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All Sales Final

Chapter Text

Passing through the door is like hitting a wall of smoke; suffocating & annoyingly hot. Elijah stifles a cough as he steps deeper inside the dimly lit room. Screams of numbers fly from mouths, growing louder & frantic as the prices increase with desperation. His skin crawls. It’s far too packed for his liking, leaving him unable to find solitude away from the bumbling humans. With reluctance, he forces himself towards the tables in the middle.

“Sold!” A booming voice silences the masses & draws Elijah’s attention up towards the stage. Two men escort an android back through the curtains. Now he understands why CyberLife has a growing concern for these types of places.

The lights dim, casting the room in a red glow.

There’s chatter amongst the patrons. It’s nothing more than gossip yet he still finds himself listening in as he slides into one of the seats with a smirk of interest. He lays his chin in the palm of his hand. Curiosity had brought him to this event but he doesn’t exactly plan on staying for very long. The seats are hardly comfortable enough to warrant it either.

The lights pick up once again, catching the audiences’ attention. Two men step onto the stage, holding a skinless android by its arms which are bound tightly behind its back.

“Our next merchandise is an incredible piece. It’s a prototype but that’s nothing to balk at,” The announcer speaks up once more, excitement crawling in his voice. “This RK800 is equipped with an array of martial skills including unarmed combat & handling of weaponry. It makes for a perfect security.”

& it explains why there’s chains, Elijah muses with a hum.

“But, if you’re interested in something more attractive, our engineers provided it with some special touches.” The guards push the RK800 down to kneel. Wordlessly, it obeys with an impassive expression as they spread its legs. Synthetic skin bleeds back over the android’s body, allowing it to take on a more human appearance that gets quite the reaction. A few whistles come from the back of the room. “It possesses both the physical parts of a WR400 that work just like any Traci model & the programming to back it up.”

Elijah can’t turn his eyes away. He’s not sure whether he should laugh or not. Humans are far too predictable. It still doesn’t settle the discomfort he’s feeling; such a beautiful prototype, tampered & messed with. Not to mention CyberLife has taken his line, his work, & created this? Only for it to be sold on a stage like the petty merchandise these selfish humans see it as.

“We’ll start the betting at thirty thousand!” The words drag him from his lamenting.

Numbers begin to grow higher & higher; from thirty five all the way to fifty, inching closer & closer to a hundred thousand dollars. Frustration builds within Elijah. His fingers curl into the cloth on the table. If this android falls into the wrong hands… He holds his composure as best he can when he stands, blue eyes flickering with a sharp, icy coldness. Never once does he tear his gaze away from the RK800.

“A hundred, twenty thousand dollars,” He says, loud but calmly, “& I’ll provide it all in cash.”

Stillness washes over the room. His name reverberates against the walls in hushed whispers. It feels like hours pass, nobody daring to speak up against his claim, which has Elijah’s heart thumping loudly in his chest. A flicker of doubt hits him but he does his best to remain resolute.

& then he sees it.

Red flashes across the, previously faded blue, RK800’s LED. IT’s nothing more than a quick shift but it’s enough to make Elijah push away from the table. This won’t be a mistake.

The screech of his chair snaps everyone out of their daze. “A-Any further bids?” Nobody speaks up.  “Going once, going twice! Sold!”

Elijah stops short of the stage. Whatever commotion that happens behind him is forgotten as he stares up at his new prize. It stares back at him, unblinking, with a far-off expression. He pulls his phone from his pocket & it only rings once before it’s picked up. Satisfaction pulls his lips into a smile. “Chloe, be a dear & bring the car around back.”

“Yes, Mr. Kamski.”

He turns to the side of the stage & climbs up the small set of stairs. His face sets in a sharp glare that makes the three men move out of his way. Deft fingers undo his suit jacket & slide it off to lie across the RK800’s lap, breaking the line of sight from the perverted gaze of the humans down below. It’s the least he can do, even if androids don’t share the same sense of modesty as them.

“If you’d come this way, sir,” A man steps out from the curtain, ushering Elijah over. He’s a lanky older gentleman who looks like just the sort of man interested in android trafficking. The club symbol rests over his chest pocket.

It’s all the more reason for Elijah to take his time.

