1:33 – Are you sure?

They had many visits over at their friends place the next few months. With them both being exited about the baby on the way, they both liked having the company over. Of course, there was also the other talk, one that Madison only knew about, because Liam had mentioned to her.

“So he told you didn’t he?”
“Yeah, are you sure you want to though?”
“Well.. I will be around for so long, and my life without Carl wouldn’t be right.”

Madison looked over at Carl. She knew him and Liam had several long talks at their place, mostly about just this thing.

“But, we know it is a risk as well.”
“And if it works?”
“What do you mean?”
“Would you give it to your children?”

“We talked about it, and well, if it works, we’d give them the choice when they got old enough.”

She had to admit their answer made her smile, but she also noticed the look on Liam’s face, although he was trying to hide it. He had never given her the chance to choose, but back then, he didn’t have the serum he had now.

“So you are one hundred percent sure you want to try.. I only know it works on animals, I really can’t guarantee what it will do to a human.”

She looked at Liam, wondering if he had the same issues when he did what he had done to her. Did he wonder if he would kill her, or was he sure it would work.

“We know the risk, and we have talked about it so many times I can hardly keep count.”
“But?”
“But we come to the same conclusion every time.”
“Then you should do it, but perhaps wait until after the birth?”
“Mm, we had come to that conclusion as well.”

She had to admit she was conflicted. She was in a way happy to have more humans live as long as she did, but she also worried that it would backfire, and suddenly Marjorie would be without him.

“Are you still mad at them or well me?”
“For making my life long?”

He simply nodded.

“No, not really. I can be frustrated with it every now and then, when someone I care for dies, but…”
“But?”
“I have had a pretty good life so far, and what good would it do me to be mad at someone who are dead, or you, who just did what you promised.”

“Do you think I should allow them to try.. I mean, I could say no?”
“Afraid it might go wrong?”
“Hard not to, we work together, I would be reminded every day, and I would have left his wife and baby without him.”

It was hard to argue with his logic, but she for one had faith in his skills, and she also knew that it was their choice, and not a choice made by someone else.

“Talk with Carl alone, invite him over, and make sure you go over it once more with him, then if he still says yes to it, then go ahead with your plans.”
“So one more chance to talk him out of it?”
“One more chance to make sure for both of you.”

“Do you like it Uno?”
“Mrow.”
“I will take it as a yes, hopefully I am right.”

Uno often seemed to lie close to her when she was playing. She liked to think he enjoyed the music, even if Carl had teased her he was just watching her to plot revenge on the massacre of his ears.

Carl would come over later the same day, and him and Liam would have their last talk, while she would head over to Marjorie to say hello their little baby.

“You behave you two, let them talk in peace!”

She noticed the look both her pets gave her and couldn’t help but chuckle. She wondered sometimes just how much the two of them understood, or if they were just waiting to be alone for a bit, to do whatever they did when they were both out.

————— Another part of the world ————–

“Really, you trust me this little?”
“I saw Luca skulking around here so why would they lie about the rest?”
“Luca is helping me with the project I told you about.. You know why he is here.”

“And how do you explain several others also pointing out you as their main suspect in the disappearances huh?”
“Their jealous.. that’s all! They don’t like that you married me, a companion android..”

He hated to do this, he wanted to believe her, but the amount of messages he was getting was simply getting under his skin. He was worried for their future and the last thing he wanted was another war.

“If you do not believe me, search the entire house, divorce me, do whatever you want to. But I do not want to have to stand here and defend myself against stupid allegations from envious androids or humans.”
“Their just scared.”
“I am too, I have friends who are human you know”
“I know, but you also have to understand that I have to ask. I have to make our people feel safe.”
“They should be safe! There shouldn’t be a doubt about that, but you decided to be lenient, let the humans go..”

“And you have to let go of what the humans once did. Their not the same humans that are alive today.”
“No, but given the chance, I think they would be.”
“You started Del Sol to stop that from happening, didn’t you?”
“Yes.”

He put his hand on her cheek, and although she was still angry with him for thinking so badly off her. Perhaps it was because she knew he had the right too.

“Then I’ll tell them what Luca is here for, and we can put it behind us, okay?”
“Okay.”

He smiled, and walked off to his meeting. Still deep down there was something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he focused on what lay ahead, and he knew he would once again have to defend her and his choices.

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1:32 – The step

While waiting for Liam to come home, she found herself trying to see if she could compose a song for one of the movies they were shooting. She always liked music, and her director hadn’t shot her idea down when she asked if he would listen and say what he thought.

“Is it that bad.. or would you like a walk?”

She had noticed that Kaya was running around the house, and to save the furniture from being torn apart, she put away her music, and took her with her outside. It had been cold lately, so their walks had been a little shorter than normal. She was afraid Kaya would freeze her paws, so she tried to do shorter and more often walks for now.

“It feels like were missing just that one last piece..”
“Yeah, whoever did this, their really hiding well.”

They had been finding more and more evidence, the abductions were normally some weeks between them, but now there had been over a month without a single incident. Was it over?

“It’s worrying, isn’t it?”
“Yes.. it is.”

They packed up their stuff, and locked the door before heading home. Carl had said there was something he wanted to talk to them about, so instead of just dropping Liam off, he joined them innside.

“I think she is out walking Kaya, was it something you needed to say to both of us?”
“I just thought it would be fun telling both of you, but as I have someone wanting me home, I’ll just tell you.”

He noticed his friend fidget, something he couldn’t say that he noticed very often.

“Were having a baby, our surrogat told us today.”
“Really?!”
“Yeah, I’m a bit in shock, and now you know why my phone kept beeping all day at work.. “
“Marjorie?”
“Yeah, she has been slightly exited.”

