bellydances: (pic#7483583)
Shantae, Half-Genie Hero ([personal profile] bellydances) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2014-03-01 08:06 pm

Look how long it's been

Ten Years Later!

Wow, it's been ages since I last saw you!


Rules!

1. Post your character.
2. Got a TYL scenario you always wanted to play out? Go nuts, get all your friends on it, do it here!
3. It doesn't necessarily have to be ten years in the future, it could be more or less if you want.
4. Have fun!
yourmove: (017)

Alex Murphy || ROBOCOP (2014)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-02 07:10 am (UTC)(link)
[Prose preferred]
seestheman: (Do not fuck with my family)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-02 10:17 am (UTC)(link)
Clara never meant for them to drift apart, especially as much as they had over the past couple years. Life had simply gotten in the way and there wasn't much that either of them could have done about it. Or at least that's what she kept telling herself in an attempt to cling to the belief that their relationship wasn't as far gone as she feared it was. Which isn't to say that they didn't keep in contact or that the feelings weren't still there, simply that she didn't get to see him as much as she would prefer. Such as the past two months.

And that distance definitely didn't change the fact that finding a letter in her mailbox from OCP (never from OmniCorp these days, not after everything Sellars had done that had tarnished their good name) stating that they were considering cutting funding and/or outright shutting down various older projects based on more obsolete technologies, including the RC-2000 program, made her heart drop into her stomach. Did Alex know? If he did, why didn't he tell her? If he didn't, why was she finding out before him?

Those questions were what mostly spun through her head (along with the terrible thought of 'you've already proven that you can survive without him by your side' creeping up every now and then) as she drove to the police station, barely paying attention to the speed limit. She maneuvered her car into her usual spot (with the sickening realization that she couldn't really remember the last time she had been here to visit him in the lab, when she had promised herself early on that she would try to make it a regular thing) and made her way into the building in a near run, hoping that he was here and not out working.

A sigh of relief quietly flowed out of her the moment she entered the familiar (and not, on some levels, when she thought back to when she would visit Alex at work before the bombing and the entire room didn't have OmniCorp's fingerprints all over it) landscape of desks and cutting edge screens and saw him talking to someone she didn't recognize. Tapping into all of the nerve she could muster, Clara walks across the room trying to exude as much of a 'do not get in my way' vibe as possible, the letter rumpled in her hand from the death grip she has on it. "Alex, we need to talk."
Edited (apparently I fail at typing) 2014-03-02 11:34 (UTC)
yourmove: (014)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-03 04:22 am (UTC)(link)
Ten years. Ten years is a good run for any cop; ten years as a cop in Detroit and you’re a miracle on two feet.

But ten years is a different thing entirely when you’re 90% outdated technology. They’ve tried to update Alex but the more they bolt on, the more he ends up rejecting them. Seizures came back. Targeting accuracy drops to abysmal levels compared to the new drones out there. Five years ago, he was still making arrest records, headlines. Two years ago he had his first seizure in the middle of reading a suspect her Miranda rights. One year ago he nearly shot a jaywalker when his Appropriate Force Level Response glitched. These days Alex usually doesn’t get out. Too unpredictable. He’s still able to clear out a warehouse of threats the lethal way but if you want one of them alive, well. Tough luck.

He’s not your cyborg anymore.

Mostly Alex stays at the police station when he’s awake, when they need his armor and firepower which hasn’t been too often because frankly, he’s put the fear of God into the less-than-lawful out there. The old Alex Murphy would’ve had a nose for “early retirement” looming fast, would’ve joked about where he’d get old and a pot-belly with Jack. But then his memory refreshes after a two-second lag and he remembers Officer Lewis is deceased. High speed chase. Not much of a body left. As deaths go, it was likely instantaneous.

