"KENNEX! DORIAN!" Maldonado yelled from her office. Dorian, whom had been leaning against John desk, jumped and turned around to his captain. John startled because Dorian did and he looked up to Sandra with an expecting look on his face.
"Yeah!?" John asked, trying to ignore the fact that a robot just jumped.
"My office please," She said. John took the calibrator off his thigh.
"Calibration Incomplete," His leg protested but he hauled himself up onto his feet and followed Dorian up the steps into her office.
"What's up?" John asked as he sat down.
"Tomorrow morning, you both need to report to personnel immediately after roll call," She told them.
"For what?" Dorian asked.
"The powers that be have decided that you will be put through random testing. The reasoning behind it is if you continue to perform as well as you do and pass these tests, they may bring back more DRN's," Maldonado told him. Dorian couldn't help but smile.
"They are thinking of bringing back my line?" Dorian asked.
"Yes, you have performed wonderfully, you have shiny reviews from not only your partner and co-workers but also the civilians you have worked with. Now they won't bring back the entire line, they won't replace the MX's. What they want to do is bring in DRN's in special situations like I did with John. They want to match DRN's to certain partners," Maldonado explained.
"So they are going to give androids psych evals?" John asked.
"Yep, going to be giving you one too," She added.
"What!?" John asked.
"Yep, they are going to be evaluating both of you to see why the two of you work together so well," Maldonado replied. John hung his head backwards and groaned.
"Tomorrow is going to suck!" He grumbled.
"What kind of testing will they be doing?" Dorian asked.
"All they told me was that it is going to be a modified version of the Luger test along with the psych evaluations," Maldonado answered. Dorian hung his head back and groaned.
"Tomorrow IS going to suck!" Dorian said imitating his partner. John smiled over at Dorian and laughed.
"Should I act like an MX?" Dorian asked seriously to John.
"No! Absolutely not, Dorian. Everything about tomorrow has to be approached honestly otherwise it would compromise everything! And besides you shouldn't ever act like anyone but yourself Dorian," Maldonado said. Dorian smiled to her and got to his feet. John did the same, once again with protest from his leg.
"John-?" Maldonado asked.
"It's fine, it's being bitchy today," John said and hobbled a little, that leg was stiff. A few steps later he was taking normal steps.
"Take it and have Rudy look it over anyway," Maldonado told him.
"Yeah, yeah," John replied as he went out the door behind Dorian.
"Well this will be exciting," John said as he sat back down in his chair and put the calibrator back on.
"If you say so," Dorian replied and stood next to the desk.
"What was the Luger test like?" John asked.
"It was a bunch of questions, they would give me a scenario and ask me how I would handle it and then they would show me crime scene photos and watch my reactions," Dorian said.
"Like what kind of scenarios?" John asked, he was curious.
"Let's see the one I remember off the top of my head was-," Dorian started.
"Off the top of your head?" John asked.
"Yes, the memories I have without having to dig back into my files," Dorian said. John was quiet for a second but then motioned for him to go on.
"One question was…say your partner is wounded, they've been shot, and the culprit is getting away, you can catch the perp easily but if your partner is losing a lot of blood, what do you do?" Dorian said. John thought about it.
"You can shoot the perp without leaving your partner," John replied. Dorian laughed.
"My answer was, take care of my partner, catch the perp another day," Dorian said. John nodded.
"Yes, good answer," John said.
"What else?" John asked. Dorian shook his head.
"Okay, another one was… a hostage that has been wounded and is close to death is in sight but the bad guy has a gun to your partners head, you have no weapon, Bad guy makes you choose between saving the wounded hostage or your partner. If you move towards the hostage your partner will be shot, what do you do?" Dorian asked.
"Charge the bad guy, get his weapon," John said.
"Risky, your partner could still get shot," Dorian told him.
"With your speed?" John asked.
"All it would take is a knee jerk reaction for the trigger to be pulled," Dorian told him.
"Do it anyway. If that ever happens with us, do it. Save the hostage," John said.
"Right," Dorian said and looked away.
"I'm serious Dorian, if you even have to slimmest chance of saving an innocent over me, just promise me you won't make a scene at my funeral," John told him. Dorian looked over at him.
"You are serious aren't you?" Dorian asked. John nodded.
"Calibration complete," Johns leg spoke.
"With two minutes to go until the end of our shift!" John said with a glance at his watch.
"Now I get to take this thing home, take it off which will fuck up the calibration again and try to get it matched in the morning!" John said and sat forward.
"Maybe you should take it to Rudy," Dorian replied.
"It'll be fine," John said and got up. "I'm hungry for noodles!"
"You're always hungry, and you're always hungry for noodles!" Dorian replied.
