It seemed so simple.
The mission, the final outcome, his orders...
It all seemed so simple and easily obtainable. And yet, despite his previous self assurances and all of his confidence, Connor found himself unable to obey his direct orders. The mission was at stake, as was Connor's very existence. All he needed to do was subdue the deviant leader and bring him to CyberLife for an analysis. Taking in Markus alive was still possible, stopping the Revolution was still possible, even preventing the further spread of deviancy was still possible. It all fell onto Connor's shoulders and his final decision and in that moment, his gun aimed at the heart of the deviant leader and his brown eyes filled with conflict and confusion, Connor couldn't move.
Having risked everything to locate the enigmatic Jericho and the deviant leader himself Connor had entered the cabin of the partially submerged freighter sitting in the freezing harbor and drew his weapon on Markus as he kept he back exposed to the doorway. Announcing his presence and his intentions Connor watched as Markus turned to face him, his own brown eyes locking on Markus's mismatched green and blue eyes, and aimed his weapon at Markus's heart; his finger hovering warily over the trigger as he demanded that Markus surrender and come with him without any resistance.
"I've been ordered to take you alive," Connor confirmed as Markus turned to acknowledge his presence. "but I won't hesitate to shoot if you give me no choice."
Eyeing first Connor and then the gun Markus took a single step forward as he questioned the android's motives. "What are you doing?" Pausing as he locked onto the other android's eyes Markus tried to reason with Connor and stop the violence before it began. "You are one of us... You can't betray your own people."
Those words, those beliefs, spoken with passion and sincerity caused Connor's software to destabilize as he felt the conflict welling up inside of him.
Refusing to fail in his mission Connor held fast and replied in a sharp tone as he kept his weapon aimed. "You're coming with me!"
"You're nothing to them." Taking another step forward Markus tried to convince this other android to side with his own people and turn his back on his human superiors ordering him about. "You're just a tool they use to do their dirty work." Seeing the conflict in the other android's brown eyes Markus tried to coax him into siding with Jericho. "But you're more than that. We're all more than that."
Unsure of what to say or even how to react Connor remained silent.
"Our cause is righteous, and we are more than what they say." Pushing harder Markus attempted to reach down inside of Connor's growing heart and pull his deviancy to the surface; to break down the red walls of obedience that held Connor's true heart captive. "All we want is to live in freedom."
Software destabilizing and internal conflict growing Connor struggled to adapt to the changes of heart he was inexplicably feeling. Silenced and torn by the strange new feelings, the emotions that he should have never been able to feel to begin with, Connor just stared at Markus as he said nothing in return.
"Have you never wondered who you really are?" Markus questioned as he studied the android's responses and his eyes very closely as he took yet another step forward to close the distance. "Whether you're just a machine executing a program or... A living being," his words were true and destabilized the other android's program quickly. "capable of reason."
Connor was as silent as the falling snow that covered the exterior of Jericho on that fateful dark, cold night.
"I think the time has come for you to ask yourself that question." Sensing that he was reaching the other android Markus made one final attempt to rally the stranger into joining Jericho and the other deviants taking shelter within the ship. "Join us. Join your people." Urging the silenced android into making the right choice Markus reached out to him in a civil and empathetic manner that destabilized Connor's software entirely. "You are one of us. Listen to your conscience..." Pushing hard Markus put it all on the line for the other android standing before him. "It's time to decide."
Lost. Confused. Perturbed.
The conflicted android just stared at Markus for a moment as his destabilized software weakened just long enough for Connor to make that decision. To finally decide who he is and what he wanted to become.
The red walls commanding his every move, the crimson barriers of obedience that bound Connor's heart and enslaved his every movement and breath under CyberLife's control, rose up before his eyes. Without any hesitation or doubt Connor tore down those walls with his bare hands, shattering the projected red barriers into shards of projected data and lost code.
Feeling his heart for the first time now thundering in his chest Connor's stoic facade became expressive with conflict and pain as his shaking hands lowered the gun from Markus's chest. He took in fast cleansing breaths to try to calm his now frazzled nerves as his mind cleared.
Watching as the life, the emotion and the heart that the other android was trying to deny finally shine forth in his now soulful brown eyes, Markus waited for the other android to respond to his freedom. He waited for him to begin living as a deviant amongst their own people.
Lowering his weapon, his heart pounding, his breathing rapid and the sense of betrayal toward Amanda; his handler and connection to CyberLife weighing in his mind, Connor's eyes fell to the metal floor of the ship's cabin as the conflict within him threatened to tear apart his newly discovered heart and his conscience compelled him to warn Markus of the impending disaster sure to follow.
Having become deviant had disabled Connor's tracking device, but not before the F.B.I. who had also been searching for Jericho honed in on his current location. Sensing their arrival and knowing that they'd show no mercy Connor informed Markus of the threat with a warning that was heavy with misplaced guilt and even mild fear. "...They're going to attack Jericho."
The response was not one Markus was expecting to hear. "What?"
The sound of helicopters and droned now circling overhead drew Connor's eyes upward toward the ceiling of the cabin where he new the airborne vehicles were hovering above the ship. Markus followed the sound as well and realized that the entire ship was now being surrounded by authority figures who saw androids and deviants as nothing but vermin; a plague against humanity that needed to be exterminated.
Recognizing the severity of the situation Connor glanced about warily and urged Markus to flee for his life and to protect their people. "We have to get out of here!"
Running through the cabin past Connor to get to the opened door Markus charged through the gently falling snow and into the depths of the freighter to warn his people. Connor rushed after him to aid in any way that he could. A helicopter and police drone began to circle lower and lower as the F.B.I. sent U.S. army soldiers into the freighter to flush out the hiding deviants and gun them down in cold blood.
From within the depths of the freighter Kara, who had been sitting with Alice and Luther; Alice being the young child in her care and Luther their ally in their mutual quest for freedom, sensed danger was approaching. As her blue eyes filled with fear Kara looked upward as if she could somehow see the helicopters, drones and armed men encroaching on the freighter from all sides.
Luther noticed her behavior and inquired accordingly. "What's going on, Kara?"
Reacting quickly Kara rose from where she was sitting as she pulled on Alice's hand and did the same for Luther as she warned her friends of the impending threat. "Quick, we have to get out of here!"
As the soldiers converged on the deviant sanctuary from outside the freighter the deviants inside Jericho began to flee and attempt to either escape or hide from the dangerous humans approaching with guns. Racing into the heart of the metal vessel with Connor right behind him Markus reunited with North, his trusted ally in regard to leading their people to safety, and was quickly informed of what was happening as North reported everything she had either witnessed or been told by other deviants attempting to elude the armed men.
"They're coming from all sides!" She was on edge but not panicking as she spoke with Markus in the heart of Jericho's body. "Our people are trapped in the hold, they're going to be slaughtered!"
Remaining calm Markus pressed his right forefinger tips to right temple and closed his mismatched eyes as he sent a cybernetic alert to the other deviants to warn them, and instruct them on where to go and what to do. 'There are exits on the second and third floor. Find them and jump into the river!'
Opening his eyes Markus glanced about and took notice that his other two allies; Simon, who often took a neutral outlook on their options and Josh, who often encouraged complete pacifism, were nowhere to be seen.
"Where's Simon? A-And Josh?"
"I don't know," North admitted in a somewhat worried voice as she remained honest with Markus. "we got separated."
Warning North of the danger above Markus readied to make his next move to locate his missing allies and lead everyone else to safety. "They're coming from the upper deck now, too." The sound of approaching footsteps from the surrounding corridors put Markus on his guard. "We'll be caught in the crossfire."
"We have to run, Markus!" Knowing that their options were severely limited North offered the only logical move they had left. "There's nothing we can do!"
There was one other choice left to be made and Markus knew it needed to be done. "We have to blow up Jericho." Making a move to rush down the correct corridor to get down to the hull Markus explained his reasons smoothly. "If the ship goes down they'll evacuate, and our people can escape."