He wonders if he misses Officer Lewis or his wife and son, in those moments where Alex doesn’t lose himself in crime scene analysis and target practice. The failed upgrades mean there’s very little of the original Alex Murphy left aside from the man’s face, ten years younger for Clara’s ten years older. The cyborg that turns around looks the same as he had when he first arrived in Detroit, his face smoothed into a neutral mask this side of uncanny valley. The lieutenant he’d been talking to sees the look on Clara’s face, reads that vibe her own husband can’t, and wisely makes up an excuse and books it out of there. A few heads pop up over the dividers, peering around screens to watch the show unfold.

Alex faces his wife with his usual head-then chest-then waist swiveling motion, a little more jerky than it used to be when he was cutting-edge.

“About what, ma’am?” Another lag. [ Memory refresh – update ] : “Clara.”
seestheman: (Too much fuckery for one person)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-03 08:33 am (UTC)(link)
Seeing how little time has touched Alex always makes her feel like someone shoved a small knife into her heart and is twisting it. The fact that he's stayed so the same (physically, at least) makes it hard to forget all the times they talked (teased, mostly) about growing old together. That they were going to be those parents that would embarrass their kids when they brought someone home to meet the family. That they were going to retire somewhere where the winters weren't as cold and be the most indecent elderly couple on the block. Instead, she (and David, for that matter, now 18 and studying robotics at MIT, which she will merrily take over him trying to pursue a hockey career) has only gotten older while he hasn't, and she can't help but be slightly bitter about yet another thing that had been stolen from them that never occurred to her when she was in her thirties and so much more optimistic about putting their lives back together.

Clara flinches slightly and quickly tries to hide it at the fact that he calls her 'ma'am' before he calls her by her name. Sometimes she wonders if Dennett (he stopped being Dr. Norton, considering the fact that he practically became family as the years went on) would have been able to help more than the current project head, had survived his heart attack three years ago. But those what-ifs aren't the world she's living in, so she tries to wave them away so they don't drown her.

"I got this in the mail today." She thrusts the letter out at him, trying to keep her voice even and low so as not to draw more attention to them. "Did you know that OCP is considering..." She doesn't know how to say it. Saying 'killing you,' while accurate, isn't the way she wants it come out. Saying 'switch you off' makes him sound like a machine and she still refuses to think of him as one. "...cutting funding to the program?"
yourmove: (002)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-03 09:16 am (UTC)(link)
His brown eyes stare straight at Clara, unassuming, and once upon a time ten years ago, OmniCorp left them brown because popular consensus was it made him look more average. Down to earth. Now there’s a certain flatness to them, the irises almost black underneath the fluorescent lights. Alex glances down at the letter, his hand coming up to take it. He used to prefer to use his flesh hand whenever he was around Clara but these days he doesn’t seem to care either way.

Taking it, he shifts his chin down a fraction to scan and commit the letter to memory, everything from the printer ink used to the crinkles of the paper saying Clara had folded it and unfolded it over and over. It raises points about the future of the DCPD and the reshuffling of funding to better accommodate today’s criminal environment. He reads over the line about the RC-2000 program being shut down, all assets liquidated. Pension dissolved because he’s not considered a human detective. For the barest flicker of a moment, Alex feels something that isn’t related to his programming or the glitches rendering him obsolete. Analysis says it’s a classic, textbook case of fear. Anger. Ten years plus on the force and this is what I get, he thinks.

It fades away, that little spark of something in his eyes vanishing as he glances up from the letter to look at Clara. His wife. Not ma’am or law-abiding citizen or even Mrs. Murphy.

“No. I was not informed.” Alex sounds remarkably calm. That double-tone he had since China only became more pronounced after the glitching, the aborted attempts to upgrade. It makes him sound even less human than before…and unlike Clara, he’s not trying to lower his voice discreetly. “But as crime is at an all-time low, it makes sense. I'll report to the Chief about arrangements for asset liquidation.”

He holds out the letter to Clara, ready to wheel around, and turn himself in for shutdown. Whatever selfish kernel of him still trapped in that chassis might even be relieved.
Edited (post fixing) 2014-03-03 09:52 (UTC)
seestheman: (The hell is this?)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-03 10:24 am (UTC)(link)
Clara stares at him slackjawed for a moment as she takes the letter back from him. "The fuck you will."

