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  #26    
Old September 18th, 2018 (3:44 AM).
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TV600 / Malcolm


Malcolm walked down the side street, past the charred remains of a cheap sedan someone had decided to set ablaze some time in the past. He involuntarily accessed his memory banks, remembering that the corpse of the vehicle had been there even on the first time he’d come to this location, following directions he’d overheard in a club. He had long wondered why humans were so happy to partake in alcoholic beverages that destroyed their ability to keep secrets.

Malcolm turned into a narrow alley, immediately adopting a new posture. He hunched his shoulders and changed his confident gait to a more erratic one. He gripped his left arm with his right and would occasionally make scratching movements. All mannerisms he’d adopted from watching human adicts and doing internet research. If you wanted to stay one step ahead of your enemy in a covert situation, you had to know how to act like one of them. Malcolm had a lot of practice at this point. He was sure of his ability to blend in with the humans perfectly.

The alleyway was littered with garbage bags and broken bottles that crunched under his feet, the walls were sprayed with fourteen different colours of spray paint displaying different obscene messages or tags. Most of it was cracked and faded and Malcolm noted that no new additions to the walls had been made as his eyes scanned over them. That was good, it meant that he wouldn’t be disturbed.

After a short walk, the alleway opened up to reveal a space behind several buildings where dumpsters lined the walls, overflowing with bags. Malcolm detected only faint traces of decomposition from the bags, old meals. He knew anyway, of course, that the buildings he was tucked in behind didn’t sell food stuffs. Not that the majority of the businesses were still operating anyway.

Jeremy was leaning on a wall with what appeared to be a grocery bag at his feet. He was a well-built caucasian man and stood at exactly six feet tall. He was dressed in jeans and a worn flannel shirt under an open parka. His head was shaved bald and decorated with tattoos. Malcolm new more of the inked skin was concealed by the dealer’s jacket. He also new that a handgun was tucked into his waistband.

“Well, ya look like muk, Malcolm. Let’s get ya your fix before ya psyduckin’ implode or something, yeah?” Malcolm suppressed the desire to smirk at that. As an android, he always looked to be in peak human health. That’s how he’d been built. He had Jeremy fooled based entirely on the look he plastered on his face and the mannerisms he adopted. Malcolm gave two quick, stiff nods and pulled a wad of cash from his pocket. It was more than he needed to pay, but he wanted to give the impression of being out of it and desperate.

Jeremy rustled in the grocery bad, pulling out a lump of foil from within. Malcolm new without running any analysis that it contained a rock of red ice. Without hesitation he handed the money over to Jeremy and snatched the drugs out his hand, stuffing the lump into his pocket. Jeremy laughed.

“Psyduck you’re desperate today.” he rumbled “You’re lucky too. I was almost out of that blue blood muk. I’m not spending most of the cash I make at psyduckin’ CyberLife to get a bottle of it, it’d look weird buyin’ too much of it anyway. It’s gotta come from androids.”

“Really?” Malcolm said, his mind racing. This was new information to him. He had thought that his dealers had all simply used excess funds to purchase thirium from cyberlife. He couldn’t believed he’d overlooked that they’d want to be more subtle like that. He could feel his anger rising, he suspected he knew what he was about to hear.

“Damn right.” Jeremy grunted “Gotta find one that’s still workin’ to take it from too. The broken ones usually don’t have any left or it’s got other muk mixed or whatever. What do you care anyway?” he added, suddenly realising something didn’t add up. Or maybe it was that Malcolm had dropped the act.

Malcolm straightened up and moved towards Jeremy, his face stoic with cold fury. This man was murdering his people for the sake of making drugs. It was illogical to hurt one of his thirium sources like this, he knew it. Malcolm wasn’t going to allow his brethren to be murdered so he could live. He’d find another way. Jeremy was going to pay.

“You killed my brothers and sisters for the sake of easy money. You’re going to pay for that.” Malcolm said moving closer and closer, walking forward with purpose. Jeremy reached for the gun, but Malcolm had already predicted this course of action. As the dealer raised the weapon, Malcolm grabbed his wrist with left hand and drove his fist into his solar plexus. Jeremy released the weapon, coughing and spluttering. Malcolm caught it.

“What the psyduck, man?!” the dealer yelled. Malcolm responded by shooting him in the leg. Jeremy dropped to ground immediately, screaming out in pain. Malcolm didn’t feel any need to rush, few people would be in nearby enough to pinpoint where the scream was coming from with any accuracy and it would be some time before police closed in.

Malcolm stood on the bullet wound, pushing his weight onto it and causing Jeremy to scream with renewed vigour. It didn’t matter how much muscle the man had, he couldn’t escape. He wasn’t as strong as android of Malcolm’s model.

Malcolm pulled the trigger several more times, carefully choosing where he aimed the weapon to prevent Jeremy from passing out or dying too soon. The drug dealer’s screaming didn’t die down until he was ordered to shut up. Tears ran down the man’s face as he bit his lip so hard it bled to prevent himself screaming any further. The sound itself didn’t bother Malcolm, he did it just for the sake of intimidation.

