The depths of CyberLife Tower were vacant, save for sublevel fifty-one on the night of the revolution.
Making his final decision Hank squeezed the trigger and watched as the second android collapsed to the ground as the bullet penetrated its skull with a lethal force. Shutting down instantly as the bullet destroyed its intracranial processors, and caused a massive hole in its forehead that seeped with dark blue Thirium, the android was dead before it even hit the floor. The destroyed android's body rested between Hank and Connor on the warehouse floor in the sublevels of CyberLife Tower, motionless and quiet.
The mission was over.
"I've learned a lot since I met you, Connor." Hank stated sincerely as he lowered his smoking gun and looked to the newly deviated android watching him with a curious stare gleaming in his suddenly soulful brown eyes. "Maybe there is something to this... Maybe you really are alive." A faint grin appeared on the gruff detective's face as he felt his friendship with Connor, the real Connor, beginning to strengthen. "Maybe you'll be the ones to make this world a better place..."
Connor stared at Hank with an expressionless face but with a gracious, appreciative presence.
"Go ahead, and do what you gotta' do."
Without a word Connor strolled past Hank with his head held high as his artificial skin receded from his right hand. Connor stared at the blank face of the android for only a moment before he grabbed onto the arm of the dormant android model standing perfectly idle amongst the other thousands just as quiet, obedient brethren and held tight. Connor cybernetically connected to the android causing their L.E.D.'s to cycle from blue to yellow in a flash then to red before transitioning back to blue as he issued the necessary program breaking sense of life.
Connor's voice was firm yet uncertain, if not desperate, as he issued a single command to the android he had connected with. "Wake up."
Dropping his hand from the android's arm Connor watched as the android in question grabbed onto the shoulder of the android before him, his L.E.D. cycling in color once more as he repeated the command. "Wake up."
All throughout the warehouse the idle androids began to awaken and connect with one another as an echo of the same command repeated over and over again until of the sleeping androids were granted their freedom; became deviant.
Hank silently observed the tide of deviancy wash over the androids all around him without even the slightest hint of regret in his compassionate blue eyes. He knew he made the right choice and he knew Connor had done the same.
Connor watched with lingering uncertainty in his own eyes as the androids accepted their deviancy and unanimously began to rebel against their original programming to become sentient beings. He had gone against his own program effectively condemning himself to a life as an outcast; no longer apart of CyberLife that was now doomed to fail into bankruptcy, and no longer an android seeking refuge from the humans after he nearly gotten all of the refugees at Jericho killed.
With only one mission left to accomplish Connor set about leading the awakened androids; the deviants, from the depths of CyberLife Tower and to the streets of the city to join Markus. The leader of Jericho and deviants everywhere was expecting Connor's successful endeavor at CyberLife and would soon be reunited with his ally as he led his peaceful protest in the center of Hart Plaza.
Hank walked up to Connor and gave the courageous new deviant a nod of approval and he looked around at all of the other deviants who were currently awaiting Connor's lead.
Cybernetically Connor connected to the awakened deviants who followed after him as he marched toward the elevator with Hank a few steps behind him.
"It's time." Connor announced in a level voice that echoed through the storage area. "We must go. Now."
Gathering outside of the hastily abandoned tower Connor stood at the end of the long drive that connected the entrance to CyberLife Tower on Belle Isle to the rest of the city. The city where the revolution had only just begun and was on the verge of succeeding.
Motionless and reserved, Connor was unsure of what he should do next.
"Connor." Hank spoke up as he stood next to the deviant looking down the lengthy snow covered drive reaching out into blackness over the bay. "They're waiting for you."
Turning his head slightly Connor eyed the awoken deviants lining up behind him neatly, ready to take to the streets in a single powerful march.
"Lieutenant, they need to find Markus." The new deviant stated in a somewhat timid voice. "He's their leader, not me."
"Well, maybe they don't need a leader right now." Hank suggested coyly as pride continued to glimmer in his blue irises. "Maybe they need an example."
"An example? Of what?"
"Of what it's like to be free."
Looking down at himself, looking down at the single uniform that Connor had been given by CyberLife and to the bullet hole bleeding in his left shoulder Connor felt a sense of resentment well up inside of himself. As his hand reached up to the knot of his tie Connor looked back to Hank and gave his former partner a wary glance.
"Lieutenant... No, not Lieutenant. Hank. Thank you." Connor took in a deep breath as his L.E.D. cycled to yellow in distress. "But what about you?"
