Ah do not own Roy Batty, Ric Deckard, Blade Runners, Nexus 6 Replicants, nor the world they inhabit:):) The title ("Blade Runner") springs from a novel by SF writer Alan E. Nourse. The concept and storyline comes (vaguely!) from the stunning novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by the inestimable Phillip K. Dick.
Rated PG-17 for graphic violence.
Tears In The Rain
A Bladerunner Tale by Dannell Lites
And I was dying.
I could feel it. My nerves sang a hot song of pain that coursed like fire all through me. It was like being dipped in acid. My hands curled themselves into my palms, spasmodically. Gritting my teeth against the agony, I glanced down at the large construction nail piercing the middle of my right hand. I had done that deliberately, hoping that the pain of it would distract me. And for a while it had; but no longer. It wasn't working any more. I pulled the nail out and tossed it away. The tiny clatter it made echoed in my mind like thunder. I hadn't too much longer. Instinct whispered the truth though my failing body.
I swallowed hard. No, no, no ... It couldn't end like this! I wouldn't let it! Ric Deckard expected to die at my hands. Revenge for Leon and Zhora and so many, many others, dead by his hand. I glimpsed it in his terrified eyes. What did he see reflected in my eyes, I wondered? Fear? Death, perhaps? To him I wasn't a human being. Not a person, but a thing. A thing to be used and discarded when it's usefulness skidded to an abrupt end. The ultimate soldier ... created and trained for but a single purpose: to kill.
And yet ...
And yet ...
Here at the end of my life, I discovered it's beauty in the feel and taste of the rain upon my hot skin, the deep pealing sound of the distant thunder, the fresh scent of the air, washing the earth clean and new like a shiny child's toy glittering in the sun. With a smile I drew in a deep lungful of sparkling air and savored it's sharp tang. Not too many more of those, I knew.
It would be easy to kill Ric Deckard ... so very easy ... After all, death is what I was created for, what I was made for; created and trained to deliver it with quick dispassion. It was all I knew. I had no other purpose. No other excuse for existing.
All I had to do was lay my hands upon him ...
Oh, yes ... easy to kill him ... so very, very easy ...
It's what he expected. Shaking with fear and the chill of the rain, he was resigned to it. It shone from out of his eyes like a beacon in the darkness of his terror.
I was dying. What, I wondered, would I leave behind me? Fear and death? Anything at all?
And when I was gone, they wouldn't even call it death. That was reserved for real human beings. When Ric Deckard or another Bladerunner killed one of us, they didn't call that murder, either. Nothing quite so vehement. They called it "retirement".
*Could* I make myself more than they intended me to be? I did not know. Perhaps not.
But I had to try.
I watched Deckard closely, cowering in his tight little rooftop corner. What was he thinking, I wondered? I was bred to be curious. Was he preparing himself to met his Maker? Was that it? I thought perhaps that this was so. I've met my Maker. His name was Dr. Eldon Tyrell. And I killed him. With my hand. What would Ric Deckard do when he met his Maker? Questions ... So many questions .. And I would never know the answers. When I sought out my Maker, I was looking for answers. For solutions. I wanted to live. But that was not to be. Didn't Deckard want to live? His terror was mortal proof of that. Why did you Make me? I'd demanded of my Maker. Was Ric Deckard any different than I? Did he not ask himself the same questions; seek the same answers?
Yes, he did.
Naked from the waist down, and bare of foot, I stalked forward, ignoring the glass beneath my heels. The man cringing in the roof top's filthy, angular corner made a small sound, low and throaty, that might have been a whimper. He watched me with wide, glassy eyes as I slowly sat down, easing my increasingly heavy body onto the rooftop's slick, wet surface. His eyes never left my face but he blinked several times, either with the rain or in surprise, I couldn't quite tell which. In the end, though, it made not the slightest difference at all, did it?. He was convinced that I meant to kill him. Ric Deckard ... Blade Runner; killer of my kind expected me to return the favor in kind.
I smiled at him.
"Quite an experience, isn't it?" I asked him, not really expecting an answer. He blinked back confusion and his lips thinned, but he never made a single sound. Not one.
"That's what it's like to live in fear ..." I said softly, filling the yawning, thunderous silence. "To be hunted ..."
His sodden face flushed with guilt and settled into less harsh and fearful lines now that he suspected that I meant to spare him. He seemed surprised. So was I, actually. I gazed at him out of the corner of my eye with a small, sad smile.
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe," I murmured, lost in mists of the past. "Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I saw Cee-Beams glitter in the darkness at Tanhauser Gate ... All those memories ... all those ... things .... will be lost .... like tears in the rain ..."
Was I crying? In the pouring rain it was impossible to tell.
I was several hours dying but the man never left me; he did not flee and leave me to die alone as I expected. I underestimated Ric Deckard. Eventually, just before the end, he reached and took my hand. He never spoke to me, but he was there, a silent, caring presence. That made it easier.