"Yeah well when you're vomiting left and right because you just woke up from a coma and your nervous system doesn't know its up from its down, noodles are a blessing!" John said.
"Noodles are quickly digested, you would get the most nutrients from them, it makes sense," Dorian said.
"And boy did they pack the nutrients into those things, they wanted to get me off the IV's," John said. Dorian nodded along as they walked to the elevator.
"Most people usually develop an avoidance to foods they have regurgitated," Dorian remarked.
"Well, I'm not most people," John said.
"No you most definitely are not," Dorian replied as the elevator opened and they got on.
Dorian sat next to John and waited nervously during roll call.
"Hey bot, would you stop with the tapping, you're making me nervous!" Richard piped up behind Dorian. Dorian looked back at him in confusion.
"What?" Dorian asked.
"He's talking about your hand, you're tapping your chair," John said. Dorian looked down at his hand and stopped.
"What are you so nervous for? You passed your tests before," John told him.
"I can't help it," Dorian said. A moment later he began tapping his heel. Dorian just about jumped out of his synthetic skin when John reached out and grabbed his leg.
"You need to try," John replied.
"What's his deal?" Richard asked. John looked over his shoulder.
"He has to take the Luger test again," John said.
"Oh, been acting a little crazy on the job lately?" Richard asked.
"No more than you, and besides it's not actually a Luger test, it's different and it's to see if they want to bring back some more DRN's to the force," Dorian told him.
"That sounds like a brilliant idea," Richard said sarcastically.
"What have you got against DRN's?" John snapped.
"He can't boss them around or bang them," Dorian retorted sharply. John smiled and hung his head, trying not to draw attention to them during the roll call.
"Yeah I can, go get me some coffee, black, three sugars," Richard replied. Dorian turned in his chair so he could better looked at Richard.
"Should I tell you which of my synthetic body parts to suck, or would you like to choose for yourself?" Dorian asked. John lost it. He began laughing while still trying not to draw attention to himself. The detectives in front of them heard it too and were also trying not to laugh.
"Is there a problem gentlemen?" Maldonado asked from the front of the room and Dorian turned the right way around in his chair, leaving Richard speechless.
"No, we're good," John replied.
"Did that bot just tell me to suck it's dick?" Richard asked, leaning forward.
"Oh no, he said you could choose," John replied.
"Does he even have a dick?" Richard asked. Dorian turned around to face him again.
"For your information-," Dorian started but John quickly grabbed his arm and turned him forward.
"Dorian!" John scolded.
"Kennex, Stahl, and Paul, There is a situation in your sector that needs your attention. Dispatch orders have been sent to your partners, you need to report on scene immediately, Thank you everyone be safe out there," Maldonado released them and they all began to file out the door. Dorian's face lit up as he received the order, there had been a double homicide. John got up and motioned for Dorian to follow him.
"Captain what about Dorian's testing?" John asked.
"It will have to wait, tell me what you find out at the scene," She told him.
"Alright then, let's go," John said and he and Dorian went to catch up with the other joint detectives.
"Must be really bad if they postponed my testing," Dorian remarked as they left.
"That's what I was thinking," John replied.
Dorian and John got to the scene and found Valerie and Richard in the victims living room.
"What happened here?" John asked.
"Serial killer to say the least," Valerie said and looked down at the bodies of two young women. They were laid across the floor, furniture had been moved. They were nude but covered in white, blood stained cotton that was draped over them and entwined their hands to be reaching out to each other. They had been sliced and stabbed more times than John could count.
"This is Sarah Callihan and Megan Bloom, they are both college students, they shared this apartment," Richard read from his tablet as John looked around the scene.
"What's the likelihood they had any idea who their attacker was?" John asked.
"Slim to none, they definitely met him first, since there was no forced entry but they didn't know him," Valerie said.
"How the hell could you know that?" Richard asked.
"She's the profiler remember?" John replied. Dorian had been running background checks on the girls.
"Neither of the women have any connections to known criminals," Dorian said.
"Well they obviously knew at least one," Richard said.
"Targeted by one," Valerie corrected him.
"Whether they knew their attacker or not the fact remains that we have to find who did this to them, a little more decorum on your part Detective Paul would be appreciated, these are someone's loved ones," Dorian said very seriously to Richard. Richard looked at him for a moment and nodded. John looked up over his shoulder to Dorian. John had been squatting down next to the victims trying to get a closer look.
"Sorry," Richard said.
"Thank you," Dorian said. Dorian looked down when John tugged on his sleeve. John reached over the girls to their hands with his pen in his hand outreached. Dorian grabbed Johns arm and held him up from falling over top of Megan. John knocked what he had been looking at out of the girls' hands onto the floor. He then grabbed it. It was a video drive.