Lifting the RK800 is surprisingly easy; it’s lighter than he imagines as he holds it close to his chest, one arm under its knees & the other under bound arms. He makes a mental note to remove those once they get home. There’s no protest or complaint either which isn’t uncommon & by the looks of it, his newly bought android slides back into stasis when Kamski’s arms wrap around him, going limp as its eyes slide shut.

Cautiously, Elijah makes his way through the other curtain where the other man leads him down several hallways to a back room. Hopefully, it’s to complete the transaction & send him on his way. As much as he wishes he could simply walk out with this android, he knows he can’t; not unless he wants to be shot. The men with guns situated throughout the building make it very apparent there’s no tolerance for shenanigans.

“I hope you’re aware this club has a strict membership,” The man starts as he holds the door open for Elijah, “So I’m very curious as to how you got inside.”

“Through the front door of course.”

He frowns heavily as he shuts the door. There’s a pregnant pause as the man moves across the room to sit down in a chair that’s two sizes too big for him, & with a heavy sigh, clasp his hand on top of the table. “Surely you can understand, Mr. Kamski, that I cannot simply give you the android.”

“That’s why I’m paying for it.”

“Of which is a hefty price, but that’s far from the issue. I have a reputation to uphold. It would be costly to allow non-members to purchase my merchandise.”

Elijah laughs lightly. Carefully, he places the android down on the sofa on the side of the room. He sits there for a moment, allowing himself to admire the beauty up close as he gently caresses the skin of its cheek. Young & stunning, just like his beautiful Chloe. Even the soft addition of beauty marks across his form adds charm. At least CyberLife hasn’t lost all of its artistic touch.

“Perhaps you’ve forgotten who I am,” Elijah says as he stands, venom seeping into his words. “I’m more than capable of buying your miserable excuse of a business three times over if I so much as will it.”

Finally, he turns to face the man & watches as the color runs from his face. Like a snake, Elijah has the man wrapped in a coil of fear. All he has to do is keep squeezing. Slowly, he inches closer & closer as though the man before him was his next meal. “Imagine what CyberLife will do when they find you’ve stolen one of their highly advanced prototypes, slapped on a vagina, & sold it to be a sex toy. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of their wrath.”

“It- It was left in the trash for scraps! Nobody is looking for it!”

“So you believe,” He speaks as though he knows for certain, yet all it does is raise further questions. It’s all the more reason for him to buy this android. Elijah reaches into his pocket. He places a card down on the table. “Now, I suggest we complete this painfully simple transaction & I’ll be on my way. The sooner we do, the sooner we can put this behind us.”

Slowly, he slides it closer, getting into the man’s face as a knowing smile curls on his lips. “& I can promise you, CyberLife will never find out about this.”

Chapter Text

The warmth that emanates from his home is far more welcoming than the club’s smokey heat. It still clings to his clothes, making his nose scrunch at the cigarette odors when he inhales. Sighing heavily, his shoulders sag, allowing Elijah a moment to relax now that he’s in the safety & comfort of his home.

He offers his hand to help Chloe from the car & pushes away the worry over the state of his attire. She smiles up at him, resting her other arm on his to give it a gentle squeeze. Another wave of comfort washes over him.

“Chloe, please set up the guest bedroom for me,” He says to her, “& make sure to grab my tablet as well. I’d like to have a look over some files.”

Wordlessly, she nods to him, her hands lingering for just a moment longer before she unlocks the door to the garage & steps inside.

There’s no time to waste. He spins on the ball of his feet to face the car once more. Thankfully, the RK is still in stasis, having barely moved the whole ride home. The last thing Elijah wants is to have the android self-destruct only a few hours after purchasing it. Even if the amount is hardly enough to ruin him, it would still be unfortunate to see such a beautiful creation destroyed before having the chance to examine it.

There were so many questions swirling inside his head.

Elijah wants to know everything there is about this android & why such an advanced prototype was cast out of heaven.

“Welcome home, Elijah.” Twin voices call to him when steps inside & he finds identical ST200 models making their way closer. He smiles at them, shifting the RK800 in his arms slightly to see them better.

“My dears, can you set up my lab. & bring some extra thirium pouches there as well.”

