Code of Ethics: Part 01.


Jacobson turned off the VidPhone, walked over to his bed and sat down. He moved his index fingers up to his temples.

That call hadn't helped his headache.

Apparently, Corrin Tacarrin had lost yet another Skinjob. Either he had poor luck with the units he received, or he was a really harsh slave-driver.

Jacobson had 'retired' the first of Tacarrin's runaways last week, a female unit named Shandra. She had claimed that the work was too much for her, that she was never given a break, never time to relax. She claimed the work demeaned her, and she wanted a bit of freedom. If it was up to Jacobson, he would have let her go. He believed her. What he'd seen of Tacarrin, he didn't like. At all. However, his supervisor was at the scene, and Jacobson really needed the bounty money. The humanoid refused to return to her owner if she would have to continue to do the slave work he had for her. Tacarrin had promised no change, after all, she was 'his property, not a real human. She has no rights. She'll do what I tell her to do, whether she enjoys it or not'.

She didn't enjoy it, and refused to return peacefully.

Jacobson retired her. And it was tearing him up. Jacobson knew she wasn't a real human, knew she was manufactured in some corporate factory, but it didn't change the fact that she had emotions, whether implanted or not. She had a will to live, a will to do what she wanted. But she couldn't, because of the fact she was never in a womb. Human slavery had been outlawed for over a century. Why was this any different?
Jacobson knew the technicalities, but it still nagged at him.

And here I am, endorsing the slavery. Killing the run-away slaves, because they had human ambitions, wanted to live a life of freedom.

Now he knew why it was said that Blade Runners shouldn't have emotions. It interfered with their work.

Of all days to realize he had a conscience.

His thoughts were broken by the ringing of the VidPhone all too loudly in the close confines of the bedroom. It rang three times before he could bring himself to his feet and even move in its direction.

" Hey wildman!" Said the man from a booth at an obviously busy bar." I heard about that retirement you had to pull a couple of days ago. Sandra and I are coming off a bad one too and thought you might be up for a drink. We've got some others coming down."

Jacobson had to at least manage a weak smile. Kevin King just had that affect on you. They'd crossed paths a couple of times and never with a cross word between the two. King had a good reputation in the unit and the woman he worked with on a fairly regular basis was regarded to be at least as good, if not better, than King.

Not that it should be a surprise. Sandra Ponce was an old hand at the hunt. She'd been in the Robbery/Homicide unit at LPD before leaving for the lucrative but all too dangerous world of Rep Detect. Patient and methodical, she was the perfect foil to King's good humor which seemed to be regularly punctuated by obscenities.

Jacobson had heard about their latest exploit on his way home. They'd gone after a Nexus 5 that had decided that the best defense was a good offense. Ponce had gone through the door first, only to receive the beating of her life for it. King, afraid of hitting his partner, had waded in, thrown punches of his own and had taken a good amount of grief for it. Eventually, King had ended up behind the Rep and had put it into a chokehold that had made the LPD infamous in an earlier day and time.

The retirement that ensued was slow and noisy, with the Rep fighting to the last breath. It had been a monumental struggle and uniformed officers responding to an assault call had been surprised to find two bruised and bloodied Blade Runners standing over a dead Replicant. Though the cheap VidPhone at the bar gave a fuzzy picture, Jacobson could still see the bruises on King's face.

" I don't think so pal." He said after a moment of reflection. " Got a call just before you. Another job. Sorry."

" Oh yeah, who with?"

" Tacarrin." said Jacobson simply.

" Judas. Again? I mean the guy keeps us in work but this is getting ridiculous. Someone oughtta retire his ass. You look a little out of it. You okay to go solo?"

Jacobson pursed his lips and nodded. " Yeah, I'm okay. Just haven't been sleeping well lately."

King hoisted a shot glass full of green liquid into view. " Suit yourself. Give us a call if you need some help."

Jacobson really did chuckle now. According to the report he'd heard, he doubted if King and Ponce could beat up a severely debilitated Special. Ponce had a broken arm and it had taken 16 stitches to close a gash on King's abdomen. But he knew King meant it and that was just the type of guy he was.

" Okay." He replied. "Make sure you get yourself on the mend. Tell Ponce I said hey." And with that, the phone went dead.



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