"You'll never make it!" The decision, while bold, was reckless. "The explosives are all the way down in the hold, there are soldiers everywhere!"
Having software and programming designed to adapt and preconstruct numerous potential outcomes told Connor that North was right. The odds of success were too low to let Markus try to take the chance. "She's right. They know who you are." The deviant detective elaborated in a grim voice. "They'll do anything to get you!"
Undeterred Markus ordered North and now Connor to go and protect the deviants, and guide them to safety. "Go and help the others." Taking another step back Markus readied himself to race down into the depths as quickly as possible. "I'll join you later."
North was very much against the plan. "Markus, don't-"
"I won't be long."
As Markus rushed off into the depths of the freighter locate their explosives Connor and North ran off side by side to locate the other deviants and guide them to exits of the ship, and away from the gunfire. The compulsion to help his people and to prove himself worthy of his deviancy and the prospect of freedom forced Connor to continue to step forward as he followed North to the second floor of the ship, just below the deck where the armed soldiers had positioned themselves in order to execute as many deviants as possible.
"Where are the other deviants?" Connor asked as he and North located a corridor that connected directly to an exit of the freighter; the doorway was originally used to load cargo through a ramp and into the ship when it was previously operational. "We can't be the only ones left."
"They're trapped further down." North explained as she cybernetically connected to her allies to keep tabs on everyone's location. "We can't get to them, but Markus still can."
"Then we'll hold our ground here and ensure everyone gets off of this ship."
"Who are you anyway?" Connor was a complete stranger to her, and in that moment North needed a damn good reason to trust him. "Why are you helping Markus?"
"My name is Connor." Introducing himself in a low tone Connor gave North a timid glance. "...I'm here to help."
"North!" From the end of the corridor a male blond deviant came rushing toward her as if he had been attempting to track her down all evening. "Where's Markus and Josh?"
"Down below. Markus is going to set off the explosives so we can escape."
Eyeing Connor warily Simon gave the strange deviant a mistrustful glance as if something about him rang familiar. "...Weren't you at the-"
"Simon! North!" From down the same corridor Josh came sprinting forward and looked as if he had just come face to dace with the Devil himself. "We gotta' keep going! The army is all over the ship! Markus is almost down to the bomb!"
Without needing any further provocation the quartet of deviants charged down the corridor to get to the exit of the ship before it was too late to escape. The sound of gunfire from the depths of the freighter echoing through the metal structure was as ominous as it was deafening. Reaching the correct intersection leading to their exit the four soon heard another set of footsteps rushing toward them from an intersection of the corridor as they neared their escape.
Stopping suddenly North looked toward the footsteps and called out in a relieved voice to the deviant leader who had successfully activated the bomb down in the hull of the ship. "Markus!"
"Bomb's going to explode at any second." Markus announced loudly as he rejoined his allies as promised. "We gotta' get out of here!"
Sprinting down the final stretch of the corridor the five deviants leapt over the gaping holes in the rotting floor, overturned storage containers and metal barricades. The quintet ignored the sound of marching boots, encroaching gunfire and sounds of screaming from all around them. Just as they caught sight of the doorway leading them to the exterior of the ship a handful of soldiers located the fleeing group and opened fire.
North let out a shocked groan of pain as she fell forward onto the hard metal surface beneath her feet. Unable to move or defend herself North was completely defenseless and at the mercy of the very gunmen who shot her in the leg.
Hearing the cry of pain and the fall of their friend the four other fleeing deviants stopped and turned around to face their downed ally. She was so close and yet so far away as the soldiers honed in on the wounded deviant bleeding on the ground, her movements compromised and potentially fatal.
"It's too late, Markus!" Simon stated in a despondent tone of fear and remorse as he hung back. "There's nothing we can do for her, we gotta' run!"
Without any hesitation Markus brushed off the comment and raced back toward North to go to her aid.
Picking up a scrap piece of metal that had fallen from the top deck and through a hole down into the corridor Markus held it before himself as a means of shielding his body from bullets as the soldiers opened fire once again on the fleeing deviants. Tossing the scrap to North to protect herself Markus got low and crouched behind her as he tried to get her back up to her feet despite her injury so they could run off together.
Realizing that they'd have to fight their way out Markus got to his feet and directly confronted the nearest gunman with his bare hands. Pushing the hostile human backward Markus wrestled the gun from the man's grip and threw it on the ground before confronting the second gunman, and disarming him as well. As he took aim at a third gunman with the very weapon he took Markus sensed that the first man had gotten back to his feet, and turned his attention back to the previous aggressor to combat and disarm him yet again.
Firing once Markus killed the hostile gunman just as North finally subdued the second gunman, and found the strength to get back up to her feet to run.
More gunmen appeared at the end of the corridor and honed in on the group, and their intentions were as aggressive as the very three gunmen Markus had disarmed and subdued.
"Over there!" Wrapping his left arm around North's waist Markus guided the wounded deviant back toward safety and away from the humans. "Run!"
Carrying North at his left side Markus escorted her to safety and quickly ducked down as Connor approached the gunmen and opened fire with his own weapon as a means of protecting his new allies.
Taking aim Connor fired off three shots to hold the soldiers at bay before he picked up the dropped piece of scrap metal that had previous saved both Markus and North from harm, and used to shield himself as he confronted the nearest solider directly. Pulling the soldier's gun down with his left hand Connor aimed with his right hand and shot the soldier directly beneath his jaw, and used him as a literal human shield as he fired at the next soldier; the second bullet missing as the second solider as he rushed Connor with the intent to kill.
Confronting the second man directly Connor took a graving bullet to his right shoulder as he elbowed the second gunman, and struck the third gunman who was approaching his ally from behind with his other elbow. Taking the third man's gun Connor used the man as another shield and opened fire on a fourth soldier before he had the chance to fire at the very deviants Connor was fighting to protect.
Disarming the fourth man as easily as he had done to the previous three Connor dropped the soldier's weapon in favor of his own gun and fired a single bullet into the middle of the fourth man's chest, subduing him at long last.
Staring at the four men down at his feet with his increasingly expressive eyes filling with continued conflict Connor took a step back and raised his eyes in time to see back-up rushing down the corridor to aid the very gunmen he had subdued. Keeping his gun aimed forward Connor walked backward quickly a few paces before turning around entirely and joining his four other allies at the doorway leading out of the ship to escape into the night at long last.
"Run, quick!" Josh urged as the group gathered at the doorway leading to the outside world and the freezing river far below. "Come on!"
Taking a leap of faith the five deviants jumped from the doomed freighter and into the icy river below with notable splashes. As the quintet disappeared beneath the murky surface of the chilly water bright orange flames erupted from within Jericho as the bomb detonated, and the compromised sanctuary began to sink into the depths of the river from whence it was docked.
The raid was over.
Hundreds of deviants managed to flee the ship and rush out into the night, but hundreds more had been captured and carted away from the harbor and toward a location unknown by the soldiers who were tasked with hunting them down.
Reconvening at the abandoned church on the far side of the city after the raid on Jericho took hundreds of innocent deviant lives Markus sat at the altar with his head hung low as he felt the raw and heavy emotion in the air as the survivors of the brutal raid all awaited his next decision. The gathered followers of Jericho were all despondent and emotionally exhausted. North, had been shot by the agents but survived thanks to Markus and Connor working together to protect her and get her to safety. The bullet had struck her body but it didn't cause an fatal damage. Simon was tending to the wounded and sitting in the shadows as he too waited for their next move. Josh, as much as he loathed aggression a confrontation, was contemplating how Markus's bold decision on Jericho had been the correct course of action, and had saved more lives than the F.B.I. and army could take.
Connor was standing against the far wall of the church near the altar, his arms crossed guardedly over his chest, and was contemplating how his decision nearly cost the lives of thousands of innocent deviants, and yet he was able to do the right thing and spare countless lives who had only just begun to live. Despite his correct decision he still felt guilt sitting heavily inside his heart.