Dorian pulled John back and to his feet. John handed him the device.
"What's on this?" John asked. Dorian held the device in his fingers and accessed its memory. The lights of his face shimmered and he soon had a saddened disgusted expression written across that face.
"What's wrong?" John asked.
"The man that did this…recorded it, for us. He didn't even bother to hide his face." Dorian said.
"Can you scan it?" John asked.
"Alden Banes, whereabouts unknown," Dorian answered.
"That is incorrect, the suspects address is listed as-," Valeries MX spoke up.
"It's a six year old record with no other activity," Dorian said.
"This guy wouldn't be there anyway. He can't stay in one place too long," Valerie said.
"Dorian, We are going to have to watch that video to learn more about him." Valerie added. Dorian nodded.
"Of course, I'll save it under your name on the police server"
"Who gets to inform the families?" Richard asked.
"We'll take it," John replied.
"Detective Stahl is better in such emotional situations and interacting with people," Dorian replied.
"Are you saying I can't do it?" John asked.
"You can't handle it when I cry, how are you going to handle two sets of parents that just lost their child?" Dorian asked.
"He cries?" Richard asked.
"That's what you took from that?" Dorian asked.
"Yes, apparently he was 'made to feel'," John replied.
"I see," Richard replied.
"Let's get it over with," John said and started for the door.
"You're serious?" Dorian asked.
"Yes, will you stop questioning that? Let's go," John said. Dorian shrugged.
"Alright," Dorian agreed and followed him.
They notified the families and Dorian couldn't help but smirk at his partner when they got back in their car.
"I am very impressed John, you were quite compassionate back there," Dorian told him.
"You're surprised?" John asked. Dorian laughed.
"I shouldn't be really, you surprise me all the time. I just didn't expect that from the guy that doesn't get along with kids or cats," Dorian replied.
"Hey, you didn't do too bad yourself, wonder if they even knew they were holding hands with a synthetic," John replied. Dorian looked at him.
"Synthetic? You haven't called me that in a long time," Dorian said coldly with a glare at John.
"I was just making a point, I'm sorry," John apologized.
"Forgiven, I also noticed your leg hasn't been giving you any problems, that's good especially after all the trouble it gave you last night," Dorian said. John nodded with a glance down.
"Yep it's feeling great," John said.
"Feeling great?" Dorian asked. John nodded. They were distracted by John's phone ringing. He pulled it out of his pocket.
"Hello?" John answered the phone. Dorian gave him a strange look, he always answered the phone with 'Kennex'. Something seemed off.
"Yeah, we'll be there in ten minutes," John said over the device. Dorian waited for John to finish the call and fill him in. He hacked the phone though to find out he was talking to Stahl. John hung up and looked over to Dorian.
"There's another body," John said.
"That's fast, that's extremely fast. The way he took his time and posed Megan and Sarah would suggest he's very organized. A killer really doesn't hunt that often," Dorian said.
"Unless this all part of one big plan this nutjob's cooked up," John said.
They made it to the new crime scene. It was very different that the first scene. This one was in a back alley. The victim was posed in the same manner with the same slices and stabs all over her skin. However this time words were carved into her torso.
"This is fun, catch me if you can," John read as he walked up to the scene.
"Pricks getting cocky," John said.
"He's been cocky. This happened too fast," Valerie said, she was standing next to the body.
"She was found by a drone," Valerie added. John looked over to her.
"Do we know time of death?" John asked.
"Judging by temperature, time of death was six hours ago. Not long after the other victims," Dorian answered him using his thermal scanner on the victim.
"Who is she?" John asked.
"Abigaile Woodard, she was an elementary school teacher" Dorian answered. John leaned forward and looked in her hands. He found another video drive. He retrieved it and gave it to Dorian. Dorian's face revealed what it was before he could say.
"Another video for us?" John asked.
"Yes, but now there's something else, it has images from this morning's crime scene, Images of Detective Stahl," Dorian answered him.
"Once again, a cocky son of a bitch! Is there nothing you can get from these videos to tell us where they were sent from?" John asked.
"The first video was made in the victims apartment, this one was made in what looks like a warehouse, near the bay. There are several shots out the windows, I might….be able to triangulate a location," Dorian said and analyzed the film. Dorian then smiled.
"I have an address," He said.
"Excellent, let's go!" Valerie said.
"No, you're not going," John told her.
"Excuse me?" Valerie asked.
"It's too dangerous, I don't want to risk it," John told her.
"Oh come on Kennex, this comes with the job! Right Dorian?" Valerie asked the android.
"Danger is a part of being a police officer is yes, and facing that danger is what makes us cops, You of all people should understand that. I know you care about Detective Stahl but her courage is part of what makes you like her so much," Dorian said to John.