It comes out without her meaning to. And with it, any concern of what people may think of her mostly goes out the window. "Dammit Alex, don't you understand? They will kill you." There's something inside her that makes her feel as if something's been set alight. She doesn't know the last time she felt this angry (and if she really thinks on it, she'll realize that the last time she felt like this was ten years ago and at the very least that had been dampened by her grief). "I know you're still in there and I need you to fight this. I need you to fight them. Do you understand me? I can't do this for you. I can be in your corner, but you have to fight them."
yourmove: (012)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-04 09:09 am (UTC)(link)
It’s definitely not one of Alex’s shining moments on the force.

One of the women watching actually winces a second before Clara picks her jaw off the floor and recovers. The cop next to her has his hand over his mouth like he’s not sure if he should say something or keep his distance because there’s nothing scarier than a wife with the Look. Alex merely looks politely puzzled – as puzzled as he can manage this days – as Clara gets in his face. He understands. He understands he’s been less and less a productive member of the DCPD over the years and that the budget is limited. It should be used for the flesh-and-blood officers. He also understands that there’s still something not…quite right about this and Clara knows it too. She’s trying to tell him, her body language confrontational with squared shoulders and her jaw set.

“Fight this.” Alex repeats. “You mean try to repeal.”

He’s sure there’s no precedent set for a cyborg trying to stave off his own imminent shutdown.
seestheman: (Straighten the spine)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-04 07:44 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yes. Or something along those lines. I'll talk to a lawyer to figure out the exact details."

There's a touch of relief in Clara's voice, though her body language barely changes. Or at the very least barely changes until she notices that they've managed to amass an audience, causing her shoulders to drop slightly and a look of slight embarrassment comes over her features.

"Is there somewhere we can go to talk about this alone?"
yourmove: (006)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-04 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Alex opens his mouth to suggest the interrogation rooms when the man who'd been hiding his gape steps in, finally. Seems like he could read where he was going with this. It's unclear who he's trying to save here, Clara or Alex.

"There's the old break room upstairs. The one with the old school coffee machine. You can use that - most people don't go up there anymore."

Not after OCP built them a new, state-of-the-art break room. The fact it's heavily monitored doesn't seem to bother the cops too much - the older ones bitch about it, the new ones take it in a stride because they've grown up with surveillance. Alex nods and extends his hand toward the elevator. He has a brief idea that he should put his hand in the small of Clara's back, like it's something he's done before. They draw stares and whispers.

"This way."
seestheman: (Headed for a breakdown)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-05 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
Clara shoots a grateful look at...now that she thinks about it, she doesn't know his name. Which hurts like hell, because there was a time when she knew the names (and beer choices, thanks to a number of cook outs over the years) of half of Alex's co-workers. As if she needed anymore reminders about just much has changed over a decade.

She can't get out of the room fast enough. The whispers don't really bother her. They never really did, except maybe in the early days back in the first few months after Alex came home. No, it's all the eyes on them that bother her. She's always hated being watched, ever since she was a kid. The first couple years after the bombing only made it worse, what with Novak and his ilk hounding her (and David, which eventually led to one scolded cameraman, one expensive camera being smashed, and the end of reporters hounding them). The moment they're out from under the gaze of what feels like the entirety of Detroit's finest, she stands a little taller with some of the tension (but none of the rage or defiance) out of her body.

There's an awkward silence that hangs in the air as they make their way to the break room, much to Clara's dismay. After everything that they had been through...she'd be lying to herself if she said it didn't hurt like a bitch. "I'm sorry I that I didn't come to see you sooner."
yourmove: (008)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-05 10:49 am (UTC)(link)
Alex’s footsteps fell heavy just behind her as they always did after China, after he came back and he wasn’t anything like she pictured. His tread is always precise, the same mechanical left-right-left. Even after ten years, he still hasn’t worked out that it’s okay to shuffle your feet. Maybe shift your weight side to side. He used to miss the little things, like fidgeting and growing bored and wondering if he should buzz his hair again or Clara wants him to grow it out.