As he heard the door open, and a dog come running in, he swapped where he was sitting, and called her over to them.

“I heard rumors about a baby!”
“You knew?”
“Yeah.. she called me earlier today, said she needed someone to talk to about it as you were so busy at work.”

Carl just chuckled, it did sound a lot like his wife to get frustrated with the lack of answers and then just pouring out her thoughts to her best friend instead. Carl stayed a while talking with them before his phone went off again, and it became clear he was wanted at home.

“I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
“Yep.”

Liam followed him to the door, when he suddenly leaned over to him.

“Stop stalling.. “

He winked and vanished out the door, leaving Liam with no one to actually respond too.

“What was that all about?”
“The baby?”
“No.. that last part.”
“Nothing..”
“You know, you are an awful liar.”
“Oh am I?”

She suddenly felt herself swept off her feet, and carried through the house, towards what they had made their bedroom.

It was one of very few times it dawned on her how strong he actually was. Easily carrying her on one arm, while making sure that by the time they reached their bed, she was no longer wearing anything than her underwear.

“Promise me one thing.”
“Anything.”
“If I hurt you, tell me?”
“I promise.”

“Good.”

She had to admit she was nervous, as much as she had wanted this for quite a while, suddenly being there was still a little nerve wrecking. But feeling his body against hers, slowly replaced that nervous feeling with another.

He was careful, taking everything slow to make sure he didn’t hurt her, or do something she wasn’t ready for. It took every ounce of self control he could muster to not give into his own wants, for today, it was all about her.

“So to the cliche question.. was it what you thought?”
“Better, much better.”

“I want to ask you something though?”
“What?”

He looked at her, his mind trying to figure out what it was she wanted to ask him, but it couldn’t quite come up with something that would make sense.

“Come on, tell me?”
“Just how much were you holding back.”

As she looked up at him, he couldn’t help but chuckle something that made her smile too.

“That much huh?”

“No one said loving you was easy.”
“Can’t be that bad, you haven’t left me.”

She was about to say something else, but was cut short by his hands finding her sides, before tickling her mercilessly until she begged forgiveness.

“You know what?”
“What?”
“I love you.”

She had walked around all day with a silly grin on her face. Her thoughts frequently going back to the night before.

“Yes.. sorry, we were running.”

She chuckled to herself, petting Kaya on the head, as they got back to what they were actually doing; running.

“Come on, let’s head home. Don’t want your paws to freeze.”

She wasn’t sure Kaya agreed, but since she also wanted to get home before Liam, so they could go over to Marjorie’s and Carl’s house, she had cut their run a little short.

“Their having a baby.. “

The news had sent her own mind thinking. Did she want children of her own some day, and if she did, how would they go about that?

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1.31 – Programs and fears

Although she tried her best, she knew she was a little unfocused that day at work. But everyone was quite understanding, after all she had started the work day by pretty much shouting about her own engagement. Which also had delayed the start of their filming, as everyone wanted to hug her and congratulate her.

“I know you want to go, so lets focus huh?”
“Yes, sorry!”

She managed to focus, and do things right, and before she knew it, she found herself back in the comfort of a taxi, heading towards wherever he wanted to meet her.

“Here you are miss.”
“Wow..”

She stepped out of the car, the smallest little house or perhaps cabin standing before her. She had never seen anything like it before, it was just hiding inside the woods all by itself.

“Do you like it?”
“Its so cute, and tiny.”
“Well, that was the idea when I built it.”

She had to admit she was in shock to hear his words. Had he actually built a a cabin.

“I was hoping to use it as a vacation spot when you were younger, but it never really happened.”

She could see why he would choose the place, being in the middle of the woods, it was secluded, and probably safe.

“Come.”

He leaned back, pressing on a small machine, music filling the small house as he held out his hand.

“Dancing?”
“Mmm, I made one just for us, if you want to?”
“I’d love to.”

She let him guide him around the tiny space they had to move on, impressed with how easily he managed to keep them away from the furniture in such a small space.

“I like this dance…”

Being that he pulled her in for a kiss on the end sealed the deal for her and the dance. It was so much more them than the one he had showed her before and everything felt right.

He smiled, pulling a bit away from her, clearly holding back whatever it was he was about to do.

“What?”
“I eh.. I’m just worried..”

She couldn’t help but smile at him, as well as sighing a little. She knew he was scared of hurting her, and he still wasn’t sure what the programming would actually do to him if he allowed himself to venture further.

“How about you stop worrying, and just try?”
“And what if I hurt you, loose control?”
“Then you won’t be the first man to do so?”

He shook his head, and motioned for her to sit down by the table. He hadn’t told her about how badly it could go, he had mentioned it could not be safe, but he never went into detail.

“That’s the problem, I’m not a man, I am an android.”

She looked at him, then she sat quietly listening to him describing the cases, and slowly his worry made more sense to her. He wasn’t only afraid to hurt her, he was afraid that he would end up killing her, loosing all control of himself and his actions.

“Can we make some kinda word that makes you stop, I mean.. like a command?”
“Not that I am aware off, and I fear the program would simply override it.”

“I’ll just have to try.. I guess.”

They had talked about ways to make sure nothing could go wrong, ways to test it, but in the end, they both knew that without trying, there would simply be no real answer.

—— North’s Lair. ———-

“Better.. much better.”
“The first few babies are just some weeks away now.. “
“Good, then make it happen again, then the real work begins.”

She looked over at the Android that was working on the tubes. He was brilliant at what he did, but she knew he wasn’t overly happy with what they were doing.

“And remember.. I have her, if you fuck this up, you will never see her alive again.”
“I know..”

“All I need to do, is groom them into wanting to serve us, and we can start selling them to androids. Human kids or slaves, whatever they want. They can do all the crap they wanted us to do, and be worth nothing.”

