Derek Mason tapped the console of his Voight Kampff machine and gave a long sigh. The three brunette women where gaze at him from across the table and looking rather bored. It had been hours since he started the test, a series of long questions for each of them, perhaps too long by the look of Mason's weary eyes. The machine folded back up into the briefcase looking shell and powered down. Derek leaned back in his seat and rubbed the side of his forehead with his two left hand fingers. Omiashi was seated at the other end of the long black table, a curious gaze on his face as his eyes shifted back and forth to him and the women opposite.
"Thank you ladies. I think you can be excused now." Derek stated.
The women looked over at Omiashi as if to get his permission as well.
"Yes…yes thank you. You may go." The Asian man smiled as he rose up out of his seat and bowed to them slightly.
The women stood up in unison and walked out the room. The doors opened automatically as they left and closed. Derek found that rather annoying seeing how he had to open the doors manually when entered. But rather then dwell on that, he continued to sit there with a troubled look upon his face. Takari came beside him and sat on the table, he gazed down at the perplexed Blade Runner and gave a slight snicker in his question.
"Not at what you expected I take it, eh Mr. Mason?"
"Fine work Mr. Omiashi." Derek smirked back at him. "I see that your company is trying to push the boundaries a little too far."
"Tell me then." He grinned. "Which one is the Replicant?"
Derek gave a long sigh and played abit with his chair, turning it back and forth slightly as he tapped his hands together.
"Two." He stated as he continued to act coy. "The first one was easy…she's an older model for sure. Probably one of the original templates for the others."
"Go on." Takari nodded in agreement.
"The other is this year's model." Mason continued. "It took more questions then normal to spot her, she was rather good at answering them and had more control in her emotions."
Omiashi smiled and gave a giggle at his admitting that. The old man was proud of his creations, they were more advanced then Tyrell's kind and smarter then those others for sure. As Takari got up and walked over to the windows in a proud manner. Derek rolled his eyes and turned his chair about towards the man as he enjoyed the view.
"But…" Derek added.
Omiashi turned to face him and glared down at him.
"But what Mr. Mason?"
"But the third one. I dunno." Derek stated as he rose out of his chair and stood in place. "She's not real either I think. She's a replicant…isn't she?"
The Asian man laughed out loud that seemed to echo in the hospital like room setting. He was amazed the Blade Runner caught on to that. He bowed in Japanese fashion to him and clasped his hands together as he continued to giggle and approach him.
"Incredible Mr. Mason. Incredible. What question made you figure that out?"
"None of them."
"Eh?" Takari paused as he gave a puzzled look. "What do you mean none? How did you manage to know she wasn't real?"
"It wasn't any of the questions that gave her away." Mason breathed out in frustration. "It was a hunch."
"A hunch?" The old Asian man questioned.
"Yes." Derek nodded. "By all accounts…that test proves her to be human. But there was something about her that just didn't seem right to me. While any other Blade Runner might have passed her off as a non-replicant…I dunno…I just seemed to have this gut feeling that she was one as well. It wasn't until you acknowledged my suspicions when I knew I was right."
Omiashi's smile creeped back into his face and folded his arms together with confidence.
"So she would have been human to any other but you." He smirked. "Excellent…you are truly the one man I need for this job."
"I beg your pardon?" Derek blinked.
"I needed to test you to see if you were someone I could count on Mr. Mason." The old Asian man said as he started to pace the room. "You were correct in your hunch, that means that you have a keen eye and much more common sense then any other Blade Runner. The one you spotted is one of a handful of proto-type Replicants we've been working on. Nexus Delta's are becoming obsolete…so now we've gone on to the next phase and made a new generation. Nex-gens as we call them."
Derek seemed to be disgusted upon hearing that. He kept his eyes focused on the Asian man as he continued to walk about the room.
"They're more real then anything would could hope to dream of." Takari said with a proud smile and raising his fists up. "Nex-gens will be the greatest achievement in Replicant technology and bring about a new workforce that's leaps and bounds to anything Tyrell could ever create. They'd be as close to being human then ever thought possible! But…"
Omiashi paused and sat down at the head of the table where he was earlier. He gave a long sigh and looked up at Mason still giving him a repulsed face.
"We've had some minor…problems."
"Minor problems?" Mason scoffed. "Wait…wait…let me guess…the Delta model you were talking about before, the one that murdered one of your staff, it wasn't a Delta…it was Nex-gen."
"Please Mr. Mason." Takari stood up suddenly. "I need your help on this."
