The Big O and all of its settings and characters are owned by Cartoon Network, Sunrise and Bandai Visual.

THE BIG O:

Act 39A (Alternate)

THE FORGOTTEN PAST, ALAS NO MORE

Big-O!

Big-O! Big-O! Big-O!

Big-O!

Big-O! Big-O! B-O!

Cast in the name of God!

Negotiator

Ye not the guilty!

Android

We have come to terms!

Butler

Big-O!

Officer

Big-O!

Big-O! Big-O! Big-O!

Big-O!

Big-O! Big-O! -O! -O! Big-O!

Chapter Seven (Alternate): Let us Negotiate

THE PREVIOUS NIGHT (A slight recap)

"Nucky!" Roger Cried. "It's a bomb! We've got to get out of here!"

The explosion blew the windows off the Oyster Bar and sent bodies flying into the water. From another dock over a block away, a woman in a raincoat and fedora spoke into a large bulky hand held radio. "It's done," she said as she viewed the smoking ruins of the Oyster bar. "We can proceed to stage two of the operation."

"Excellent, Agent Thirteen, "a second woman's heavily accented voice replied. "I'll bring our new leader up to speed and he can bring this accursed city to its knees. You've done well."

"Thank you Agent Twelve, Agent Thirteen over and out," the first woman smiled a toothy grin and pushed the antenna back into her walkie talkie. "This is the last anyone will hear of Roger Smith," she smirked.

She places her walkie talkie into her raincoat, pausing for a moment to observe the burning carnage from across the bay; proud of her accomplishment.

A chill runs up her spine as she suddenly realizes she is not alone. The faint creaking of the old wooden planks behind her pierces the silence of still night air. Either her stalker was a stealthy professional, or she had been too caught up in the moment to notice his initial approach. Quickly the Union agent spins around, reaching for her weapon "Who's There!"

"Ompfh," a painful sound escapes her slender frame.

The blow begins to take effect, her pistol falls from her limp hand as she catches a glimpse of her assailant. A shamble of a man, clothed in an old hazel trench coat, face and limbs covered by tattered bandages. "You…?," is all she can mutter as the darkness takes her.

"Well well well, it looks like the same can be said of yooou!" Chuckled the mad man. "The Negotiator is mine, and I can tell you, that I surely intend to continue HEARING and SEEING his person as often as I please!" he shouts loudly to the still lying form of the female agent. "You and yours are nothing but false prophets, attempting to spread a truth you wrongfully believe is real!" he continued raving to her unconscious form as if she were listening intently in awe.

Was he speaking to her, to the world around him, or to he himself?

Truth be told, he didn't know anymore, not that it really mattered anyways. Staring ahead into the dark horizon, fist held before him in a grip tight enough to form a trickle of blood; loudly he proclaims "For my eyes have been opened to the true Gospel!"

The dock is empty now. As the cool night air blows across the old wooden structure, a gray fedora tumbles away, falling into the cold dark water of Paradigm's Bay. Nothing.


Present Day:

The city of Paradigm is an interesting landscape. Many buildings make up its great form, both inside and around the domes. Interestingly enough though, half the buildings throughout paradigm are vacant, most having been sealed to prevent vagrants from moving in.

Whenever a large scale battle occurs, it seemed easily enough to simply transfer the surviving businesses and tenets to a different sector of the city. But of course this only applies to those citizens insured through the Paradigm Insurance Firm.

Outside the domes, in one such a location, laid a very old and very plain looking warehouse.


The warehouse creaked and moaned as the night's airs pushed against the grimy windows. An old building, it had stood for as long as anyone could remember. In fact, as far as anyone knew it had always been abandoned. The warehouse itself was useless, cluttered by the rusted manufacturing equipment from years of old and home to a variety of vermin.

Most of the walls in this place were old and stained, the paint having been applied long ago and suffering the effects of age and stale air. If one looked carefully enough, they would notice something out of place. One of the corridors simply just ended, no offices, closets, restrooms… no purpose. There was something off about the back wall, it almost seemed as if it were a recent addition.