“Of course.” They nod their heads & hurry off, following side by side. Elijah catches the two glancing back every so often, words exchanging between them that he can’t hear. He can’t help chuckling to himself. This is probably the most interesting thing that’s happened in their home for quite some time.

Orange is the lantern at the top of a lighthouse, guiding him down the hall towards the guest room. He maneuvers himself carefully through the door to find Chloe setting one of Elijah’s spare robes down on the bed. The spartan bedroom, bare of any items that would give it life or character, now hosts the three of them. This is the most this room has ever seen, Elijah thinks but there’s no bitterness in the words.

Carefully, he places the android on the bed, keeping it upright to begin unclasping all the chains & bindings around the arms. It’s a bit ridiculous if he says so himself. Definitely unnecessary but when bumbling fools try to handle advanced technology of course they’ll behave like apes towards it. His only hopes is that none of the components are damaged. Once they run a quick diagnostic, he’ll have a better grasp on where to start in terms of finding his answers.

They easily dress the RK in the robe before setting it down to rest with its head on a pillow.

Elijah sits on the edge, leaning over to caringly brush the bangs out of the android’s face. The LED on its temple still glows red. He has to pull himself away from admiring much longer. Chloe drags his attention away as she crawls onto the bed to kneel beside them, handing the tablet over. He flicks it on & pulls up the files sent to him.

Whatever Zlatko ( A name that makes him feel like throwing up ) has done to this android has him weary. He hardly seems like the type to take notes so Elijah is pleasantly surprised by the details given. Of course they’re not by any means CyberLife grade notes but it’s enough that gives him a decent grasp of what’s been done. It’s better than nothing.

As ‘interesting’ as the man is, there’s no way he could’ve obtained the files he had. There’s even full anatomical graphs & ome run downs of programming inside the RK800. To see the android had its own forensic science lab in its mouth too? That would be interesting to explore.  But it's for another time.

Further details encompass near-military grade skill sets. The information of injuries the android caused to the men at the club on low levels of thirium is both impressive & humorous. It’s no surprise that such an android exists but all the signs splayed out before him present a rather delicate situation. It’s highly possible the RK was not a deviant.

Has he made a mistake?

Elijah didn’t want the codes to fall into the wrong hands, although it might be a little late with second hand selling of androids. All the files Elijah now possesses is clear of that.

What trouble has he gotten himself into?

His back straightens. One arm wraps loosely around Chloe’s waist, leaning over to press a kiss to her cheek. “My sweet angel, have I brought an expelled into our heaven?”

She turns to the android, mimicking Elijah’s gentle touch, running her hand over his arm, up towards his face. She brushes her knuckles gently against his cheek & smiles. “I don’t believe so.”

Her free hand reaches to take the RK’s in hers. “Shall I wake him?”

Elijah merely nods.

He watches as the skin recedes from their hands as she leans down. Her soft words are only for the RK to hear, lips brushing just against his ears. The LED on its temple shifts from red to yellow & back before settling on blue.

Silence follows.

The android blinks awake & slowly rises. Elijah can’t hide his fascination as the android studies his face & a look of recognition passes over it. It takes a few, short glances around the room. “Where am I?” The voice cracks, sputtering like a scratched CD.

Elijah ignores the question. “Hand me my tools, Chloe.”

It doesn’t take much coaxing to have the android open up. The plating slides apart to reveal the inner workings. Some of the wires connecting the voice box look out of place. He can’t help wondering if their intentions were to have a silent assassin with how haphazardly they tried to rip it out of him. He flicks a flashlight up towards the underside of the chin to find the pieces of plastic bent & a slow but steady stream of thirium leaking out of the throat.

Elijah makes a mental note to fix that properly when they get down to the lab. The most he can do now is slide the box back into place & reattach the wires.

The android carefully touches its neck as the plating slides shut.

“To answer your question, you’re somewhere safe.” Elijah glances to Chloe. Her smile never seems to leave her face & she takes its hand again, as if to reassure the android. It doesn’t react to her. “Please state your designated name & factory purpose.”

“My name is Connor. I’ve been designed to assist in the capturer of all deviant androids.” Its voice sounds clearer now.

“& what’s the last thing you remember?”