“Fuck you woman.”
“I told you to shut it!”
“Screw you, what’s the worst you can do, kill me?”
“No, that would be too nice.”

She smirked at the man in the tube, before leaving the room, leaving them all to her devices.

“Luca.. come on.. you know this is wrong.”
“Of course it’s wrong.. you did it to us though, didn’t you Gavin?”

The man in the tube sighed, and slammed his fist against the glass, the only result being his hand hurt, and Luca jumped too the side.

“Stupid bitch.. should have killed her when I had the chance..”

Luca went over the last few pods, before he went back to check on the systems. Ignoring the please and the banging on the tubes from the newest arrivals.

“Yeah, you should have.”

he mumbled the words between his teeth, before sitting down at his desk to continue his work and monitoring them all.

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1:30 – And old fashioned idea

“What is this place?”
“Well, it used to be a ski resort, once upon a time.”
“And that is?”
“A place where humans came to have their vacations, go skiing and just enjoy being out in the snow.”

She looked around, steep hills surrounding them, and then a small number of houses that seemed almost like a little village of it’s own. It mad her wonder how it would have looked when people still used it.

“So I guess androids don’t like skiing?”
“Nah, or they just never tried it. But there has never been anyone but me here.”

She knew he still took care of the empty lots around where they lived, but it always felt a little special when he took her to see one of them. She liked playing with the thought off how things once was, mostly based on what he had told her.

“Come on, let’s head innside.”
“Awww, no skiing?”
“No.. sorry, I never found any ski’s here.”

“It’s really pretty here.”
“I figured you might like it.”
“Are all places this fancy?”
“No… would you have liked something else?”

she chuckled while shaking her head. She had noticed he seemed extra concerned with if she liked it or not, even though by now she thought he would know that she loved when he took her to see these old places that he had cared for all those years.

“This is perfect, so stop worrying!”

He smiled, but she could still see that somewhat restless fidgeting he did. As if his mind was on something else, or somewhere else.

“Is it the case?”
“What?”
“You seem unfocused, or nervous.. I don’t know.”
“Sorry, that was not my intention.”

They spent most of the day just exploring, some random snowball wars, snow angel making, and then as the day came to an end, sitting on the sofa while he told her the stories of how this place once used to be. People all around, the disco they had seen earlier filled with people for the after ski, and families just having dinner before they retreated to their own cabin.

“Sometimes, I wish I lived then.. then I realize that if I did, you wouldn’t be in my life.”

She had expected some type of cheesy answer to her comment, but once again it seemed like he had spaced out on her. At first she thought it was random memories, but these were different.

“Liam.. is everything okay?”

“Yes, everything is fine, sorry.”

He took her hands as she sat back up again, still not so sure that he was as fine as he would have it.

“Are you sure?”
“Yes, it’s just hard to know the right way to do this.”

“Do what?”
“This, it might be an old fashioned idea, but well.. I’m an old fashioned android.”

It suddenly dawned on her what he was doing, and it was like the breath was knocked out of her. Was he really doing what she thought?

“I’m in no way perfect, I half the time don’t know what I should do around you, but I have come to learn that I love you, you make everything feel right, so I was wondering, if you would marry this old deviant?”

She just stared at him for a while, she wanted to scream yes, but instead the words just kept getting stuck in her throat. She noticed him looking at her, so she simply nodded.

She stared as he put the ring on his finger, when had he gotten this, it didn’t look like any of the rings she had seen others wear. She had so many questions, but still it was like her voice had ran away from her. As he looked up at her, still holding her hands, she did the only thing she knew would tell him just how she felt.

“So not too old fashioned?”
“Nah, perfect, but.. can I ask where you got it?”

He seemed to contemplate her question for a bit, and that alone told her more than any words he could actually say.

“Is it my moms?”

“It was her’s yes.. she gave it to me before..”

She could feel him sigh, and she knew that he probably still blamed himself for not following them, for as he would say, failing his mission.

“I can’t believe you kept it for so long.”
“Me neither. I originally planned to put it with her in the grave, but I never did.”
“I’m glad you didn’t.”

The night disappeared in them talking until she fell asleep, the next day she dragged him to the top of one of the hills.

“Snowmen?”
“Why not, we have a lot of snow.”

“Hmh.. might need to try again..”
“Oh no, you get this one try!”
“But?”
“Snowmen are not supposed to be perfect, or so I was told.”

“Do we have to leave already?”
“Don’t you have work later today?”
“Ah.. yeah.. I do don’t I?”

With all that had happened, she had completely forgotten they were to be on set later that day. Part of her wanted to call the director and tell her that she was sick and wouldn’t be able to come, but she knew she wouldn’t and he wouldn’t let her either.

“I’ll come pick you up, and I’ll show you somewhere special.”

“Special?”
“Mhm.”

To her they were already somewhere special, but as he just smiled at her without telling her more, she found herself intrigued.


“I’ll see you after work then?”
“I’ll send a cab to pick you up, and bring you to me.”
“Okay.”

She felt how he lifted her up and twirled her around, before letting her go to her ride to work. As she watched him disappear from sight, she realized just how much she had to tell her colleagues, and she couldn’t wait!

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1:29 – Welcome home

“Oh my.. are you okay?”
“Yeah, sorry, I think I managed to stumble on this skirt.”

They were doing a few scenes over for the movie, and for once, she managed to just fall on her own. Her co star trying her best to stop her from falling, but in the end, failing and the entire take ending with her sitting on her butt.

“Come on, let me help you back up.”

She could hear them all laugh, so she took a bow, and smirked, before they did the scene again, this time without the fall on said butt.

“Well done everyone, I’ll call if we need anything more.”