A strange clanking sound could now be heard making its way through the corridor. Shrouded by a large cloak, the strange mass limps in disheveled movements. An arm raises form his cloak. A strange device with a large red button can be seen in his right hand; oddly mannequin like in appearance.

"*CLICK …Screeeeetccch Chung" The wall suddenly raises into the ceiling revealing a room, or better yet a stairwell, its spiral staircase leading into the basement of the abandoned structure.

The basement appeared almost in as poor a shape as its upper levels. Obviously its dwellers had no care for the comforts of man. Though almost barren, the large open bay was not without purpose. At least half of the florescent bulbs still functioned, allowing the dim light to spread throughout the facility. Hot water pipes and electrical wiring adorned the walls and ceiling. Obviously this was intended to have been nothing more than a simple basement and storage space, yet it seemed to have been converted into a hideout of sorts.

In the far corner sat a room created by cardboard walls and dirty tarps; in it a simple desk, a small black typewriter its only occupant. Next to this desk were filing cabinets overflowing with pages and pages of notes. A stack of folders seemed to span from the bottom of the floor to the ceiling.

Adjacent to this corner seemed to be a makeshift medical station. Several first aid boxes were affixed to the wall; a dirty mattress on a rusted frame surrounded by heart monitors and several grayson IV poles lay at its center. Atop this bed laid a man in a damaged pin-striped suit. The injuries were not severe, some first degree burning, maybe some slight shrapnel in a limb or two. The worst of the injuries laid within his bandage covered forehead, a concussion perhaps.

At the wall across the medical station stood one of those moveable hospital screens. Behind it one could hear the weeping cries of another hostage, this one a girl. "Its not him, Its not him, Its not him… He's dead.. I saw it, He's dead!" was all that could be heard in a repetitive loop.

Lastly, across the room from the medical station was a chair bolted to the concrete floor. A man dressed in Black slacks and a white button up shirt sat manacled to the chair…

His normally slicked jet-black hair was a mess, his boyish looks plastered with bruising, but nothing too serious. Missing was his double breasted jacket and bisected tie. Most importantly... his watch.

Slowly the negotiator stirs. Hrm, where am I, what happened? Thoughts race across his mind as he continues to maintain his cool collective. Who's that over there.. pin-stripped suit.. its Nucky? THATs Right! A bomb had gone off, but how did we end up here and why am I shackled to this chair… most importantly how are we alive?

Man, it feels like I've been hit by a train." he winces in slight pain.

Behind the Hospital Screen Roger could make out the sounds of the poor girl. He knew he had to keep it quiet for the time being, though it went against his normal chivalrous demeanor.

I hope that she's alright, worried the tired Negotiator

From a distance Roger could make out a strange clanking sound. It seemed to get louder with ever beat, someone's coming! he thought to himself as he attempted to free his manacled hands from behind the steel chair. Maybe, if I could just reach my watch *gasp, its gone? I can't get out.

Suddenly the imprisoned girl silenced her cries, fear had taken hold.

The thrifty negotiator begins to survey his surroundings, attempting to memorize the entire lay out of the room before dropping his head and playing the role of unconscious victim. Better lay low and pretend I'm worse off then I feel, hopefully I look like a mess. Confident in his abilities Roger knew that there was no sense in panicking, it was best he lay low and see what he could learn of his captors.

The disturbing clanking could now be heard making its way down the spiral staircase. Immediately upon entering, a strange man headed directly to Enoch.

Standing over Enoch browning, 6 foot 4 in height, stood their host. Roger played the role of unconscious victim well but continued glancing at the strange figure from out the corner of his eye. From within his cloak rose a cold metal skeletal structure that served as his left arm. In it held a syringe. *Uhhnnn, hrm, hhh.." moaned the unconscious Enoch as his caretaker injected an unknown substance into his IV.

"Shhh, shhh, you *neeedzzt this. It will all be *alrightzzt." Eerily whispered the strange man. His words coming out in elongated speech broken by machine static and echo. "There there now, that wasn't so bad was it?"