The break room is…older compared to the rest of the building. Only one blackened screen, the cabinets plastic-laminated to look like wood, parts of the laminate surface peeling off. A few chairs are pushed against the side near the doors, the fridge unplugged. He remembers it used to hum and act up every day that ended in Y – you had to hit the thing to get it to stop rattling. Now it’s silent. If he could still process “eery”, that’s exactly the word he would’ve used. Alex’s face shifts back toward Clara as she speaks. Her posture now is still too confrontational for his liking but her voice is calm and rational. She won’t require a warning or pacification.

“You had duties. Dav – Our son,” Alex says, struggling to dredge up the name. It’s less than a second but he can feel the lag like a stutter. “How is he?”
seestheman: (Straighten the spine)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-05 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
As soon as they enter the room, Clara's fairly certain that she recognizes the room. A few slightly foggy, probably rose tinted memories of her coming to have lunch with Alex on a few days when they both knew he wasn't going to make it home at a decent time because of work spring to mind. Seeing the room now and how much it's changed since the last time she saw it is more than a little jarring.

The mention of David hurts a little bit, but nonetheless brings out a fond smile and her body language shifts. "He's good. Boston's been good for him, from what he says." Her smile grows a little bit and there's the slightest hint of a laugh in her voice. "He even has a girlfriend."

Clara is nothing if not a pro at avoiding subjects she doesn't want to talk about, no matter how much they need to be discussed. So she's just going to enjoy David being the subject at hand for as long as she can. "He misses you. Apparently watching hockey there just isn't the same."
yourmove: (028)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-06 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
A girlfriend. Alex doesn’t even know what to do with that because he remembers holding David as a little kid longer than he remembers him as a young adult with college, priorities, a growth spurt. Girlfriends. Apparently. There’s no log of this mystery girlfriend’s name, either, which means he never knew or Clara had told him before and he’d lost that data too. Alex stands there in silence as he processes Clara’s words, breaks them down to syllables and tone, when she pauses to think and when she speaks a little too fast. It’s a silence that probably goes on way, way too long, but it’s all he has.

He isn’t sure what to say to Clara. This makes storming a Nuke den look easy.

“I’m…sorry I couldn’t come.” Alex fumbles over the words. They feel foreign in his mouth like they belong to someone else, not a cyborg slated for decommission. Mushy instead of precise. What comes out next is the closest thing to spontaneous he’s managed in years. “I miss him too.”

There’s a definite gap in his audio/video logs. His family appear less and less over the years. Alex reviews the logs and realizes he attended David’s graduation – he recalled he’d left early. Hostage situation on 4th and Glenn Blvd, multiple hostiles. He remembered pacifying the suspects and freeing the hostages, but he didn't remember if he shook David's hand that night.
seestheman: (Too much fuckery for one person)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-06 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
To be completely fair, Clara's still trying to mentally process that her baby boy has a girlfriend who he seems somewhat serious about. At least serious enough to call her (for once, considering what started out as almost daily phone calls has petered out into once, maybe twice a week if she's lucky, and only for a few minutes before he's running off to do something) and tell her that he wouldn't be coming home for a long weekend that was a month away because he was going to meet her parents.

"It's alright. He understood why." She doesn't dare mention the fact that it was David who brought up that there was no earthly way possible for Alex to make the drive to Boston with them for move-in. Or the fact that he was so matter-of-factly pointed out that there wasn't exactly a portable table for Alex to use on the road. "You could call him sometime. I'm pretty sure he'd like that. Hell, he might tell you more about his girlfriend than he's told me, considering all I know is that her name is Mel and she apparently likes Italian food."