“You okay there?”
“Yeah, just.. I guess my butt hurts just a little..”
“Might want to have it looked at?”
“Meh, more pride than actual hurt I think. I’ll take a long nice bath when I get home.”

She stayed for some food, chat and well pretty much some company before she headed home to Uno and Kaya.

“Can you make a dog-angel maybe?”

She looked at Kaya that just looked at her like she was being all silly and strange.

“No.. I guess you can’t.”

She did love the fact that they had snow now, not just less warm summer weather like it had been in Del Sol. But, she really would like to be in Del Sol, because, that’s where he was.

“Just one more day now..”

She sat by the window, just looking outside, with Uno and Kaya sleeping close by. She had to admit she was wondering many things. What would it be like to have him home, how would he be, would he have changed.

“Can it just be tomorrow already?”

She sighed, she knew this night and probably all of tomorrow would be the longest day in her life.

“I wonder what you two are talking about though..”

She had noticed the two of them do this quite often. It was like they had a conversation, that she simply could not understand. It was however quite entertaining to watch.

There wasn’t much sleep to be had that night, and all she did most the next day was walk around the house, clean, play the piano, and try and find ways to make time pass. She had hoped for a call by her director, but no such luck.

As dusk came along, she found herself mostly staring out the window, waiting for him to come home, but as time went by, she started to wonder if she had gotten the day wrong. Maybe it wasn’t today after all?

“A walk.. of course, I’m sorry Kaya..”

She grabbed the leash and sighed as she and Kaya went outside. She had been so self absorbed that she had forgotten to take her for her normal long walk.

“Maybe he is back, when we come home?”
“Woof!”
“Yeah?”

As they returned from their walk though, she noticed the lights she had left off were still off. Taking the leash off Kaya to let her run home like normal, she dragged her feet through the snow. She simply had to have messed up the days.

“I’m sorry, I had to stay at work longer..”

She had almost reached the door when she heard his voice as he came running from Carl’s car and over to her.

“Your home!”
“I’m home.”

He had never thought of it before, but as he said the words, it dawned on him that it wasn’t the house he was talking about. It was her that made it feel like home.

“I missed you so much, I never want to be without you again!”

She noticed how he was looking at her, there was something there that she hadn’t noticed before.

“Are you okay.. I mean.. ?”
“Of course, if I wasn’t sure, I wouldn’t have come home.. although..”
“What?”
“Well, I can only say that the system checks were a success, I can’t say well, the rest.”

“As long as I don’t need to be alone this long again.. I don’t care.”
“Woof!”
“I think someone else missed you too.”

She tried smiling, but she couldn’t. Instead she started sobbing uncontrollably.

“It’s fine, little one. Come on, lets go innside, and get you warmed up?”

He picked her up without waiting for an answer.

“Come on you two, I am sure I hid some treats for you somewhere.”

— At the same time, at another place —

“Are you sure?”
“Of course I am, why are you asking dumb questions?”
“Well.. I haven’t been told about this by..”
“And you never will, you will never mention this to him either!”
“…”

“We need more.. and one is an alien.. why?”
“They were in disguise.. “
“Well get rid off it, I don’t care how.”
“But..”
“If you can’t do this, then I will find someone else, and I will stuff you in one of these tubes. Now get me more specimens and stop being such a wimp.”
“Yes mam..”

“And if I hear another word from you..”

She glared at the person in one of the opposite test tubes. She had worked hard for this, hard to get everything up and running, and now, now that she had it working, there was no stopping her in making the perfect slaves for her people, and then, use them to set and end to this abomination that was humans with free will.

“Disgusting..”

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1:28: All alone

It was just a small commercial for some products, but she had jumped at taking the role, to fill the time between two bigger movies. As they had talked about, Liam was living in their old house for at least a month after installing the program. Just to make sure there were no problems with it before he joined her at home.

As they wrapped it up, she sighed. She really wasn’t looking forwards to heading home already.

“Not a fan of the home alone life then I take it?”
“No.”
“I have another small role?”
“I’ll take it!”

Her director put a hand on her shoulder, and smiled. She had told them about her being on her own for a while, and only after a couple of days had she realized just how hard it would be. One thing she had learned since Liam left, was that she really needed to have him teach how to cook. She had never done it, as he always did so whenever she mentioned she was hungry.

She tried to keep herself occupied whenever she was home. She had both Uno and Kaya to keep her company. She was pretty sure she would have caved if it wasn’t for the two off them. They talked via chat every day, but it really wasn’t the same as him being there.

“Do you miss him too Uno?”
“Mroow.”
“I’ll accept that as a yes.”

“Yeah, I know you miss him too.”

She sighed, even the pets seemed to be somewhat depressed. Or perhaps they were mirroring her own feelings. She wasn’t really sure, but to her it seems like they missed him being there, just as she did.

As she was sitting on the sofa with Kaya, her phone rang. Thinking it was Liam she answered as quick as she could and almost lost the thing on the floor.

“Hello!”
“Hey.. I’m gonna guess you thought this was someone else.”

Marjorie’s voice came as a bit of a disappointment, but when she heard her friend chuckle, she couldn’t help but smile.

“Come out with me today, Carl is working late with Liam, so.. perhaps we can do something?”
“Sure.. where though?”
“I’ll come pick you up, I know a good place.”

The bar they went to wasn’t the biggest one, but it was also a quiet one. So although there was one or two paparazzi around, they took some pictures, and then went on their way.

“How are you holding up?”
“I don’t understand how he lived alone for so long..”
“Well.. he is an android, we think about these kinda things a little differently.”
“I still don’t… I just hate it!”