An Android!, Roger thought to himself, but androids aren't suppose to harm humans? Is he different like R-D…. like Dorothy

"Raw-geer Smiiiiizzt smith smith smith" sounded the echoing electronic whisper.

Oh crap, keep it together Roger, he thinks to himself.

"Ra Ra Raw-geer Smith. I am no fool, I know that you are are ar awake, I know that you're observing me." Says the Machine man in a serious demeanor. "I assure you that your friend is in safe *hannnndzzt"

Well, I guess the jigs up, let's see where this goes, Roger thinks to himself as he attempts to come up with a witty response that will catch his captor off guard.

"Well now, I wouldn't really call Enoch Browning a Friend, strictly more of a business associate, even though I hate to admit it." casually quips Roger is his normal controlling manner."

"OF COURSE you of ALL people would associate yourself with the powers that be, Paradigm Dog!" Barks an all too familiar voice.

Roger quickly turns his head in surprise to see Michael Seebach, also known as…

"Schwarzwald!" angrily exclaims Roger. "What are you doing here, is this your doing?"

"Well well now," in mocking tone "And what exactly is it you think 'I' did?...Negotiator?"

"SEEBAAAAACH!" angrily shouts the Machineman, "now now, let's not get our little 'friend' here riled up shall we." His tone quickly changing back into a whisper.

Schwarzwald jerks at the sound of the command and beings to stutter to himself in incoherent half words.

Roger was surprised at the turn of events. For the first time ever, the loner Schwarzwald seemed to be working hand and hand with another, not only that, but he didn't seem to be the mastermind behind this.

Seebach? roger thought why is he calling him by that name? more importantly, why does schwarzwald seem intimidated by him. I wonder, can mad men still feel fear?


In the heart of the city, outside of the domes stood a spacious tower that was formerly a bank before the disaster of 40 years ago. Roger Smith had converted this building into his personal home. The building was large enough to hide the Big O inside. The suites at the top floor were decorated like a Victorian Mansion, the roof was a patio adorned with tasteful sculptures and a small garden.

"Ms. Dorothy... Ms. Dorothy?" Called out Norman.

A tall familiar old man wearing an archaic tuxedo with a starched white collar. His sparse white hair didn't cover his balding plate, but he did sport a magnificent handlebar mustache. A black eyepatch covered his left eyesocket.

"Now where on earth could she be?" the loyal servant of the house mumbled to himself. Norman was growing concern, it was unlike Ms. Dorothy to ignore his calls. She's not at the balcony, nor in the parlor, "Ah" he snaps his fingers. "The robotics lab"

Inside the robotics lab stood a motionless Dorothy. Several feet ahead of her, atop the tilting table specifically built to support her during maintenance and repairs, laid her own headless body. This must certainly seem an odd sight for her.

Metal framework and careful wiring of an intricate design were exposed by a gaping hole in which, had she been a human, would have been a heart. She stands before her former body, hands held before her face as she tries to make since of her thoughts.

"Ah, Ms. Dorothy, what are you doing down here, is everything all right with your systems, do your require maintenance?" Asked the concern butler, obviously playing dumb to the situation as to distract her from the scene. "I can have those spare parts removed immediately if need be and get to work on whatever is bothering you." he innocently says.

"Norman, 'I' am bothering me." Replies the Android Girl in her usually monotone behavior.

"Oh my, by whatever do you mean Ms. Dorothy?" There was no diverting the conversation now.

"Norman, was my behavior appropriate earlier. The situation down stares was awkward, but I assessed that fear would be the best means to deal with a man like Elias Browning. His life was never in danger, you do understand... correct?" she continues in her old emotionless ways.

Oh dear, Thought Norman.

"Ms. Dorothy, it's quite alright to have an emotional response like anger, you've been through a lot as of late, we both have. Why with Master Roger Missing..." Norman is interrupted by the android.

"Norman, I already made it clear that I was not angry. I am only questioning whether or not my premeditated reactions were a logical decision." It was obvious that Dorothy was lying to herself, even if she didn't show it.

