Blade Runner: Second Unit
By Jeff Walker
Based upon "Blade Runner" the adapted film from the Philip K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?"
PROLOGUE - Replicant Rebirth
HAVE YOU EVER RETIRED A HUMAN BY MISTAKE?
That was the one question Rachael Tyrell asked of Rick Deckard, a Blade Runner cop trying to use his Voight-Kampff machine on her to see if she was a Replicant. Rachael was the daughter of Eldon Tyrell, the founder of the Tyrell Corporation, the man responsible for creating the bioengineered android humans called Nexus 6. Rachael's question seemed like the most logical statement to make, but one that would plague Deckard throughout the entire investigation. His services were required to locate and 'retire' the six Replicants of Tyrell's manufacturing; they had killed the crew of an Off World colony ship and sent the government into a panic. Earth banned Replicants after that incident and tried to weed them out with the help of the Blade Runner units and their Voight-Komff tests.
Voight-Kampff machines were lie detectors that measured contractions of the iris muscle and the presence of invisible airborne particles emitted from the body. Blade Runners used them with a text of psychological questions to stir up an emotional response in order to detect a Replicant. If the person were human, the array of questions wouldn't bother them or at the very least, wouldn't cause their eyes to change too radically. But a Replicant's eyes would, if the right question triggered an emotional state of change in the iris, then the Blade Runner could instantly detect the flaw. This is what they were trained to do and knew how to operate a Voight-Kampff machine perfectly. But what many in the force seemed to notice, was a change in the Replicant pattern was becoming harder to detect, a usual run of twenty or thirty questions usually was enough to spot one, but some had managed to go beyond that or even fool the machine test. A sign that these machines were becoming out dated as much as the new models of Replicant humans were being produced.
Nexus 6 was Tyrell's crowning glory of genius; 'more human that human' was the motto of their company. It would seem that Tyrell himself would find that one phrase ironic as one of his own models managed to get past his building security and kill him for not giving him a better lifespan. Nexus 6 were supposed to be as close to our own genetic make up as much as was possible, the problem was, that even though they gave them some short term memories to give them a sense of stability, would often fail and soon would discover them questioning their own origins and thus going insane. But what Tyrell had truly overlooked in his Nexus models, was the lack of emotional control. None of his or other designed Replicants had the ability to understand or learn to discipline their ever-growing emotions, a side effect that Tyrell called a break through in his creations, but one that the government called 'unstable and hostile'.
Rick Deckard had enough of this type of life; it was a thankless job that paid very little. His wife had left him because of it; he took on assignments that had no real merit, other then just to 'retire' these manufactured beings. Rachel and he became close on his last mission for the Los Angeles Blade Runner Police Department, the bond between them during the whole investigation, became intense and very real for Deckard. Abandoning his Blade Runner role, he up and left Los Angeles with her in tow, after he discovered that she was a Replicant as well. Tyrell had re-created his daughter with a Nexus model, but as to what generation or how long she had to live remained unanswered. It suddenly dawned on Deckard that if she could be one, anyone else could be one…perhaps he was one too; the possibility was staggering to even fathom. With that he had seen and discovered it made him wonder about something else as well. What if the Blade Runners are Replicants? With Rachael at his side Rick didn't care any more, he never wanted to keep on being a Blade Runner cop even though some would say he was the best there was. Blade Runners have one sole purpose, to track and 'retire' rogue Replicants. A group of special cops that society placed into the mainstream police force to deal with the ever-expanding market of Replicants that either turn to a life of crime or 'malfunction' as some would say. But Deckard's time of being that lowly paid nobody had ended, with his vanishing, all the troubles and duties of his old life were now far behind him.
After Deckard's absence from the force and subsequent behavior, the Blade Runner Division came under question and swiftly recalled the officers be re-screened and replaced. Replaced because the commissioned inquiry into Deckard's actions discovered that a few of the BR's tested positive as Replicants. Upon further study into the program, they did in fact discover that many of the Blade Runners were not human; there was only a small fraction of real human beings working in the division. While the government did create the Replicant officers originally to be the only ones to deal with other Replicants, they had to make the jobs available to human beings as well. It was a matter of keeping those who questioned the program at the beginning stages away from the truth about their dirty little secret. So in the years before the Off World mutiny happened, and well before the ban of Replicants on Earth, they allowed human police officers to join the Blade Runner Unit if for no other reason then to look like there wasn't anything wrong with the job. They didn't really expect humans to join up at all when told of the new unit being formed; the job pay was low, the hours where incredibly ridiculous, and respect for the unit was non-existent. Still many 'norms', as they labeled them, signed up and were falsely led to believe that this was an exciting job with many rewards. Once signed to the contract of becoming one, it was impossible for them to leave, the government added a clause that no ex-Blade Runner cop would be allowed to re-apply for any other job after their dismissal, layoff or retirement. It was a foolproof way for the government to deal with their Replicant cops and a nasty way to ensure loyalty in their officers at all costs.