“I’ll tell you a secret.”
“What?”
“He misses you just as much.. Carl says you are all he talks about at work, and it’s getting on his nerves.”
“Really?”
“Really, and Carl complaining about it is getting on my nerves by now.”

It somehow made her feel a little better that she wasn’t alone in feeling lonely. Still, she didn’t really want to head home, so instead she did something to keep herself busy for a while longer.

She didn’t realize her music would pull such a crowd, but it kept her playing that much longer. But like all good things, this too came to an end, as the bartender came and told them they were closing.

“Do you want to stay at our place?”
“Nah.. I think Kaya and Uno would be worried.”
“Okay, but you call if you want us over, deal?”
“Deal.”

“We can do this.. can’t we?”
“Mreow”
“I think.. we can.”

She sighed as Kaya joined the two of them sitting by the window. She kept wanting to turn her head, and just see him outside, but she knew he wouldn’t be there, not yet.

“Two more weeks.. “

“Ready to get going?”
“Yep!”

Being at work was one of the best things for her now. It kept her busy, mind occupied and she could just focus on doing her job as best she could. They were doing a followup to one of her first movies, the one with aliens and cowboys. This time though, she had the lead.

“Great work everyone, that’s a wrap for today.”

Part of her wanted to just keep going, but she knew how this worked, and it just wasn’t a one day shoot. She stayed with the cast as long as she could, as they often stayed for food and just general talk after the day was done. But in the end, she had to head home to that big empty house once more.

She tried to fill her days when there was no work with things as well. Liam had gotten a small ice rink before he left, so she was often there to try and get comfortable on the skates.

“I want you to come home..”

She had taken up her phone and almost called him to beg him to come home too many times that day. The house felt empty, and she just didn’t have it in her to do this anymore.

“Kaya..”

“Heeey”

She couldn’t help but smile as Kaya made her way to her side. Kaya had always been so in tune with her feelings, so in many ways it should not have surprised her that she knew.

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1.27: A new home, again!

“Pc trouble?”
“Nah, probably him and Liam having a talk.”
“Why not just say that then?”
“It’s a guy thing, I really never understood. But, it gives us the opportunity to do the same. What’s on your mind?”
“How.. I mean, I haven’t said anything.”

Nagisa chuckled, she had been around enough youngsters to know exactly how this worked, and Madison was no exception.

“I have some years experience.”
“Well.. I mean..”
“You’d like to take things further?”
“Yes.. but..”
“He doesn’t have that programming does he?”
“No.. and I mean.. I love him and I am sure he could..”

Her voice faltered as she could feel her own cheeks burning. Her mind racing to regain some kinda control.

“Please you?”

She nodded not daring to look at Nagisa.

“I’m sure he could, but, you want more than just that right?”

She nodded once more. Finally regaining a little of her voice, she stumbled into what had happened the other day, and how it just hadn’t felt right. And just how bad she had felt about it after.

“You do realize what he is talking to Itsuki about don’t you?”
“No… you think?”
“Oh yes, my husband is horrible at keeping any secrets. He knows of a program that would let him.. well feel those things, but he also know’s they come with a risk.”
“I see…”
“Give him some more time, he will talk to you about it, and you two take it from there, does that sound like a plan?”
“Yes.”

“Did you fix the pc issue?”
“Eh… why do I get the feeling you know better?”
“Because I do?”

He knew that Itsuki was bad at keeping any secrets from his wife, and in some ways, it opened a way for them to talk about it.

“So what do you know?”
“That there is a program.. to ehm..”
“Yes.”

She stopped hitting the punching-bag and turned towards him.

“Only if you want to. I’d rather just be like this for the rest of my life, than risk loosing you to some program.”

“You won’t loose me, at the worst I’ll remove it, but you have to promise me to tell me if I hurt you, in any way okay?”
“I promise.. and you are sure it can be removed, if it doesn’t work out?”
“It should.”
“Should?”
“Well, it has never been tried before, so I can’t promise.”

“A magazine?”
“Yeah.. they wanted to do a story.. “
“Do you want to?”
“Well… a little, but I said I needed to ask you, they wanted both our story.”

It was one of their last days living here before they moved to the same town as Marjorie and Carl lived.

“If you want too, then why not.”
“They wanted to make a story to help against all the bad stuff in the news, with androids killed and humans missing I think.”
“I see.”
“Is it a bad idea?”
“Nah, just not one I would have thought off.”

“I’ll tell them were in then, and ask them here tomorrow, before we move. That way our new home won’t be there, so it would still be safe?”
“That’s a good idea actually.”
“I lived with you long enough to think a little more like you, see?”

He smiled and pulled her up.

“You know, I think I will miss this view a little after we move.”
“We get a new view to enjoy though, but yes, I think I will miss it a little as well.”
“Says the one just looking at me.”
“Best view I know off.”

She couldn’t help but chuckle at how cheesy his lines sometimes were. And she was sure he had picked up several off them while being around Nagisa and Itsuki for so many years.

The next day, the people from the magazine showed about the same time he came home from work. Much to his surprise they were both androids, who much like him were worried about the things happening in their town. He let Madison do most the talking, they had already agreed on what she would leave out, and the two visitors never asked more whenever she said it was something she would rather not talk about.

“A photo-shoot outside?”
“If you would not mind?”

Madison looked up at Liam, who shrugged his shoulders and nodded. She had done a few for posters and such for her movies, but somehow, one with the two of them made her exited.

After they took a few pictures, the two thanked them for the interview, Madison following them out before returning to Liam. She had to admit she was looking forwards to seeing the pictures, and she hoped that they kept the story as she had told it

“Thank you for that.”

Much like she had expected, all he did was smile and shrug his shoulders, before pulling her closer to him.

“So, are you ready to see your new home?”
“Yes, I talked to Marjorie, she said she and Carl were coming to help us unpack.”