“I am an android.” Malcolm said, looking Jeremy dead in his eyes. Then he pulled the trigger and with one last reverberating crack, Jeremy fell limp with a hole on his head. Malcolm turned and walked out the alley, he’d need to replace his pants now, they were spattered with blood.

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  #27    
Old September 18th, 2018 (10:40 PM).
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    Ellis Baker

    Ellis made his way to the back room, where he leaned against the back door, burying his face in his hands. He could feel a headache coming on, and the edges of his vision were starting to blur.

    "Pardon me, Ellis, but I believe you have an order to make." Joe stood a few feet away, holding the ticket.

    Ellis couldn't even look at him. "Just make it and take it to them. I'm sure you're more than capable." He rolled his eyes at the last comment.

    Joe hesitated. "But I was instructed to-"

    Ellis leaped forward, physically grabbing and turning the android around. "Just do as you're told! Follow your orders and figure it out!" He gave the android a shove, causing it to stagger into one of the shelves. He leaned back against the door, squeezing his eyes shut as he clenched his hands into fists.

    Joe calmly stepped away from Ellis, going to the grill and making the order. He plated it up and took it to Table 5. "Your order, sir. Two beef patties." He idly noticed the android, but took special notice of the dog. "Pardon me, but no pets are allowed inside, except for service animals. You should know this. I'll have to insist it stay outside."
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      #28    
    Old September 18th, 2018 (10:49 PM).
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    Sandy Nhung

    After her conversation with Fred, Sandy met up with her friend Naomi Vasquez just outside the humanities building. They went to one of the campus store to grab some lunch, Sandy getting an egg salad sandwich and chips while her friend bought salad. There was a small area with several benches and tables, so they went and ate their meals there. A few more students also occupied the seats, either eating, studying, or sleeping. Several golden leaves that were fallen from the trees littered the ground, and a cool breeze picked up.

    Their conversation at first started off with them talking about upcoming midterms and where they would go during Thanksgiving. Naomi then asked Sandy if she had saw that broadcast from that android, which caused her to almost choke from her water.

    “Come again?” Sandy asked after she made herself able to breathe normally again.

    “The android that hijacked the TV station and did his speech,” Naomi said. “That happened during my chemistry class. When that happened everyone got confused.”

    “Oh! Yeah, same thing happened during my history professor’s lecture. All the students had the same reaction.”

    Naomi gave out a soft hum and picked up a piece of lettuce and cherry tomato. “Speaking of which, isn’t your history professor an android?”

    Sandy raised a suspicious brow. “Where you’re getting at?”

    Naomi chewed on her food a bit more, then said, “Well, aren’t you worried he might be influenced by that android’s words?”

    Sandy stopped chewing her sandwich and set it down. “Not really. I mean, I think androids deserves the same equal treatment as us.”

    “I guess. Like, I never want to destroy them or tell them they’re trash. However, that android’s demands is a bit of a stretch when people like us who aren’t white still get looked down.” With narrowed eyes, Naomi put her fork down on the napkin she set aside and jammed her finger on the table. “My family still get people telling them to move back to Mexico even though they’re Puerto Rican, or to jump in the river and drown. You get what I’m saying?”

    Sandy pursed her lips and her gaze fell on her half eaten sandwich. Her friend was right that there were still cases where non-white people were treated badly in this city. Just a few months ago there was an incident with a white man hopped up on red ice killing a black man and that caused an uproar for a while. Fortunately that man was dealt with quickly, but that still put a sting in parts of the black community. She looked back at Naomi and nodded.

    “Yes, of course. Still, I don’t think my professor or most of the other androids will burn Detroit to the ground this instant.”

    After regarding her a moment, Naomi smiled. “Yeah, you’re probably right that it won’t hurt us in the end.” She took a couple more bites of her salad then asked, “Remember that night we were buzzed from that party and your professor saved us from those creeps?”

    A sad smile pulled onto Sandy’s lips. “Ah huh. If it weren’t for him we would be hurt, or even worse. I considered him a hero after that.”

    “No wonder you emphasize with androids a lot!” Naomi said with a chuckle. She stopped to glance at her phone and her eyes grew wide. “Oh, I should get to my workplace now as I’m subbing for someone today. I’ll talk to you later, Sandy!”

    “All right,” Sandy said. She watched as Naomi quickly packed her things and waved to her goodbye. When she was gone, Sandy checked her own phone. She still has another hour until her next class, so she went on her book app and began reading one of the novels she’s been following.

    Unfortunately a couple minutes in and the words in front of her turned into air. Her mind thought back to her conversation with Fred and how he joked about wanting to run away for awhile. If that were to happen, she was more than willing to help him out…

    Upon thinking that, Sandy felt her throat tied in a knot. She didn’t say any of this to Naomi in fear that her friend wouldn’t support her in that scenario. Fred was very passionate as a teacher, so the chances of him actually doing that was slim. Right? She reminded herself probably almost everyone in Detroit, humans and androids alike, were on edge after that broadcast and things should go to normal soon.