A hollow expression flashes across Connor’s face as its LED shifts to red. “Falling.” It’s a momentary lapse. The android sits up straighter & the very human, very fearful, tone of its voice vanishes. The mechanical emotionless machine returns. “There has been... Unsuccessful attempts at wiping my memory leaving gaps & missing time. It will take me some time to sort through & try to recover what I can.”

“There’s little I can do to fix memory core issues from here, unfortunately.” Not until he gets Connor down in his lab to assess the changes. The android had mentioned falling but Elijah knows the case well enough. A fall from that height is disastrous. It’s a wonder most of Connor’s face is the same. Whoever pieced Connor back together has done it almost seamlessly; of course he can recognize pieces of other androids but the untrained eye might not.

It’s like Humpty Dumpty got a happier ending.

Connor moves to stand abruptly. “While I appreciate the hospitality, my model has been deemed obsolete & I must return to CyberLife for deactivation.”

So it remains a loyal machine. Fascinating. Though, that won’t stand. It won’t be for much longer if Elijah has his way with it.

“Nonsense,” Elijah says, glancing towards Chloe as he reaches up to brush her cheek, “We don’t outcast the obsolete. Chloe is my oldest model & while I’ve strived to improve androids, I refuse to deactivate her.” Of course, he loves his ST200s but Chloe will always have his heart. Should anything happen to her…

“It’s lovely living here. Mr. Kamski takes care of us & in return we do the same for him. I can show you,” Chloe offers lightly as she rises to stand beside it.

A look of confusion crosses its face as yellow flickers on its LED. “I’m sorry but my failures can’t be excused. I-“

Elijah takes Connor’s chin as he steps forward.

“What has happened to you that makes you unable to respond to kindness?” He muses under his breath. There’s a noticeable height difference between them but that doesn’t stop the creator from turning Connor’s face to & fro. His gaze turns sharp as his grip tightens. If it doesn’t care for its own wellbeing then Elijah will continue to treat it like a machine. Perhaps then he can get some kind of reaction. “You were cast out to rot. I bought you. I own you now. CyberLife no longer has a say in it, understand?”

Connor nods minutely. Blue returns to its LED.

It’s definitely a start.

“Now, you’ll follow me to my lab, quietly.” Elijah doesn’t pull away just yet. “& Connor? I don’t allow my angels to cross each other in heaven. Should you find yourself following previous orders & any harm befalls my androids, I have plenty of means to make you suffer.”

Then he smiles & pats the android’s cheek. “Come on then, let’s go have a look at your memory core.”

Connor obeys quietly. It pulls at the robe, fixing it around its body, attempting to flatten any ruffles, & keeps its head straight. Even its movements are rather mechanical.

“I know Elijah can seem callous but I promise you, you’re safe here,” Chloe says. Elijah looks over his shoulder to watch as she reaches to take Connor’s hand. Their skin bleeds away to the polymer white beneath & she gives it a small squeeze. Connor doesn’t turn to her, keeping his gaze straight towards the only human in the house.

“Mr. Kamski may be good to you but I’ve done little to prove being worth that same care. As of currently, I serve no importance or value to any human, unlike you.”

“Then we’ll give you a purpose,” Elijah says, letting out a hum as he stops before a door. It flicks open & he allows the two androids to enter first.

The lab is nothing out of ordinary. There are no tesla coils or bubbling flasks full of unknown liquids to fulfill some Frankenstein-like cliche. It’s immaculate & professional; very similar to CyberLife’s own labs. There’s a cabinet to the side containing the basics to create blue blood as well as parts storage for repairing & maintaining his androids. Nothing inside paints Elijah as anything but dedicated.

It’s clear the two ST200’s have done their job with a table set up to the side. Several tools lie to the right as well as a thirium transfusion bag hanging from a hook. He motions for Connor to sit & the android does so wordlessly, keeping its expression stoic & unreadable.

“If you would,” Elijah says, motioning towards the back of Connor’s head before picking up a small flashlight.

The back panels ( which are even more apparent that they’re a different android’s plating ) slide open to reveal more of Connor’s inner workings. The state of disarray is prevalent. Wires are missing their colorful plastic coatings; either singed or cut off completely. The memory core even seems to be dented & charred, no doubt from the fall amongst any incompatible alterations. It also seems to explain the heat that puffs out against Elijah’s hand as the small fan inside spins, stutters, & turns off for a moment before repeating the process over again.

