A/N: I've had this idea bouncing around in my head for a while now so I thought I'd just go for it. Hope you all like it! Let me know what you think :). And on a side note, The Last of Us DLC comes out tomorrow/today! (I have no idea what day it is for you guys). Who's buzzin'?! X
"Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviours, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited" – Margaret Mead
There were only three rules regarding androids:
1) No android shall ever harm a human being, not even in self defence of their master or themselves.
2) An android must obey all commands given to them by their master, unless it conflicts with the first rule.
3) No android shall ever be built with the capacity to feel human emotion. Simulation of emotion is acceptable.
These rules were the pillars of Hanscorp's foundation. But like all rules they were meant to be broken, even if they were broken by those who first created them.
Hanscorp is the world's leading manufacturer of robots, androids if you will. Twenty years ago it changed the face of the earth. The corporation first produced simple robots that were able to carry out basic tasks. For example, one would have been programmed to cook certain meals. The first models were only in the homes of the rich and famous. A couple of years later, the company expanded, much more time and resources were put into the creation of more efficient and lifelike robots. They have become so humanised that they are now referred to as androids. Most of the human population owns the latest model available, the HM-0819 series. This particular android is an exact replica of a human. Synthetic skin covers its metal chassis as well as specially produced synthetic fibre for hair. They look almost human, apart from their unnatural silver eyes. These androids are also recognised as machines by the branded company logo and series number on the back of their necks and their individual barcodes on their wrists. What is most exceptional is that they are able to simulate human emotion. The success of these androids is unparalleled. But Hans Orvik, founder and CEO of Hanscorp was still not satisfied. The ability to simulate human emotion was not good enough. He wanted to create an android that could feel. An android that would be a better human than any human could ever be. Thus Anna was created.
Dr Arendelle was a peculiar young woman to say the least. She was beautiful, smart – at 22 years of age she had completed her doctorate in the psychology of human behaviour. Her unprecedented intelligence allowed her to skip a few years of high school and college, and now here she was one year later, working for Hanscorp.
But Elsa's extraordinary intelligence was not what made her peculiar, no, it was the fact that she couldn't stand working with androids. Strange really, for someone part of a world where owning and working alongside them was the norm. The young doctor's contempt for them stemmed from a memory she had tried very hard to repress.
Six years ago, a very tragic incident occurred – one that went on to tarnish Elsa's views of androids forever. She was just a teenager then, one that was prone to mood swings just like any other sixteen year old. Her parents had insisted that they spent some quality family time together. They were on their way to a fancy restaurant that they had often frequented when Elsa was younger. Distinctly the blonde woman remembers with shame how rude she had been to her parents, how she had sat in the back of the limo, ignoring any attempts of conversation they made. The teenager wanted to go to a party that her friend was throwing, and they had refused to let her go.
During this time, it was not uncommon for vehicles to be driven by androids, people still drove of course, but it was a nice luxury to be driven around. Nobody could have foreseen what happened. Stig, as Elsa had so affectionately named their personal driver, malfunctioned. Sadly, this little mishap didn't occur anywhere safe. They had been on a busy motorway when the android began to glitch. First it started with the unnecessary swerving between lanes. Then he shut down whilst at a speed of seventy miles an hour, the speed limit. The limo should have begun to slow down, but it didn't. Rapidly the speed increased, until it reached around ninety-six miles per hour, or so the police report says. Soon the car lost all control and barrel rolled into an oil truck.
Elsa couldn't quite recall how long she had been seat belted to her chair upside down. All she remembered was her father frantically dragging her out of a smashed window as the limo burned. He laid her down on the ground as far away from the scene as possible. The broken girl knew that he had said something to her before he ran back to the limo, but she didn't know what. His voice was muffled by the ringing in her ears. Her body was limp, although she managed to turn her head, letting her eyes follow her father. He was going back for her mother. Oil met fire. He had just knelt down in the shattered glass when the explosion happened. In milliseconds a heat wave of shrapnel was flying through the air, spraying everyone within the vicinity. Moments later, sirens could be heard. Elsa blacked out, so do her memories.
It may have been unreasonable to have an intense dislike of all androids because of an accident that was caused by a malfunctioning, but that didn't stop Elsa from doing so. Logic told her that if it had been a human driving, then that horrific accident would not have occurred. A human would not have had a break down, or even shut down the way the android had. It was simply implausible. Admittedly humans were not without their flaws. There were so many factors that may cause a human to crash a vehicle: things such as tiredness, driving under the influence and so forth. However Elsa could comprehend these things, they were after all, human error. But androids? They were created to be perfect at what they do, created without flaws or defects. Obviously that was not true. The orphaned woman was aware that technology had come a long way since then, but there was still the odd case of androids playing up.
So why was Elsa working for Hanscorp? To put it plainly – for the money. She had come out of university to find that there were virtually no jobs available, apart from one: behaviour and emotion trainer for the latest model of androids. The desperate young woman gritted her teeth and applied for it. The need for money to survive outweighed the inner dilemmas she was having. The corporation had been so impressed with her achievements and speedy completion of her education at such a young age they hired her almost immediately.