    “I hope the professor’s meeting with the dean went fine,” Sandy muttered to herself. She forced herself to go back to reading her book on her phone and get distracted with that instead.
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      #29    
    Old September 21st, 2018 (4:44 PM). Edited September 21st, 2018 by DSP.
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      RA600 "Lucas"

      Lucas heard the steady steps of an android near him. Turning around, he saw the very same unit he read about, and listened to what she had to say.

      "Pleased to meet you as well, Robin. I guess you can call me Lucas."

      She was not what Lucas expected from a partner, but he suspected there was more to her than just a small frame and a pretty face. After all, she was an advanced detective android. Lucas studied her for a moment. To a human, it might have looked like he was interested in her. He deduced that she would notice, but they were just androids interacting. Nothing... new would come out of it, right? They would probably be the last androids to ever turn deviant.
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        #30    
      Old September 22nd, 2018 (10:53 AM). Edited September 22nd, 2018 by Adventure.
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      RB300 "Robin"

      "Pleased to meet you as well, Robin," the larger android said. "I guess you can call me Lucas."

      "Lucas," Robin tried the name on, and as she did, she noticed him looking at her differently.

      Is he... studying me?

      That interrupted her thoughts for a moment, as she watched his eyes flicker over her features. She was created to analyze humans with ease, to take note of their behavior, their emotional state and their physiological functions, to better assess their intentions and be able to interrogate them more accurately. She could also somewhat assess the stress level of other androids, as high stress was a warning sign for deviancy.

      But she couldn't read Lucas' emotional state at all. Not that androids even had emotions, only processes to simulate the human equivalents. But she couldn't help but wondering here, what he was currently thinking. She better snap out of it though.

      "We're assigned to work together with a detective Whittaker from the FBI," she informed him. "He should be arriving here soon for a debriefing with the captain. The detective is... An odd character. You will make your own assessment of his character when you meet him face to face, I'm sure."



      Angela Metting - Wayne County Community College

      She knew better than to disturb the dean in the evenings. But she was worried that the meeting with Fred hadn't gone well, seeing as she now couldn't find the android anywhere on the premises. She had to at least try to see what had happened.

      Knocking yielded no response. But the light was on, on the other side of the door.

      "Mr Cortez?" the teacher tried carefully, and then repeated it more loudly. No response, still.

      Sighing, she hoped that she wouldn't walk in on something she really didn't want to see there. Not that she believed the dean was any kind of truly inappropriate man, but you never knew these days. People were strange, and he had always been quite adamant about his afternoon privacy.

      As she opened the door, saw the floor and realized the situation, things were of course more worse than she could have imagined. It took her nearly ten minutes to get her nerves together enough to call the police.



      Fred

      The November evening was unusually cold, but of course Fred wasn't bothered. He was bothered by many other things. Walking down the streets, he couldn't help but shying away from every human he met, even though he logically knew that they couldn't see that he was an android. Maybe they would feel it if he accidentally bumped into them, even though he also knew that androids were so advanced nowadays that their skin and bodies felt almost exactly like a human body would to the touch. Plus, he wasn't wearing the obligatory blue armband and triangles on the front and back of his clothes. To anybody he walked past, he would look like a human. Just somebody who wasn't shuddering from the cold. Maybe he should try shuddering from the cold.

      Maybe he should find shelter. Should he? Did he need to? When did his thoughts become this erratic and aimless?

      He had killed a man. Panicking, he had left the college and started walking, just walked anywhere. He had no idea of where. Where did that terrorist android find his people? No, Fred shouldn't be calling him a terrorist. A savior, was perhaps more appropriate as a title. Although, so far he had done nothing but cause Fred trouble.

      Don't blame anybody else. You killed that man. You did it. You are a criminal. But he was going to kill me. I acted before he could. But there could have been other ways. I was rash. I acted in anger and fright.

      He stopped in an alley, and leaned against a building to steady himself, as his furious thought processes threatened to overwhelm his physical ones.

      I must never kill again.

      Could he make that promise? He wanted to.

      The sound of gunshots made him alert again. It was close by. He should really walk the other way. But what if there was somebody who needed help... Fred didn't want to kill, not really. He wanted to help.

      Against better judgment, he did walk into the alley from where the sound of violence had come. Staying in the shadows, behind some full trash bins, he watched as a man in a brown coat held another man at gunpoint, the latter splayed on the ground in pain and red blood.

      "I am an android," the gunman said.

      His weapon finally took the life of the human, without as much as a twitch in the facial features of the shooter, who then simply turned and walked towards the other end of the alley.

      Fred was speechless. Another android, killing a human.

      He must know where to go!

      Trying to be as quiet as possible, without losing sight of him, Fred scrambled to follow the deviant.