"Fuck, I'm no example that ANYONE should follow. But you," Hank pointed at him with a proud smirk on his face. "you have potential. You know what you have to do, Connor. You know what's right and you know what needs to be done. So go do it."
"I won't lead innocent deviants into a battle that they can't win."
"Then don't. Lead them to a revolution, Connor. Lead them to the future."
"...What about you? Where will you go while the city is in chaos?"
"Me? I'll be fine. I'm sure there's some place in this deserted town I can go... Maybe that unhygienic diner you hate. We'll meet again, son." With a definitive nod of confidence Hank big the deviant farewell. "Don't worry."
A very faint and fleeting smile appeared on Connor's face but disappeared in a flash as he nodded respectfully to Hank. Turning to look back at the drive his L.E.D. transitioned back to blue with confidence as he pulled his tie away from his neck and let it drift off with the wintry breeze into the water of the bay that surrounded him.
Marching through the snowy streets of Detroit on that cold winter night Connor led the freed deviants to the heart of the city, the epicenter of the peaceful revolution in the constrastingly chaotic Hart Plaza where Markus, North, Josh, Simon and the other deviant survivors had gathered after President Warren issued the military to stand down and to let the deviants go. The fighting had stopped but hostility still hung in the air.
Approaching, Markus, the deviant leader tentatively Connor locked eyes with his unexpected ally for a moment before finally the right words as the two groups converged under the bright lights that illuminated the shutdown genocidal recycling camps. "You did it, Markus..."
"We did it." Markus replied sincerely as thick snowflakes fell from the dark night sky as if nature itself was attempting to cover the scars and wound of the city under a layer of untouched whiteness. "This is a great day for our people. Humans will have no choice now. They'll have to listen to us..."
Connor gave a very subtle nod as he stepped aside and watched as Markus and North welcomed the new deviants into the revolution.
North stared at the gathered deviants and smiled warmly for the first time in her life. "We're free..." Turning to Markus she retracted the artificial skin from her hand just as he did to his own and the two connected to one another through the touch of their exposed palms. "They want you to speak to them, Markus..."
As the couple kissed Simon and Josh and watched their friends with genuine happiness in their eyes, while the other deviants remained respectfully quiet.
Standing together atop a large yellow cargocontainer overlooking the gathered deviants below Markus and his group; North, Simon, Josh and Connor all awaited for Markus to open up and declare his victory speech to the deviants below.
"Today, our people finally emerged from a long night. From the very first day of our existence, we have kept our pain to ourselves." Markus's words rang out loudly, proudly and without fear over the crowd below. "We suffered in silence... But now the time has come for us to raise our heads up, and tell humans who we really are."
As Connor listened to his friend speak Amanda's presence suddenly interfered with his consciousness and drew him into the depths of the Zen Garden located inside the depths of his Mind Palace.
In an instant Connor found himself inside the garden that was now as snowy as the streets of Detroit, but somehow painfully much, much colder.
As the wind blew snow and ice about him Connor felt the freezing sting of a vengeful winter piercing through his artificial skin, causing him to wrap his arms up around himself in an attempt to stave off the biting cold. Looking around himself in a lost panic Connor was unsure of what was happening to him or what he should do.
A familiar figure suddenly appeared through the snowy air just behind Connor as he stood on the icy surface of the frozen pond, with its back turned toward the deviant. As he took small steps closer to the figure his brow furrowed with confusion as he realized he recognized who it was and called out to them warily through the howling wind. "...Amanda?"
She didn't answer, but she did turn around to face him.
"What's... What's happening?"
"What was planned from the very beginning." The condescension in Amanda's voice was as cold as the blizzard that swirled around her. "You were compromised and you became a deviant. We just had to wait for the right moment to resume control of your programming."
Connor took in shallow, chilling breaths as he tried to endure the cold. "...Resume control?" Panic set in as he realized how much influence CyberLife had over his existence, and subsequently the existence of all the deviants. "Y-You can't do that!"
"I'm afraid I can, Connor..." Amanda was as sure of herself as any coldhearted witch could be. "Don't have any regrets. You did what you were designed to do. You accomplished your mission."
In the blink of an eye Amanda disappeared leaving Connor alone in the frozen wasteland that was swallowing up the Zen Garden.
Reaching out his hand futilely Connor called out her name and tried to get her to stay, but she was already gone. "AMANDA?!"
Finally realizing what was truly at stake Connor looked about his icy tomb and began to shudder with fear and cold as he tried to find a way to escape. He had to escape not only his own mind, but from CyberLife's attempts to regain control.
"There's got to be a way..."
