Destined to Fail: Part 02.
Bryant's words still echoed through Sam's skull as the lift hummed its way up the Police Station.
"It would have been half-way acceptable if he'd been a bum, or a special or something, but this guy had friends, a girlfriend, parents…"
Sam closed his eyes, and listened to the woob woob woob of the lift as it climbed up the building. Bryant went on:
"How could you have been so idiotic, Sam? You've been on the job for a couple of years now; you've retired your share. But you don't just gun someone down because "You thought he looked like a suspect."
"I lost it, Sir, and I apologise." Sam had said.
"Apologise? To who? Me? What's that gonna do? It's the family who's crying Sam, not me."
Sam hated apologising. A public apology… yeah, he was really looking forward to that.
"You'll make a public apology to the family" Bryant had said.
"And then I suppose I'm outta here…" Sam had ventured.
But Bryant did not immediately agree, as Sam had though. Instead, he had shifted some papers on his desk, and looked embarrassed.
"Well that's the thing, Sam." he had said. "That's not the case…"
"You're good, Sam. And I don't like letting good guys go. I've had to do that in the past, and its not easy. You've done good stuff for the unit, so I've agreed with internal affairs that you'll be given another chance. I'm teaming you up with Holden. You'll stay on the case, and you won't stop until you've aired out the reps."
The words drifted out of Sam's mind as the doors shlunked open. He stepped out into the night air, and walked over to his spinner, a light spattering of rain kissing his face.
Teamed up with Holden. What could be more embarrassing? Holden would do all the work, claim the money and Sam would probably be finished in the LPD.
He opened the door to his spinner, and climbed in. The door slid shut behind him, and he booted up the onboard computer. As the spinner rose with a hiss, the words reverberated inside his brain.
A public apology. Working with Holden. Things didn't get much better than this…
The spinner hummed its way over the rooftops of Los Angeles before it came down low over Sam's neighbourhood. He landed it on the roof of his block of flats, and he stepped out into the night air again. He walked across the roof, looking up at the lit buildings, and letting the rain tenderly spatter against his hot brow. He reached the elevator, and stepped in.
"Voice print identification, your floor number please," the control panel said, in a rather seductive and simultaneously no nonsense voice.
"Phillips 90A" he said into the grating.
"90. Thank you." The voice said, and the elevator hummed its way down a few floors to his stop. The doors slid open, and he walked out to his flat. He unlocked the door and stepped in.
Yawning lazily, he spread himself over his couch. He just wanted the soft cushions to eat him. He wanted to drown deep deep down in the soft, flabby folds…
He yawned again, and got up. He couldn't sleep now. He couldn't. He knew he should probably be working on his case, so picked up his briefcase that lay by his breakfast bar, and set it down on the surface. It popped open, and he fished inside it for the relevant files.
Having recovered them, he scattered them on the bar, made himself a drink, and settled down for a hard night's work.
It was a simple case. Three replicants were undergoing the final phases of memory implantation at a Tyrell manufacturing plant, when a bunch of CARS protesters broke in, freed the reps before their memories could be implanted and kindly explained to the replicants what they were and what was going on. The reps had thanked the CARS protesters, and killed them all in cold blood. The reps had escaped, one of them being wounded in the process. The Tyrell security system had snapped off a quick photo as the reps were leaving the plant, and both Holden and Bryant had agreed, it was a terrible photo. It showed the three replicants running from the lab doors down a long corridor. The male rep was staring straight at the camera, which was a big plus. The other two however, who were both female, weren't. One of them had her head buried behind the man, and she seemed to be supporting the other, the one who had been wounded. Both their faces were hidden, and the Tyrell scientists hadn't taken incept photos, as the reps weren't considered fully incepted so there were no existing photos of the two female replicants.
Sam picked up the photo that the esper had taken of the man's face. He'd looked so much like that Dan Bridges guy… so much like him. Sam took a swig at his drink shaking that thought from his mind. He put down the photo, and picked up the other, the one the security camera had taken. It was hopeless…
He threw it to the bar, and yawned again. A voice floated into the flat…"A new life awaits you…"
"Yeah, right" Sam replied, "All that's awaiting me is life as a beat cop."
He looked to the other end of the breakfast bar where his esper sat expectantly. He supposed it was worth one last try…
He slid the security photo into the slot, and waited for the esper to start up. There was a crackle and fizzling, then the photo blipped onto the screen covered by the blue grid. He had seen that picture so many times, he felt he knew it completely by heart. Okay… where to start?
"Enhance 445 to 477" he said to the machine. It skittered and clicked in towards the wounded replicant. If he could find just one distinguishing feature…
The screen was filled by the image of a girl leaning over, looking down to the floor. The other replicant's face was buried next to the girls, and was unidentifiable. All Sam knew was that those two replicants were female, and that was it.
"Pan right," he said unnecessarily. He wasn't really looking at the picture now. He was seeing himself waving traffic along.
The esper was scanning right, across the image of the two replicants, and Sam didn't notice that it had gone past them, until something caught his eye. He gulped down his drink suddenly, which resulted in a burn of pain in his throat and behind his eyes.
"Stop!" he gasped, the scotch having drained his voice. The esper stopped. "Go back."
The esper started to pan left, back towards the bundle of the two female replicants.
And there it was.
"Stop," he said again, "Gimme a hard copy of that, RIGHT there…"
The esper buzzed, and printed out the screen. Sam reclaimed the print out and stared in amazement. How could he have been so blind? He smiled to himself. Holden would be pissed…
He put the glass down on the table, and reached for the phone. He punched in the number for Holden's office at the station. He should still be there…
The phone rang for a few seconds, then Holden's face appeared. He looked tired and haggard, which gave Sam a quick feeling of superiority.
"Holden, its Sam," he said unnecessarily.
Holden's face nodded.
"Well, you know Sam, I can see that. What can I do for you?"
"I've been working on the escapee case, and I have something you might be interested in."
Sam slid the print out into the fax slot, and waited for a few seconds. Holden looked over to his fax slot, and retrieved the paper. Sam watched gleefully as Holden examined the print out, his eyes trying to focus on what seemed like just a bundle of two females with a bit of arm sticking out.
"What is this?" Holden said.
"It's an enlargement from the Tyrell security photo," Sam said excitedly. "Can't you see it?"
"See what?" said Holden through his teeth. He had fast come to the end of his patience.
"Look at the arm!" cried Sam.
He watched as Holden focused. And he laughed out loud when he saw Holden's eyes widen.
"We've got a feature!" Sam called out at the top of his voice.
"Meet me in the mainframe room at the station," said Holden quickly, and he disconnected.