Ch. I

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"Delivery for Kamski, straight outta Normandy."

"Over here!" You called, raising your hand to grab the courier's attention. He stopped the cheap car, sliding off the fake leather seat, only to drag a carboard box out of the back seat. The package was about 6 foot tall, you approximated. Surely another Android, sent for you and Elijah to fix. That wasn't anything new. The courier adjusted the box to stand upright beside him with gruff movements. Far too gruff.

"Hey, hey, watch it! It's worth a small fortune." You warned.

"And it fuckin' weighs like that too." The man added, puffing air in his cheeks, then narrowing his eyes at you. "This is for mister Kamski. You're not Kamski."

"(Y/n) (l/n), mister Kamski's personal assistant." You replied, subtly mocking the tone of his voice. The courier didn't seem to have caught onto it. "Now, if you'd be kind enough to help me carry the package inside his workshop, that would be delightful."

The man grunted in annoyance, but didn't comment.

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You threw the key inside the small lock and entered, the familiar smell of metal and cleaning supplies flooding your nostrils.

"That should do it. Thank you." You nodded at the man and hurried inside one of the other, smaller rooms. Your boss' study. You looked through one of the dressers in Kamski's desk, finding the exact amount of money needed to pay the courier in the first one. How your boss managed to plan down things down to even the smallest detail was a mystery to you. You returned to the courier, who was standing next to the package with a tired, clueless look on his face. "Here."

"Yeah." The man took the sum of money from you with calloused, greasy hands and spun on his heels, leaving.

"Have a nice day." You added, receiving a grunt of acknowledgement as a response.

Now all you'd have to do was wait for Kamski.

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"Good morning, (y/n)." Elijah greeted, stepping inside the workshop and shucking off his overcoat. "I see the package has arrived."

You rushed to take the coat from him and hang it up on the wall. "Yes, just ten minutes before you got here. I haven't opened it yet."

"Good. Do that now. Let's see what we're dealing with."

"Right away." You reached for the nearest blade you could find and cut the cardboard open.

You had seen many Androids, damaged to the extent of irreparability, but this-

"Good lord..."

"They might have as well just sent the head back." Kamski commented, pinching the bridge of his nose in annoyance. Meanwhile, you couldn't help but stare at the almost disintegrated Android: its Thirium pump was crushed and stuffed back inside the hole it was initially supposed to be beating in, half of the synthetic skin on its face peeled away (by an explosion, you presumed), legs ripped off from the knee down, along with its left arm missing. Not to mention it's clothes: the uniform you had tailored yourself was torn, buttons, hell, even entire sleeves missing.

The worst part? It was the most advanced model Kamski had created so far: the RK800. The only one of its kind so far. Intelligent, resilient, and strong far beyond the level of an average human's.

"Fucking Nazis!" You spat under your breath. "If that's what they're doing to our machines, I don't even want to think about what they're doing to our men!"

"That's just war. Can't blame them." Elijah shook his head and tossed a glance at you over his shoulder. "Let's get it out of there."

Just then realizing how childish and stupid your words had just sounded, heat rose to your cheeks. You had just embarrassed yourself in front of your boss.

"Of course." You nodded and grabbed the ends of the Android's thighs, while Elijah moved to hook his elbows under the machine's armpits. Slightly struggling under the weight of metal and various other components, you managed to drag the machine out of the cardboard shell and onto the operation table. Although your boss carried a fair amount of the weight.

Not waiting any further, Elijah immediately pulled a stool beside the table and sat down, inspecting the robot.

You couldn't help but notice the symmetry of its face, modeled especially by you and Elijah to look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Dark brown hair styled backwards in perfection, without leaving even a single curl excluded. The machine's chocolate brown eyes were thrown wide open in shock, staring at virtually nothing. Poor thing. You wondered what the Android could have seen in its last moments.

"The brain is damaged, the Thirium pump is crushed, and we'll need to replace the legs."

"We should leave the Thirium pump for last." You suggested.

"Exactly."

· · ─────── ·𖥸· ─────── · ·

"Christ. That's..."

"Worse than we presumed." Kamski completed your sentence, staring inside the Android's skull through an opening at the top of its head. Millions of wires, occasionally blinking with red, it seemed borderline chaotic. And that's exactly what it was, except for you and your boss. You weren't as skilled as him, but you could make some sense out of it. And from what you could tell, the damage could not have possibly been caused by an explosion. The writes were torn, not in any way burnt or blown away.

"The memory drive is gone." Kamski concluded.

"That requires precision, though. I mean, looking at the rest of its body, it had clearly been damaged by an explosion, but the skull...looks intact, other than the memory drive."

"And the wires ripped to be able to reach it. I know."

"But how-"

Your boss sighed and shook his head. "We're here to fix this war machine, not to be detectives."

Those words did simply not fit Elijah. A smart, curious, cunning man, he was someone that never refused to investigate problems. That's how he had come up with Androids in the first place. And yet he refused to talk about ripped wires inside the head of an Android. Something you thought of as rather thought-provoking.

You wanted to press the issue, but you knew better than that. As a woman, it was already an privilege to have a job. Disobeying your boss was a risk you weren't willing to take.

"I'll need a wire cutter. And a soldering iron."

"Right away, Elijah."

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