The door opened and Chief Armstrong entered his office followed by the angry voice of another.
“Come on Chief, probation!? I actually have a valid reason for being late this time,” a woman's voice sounded out. Those that were already present turned their heads towards the two figures that entered out of curiosity.
“Oh? And what’s your valid excuse this time, Detective Moreau?”
“It’s… lady-related,” Beatrice responded awkwardly as she darted her eyes away.
Chief Armstrong stared at her in disbelief for what seemed like an eternity. In the background, the other detective was doing his best not to laugh at the spectacle.
“And no it’s not me, it’s that girl we brought in a little over a week ago,” Beatrice quickly added when she noticed the look he was giving her.
Chief Armstrong rubbed his forehead with his forefinger and thumb. “You know what, just forget about it. I’ll let you slide, this time.”
“More like let her slide for the hundredth time,” the detective sitting next to Haru commented snidely under his breath.
“Now if you excuse me, I have an important meeting to attend to. As you can see,” Chief Armstrong said as he gestured to the other three in the room.
Beatrice’s eyes landed on one figure in particular and her blood froze.
K caught her staring at him, her face an amalgamation of unreadable expressions. He raised an eyebrow curiously as he stared back at her.
“You’re dismissed, Detective.” Armstrong’s voice seemed to reach her and snap her out of whatever space her mind occupied.
“Y-yeah,” she said somewhat shakingly as she quickly turned and walked out of the room a bit too fast for her not to look suspicious or guilty of something.
“What was that all about,” the other detective commented as his eyes darted from the door to Armstrong.
“Beats me,” Armstrong responded before moving to take his seat behind his desk.
“Mr. Tomaru, it seems like we’re always running into each other these days.” Armstrong took the man's hand in a firm grip and shook it.
“Indeed. Your detective and I have been conversing on what information you all may have on the recent case of rogue Auto Droids,” Haru said as the two sat back into their chairs.
“Yes, unfortunately, just like with the one that's been targeting your people, these ones have seemed to disappear without a trace. How they did so, we currently have no clue.”
The man who sat by Haru chimed in. “Perhaps if we look into whatever records the facility Mr. O’Brian purchased them from, we could find something.”
“That is a possibility,” Haru stated.
“Still, I don’t see what would be the point of hiding here. They must know that so long as they stay in the city, they run the risk of being caught eventually” the detective muttered as he placed his thumb and index on his chin in thought.
“They may be a bunch of malfunctioning bots, but I doubt they’re that stupid. Or maybe they are, who knows with these things.”
A thought came to K upon hearing the detective's words. A realization began to dawn within his mind about what the two androids may be planning to do. And if his hunch was right.
K glanced down as he contemplated his theory and noticed a small black object on the ground. He tilted his head slightly to the right and picked the object up off of the grey carpeted floor. He stared at it in the palm of his hand as he began to scan it.
The object was a Bluetooth earbud developed by RadioHead, a music station most popular for its selection of various songs within the rock genre and its music-related accessories.
‘This must belong to that detective,’ he thought to himself as he stared at it curiously before pocketing it.
After some odd number of minutes, K and Haru left Armstrong's office with little gain. Haru was nonetheless displeased.
“So we’re back to square one. To think they don’t have anything that may be able to help us find these two.”
“About that, sir,” K began. “Earlier, that detective said something that got me thinking. They must know they can’t stay in the city. It would be too dangerous and foolish for them to do so.”
Haru raised a brow in curiosity. “So?”
“So, it could be possible that they are trying to leave the city.”
But how would they do that? They’d be caught the moment they tried to cross the state border or enter an airport,” Haru stated.
“True, that’s why I believe that they may be having help. I did a bit of digging through the net and was able to come up with one Peter Erickson. Not much is known about the guy. But I have noticed some curious information within his transaction history. Notably to some deep web site that specializes in the creation of fake I.D.s, passports, identification whipping, the list goes on.”
Realization dawned on Harus face. “And their I.D.s magically vanished off of the system the day they went rogue. You think he might be helping them get out of the city?”
“Only one way to find out,” K responded.
“See if you can get a hold of the gentleman for me would you,” Haru ordered as he placed his hands within his pants pockets.
K stopped as they neared the lobby area of the building. He turned to his right to see Beatrice angrily banging at a vending machine. The Auto Droid retrieved the small earbud from his pocket and stared at it before returning his cerulean gaze towards Beatrice.
“Are you coming,” Haru called back to him once he noticed that K was stationary.
K didn’t respond as he walked down the hall, approaching Beatrice. Haru raised his brow and sighed to himself as he leaned back against a nearby wall.
“Excuse me, detective,” K said suddenly, causing Beatrice to jump a bit. She turned her cold gaze towards his form. Her hazel eyes reflected various emotions that K couldn’t understand. He could have sworn he saw a hint of familiarity flash in them as well.
“You dropped this.” He stuck out his hand to reveal the small black earbud.
Beatrice stared at him with a pained expression then slowly drifted her eyes back to the earbud. K was confused by her staring.
“Is something wrong, detective?” he asked her.
“N-no,” she responded in a low voice as she avoided his gaze.
“Are you sure? Your adrenaline is spiking. You may be at risk of a panic attack.”
“Stop psychoanalyzing me, you damn machine,” Beatrice bit out venomously.
“Is everything alright here, detective,” Haru asked as he came around the corner.
Beatrice ignored him, taking this opportunity to quickly leave before the walls of the dam she had constructed within her broke. The pair watched her disappear around the corner and down the direction they came from.
“Let’s go, K.” Haru glanced back at the Auto Droid briefly as K stared down at the earbud in his hand. “K?”
“Understood, sir,” K responded as he snapped back into focus. He pocketed the earbud as he and Haru took their leave.