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        #31    
      Old September 25th, 2018 (10:08 AM). Edited September 26th, 2018 by Calzone407.
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        Nigel Whittaker

        After spending what felt like three days in the bathroom, Nigel washed his hands and walked out. He decided he would go to the break room to grab a coffee. Wait... Won't that just make me need to crap more...? Ahh, whatever He walked in to the break room, only to find Robin and another android he vaguely recognized from the past few months of working here. "You should make your own assessment of his character when you meet him" Robin said.

        "Y'all talking about me or something?" Nigel questioned .

        AX700 "Trask"


        The past four days that androids had been chasing him were because he had stolen a gun and a knife from one of the androids who broke in to the Cyberlife truck. He had snuck attacked him, overpowering him because he was built to have in human strength. You know, next time I won't be stealing from angry deviants He thought. He walked to the main street of Detroit, where much was happening. An old lady accidentally dropped her hand bag, and then tripped on a crack. Some protocol that has stayed with him nearly forced him to help her. He walked over, and helped her stand. He then bent over and handed her her hand bag.

        "Thank you young man!" She said. Anything to keep people from knowing I'm an android he thought.

        "No problem missus" He said, and walked off. He then saw the a TV in a window. A college dean had been murdered, and no witnesses. He closed his eyes, and began to think.Hmm... If the Dean is dead....could it have been a deviant of some sort? or just a killer on the loose? and if this is so recent... already news reporters... faster than the police for sure 'cept the police were there first...
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          #32    
        Old September 26th, 2018 (2:32 AM).
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        "Marla Jameson! Actually, do you mind if I sit with you guys?"

        Clyde was slightly taken aback by her enthusiasm, partly because he was still shaken by his slip up, but also because no one had really wanted to talk to him before. He was used to being given a lot of orders - many of Mr. Owen's guests regularly mistook him for a common household android whenever he was spotted indoors, and they would often ask him for food, drinks or cleaning duties. He usually complied with their demands anyway, but no one, not even Mr. Owen himself, ever really wanted to chat with him.

        "Buh- yes. I mean, of course..." he managed to get out, but Marla had already grabbed all her stuff and changed seats at lightning speed before she heard him. Bonnie, who was under the table, sniffed at her belongings curiously, but was most interested in the plate she had set down.

        "Bonnie is so cute, and I'm not sure I'll actually finish both of these! What an adorable name you gave her, by the way! Very classic. Bonnie and Clyde," she continued with a wink. "So, you ran out of dog food at home?"

        Regaining his composure, he suddenly felt more comfortable speaking to her. "Yeah... yes! That's right," He smiled. So far, this Marla was the only person in his life who had not rejected Bonnie. He was still a bit guarded, careful to not slip up again, but he already... trusted her a bit.

        "It's a bit late so most stores are closed, but luckily this place was still open," he explained. Truth. He decided to just be honest, as he was sure he would make a fool of himself if he attempted to lie. "I had to get a bit creative with what to serve her tonight," he added with a nervous chuckle.

        Thankfully, he was spared from having to answer more questions, as the kitchen doors swung open, and what appeared to be a chef unit walked out with a plate and made its way over to their table.

        "Your order, sir. Two beef patties." The android briefly looked at Clyde with a hint of recognition, but he shifted his attention to Bonnie. "Pardon me, but no pets are allowed inside, except for service animals. You should know this. I'll have to insist it stay outside."

        It was likely the android could already tell what Clyde was, but this android was different. This android was like Andrea - still bound by their programming, and he had no reason to object to Clyde's presence. Only Bonnie's.

        The human waitress had given her approval already, which would have bypassed the android's attempt at enforcing the rules, but Clyde did not want to attract any more unnecessary attention, so he gave Marla an apologetic shrug as he wrapped the patties in a napkin and stood up.

        "Well, I guess we should get going, then! It was nice to meet you, Marla. Come on, Bonnie, let's go... home..." Clyde's voice trailed off. He hadn't planned so far ahead. Home? They no longer had a home. Comfort was of minimum concern to him as an android, but he did not want Bonnie to sleep out in the cold. He furrowed his brows slightly as he pondered this, but continued to head for the door.
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          #33    
        Old September 26th, 2018 (12:23 PM). Edited September 28th, 2018 by DSP.
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          RA600 "Lucas"

          "I agree." Lucas was sure Robin noticed his first-impression scan of her, but decided not to comment about it. "Deviants are unpredictable too." Eventually, one of them had to bring up the topic. Lucas, Robin and this Detective Whittaker were some kind of task force, one that was supposed to be the solution to deviancy.

          "I have never worked in a scenario involving deviants. But I have worked a lot with humans, so this should be similar, right?" As a man walked towards them, Lucas turned to him. "Hello."
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            #34    
          Old September 28th, 2018 (9:12 PM). Edited September 28th, 2018 by Bay.
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          Sandy Nhung

          Sandy stayed in campus a while longer as she has her english class in the evening. Today Professor Hastings was taking questions about the class’s current writing assignment, writing an essay on any pop culture that made a significance over the last thirty years. Sandy already thought of her topic, android singers and bands and how they benefited the music industry, and did an outline of her essay already. She waited until the end of class to have her professor have a look at it.