"Ms. Dorothy, I'm quite surprised at your dishonesty, it's unlike you." kindly replied Norman as he grew more concerned.

"What do you mean Norman?" she continued in her cold demeanor... her safety net.

"Ms. Dorothy, you are obviously upset about what happened earlier, if you cannot bring yourself to open up to me, than you will only make it harder on the both of us." Implored the butler.

"Norman, I... I... I just don't know" her tone and stance becoming more relaxed, more natural.

Awkward Silence takes over the robotics lab.

Norman often felt as if he were a substitute father for R. Dorothy. With Master Roger gone, he knew she would need him more then ever. "Please continue Ms. Dorothy."

Straitening out her posture, Dorothy attempts to alter the course of the conversation. "I meant, that I just don't know what answer you are looking for Norman, there is no need to worry about me."

"R Dorothy Wayneright" confidently proclaimed Norman.

Dorothy's interest piqued, never had she heard Norman refer to her in such a tone, nor use her full name like that. Finally she lowers her hands and shifts her focus to Norman.

"Dorothy, I know that Master Roger's disappearance has been hard on you, but believe me, I'm grieving as well. But we mustn't give up hope! The only way either of us will get through this is to work together, to be open with one another."

Dorothy continued her dour expression.

"Dorothy, I tell you what," he pulls up 2 seats motioning for Dorothy to sit. "I'll make a deal with you, I will open up my deepest secrets to you and tell you what I've told no other if..."

"And what about Roger, have you already told these secrets to him?" Interrupts Dorothy, still putting on the machine facade.

"I've told no one." Sternly replies the Butler.

"This deal you mentioned, what is it Norman? Are you a negotiator now?" Replied Dorothy.

"*Uh-hum", Norman coughs into his hand, clearing his throat as if slightly embarrassed, "I suppose I am Ms. Dorothy." He could tell he had her full attention now.

Though he was forbidden to speak about these matters, he knew that he could confide in Dorothy. She had already come to the conclusion on her own about the back-up memories for Roger stored within Big O. She most likely knew that Roger Smith had indeed lived for many years. She was already aware that he had many names in the past and that deep underneath the city of Paradigm lay the Storehouse of Lost Memories. Additionally, he was pretty sure that she already knew there was more to himself then meets the eyes. After learning all these secrets the world had yet to fall apart. He no longer could rationalize a reason to hide things from her. He knew their bond was an unspoken one, and that he could trust her to keep this information to herself. Besides, if Master Roger was indeed...gone...he would eventually have to tell her anyways. At least this way he could use it as an excuse for her to open up.

"Fine Norman, Let Us Negotiate, What are your terms?" She pulls up the chair Norman brought and sits down before him, her legs closed together and held slightly off to one side as she clasp her hands in her lap.

"Dorothy, the old butler said in a calm voice" I will open up to you if you please end this charade and open up to me in return. No more secrets between us, form this day forward we will be completely open about ourselves. ...But lets keep this between us, ok." If Norman could wink, he would be doing so right now.

Dorothy pauses for a moment, "Agreed."

Dorothy could see the change in Normans demeanor, he had become solemn and for once his expression matched his aged face. Norman took a deep breath and closed his eyes as he reached for his eyepatch. Dorothy's own expression changed as well, a slight look of concern mixed with curiosity washed over her face.

"*Sigh" He removes the eyepatch and to Dorothy's genuine surprise was a cybernetic eye. "Hello Dorothy, my name is Richard John Grayson but people use to refer to me as Dick. I have known Roger since I was 10 years old... when he adopted me after my parents death." Either Dorothy's behavioral protocols weren't working correctly, or the new information was too shocking for her, whatever the reason her poster completely changed to that of a fascinated young lady. She leans in intently and listens to his tale.


Back at the old warehouse that contained the hideout of Rogers current host.

His attention was drawn back to the strange figure as the sounds of arcing electricity began to emanate from within him, "One moment please *Thump thump CLANG*" as he slams his fist against a loose plate near his upper torso. Strange whirling sounds, similar to a failing hard drive, emanate from his body.