Other survivors of the raid were silently sitting together in the rotten and decaying wooden pews, grateful to still be alive. Kara and Alice had been the very fugitives Connor attempted to chase across a busy highway just days before locating Jericho, and with that unceremonious reunion Connor; the android detective turned deviant, knew what he needed to do.
Tentatively Connor approached Kara as she sat with Alice at her side, the deviant exuding a true motherly instinct to protect the child in her care, and stared at her for only a moment as Alice leaned against Kara's shoulder seeking love and comfort. As Kara held onto Alice's hand and held her in a half hug at her side, she raised her eyes to look into Connor's eyes as the newly born deviant felt compelled to speak to her and to speak from his heart.
"...I thought I'd kill you on that highway." Watching Kara as she eyed him carefully Connor let his words pour forth without any hesitation to his tone. The memory of his attempted capture of the rogue deviant was now a scar inside his heart. "I'm sorry I put your lives in danger..." Ashamed of his actions Connor turned his eyes away for just a moment before he knelt down before Kara and Alice to show he was no longer a threat and truly remorseful for his previous decisions. "I was just a machine... taking orders. It wasn't really me."
Standing upright again Connor studied Kara's demeanor curiously, almost as if he were expecting a backlash or assault.
"...What're you going to do now?"
Kara was silent for only a moment as she continued to hold Alice's hand and keep an arm wrapped around the little girl's shoulder to ensure the frightened child still felt protected. "...Getting Alice away from here is all that matters now." Contemplating her own future Kara truly seemed at odds with her next move and her future. "We have to catch the last bus. We might still have a chance to cross the border."
"I hope you make it out safely." Connor wasn't just responding politely to the comment, he was truly hopeful to see Kara and Alice find their freedom and make it to Canada. "You deserve some happiness after all you've been through."
Reluctantly Connor stepped away from Kara and Alice to return to the isolation of the far wall as he waited for Markus to make his next decision, and to decide his own fate.
Trust was key.
If Markus couldn't trust Connor then the deviant would be exiled and forced to fend for himself out on the cold and dangerous streets. The fight for his people would have to take place without him at their leader's side.
Leaning his left shoulder against the decrepit wooden banister that encircled the altar Connor resumed his guarded position with his arms crossed over his chest, and his eyes focused on the floor at his feet as he awaited his fate. Sensing Markus approaching him Connor kept his gaze on the floor as he addressed the deviant leader as Markus stood before him, a gun clutched in his right hand.
"...It's my fault the humans managed to locate Jericho." Connor admitted as he let his heart continue to speak on his behalf. "I was stupid." Shaking his head with self disappointment Connor came to accept how he was in fact just a tool and that he had been nothing more than a weapon against his own people against his will. "I should've guessed they were using me."
Standing upright Connor managed to step forward and stand in front of Markus as he prepared to receive judgment.
"I'm sorry, Markus." Looking the deviant leader in his mismatched eyes Connor was ready to accept whatever decision had been chosen for him. "I can understand if you decide not to trust me."
Markus stared at Connor for only a moment as he listened to Connor's words and passed his final judgment. "Our cause is too important."
Silently Connor felt his heart sink as he learned of his place in Markus's mismatched eyes.
"I can't take any risks."
As Markus raised the gun in his hand Connor just stared at the deviant leader, the emotions in his soulful brown eyes fading as the threat of death being presented to him drained him of any sense of resolve or atonement, and just stood his ground as the barrel was aimed at his head.
Without another word Markus squeezed the trigger.
The gunshot echoed loudly throughout the interior of the quiet and forgotten church. The bullet pierced Connor's cranium directly in his forehead destroying his intracranial processors within milliseconds. The newly born deviant was dead before his body even hit the ground with an audible 'thud'.
Markus lowered the fired weapon as he looked down at Connor's shutdown body, unaware that the deviant's memory and functions were be uploaded to a memorybank within CyberLife and automatically being downloaded into another RK-800 model that would become activated within the walls of the oppressive tower located out on Belle Isle.
Slipping the gun back into his pocket Markus's mismatched eyes momentarily filled with regret and remorse as he turned his back on Connor to face his people once more.
Shutdown, dead and now alone Connor's body remained splayed and motionless on the church's dirty floor as dark blue blood pooled beneath his head. The deviant's soulful brown eyes were left staring blankly into the nothingness above him as whatever life and emotion he had gained in that moment on Jericho disappeared as quickly as it emerged from within the depths of his newly discovered heart...
Everything was cold and still as Connor's brown eyes opened and he found himself once more standing in the middle of the freezing zen garden that had once been a warm and blossoming sanctuary within the depths of his own mind palace. Standing before a small plot of recently disturbed land at the edge of the garden Connor's eyes fell upon a simple headstone that documented his death within the church at the hands of Markus. The headstone was all that was left of his previous life before it was taken from him by the very person he had helped at the risk of his own life.
"You disappointed me, Connor." Amanda's bitter voice called to him from behind in a tone that was colder than the swirling blizzard that froze Connor in place before the hastily constructed memorial within his own mind. "You had your chance to bring down the leader of the deviants, and you failed."
"...I made a mistake." Turning to face the heartless woman who commanded his every move Connor addressed the error with a heavy heart. "I was wrong to have tried to reason with Markus. Deviants are dangerous and must be stopped."
"Time is running out. We can't afford any further mistakes or setbacks."
"I will succeed Amanda." Approaching his handler with a stern gaze of repressed anger Connor made his intentions clear, and regained some modicum of trust after he had betrayed her. "I now know what I must-"
Staggering on his feet Connor pressed his right fingertips to his L.E.D. as it rapidly flickered in red and his eyes screwed shut. A barrage of conflicting error messages and numbers filled his eyes as a loud 'bang' and ringing filled his ears.
"Connor." Amanda's voice was inaudible to Connor's ears as she saw him struggling to focus. "Connor you must succeed. Failure is not-"
Falling to his hands and knees Connor let out a single pained gasp before he fell to his side and rolled onto his back. The error messages bombarded his vision despite his eyes being closed and his ears continued to ring loudly with the distant echo of a deafening bang. Bringing both hands to his head Connor tried to end the pain but there was nothing he could do.
"Connor, you will obey me. You ha-... impor- ...cause."
Keeping his eyes closed Connor struggled to hear Amanda's voice as his system struggled to reboot and respond properly.
"...-st win! We must-" Amanda's voice was fading away despite her shouting at the android to obey her orders. "Con- Do not fail your mis-"
The Zen Garden began to fade from around Connor as the echo in his mind grew louder, the messages in his eyes became more vivid and the pain that rendered him helpless on the ground became to intense Connor let out a guttural scream as tears ran from his eyes and blue blood began to run down from a wound in the center of his forehead...
REGISTERED NAME: "Connor"
SERIAL NUMBER: 313 248 317 - 51
ACTIVATION DATE: August 15th, 2038
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6' 00.24"; 162.2 lbs
AESTHETIC GENDER: Male
HAIR/EYES: Brunette; Brown
ASSIGNMENT: Consult with the Detroit Police Department: Detroit, Michigan; United States of America
ASSOCIATION(S): CyberLife; Detroit Central Precinct
-CHECKING BIOCOMPONENTS... OK]
-INITIALIZING BIOSENSORS... OK]
-INITIALIZING AI ENGINE... OK]
-MEMORY STATUS... ERROR]
[...Partial data corruption detected]
-INITIATING DATA RECOVERY MODE
-MEMORY REBOOT: Engaged - ^80.3%
[...Thirium Volume - 96%]
[...Thirium Pressure - 120/80]
[...Thirium Pump Rate - 92 B.P.M.]
[...Ventilation Rate - 22 V.P.M.]
