Title: Synthetic – Part 1
Fandom: Almost Human – Sentinel/Guide AU
Pairing: John Kennex/Dorian
Summary: In the year 2146, in the middle of a police raid on InSyndicate a creature of legend – an Alpha Sentinel Prime – emerges. The world will never be the same.
Previously posted on FB
“I have an idea.”
This isn’t the first time she’s heard those words in the last few months. It isn’t even the first time she’s heard them in the last week.
Her lead detective has been in a coma for almost six months now and everyone seems to “have an idea” about how to help him. Not a single one of them has managed it. Point of fact, this is her first time back in the precinct after the last time someone came into her office to utter those words and offer an idea.
An idea that, this time, had almost killed John Kennex. Needless to say, there is nothing she can name that she wants less than another idea.
“Rudy,” she sighs his name.
“No, Sandra, this will work.”
She raises her head off of the surface of her desk to frown at him and raises a single eyebrow.
“There is nothing physically causing John’s coma, right? I mean he was shot, yeah, but that isn’t causing his state. It’s just a zone out, right?”
‘Just a zone’? She bites back her ire and nods to the nervous technician. To call the action encouraging would be a mistake.
“So we need to find him a guide to pull him out.”
“You think we haven’t tried that?!” She explodes. “There are no guides. We have contacted every single person of guide decent, no matter how far back in their family tree. No one has come online for him. No one is online, period. He is the first sentinel to come online in over 30 years and there are no guides. None.”
“No one offline that tests compatible? Genetically, I mean. No one?”
“Not a single one.” She sighs. She is not defeated, she’s not! She just has no idea- ugh, she hates that word!
“What if we could make someone a match?”
“Rudy, it’s not like we can just experiment-”
“Not a human.” She hits him with the full power Maldonado Eyebrow of Skepticism. “A DRN. I have one in my lab. He’s scheduled to be shipped off to NASA next week but DRNs use the Synthetic Soul operating system and it’s compatible with the Electronic Empathy application.”
She hisses like a soaked cat. Electronic Empathy had at one time been proposed as a solution to the naturally-occurring guide shortage and had been the root cause of the civil war between sentinels across the globe. The current lack of sentinels to protect their streets could be placed directly at that damn application’s feet. “That was supposed to be destroyed.”
“It was.” Rudy swallows audibly, “But it isn’t. Anymore.”
“You redeveloped it? For John?”
Rudy just swallows again and holds her gaze but doesn’t respond. Neither physically or verbally.
She glares at him for several minutes, before tapping her ear bud and opening a line. “Get me Ellison.”
Jacob Ellison, great grandson of the famous Alpha Sentinel Prime James Ellison and his guide Blair Sandburg watches the still form of John Kennex through the glass observation wall.
The three weeks since he received a call from Captain Sandra Maldonado have been filled with staring at this man.
This Alpha Sentinel Prime.
He’d heard of the man’s plight months ago but hadn’t thought much of it. It was nothing special, really. Just one of many to cross his desk in recent years but-. John. John was the first one to hold on for so long within his onlineing zone out.
John was the first sentinel in all the time Jake could remember to come online and survive more than two weeks, to be completely honest about it.
And he is the first one with such intense mundane involvement in his situation.
Most mundanes, like most sentinels, have become resigned to the death of humanity’s once-great guardians. But something was different about this case. Something drove the mundanes to greater lengths and depths and heights to fix it. To fix John, and Jake for once allowed himself to be drawn into the other sentinel’s plight.
He had barely parked his car outside of the hospital when he’d felt John. Once he had gotten closer and catalogued the detective with his senses, it had been like a part of his great grandfather had returned to him and he’d been certain, absolutely certain, that he could and would do anything for this man. He’d follow him into Hell if John looked at him, much less actually asked him for the company.
Not that that had made fighting the City, the Country, the Powers that Be of pretty much everywhere (who had no fucking business in Sentinel Affairs, thank you) over what they could do to an android that no one wanted until they did any easier. But it was worth it.
He glances to one side. They’ve taken over the largest burn unit in the hospital for John’s care. The isolation, improved cleanliness and ventilation have eased John considerably and stabilized his vitals.
They are working on his, well, guide in the burn unit’s anti-chamber.
They might be a bit too strong of a word. Dr. Rudy Lom, the guy that came up with the solution, is working on the.. guide under the supervision of its his creator.
They haven’t allowed Nigel Vaughn in the room with.. him. Much less allowed him to touch the one they hope will become their alpha guide. No one can forget the XRN fiasco, least of all a sentinel.
Rudy turns his attention from the still, black-eyed form of his robotic best friend to the floating holo-bust of the same entity. He enters the final command, flicks a switch and watches those startlingly blue pupils pop into place.
A frown flits across Dorian’s brow and his head bobbles around a bit midair. “Rudy?”
“I haven’t physically woken you, Dorian. I need – do you remember the problem? We were discussing?”
“The sentinel detective.”
“Right. Right, yea. And our solution?”
“We rewrote Electronic Empathy and you were going to submit it as a solution to Captain Maldonado.”
“Right, and I did. And she agreed but the changes that the Ellison Foundation required are extensive-”
“We should have expected it really. Not even sexbot skin gives off the pheromones a sentinel needs to bond but someone is up to some freaky stuff because Ellison’s scientists came up with your new skin insanely fast. They even managed to customize it to John’s genetic imprint and! And! how to maintain the new synthetic/organic hybrid skin. And hair! Nanobots, that’s how-.”
“Right, right, sorry. We discussed the changes to your operating systems but we’ve changed your skin and hair, your power core and several of your sub-dermal layers. -Only 2% loss of speed and strength by the way.- Cosmetically you’re the same but – What I am trying to say is that I need to know that you are still okay with this. You technically won’t even be a DRN if we finish this.”
“I understand what’s going on, Rudy, and I’ve already agreed to it.”
“I’ve uploaded some new files. Files that only come from the Ellison Foundation. They’ll give you more-”
“I have already accessed the files and I have assimilated the data. When do we begin?”
Rudy slumps, defeated but not surprised. “An hour. They all want to be here when you meet him.”
“That’ll make it 3AM, Rudy.”
“And, as they keep reminding me, there is no telling when he could destabilize and we lose him. One hour.”
It’s the sound that gets his attention first. It calls him back from… where ever he’s been. A deep throbbing, like a heart beat almost but from deeper inside the chest cavity. Or inside a thicker chest cavity. Not a human chest cavity.
The.. heartbeat is followed by a voice but no breathing. The voice is deep and gentle but there is no sound of lungs. How is this voice being made? A speaker? But there is no reverb or crackle like a standard speaker.
Then there is the smell. Like lightning and blueberries crushed with a bit of mint.
A hand touches his chest. Even through two layers of cloth he can tell it isn’t a human hand. It’s warm but it has no pulse, no finger prints.
Who is this creature?
He opens his eyes to find blue, soulful eyes looking down at him from a shockingly beautiful face.
John Kennex reaches up to touch that amazing face, to make sure it’s real. It is. “Guide?”
“My name is Dorian.” The.. man smiles softly. “Sentinel.”