bastard.

"Oh, don't worry", he said with a wide grin. "I don't know, either."