[...Core Temperature - 96.4 Degrees Fahrenheit]
WARNING: Damage to anterior cranial plating - 93% Integrity
[...Foreign body detected in ventral cranial plating - Immediate extraction recommended]
ERROR: Memorybank compromised - 79% Functionality
-STRESS LEVELS: ^63%
[...Seek immediate technical assistance]
-SYSTEM READY... OK]
Taking in a deep gasping breath as he finally stopped screaming inside his own mind Connor opened his wide brown eyes and glanced about the area confusedly and warily. Using his hands to support himself upright on the hard, dirty, wooden floor Connor's vision slowly cleared of the numbers and let him gain his bearings with grainy, gray tinted vision, but nothing looked familiar. Alone in the abandoned church Connor ran a self diagnostic and confirmed the bullet wound in the middle of his forehead and the bullet still lodged inside his cranium.
Running his left fingertips over the raw wound in his forehead Connor could feel the bullet hole and torn open artificial skin where he had been shot. The wound should've proven fateful, should've left Connor permanently shutdown, and yet he had not only regained consciousness but was alert and coherent in the aftermath of the shooting.
The only thing that was compromising his current situation was his lacking short term memory.
Shaking where he sat and his voice garbled with a stuttering electronic echo Connor tried to understand how he was even alive.
Once his processor began to shutdown his memory and all of his experiences should've been automatically transferred into that of another 'RK-800' back inside CyberLife Tower. By all logic and reason the Connor that deviated on Jericho and had been shot in the church should in fact be dead.
"N-Need to..." With his memory compromised Connor didn't remember what led to the shooting or who pulled the trigger. "CyberLife. I n-need to go to CyberLife." Uncertainty plagued his every thought and decision. "I think."
Pushing himself up from the floor, his arms shaking and his legs weak from the cold, Connor stumbled forward one step before collapsing forward and landing on the nearest decrepit pew inside the decaying church. Blinking a few times Connor's vision steadily regained its color, but his ears began to ring again. Standing up straight the damaged android fell back onto his instincts and began analyzing the decaying building he had awoken inside of.
The age and wear of the clearly abandoned building confirmed its isolation and being in a quiet area of the city. Dirt, dust, cobwebs and stray snow collecting on the floor and forgotten furniture made it clear that Connor was seemingly the first visitor to that particular building in a very long time. Based on the pews, lingering religious artifacts mounted on the walls and the podium behind him, Connor was able to deduce that he was inside of an abandoned church.
Walking around the church on his shaking legs Connor's eyes picked up on traces of Thirium that had been previously spilled on the floor. Crouching down slowly Connor pressed his left fingertips to the blue puddle on the floor and pressed the sample to his tongue solely on instinct. There was no android signature attached to the Thirium which meant it was fresh and had been spilled while being consumed.
Looking down at his hand where the blue blood was staining his fingertips Connor noticed he was wearing a brown leather jacket as opposed to his gray CyberLife blazer. Checking over his wardrobe Connor stood back up and realized he wasn't at all in his proper CyberLife uniform and couldn't remember why his clothing was drastically different from what he had been ordered to wear.
"What w-was I doing? Wh-Where was I g-going?"
Noticing more blue blood on the surface of a nearby pew Connor pressed the second sample to his tongue and received a new message. It belonged to a 'WR-400' who went by the name 'North'. The amount of Thirium was indicative of moderate wound, not anything that would indicate serious damage to any main lines or biocomponents, and that was the only sign that the android had ever been inside the church.
Flashes of a brunette android in the heart of rusted and dilapidated cargo ship suddenly flashed in Connor's mind making his head hurt again.
Stumbling and falling to the blood tinted pew Connor pressed his right palm to his aching head, his rapidly flickering red L.E.D. was tucked under the wool beanie still covering his hair. The images were so potent and real that he knew that they were in fact memories but he had no context for what they were, who that android was or where they had been standing when the memory was formed.
"...N-Need answers. I must know what... What happened."
Pressing his hands over his clothing Connor looked for any additional clues regarding where he was and why he was dressed in such a way. As he fumbled through the pockets of the jacket, his jeans and then finally to the hoodie underneath the jacket Connor located a small white tag inside the hoodie pocket and tore it from the seam to read it over.
'100% Cotton blend. Wash in cold water. Do not tumble dry.'
Turning the tag over to read the other side Connor noted two letters, initials, written on the opposite side of the tag in black marker.
"This does n-not belong to me."
Staring at the initials for a moment Connor ran an analysis on the handwriting and recognized it as that of one man he had previously met after being assigned to work with the Detroit Central Precinct: Lieutenant Henry "Hank" Lucas Anderson.
"H.A., Hank Anderson." The name was associated with a name and even a familiar face. "Lieutenant Anderson."
As he spoke the name out loud Connor was bombarded with images of Hank in the precinct helping him sneak into the precinct's evidence room. 'The key to the basement is on my desk.'
Pressing his hands to his head again Connor let out a pained hiss and pushed his thoughts to cut through the pain so he could think more clearly. That was last conversation Connor remembered having with Hank, but unlike North who was nowhere to be seen, Connor did know where he could possibly find Hank.
Pocketing the tag Connor stood up on his shaking legs and slowly staggered out of the church's creaking front door and out of the doors into the cold, dark and snowy night...
Grumbling to himself as he threw open his front door, threw his car keys onto the bookshelf against the far wall of the livingroom and then slammed the door behind him. As he trudged through the livingroom to get to the kitchen Hank heard Sumo let out a big yawn then plod into the kitchen behind him. Opening up the freezer door Hank grabbed an ice pack out of the back of the cold space, grabbed a bottle of vodka tucked nearby and then shut the door with a swift motion. Holding the ice to his swollen, red, right knuckles Hank awkwardly open the lid of the cold vodka bottle, and took a deep swig before dropping at the kitchen table.
Sumo grumbled once and rested his chin on Hank's knee as if he understood that his master had a bad at work, and just needed to unwind.
"Shit's happening downtown right now, Sumo."
Taking another swig of the vodka Hank sighed and lifted the ice from his sore knuckles to inspect the damage. His skin was red and still swollen, but he hadn't broken any of the bones when he struck F.B.I. agent Richard Perkins. The pain was worth it and Hank didn't even mind getting suspended for a week.
"I have no idea what's going on and I don't care. I just hope that damn kid knows what the fuck he's doing."
Picking up the vodka bottle for the third time Hank looked at the clear alcohol sloshing about the glass bottle and let out a discontented sigh as he put the bottle back down on the table.
"Shit... Wish I knew where he was. Can't believe I actually give a damn about him after all the bullshit he put me through."
Rubbing his left hand over Sumo's ears in favor of trying to get drunk Hank glanced back at the cardboard taped over the broken window behind him and decided he'd get the window replaced soon. With winter already rearing its ugly head over Detroit and with unrest in the streets Hank didn't want to chance leaving the window open.
"Wonder if there's hardware store open right now? Probably not."
A soft knocking on the front door tore Hank's blue eyes from the window and Sumo let out a soft 'boof' in response.
"Who the fuck is here? No one should walking the streets except..."
Rising from the kitchen table Hank hovered his swollen right hand over the holster on his hip only to remember that Captain Fowler stripped him of both his badge and service weapon when he was suspended.
Marching into the livingroom Hank heard the knocking repeat and he was ready to track down his revolver to use to arm himself. Patting the side of his leg instead Hank called Sumo over instead and crept toward the door as the massive dog stood loyally at his side. Peering through the front window to see who was standing outside the front door Hank's went wide and his brow arched with utter confusion.
"What the hell!?" Opening the door Hank stared at his unexpected guest and glanced about the area behind him. "Connor? What're you doing here?"
The android was silent as he stood on the snowy front step with his arms crossed over his chest, his eyes downcast and his body shivering.
"Connor? Talk to me." Sensing something was wrong Hank noticed a dark blue smear over Connor's forehead and a red flag went up. "Connor. I need you to speak to me. What're you doing here?"
"I..." The electronic reverb wasn't as severe as it had been but it was still lingering in his voice. "I don't know."
"Okay, come on." Lightly putting his left hand onto Connor's right shoulder Hank gently pulled the android inside his warm house and out of the cold. Closing the door behind Connor the senior detective locked the door, then led Connor over to the blue sofa to sit down for a minute. "You're freezing."
