Ch. XXI

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You reluctantly stepped inside the bus, Connor following closely behind. You presented the tickets to the driver, then found two seats next to each-other and guided Connor towards them as you sat down on the one away from the window.

"I thought humans preferred sitting next to windows in vehicles." Connor said as he lowered himself beside you.

"I've seen the outside world so many times already. You're the one that has yet to discover it all." That was part of the reason. Brennan had always preferred sitting by the window, so you had gotten used to always settling on the other side. A small, tired smile settled on your lips as you leaned your head against his shoulder. Why did your mind always drift back to your brother?

"You should probably get some rest." He answered, slightly taken aback by the public display of affection. Sure, the bus wasn't exactly full, especially at such a time, but it wasn't empty either.

"Was planning on it, but thanks." You whispered, voice slightly muffled by the material of his suit. You hoped your mind would already give in to the fatigue you felt and stop thinking about your brother for just a few hours. You cuddled into Connor's shoulder, placing your hand on top of his on the armrest, and huffed softly.

Soon enough, the bus started moving.

Connor switched to looking outside to preoccupy his mind with something. He let his eyes wander over the ebony scenery in front of him, occasionally analyzing you to make sure you were as comfortable as possible and resting properly.

· · ─────── ·𖥸· ─────── · ·

"Last stop!" Announced the bus driver, everyone around you drowsily rising to their feet. Connor reached to softly brush a strand of hair out of your face.

"(Y/n). (Y/n)...? Wake up." Connor almost felt guilty for taking your much-needed sleep from you, but there wasn't much he could do.

Your eyes fluttered open as you almost yelped at how close his face was to yours.

"I'm up, I'm up." You answered. "So it wasn't just a dream, hm? You, Kamski, Brennan...everything."

"No." Connor shook his head. "Come on, we've got to leave the bus and find Kamski's friend."

He was right, there was no time to lose. Still wobbly on your legs, you stood up and followed Connor out of the bus.

"The address is about one kilometer away from the station. We should get there soon enough. Stay close to me, (y/n)."

You felt heat gather in your cheeks at his words.

"We should try to find shelter for the night after that. You're obviously too tired to keep going. When was the last time you rested?"

"Yesterd—"

"Rested properly." Connor interrupted. You were left wordless, which earned a knowing huff from him. "As I thought."

"We can't afford doing that right now. Not when we're so close to escaping." You said, brows furrowed.

"We'll talk to Kamski's friend first, and then we'll see."

You sighed. "Alright, that's fair."

· · ─────── ·𖥸· ─────── · ·

Kamski's friend surely wasn't someone of simple tastes, you were sure of that. The house was unusually big for a urban area, front garden decorated with all sorts of flowers. The house's facade was of a soft, pastel creme. Even the door was made out of some sort of expensive wood.

Connor stopped on the front porch, with you sticking close, and knocked on the door once. Then twice.

You could clearly hear some ruckus going on inside the house before the entrance slowly opened.

A thin, tall, about 50 year old man was standing in front of the door, his forehead nearly touching the upper part of the doorframe. His eyes were a mesmerizing ocean blue, and his hair was almost bleach blond.

"Hello." Connor began, stepping closer, positioning himself to stand sightly in front of you.

"What could someone possibly want at this hour?" His voice was clear, with a certain softness to it.

"We've been told you could help us." Connor spoke calmly.

"You've come to the wrong place." The blond man shook his head and closed the door shut.

"Please! We've...Elijah Kamski sent us here." You interjected, rushing to position your foot against the door to stop him from closing it.

"Ugh, that fucking schmoozer." The man grunted and tilted his head from side to side, mentally weighing out his options. "Alright, come in. I owe him this."

You wanted to step inside but Connor was quicker, assuming his protective stance in beside of you once again as he entered first. So paranoid, you chuckled to yourself.

"Meet my daughter, Chloe." The man gestured to a beautiful young woman standing in the living room, dressed in a ocean blue dress which matched her and her father's eyes. She was familiar. You had seen her features before, somewhere, you were sure of it.

"Hello." She greeted, nodding politely and rushing to her father's side.

"Well, what do you need?"

"We...need fake passports. We want to leave the country." You said before Connor had the chance to.

"A young couple on the run." He concluded. "Why?"

"It's a long story." Connor spoke sternly, with a certain sharpness in his voice.

"Well then I'm afraid I won't be able to—"

"He's an Android." Said the young woman, nodding at Connor. The older man's features curled into a knowing smirk. "I ran a heat scan." She added.

That's when you realized why you felt like she was familiar: Chloe was an ST200 model, the first android ever created by Elijah. She was also the only one of her kind, since the American government had rejected mass producing a female android, considering that she was seen as useless in the military forces.

"So are you." Connor retorted to the young woman, extending his hand in front of you in an attempt to get you to stand behind him. You laid one hand on his shoulder comfortingly.

"No need to get defensive. I believe we should introduce ourselves first. My name is Conroy Shepherd. Kamski's former mechanics teacher. You must be his assistant, (y/n)." The man turned to look at you.

"Yes. (Y/n) (l/n). And this is Connor." You gestured to the Android carefully, grasping his wrist to lower his hand. "Chloe is an ST200, right?"

"Elijah's first and only female Android, yes." He nodded.

"I haven't been a part of her creation, but— Her facial design is exceptional."

"That's because she has been designed after my deceased daughter." Conroy interrupted your speech. "Kamski's so-called 'one true love' That asshole spent his entire teenage-hood and early adulthood trying to win her heart and make me approve of their relationship. Like I said. Schmoozer." The man laughed ironically.

You had never actually questioned why Kamski had always lacked interest in romantic relationships, but at that moment, it all made sense.

"So that's why I hadn't ever found an ST200 in the storage room." You concluded. "Kamski had given it— her to you. I never knew."

"Well, he prefers not to talk about his past. Can't blame you." The old man acknowledged and shrugged his shoulders. "What about the charming young man?"

"I am an RK800, the most advanced prototype created by Kamski so far." Connor answered mechanically, his body tense. "It has been nice talking to you, mister Shepherd, but I'm afraid we're in a hurry. So, can you help us get fake passports or not?"

"Yes, that would be possible."

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