"Oh I'd say it's well beyond a matter of me helping you." Derek coldly stated. "You've got two models running around out there killing humans. Sounds to me like the government will be on you for violation of the Replicant Manufacturing Code. This becomes their matter, does it not? "
"Give me your answer." Omashi demanded.
"You didn't answer my question." Mason snickered as he leaned back in his chair. "Which makes me think you're in so much shit you don't know how to swim your way out of it. So now you want to use me as your personal replicant problem solver…just so you don't get your own hands dirty."
Takari didn't like the smug answer he gave back. His posture soon became tense and began to scowl at Derek with a demonic nature.
"Do your duty Blade Runner!" Omasihi screamed as he pounded his fist on the table. "I have control over your contracts and of the entire Blade Runner force! One call to the police department and I can make you life a living nightmare. It is your job to hunt these rogues down and retire them. I've asked you to help me…but if you refuse, I shall make certain that you will be retired yourself! "
Derek shook his head and watched his options dwindle. This very polite and harmless individual suddenly became a threatening overlord that had his life by the throat. There was nothing he could do. If Omiashi had his contract and the entire force in his pocket, then Mason was powerless to even turn down the offer. It dawned on him that this was all just a ruse to bring him here and be given an assignment, no matter what.
"Don't threaten me Mr. Omiashi." Derek scowled. "If you want help, fine, I'll do it. My life is already a living nightmare as it is. I don't need your threat of death to make it any more pleasant."
"Then I will expect results." Takari grunted as he calmed down. "Whatever you report to your superior, you report to me as well."
"Great." Derek groaned with sarcasm. "Two bosses to harp on my ass."
Omiashi pulled away from the table and turned to look out the window. The glare of the light made his eyes dim and lifted his chin as he calmed down from his burst of anger. Derek folded up his Voight Kampff machine and gave one last look at the old gentleman. Neither one said a word to each other. The room was now dead quiet; there was nothing left to say as Mason gave a brief sigh and exited the room quickly. As the doors shut behind him, Omiashi walked over to the boardroom table and touched the smooth surface with a worried glare. Derek was right in his assumption. The government will no doubt be aware of the police files that are scanned daily for Replicant infractions. Ever since the Tyrell Nexus 6 uprising, the government has kept a strict eye on manufactured beings and those that create them. It almost harkened back to the days of Environmental watch dogging, one slip up or accident by a company and they'd be in there to shut them down for good. Omiashi had come too far to be stopped by any one government; if this reached the U.N. it could mean the end of everything for him. Derek had now become his only hope to put an end to this 'minor' infraction.
Out of the grand spire of OBE tower flew a taxi similar to that Derek had taken before. Slightly different in design and with other advertisement decals smattered all over the vehicle. Inside the cab, Mason sat with his head laid back with the Voight Kampff machine beside him on the seat. His head was pounding from the long meeting with Omashi, it seemed he was only recruited to do this evil tycoon's bidding as well as having to answer to the police chief as well. His life truly was hell. If this were any other sort of job, he'd quit in a heartbeat. It was no wonder many BR's were drunks or drug addicts, the stress and crap they have to endure on a daily basis would drive any human to the brink of cracking for sure. Closing his eyes and hearing the sounds of the ocean crashing on a beach shore was for him calming. While it had been faint before, it grew louder now in his head and nearly took him into a state of sleep. The cab jerked suddenly from a cross wind as it lowered back down to the city line of traffic, rousing Mason from nodding off and opening his eyes to see the towers of the city block out the light all round them.
He brought his head back up from the rested position and looked at the scrolling monitor before him. The various ads for 'Offworld Adventures' flashed in a very annoying manner, so much so that he tapped the screen to change the image and put on something less colorful. Up popped the new commercials for OBE Nexus Delta models, it was professional, overly erotic and rather shameless in exploiting these beings as something to be used and discarded. If he thought the last ad was annoying, this was just as equally frustrating to watch. Rather then watch any of it, he sat back and thought about the 'assignment' he was given by Omashi. Next generation replicants on the loose in New York City. It almost filled him with dread as to wonder what he could expect from chasing down these crazed beings.
"How much further?" Derek asked the cab driver while rubbing the bridge of his nose.
"Ten minutes buddy." The heavyset Afro-American cab driver answered over his shoulder. "Traffic in the inner core is at a crawl."
Mason sighed and slumped all the way back into his seat. He closed his eyes and drifted off again.
"Wake me when you pull up to the building."