Ch. XIX

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Kamski returned exactly when you were about to answer Connor's question. He was holding a backpack in one hand, and the gun in his other. You could feel the Android tense behind you, ready to flee at any second.

"Here. Some necessities." Elijah explained, offering you the backpack. You took it from him and opened it to peek inside.

A spare Thirium pump, bags of blue blood, some money, a small notebook, the wire you had used to download Connor's memories, a spare pair of male pants and an android leg. A spare Android leg and pants?! Why-

"I'm sorry, but the police are going to start looking for you. And while I do want to help you-" Kamski pulled out something metallic and threw it at Connor. The Android easily caught it. Car keys. "You have to understand that it mustn't look like I actually have. So, (y/n), Connor," He said the name in a strange manner, loading the gun again. "I hope you two understand that what I'm about to right now is necessary." He aimed it at the Android's right leg and pulled the trigger.

Boom!

With a wince, Connor fell to the floor on his healthy knee, face twisted in...pain? Was he capable of feeling pain?

"Connor!"

You rushed to his side and helped him stand back up, putting his right arm around your shoulders. He hissed through gritted teeth in displeasure. Your heart clenched at the sight before you: right leg of his pants already soaked with blue, face twisted into a disdainful frown, and fists balled so tightly that they turned white.

"I'm sorry, (y/n). Take my car, and drive to the Detroit train station. Leave it on a nearby street. Change the RK800's leg-the spare should be in the backpack- and get on the train. I have a friend at the border who could help you get fake IDs. His address is in the notebook I gave you, along with a Detroit city map. Best of luck to you."

You helped Connor drag himself inside the car and position his legs on the pedals. You noticed him grip the steering wheel tightly.

"Thank you, Elijah."

The man smiled, as sincere as you had ever witnessed him. He still was some sort of family to you, even after everything he had done.

You tackled the man in a quick hug, then hurried inside the car, on the passenger seat.

As soon as you closed the door and seated yourself on the leather seat, Connor drove away, into the empty, inky summer night.

You took a deep breath, then spoke up.

"How much do you remember, Connor?"

"I remember nothing."

"Then how-"

"I don't know if you're aware, but Androids are equipped with an extremely small part of their processor that cannot be removed, which stores all the basic information such as the year of release, purpose, creator and the like. This function has been inspired by the human's 'reptilian brain', which controls similarly basic functions, for instance breathing, heart rate, or body temperature."

He was still the same, after all. You couldn't help but stifle a smile.

"And, what are you getting at?"

"My purpose stated only two words: 'Protect (y/n)'. I also found your facial features saved in my 'reptilian brain', thus I was able to identify you after running a face scan."

So he didn't remember anything. That was almost sad to think about, until you remembered: the spare memory drive. The cable given to you by Kamski. Although you couldn't help but wonder who exactly had modified his basic informations.

"Mister Kamski said there was a map inside the notebook he had given you. Would you mind me taking a quick look at it?

"I-no, of course not. Let me get it for you." You opened the backpack and looked inside, only to realize it was yours, then took the other, where you managed to finally find the map.

You unfolded it with care, then held it out for Connor to see as he continued driving with one hand.

"I can make no sense of the letters."

Oh, of course. He was missing his decryption feature.

"I'll read them for you. We should be on..." You stared at the map, then took a quick look outside the car window. "We should be on William's Lake road right now. And we need to get...there."

You turned the map towards Connor, showing him the two locations with your fingers. He furrowed his brows once again, LED blinking yellow, then nodded. "Route calculated. We should be there in about 25 minutes."

"Good." You nodded and leaned back in the car seat, taking a deep breath. "This was intense, huh? All of the past few days."

"I'm afraid I can't be the judge of that."

Oh.

"Yeah, I- I forgot for a second. Sorry. How's your leg?"

"My leg?" He raised a brow, then understood. "It feels...unpleasant, but not enough to be distracting. I know humans react more intensely to pain, correct?"

"Yeah." You shrugged your shoulders. "Guess that's why I got worried."

"As long as I don't lose too much blue blood, I should be fine. My limit is-"

"Fifty percent, I know." Connor smiled in slight wonder at your words, but stayed silent, focused on the road. You smiled as well, putting your hand on top of his on the gearshift, stroking his knuckles with your fingertips. "I'm glad you're safe."

One corner of his mouth perked upwards again.

"I think I can understand why my purpose is to keep you safe, too."

The rest of the ride was silent, although you couldn't deny that you enjoyed it, since your thoughts had also quieted down. You were on the verge of falling asleep when the car stopped and Connor announced: "We've arrived."

Shaking your head to wake yourself up, you got out of the car and walked around it, over to Connor's side.

The Android was struggling to find balance as his right leg kept giving in under him, hands holding onto the car's roof as if his life depended on it.

Oh, Connor. Always trying.

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