Gavin did not see it coming.
What he saw was Anita reach for the steering wheel, panic open on her face. Saw Elijah open his mouth to say something, eyes wide and flinching back into the seat.
He felt it.
Gavin had been hit by a car once, it was a tap really compared to this. Some idiot ran a stop sign and he had the misfortune of crossing the road at the time. Had totally fucked up one of his legs.
This, well this was worse. The truck jerked to the right with Anita yanking on the wheel. The squeal of tires accompanying the fishtail that jerked them. It meant the oncoming vehicle hit the driver’s side of the truck.
Oddly heard the crunch of metal more than he felt it, some part of systems delightfully telling him what happened. It was a stray thought really. That there was a stab of metal through his side.
Vision blacked out, blinked out really. One second he could see and the next there was nothing. It was however loud, the crash of glass and scream of metal on metal. Someone screamed and someone yelled and Gavin was pretty he might have been the one that screamed, maybe.
When everything came to a stop all he could see was red. Warnings that bleed through all his filters set up. Critical damage reports flashing in his lack of vision. It had been years since anything had over ridden his filters.
Left audio was nothing but static in his ear. It was a small thing but something that Gavin could focus on, so he turned it off. One problem solved, only a million more to go.
His processors were maybe out of date, by a good decade and a half, but Gavin could still piece together what happened. Enough that he tried to work through what errors he could as fast as possible. Outright dismissed most of them, only worked with the ones he had to.
Seconds later he patched through glitching visual display, not surprised it was only the right optic that responded at all. There was movement outside of the truck. People. Gavin was taking the lack of flashing lights to mean it was not first responders.
“Eli-” Voice cut out and Gavin could have groaned, but there was an answering click, mechanical. Anita? Fingers on his face and he opened interface without trying to see her. Only half felt her draw his gun from his side.
She filled in a lot of the blanks. It was a box truck that had jumped the line to slam into them. Elijah was hurt yes, but awake. She was not sure where Chloe or Nines were, they had been thrown from the bed of the truck.
Well riding in the back of a truck was illegal for a reason. Random fucking thought that. Gavin pushed it aside. If he was still functional than Chloe and Nines had to be okay. Thought being functional might be giving him too much credit.
Anita pulled back, set to try to help the human out of the group. Gavin could approve of that. Yeah, sure, good idea. He was going to...fuck he had no idea. See what he could even do. He was pinned down, rapidly bleeding out and literally pinned in place by most of the door.
Tried to move and that was his first mistake. Vision blinked right back out, everything blacked out. Pain had to be the worst thing that he agreed to deal with as part of this whole playing human thing.
Gavin dug into his own coding to fix that problem. Shutting down everything that he could in his wake. Messily doing it for now but fuck it. Pain could go. Breathing, yep bye, shut down all artificial functions to reserve power. Hell started up some things that he had almost forgotten about.
Meant that a second later he was calling in the accident, attack, whatever this was, it was an attack. Called in two officers down. Because fuck if he knew where Nines was. Shit. The overlap of response was chaotic, too loud, too hard for him to pick out voices to really hear.
The truck shook, everything shook and Gavin was so very happy he had disabled the ability to feel pain. The box truck was pulling back and alright fine, he could deal with that. Took a pointless breath and moved. Dug fingers into the jammed seat belt latch and ripped it apart.
Anita was out of the truck, had crawled over Elijah, and now Eli was laying careful hands to try to stop Gavin. Gavin frowned and sharpened audio when he realized that his brother was saying something.
“-it, stop moving, for fucks sake just stop a minute Gav.”
Took two tries to vocalize words, “Fuck you.” The sound was wrong, there was a hallow echo to the pitch but whatever. He was not going to sit here for whatever this was. Should have thought about the fact that if it was a mob hit to take out Elijah and Chloe they would have been watching the roads.
God he was a fucking idiot.
Elijah smacked him, abuse wow, “Let me at least detach the arm, you are not getting that free.”
Gavin made the mistake of looking. Oh. Oh. Plastic and wiring and so much blood and that did use to be his left arm.
There was a loud thud of gunfire and Elijah flinched hard enough he almost fell in the floor. Gavin snorted and reached up to disengage his arm his own damn self. Then tried to move again. Better at least.
“Stay here.” Had to crawl across the truck to slip out the passenger side. Missing an arm and his left leg refusing to cooperate. Gavin learned his lesson, he was not looking. Was sure it was somewhere in the error messages that were still flashing on top of each other.
There was a secondary service pistol strapped under the passenger seat, he fumbled for it. Fell out of the truck and hoped no one saw that. At least he could prop himself against the side and see what was going on.
There were people, a lot of people. They had reached the outskirts of town at least. The box truck was gone, drove off he guessed. There were bodies on the ground, he saw two. Did not see Anita, or Chloe or Nines. Shit. Fucking shit. They better be okay.
The people were standing in the road and in lawns and staring. Yeah this was likely better than anything on tv. Vultures, the lot of them.
Someone moved, drawing his attention, the world covered in a red haze. Noticed Anita first, half coated in blue blood. Had to wonder if most of that was his. Then noticed the fucker holding her, gun to her head, he was saying something. Was too far away for Gavin to pick up on it. Shit.
Could guess. Likely something along the lines of throw the gun away. Fuck that shit. Fuck all this. Used the door of the truck to pull himself up, grateful that his left leg at least did not outright buckle on him.