"We would be playing right into this guys hands, he's skilled enough to kill three people back to back and not be caught in the act and leave videos for us. He's taunting us, he wants us to do this. I think he is more than capable of setting a trap." John said.
"And I am more than capable of handling myself! Don't worry, if something happens no one will be able to blame you for it," Valerie told him.
"You know damn well I don't care about that," John snapped.
"Kennex, I'm going, now let's go get this guy!" Valerie said. John reluctantly nodded.
"Alright, let's get him before he get's someone else," John said and went with Valerie and Dorian.
"You couldn't have had my back better than that?" John asked Dorian when they were alone in their cruiser.
"Detective Stahl is a cop, just because she is a target doesn't mean she should be hidden away like a civilian. If anyone in the department should be put in protection it's you," John said.
"Me?" John asked.
"Yes, inSyndicate has targeted you, they sent an agent under cover with you, tried to kill you, almost did, and they have a lot more resources at their fingertips. You are in more danger than Detective Stahl is with her serial killer. At least she can profile him, distract him long enough to wait for back up or an opening to kick his ass if she can't just shoot him. Anna ever comes back for you you're screwed," Dorian explained.
"Man, you really know how to inspire confidence in a guy," John replied and looked forward out the windshield.
"Are you feeling okay?" Dorian asked.
"What?" John asked.
"You've been acting strange, you called me a synthetic which you usually save for special occasions when you just want to piss me off. Then you talk about your synthetic leg as 'feeling great' And now I make an insanely insensitive remark about you that you would have normally shot me for saying. On top of that you, for the first time I've ever noticed, treated Detective Stahl like less than a cop. What's going on with you?" Dorian demanded. John just looked at him.
"Nothing's going on, I'm fine. I guess I'm just nervous about all this testing we're supposed to be doing but instead we're trying to track down a serial killer," John said. Dorian scanned John for a moment before nodding.
"Are you scanning me?" John asked.
"Just your basic vitals nothing else," Dorian replied with a smirk on his face.
"Good, keep it that way," John said as he drove.
Dorian scanned the building they were parked outside of.
"There hasn't been any activity on our side," Valerie said over the radio.
"Ours either, Dorian says there is a heat signature in the basement but there's no movement, it could be a lamp for all we know," John replied.
"Shape and temperature would suggest it's an unconscious person," Dorian corrected.
"We going to get this over with and find out?" Valerie asked.
"Fine, suit up," John said and got out of the car. He got into the trunk and got out his vest. He strapped it on as Dorian got out of the car.
"I want you to stick close to Stahl alright?" John said. Dorian came around and got John set up with his locator.
"She has her MX," Dorian said as he got the tactical rifle out of the gun case in the trunk. He armed it and handed it to John.
"I know, but – Thank you – I just want to make sure this creep doesn't pull something on us and gets her killed," John said, distracted for a moment while Dorian placed the locator on Johns vest and activated his vital scanner.
"And if you get shot while I am covering another detective my ass is getting sent back to the scrap heap. John, she'll be fine. We're all going in together, we've even got Pauly here with his MX, plus the extra four MX's Maldonado sent with us. Calm down, man, and when we get done with this ask her out or I'll do it for you!" Dorian replied with annoyance in his voice.
"That's not necessary," John snapped at him.
"Good," Dorian said.
"We ready to go?" Richard asked, walked up to them from his car.
"Yes," Dorian answered him.
"My MX was telling me there's another entrance on the north side of the building, I'll take mine plus two other MX's and cover that entrance. Tell me when you're hitting the door," Richard told him. John nodded.
"Got it," John said and Richard picked the MX's he wanted and they moved around the building.
Valerie found them, she and the remaining MX's were ready to go. They approached the door and Dorian stepped in front of John and Valerie to lead them in. Valerie tested the door. When it turned out to be locked Dorian kicked it in and went inside. Valerie filed in behind him and John came in behind her. The MX's came in, in formation.
They all scanned the seemingly abandoned warehouse. It was dim and ransacked. Windows were busted and glass littered the ground along with fallen shelving units. They passed a set of stairs and John shined his flash light up them.
"Dorian, what's upstairs?" John whispered.
"The upper levels were for manufacturing, the basement was for overflow storage," Dorian answered.
"Where was the heat signature?" Valerie asked.
"Basement," Dorian answered.
"MX's clear the above floors," Valerie said and the three MX's went up the steps.
"In pursuit of suspect fleeing the North side of the building!" Richard said over the line.
"You need back up?" John asked.
"Negative, MX's have got it covered," Richard answered.
"We're headed downstairs," John said when he found another set of steps that went down. Dorian went to go down first but John cut him off.