Clara leans against a table, trying to decide the best moment when to try to bring the conversation back around to the reason why she's here, but unable to bring herself to. Instead, she opts to drum her fingers on the tabletop, almost able to imagine that things aren't gearing up for a turn to the worse and that she's just here to give Alex an update on David. "So. What should we do?"
Edited (fixing some repetition) 2014-03-06 08:23 (UTC)
yourmove: (008)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-06 11:36 am (UTC)(link)
Alex feels what’s left of his throat trying to close up. An error message blips onscreen, fuzzy with static at the edges: he dismisses it as he focuses past the HUD to study Clara’s face, ten years later, with the faint lines around her eyes to match. He could call. She’s right. David’s number hasn’t changed in years and it’s easy to verify with the level of surveillance these days. Somehow he’d never found the time or the words. “Mel; girlfriend (Italian food)” gets filed away and the thing is, Alex knows it’s not even s sure thing that he’ll remember that next week. It’s not a felony, after all. Those still stick.

“Sometime,” Alex agrees. For a man who was rebuilt to be so precise, it’s surprisingly vague.

Alex observes Clara Murphy’s nervous gesture – a drumming of fingernails against a table scuffed with old scratches and coffee-ring stains – and even he knows she isn’t as calm as she’d like to look, glitches and all.

“Go through the proper channels. Attempt to file a repeal.” There’s a split second where Alex wars between the idea that he should let her hold onto that hope, the human part of him that doesn’t want to kick Clara while she’s down. That part loses. “In the event of failure, accept the decommission. I believe I’ve opened an account to cover your living expenses in the event I’m deceased.”

Wait. He meant to use the word “decommissioned” (or even “liquidated”). “Deceased” pops out of his mouth like another glitch, Alex almost looking surprised for a change.
seestheman: (Headed for a breakdown)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-08 08:27 am (UTC)(link)
Clara swears that for a moment her heart just stops. Her fingers still and she fixes him with a look that's somewhere between heartbroken and righteously pissed off. She doesn't even know what to say to that. And then she sees the look of near surprise on Alex's face and has to take a few deep breaths because she knows she's on the edge of breaking down and she can't do that in front of him.

"We won't...we can't let it get that far." She can feel her voice shake and the pressure building behind her eyes. Which is when the other part of what he said clicks and she hones in on it, because she needs something to fight back the tears. And sometimes, as terrible as it may be, rage is the only thing left to cling to.

"'Accept the decommission?' How can you even say that? You would really just give up? Are you really willing to do that to me?" She realizes what she said as soon as it comes out. How selfish it is of her to say that, when what she originally meant to say was 'us,' but knowing it's too late to take it back.
yourmove: (023)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-09 09:12 am (UTC)(link)
He said something wrong – or, rather, Clara perceived it as wrong but playing back his own words in his internal feed, Alex struggles to back her up.

His head shifts down, then slightly to the left to center Clara in his field of vision. It’s less smooth than it used to be, more jerky like those old animatronic rides he remembers his dad talking about way back before he met Clara, had a kid, got blown up. Life, basically. “What other alternatives are there, Clara?”

The way Clara stares makes that odd little pit, the one he tried to work around over the years and the glitches, grow inside his chassis. Somehow it feels colder, despite having no digestive system to get butterflies in. He should know the answer to this and he suspects Clara wants him to be the one to suggest it, not her. They’ve fought before. She’s come to the station or he came home and they had arguments he had forgotten because he filed them away as [ NON-ESSENTIAL TO DCPD DUTIES ].

“I’m no longer a functioning member of the force, therefore I'm a financial drain,” Alex goes on, trying to make Clara understand. There’s a warning, not his HUD but some internal instinct, that says if he keeps this up, he’s going to make his own wife cry. “They can’t perform adequate repairs. I can’t either. Can you?”
seestheman: (On the brink)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-09 07:51 pm (UTC)(link)
To say that those words are a punch in the gut is an understatement.

Clara wants to say that she can learn. That she's seen the schematics a few times and could probably study them enough that they could get by. But at the same time, she isn't certain that she can. And on top of that, would Alex even let her if she had the know how? After all, it took almost three years until he was willing to actually tell her how much of him was organic, and it's been made abundantly clear in the past that he doesn't want her to see him like that.