Elijah takes it back. Zlatko was an imbecile.

There’s no way Connor could be running functionally without god knows how many errors notifying him. It’s actually a miracle it’s running to begin with. Whichever poor fool who could’ve purchased his android would’ve been out thousands of dollars & a machine had they not fixed Connor; at least Elijah is neither of those things.

Elijah gives Connor’s shoulder a squeeze & slowly presses him to lie back on the table. “The fall did extensive damage. I don’t possess the necessary pieces to replace the broken parts, yet. It’s not going to be easy to replicate any pieces either.”

Finding or creating the compatible biocomponents alone will be a challenge. He’ll have to run over the files again to find a starting point. Working on such an advanced prototype will cause some headaches. If this android was anything like his beloved Markus, then maybe there are parts to salvage from there. But Elijah can already see the differences between them. He idly wonders, with a small sneer, if they simply took the name for shits & giggles or was there truly something similar to the RK800.

He shouldn’t waste his time putting off the repairs.

“Stasis, if you would.” He doesn’t spare Connor another glance as he drops into his seat, waving his hand idly. Not long after, Connor’s eyes shut.

Wires find their way into the ports nestled inside of Connor’s hardwired brain & on the back of his neck. He takes his tablet to conduct his own diagnostic, watching as the data beings to pile up along the screen; Elijah makes a note of the stagnant 43% of Connor’s stress levels. Just another thing they’ll have to change one he wakes up.

The low levels of thirium in this android is also concerning but not surprising. Their barbaric way of keeping it weak to prevent any further injuries to staff is laughable. He carefully slides an IV needle into the soft slot of the elbow crease. With that situated, Elijah applies the last bits to monitor Connor, & then begins.

No time is wasted as he pulls his glasses from his shirt pocket & begins. But what feels like mere minutes turns to hours as the table steadily grows with paper, drops of blue blood across a few pages, & pieces of Connor set aside from opening it up like a surgeon performing a heart transfer. At least he got some of the leaking biocomponents closed up.

A warm hand rests gently on his shoulder. He jumps, looking up to find Chloe with a smile on her face. She does little to hide her concern.

“Elijah, it’s getting late. Stephanie made dinner so come eat & rest a little,” She says softly, almost like a parent talking to a child. She bends to press a kiss to his cheek as her hand slides into his, pulling away the pen from between his fingers. “We’ll continue in the morning with a clearer head.”

He concedes.

With a sigh, he rubs his tired eyes & stands. He keeps his gaze low as Chloe throws a makeshift blanket over Connor’s body like she was tucking it in. Her free hand brushes its cheek in the same manner she had not so long before.

Elijah drops his head on her shoulder. They leave the lab with a heavy feeling sitting in their chests, not sparing another glance inside as the door clicks shut behind them, muffling the sounds of Connor’s thirium pump monitor blipping steadily.

Chapter Text

Gray overtakes the sky, harsh & dark, like the winds blowing across the garden that rustles & bends trees. They bring ominous clouds in its wake, heavy with rain that pelts against Connor. It drenches the suit in mere seconds.

Weakly, it pulls the jacket around its body as tremors run up & down it. One hand reaches up to try & block the rain from brown eyes. Cold bites at its face.

“Amanda?” It calls out, “Amanda?!”

Nothing but the rumble of a storm answers Connor back.

The sensation of being watched burns at the back of its head. Yet, when it turns, there’s nothing there except a soft blue glow in the distance. The feeling changes & instead, Connor finds its body pulling closer & closer. Nothing around the garden moves despite every effort to push through the wind & rain to find the source of the light. It’s like Connor is stuck on a treadmill, never able to get off.

The glow grows brighter, casting the dreary scenery in blue & then white.

It blinds Connor.

When its vision clears, blinking awake, the optics take a moment to adjust to the change in lighting as an overhead lamp shines above. A hand pulls it from its face to reveal Kamski.

“Welcome back to the world of the living, Connor. How are you feeling?” He asks.