          “I must say, I’m liking where you’re going with your topic here,” Hastings said with a smile. He sat on his desk while reading her outline. “You’re indeed right androids have been creating a scene in the music industry.”

          “I thought that would be interesting to discuss after hearing the controversy with Hear4U,” Sandy said, and Hastings gave a low hum.

          “Ah yes, the all android band many of the traditional artists are protesting against. But anyways, I think your outline is solid enough as a basis for your essay.” The smile on Hastings’ face faded when he said, “However, part of me wonders if this is the right time to do this topic right now.”

          Sandy frowned, already having an idea over her professor’s hesitation. “The broadcast this afternoon.”

          Hastings nodded. “All of Detroit are mixed on what had just happen. If the androids were to take unfavorable actions, I’m afraid my perceptions of them will be swayed differently and it wouldn’t be fair to you.”

          Sandy regarded her professor a moment, then she asked, “So do you think I should think of a different topic?”

          “If possible, yes. You can drop by my office hours if you’re stuck on what to write, and I can give you an extension if needed.”

          “I appreciate that very much,” Sandy said with a genuine smile. She was disappointed that she needed to come up with a different subject for her paper, but was fortunate to have a flexible professor like Professor Hastings. She took a few steps toward the exit, but then stopped and turned around. “I have one last question before I go.”

          “Oh?” Professor Hastings lifted his brow at her with great interest.

          “Have you ever come in contact with the android professor here?”

          “You mean Fred that teaches history? We made small talk once or twice, but that’s about it. Is this related to that android's speech?”

          Gazing down briefly, Sandy had her left foot shift nervously. She looked back at her professor and answered, “Kinda. I have him for one of my classes and I’m worried what’s going to happen to him.”

          Hastings nodded in understanding. “As long as this android rights business doesn’t get out of hand, I think everything will be fine.”

          She could tell her professor wasn’t fully convinced that would be the case, but left it at that. Sandy thanked him and wished him goodnight before leaving the classroom. Once she was out, Sandy leaned against the wall and pinched the bridge of her nose.

          Was it a good idea for her to blurt out what was on her mind to Hastings? Maybe not, but at least he didn’t say any ill words towards Fred. Well, that might change soon.

          Taking a quick glance at her phone, Sandy noticed it had been a few hours since Fred’s meeting with the dean. It should be long over by now. She never knew the dean personally, so she wasn’t sure where he stood on androids. Perhaps next class she would ask Fred how the meeting went.

          Sandy thought about going home now, but when a male student rushed down the stairs and stopped in the middle of the hall she stopped and stared. A few of the other students that were here pulled their attention towards him too.

          “There’s a dead body upstairs!” he yelled after catching his breath, a terrified look on his face.

          Sandy’s stomach sunk. Immediately everyone followed him upstairs, and she too did the same after a late start.

          By the time she made it to the second floor, a small crowd already gathered around outside the dean’s office. The door was wide open for everyone to see a man’s body lying stiffed on the floor and dried blood on his forehead. The light in the room was still on. There was nervous chatter among the students.

          “What’s going on here?” Sandy jumped when she recognized that to be Hastings’ voice. He must’ve heard the student’s scream and came upstairs to see the commotion. She looked over her shoulder to see him freeze and his jaw drop. “Oh no…”

          Staring back at the dead body, Sandy’s skin grew cold. She didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but there was no doubt it was Fred that did this.
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            #35    
          Old September 28th, 2018 (9:25 PM).
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            AJ-600 "Joe'

            Joe smiled as the android customer and his canine left. He had, after all, completed his assigned task, and happy customers were more likely to return. He returned to the back room, finding Don stepping out of his office.

            "Ah, Joe, there you are. Is your training going well? Think you're ready to operate on your own, full-time?" The words "without pay" were implied, if not actually spoken.

            Joe nodded, calculating that an affirmative would be most pleasing to Don. "Indeed, Don. I am programmed for this kind of work, and my learning algorithms allow me to pick up the small details and individual policies of this particular workplace. I just need to confer with Ellis, who I believe has stepped outside."

            Don grunted, having tuned out most of Joe's spiel. "Right. If he's out there slacking off, grab him and bring him in here. His shift isn't over yet, and I won't abide laziness." With that, Don left Joe to his duties.

            Ellis Baker

            Meanwhile, Ellis had stepped outside into the chill Detroit air. The concrete platform was the right height for the delivery truck to back up to, with steps leading to street level and the dumpster tucked away in the alley. The stairs were slick with ice, but winters in Chicago had trained Ellis how to handle ice, especially with a guard rail there. He currently sat on that guard rail, his anger fading as he felt the cold wind on his face, gripping the chilled metal in his hands.

            If I ignore that he's an android, it's just like any other rookie. I've trained good workers in the past, and I'm still here. I have nothing to worry about. He adjusted his grip, leaning back to look up at the sky. He couldn't help but frown. But I can't ignore it. I will not be replaced by a machine. I will not not become my father.

