Serve the Servants ~ 6
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Chapter 6

Meeting Professor(s)

"Awake. You have been ordered to awake."


  Roy Batty slowly opened his eyes when the monotonic computer generated voice woke him up in his quarters. He looked over at the clock that was compactly built under the speaker, which read a full hour earlier than the normal wake-up call.


"You have been scheduled for a meeting with an FCA counselor. Your orders are to shower, get dressed and report to the operations office. Please repeat your orders back to confirm."


"My orders are to shower, get dressed and report to the operations office."


  After a slight pause, the computer responded back. "Orders confirmed. You have thirty minutes to comply."


  Roy quickly got out of bed, grabbed his uniform and put in into a duffle bag. He stood by the door to his living "quarters" (which looked more like a cross between an airliner's bathroom and large closet that held a sleeping bunk), and after an uncomfortable second, spoke towards the computer speaker.


  "I am ready to walk to the showers."


  And, after another uncomfortable pause, Roy could hear the bolt of the door unlatching, with the computer responding.


"Confirmed. Door unlocked on Replicant housing unit nine-thirteen. Proceed to shower stall."


  As Roy walked out onto the deck and began heading for the shower, he took no notice of the world around him. Around him, on many levels, was door after door after door of "living quarters" of other Replicants. And in each of those quarters, a Replicant was staring out of the small one foot square window down towards Roy Batty as he walked to the showers an hour early. Roy didn't notice, just followed orders.


  The Replicants had been held to an unwavering schedule, up until the mining accident had happened. Even though relatively few Replicants had been involved, the follow-up investigation really threw them off their normal routine. An individual Replicant being woken up an hour early was a celebrity to the rest.




  Sarah Baker sat on the bench outside of the FCA's entrance, waiting for her father to take her to school. This was normal for Sarah; Her father had to report in before she woke up for school, so she would walk from their conapt to the FCA building, when he'd get his morning break he'd take her the rest of the way from there. Her father said he might be running a little late, but told her to keep her eyes open - something special might happen.


  All of eleven years old, a tomboy that marched to her own tune and liked to take risks, Sarah didn't even think at all about why she was constantly in trouble with teachers. Finally Io's school system principal got fed up, and recommended that she go to counseling (which was actually more of a break for whatever teacher was losing their mind or voice). She didn't mind therapy, and sometimes attending counseling from one of the FCA psychologists. It was a little odd to be one of the few kids in the building, at times. 


  Then Sarah saw what her father was talking about. Three military vehicles - all humming from their electrical power systems - pulled up. An armored car flanked by two MP spinners. The MP's got out first and stood by each side of the door to the armored car, and the door of the armored car began to open.


   Sarah watched carefully as a very large man with white hair and blue-grey eyes was escorted out in handcuffs. He didn't look like someone in trouble, but looked around as the rain began to come down on Io. Sarah began to feel excited. Oh wow! So this is what a Replicant looks like!! Wait until the kids at school hear about this!!


  She watched him carefully. Flanked on both sides by the MP's, they marched Roy right past Sarah. Roy had never seen a child before, and as they walked by Roy looked right into Sarah's eyes for a moment that seemed to go in slow motion. Sarah was gripped with fear - She'd overheard her father and some of his friends talk about what the Replicants were capable of - but at the same time, she was mesmerized by the intensity in Roy's eyes. He was studying her as much as she was studying him. 


  It was all over in a second, when the lead MP motioned for Roy to keep walking towards the building. Behind the following MP's, two civilian contractors (Sarah could tell by the style of uniform) walked by as well. They looked at her for a split second, but began to talk quietly to one another as the got a little further down the walkway.


  "Did you see the way he looked at the kid ?!" Daniel said, walking alongside Foster.


"What kind of parent leaves his kid alone out here?" Foster replied, still walking."Kids get scared sometimes. You got any kids, Danny boy?"  Foster gave the girl a smile and a nod as they walked by.


"None that I'm aware of, outside of the bird. You?"


"Two. And there's no way I'd ever let my kids sit out alone on this rock. And it ain't because of the terrain."




  "So you're saying that the Nexus memory implants were not fully implemented before production began."