"No." There's a tremor in her voice that she wants to fight back. She hates crying, especially when she's angry. "I don't think I can."

She knows tears won't do them any good and tries to fight the building pressure behind her eyes. The truth of the matter is that she's tired of OCP pulling the strings. She's tired of being alone in a house that was always meant for three (possibly more at one point, though that obviously never happened). She takes a deep, almost ragged breath and tries to think of something.

"There has to be another option. There are...there are other companies out there. Maybe it's a matter of OCP not having the technology, but someone else does. What if we could find a way to make it work?"
yourmove: (003)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-10 06:25 am (UTC)(link)
From the way her face freezes and her blink rate quickens, like she’s trying to fight back tears, Alex assumes she took it about as well as expected.

“You mean look at other competitors,” Alex says flatly, his voice sounding alien even to him. There’s probably something in his programming that’s against exactly that kind of thing because it’s just bad business, but maybe the glitches and failed upgrades have a positive – when he mentions (thinks) about having someone non-OCP working on him, he doesn’t feel that same kneejerk reaction as before. That internal about-face he does, as if it’s more important to look up their criminal activities than ways to save his family. And himself.

Alex finally decides to do something he usually doesn’t – he swivels, marches to the chair, and sits. The metal legs groan underneath the weight of his chassis, creaking dangerously. His legs can’t get tired anymore but there’s still something subconsciously satisfying to sit every now and then. Satisfying and human.

“There’s fail-safes against that, Clara. You still have those boxes from Dr. Norton?”

He meant to say “Dennett” because in the end, they were friends on a first name basis, if not a drinking basis (Dennett and Clara did the drinking, Alex mostly just sat there). Things hadn’t ended as just a doctor and his patient. Clara had grown to like him…and she also had several boxes she shouldn’t in her possession from Dennett, the kind that Alex had known were [ CLASSIFIED: SEIZE ALL MATERIALS ] and that he should’ve confiscated a long time ago but hadn’t lifted a finger. Alex hasn’t worked out yet if it’s another glitch in his programming or it’s because Clara’s his wife and he’s not treating her as a damn criminal.

Maybe there’s something in there: she might not be able to read them but someone else could.
seestheman: (Straighten the spine)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-10 07:36 am (UTC)(link)
While the idea doesn't completely stop the feeling that she's going to break and start crying at any moment, it definitely helps. At the very least it gives her something to focus on. And, as if following his lead, she pulls herself up onto the table and lets her legs, dangling off the table, cross at the ankles. If she tries hard enough, she can almost imagine that they're at home in the kitchen plotting something totally normal.

Except, maybe it's time to stop trying to pretend.

"Of course I do. They're..." She stops herself. She knows she shouldn't have them, that she never should have in the first place. But Dennett had insisted that, in case anything should happen to him, she have them in her possession. And she feels guilty for having almost forgotten about them, stashed beneath their bed behind a box of Alex's old clothes that she never had the heart to get rid of. And she wishes she could tell him where they are, but she also knows that if she did part of his programming might kick in and he'd be forced to take them from her and she can't let that happen. Especially if they could be his last hope. "They're safe. I'll look through them when I get home tonight so I can figure out who to talk to about them."

Clara's never been able to bring herself to look at their contents, so she isn't quite sure if they're schematics or contracts or some kind of owner's manual (which she remembers joking about with Alex at one point, maybe a month or two after the loose screw incident, that all of this would be so much easier if Dr. Norton had just given them a copy of The Owner's Guide to the General Care and Keeping Of Cyborgs [Layman's Terms Edition]). And suddenly she feels guilty for not doing so, but she knew that there were things that Alex had wanted to keep

"Do they count as competitors if they were part of the original support team?" Because she knows that a few of them, specifically Kim, had gone off in their own directions with their research (or had been layed off by OCP after OmniCorp was, in Kim's words over martinis when Clara had somehow been roped into helping the younger woman plan her wedding, "swallowed back into the mothership"). And maybe, just maybe, one of them had found a fix without realizing it and would be willing to help.
yourmove: (014)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-11 06:05 am (UTC)(link)
Alex opens his mouth to say that’s an unsafe use of office equipment, Mrs. Murphy, sees the look on his wife’s face, and snaps his mouth shut with a faint click of his teeth. It’s probably the closest thing to tact he’s used since Clara got here.