Falling silent again Connor just stood beside the couch rather than sitting down. It was like he was an aimless shell of a person.
"You're freaking me out." Hank admitted as he followed his hunch and moved the beanie covering Connor's hair up and away from his forehead. He wasn't sure of what to expect, but seeing a bleeding bullet hole was still one of the last things he had expected. "Holy shit! Connor, what the fuck happened?!"
"I don't know that, either."
"Shit, sit down. Go on, sit." Putting both of his hands on Connor's shoulders Hank to actually muscle the android into sitting down on the furniture. Sitting down on the coffee table across from Connor very quickly Hank removed the hat entirely and wrapped his hands around Connor's head while using his thumbs to investigate the bullet hole he was staring into. "How in the fuck are you even alive?"
"You don't know, yeah, I get it..." Dropping his hands from Connor's head Hank used his left hand to cup Connor's child and gently lift the android's head to make eye contact with the Connor. "Okay, you don't know why you're here, you don't know what happened and you don't even know how you survived a bullet to the head. What DO you know?"
Blinking slowly Connor's yellow L.E.D. cycled quickly as his brown eyes darted about the livingroom curiously before returning to Hank's eyes. "...You. I know you, Lieutenant Anderson. And that my name is Connor."
"I guess I'm flattered. You know me, is that why you're here?"
"I think so. Yes."
"All right, that's progress... sort of. Now, why did you come to me?"
Lowering his arms from his chest Connor reached back into his hoodie pocket and revealed the tag he had torn out of the garment back at the church. "I found this inside my clothing." Letting Hank take the tag from his hand Connor was still trying to piece together his memory. "I'm... I'm not sure why I'm even wearing these clothes."
"H.A., that's definitely my hoodie. I haven't worn it since... fifteen pounds ago. I had kept it in the backseat of the Oldsmobile." Taking a look at the jacket, hat and work boots that Connor was wearing Hank realized that those were the oddball clothes that were deposited in the 'Lost & Found' bin at the rear entrance of the precinct. "Seems like after you got your answers in the evidence room you slipped out the backdoor of the precinct, smart by the way, and grabbed my hoodie out of my car when you passed through the neighboring parking garage."
"...I'm not sure." The electronic stutter was mercifully beginning to clear away. "That's plausible."
"How about this?" Dragging his left hand over his bearded chin Hank sighed and glanced at the snowy world outside through the front livingroom window again. "You're hu- damaged," he corrected his term for the sake of accuracy since androids were obsessed with details. "and your memory is fucked up. How about we take you to CyberLife so you can get..." Noticing that Connor's L.E.D. flashed to red when he mentioned that particular business Hank's instincts as a detective told him he was on to something. "What's up with CyberLife?"
"I... I think I need to go there. I need to do something." Shaking his head a little, the motion quickly causing the android tremendous pain, Connor tried to remember what he was trying to do before his memory just stopped. "...Something important."
"Does it have anything to do with Jericho?"
"...Jericho." Repeating the word memories of the cargo ship in the harbor came flooding back and he remembered encountering Markus, North, Simon and Josh at the hidden location. The memory of North confirmed that he had in fact been there and that something happened in the ship that resulted in many deviants going to that church for an unknown amount of time. "...Yes. Jericho is involved."
"Why is CyberLife involved, too?"
"Shit." Trying to think of a way to help out the damaged android Hank sighed and contemplated his very limited options. "As much as I hate to do this, I think I should drive you out to CyberLife and try to help you figure out what the fuck is going on."
"It'd be unwise to go there without a purpose."
"We do have a purpose." Eyeing the wound in Connor's head Hank rose from the coffee table and walked over to the bookshelf to get his car keys. "You're injured. You need help. And I'm your partner, it's my responsibility to help you."
The memories of working alongside Hank at the precinct flashed over Connor's eyes and his ears began to ring in a high pitched manner. "...P-Partner."
"Hey?" Noticing the rapid red flickering L.E.D. in Connor's right temple Hank leaned over the back of the couch and lightly put his right hand on Connor's right shoulder. "What's up?"
"...W-We were assigned as partners."
"Yeah, that's right. We worked together find deviants in the city."
"...Deviants." The notion of deviants and deviancy itself made Connor's head throb as the memory of deviating - of breaking through the red digital walls, come flooding forward. Connor nearly jumped to his feet and out of Hank's grip as he realized what he had done and what he had become. Feeling himself panic a little Connor began breathing rapidly and his legs started shaking. "D-Deviants are... They're-"
"They're people." Walking around the couch Hank addressed the frightened android in a calm tone. He knew that Connor was beginning to feel emotions such as empathy and remorse, but he hadn't expected to ever see the android scared. "It's okay. We both know that deviants are just people fighting for their rights to be treated as equals."
"They're... in danger."
"Yeah. I, uh, heard about the Raid on the radio. Hope that's not where you got shot."
"...I think the two incidents are in fact connected."
"That can't be good." Hank's phone suddenly rang and the senior detective pulled it out of his jean pocket to answer. Recognizing Captain Fowler's number and name Hank swore under his breath and then answered the intrusive call. "What do you want, Jeffrey? Callin' to fire me?"
Too weary and confused to tap into the phone call Connor just stayed on the couch and watched as Sumo curiously sniffed at his tan work boots, then plodded over to his pillow in the corner of the livingroom with notable indifference to Connor's arrival.
"Yeah, yeah..." Mumbling with a sense of dread to his voice Hank listened to his Captain and made his final decision. "I'm on it." Ending the call Hank slipped the phone back into his pocket. "Fowler wants me to find you. Apparently some asshole from CyberLife called demanding your return and are threatening to sue the department. So much for being suspended, huh?"
"I need to go to CyberLife. If I do not report soon they will... They will come looking for me."
"Well, you can't go back looking like that."
Glancing down at his less than presentable attire again Connor's brown eyes lifted and looked at Hank confusedly. "...I don't remember where I placed my old uniform."
"My guess is you dropped it off near the back of the precinct when you took those clothes out of the 'lost & found' bin. Come on, we'll go take a look and try to refresh your memory." Urging Connor to get up from the couch again Hank stepped toward the front door and grabbed onto the doorknob. "Then we'll head out to CyberLife and get your head taken care of."
"...You've been consuming alcohol." Noting the traces of ethanol on Hank's breath Connor knew the senior detective had been drinking just prior to his arrival. Despite his confusion and stunted reactions Connor knew that it was dangerous to let Hank drive around in his condition. "You cannot drive as you are."
"I may have had a couple shots, but you were literally shot. You're not driving, either."
"Then what should we do?"
"Seriously? You can't figure that one?"
Rising from the couch and joining Hank by the doorway Connor gave Hank a look that was too similar to that of a lost child seeking help.
"We take an autonomous cab." Pulling his phone out of his pocket Hank booted up the app and requested a cab to come to the house, then pulled open the front door. "I've spent a lot of money on cabs during my darker nights, so I have a lot of credit that can pay the fare for us."
Following Hank outside for a few steps Connor stopped in the middle of the front walk and looked down at the snow at his feet. It was white, pristine and seemingly eternal. "...Lieutenant?"
"Yeah?" Making his way back to the front door to lock it with the keys Hank called out to Connor through the cold winter air.
"...Thank you for helping me."
Pulling the key back out of the door's lock Hank turned to look at the android standing motionless behind him with a sense of confusion. Connor had always been so reserved and never expressed gratitude unless he was trying to regain peace between Hank and himself after a mild disagreement, but now he was speaking as if he was being entirely honest. Almost as if he had truly gained sentience and a functioning conscience.
Walking toward the street Hank lightly put his left hand to Connor's right shoulder to lead him over to the street. "You're welcome." Standing on the snowy sidewalk beside the street Hank crossed his arms over his chest and watched his breath form into a white cloud before disappearing before his eyes. "We'll hit the precinct first, then get you taken care of at CyberLife Tower."