"Now, where were we." begins the strange machineman in a clearer yet still low tone.

"Your 'friend' will be fine, he has yet to earn my ire, however" he begins pacing back in forth with his finger raised into the air, almost purposefully animating his thoughts.

"I do believe someone currently wishes to see Enoch Browning removed. I may be wrong, he may have just been a bonus, but I believe both he" a dramatic pause before pointing that same finger inches away from Rogers face "and yourself are currently targets."

"And Targets of who pray tell, sorry, but you'll have to be a little more specific. These days I seem to have a giant target painted on my back." Says Roger nonchalantly. "I can't seem to go a week without some crazy coming after me." He sends a stern glance towards Schwazwald direction.

Removing his hood, the broken machine turns his fall attention towards Roger.

He, he's not an android! To Rogers surprise.

His face was half hidden behind a broken red crystalline visor, much like that of Big O's collar. He appeared more mature but still attractive for a man, perhaps around his late 40s. The one blue eye Roger could make out was deep in passion yet simultaneously void of life.

Staring intently into Rogers eyes "Oh," Begins the Machineman, "you needn't worry about Seebach, he and myself have come to a, how do I put this… an understanding."

"Frankly I find that hard to believe." begins the confident Negotiator. "So you're telling me that neither he nor yourself had anything to do with that explosion, that Schwazwald" he pauses and stares at his longtime nemesis "that that Man standing right there, had nothing to do with this?!"

At this remark, Schwazwald walks up to his compatriot's side and begins in his usual sinister voice "Oh but I did Negotiator. I helped my friend here orchestrate your rescue."

"My rescue?" queries a confounded Roger.

"Yes," interrupted the cyborg. "Forgive my carelessness, how rude of me." He paused.

"Tell me Roger Smith," emphasizing his last name "just how long have you been awake? Perhaps you haven't had time to ponder the previous nights events."

Roger replied in his usually way. "Well that depends, How long have you been preaching?"

"Funny," replies the cyborg in his eerie mechanical whisper of a voice. "Some things change, and some stay the same. My how time has changed you, still so confident, yet with that touch of humor you so desperately needed. I like it."

Rogers eyes widen, Wait, do I know him? Have I met with him before? Perhaps while he was still human? "Who are you."

His eyes widens in disbelief, "REALLY...really!? You don't remember me either!" No longer whispering the annoyed cyborg throws off his shrouds and pops to attention as if an officer of the military police. Annoyance turns into serious determination as the cyborgs stares straight ahead almost as if through Roger and Salutes.

"Sir, Major Wayne Sir! Captain Jason Todd, Scout One of Alpha Company, 1st Ground Assault Battalion, reporting for duty Sir!

His full form no longer shrouded in secret, Roger stares in disbelief.

His appearance, a conglomerate of metal, wire, flesh and rusted black armor adorned with bolts and rivets. His once mighty hull riddled with holes and cracks. Patches of flesh can be made out from small gaps, while larger ones have been hidden with the sloppy wielding of sheet metal. His limbs do not match. One heavily armored leg is finished with a piece of rebar as a foot; almost as if he were a pirate from long ago. The other appears stripped and left as nothing more than gray artificial muscle and carbine tubing. All that was left of his left arm was an eerily skeletal form; while his right was a simple limb from an obsolete model of android, almost mannequin like; an obvious replacement.

Roger stares at the erect form of the cyborg, almost caught off guard by his strange display, finally he speaks "Is that suppose to mean something to me? I never met anyone by those names while in the Military Police."

The cyborg calms back down and decides its better to let the issue go "military police, no... not quite. You really don't remember do you? Never mind, its of little concern right now."

For a moment the room is silent, all that could be heard were the quiet whimpers of the mysterious female captive.

"So you don't remember me after all?" His focus now turning to the hospital screen against the wall. "But you know who does?" He walks heavily, purposely crashing his feet with each step as he approaches the screen, almost as if physically screaming intimidation. He grabs the screen; effortlessly tossing it across the room. Schwarzwald quickly ducks to avoid its impact. "SHE DOES!"