He tries to ignore the urge to say it’s a wobbly table/she could crack her head open if that leg finally breaks, and go down the long list of unwise-for-his-marriage safety tips. Biting your tongue was a lot easier when you weren’t trying to override faulty AI programming.

“That’s…good.” He notices Clara still won’t let slip where she’s stashed them even after all these years. A search of the premises would turn them up, easily: it would also kill what’s left of their marriage and maybe he’s sentimental or human or glitching just enough to want to hold on to those shreds. It’s hard to tell at this point. “I’m not sure. There isn’t a precedent for this.”

There really isn’t. Alex used to get wonder how long they planned to keep him running or if he was really just a PR a stunt, a one-trick pony they’d take out back and shoot shutdown once they milked his usefulness dry. There’s probably something in his programming about not turning himself over to the competitors. There’s nothing that says he can’t be delivered against his will, though. It’s exactly this kind of underhanded thinking that he’s not supposed to be capable of as a law-enforcement system. It’d be disturbing if it wasn’t so…liberating.

He stares at Clara, shifting his chin a few degrees so he can look her in the eyes. “It would be illegal to transfer me to non-OCP facilities as long as I’m on the force,” Alex starts, his words coming out slow, almost halting. Cyborgs aren’t exactly the sneakiest bunch and it's like pulling teeth difficult to get this out. “But decommissioned, I wouldn’t be considered OCP’s property anymore.”

Does she understand? There's probably a narrow window between being shutdown and then being transferred for parts, if they're even going to do that. The letter was...less than specific.
seestheman: (It's just relief)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-11 07:54 am (UTC)(link)
It takes a moment for Clara to get it. Especially after feeling like there wasn't anything that she could do and worrying that it was going to be something she'd be forced to accept. But oh, once it sinks in...

A sly smirk slowly slips onto her face. There were certain parts of Alex that she had thought she would never see again. And as much as she had missed those things, she had always just been happy with the fact that he was alive, because that's what really mattered. But to see him being sneaky, and more importantly, him being sneaky before it even occurs to her is more impressive than she has words for.

"We could get into so much trouble for doing this." There's no anger or nervousness in her voice. It's a simple statement of fact, as if making sure he's completely aware of what he just suggested.

While part of her wants to jump on it and say 'Let's do this.' she knows it isn't her choice to make. She wishes it was, if only because it would be so much easier, but she made a huge decision for him once and it led them here. She's learned to live with that, but she knows she can't do it again.

"Do you want me to pursue legal action and draw this out or..." Is it technically kidnapping if he's going willingly? "...the other option?"
yourmove: (044)

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-13 06:33 am (UTC)(link)
"Trouble" seems to be putting it lightly, Alex aware that if there is punishment, it will be Clara who takes the brunt of it - he, on the other hand, will likely be shut down and scrapped for parts and organ donation (which, to be fair, he did sign up for even). Shutdown is downright merciful compared to the legal hammer OCP could bring down.

“The other option may be best,” Alex says, with that disinterested tone of voice he can’t help. “You’re already in debt. Legal action on your part wouldn’t be advised.”

In other words, she (they?) can’t afford the lawyer and no one in their right mind would take on OCP pro-bono. Alex might be practically obsolete these days compared to the better models out there, but even he knows that. He might be her husband – parts of her husband – grafted to an outdated chassis, but there’s also David to think about.

Just how much is she willing to put at risk for this?