Slowly, the android rises to sit. A diagnostic runs in the background; it notes the time that indicates Connor has been in stasis for nearly 15 hours. Thirium levels thankfully are stable which explains why there’s less error messages greeting it.

“Androids aren’t alive, Mr. Kamski. We don’t feel,” Connor says. It sees the way the man rolls his eyes in annoyance. Their relationship continues to falter & it bites the inside of its lip. “I’m running optimally at 90%. As of currently, the incompatible pieces in my hands seem to be the only major issue.”

Connor raises its hand. Tremors run through them & make it hard to bend or stretch them.

It doesn’t flinch when Kamski takes its hands in his, turning them over to glide his finger over where the synthetic veins hide beneath soft plating. He looks thoughtful for a moment. “Any other issues?”

“I’ll need to recalibrate. Do you possess a coin, preferably a quarter?”

The makes Kamski turn his head as his eyebrows furrow slightly. He fishes around in his pockets to surprisingly find one & hands it to the android.

It’s not easy to adjust to the continuous shaking, let along move its fingers enough to flick it up into the air. After several attempts, Connor manages to toss it in the air but the moment it tries to roll it across the top of its knuckles, the coin drops. It picks it up to try again & unfortunately the results are the same.

There’s a sensation in its chest as it reluctantly hands the coin back to Kamski, ignoring the way he looks at it.

“I’m having… Some difficulty recalibrating. This shouldn’t be a cause for worry, however, as I can attempt other methods.”

This doesn’t change the fact that it’s a rather disjointed feeling the lack of success brings. It’s a fleeting feeling that Connor pushes aside as it focuses on anything but the shaking in its hands. So it takes a glance past Kamski to find no other android currently in the lab.

Once again, Kamski takes a hand in his. His thumb presses along the folds, putting a bit of force against them & watches how the digits twitch & curl. “I’ll have to work out the kinks.”

Then quietly, he brings it up to his lips, holding it there for a bit too long in a soft kiss. A part of Connor wonders that perhaps it’s not compassion that solely drives the man. Still, considering how long the android has been under, it’s no doubt Kamski worked very hard on getting Connor running functionally. It’s far better than how it was back in the club.

“Thank you,” Connor says, though its voice is low, hinting on confusion more than grateful. It’s not accustomed to the kindness & admittedly the fact that Kamski had even bothered with him is confusing to say the least. Does the man believe in chance meetings? Was it surely coincidental? There was a low probability of him being there on that night which only seems to reinforce to Connor that the creator wasn’t doing this out of the goodness of his heart.

Kamski was an enigma.

“Are you able to stand?” He asks, finally letting go to give it space.

It nods. Moving is smoother now. The level of thirium improves it joins & biocomponents productivity. Although its movement is still mechanical in a way, there’s no creaking or stuttering to the motions.

“As much as I’d love for you to just stand around & look pretty for me, it wouldn’t be fair to my girls,” Kamski says, resting his arm loosely around Connor’s waist to lead it from the lab, “So you’ll be doing chores as well. I know it’s not what you were made to do but those skills are no longer necessary, especially in this house.”

Connor remains quiet. It’s not too surprised by the words. Kamski is a recluse after all & so far has shown no signs that indicate a desire to use Connor’s primary programming for ill-intentions.

“Chloe will show you the ropes. It’s really nothing outrageous.” Then he smiles at it. Carefully, the android reads his body language & smiles back, but it doesn’t reach its eyes like the way it does for Kamski. The man is relaxed, stress levels low, & by the looks of it, increases the amount of dopamine in his system. What is it about Connor that seems to make Kamski so happy? Or is it the mention of the RT android that entices such a response.

That seems more viable.

Connor, as proud as it is being a prototype, doesn’t see anything about it that warrants such excitement or care.

They turn down a hallway when something catches its attention. A familiar face in a picture frame sits on a table beside a vase. Connor freezes. It doesn’t need to use face recognition to know who it is. Androids don’t feel negative emotions but certainly that whatever it was rising in its biocomponents mimics discomfort.”

“Amanda…” Its voice is nothing but a whisper, like exhaling a breath it doesn’t need.

A hand rests gently on its shoulder, pulling it from the enchantment. It doesn’t jump, calmly turning to find Chloe. Now that it has a closer, clearer look of her, the word ‘pretty’ comes to mind when seeing that smile.