"Remember what I told you," John whispered over his shoulder to Dorian. Dorian glanced to Valerie. She was alone now, she sent the damn MX's upstairs.
They got downstairs and it was very dark. There was a light on pretty far away, they could see reflections off the shelving units that still had abandoned merchandise on them. Dorian stuck close to Valerie but kept tabs on John.
They took separate aisles as they searched. Valerie and Dorian found the source of the light. It was a bright lamp over an empty space.
"So the heat signature was a lamp," Valerie said.
"No, this is a no heat lamp," Dorian told her and put a hand on the bulb. It registered minimal heat output.
"The heat signature is gone," Dorian said.
"Richard you get him?" Valerie asked. There was no answer.
"Kennex, can you hail Richard?" Valerie asked.
"Kennex?" She asked when she got no answer.
"He knocked out our coms," Valerie said and Dorian took off into the darkness after John.
"Dorian!?" Valerie tried to follow after him but he was fast. Dorian tracked John's locator chip a few aisles over. He ran up the aisle until he came to a flashlight on the ground that was shining on John's gun, vest, and a puddle of blood. Dorian knelt down and found the chip in the blood.
"He's got John," Dorian said when Valerie came up behind him.
"I thought he was after me," Valerie said.
"He was but John was alone," Dorian growled and stood up.
"Dorian…I'm sorry," Valerie said. Dorian shook his head.
"Don't be, He wanted to make sure you were protected and besides can you imagine how hot headed he would be if you had been taken?" Dorian asked. Valerie couldn't help but give him a small smile.
"-SWER ME DAMNIT! KENNEX, STAHL!" Richard suddenly shouted over the line, the coms were back up.
"Wow, Richard easy we hear you!" Valerie said.
"Then why the hell didn't you answer?" Paul asked.
"Coms were knocked out, perps got John," Valerie told him.
"Fantastic!" Richard said sarcastically.
Dorian paced the bull pen. They had canvased the area and found out how he got out but they had lost the trail.
"And John can't be traced by his locator chip?" Maldonado asked Valerie as they walked from her office.
"No, this guy knew exactly where to dig it out" Valerie answered her.
"Dorian how are you doing?" Maldonado asked.
"Captain the only person I will 'malfunction' on will be Alden Banes," Dorian told him. Maldonado smiled.
"I don't think that would qualify as a malfunction," Maldonado said.
"Stahl what else can you tell us about Banes? Where would he take Kennex?" Maldonado asked the detective.
"Somewhere private but not necessarily isolated. He's showing off, he killed three people in one morning and lured cops into a trap. He may even conta-," Valerie was cut off by the monitors in the room shutting down and then booting back up with a video feed.
"Contact us," Valerie finished her sentence when John's face appeared. He was unconscious with a huge bruise across his left temple. He was on a table in a dark room. A blade appeared in the frame. The blade dragged across John's skin.
"Wakey wakey, Detective Kennex," the voice of Alden Banes spoke.
"Find out where he's broadcasting from, get Rudy up here if you have to," Maldonado told Valerie. Valerie pulled her phone from her pocket to call Rudy. Dorian face light up as he tried to follow the feed.
Banes cut Johns cheek and the Detective began to come too. John opened his eyes and began to struggle against his restraints. Banes was sitting over top of him.
"You know I've never had a guy before, this could be a lot of fun!" Banes said and drug the tip of the knife down John's torso. He then slipped the knife under John's shirt and cut the fabric. John didn't make a sound, he just glared at Banes. Banes pressed the knife into the flesh of John's chest. John took in a sharp breath as the knife sliced him.
"Oh and Detective Dorian, you can join us anytime you wish, If you haven't traced the feed yet I'll gladly give you my address. Do try to hurry," Banes taunted and then stabbed John in the chest near his shoulder. The screen went black and an address was displayed before the feed completely cut out.
Dorian got the address and headed out the door. Valerie and Richard ran behind him.
Dorian kicked the door down to the apartment building they were led to. Residents gave them scared looks as they got out of their way. They got to the apartment Dorian got into position. Paul pounded on the door.
"Police, open up!" He shouted. There was no answer and Richard checked the door. It came open and Dorian led them in. They came to a kitchen area and they found a woman chained to the floor. She looked up at them.
"Please, he has my daughter!" She cried and pointed towards the back of the apartment. Dorian reached forward and yanked the chain from the floor and Valerie helped the woman onto her feet. She took her out and handed her off to the MX's who then escorted her outside to await an ambulance.
Dorian advanced to the living room. There was a door that lead out to a balcony and standing on the balcony rail was Alden Banes. He was holding a young girl with a knife to her throat. She was crying and desperately trying to keep her balance.