Runner units are nearly within every city of America, Los Angeles might have been the birthplace of the first squad devoted to this sort of mandate, but like any government funded service, the franchise expanded to other areas. New York is the second unit that spawned out of the Blade Runner Replicant Enforcement, while the low number of officers stationed there are vastly over worked and underappreciated, they at least had the authority to 'retire' Replicants by any means necessary. Property damages, traffic violations, and even taking over homicide investigations involving the engineered beings made them virtually untouchable. That's why the police force regard them as thugs with guns, with no one to watch them other then their own special unit investigators, these kinds of cops almost belittled the idea of law enforcement totally. To be a Blade Runner is to be a bum, that's the thinking of many people that know all about the lifestyle of the Replicant killing unit, there was no need to treat these cops with any respect, seeing how their jobs are nothing other then to shoot malfunctioning bioengineered toys.
Nexus 6 models had died off nearly ten years after the fall of the Tyrell Corporation's demise. But where their company failed, others renewed and improved. The fear of Replicant uprisings on Earth soon died down, though there were many stories or incidents that took place during that time, the threat soon became very low again. Tyrell no longer existed and that meant his competitors could expand and create government-approved versions that had better control. Several new Replicant factories turned up after the Nexus generation died off, some with even shorter life spans and with more human like traits then previously seen. One giant that sprung up out of the depths of the other bioengineering companies was Omashi Bioworks Enterprises, it created the most realistic Replicants ever known; they were stronger, more intelligent and had given some of their models nearly human-long life spans implanted in their genome. O.B.E. became the number one manufacturer of Nexus Delta Replicants for the entire world. To assure themselves that business wouldn't die out, they gave their clients a 'time of expiry' date on each of the brands, starting from the lowest priced model, which only lasted for a year, to their highly expensive brand that had up to fifty years, barring any injury or virus that would cause the Replicant to self terminate immediately. The long lasting Nexus Delta bio-humanoids were the luxury model that many could never afford, only the powerful or rich seemed capable of purchasing such a Replicant. Like a car market of the old twentieth century, the company catered to the demands many had wished for in a Replicant. They had every version, model, age, species and even sexual orientation of bio-android life imaginable for the buyer to choose from. 'Better Than Human And Beyond Human' was their motto, a new spin on the Tyrell Corporation's old slogan.
Nexus was a trademark name that the OBE company bought the rights too so that they could cater them to the old clients of the Tyrell Corporation. Off World sales when through the roof as the workers and military replacements were shipped out to them in droves and tripled the colonies production by leaps and bounds. There was a time when the word 'slaves' would have meant something to human kind, but since none regarded these manufactured beings as 'human', they treated them as they would any pet, robot or appliance for that matter. There were some protests to this abomination of human creation, religious sects and equal rights activists tried in vein to stop the continual mistreatment of the soulless dolls. A revolution some called it, one that started up quickly and then bottomed out just as fast. Nexus 6 tried to rally together and rebel against their creators, but this was short lived as they soon began to slowly die off. Without Tyrell's company to continue their existence, these poor beings were left to die off in the thousands and become extinct. The entire years of the so called, Replicant Revolution, had their raised voices being met with only laughter and ridicule, not to mention some terrorist violence against Replicant lovers. The world had fallen back into a time of great shame, but a shame that no one could see or cared about. And as the final Nexus models died out, the world once again started up as before, producing slaves that were conditioned to obey and serve the human race.
Derek Mason was one of those who didn't care, which was almost ironic in a way, seeing how his ancestors fought all their lives to gain the rights to be treated as a person and not as a slave. His generation grew up knowing all about their black American heritage, the many leaders that fought for that independence and dignity, to become an equal citizen of the world that has now become a reality. And yet, as many races benefit from this freedom, the only ones that don't are Replicants. Mason is just as hard pressed on that subject as everyone else in the world is. And that is the reason why he became a Blade Runner himself, to put an end to what his grandmother called, 'the devil's work' that scientists had created. Having grown up in a heavily gospel family in North Carolina, he was brought up to believe that no one but the lord was the creator of mankind, a debate that usually kept within the church and not in their family life. He soon pursed a career as a police officer and got away from his southern upbringing as he took up residence in Los Angeles. From there he was lured into the Blade Runner Unit as the promise of exciting career and duty to protect citizens from the Replicant threat enticed him. It was to his good fortune that the one cop that he was partnered with in his training was Rick Deckard. Deckard was already established in the unit and was amazed by Derek's obvious stupidity for even signing up. The young man didn't seem to care, he was so blinded by hate that the job seemed like his idea of doing 'god's work' as his grandmother once stated. Derek Mason took great care in watching his partner work; he knew how to spot Replicants almost like a bloodhound. The most curious aspect to watching Deckard was how he almost seemed to do his job like a detective; some cases would be like that, but not all of them.