            Just then, the door opened, and Joe stepped outside. "Ellis. I've been asked to bring you back inside. There is work to be done."

            Ellis hung his head, letting out a long breath. "Of course there is. There's always work. That's all you do, work. Hell, that's all I do. Maybe I'm the machine..." He looked back up at the sky rather than at the android. "Well maybe I say no. Maybe I'll just sit here for a while. What then? What will happen?"

            The LED on Joe's head spun yellow as he did some calculations. Ellis was refusing to come inside. He was electing to sit and look around rather than work. His actions fit the parameters for "slacking off", so Joe followed the orders his supervisor had given.

            His light returned to blue as he did as he was instructed, grabbing Ellis by the arm. "You will come with me. Don wishes to speak with you."

            Ellis was startled, attempting to shake his arm free, but Joe had a surprisingly strong grip. "Give me my hand back." He didn't actually growl, but there was a hard edge to his voice.

            Joe didn't pull, but he refused to let go, either. "I'm sorry, Ellis. But Don wishes to speak with you."

            Ellis felt his temper flare, jumping off the railing to confront the android. "I said let gwhoa!" His feet hit smooth ice, and his slip resistant shoes failed to resist slipping, and before he knew what happened he was falling.

            Time seemed to slow, and he felt Joe get pulled off balance. Ellis flailed for a moment, clawing the air for anything to grab, before his "training" kicked in and he tried to curl up, to protect his head. There was a soft clang of hitting metal, an ungodly loud CRACK of something breaking, and then there was just cold as he hit the ground.

            Panic tried to grab his mind, but Ellis forced himself to think, to assess the situation. He'd landed in snow, maybe two inches thick, which explained the cold. He'd landed on his shoulder, which now hurt, but he was otherwise okay. His vision was blurry, and he realized his glasses had gotten knocked off in the fall. He searched for them blindly, hearing the soft scuff of feet hitting the ground as he looked. He panicked a little, until he saw his glasses just a few inches from his face, being handed to him. He snatched them up, hurriedly putting them back on.

            Joe stood before him, and Ellis realized the android wasn't grabbing his arm now. The LED was flashing yellow, and Ellis realized that the crack he had heard came from Joe, as the android's skin around his right arm was disabled, revealing a large dent in the forearm. "Oh, muk, Joe! Is your arm broken?!" He quickly rose to his feet, concern on his face. He'd never done that much damage to something before, unless you counted a couple of broken chairs.

            "Unfortunately, yes." Joe responded in his usual happy tone. He even smiled. "However, it can be replaced. Workplace accidents can be easily mitigated, as CyberLife androids can be repaired, unlike humans."

            That touched a nerve, and Ellis felt phantom pain in his left hand, where his missing finger should have been. He grabbed Joe by the head, slamming his face into the guard rail. Joe tried to resist, but Ellis smashed his head into the metal pole again. "Repair that, jackass!" He shoved the android away, not caring if it fell.

            But Joe didn't fall. The impact broke the skin of his face, causing a thirium leak, along with some internal damage to his processor. He staggered back, his equilibrium thrown out of balance, and let out a metallic shriek as he stumbled away from Ellis, spinning in a circle as he careened into the street.

            Ellis watched in horror as Joe gushed blue blood, his LED flashing red as he screamed, stumbled, and flailed like something out of a horror film. The android took off down the street as Ellis ran back inside, almost colliding with Don.

            "Baker! What are you doing? You could hurt somebody!" Don snapped, but Ellis wouldn't let him start ranting. "Don, I think we may have just lost our robot."

            "WHAT?! What do you mean, 'lost our robot'?! What did you do!?" Several other employees were looking their way now, alerted by Don's yell. Ellis ignored them. "He slipped on the ice, and hit his head on the guard rail. Next thing I know, he goes berserk, carrying on and running down the street!"

            "Well don't just stand there!" Don yelled, pointing to the door. "Go after him! Unless you're gonna buy me a new one!"

            Ellis backed up a step, focusing on the wrong part of that command. "Buy a new one? I don't exactly have a thousand dollars laying around!"

            Don stepped closer, his face turning beet red as he lowered his voice menacingly. "Then I suggest you find that android, or I'll buy a new one using the money I save AFTER I FIRE YOU!" He was shouting now, and Ellis had to step back or get drenched by flying spittle. "TODAY, BAKER!"

            Ellis could only nod, running back out to the street. The sky was turning orange as the sun started to set, and Ellis didn't see Joe anywhere. He noticed Joe's tracks in the fresh snow, turning and swirling in his damaged state, which was his only clue. "I really hate that android!"
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              #36    
            Old September 29th, 2018 (2:08 AM).
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            RB300 "Robin"

            "I agree," Lucas responded to Robin's comment. "Deviants are unpredictable too. I have never worked in a scenario involving deviants. But I have worked a lot with humans, so this should be similar, right?"