They had been packing for a while already, just the things they seldom used. Liam had decided to keep the house a while, just in case they solved the case, and they would like to move back.

“Wow… you really don’t go small ever do you?”
“Would you have wanted that?”
“Nah, I love it!”

With a quick kiss on his cheek she was off running into their new home. It was fitted with the same security system they had set up at Carls place earlier, and as promised, Carl and Marjorie was there when they came to help them get settled.

Much like Liam had told her, she quickly understood just where the house was. As she could see over to where they once used to live when she was on walks with Kaya. She had to admit though, that even though she sometimes missed the city, there was something about this place that felt more like home.

“It’s a bit odd, I feel like I am home, even though out there was home.”
“Hmh, might be because its still the same area, and we did live close by here for many years.”
“Could be.. but I am really happy we came back, even if the travel to work takes a little more time.”

He had noticed that too of course, that it took a while longer to come home. But he at the same time felt better about her being home alone here, it felt safer than it had in the city, with all that happened.

Even Kaya and Uno seemed to enjoy their new home, and surroundings. The backyard was much bigger, and there was nature all around them so they could easily explore on their own should they wished to.

“So… ?”
“I have it all here.. all that’s left to do is install it.”

They looked at each other for a while, both wondering just how it would be after this, both having both second and third guesses.

“So.. as we planned then?”
“Yes.”

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1:26 : No longer safe

It had been another very long day at work for both him and Carl. There had been two new people missing. What worried Liam and Carl was that it fit the earlier connection they made.

“I knew them…”

Carl sighed, the android had been one of Marjorie’s friends, and he was married to the female that was now missing. The other one he didn’t know, but he knew that the androids roommate was an up and coming star.

“Madison know’s him, they took the news of his dissapearance pretty hard.”
“What are you thinking.”
“So far, all of the vanishing people are in Del Sol.. there has to be more clues..”
“Thats not what I meant Liam.”
“I’ll talk to her about it, she loves our house, but I’m worried it’s no longer safe.”

Carl nodded, as they finished up for the day. Liam already dreaded having the conversation he knew he needed to have with her. Luckily he had some time to figure out how to tell her, as this weekend was already booked.

It had been a bit of an awkward silence for a while after they arrived. Mostly Marjorie was too starstruck to talk, Carl was hoping she would get over it, and Liam was quietly figuring out how to safeguard his friends house in the most efficient way.

“Wait.. you eat?”
“Yeah.. my model can do that.. and it’s become a bit of a habit.”

Oddly enough the food became the icebreaker between the two, and after that, it was almost impossible to get a word in for the two others. Luckily they had their own thing agenda for the day to keep them busy until night.

At the end of the day though, Madison found herself sitting in the pc room with Carl, Marjorie had taken Liam with her to show him something, so the two had ended with him setting up the final touches on their new security system.

“Can I ask you a very personal question..?”
“Shoot.”
“Well.. ehm..”

The clear insecurity had Carl stop what he was doing and look over at her, and seeing the slight blush on her chins he guessed what it was she wanted to ask.

“She had the programming from the start, she is a much later model than Liam is, and she was a companion android not a detective.”
“Oh… I guess that makes it easier.”
“Oh it was still plenty odd, I can promise you, but it’s a bit like between humans. Taking it slow and learning to understand each other is the key.”

“So..?”
“Are you worried?”
“About the attacks, or are you thinking about something else.”

He sighed, he was worried about the attacks but it was still not the thing that weighed the heaviest on his mind.

“The attacks worrry me, but it’s not what I was thinking about.”
“So… what are you wondering?”
“The programming that..”
“Let’s me feel what they feel?”
“Yes..”

“You can control the level of it, at least I can. I can’t really say how it works on your model of course.”
“What if I can’t.”
“Then you will have to learn to control it just like any human would. You love her don’t you?”
“Yeah.”
“And she want’s more?”
“Yes.”
“Then I would say it comes down to what you want to do with the knowledge you have.”

He knew that Carl had told her about the files that had found, and what could go wrong. It still worried him though, and he also had to figure out how to actually talk about it with Madison.

“It will be fine, it’s not like the programming is permanent, and I think you aren’t like the ones in your file.”
“Thanks.”
“Have you talked to her about the oter thing?”
“No.. not yet.”
“You should, I think she will understand.”

“So, what did you and Carl talk about.”
“A little of this and that, how about you and Marjorie?”
“About the same as you and Carl I believe.”

She noticed he hesitated a bit before he continued.

“You know the case we are working.. we found a link, and it worries me.”
“Okay?”

He told her what he knew without telling her everything. Keeping out some off the details, but still conveying what he was most worried about.

“You want to move.. don’t you?”
“Yes..”
“Another bunker?”
“No.. just away from here, until I figure out what is going on.”
“Okay.”

“What?”
“I was expecting more of a fight.. I guess.”
“As long as it isn’t a tiny small bunker.. I’m fine with it.”
“I promise you, it’s not.”
“Where is it?”
“Remember that old house that we could see from our old home?”
“Yeah..?”
“There, so you will have lots of snow in winter again.”

It was perhaps the biggest selling point he had thought off when he had rehearsed this talk in his head.

“So when do we move?”
“As soon as I am done with the renovation, not to long.”

It dawned on her that he had probably had this on his mind for a while, but that it had only been with the increase in incidents that he had decided they were not safe where they lived anymore.

They had talked a while, but in the end she had fallen asleep using him as her bed. He still needed to talk to her about the other thing, but he had decided he wanted to run his thoughts by Itsuki and Nagisa as well before he took that final step. Talking things over with Marjorie had made him fairly sure of what he would do, but he would like to run it buy the two of them, as they had more experience than most.

