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Running Scared

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The File Search

Bryant's last words had spooked Peters out a bit as he made his way upstairs in the lift. "Corpses in the morgue". "Why the hell did Bryant have to say shit like that", Peters thought to himself. "Gives me the creeps".

His arrival to his floor wiped the image out of his head. He walked out and turned left into the ESPER mainframe room. Because although Peters had a folder of information on Michael Lee sitting on his desk, he didn't think he'd need to know where Michael Lee went to kindergarten or what his childhood dog's name was. No, to find anything juicy on this guy Peters would have to use one of the most powerful computers in the state, the police ESPER mainframe. A machine capable of hacking into damn near any computer on the planet.

Peters mind however, was still not completely on the task at hand. As he sat down in the comfy mock-leather chair in front of the computer screen, he thought again of what Bryant had said, and how he never used to talk like that back when Peters had originally joined the blade runner unit. Back when he was partnered with Thorne.

"No, stop thinking about it, concentrate", Peters said to nobody in particular as he logged in. But of course this reminded him all the more of the good times he'd had with Thorne. "You can never ever let yourself lose your concentration Tony", Thorne had said long ago the first time they had met, "If you do that, you're dead". He couldn't have been more right, Tony thought.

Peters cleared this from his mind and began to work. He looked through file after file on Michael Lee in the Tyrell corporation database and in Michael Lee's computer but turned up zilch; in the police databases across the state it was the same. This man had lived a lab rat and died a lab rat. His death could have passed unnoticed for weeks if it hadn't been witnessed by a couple of Tyrell employees, Peters decided. This man was a nobody and trying to find out why someone would have tried to kill him would be impossible this way. But Suddenly Peters, feeling stupid, realised the obvious. Nobody had actually killed Michael Lee but himself. "This guy said he'd found out he was a Nexus 6, couldn't stand it, so he jumped." Peters realised the words "found out he was a rep", were of up-most importance. This guy was a scientist, a nobody, a person who lived in a jar and had no clue there were people trying to kill him, yet he had jumped. Peters had thought and Bryant too probably, that the reason this man had jumped was because he had suspected this hit being put against him and had put two and two together. Or that the stress of work had gotten to him and had made him start to believe incredible things. But that just didn't add up. Men like Michael Lee worked only on fact, no hearsay or rumour would affect a man like him. He would have had to have held Thorne's retirement contract in his hands or have seen his incept files personally before thinking remotely of suicide.

"Incept Files". Peters whispered.

Immediately, he hacked into the Tyrell mainframe again, quite illegally, and looked under all the Tyrell Nexus 6 projects on file for any reference to Michael Lee but nothing came up. However, Peters was not dissuaded, he knew that Michael Lee had seen something and had to find out what. Peters hacked into Michael Lee's computer at the Tyrell Corporation and looked over the files again for reference to a Nexus 6 Michael Lee. Nothing, Peters thought sadly. As a last hope, he decided to retrieve all the last deleted files on the computer and got more then he'd bargained for.

The filename sat blinking in front of him "REPPROGRAM/SNAKE/DEVILCHILD/097355/MICHAELLEE"

"Snake?!" Peters gasped "What the hell were you looking at Michael Lee?!", he exclaimed as if Lee's ghost could answer back. The snake file system was a rep-detect urban legend. Supposedly a computer system so secure that nobody except Tyrell himself and some extremely top level Tyrell staff would ever get to see the files in it. In the snake file system was supposed to be all the information that Mr. Eldon Tyrell did not want to share with the LAPD. There had never been any proof of its existence, until now. With blood pumping fast through his whole body, Peters opened the file. "Oh merciful God", was all Peters could manage to gasp.

A Replicant, an exact copy of Michael Lee was shown on the screen. There would be absolutely no way of telling them apart, but what was really horrifying was that this replicant was 6 years old. Tyrell was producing replicant copies of Tyrell employees without a four-year lifespan. Peters knew that it was better that Michael Lee took his own life because if anyone at the corporation found out that Lee knew this he'd have died in a more painful way then falling off the Tyrell towers, although Tony had difficulty imagining what death that could be. But something pulled Peters back to reality, if Michael Lee wanted the world to know he was a rep, why did he delete the file? He didn't, that was the answer.

"A strange woman's been skulking around Tyrell headquarters for days trying to find information not only on Lee, but also on several other Tyrell employees. Unfortunately we never found out who those others were. She left the Tyrell building a few hours before Lee took his skydive."

"That woman, she was there to delete any trace of the Replicant Michael Lee from the computer", Peters thought out loud. "But not before poor Dr. Michael Lee saw the files and decided to kick the bucket". But why did she do it? If Thorne was being hired to kill three replicants why did the woman hiring him, knowingly send Thorne onto the human ones? Why would she erase the traces of the replicants? To frame Thorne? Nobody would do that, Thorne's only enemies were the reps. It didn't make sense, there were too many gaps. And Peters knew he wouldn't find any ways to fill those gaps from here. Peters didn't know who the other innocent targets were and he didn't know where this woman was so only one option was left. Find Thorne. He'd been given time from Michael Lee's death since Thorne would have to wait before he'd hit one of the other targets but his time was running out like sand in an hourglass. All this shit with the Tyrell Corporation making illegal reps would have to wait. Peters main objectives at this point were to stop more innocents dying, to find out about this mysterious woman and maybe, just maybe, to stop an old friend getting nailed for murder.

As painful as it would be emotionally, Peters had to find his partner, and the only way to do that would be through his arms dealer. Enrique Gonzales.



Option 1 - Seek out Enrique Gonzales

Option 2 - Spinelli

Option 3 - Something else

Pages in white continue the story. Pages in yellow are yet to be written. Note that the unwritten options are just suggestions for how the story might continue - you can add something completely different if you like.

Each page in the story ends in a five letter code. If you want to return to this page in the future, make a note of the page code and you will then be able to change your URL to take you straight back to that page.

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Date: 2002-09-01 15:50