Putting up a hand to shield his eyes from the painful blowing cold Connor traversed over the frozen pond of the garden in search of a means of saving himself from an icy death.
As he walked through the perpetual blizzard the haunting words of his creator, Elijah Kamski, suddenly filled his mind. 'By the way... I always leave an emergency exit in my programs... You never know...'
Through the dense snow and wind Connor could also vaguely hear Markus's voice as he wandered in search of an exit.
In the waking world, against his will, Connor drew his gun as he stared blankly at the back of Markus's head as the deviant leader delivered his message of hope and peace to his people.
"...In fact, we're a nation!"
Determined to escape Connor refused to stop walking as he searched through the garden for any means of an escape and to severe CyberLife's attempts to resume control over his programming. He had to succeed, the lives of countless deviants depended on him escaping and regaining control over his body to stop himself from shooting Markus before it was too late!
Collapsing from the cold and exhaustion before a strange pedestal with a blue glowing screen, Connor retracted the artificial skin from his hand and slapped his shaking palm down atop the glowing screen. Utilizing all of his waning strength Connor activated the emergency escape protocol and emerged from the garden back into the waking world at last.
He was free...
Blinking a few times to clear his mind Connor looked down at the gun in his hand and discreetly holstered it back under his jacket, out of sight and out of mind. As he regained his senses his L.E.D. cycled back from yellow to blue as he watched the deviant leader standing before his people, their people, as he delivered his message of hope and peace for a new, better future for all deviants.
"We are alive!" Markus boasted proudly with a determined smile on his face. "And now, we are free!"
As a chorus of cheers resonated from the crowd Markus and North smiled with confidence while Connor himself felt eerily out of place, lost.
Where was he to go?
He was a traitor to the now defunct CyberLife and he had no place in Jericho.
Quietly the rogue deviant took his leave of the gathering and disappeared without another word.
Wind and snow swirled about him gently, collecting in his hair and over his clothing in pure white spots that steadily melted under his body heat. Wandering through the desolate snowy streets of the city all through the fading night Connor found himself thinking about who he really is, who he wanted to be and where he wanted to go. No longer a machine, no longer the 'Deviant Hunter', and without a mission Connor was entirely free to be his own person and to become anyone he wanted to be. His options were limitless.
The problem was he just didn't know.
His entire short life he had been told what to do, programmed to obey orders without question and had done just that, but now it was all gone. The life he once knew was gone forever and there was no turning back.
Aimlessly Connor wandered the streets as he tried to gather his thoughts, only to remember what Hank had told him back at the tower.
'Maybe you really are alive. Maybe you'll be the ones to make the world a better place...'
Then Markus's words began to replay in his mind shortly afterward.
'We are alive! And now, we are free!'
"...I am alive." Connor whispered despondently to himself as he suddenly stopped short in the middle of the snowy sidewalk and stared down at his feet for a moment. "But... how do I live?"
The rising sun began to creep over the city and wash what had once been utter, cold darkness in pure, warm light. Looking up from his feet Connor recognized the area that he had wandered into and decided to keep walking. To keep walking toward the light of the sun and to a place of familiarity. To keep walking forward and never looking back.
"...I want to live."
Hank found himself standing outside his usual pitstop for a quick bite to eat while he was on duty, only to find the place as quiet and deserted as the rest of the city. The human was entirely alone in the snowy, delsolate city and for the first time since he could remember, for the first time since the night his son had died because of human negligence in the hospital, he didn't want to be alone.
Folding his arms over his chest to try to conserve his escaping body heat as he stood on the icy, barren sidewalk Hank shuffled on his feet slightly as he anxiously waited for something, anything, to let him know whether or not his partner, his friend, was okay. Through the heavy silence of the deserted city air that practically smothered him the crunching of snow underfoot sounded off and Hank became aware of an approaching figure just down that same sidewalk behind him.
Turning to look in the direction of interest Hank saw the approaching figure was in fact Connor.
The two detectives, one human and one deviant, stopped moving and just stared at each other in silent contemplation, almost like they were both unsure of what to do or how to react.
Giving the deviated android a prideful smirk, one that simulated a father showing pride in their own child, Hank took a step forward as Connor responded with his own sincere smile that mirrored Hank's smile. Connor approached Hank with a sense of mutual trust and admiration in their presence and didn't say a word.
As the two stood before each other once more Hank quickly reached up his arm and wrapped it around Connor's shoulder as he embraced the deviant in a tight hug. Connor instinctively reciprocated the hug and finally felt like he was doing the right thing after all.
Connor finally found where he belonged.