“If you want to come, I was told you were more than welcome too.”

As they had been away most the day before, they decided to take their two pets with them to visit Nagisa and Itsuki. They had just gotten a new house built, and had invited them over to show them around. Or at least that was the official excuse Liam had used when he had told them they were heading over to visit them.

“So no more bunker for them either.”
“Nope, Itsuki mentioned it was about time.”

“So how does it feel?”
“Pretty nice, although the morning sun drags you out of bed much earlier than when you sleep in a bunker.”
“It’s a beautiful house really.”
“Smaller than many before it, but that’s honestly just as well. Less cleaning to do.”
“Liam mentioned you used to live where we are moving too, did you ever consider going back?”
“Not really, we lived there for a very long time, in many different houses, I think were a little done with the place.”

Madison nodded, she knew their story well, both from what they had told her, and what she had read in the books Itsuki had once written about their family. As Itsuki came home from work, Liam excused himself from their talk and walked over to him.

“Ah Liam, just the person I wanted to see, I need some help with that computer upstairs.”

“Clever that one huh?”
“Not to bad.”
“So, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”
“Well.. that is a long story..”

He started to tell Itsuki all of it, the files of robots that had hurt their loved ones after the programming had been installed, what the program could do, and after a slight hesitation, he even told her about the encounter that had made him want to take the risk.

“I see.. but you once told me, you have a social protocol, that has only been used on your series?”
“Yes, it was only used on my model and Markus’s special model.”
“So it might change how the programming works?”
“It could.. or for the better or I guess for worse.. I’m just worried I could hurt her if it gets.. well, like the files.”

“From what you tell me, I think it’s worth a shot. You have more control than anyone else, and you love her on top of that.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Well, then just remove the programming again?”
“You make it sound easy.”
“Well, isn’t it?”
“As long as it doesn’t corrupt anything.. I guess it is.”
“Nothing to worry about then. Next question!”

Liam sighed, it would seem he was doing this, which also meant talking to one more person about it. The one that would have the final say in it.

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1:25 – The next step

It wasn’t long after their trip that their two pets were no longer tiny. Kaya was the first of them that grew into her full size which seemed to make her worried about her now much smaller friend. They would frequently watch her almost guard the much smaller cat, as if she was worried something would happen to it if she didn’t.

“Look, that’s what I was talking about earlier.. that worried look.”

She caught a smile on Liam’s face, something that had been rare since their visit at the grave. They had found someone that would be able to help them with refurbishing and cleaning the graveyard, but still it had seemed the effect on him had been more than she expected.

“Looks kinda like Uno isn’t quite sure how to interpret that look either.”
“No.. I’m almost waiting for him to turn around and swat her over the nose.”

As Lune got bigger as well, it seemed Kaya calmed more down and they went more back to how they had been when they were younger, still chasing each other around the house and cuddling up together to sleep.

“I’m…”

She stopped as she entered the living room after another audition. She knew that he sometimes ran his self check program when she was sleeping, but to come home to this, she had to admit she hadn’t expected.

“I didn’t think you got tired..”

She smiled, trying to move as quietly as she could to avoid waking them all, but as she walked passed his hand took hers.

“How do I move them.. without waking them?”

She couldn’t help but start to laugh, which in turn woke up both pets who both jumped off to welcome her home.

“You’re welcome.”

“You remind me of Rags sometimes Kaya.. always here to listen when I play.”

Her latest role required her to play the piano, so she figured it was best to get in some practice. Specially since Liam had called her and told her he would be late home from work.

“Are you thinking what I am thinking?”
“Probably not Liam, so how about you tell me what you are thinking.”
“It might be a long shot.. but, the androids that we find killed seem to be connected with the missing humans. From just being friends to being in relationships of one type or another.”
“So.. their humans did it, to run away?”
“No.. I don’t think so.”

They looked at eachother for a bit. If it was as Liam thought, then the implications could be grave.

“But who would do such a thing and for what reason?”
“That is the big question.”

They had some more evidence to go through before the end of the day, so he had called Madison to tell her that he would be late. He knew that the house was safe, but if they were right, he would like to install some extra security.

“Good to head home?”
“Yeah, just filing the last bit.”

He noticed how Carl sat himself down on the side of the desk. Something he did if it was something on his mind, that he wanted to talk about.

“Out with it.”
“Oh.. erhm, well.. I was wondering, would you help me make me and Marjorie’s house safe.. I mean, in case we are correct in our assumptions?”
“Of course.”
“Would you like to invite Madison to come over at the same time. Marjorie would love to meet her, as would I.”

He looked up at Carl, he had mentioned them visiting before, but it had just never properly come up.

“I’ll ask her if she wants to, I can’t imagine her saying no.”

He found her standing outside when she was coming home, next to her was what almost seemed to be fur enough for a secound dog.

“I almost thought we had a secound dog there.”
“Oh haha, very funny.”
“She sheds enough to be two dogs though.”
“Yes.. this took us hours!”

Putting his arm around her shoulder, he poked her nose.

“Ey.. what’s that for.”
“You had fur on it.”
“Really?”
“Mhm, and Carl wanted to know if you wanted to visit him and Marjorie, he wanted my help with something in the house.”

He decided not to go into details of what he wanted help with, as he really didn’t want her to worry needlessly.

“I would love too! I wanted to meet both of them.”
“I’ll tell him tomorrow, small warning, Marjorie is a huge fan of yours and your movies.”
“Oh yeah.. you mentioned that.”

She had met fans before, but never been in the home of one. Adding to that that her husband worked with Liam made for what she feared would be a long and akward encounter.

“What?”
“Nothing.”
“Thats not you thinking about nothing.”