            Robin raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying that deviants are like humans?" Maybe he didn't realize the implication of his words. It was true that deviants behaved irrationally, much like many humans did, as they were not bound by program protocols. Were deviants... human-like?

            But they didn't get an opportunity to explore the subject further, as detective Whittaker chose that moment to appear.

            "Y'all talking about me or something?"

            "Hello," Lucas said politely.

            "Detective," Robin acknowledged. "We should report to captain Fowler immediately, for debriefing."

            The trio moved through the office towards the captain's glass walled room, but before they could reach it, Fowler exited with a serious gaze at the group.

            "Debriefing will have to wait," she said, eyes on Whittaker. "We have a homicide case just being reported in, and a lead that suggests android - deviant - involvement."

            Robin didn't wait for other humans to speak up; she was designed to obey, but also to take charge to further the mission. "When did it happen?"

            "At the very most, a couple of hours ago. If the deviant is anything like most cases lately, it might still be nearby," Fowler responded. "We have some officers en route at this moment. The three of you are to report to Wayne County Community College as fast as you can. Get as much information as you can about the deviant's situation, and catch it if you can."

            She turned to go back in, but stopped and glanced back at Nigel. "The detective can drive you."



            Marla Jameson

            "Well, I guess we should get going, then! It was nice to meet you, Marla. Come on, Bonnie, let's go... home..."

            Clyde got up at the diner android's order, and slowly shuffled towards the door. Marla thought he looked like a shy kid lost in a crowd, and felt something tug at her heartstrings as Bonnie whined at being pulled away from the promised beef patties. Plus, her story was walking out on her. She couldn't just let Clyde go like that. She needed this.

            Hastily, she jumped into her coat, paid for both meals and fetched two doggybags from the lady at the counter, into which she shoved her unfinished burgers and the beef patties before rushing out the door herself.

            Clyde hadn't gotten far. In fact, he looked a bit as if he didn't know where to go.

            "Hey!" Marla called out, catching up to him and earning a wagging tail from Bonnie. "You forgot this," she added with a wink and held out the bag with his 'dog food'.

            Feeling a bit awkward when she realized that this was probably not normal behavior from a woman you'd literally just met, she found herself rambling on. "So where's home? Uh, if you don't mind me asking, of course, haha. I don't mean to be annoying, sorry. My home's a short cab ride that way." She nodded in a direction. "Not that you care, of course. Haha. I think I'm getting a bit tired. Lack of caffeine, for sure. My android refuses to make me coffee in the evenings though, so I tried to get some at the diner."

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              #37    
            Old October 1st, 2018 (9:11 AM).
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            TV600 / Malcolm


            Malcolm walked through the cold Detroit air, registering the sound of his feet on the ground. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, giving the illusion of warding off the cold. Always playing the part, blending in. That was how he stayed safe. It also let him keep his hand on the red ice at all times.

            It was still, few people were out and about in that part of the city still. Those that were had still to finish up with work and weren’t wandering the streets. That’s why when he detected the extra footsteps moving along with his, it was easy to tell that someone was following him. The movements were too measured and precise to be a human tailing him though, Malcolm determined quickly that his stalker was an android.

            He turned around to see the android skulking along behind him, doing his best not to be seen. Unfortunately for him, this wasn’t a spot well set out for being covert. Malcolm could see him clearly. A different model from him, also with dark skin but a shorter build and neatly cropped hair. He was dressed in work clothes and a brown coat. Strangely enough, the android also wore glasses. Perhaps he too was trying to blend in?

            “Is there a reason you’re following me?”

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            Old 4 Weeks Ago (11:32 AM).
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            Fred

            "Is there a reason you’re following me?"

            Fred was startled when the android he was following abruptly stopped and spoke to him. Figures it had noticed him - it wasn't exactly easy to hide or be subtle on this particular street. Fred sighed in resignation and held out his hands to show his peaceful intent.

            "I don't mean any harm. I saw what you did." He carefully took a few steps closer, so he didn't have to raise his voice to converse. "You... You're a deviant. I am too. My name is Fred. And I..."

            He looked down, unsure of how to ask what he wanted to ask. He had hoped he could just follow the android and see where he made his home, his dwelling. A deviant hideout, perhaps. Figures he wouldn't be lucky enough to follow him undetected. Fred was an old, clumsy model by now, after all.

            "I need help. I have nowhere to go," he said with a human-like sigh, looking back up at the other android. The other man.
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            Old 3 Weeks Ago (10:16 AM).
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            RB300 "Robin" --- RA600 "Lucas" --- Nigel Whittaker

            The trio gathered what they needed and headed for Nigel’s car. Nigel drove, of course, even though Robin suspected she would do a better job as an android, but there was no need for that right now. She and Lucas got into the backseat.

            The drive wasn’t long, but it felt strangely quiet in the beginning. Robin figured this was a good opportunity to try and get to know her new ‘partners’ better, and steeled herself for breaking the silence. Not that she needed to do it - she could look these things up in her digital file, of course - but she was designed to try and fit in with humans, so she felt compelled to try.