"No no... no no no, Stay away from me!" Cried his female Captive.

Chained against the wall was a slender brunette, who had obviously seen better days. She was clothed in a grey almost skin tight uniform similar to Angels. For the most part she seemed unharmed, except for a small trickle of dried blood on the side of her head.

"Leave her alone!" Shouted an angry Roger

Twisting his figure slowly back to roger "Do not dare stand up for this pathetic women." he lowly growls.

"Now Roger, Think back to the night of the explosion, think carefully."

Roger hadn't had time to reflect on the previous night.

"Tell me roger, how are those cracked ribs healing?"

Rogers mind turned back to the previous night, he remembers now. He was staring down at the little toy robot in disbelief when all the sudden a large cloaked figure came at him and Nucky. It moved fast and heavy like a freight Train. An explosion happens as the three fly off into the water.

"You took the impact!" Rogers says, trying to make since of the situation. "Then, the bomb... that was?"

The cyborg brings his cold stare back to his Female Captive. "Say hello to Agent Thirteen."

Roger wasn't sure what to believe until she begin frantically talking "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I was just following order! Please, for God Sakes!"

The cyborg gently begin to caress her face "Shhhh, hush now Agent Thirteen."

"Now where was I? Oh yes...This communist piece of filth almost damned the world on two separate occasions."

Agent Thirteen's face reveals a expression of great confusion, "No that's, that's insane, what the hell are you talking about!?"

"Chain reactions Agent Thirteen, chain reactions. Five years ago, after 35 long years of exile, you were the first human I had come across. You tricked me, betrayed me and I ended up a prisoner as your people conducted their experiments. Taking me apart, putting me back together..."

The Cyborg begins to yell, "Your people even created a cyborg using myself as a blue print... YOU GAVE THAT DAMN BASTARD GABRIEL MY ARM! Your people literally ripped it from my body and gave it to that piece of trash!

"I... I..." she stammers

His tone lowering now in depression, "I spent 35 years protecting mankind and that's how I'm repaid? I was coming here to prevent a disaster, but now I may be to late. I lost 5 whole years dammit..*sigh."

As the cyborg continues his monologue, roger couldn't help but notice Schwarzwalds excitement, as if he had finally found the truth he had been searching for.

Carefully the Cyborg undoes the chains around Agent Thirteen's right arm.

Quietly, whispering in his strange electronic voice again "And then I learned of your plans for Roger Smith and this city. I knew that no matter the consequence, I had to escape and reach him before the union. You see, I may be too late to stop the incoming apocalypse, but with Rogers help we may yet succeed. And you and your stupid cavemen, obsessed with your communist ways, plotted to kill your own salvation. For what, pathetic social ideologies? Your very being is a crime against logic..."

"So you see, twice you have almost caused the death of this world. And for that, there will be no mercy."

Holding her right arm, he slowly and continually applies pressure as she squirms and kicks to no avail. He brings his face close to her ear and whispers "Pretty, so pretty... such a shame, such a shame." he lightly nibbles on her lower chine, fear envelopes her.

"Its ok, you need this, its all alright now... shhh, quiet little one" unable to move she stares at Roger, pleading with her eyes for the negotiator to help.

"Stop this! Stop this right now! What are you doing!" Shouts the fearless negotiator.

"Quiet insolent dog" *ompfh gasp Roger as Schwarzwald back hands him across the face. There was nothing the negotiator could do.

"Unnnh huff huff, unnnh" Cries Agent thirteen as the cyborg begins twisting and bending her arm in impossible ways.

Ahhh, AAAAHHHHH Stop, it hurts! It HURT! screams the poor agent as joints dislocate and bones begin to snap.

The cyborg seems to suddenly stops as tears of pain stream down her face. He looks at intimately and whipsers the word "Karma."

All the sudden her right arm is torn from her body in one swift motion. She screams in incredible pain as she finally passes out from the shock. Her body hangs limp now, held up by her left arm still chained to the wall.