He noticed the slight red color to her cheeks as she pulled back again. This time though, he pulled her back close to him. In the back of his head was what he had seen so many times in the romantic movies they watched, and he had long ago understood that she would like more than just kisses.

“Liam.. what..”
“Isn’t this what you would like?”

She would be lying if she said it wasn’t, but there was something off, he was doing just what she dreamed off, but something was off, something wasn’t there. It would seem he noticed the hesitation on her face, and stopped, just looking at her.

“I guess not?”
“It’s not.. wrong, but…”

She wasn’t quite sure how to put her finger on what it was. But there was something that was just missing, a feeling that was always there in her dreams and day dreams.

“But?”

He once again noticed how she seemed to fidget a, and that same red color in her cheeks seemed to come back.

“It’s… well.. hard to explain..”
“Try?”
“I might be wrong, but…”

She sighed, she hated the words that she knew would have to come out of her mouth to explain the feeling. But instead, he finnished the sentence for her.

“It feels as if I lack something?”
“Yeah.. I know you love me, but..”
“I understand.”
“I’m sorry.. I.. “

He stopped her talking with a kiss, and a smile. He understood what she was talking about, or at least he thought he did. He knew that the the androids that had the same reactions to sex as humans had, was those that were designed and programmed for it. A part of him had simply hoped he could do it without, and learn.

“I’m sorry…”
“hmmh?”
“Nothing, you should get some sleep.”

She was mostly asleep already, but she still put her hand on his arm, as if to make sure he wouldn’t leave.

“I love you…”
“I love you too.”

He sighed and started up his self check program, a deeper scan than he would normally do. And.. he would need a rather long talk with two people, there were things he needed to know specially after some case files he had stumbled upon.

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1:24 – The Graveyard

After a bit back and fourth, they decided that the cat would be named Uno and the dog was named Kaya. In the end, they had gone on the web to find names, and then see what they liked. When she asked where Rags had his name, he explained he already had that name when he adopted him, so he guessed it would be best to keep it was it was. These two on the other hand had never been given names.

Kaya early on showed her skills in guarding important things.. like her food bowl something that made both of them chuckle. Liam had mentioned that they might need to keep an eye on her so she didn’t become aggressive when she got older, but for now, it was simply cute to watch.

“They will be fine.. now, I think it’s time you see if it is there.”

“I guess you’re right.”

He had been holding off on it, why he wasn’t quite sure off, after all, most of what had happened he already knew from this Gavin persons notes, at least the most important parts.

“Let’s go then.”

It was a bit of a way to get to the graveyard mentioned on the backside of the note. And as they walked closer, it became clear that not many had been there in quite a long time. The trees had grown large, dark and almost looming.

“I kinda wish I had asked early morning instead.”

They tried to keep their conversation light, as neither of them really knew what to expect. Between run down fences, overgrown bushes and what she could only guess was graves so overgrown you could only barely make them out, they walked trying to find the correct spot.

“What if there is nothing left?”
“then there is nothing left, not much we can do about that.”
“That’s true.”

“Here.. this should be it.”

It was perhaps one of the most well kept graves in the area they found them selves standing next to. The stone itself had several large cracks in it, and looked a little like it could break if you touched it.

“Hank Anderson…”

“It’s the only way.”
“It can’t be Connor, there has to be another way.”
“I have checked, this is the only way.”
“Check it again.”

“I know you do not like the answer.. but I am right.”
“Well then I refuse, I will not help you kill yourself just to save a bunch of self righteous humans.”
“Hank..”

“NO! That is the end of this discussion. I order you to abandon this plan!”
“But?”
“No son! no butt’s no nothing, we are done discussing this!”

“Hank, where are you going?”
“To stop this madness once and for all.”

She just watched him as he sunk down to his knees, putting his hand’s on his head. He wanted to know just what had happened, what had his plan been and why had he failed so badly?

“It’s okay.”

“Liam.”
“Why do I keep failing everyone..”
“You haven’t, it might feel that way, but you haven’t.”

She wasn’t quite sure what she could say, so she sat down next to him and put a hand on his back so that he at least would know that she was there with him.

“Tell me what you remembered?”

He looked over at her, rambling out the memories that it seemed this place had triggered. As he talked he seemed to relax, sharing the memory and the pain had him sit up again, his eyes resting on the grave.

“I think someone put Sumo here too..”

The had shifted their position sitting back to back, Madison mostly just letting him talk whenever he felt the need to.

“The statue?”
“Yes.”

“I wonder what your plan was..”
“Me too.. “
“I wonder if I am happy he didn’t let you go through with it.”

He turned his head and looked at her for a while, before turning around, and pulling her next to him, leaving them both sitting towards the tombstone.

“Honestly.. I would say probably.”

She noticed the led that was normally blue was still a bright yellow. She had learned that it changed whenever he was conflicted or in some way out of balance. She had seen it red once, but that was when he had almost beaten the life out of that other android.

“We have our answer, and a tiny bit more of the puzzle.. do you want to stay a little longer, or do you want to go home?”

He sighed, before she stood up, pulling her up and into his arms.

“Please don’t cry.”

She hadn’t realized that she was crying until he mentioned it, it was also when she noticed she wasn’t the only one.

“Says he who is crying himself.”

“So, now what?”

She looked up at him, it wasn’t something she was used to that he asked her, normally his android brain was way ahead of hers and allready had a solution

“I think I have an idea…”
“And it is?”
“How about we come back, when it’s light and try and clean this place up a bit, and see if we can save that stone?”
“I think I would like that.”

She lifted her hand, wiping away the tears from his eyes before giving him a hug.

As they walked away, she noticed him stealing one glance back just before turning a corner. He could only hope that one day, he would know the full story, or at least enough to piece all his memories together.

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