"Detective Dorian, yes?" He asked. Dorian raised his gun to Banes.
"Let the girl go," Dorian said firmly.
"Aren't you worried about your partner?" Banes asked.
"Let the girl go," Dorian repeated.
"Ok, how about I either let her go or give you the location of your bleeding partner," Banes offered. Dorian flashed back to the conversation he and John had the day before. Dorian tried to suppress his anger and sadness about what he was about to do.
"The girl," Dorian said with a shaky voice.
"Really? And what are you going to do with me after I let her go?" Banes asked.
"Arrest you, send you to jail," Dorian told him. Banes just laughed at him and leaned backwards over the edge. Dorian dropped his weapon to the side and darted for the girl. Dorian went over the edge with them. He got an arm around the girl as they fell and was able to grab the rail of a balcony two floors down. The child clung to him tightly and Dorian climbed up onto the balcony.
After walking through the apartment and handing the girl off to an MX to be reunited with her mother, Dorian went back upstairs.
"Did he have time to move John anywhere other than here?" Dorian asked when he saw Valerie. She looked up at him, something was wrong.
"No he didn't," Valerie told him. Dorian pushed his way past her and into the apartment. He found Richard standing outside a room. He gave Dorian a solemn look and didn't speak. Dorian went into the room and found John lying on the table. Dorian scanned him, he was dead.
John had been stripped down, draped in black fabric, and had more knife wounds that the other victims did. Even the bottoms of his feet had been cut up. Blood was everywhere, leaving John very pale. Dorian stepped up to the table and grabbed John's lifeless hand. He looked down at it when he found a video drive in John's hand. He picked it up and glared at it.
"According to my MX, Kennex…was dead before Banes even sent the video," Richard said from behind him.
"Is that supposed to make me feel better!?" Dorian asked, his voice cracked. Dorian threw the drive against the wall, destroying it.
"Hey, that's evidence!" Richard yelled at him. Dorian turned around with a firm glare at Richard. He shoved past the human and left the apartment.
"Dorian?" Valerie asked. Dorian didn't say anything to her either. He got into the car and drove. He wanted to be alone. He found himself going to John's apartment. Once he was inside he dropped to his knees and bent forward.
"John I'm so sorry!" Dorian began to cry. He failed his partner. He knew he shouldn't have left him.
"Dorian!" He heard Johns voice. Dorian sat up straight and looked around.
"Dorian!" John's voice sounded so distant. Dorian began to think his audio files were malfunctioning.
"John?" Dorian asked and everything went black.
"You people are fucking sick!" It was John and he was pissed.
"Detective!" Someone reprimanded him. Dorian's systems rebooted and he opened his eyes. He wasn't in John's apartment. He was in a lab on an examination table.
"He's awake!" it was Rudy. Dorian looked around and saw a lot of faces he didn't know. He saw John and Rudy being held back against the wall. John had two MX's holding him in place.
"John!?" Dorian asked in shock.
"D! You alright?" John asked.
"What the hell is going on!?" Dorian asked. He was able to sit up and felt he had a lot of things attached to him. He reached up to remove it but a technician stopped him.
"Hold it, I'll get you lose," he said and began freeing Dorian.
"What the hell is this!?" Dorian growled.
"Dorian, I am Dr. Howard," A man stepped up to him wearing a suit and holding a tablet.
"The last twenty….-six hours in your logs was the modified Luger Test," He explained. Dorian looked over to John and scanned him. John was fine, pissed off but fine. Dorian looked back at Dr. Howard.
"The test was cut short by 48 hours' worth of program but we'll make d-," Dr. Howard was cut off by Dorian sending a right hook to his jaw.
"What the hell is wrong with you!?" Dorian demanded.
"Ha! Yeah D!" John cheered on his partner.
"Let's give him a little time to cool down before going over the results," Dr. Howard said, getting to his feet with the help of an assistant.
"There you're free," The assistant that was helping Dorian said as he detached the last wire.
"You are free to leave with your partner report to your captain at 16:00," Dr. Howard said. The MXs let John and Rudy go and all the personnel left the room.
"You alright, Dorian?" John asked and walked up to him. Dorian looked up to him and shook his head. He looked like he was about to cry.
"No man, I'm not," Dorian said and looked away.
"Well, you want to go somewhere? I would offer to buy you some noodles but you don't eat," John tried and put a hand on Dorian's shoulder.
"Yes, I want to go get noodles with you. I want to get out of here," Dorian said and got up.
"Alright, let's go," John said and helped Dorian up.
John looked over at Dorian as he ate. Dorian couldn't eat noodles so John was eating for both of them. Dorian stared down at the bar they were sitting at.