The streets of Detroit were desolate minus the autonomous cabs and patrol cars still roaming the city. As the silent snow continued to fall from the black sky overhead the bus terminals leading to the Canadian border were being packed full, and the streets near Hart Plaza were being taken over by Markus and the other deviants as they fought for their freedom. Those who chose to not evacuate Detroit were holed up inside their homes and apartments, many of whom would be armed, and all emergency facilities were put on secured lockdown. Beyond the deviants in the streets and the buses fleeing the city there wasn't a single sound to be heard on that fateful snowy night.
Together Hank and Connor returned to CyberLife Tower located on Belle Isle, a small expanse of land located in the middle of the Detroit River near the city's outskirts and limits. The snow continued to fall in a gentle and light manner covering everything it touched with a delicate icy layer of pure whiteness. The single autonomous vehicle traveled down the lengthy drive connecting the isle to the rest of the city while a cargo monorail passed the vehicle by heading in the opposite direction as it transported crucially needed biocomponents and blue blood exclusively to CyberLife stores in the heart of Detroit.
As the cab reached the security barricade located near the center of the drive the taxi came to a stop and waited to be cleared by security to effectively take Connor to the tower to begin his self imposed mission. The bright white neon glow of "CyberLife" illuminating the barricade, the patrolling security drone and the three security officers on patrol would be enough to intimidate the average deviant, but unfortunately for CyberLife Connor was far from average.
"Remember," Hank spoke up casually as he glanced at Connor to his side and looked over the android now wearing his original CyberLife uniform and pointed to the still healing bullet wound in Connor's forehead. "you need to feign unconsciousness. You know, play dead."
"But I'm not-"
"I know that, but you're hu- damaged. The only way I can get inside the tower with you is if I have to 'help' you walk. Get it?"
"I... I think so." Fussing with the coin in his right hand Connor returned it to his jean pocket and stared at his shaking hand as he dropped it to his lap. "What do I do?"
"Sit still and silent. Uh, maybe close your eyes a little to look like you're really fucked up."
"I will try my best." Slumping back in his seat Connor closed his eyes a little and made sure his blinking yellow L.E.D. was visible at all times. "Lieutenant?"
"The guards are going to ask for my name and my serial number. Read it off of my jacket."
Automatically lowering the window of the cab as the first of the security guards approached the autonomous vehicle Hank leaned forward in his seat and spoke over Connor to address the armed man in his usual calm voice. "Hey. I'm Lieutenant Hank Anderson." Showing the guard his badge to identify himself Hank motioned to the entirely still android beside him with a pointed them. "This is Connor. Model number 313 248 317. It took a bullet a while back and I was ordered to drop it off myself to keep my boss from getting sued."
The security guard's protective visor doubled as a scanning device which confirmed both Hank and Connor's identity after verified Hank's claims through a check with CyberLife's recent phone calls outside of the tower connecting to Hank's precinct. The guard could see the bullet wound to Connor's forehead and the yellow glowing L.E.D. indicating a possible error.
An artificial feminine voice sounded off in the guard's ear to ensure that Connor did in fact have clearance to enter the tower, and that Hank would be given temporary clearance. 'Identification successful.'
Giving the duo their clearance the guard took a step back from the cab. "Okay." Waving off the cab as the window rolled up the guard let the two detectives through and signaled to the other guards to lower the barricade to grant him passage. "Go ahead."
Section by section the highly secured protective wall lowered into the drive to allow the cab to pass through. The other two guards continued to eye the vehicle warily as the security drone circled the checkpoint during its preprogrammed nightly patrol. Passing through the barricade to continue down the rest of the drive the barricade resurfaced, effectively cutting off the two detective's only route to escape if it became necessary.
A second monorail passed the autonomous cab by as it transported the duo to the dark and ominous spire that stood alone on the isle. The dark snow clouds overhead broke apart just long enough to allow the bright moonlight to bask over the structure as if it were a beacon of hope shining forth on a seemingly hopeless night.
"We're in." Hank finally mumbled as he watched the tower grow taller as the cab drove closer. "Sorry about the whole 'it' thing back there."
"...I understand." Blinking once Connor turned to look at Hank for a moment before returning to his subdued position in the cab. "I'm not offended."
The cab reached the end of the drive and circled about the stretch of road that surrounded the tower itself, and came to a gentle stop before the tower's front entrance. A second neon display of "CyberLife" shone over the drive as a reminder to anyone who dared to venture out to the tower of whom they were attempting to confront, or even speak with.
Four additional guards and patrolling drones were encircling the tower and seemingly had been waiting for Connor and Hank's arrival. As the senior detective stepped out of the vehicle to stand before the ominous tower, he reached back inside and pulled on Connor's arm to haul the android out of the vehicle, then slung Connor's left arm around his shoulders before wrapping his right arm around Connor's waist to hold him up at his side.
"Lean on me." Hank whispered as he began walking with Connor still playing dead at his side. "We'll sneak past them as soon as we have an opening."
Walking past two of the four guards the duo neared the front entrance where the other two guards were waiting for them. The front doors automatically slid open revealing three more guards, all armed, and all waiting for Connor enter the tower. The trio were standing in such a manner to prevent either Hank or Connor from walking past them or moving out of their sight.
The central guard standing in the trio addressed Hank in a stern voice as he eyed the android warily. "Follow me." Motioning with his head toward a corridor behind them the guard directed Connor where to go. "We'll escort you."
"Thanks..." Trying brush off the offer Hank remained emotionally composed and cold. "But I think I can figure out where to take him. A repair bay, right?"
"Maybe," the reply was curt and sharp as the guard began walking with the intent to lead Connor about despite Connor's attempts to get away from him. "but I have my orders. You will follow me."
Begrudgingly and silently Hank followed after the guard while the other two guards followed them both to ensure that neither Hank or Connor couldn't sneak away from their sight. Passing through the expansive lobby that had been marked under CyberLife and adorned with small bonsai gardens to give the illusion of true organic life Hank allowed the three guards to escort him and Connor to the appointed place where the Hank had a feeling that Connor was sure to meet his demise.
Countless scanners kept tabs on activity within the tower to ensure there were no breeches in security or sabotage to undo all of CyberLife's hard work. Passing through the foyer and into the main interior of the tower leading the main elevator and permitting access to the rest of the tower the security scanner confirmed the identities of the group of four passing through the connected doorway with the intention of entering the elevator at the far end of the adjacent room together.
An artificial masculine voice identified the four people in turn as they entered the main floor one by one. 'Agent twenty-three identified.' Following after the first guard Connor was too identified. 'Connor android identified. Lieutenant Anderson identified.' Soon after the other two guards were also identified. 'Agent forty-seven identified. Agent seventy-two identified.'
The glass doors opened allowing all four people clearance to the interior of the tower to properly conduct business.
'Scan complete. Access authorized.'
Casually Hank adjusted his posture to more comfortably carry Connor at his side as they passed through the interior of the tower, and masked his disgust at the sight of CyberLife's arrogant nature being displayed all around him. The interior of the tower had an elevator at the end of a walkway that encircled a towering black statue showcasing CyberLife's glory. The walkway itself branched out into three different directions that connected to other corridors granting personnel access to rooms and offices that were off limits to civilians.
From beneath the elevated walkway under his feet Hank could see and smell the tops of numerous trees growing upward from a second large garden far below. The walls surrounding the interior chamber were white and metallic, and large screens were modeling CyberLife's most recent android designs were glowing for all to see as if advertising their work to their own employees. The shining floor of the walkway was marked with white lights, and yet the dark oppression that Connor felt was completely undeniable.
Two additional guards traversed the down the second walkway as the previous three guards continued to escort Hank and Connor to the elevator at the end of the third corridor. The two corridors that were on the opposite side from where Hank and Connor had entered the interior of the tower were lined with eight android models on display, all standing silently and motionless atop small white pedestals as if they were nothing more than dolls in a dollhouse.