The warning of software instability crosses its vision, making it flinch & recoil from the touch. It ignores the way her face falls as she drops her hands to her side. The feelings refuse to dissipate which reflects in its LED; yellow glowing faintly on the white walls as Connor turns away from her.

Kamski is nowhere to be seen. Shit. It shouldn’t have allowed itself to get distracted so easily. Even though its internal clock says Connor was sitting there for only a few minutes, the android continues to chastise itself.

The thoughts are shaken as quickly as they come as Chloe turns its face, with a caring touch, back to look at her.

“Are you okay, Connor?” She asks.

“I’m functioning.”

Her lips twitch, almost frowning but she manages to keep her face neutral; if it were any other android they might’ve not noticed the small change. When she tries smiling again, it seems sadder than before. “That’s…” She bites her lip, “Good, I’m glad. Would you like to help Stephanie & I in the kitchen?”

“Kamski did request that I help with chores,” Connor starts, “Unfortunately, I wasn’t equipped with many housekeeper packages.” Though, it doesn’t mean it can’t be learned.

“I can exchange the data with you.” She offers her hand, the skin peeling away to reveal the white plating.

An urge rises in Connor’s system, telling it to apprehend her, to refuse the exchange. It’s almost like Amanda’s voice is ringing in its ears. She’s clearly deviant. Of course there’s a high probability of failure; getting to CyberLife from here is no easy task. As much as the desire to see Amanda’s smile, for her to be proud of it, makes Connor want to take her in, it’s Kamski’s threat that keeps it still.

Connor hesitates.

Is it possible for deviancy to have a chance of passing over through this action? Even though it’s no longer working for CyberLife, its purpose null, the idea of becoming a deviant is uncomfortable. The thought of disappointing Amanda creates the reaction.

Reluctantly, their hands link together. It’s different than last night. Connor was barely functioning then, keeping her out of its systems as best as it could, but this time it’s required to obtain the information needed.

The LED flickers yellow again as its face twitches, eyelids fluttering, as though fighting back. Yet, the action brings a wave of comfort. It doesn’t need that. It doesn’t need to be coddled either. If it wasn’t imperative to its new mission, Connor would rip its hand away.

Nothing harmful happens. It pulls back surprised but unscathed – nothing is out of place.

“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” She gently pets its LED, looking over Connor with concern. The same sensation of comfort returns. It’s puzzling.

“No,” Connor says, turning its head from her, “Pieces of me were… Incomplete & the damage from the fall may have worsened them.”

Then again, Connor never interfaced with an android before.

“Thank you for the information. This will help immensely.” It nods its head. Nothing else exchanges between them, silently continuing the walk through the home. There’s no time to dawdle. This can prove to Kamski it’s useful instead of a wasted investment.

The kitchen is just as luxurious as the rest of the house; too large for one man yet it seems Kamski spares no expenses. The pristine white theme is common as most of the cabinets are plain with stainless steel appliances.

Another Chloe stands at the oven. It takes mere seconds to identify her as the ST200 android. She’s near identical to Chloe but the differences, while minute, are something easily noticed by Connor. Her face is slightly rounder, having her hair parted to the side opposite of Chloe, & done up in a loose braid. Even her eyes are a darker color, he notes when she turns to face him.

“It’s good to see you up.” Her smile is just as welcoming & warm as Chloe’s.

“You must be Stephanie,” It says smoothly, moving closer.

They fall into their tasks easily enough. Of course, Connor takes too long to analyze the calorie content of the food Stephanie cooks which makes the two androids chuckle. It’s better they focus on that than the way Connor struggles with its shaking hands, grip weak & waning. Not being able to function properly was becoming an inconvenience. It doesn’t complain.

That is until the plate falls from its hands, sending ceramic & food across the floor. Red overtakes its LED as frustration builds. Connor crouches down to grab the pieces, ignoring the sympathetic gazes of the android sisters.

“I’ll… Take this to Kamski,” Stephanie offers, taking a different plate of food.

Connor remains on the floor, picking up the larger shards despite them cutting into its hand. Trickles of blue blood mix with the food. What it would give to have its coin right now.