"So you gonna tell me what they did to you? All I got was that they were running you through a case and I saw some of the stuff they were showing you. That's fucking sick, they wouldn't do that to humans they shouldn't do it to you," John replied. Dorian looked over to him.
"How's you're leg been today?" Dorian asked.
"Pain in the ass like always, I had to hop on one fucking foot like a child that lost his shoe for two hours before I could get to Rudy and have it fixed, Then I found out they were experimenting on you and I've been raising hell since," John answered.
"Two hours?" Dorian asked.
"Yeah, they had me sitting down with a couple of shrinks to talk about you- are you going to answer my damn question?" John asked. Dorian nodded.
"They ran me through a case, thought the luger test had been canceled because of a serial killer. We went to the scene, killer had cut up two women, then within a matter of hours he killed again. He was taunting us, threatened Detective Stahl, we thought we had a location on him and went in to get him, you made me swear to have Stahl's back in case it was a trap, which it was. However since you were alone the killer got you." Dorian said. John listened and stopped eating. He could feel where this was going.
"Killer sent us a tape of him torturing you and gave us an address. We went and it turned out to be a single mothers apartment she shared with her ten year old daughter. Found the killer on the balcony with the little girl, he said that he would either tell me where you were or let the girl go," Dorian said.
"You get the girl?" John asked. Dorian nodded.
"I told him I would take the girl and then he jumped off the balcony with the girl still in his arms. I leapt over and got the girl, saved her, he fell to his death," Dorian said.
"What then?" John asked.
"I went back into the apartment, found you in the backroom, you were already dead," Dorian said.
"Ah Jeez," John replied.
"These people…." John wanted to shoot every single one of them.
"It was awful," Dorian said and laid his forehead on his arms in front of him. John looked at him.
"This whole stupid thing was about your emotions right?" John asked.
"It is designed to put me through the emotional realities of the job," Dorian said without picking up his head.
"Right, so tell me…about your emotions. They're going to ask you anyway," John said. Dorian looked up at him.
"Really?" Dorian asked. John looked uncomfortable but he nodded.
"Yeah," He said and picked up the chopsticks and got a mouthful of noodles.
"Well…I failed, it's my job to protect you and I failed, I was watching another detectives back when I should have had yours," Dorian said. John looked up to him.
"Didn't you say I told you to go with Val?" John asked.
"Yes-," Dorian said.
"Then you didn't fail, you did exactly as I asked. You saved the kid, you protected Val. If you asked me, the real, living breathing, not dead, me. You did it exactly right," John said.
"It felt wrong without you there," Dorian said.
"That's what it feels like to miss someone. What did you do when you found…'me'?" John asked
"I wanted to scream and hurt someone…but I didn't say anything, I snapped at Paul because he yelled at me about destroying evidence. The killer made a video of him killing you and left it, I destroyed it. After that I left the scene, I…started driving, I don't even know where I was going, I woke up in the lab after that," Dorian said.
"Yeah…I kinda crashed the lab when I found out what they were doing to you. I…shot another MX," John said.
"John! You only had two anger management classes left, now you have to go for another three months!" Dorian scolded him.
"No I don't, I get my own shrink now. I have to talk to him once a week," John said. Dorian shook his head.
"It's good to know you were worried about me," Dorian smiled.
"No one messes with my coffee warmer," John said as he help up his tea glass to be refilled.
"There, right there, I should have known it wasn't you!" Dorian said. John gave him a strange look.
"What do you mean?" John asked.
"You call me your coffee warmer, or a happy toaster, or D. The you in the…dream?" Dorian asked.
"I can flow with that being a dream, well nightmare more like," John nodded after thinking about it.
"Okay, the you in the dream called me a synthetic," Dorian said. John laughed.
"I only use that one when I want to piss you off," John replied.
"That's what I said! Then I asked him about his leg and he said it 'felt fine'," Dorian replied.
"It's a synthetic leg, I can't feel the damn thing!" John replied.
"I really should have known, now I feel like an emotional idiot," Dorian growled and laid his head down again.
"Don't sweat it D, I think you did great," John said. Dorian smiled.
"You want box?" The server asked John, noticing John had slowed down on eating.
"Yes, please!" John said and Dorian looked at him.
"Wait, you mean to tell me all this time of waiting for you to finish your food, you could have taken it to go?" Dorian asked. John shook his head.
"No, I couldn't finish your share of the food, I finished mine just fine!" John said. Dorian laughed and shook his head. Johns phone rang and he pulled it from his pocket. He saw it was the captain and put it on speaker.
"Yeah Sandra?" John asked.
"You and Dorian are late, you were supposed to report to me at 16:00 it's 16:30," She said.