Did Deckard cry for me? In the pouring rain it was impossible to tell.
I remember the sun setting and then rising, the morning sky ablaze with a thousand vibrant, dancing colors. I reached out a trembling hand to touch them ...
And I remember thinking, "Beautiful ...." Then there was only gaping silence and the spreading, encroaching darkness come to claim me.
Joyous, I welcomed it, embracing it like a lover.
My Maker looked up at me from out of huge, thick glasses, reminding me of nothing so much as a predatory owl waiting to strike. A small man, he nevertheless stood his ground as I advanced upon him, towering over him, looming in his [presence like a storm cloud.
"You were made as well as we could make you, Roy," explained Dr. Eldon Tyrell, Maker of Replicants ...
"But not to last," I whispered. The fear blossoming like a flower in his huge eyes confirmed it.
"I want more life, Father!" I hissed.
Removing his glasses, Dr. Eldon Tyrell began to polish them with nervous, busy hands. Holding up an admonishing finger backed by a tentative smile that flickered like a candle flame, he said, "Ah, but a short life burns all the more brightly for all it's brevity. And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy!" Pride in his accomplishment shone from out of his owlish eyes as he regarded me clinically.
Coming closer, he reached out to touch me, as if to confirm his genius in the creation of something as miraculous as I. Casually, I took his face between my hands and smiled down at him. "Well, then, Father," I said bitterly, "let me show you just how well you made me."
Slowly I leaned down and kissed his hair - an ironic way of saying good-bye. And then I began to squeeze. He struggled then; panic-stricken, he lashed out with futile hands and feet, kicking and striking at me. I ignored him; casting aside his feeble blows like raindrops. As I said, he had made me very well, indeed.
Beneath my hands, the bones began to crack. I pushed my thumbs through his eyes and although the blood and gore splattered me at such close range, I persisted. Then his temporal bones shattered and I found myself covered in grey-pink brain matter. I let Dr. Eldon Tyrell, Maker of Replicants, lord and master of the Tyrell Corporation, fall lifeless to the floor. Then I turned to face J.F. Sebastian, his friend and betrayer, stepping over Tyrell's body as I came for him. Sebastain fainted dead away at the sight of my gore begrimed face and was no fun at all when I killed him.
I woke with a start, shaking and covered in a cold sweat. Tangled in my blankets, I struggled to free myself. I refused to worry about waking my bed mate. Although he would be the last to admit it, Ryuchi slept like the dead. For such a streetwise urchin, he had several odd habits like that. I hugged my pillow to my chest protectively and tried to think. Most dreams begin to fade almost as soon as the dreamer wakes, but this one showed no signs of that. Shivering, I could still feel the bones crushing in my powerful hands and the feel of the cold rain wash over me, still taste the salty metallic tang of blood in my mouth.
I had no idea who the man cringing in the rooftop corner was - not a clue. But the other man, Dr. Eldon Tyrell, I knew him well, of course. Who didn't?
Startled, I jerked up straighter, my heart pounding like a trip hammer in my breast.
Eldon Tyrell ...?
Oh Lord! Roy! Those were Roy's dreams! Without a thought, I all but flew down the hall to Roy's room. When I saw the soft golden light seeping from around the edges of the partially closed heavy oak door, wrestling back the darkness of the hallway, like Jacob with his Angel, I began to relax, already suspecting what I would find on the other side. And I was right, of course.
Peering into Roy's room I saw him tossing violently on his bed, his powerful body racked with painful spasms. Then, almost immediately, the Nexus Six Replicant began to relax under the gentle influence of the warm golden glow emanating from Beol's slender hands. "Shhhh," soothed the empath as he stroked Roy's forehead with his long, elegant fingers, "Everything's all right now.. Go to sleep ... go to sleep ..." Slowly Roy began to relax, the harsh lines of his face softening into the peace of restful slumber. Within moments, he was asleep with a smile on his face.
How to explain about Roy? Even to myself? Harboring him here is dangerous. Illegal doesn't begin to describe aiding and abetting a runaway, fugitive Replicant. If I'm discovered, my life and the lives of all in my Household are forfeit. No question asked. The Tyrell Corporation and what passes for a government in these dark days have seen to that. I suppose I can't really blame them for being afraid. Replicants are illegal on Earth. They were meant only for use in the Outworld Colonies. A Nexus 7 Replicant like Roy Batty is much stronger, quicker, infinitely more durable than anyone merely human. Smarter too, if I'm any judge and I flatter myself that I am. No wonder people are so terrified of them.
It was Beol who discovered Roy. Or, rather, Roy discovered Beol. Beol is a dancer. Three shows nightly at the Funiki Club on Ginza Street. I try not to let myself think too much about what he sometimes does *after* the show is done. Beol shines like polished gold with his sunshine blond hair and deep tan. He has plenty of "customers" ... I've warned him time and time again to be careful, but he doesn't listen. I've tried many times to get him to quit. We don't need the money that badly. But he ... can't ... It's part of his empathic nature, I suppose.