            “So, detective Whittaker,” she said. “How long have you been working with the DPD? Were you originally stationed here to work with deviants?”

            Nigel raised his eyebrow, and then sighed. “ A few years since Deviants became a problem. Actually, DPD was were I started, after around… twenty years, I think, I became an FBI detective. And then they stationed me back in detroit… two years ago. ”

            He turned his attention back to the road, and took a right turn at an intersection.

            “I see,” Robin commented, humanly. “I myself was just taken into action. I don’t have much experience, but I believe I make up for it in the knowledge they have programmed me with and that I can access digitally.”

            She turned to the stoic android next to her in the backseat. “How about you… Lucas? Have you met deviants before?”

            Lucas, who was then minding his own business (or maybe just being a blank slate like most androids) faced forward when he responded. “Not directly. I just guarded houses while the human SWAT operatives took them down.”

            Robin couldn’t help but frowning at that, and her LED actually blinked yellow for a second.

            “Human operatives just took them down?” She supposed it might have been necessary, like when Whittaker killed a deviant in the past. But still. The thought seemed illogical to her, considering her main mission was to capture deviants without killing them. “Had they tried to approach the deviants first for more information, but failed?”

            “Would someone try to calm down an angry lion?” He used analogies when he talked to humans, and occasionally he would use them with androids. They worked better with them, it seemed. “Those deviants posed a danger to the people around them, and needed to be destroyed. Of course, forensics and CyberLife extracted what they could from them afterwards.”

            Robin processed his logic for a second. “That is a fair assessment,” she concluded, back into machine mode all of a sudden. “I suppose that’s why they specified in my mission protocols now that I’m not to destroy the deviants. To make sure I do all I can to avoid that happening again.” She actually did produce a smile, then, towards the other android. “But if the angry lions should still attack, it’s good to know I have a lion tamer on my side.”

            He simply nodded and smiled back. Not very intimidating for an android designed to enforce the brutal side of the law, but he still had to work with humans. It was a side effect he noticed and contacted CyberLife about. “All androids think the same.”

            “Of course,” Robin concurred. “We’re built to.”

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            Old 1 Week Ago (12:39 AM).
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            Marla Jameson --- Clyde

            Clyde looked into her earnest, kind eyes as he took the bag from her. Under his hood, his LED was spinning yellow as he processed everything that had happened that night. He quietly studied Marla’s expression and weighed his options. Could he confide in this woman?

            “We… ran away from home,” he answered her hesitantly. Clyde wasn’t sure what she would make of that; he had the appearance of a grown man, or at least a young adult - a bit old to sell the ‘runaway teenager’ story, so that must have sounded a bit odd. “So I guess we don’t really have anywhere to go tonight,” he continued with a weak smile, as Bonnie impatiently pawed at the bag in his hand.

            Clyde continued out the door and held it open for the two girls. The three of them stepped out into the chilly November night.

            “Oh,” Marla said, trying not to react in a way that would give away that she knew what he was. It was hard to think up a good reaction. Several seconds hard. Hopefully he wouldn’t find it weird though. Maybe he’d just think she’d been surprised. How often did grown men run away from home, after all? From abusive wives? Taking their dog with him?

            More likely an abusive owner, then, she thought. She felt slightly disappointed when she realized that meant he probably wasn’t part of the android terrorist group after all. He didn’t seem like the kind of person who would be lying. Person… Android, she meant. Android weren’t really people, she had to remind herself.

            But he looked so very human, standing here in the street, smiling at her in a way that most definitely was more sad and lost than happy. He looked more like a puppy than the puppy next to him, Marla couldn’t help but thinking.

            Ah, to hell with it. She told herself there might just be some kind of story to get out of this, still. She definitely didn’t simply pity a lonely android. No, no.

            “Well,” she began slowly, writhing her hands subconsciously and watching Bonnie wag her tail on the ground, “my android does tell me I should be more social. And after what happened today, the TV thing, you know, I’m kind of worried how she’s doing, to be honest. Maybe having a guest over would be a nice distraction.”

            She looked up into Clyde’s eyes, and suddenly felt her cheeks blush. “I mean, if you want to. Both of you. Of course. I don’t mind. Just, trying to be a good samaritan here.”

            "Is... is that okay?" Clyde asked carefully. "Bonnie- I mean, we would really appreciate being out of the cold tonight." Bonnie's ears perked up at the sound of her name. She's getting used to it, Clyde thought privately and smiled proudly to himself.

            He was cautiously optimistic about the arrangement, but went with his gut feeling - well, whatever deviants had instead of guts that made them do illogical things like disobeying orders and running away. “We would love that, thank you,” Clyde replied quickly, before she changed her mind.

            Marla’s face split up into a wide smile again, even though she was a bit nervous when she called for a cab and took the man home. Android, not man. She wouldn’t have taken a stranger human home like this, but this was an android. Even though she was fairly sure he was a deviant, she wasn’t really worried about that. Only interested. She hoped that he wouldn’t realize that she knew.

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