The video logs showing Clara almost getting run over by his motorcycle, standing her ground and putting their kid behind her as Sellars waved a gun at them are all the answers he needs to that question. Short of tossing her into a jail cell, there probably isn’t much he can do to dissuade her once she’s got her mind set on something.
seestheman: (Too much fuckery for one person)

[personal profile] seestheman 2014-03-13 09:28 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm not asking what's best, Alex, I'm asking what you want me to do."

Clara's heart sinks when he brings up her debt. She had worked so hard to make sure that, at least financially, things were good. But the past few years had been hard. Some issues with the house had sprung up, none of which seemed too bad (and had led to Clara learning quite a bit of DIY home repair) until a pipe burst in the basement. While nothing of serious value had been lost, the amount of money it took to clean it and fix it up and replace the pipe along with the washer and dryer was more than a little daunting. And just when it seemed like things couldn't get worse, she got into a car accident which totaled her car and left her with a broken arm (which she had been told was a miracle considering how bad the damage to the car was). And to add Alex's progression downwards on top of that, along with the fact that she could only get secretarial temp work because people seemed to be apprehensive about hiring "Mrs. Robocop" (should she ever find whoever it was that came up with that nickname for her, there would be lots of loud, angry words at the very least) for a permanent, full-time position. Especially for a teaching job, like she had spent four years in school for.

At least she doesn't have to worry about paying for David's schooling, which is a huge relief. Some how he had managed to pull together more than enough scholarship money to last out his schooling through his bachelor's degree and part of his master's (for which Clara has a feeling she owes Kim for to a point, considering all the phone calls she made to her peers and the letters of recommendation that she wrote).

"I'm not that far in debt. Anyways, I'm thinking about downsizing and selling the house."

Which is when it hits her why David's been so brusque with her anytime she manages to get him on the phone: she's seriously talking about selling his childhood home. And sure, it's great the few weeks during the school year when he can come visit, but the rest of the time it feels so lonely. It's too much house for one person. What does one woman need with two stories and a three car garage? Especially when most of the time the only other people in the house are merely memories from happier days. It would almost be a relief to make that change.
yourmove: (048)

could timeskip or something if you want to play it out

[personal profile] yourmove 2014-03-14 08:23 am (UTC)(link)
Clara has an odd definition of “not that far into debt” – he has access to her W2s, her non-existent tax returns. “That won’t be enough of OCP’s legal team fights back.”

Once again they come back to this subject, this preoccupation Clara has with his personal opinion, with making him say aloud “I want” as if it makes a difference in the scheme of things. Alex understands she cares about their family, he understands that she’s capable of judgment calls he isn’t anymore, and that she still (somehow) loves him. Maybe the idea of him. He’s unsure and it’s that uncertainty that bothers him. Most days, especially when he’s pacifying suspects for the DCPD, he doesn’t think about it. Just acts. It’s easier, in that way. The binary of yes/no, guilty/not guilty, felony/misdemeanor. The fact is sometimes he spends days – weeks – on the cradle, sedated until they need him online to clean out a nest of black market weapons smugglers. Mostly he doesn’t exist and in a way, it’s easier that way.

Alex’s eyes focus back on Clara, on the lines in her face that hadn’t been there ten years ago. “Let them decommission, then transport. Attempt to intercept, but,” and this was unusual for him, to have a “but” in there. It wasn’t precise. “Accept the possibility you won’t be able to retrieve me.”

He would shrug, if his chassis was built for it. As far as he’s concerned, the conversation is nearing its conclusion. This will either happen or it won’t, and they even have a date for his expected decommission: one week from now, pending any repeals. Alex turns to get up, his head going, then his chest with that swivel he used to bitch to Clara about when he used to live at their house more than the station. Years ago, actually.

“I will contact you with a more specific time and date,” Alex states. “Ma’am.”

With luck, he’ll still have a log of this in a week’s time. It’s…difficult to say, Alex staring at the curls in his wife’s blonde hair and wondering if she cut it. It’s been so long between visits that he can’t tell.