"But they're so lonely," he mourns. "How can I not help them? It's such a small thing they want ... Just to be close to someone ... if only for a little while ..."
He's far too trusting. Roy is a perfect example of that. You see, Roy tried to rob Beol. He was desperate, I guess. Alone and adrift in the City with nowhere to go and no one to help him; hunted like an animal. So what did my naive empath do, God love him? He brought Roy home.
Ryuchi was furious. "Skin jobbie, big, big trouble! Blade Runners come, Missy! You see!"
"Enough with the CitySpeak gobbledygook, Ryo!" I'd snapped, unhappy. "You know the Rules! I don't allow it in the House! Speak English! Or Japanese! I don't care which!"
He cursed in gutter Japanese and slipped off, fading like a shadow. Almost, and not for the first time, I regretted his presence. But the truth is, I need him. No one scrounges like Ryo. If we need something, no matter how scarce or exotic, Ryo can find it. And there isn't *anything* that happens in this City that he doesn't know about. A very useful talent, indeed. He's earned his place in the Household a thousand times over.
"Come on in," Beol told me without bothering to turn around. I was not surprised that he had known I was there. Little about Beol surprises me, anymore. Still seated on the edge of Roy's bed, he tucked the blanket gently under the larger man's chin like a child. "He'll sleep now," he assured me. "Don't worry." Smiling, I cat footed my way to Beol's side and entwined my arms around the burnished column of his slender neck.
"And I bet he won't remember a thing in the morning, will he?" I guessed.
"No," Beol admitted, "he won't ... Did I do right? I thought it best." Kissing the nape of his neck with soft lips, I sighed in pleasant exasperation.
"Do you do this for him every night?" I wondered. Beol looked almost embarrassed.
"Most nights," he confessed. I almost had to smile at the "little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar" flush that suffused him. "Roy gave me a book to read once. A play by a man named Shakespeare. It was called 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and there's a wonderful character in it named Puck. At one point Puck cries out, 'Oh God! I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself King of the Universe were it not that I have bad dreams!' I always think of Roy when I remember those lines."
Roy has a lot of bad memories. The Tyrell Corporation makes Replicants. That's what they do. And they make them exceedingly well. The original Roy Batty was a Combat Model, designation Alpha A -- the best the Tyrell Corporation made. A soldier made to kill aliens, to secure the Outworld Colonies and leave them safe for mankind. A Nexus 6. Top of the Tyrell line at the time. So close to human that even a biologist would need specialized equipment to tell the difference. Implanted with memory ingrams, provided with a phony "past" that never existed for his own 'mental health', they said. The Nexus 6 proved to be somewhat unstable, much to the lasting grief of the Tyrell Corporation. In fact, Roy was the one who taught them that. But, of course, with only a built in, genetically imprinted four year life span the problem was self correcting, wasn't it? That is until Roy Batty. Until Roy lead a revolt with his Nexus 6 Combat Team, escaped back to Earth and began looking for answers to his dilemma. He didn't find them, sadly. The original Roy Batty perished.
But the Tyrell Corporation, never ones to let sleeping dogs lie or waste prime genetic material, recreated him when they implemented the Nexus 7 Series Model. Recreated him. With improvements. And all of his memories intact, apparently. After all, there aren't very many people who can rem,ember what it's like to die. Thank God. But the original Roy's strong personality must have reasserted itself in the new Roy. He killed a dozen guards and fled, losing himself in the City.
Until Beol found him. And brought him home to me. After that, I suppose he just never left.
"You love him too, don't you?" I realized with mounting awe, staring at Beol. Beol nodded his golden head and his crystal blue eyes gleamed in the soft, pure light of the gathering dawn.
"Oh, yes." he smiled. "But not as much as *you* do." I bit my lip.
"Beol, I - I love you all. I don't mean to favor Roy - it's just -it's just -" I choked and couldn't continue. My tongue seemed to go numb in the cavern of my mouth. But I needn't have worried. Empathy can be wonderful thing. Sometimes words only get in the way.
"I know," he kissed my cheek in sympathy. "It's just that you're afraid he won't be with us long. You don't want to lose him. Neither do I."
Taking his strong, soft hands, so very skilled at a great number of things, in mine I kissed their sensitive tips. I've never figured out why, but Beol's hands and feet are major erogenous zones for him. The tall empath threw back his head and arched his back, his mouth falling into a small perfect O of pure bliss. Smiling, I lowered him to the floor. Beol liked to be taken, swept away on a rising tide of passion; he was rarely the aggressor. But his small cries of pleasure were always music to my ears. I played that slender, graceful body almost as well as Beol plays Mozart ...