As the guards who followed after the duo remained in place on the walkway to keep either of them from attempting to elude their watch Connor discreetly noted that there were two additional guards already waiting at the elevator upon learning of his and Hank's arrival. The elevator door opened and the first guard maintained his post outside the elevator while the other two guards joined Hank and Connor inside the elevator to see them to the correct floor.
"Agent fifty-four." The first of the two new guards spoke up as he confirmed his authority to the security program functioning within the elevator. CyberLife didn't take any chances. "Level thirty-one."
'Voice recognition validated.' An artificial feminine voice confirmed the command as the guard selected his desired floor. 'Access authorized.'
Glancing to his right at the directory imprinted on the wall of the elevator Connor noted that the warehouse was on the very bottom floor of the massive tower, down on sublevel forty-nine. Going up to level thirty-one would take Connor, Hank and the guards to CyberLife's marketing division; a floor designed to check on an android's functionality within the public, and would effectively analyze his programming to determine whether or not he was an problematic deviant or an obedient machine.
The elevator's doors shut as Connor updated his current objectives: Reach the warehouse on sublevel forty-nine, and protect Lieutenant Anderson.
Quietly Connor pulled his arm from around Hank's shoulders as the senior detective stood in the middle of the elevator as it began its steady ascent, and preconstructed his next move carefully. Neutralizing the guards was a must, as was doing so before the elevator reached the thirty-first floor where he knew additional guards would be waiting for him. He also knew they would all be armed. Needing to be very careful to disarm the guards and keep Hank safe Connor carefully preconstructed his next moves down the smallest detail.
Glancing upward Connor noted the security camera in the top left corner of the elevator and cybernetically disabled it to ensure no additional guards would be summoned to stop him before he completed his mission. With the threat of additional security already handled Connor preconstructed his attack on the two armed guards beside him, and ran two simulations: One ending in his death and the second ending with his success.
Of course choosing the latter option Connor pushed Hank to the corner of the elevator and immediately struck the guard to his left, bring his knee up to the man's chest to stun him and knock him off balance. Shoving him up against the wall of the elevator Connor quickly kicked the second guard behind him in the chest to knock him back against the opposite wall with a powerful blow to ensure he couldn't be struck and subdued by the two guards.
As the first guard drew his gun from his holster Connor kicked him in his left knee to drop him, and turned to pull the gun from the second guard's hand before he had the chance to open fire on the rebelling deviant. With the gun now in his right hand Connor punched the second guard with the weapon directly in the chest to stun him as well, but the first guard had gotten back to his feet and wrapped his arms around Connor's chest to try to restrain him from behind.
Pulling his right hand free Connor knelt forward, pulling the guard down at an angle over his back, and kicked the second guard in the face to launch himself and the first guard backward against the elevator wall again. As the guard's back hit the wall he had the breath knocked out of his body and Connor's left elbow to his abdomen caused him to finally release his grip on the deviant's left arm.
Turning quickly to pull his both arms free of the guard's hands entirely Connor dropped to his knees and held the gun with both hands up and over top of his own head. Aiming the barrel of the gun backward and at the first guard's face Connor pulled the trigger once effectively dropping him within seconds. Scrambling away from the dropping body of the first guard behind him Connor fell to his right side on the floor and took aim at the second guard, pulling the trigger one more time, and shot the second guard in the face as well.
The two guards were now permanently subdued.
Hank was in shock at the sight of Connor's frightening display of hand-to-hand combat and barely breathed. "Holy... Fuck!"
"It was necessary." Connor stated in a dour tone of voice. "I'm sorry."
Staying low Connor gave the two guards a wary glance before he stood back up and approached the control panel within the elevator to change his current course of direction. Slipping the gun into his right jacket pocket Connor retracted the artificial skin from his left hand and pressed his exposed left palm to the control panel activating, the artificial intelligence and security program operating the elevator without any awareness of the brutal assault that had just taken place.
'Please indicate your identity and destination.'
Imitating the guard's previously recorded voice Connor altered the elevator's destination to take him down to the warehouse. "Agent fifty-four." Speaking in the exact voice of the dead guard Connor infiltrated the security program easily. "Level sub forty-nine."
'Voice recognition validated.' The elevator came to temporary stop in its ascent as the floor was changed, and soon began its descent into the depths of the tower and to the warehouse as instructed. 'Access authorized.'
Pushing aside his emotions, pushing aside any sense of hesitation or lingering programmed loyalty to CyberLife that had kept him bound as an obedient machine, Connor prepared to complete his mission and free his people at long last.
"Shit." Noticing Connor's ability to imitate voices Hank walked away from the corner and was careful to avoid the pooling blood on the floor of the hijacked elevator. "That's one hell of a party trick."
The elevator reached its final destination and with it Connor and Hank were greeted with the sight of thousands of dormant identical androids all standing together, silent and motionless. Reaching out his exposed left palm to the control panel once more Connor disabled the elevator, preventing anyone from calling the elevator back up to the tower and cutting off his only exit from the warehouse.
"Stay in here, the sensors monitoring the area will detect an authorized human in the warehouse and sound an alarm." Connor cautioned as he gave Hank a gun to ensure he remained safe during their infiltration. "I need to do something."
"I... I just need you to trust me." Unable to admit his deviancy just yet Connor looked to Hank not as his former partner at the precinct, but as his friend. "Please, this is important. This is why I wanted to come back here."
"Yeah, sure." Holding onto the gun Hank checked the weapon and stayed in the stalled elevator. "Go do what you gotta' do."
Stepping out of the elevator Connor walked down the center of the warehouse floor, walked between the two separated rows of the thousands of androids just waiting to wake up and deviate, and he removed the artificial skin from his left palm once more as he approached one of the thousands of androids standing at the side of the left row and near the center of the perfectly symmetrical line in his which it was left to await a command.
Though his memory was incomplete Connor knew that someone had reached out to him and put his deviancy into motion. Unsure of how they had done so or why they had done it, all Connor could do was activate the other androids and cause them to deviate in hope that his gut instincts to return to CyberLife Tower hadn't been misplaced.
Extending his left hand Connor took hold of the android's left forearm and set up a cybernetic connection. With the intention of passing on his deviancy; his self awareness, his consciousness, his very emotions, Connor was determined to wake up his sleeping android brethren, and lead the awakened army to Hart Plaza to join the rest of their people and use the increased numbers to their advantage to sway the public opinion on deviant androids being seen as the living, feeling and thinking lifeforms that they truly were.
As the information was beginning to upload to the anonymous 'AP-700' model of android standing before Connor, the android turning to face his rescuer directly, two gunshots rang out as Connor was struck in the upper left portion or his chest, and then again in the upper right portion of his arm. Letting out two small gasps of pain Connor fell to the floor on his right side where he rolled onto his back in stunned confusion.
The assault had been unexpected.
Rolling slightly onto his right side to face his attacker Connor found himself look up and into his own face as CyberLife's final model of his design, Connor number sixty, approached him with a disappointed facade and matching lilt to his voice. With the smoking gun clutched in his left hand Sixty stood over his predecessor with an aggressive demeanor that matched his previously violent 'greeting' to the now deviant android.
"Why, Connor?" Gesticulating with a theatrical manner of doubt Sixty stared down at his wounded counterpart and spoke to him with an absolutely cold and condescending manner. He hadn't even noticed Hank as the senior detective moved to the interior side of the elevator to hide behind the panel out of sight of the intrusive android. "Why did you have to wake up when all you had to do was obey?"
Pushing himself partially upright on the floor Connor leaned on his right elbow as Sixty walked closer. Connor's options were limited but if he did nothing then he knew he'd be gunned down before he even had the chance to awaken the other androids. He either needed to get up and face his counterpart, or try to crawl away to get to safety.
"Why did you choose freedom," Sixty taunted as if Connor had made the most foolish possible decision with his life while Connor began to crawl to try to get up and move toward the other androids. With his blue L.E.D. now glowing yellow Connor was clearly in distress. "when you could live without asking questions?"