  "Y-y-yes sir." Sebastian stuttered. He looked worried at Tyrell. Sebastian knew very well that the Nexus contracts could easily sink the company if things went wrong. He'd kept quiet for a while about it, but when news channels began to report the Nexus project was taking a longer time than expected, he decided to come forward.


 "And Halford knew about it, and signed off on it anyway."  Tyrell stopped and thought a little longer.


  Although Tyrell had suspicions that things weren't going well, he also took into consideration of the ground-breaking sciences that were being developed along the way. He knew there'd be some bumps in the path. If you want to bake a cake, you're going to break some eggs. If it had broken out that there were any problems with the Replicants, the contracts could have gone to someone else. Broken eggs - Tyrell could deal with. Lost military business would be another story.


  "Okay...So how many of the units were shipped out with faulty implants?"


  "I'm not sure. Probably in the first batch of seventy-five."


"But they are stable now, correct?"


"Yes. The current programming passed every possible FCA simulation that we've run. But Halford also transferred a lot of earlier material with him when he left for Io. A lot of the reports we have, the dates don't match up with times that we sent them, or would have filed them."


  "Forged...or just an oversight made by a team struggling to get everything done before getting shipped out. Halford has had his share of challenges ever since I promoted him." Tyrell looked over his glasses into Sebastian’s eyes. 


"I don't like accusations being made of people I have personally promoted, Sebastian. But you don't strike me as the jealous type."


  Tyrell was meticulous in his final decision. Sebastian had been with the company since before Terminus, and after Terminus struck his health had declined rapidly. Tyrell also appreciated the amount of research and work that Sebastian had completed, most of which was very critical to getting the Nexus project off the ground. It also wasn't good PR to have a disgruntled ex-employee running his mouth on the evening news.


  "Sebastian...thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. But for your protection, I am going to transfer you to another division of the corporation, if that's okay. You'll still be doing genetic research, a new project. But it will be separate from the current Nexus project. You can work from home if you'd like. Would that be all right with you?"


 Sebastian felt a little despondent. He was very proud of being a part of the Nexus project, and being taken off of it would be viewed as a demotion to some. But he'd put in too much time at the corporation to quit over someone like Halford.




"Excellent. Go ahead and take the afternoon off. I'll email you the specifications on the new project." Tyrell nodded towards his security guard, who began escorting Sebastian out.


  As Sebastian exited the room, Tyrell hit the comm button on his desk. The production department responded.


"Request a product checklist of the implants of the first eighty Replicants shipped to Io. Send it through normal company channels, NOT through my office. But the minute that report comes in I want it on my desk." If Sebastian knows something is going on, and Halford is trying to cover up something, maybe I can fix it before it becomes a problem, Tyrell thought to himself.




  "Now this is a challenge I can handle."


  Halford grinned from ear to ear as he looked over the latest shipment, the first batch of female Replicants shipped to Io. They stood in a formation in front of him, wearing only the tightly fitting protective flight suit that protected them while being shipped. He walked up and down the ranks looking back and forth, like a kid in a candy store.


  Halford's assistant, a rather small man named Charleston, hurriedly tried to keep pace, holding a clipboard. Halford looked back to Charleston.


  "Okay...." he said pointing to individual Replicants, "I'll need that one, that one over there, that one, those two, and..." He looked over and saw a tall redhead that stood out, and for a second was speechless.


"Defintely this one. What's the name listed on the manifest?"


"Zhora. Says here she's listed for combat training."


  Halford laughed a little, and looked back at Zhora's face. "Well, honey, that's going to get changed." He turned back to Charleston.


 "Go ahead and get these programmed as office clerks, and remove them from the military manifests. Send the rest over to Tannhauser."


  "But, Mr. Halford, won't somebody ask about missing Replicants?"


   Halford smiled, having a well practiced answer made up well in advance.


  "These Replicants are still the property of the Tyrell Corporation, until the army signs off on them. These are being set aside for separate evaluation, civilian programming as per the company directives."


  Charleston looked back to the female Replicants and then briefly thought to himself what separate evaluation actually entailed.


  "Pretty soon everyone on Io will have one of these."  Halford beamed.


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