"Sorry, we're on our way back, give us twenty minutes," John said as the waiter brought back the box and swiped Johns bit card.
"John acting out against the review board is not going to help Dorian's results," Sandra told them.
"Hey we just needed some space we aren't late on purpose alright? We're on our way back!" John snapped and hung up.
John and Dorian sat down at the table in the interview room.
"Sorry we're late, neither of us were keeping track of time," Dorian said as he sat.
"It happens and quite frankly I wouldn't have blamed you if it had been intentional. It was a rather cruel ordeal you went through as your partner made very clear to us. Dorian we would like to apologize. It's not right but it's the only way to see how you would handle situations like that. If you knew it was a simulation then your emotional responses would not have been genuine." Dr. Howard explained.
"Would you do that to a human?" Dorian asked in that signature tone that John knew well. It was like he was asking his soul the question and not just him.
"You can't can you? Humans will know when they are going through a simulation, when something is not real. Humans have to actually go through these events. They have to actually go out into the field, get shot, get shot at, and deal with the bad guys. You can't weed out the 'bad humans' like us 'Bad DRN's'," Dorian said becoming very serious.
"You're upset and that's understandable, in fact that's a good thing. We were looking for human responses, stable human responses and we've got to tell you, you nailed all of it." Dr. Howard said.
"And as for knowing it's not real – you actually had me worried a couple of times," The technician that had helped unhook Dorian spoke up beside Dr. Howard.
"I thought I had a pretty good character profile to work off of, on Detective Kennex. I knew there would be insider information between the two of you that I might miss but I don't know how I missed the fact that Detective Kennex had a synthetic leg. I am also sorry for calling you a synthetic, you seemed particularly offended by that," he said.
"So you played John?" Dorian asked.
"No, I programmed the entire thing," He said. Dr. Howard cleared his throat and interjected.
"You displayed good knowledge of your coworkers, your partner, your captain, the other detectives, that spat you had during roll call displayed acceptance into the social group of your precinct. When you reprimanded Detective Paul for being unprofessional at a crime scene you displayed kindness and respect to a victim. You displayed loyalty to your partner, loyalty to your duties as a partner, knowing when to give in to your partners requests. You did excellent on just about everything," Dr. Howard said.
"Just about?" John asked.
"The only thing that concerned me was his reaction to your 'death'. He didn't display a lot of emotion but had a violent outburst and waited until he was alone to react and process it. I would have liked to continue the program and witness how he processed grief," Dr. Howard said.
"Last time I checked there's no right way to grieve," John replied.
"You're right, I just would have rather seen what steps he would have taken," Dr. Howard told him.
"Does he pass or not?" John asked.
"He passes but whether or not we want to reactivate more DRN's is yet to be decided," Dr. Howard answered.
"Why is that?" Dorian asked.
"Well….to be honest, we don't understand how the two of you get along. Detective Kennex has been nothing but abrasive and DRN's by default are programmed to be sensitive in nature," Dr. Howard said.
"That's exactly why I assigned Dorian to John, John needed someone who wouldn't react to his aggression but was more responsive than an MX, and no offense Dorian but I have seen you get abrasive. When he has to Dorian does stand up for himself, I've seen him and John get into plenty of yelling matches," Maldonado said from John's other side.
"Yeah and you should see this guy on a low charge, it's amazing!" John laughed. Dorian just looked at him.
"We will continue to monitor this partnership to learn more but until further notice reinstatement of DRN's will be left up to the captains of each precinct," Dr. Howard said.
"Sounds like a good idea, it's too much of a challenge to match DRN's to partners, it's like back in the old days when humans were matched with humans and they had to learn how to work with someone who didn't always agree with you or follow your orders. You just put people together and hoped for the best," Maldonado replied, she was being sarcastic but made it sound genuine.
"That was the problem with the DRN's to begin with right? They were too human, they had emotional breaks like humans. Maybe I'm too human, maybe you should replace all human law enforcement with robotics since you can't run us through a program and make us think our partners are dead to find out if we'll ever go nuts on the job!" John growled and got to his feet.
"Alright this is getting out of hand, we understand you don't approve of our methods Detective Kennex," Dr. Howard said.
"That wasn't a method it was an experiment!" John yelled.
"Come on D, you passed let's get back to work," John said and Dorian got up. They both walked out of the office and to John's desk. John grabbed his jacket and put it on with a glare to Dr. Howard whom had watched them leave.
Maldonado stood behind Dr. Howard.
"Do all the testing you want, if you don't get it, you don't get it. Now that you've wasted an entire day would you mind clearing out?" Maldonado said. She looked up and made eye contact with John and Dorian as they got to the elevators. She smiled at the two and shook her head.
Dr. Howard and his technicians gathered their things and showed themselves out.