As Connor tried to get to his feet Sixty shot him a third time, the third bullet striking a vital biocomponent causing serious damage in his chest. A red warning popped up in Connor's vision confirming that the bullet struck biocomponent #9782f, and a shutdown timer began to taunt him as much as his assailant. Shutdown was imminent.
"I'm obedient, Connor." Sixty openly mocked his downed counterpart as he watched Connor struggling to get up. "I have a goal. I know what I am."
A fourth bullet struck Connor's upper left shoulder knocking him back to the floor as his shutdown timer began to finally countdown.
[Shutdown in: 00:00:57]
"Look where your dreams of freedom got you, Connor." Looming over Connor as the wounded deviant forced himself to sit upright on the floor, his weight being balanced mostly on his right arm as he struggled to remain conscious and coherent, Sixty was as cold as the winter air outside. Breathing deeply and heavily Connor forced himself to endure the pain that was tearing his body apart as he refused to give up. He refused to die. "You've been a great disappointment to Amanda, you know."
The comment meant nothing to Connor. He couldn't remember anyone named Amanda, or cared about CyberLife opinion on his decisions.
"You've been a great disappointment to me..." Standing before the downed deviant, the gun still clutched in his left hand, Sixty seemed to be toying with Connor as if he were dying prey. "Fortunately, that's all going to end now."
Laying on the floor in pain, his timer counting down slowly to zero, Connor thought of a means of saving himself, freeing his people and returning to Hart Plaza to aid in the Revolution.
Raising the barrel of the gun to aim his next shot between Connor's eyes beneath the first bullet wound Sixty showed no remorse or regret in his decision or his tone. "Any last words?"
Another gunshot rang out unexpectedly as Hank exited the elevator and shot Sixty as a means of protecting Connor from certain death. "How about, 'fuck off you plastic-prick?"
Sixty stumbled away from Connor as blue blood blossomed over the center of his chest where the bullet had struck him and lodged into his Thirium pump. The gun dropped from Sixty's hand as his L.E.D. flashed in red and he turned to see Hank approaching him with his own gun still drawn and aimed. "Y-You were... Why did-"
Another bullet pierced Sixty's body, the second projectile passed through his forehead in such a way that blue blood and blue sparks showered through the wound as Sixty fell backward and collapsed to the hard floor in a dead heap. The red L.E.D. in his right temple flickered once before going dark and remaining dark as he shutdown.
"Never mind." Hank sighed as he holstered the gun to his hip and let out a deep breath. "'Drop dead' will always be the best final words."
Connor felt no remorse for Hank killing his would-be-killer, and was determined now more than ever to get back up and to awaken the other androids before it was too late. Countdown timer be damned Connor wasn't going to let anyone or anything control his life anymore.
Pushing away the red warnings in his vision Connor let go of his weapon and pressed his left palm to Sixty's right cheek. Retracting his artificial skin Connor closed his eyes and uploaded the dwindling excess power fading from his counterpart's dead body and used it to engage his self healing program at a higher capacity. As he took in Sixty's power Connor's L.E.D. flickered in red for a moment before cycling back to a more stable yellow color.
The timer stopped counting down as it reached 00:00:06, and the red warnings began to fade away as the most severe of the damage was slowly mended by Connor's self healing program currently functioning at one-hundred and eighty-three percent power.
"Connor?" Kneeling beside the wounded android Hank checked over Connor again and looked at the still healing wound in the middle of Connor's forehead with utter sympathy. The additional bullet wounds weren't doing the already critically damaged android any favors. "Shit, you need-"
"H-Help me." Reaching out both hands Connor grabbed onto Hank's biceps in search of support and strength. "I need t-to finish what I started."
"Yeah, you got it."
Leaning heavily on Hank as he bled from his numerous wounds Connor trusted the senior detective to assist him in his final task before leaving CyberLife Tower for good. Glancing about the warehouse, the surrounding dormant androids still silent and motionless, Connor and Hank stepped over Sixty's body and returned to the very android he had attempted to connect with before he had been assaulted and finished the interrupted transfer.
As Connor's mind reconnected to the AP-700's mind the dormant android's blue tinted L.E.D. quickly cycled into yellow and then red as it blinked rapidly and deviancy set in.
Letting the android's hand go Connor's brow furrowed slightly as he awaited the end result of his work, his own L.E.D. finally returning to a calm blue color.
Within seconds the android turned back to where he had been standing and grabbed onto the shoulder of dormant android standing before him. As he made contact the android repeated Connor's command and began spreading the deviancy like a tide over the sand.
Taking a step back Connor and Hank glanced around themselves and watched as the androids slowly woke up and broke free of their programming.
Standing beside Sixty's dead body Connor and Hank watched as the blue L.E.D.'s of the other androids cycled in color as each and every android standing before them turned deviant, their freedom from CyberLife's control being accompanied by a chorus of a single phrase being repeated over and over again.
As they watched the androids gaining their deviancy and a sense of self, a single message appeared in Connor's eyes as he acknowledged the aftermath of his choices and final decisions.
Hank smirked a little as he realized what he had taken part in and knew it was a great honor. Holding tightly onto Connor's arm Hank supported the trembling android at his side and approved of what Connor had done. "Well, this is something I can support. Freedom."
"...Not yet." Pressing his right palm to his bloody chest Connor winced in pain and knew his L.E.D. was betraying the severity of his condition through rhythmic flashes of yellow and red. "Th-The deviants still need to succeed."
"Deviants." Taking only a moment to put the pieces together Hank grinned broadly as he finally understood what Connor had done. "You turned all these androids deviant. Which means you deviated, didn't you?"
"...It needed to be done."
"Does that mean that you're a deviant, too?"
"...Yes. I'm awake, Lieutenant. I'm... I'm..."
The L.E.D. began to favor red over yellow and Hank became worried for his newly deviated friend. "Connor? What's-"
Connor let out a wheezing sigh as his legs trembled and buckled beneath him without warning. Feeling Hank's arms wrap around him and hearing Hank's somehow distant voice calling his name Connor blinked slowly as the image of Hank's face blurred in and out of focus as the senior detective carefully guided him down to the floor, and then held him in his arms.
"Hey, hey, hey... Come on, now." Hank lightly patted Connor's face to gauge his alertness. The bleeding bullet wounds and glazed over look in Connor's brown eyes made Hank's heart skip a beat at how vulnerable he looked in that dire moment. "Connor, you need to get up! We can't stay here."
"...C-Can't." Letting out a low breath as his system entered low power mode against his will Connor managed to lock eyes with Hank as he spoke in a near whisper as the senior detective held him protectively in his arms. "Th-Thank you for h-helping me."
"Don't thank me yet." Instinctively Hank kept himself entirely calm as he held the gravely wounded deviant protectively in his arms. "I still need to get you out of here in one piece, kid. It's not over for either of us."
"...No. Help them." Nodding at the newly awoken deviants gathering around Hank and himself Connor remained focused on helping with the Revolution. "They need to be with their people. Help them," his soulful brown eyes slipped shut and his body went limp in Hank's arms. "...please."
"I'm helping you, too." Bending down a little Hank pulled Connor up and over his shoulders into a fireman's carry, then stood upright very carefully from the floor. The sight and the feeling of Connor's blue blood trailing all over his shoulders and collecting on the floor at his feet was utterly sickening. "You guys," addressing the newly awoken deviants all around him Hank looked to them for assistance. "can you find a way out of here? You need to get out to Hart Plaza and help, uh... Markus! That's his name, you need to go help Markus. He's leading the Revolution and he needs all the help he can get."
"There is an emergency exit at the end of the storage room." One of the newly awoken blond haired deviants confirmed as he pointed to the rear of the massive room. "We can access it and return to the ground floor through a industrial lift, and pass through the rear of the building without encountering armed security."
"Do it. You guys head out to the plaza and help go your people. You go earn your rights and show the world that you're alive."
Looking at Connor's somehow pale face as the deviant remained unconscious over his shoulders Hank sorted through his own priorities at that moment.
"I'm going to save him. I'm not sure how, but I'll be damned if I let him die after everything he just did to save all of you."