When Deckard went into semi-retirement, Derek got his first assignment alone and soon found he had a knack for Replicant investigation. Hunting and killing became so natural to him it seemed like child's play. But the obvious reality of the job came swiftly as he continued, pay days were lousy, he was constantly being put down by the LAPD officers, and he had to do contracted bounty hunts just to get a bit of extra money. Hearing of his plight, his youngest sister out of three, Shania, came out to the city to live with him for a while. She took up a lucrative nightclub job and took care of her brother stuck in the job he soon found to be too much. They seemed perfectly content sharing the small apartment he had and tried not to delve too much in each other's social business. Mason loved his sister; her being there was the only joy in his life he would come to know. But one fateful night changed his whole outlook on life as he made the biggest blunder any Blade Runner could make. He retired a human by mistake.
Shania came home one night and found Derek waiting for her, he told her a nightclub employee had spoken too him that she was a Replicant and that his family had been living a lie. Derek didn't know what he was saying anymore; the continuous nights of hunting and killing had made him paranoid to everything and everyone around him. Shania tried to tell him that he was wrong and that he should seek psychological help, Manson never slept half the time and when he did, he'd be screaming in his sleep about Replicants trying to murder him. Derek took his futuristic handgun and shot his sister at least six times and collapsed to the floor giggling with insanity. The police charged him with murder and revoked his Blade Runner license pending a hearing. That inquiry came at the time of the Off World scare, when Earth banned all Replicants with order to kill any that returned. The case against Derek was dismissed, but the media had a field day with his shocking action as it made him out to be a murderous rogue cop.
The Los Angeles BRPD came down hard on him; this was a smear on their perfect record and one that cost them dearly in the public view. They put him into the rehabilitation program and even gave him new treatments to suppress the depression that had overwhelmed his mind and made him insane. With the success of the program and treatments, Mason became his old self again, but the reality of what he had done would always haunt his memories. Still under contract by the Runner Unit, Derek was later transferred to work in the second unit division in New York as a means to cover his embarrassment to the government Blade Runner program. Deckard had read of what happened to his old partner and gave him some advice before he left for the new assignment. 'Get out of the business while you still can' he told him, an odd thing to hear from the one person he had come to respect and admire. But Mason took his meaning for what it was and left with a deeper hatred for the job, for he was now stuck in a thankless career with no other talent to fall back on. He couldn't leave the Unit since the contract clause still stated he had to work for them until his retiring year, and now he was back doing the exact same thing he had gone mad from. His life mad no sense anymore, the blur of reality and what wasn't real finally sunk in, Replicants or human beings, the two were becoming just as melded as the rest of the culture. It would be sometime later when he'd hear about his old friend Deckard running off with a possible Replicant lover and managing to disappear forever. It shattered his faith having to deal with the fact that his mentor had succumbed to the fake female human charms and now has become a wanted man.
New York was Mason's home now, it's just as polluted and over crowded as Los Angeles was, crime is everywhere and so too are Replicants. Nexus Delta was the new engineered human for the times, they filled in the gaps for the sex trade, military and even the dangerous workforce. The Blade Runners also had revised orders, they were now the only police force to handle Replicant affairs, they were there to 'retire' any or all that violated their owners or for any sort of infraction other then what they were created for. This meant that if they committed a crime, if they left refused to work and run away; even if they tried to revolt again…they would be condemned to death. Derek Mason couldn't believe this is all he would be now, once he craved to be this hand of god, dispensing justice against those who violate everything he was raised to believe, now he wishes he didn't even join in the first place. His life had become as dismal as the very skyline of the mega city he looks up too every night from his run down apartment window, a mid-forties cop that kills artificial beings on a regular basis and stuck alone in the very scum of society that he so helplessly lost in. He has no one to share his life with, not even his family living in North Carolina, who've cut him out of their lives after his very public mistake was made known to them.
This is his home now.
This is his life.
He is and always will be…