There was a flashing of lights finally. Finally.
“Let her go.” Tried to sound calm and even and mostly sounded like a broken recorder, what what he could hear. There was a shake of the man’s head, hand waving in the air and angry snarling. Fuck this shit.
The plus side to re-enabling some programs was that for all his vision was shit, half gone and all overlayed in red, when he fired Gavin was 87% sure of the shot because he had it calculated out. Then his leg gave out and he went down.
Which caused his vision to blink out, again. Time skipped somewhere there by the time he could see again because Elijah was out of the truck. Hands in the air and yelling with guns pointed at him.
Gavin’s gun was missing and he had no idea where it could have gone. Took far too long to realize he recognized the people pointing guns this time. For fucks sake. Tried to call out and got nothing. Instead hopped on the radio frequency.
Was too late to play this off as anything else.
Did not need to hear to speak across the radio’s. “Any of you fuckers shoot my brother and I will get up and murder you.” Alright likely should have gone for something a little less murdery, not his best.
Someone shoved through and ran for him, got close enough for him to pick out that it was Tina. Alright, fine. That was fine. She knew who Elijah was at least, would not go pointlessly pulling a gun on him.
“What the fuck, whatthefuck, Gavin? Gavin what the fuck, where is the fucking ambulance?! Someone get the fuck over here and help!” She was screaming even as she threw herself on her knees at his side, hand fluttering over him like she was not sure where to touch first.
This was not how Gavin wanted this shit to go. Really he had been looking forward to just tossing a banner up at work and seeing what happened. Instead he tried to twist his face into something of a smirk, “Surprise?”
“You cock sucking bitch.” She was sobbing, openly sobbing and finally touched the shoulder of his still existing arm, “Fucking hate you, what the fuck do I do?” Well it could be worse, he guessed.
“Need to cut off any open thirium veins before he completely bleeds out, and resupply before anything else can be done. Timer Gavin?” That was Elijah, all serious and on point like he was not bleeding from a cut over his eye and his hands were not shaking. “Timer.”
Oh, that was buried somewhere, he would have to go digging for it under error messages. “C’lo ‘n Ni’s?” Was what he glitched out instead, only to watch Elijah clench his jaw.
“I’m not sure.”
That...that made sense, right? No? Gavin was not very sure right now. Hitched back on the radio frequency to patch through countdown timer. Not giving a shit that not everyone wanted to hear it. And then his hearing completely shut down, followed quickly by what awareness he had left.
Gavin vaguely registered that he managed to broadcast that last line of warning in a creepy automated voice, “Forced stasis initiated, one minute and forty-five seconds till shutdown.”
When he was aware again the first thing he saw was that the world was still red and he was only missing 17 minutes. Second was that he was laid out and Elijah was wrist deep in his chest. Creepy.
“Radio in your hand, we have been asked to stick to channel three.” Tired words but Gavin heard them so this was a step up. Vocal was still down, thus the radio apparently. Alright.
Took two tries to get back into the radio, everything kept slipping. “Have you been looked at?” Was first question, Elijah was not shaking but he was still bleeding. Who the fuck had let him fiddle around on Gavin’s insides without dragging him to an EMT first?
There was a snort to the side and Gavin was smart enough to not try to turn his head to look, not completely sure what state half his head was in. “He refused treatment, demanded a phone and a repair kit instead.”
Nines. Thank fuck, that was Nines. “Chloe?” Had to ask, almost afraid the answer.
“Missing.” The answer was tight and from that alone Gavin knew that Nines was blaming himself.
Elijah was mumbling to himself, eyes narrowed and missing his glasses. Chloe was missing. Details that he clung to. Easier to focus on that than anything else. Otherwise he was going to freak out.
“Tina?” There had been Tina right? He had not imagined that?
There was a pause, but Elijah at least pulled back and shifted Gavin’s main chest panel closed. “If you mean the officer that came to your rescue, she just left to get me some water.” The flashing lights made Elijah look haunted, or maybe that was just because Chloe was missing.
Nines moved to help Gavin sit up, then finally answered, “She cursed a lot, said something about should have known, and threaten to punch you next you were up.”
Oh, well that... that was better than expected Gavin supposed. Everyone else could fuck off really. “Not how I wanted this to go, but okay, help me up.” There was shit to do. Gavin did not miss that Nines looked at Elijah first before moving to comply. Whatever.
Took far too long to get on his feet, left Gavin leaning against Nines. “Anita got a ride to the station already, clean up here is almost done.” Meaning they likely should get to the station as well.
“You can hitch a ride with me.”
Oh, that was Tina, looking furious with watery eyes. Welp shit. No once in thinking this out did Gavin figure this. Had pretty much just decided that everyone would hate him, he would snarl at them and that was that. “Yeah, okay.”
Nines moved them both but it was Gavin that realized the problem. “Eli.” Even with his voice sounding so very wrong from a radio it was better than nothing. “Come on Eli, we’ll get her back.” He stopped to turn enough to see Elijah with what vision he had.
Elijah was still sitting there, hands trembling on his lap and head downcast, looking so very alone. Gavin pulled away from Nines to go to him, limping horribly, “Come on.” Finally he stood, leaned a little too much into Gavin even.
Took a second before Gavin could adjust, his weight was off with a missing arm, but handed the radio over to Elijah to hold and now they both moved for the car. This was not how any of this was supposed to go.