In disbelief Roger yells at his Captors "What have you done!"

Quietly the cyborg approaches his one time friend and mentor. "Don't you dare pity her."

"Your Mad!" replied roger

"No, I'm enlightened" countered the Cyborg.

"Now... I do believe its time we finally had that talk, are you ready to Negotiate?"


Back at the Mansion

"And that my dear is the full story" the tired butler had final finished after several long hours.

Dorothy's reaction was most human, she could only sit there, eyes wide open in complete amazement.

She slightly snickers as Normans looks on in Surprise.

Her form and manner completely human now "You spent all these years with him, fighting by his side, training and studying to one day pick up his mantel... and, *snicker*, and you instead follow in the Butler's footsteps! Dorothy goes back to her robotic self "That does not compute".

Suddenly Norman burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. "Well... I am undercover Dorothy!"

"I'm sorry Norman, but to be honest, that is an amazing story."

"Now Dorothy, I do believe its your turn to uphold our end of the bargain." quipped Norman.

"Of course, I guess I really can't feel ashamed of myself after everything you've been through, you've lead quite the life... Thank you Norman."

"It was my pleasure Ms. Dorothy, and quite cathartic I might add." Quickly Norman falls back into he fatherly butler routine.

The room grows silent again as Dorothy sat attempting to gathers her thoughts. Of course Norman would be patient, he knew that this time she was trying to open up to him.

Slowly she began to speak again, but this time with sincerity. "Norman I am positive I would have killed that man if required. That's," She pauses "that goes against what I told Roger, I told him that I believed all life is precious. Am I a liar now? Did I lie to Roger, am I lying to myself?"

She struggles to make since of her own feelings "I wanted to blame her Norman, I wanted to blame Red Destiney for these feelings. That perhaps she had compromised my programming. But, that's not possible."

"Ms. Dorothy," Norman interrupted "you didn't kill anybody, you barely even hurt the man."

"I know! But I think I may have wanted to. Am I just like her Norman?"

"Not at all, you had the choice and you chose not to!" Norman again reassures her. "Its only natural to feel that way when your angry, it only means that your human. Believe me, there have been plenty of times that myself and Master Roger probably wanted to kill someone but didn't act upon it. You have nothing to worry about, its just not in your nature."

Norman could see the emotional change in comparison to earlier as the Android tries to open up. Her awkward movements, as she shifts her feet and holds her shoulders showed that her body was still learning how to respond naturally. Usually she allowed her behavioral protocols to control her physiological responses, but now she was trying her best to let go.

"Did I control myself... or did my behavioral protocols keep me from lashing out emotionally? I don't know. But that's not my only concern. I feel so conflicted."

"Please continue Ms. Dorothy"

Norman, if your right... if its just not in my nature... Does that make me weak?

"What?" Norman said in surprise.

"I know Roger hasn't been missing for long, but what if he never comes back? Do I have the strength to do what's necessary? I always seem to get kidnapped, or attacked or reprogrammed. Am I that weak? What if I hesitate one day, what if you die because of it. What if I can't find Roger because of it?"

"Ms. Dorothy, anyone can take a life, but it takes a person of great strength to give one."

Dorothy pauses for a minute, as if understanding and accepting Normans answer.

"Norman" she begins again "you know I can't give life, correct? I lack the reproductive function required to do so."

"Ms. Dorothy! You know that is not what I meant."

"Of course I do Norman, I'm merely trying to lighten the mood. You can't expect me to perfect humor in only a day"

And with that Norman smiles, "Come Ms. Dorothy let us return to the parlor and discuss what to do with COL Dastun."

They both quietly get up and begin to leave the room. Before Dorothy heads out, she takes one final look at the damaged body on the table and shuts off the lights.


On a desk filled with hourglasses, a phone rings. Norman's hand picks up the receiver and a sinister voice says:
Next: The Past still Haunts Us

*Authors note. The rest of the negotiation scene between the Cyborg and Roger fits better with the next chapter, as it results in the flashbacks, so I have removed it for the time being.