Soon a year had passed. Dr Elsa Arendelle walked down the white corridors of Hanscorp's main research building. She had an important meeting with Hans Orvik, about what she did not know. What she did know however, was that he was not a man who made a habit of associating with lower level employees. In all the time that Elsa had worked for the corporation, she had only met the man once. In the young doctor's opinion, he seemed like a jackass with a God complex.
Elsa finally reached the waiting room where she was told that someone would be there to meet her. It was empty. Rigidly she sat down. Truth be told, she was quite nervous. Her hands fussed with her platinum blonde hair to make sure that her bun was neat and all hair was in place. As per usual, it was. Too caught up in worrisome thoughts, the blonde woman didn't notice that someone had approached her. A small cough caught Elsa's attention.
The blonde looked up; her sapphire blue eyes met unusual pale blue ones. They belonged to a young woman who appeared to be about eighteen, with gorgeous red hair worn in two braids. She was looking at Elsa expectantly.
"Dr Arendelle? Hi I'm Anna. My father sent for to get you." Her hand was outstretched, a warm smile on her delicate features.
Elsa quickly stood up, smoothing out her white lab coat as she did so. She shook Anna's hand. "It's nice to meet you, although I wasn't aware that Mr Orvik had a daughter." She also wasn't aware that he would have one as old as Anna either.
"I get that reaction a lot." The red haired girl winked. "Now if you'd like to follow me, it's best not to keep my father waiting."
With a polite smile, Elsa agreed.
Elsa was sat at the large glass desk of one Hans Orvik. His whole office was very modern, with numerous pieces of abstract art adorning his white walls. To be honest, the young doctor had no idea what any of them meant. Mr Orvik rested his elbows on his desk, his chin perched in his closed hands. He had fiery red hair was much like Anna's. They looked rather similar; Elsa assumed that she probably took after her father's looks more than her mother's, apart from the freckles that decorated her face.
"So Dr Arendelle, how do you like working for Hanscorp?" The man had an unnerving smile on his face.
"I like it very much Sir." Short and sweet. Elsa didn't think he needed to know the true depth of her feelings.
"Really?" His smile was wider now. "See, I did a little research before calling you in here." Mr Orvik paused for dramatic effect. "I found out some very interesting information regarding your parents. Tragic really." His feigned sympathy was not lost on Elsa. "Are you aware that your co-workers refer to you as the Ice Queen?"
"Yes Sir I am. And with all due respect, I do not care what they think of me. I am here to work, not make friends. Is there a problem with the standard of my work?" Her tone was sharp; a perfectly shaped eyebrow was raised, daring him to challenge her.
Hans liked this one. She was brave, just what he was looking for. "How admirable. And no, I have no qualms with your work ability. In fact, I am impressed with how much you have been able to humanise the HM-0819 series. Their simulations of emotions are almost perfect." Hans smiled wistfully.
"Almost Sir?" Elsa was confused. How much closer to real emotions could they get?
"Well it's not real is it?" The red haired man asked, leaning back in his leather chair.
"Of course not. Everyone knows that androids cannot possibly experience real emotion. Rule three dictates it."
Hans laughed heartily. "Rules are meant to be broken are they not?" He leant forward again, excited about what he was about to discuss with the young woman before him. "I have a proposition for you."
Elsa had the feeling that she would not like where this was going. "Go on."
"I have a top secret project that I have been working on these past couple of months. A lot of money and my time has been put into it. If you take this promotion and work on this project in private with a special team of my most trusted employees, then I will triple your pay as well as throw in some additional benefits." His grin was huge now, barely containing is eagerness.
"Triple?! Are you serious" Elsa's eyes were as wide as saucers.
She tried to hide her disbelief, replacing it with a mask of indifference. "What sort of benefits?"
He recognised her poker face immediately. "Free private healthcare and dental. A courtesy car of your choosing, with no price limit. A large house with a built in security system closer to work. Oh, and you'll be able to take a lot of your work home for this project." He'd won her over. He knew it.
"What exactly do I have to do on this little project?" Her eyes narrowed, these were some pretty hefty bonuses.
"And there's the catch, my dear. Due to the secrecy of this project, I am unable to tell you the full details until you agree and sign the confidentiality contract."
Elsa hesitated for a few seconds. "Fine. It's a deal."
Mr Orvik pushed the already available forms across the glass to her. It took her fifteen minutes to skim read all the fine print. There were some interesting clauses to say the least. Thankfully her boss had allowed her to have a copy of them once everything was processed.
"So Elsa, if I may call you such? Now that we are colleagues on this project, you may refer to me as Hans." He smiled, genuinely this time. He pushed a button on the intercom and spoke into it, "You may come in now, dear."
Elsa heard the large oak doors open behind her, followed by light footsteps. Abruptly Hans stood up, as did Elsa, ready to greet whoever he had just called for.
"Elsa, I believe you have met my daughter Anna?" He gestured proudly with his hand, "She is the world's first android with the ability to truly feel."
The young blonde stared at Anna, confusion written all over her face. Sapphire once again met pale blue.
Time seemed to stand still.