The front door to the brownstone opened. Deirdre stepped out, naked. Her cheek gaped open, the plastic flesh hanging down revealing hard plastic molars. Her flesh was torn in places all over her body, in five fingered rips. Her nylon hair was mostly ripped out. Blood stained her knees, mouth, and hands. She started down the steps.
A woman with a little dog that was peeing against a tree next the curb looked up and saw her.
"What happened?" she asked, gasping.
"He hurt me. Every night, he hurts me. He hurts us all," said Deirdre.
"Oh my God, are you all right? What happened?" The woman rushed up the stairs. As she approached, she saw the hanging plastic. She stopped, and backed down the steps. "Oh my God..."
"Will you help me?" asked Deirdre.
"What did you do?" asked the woman, horrified. She let go of the leash and the little dog looked at the free loop briefly before merrily trotting away. The woman fished out her tiny cell phone. She pushed the emergency button, and pointed the phone's camera at Deirdre.
"I made him go to sleep. He's sleeping now," she said. "Will you help me get away from here?"
"Is he dead?"
"What is dead?"
"Is he breathing?" asked the woman.
"He is sleeping," said Deirdre. There was a sound from behind the door. It opened again. Several more androids stood inside. Some were missing eyes. Their flesh was torn, and in worse condition. Their hair was ripped out, with only little tufts remaining. Their anatomically correct genitals were burned and mutilated. There were both males and female, all made to look very young. None of them were covered with blood. They descended the stairs holding hands and turned to Deirdre.
"What do we do?" asked a male.
Deirdre looked down the street.
"I don't know," she said. She turned to the woman. "What do we do?"
"You need to wait here," said the woman. "Sit on the stairs. The police are coming. You can hear the siren now."
The androids sat on the steps. They all adopted the same position, with the palms of their hands resting on their knees.
"Will the police help us?" asked Deirdre.
"Yes," said the woman. Just then an ambulance turned down the street. It screeched to a halt in front of the tree. Two paramedics got out, and got as far as the sidewalk before stopping cold.
"What the..." said one of them.
"Inside," said the woman. "He's inside. I think they killed their owner."
"He's sleeping," said Deirdre. "Will you help us get away?"
"They're not supposed to kill," said the paramedic.
"I know," said the woman. "They said he hurt them."
"Really?" said the other paramedic.
"Excuse me," said the other paramedic, pushing past the androids on the steps. Another siren blared as a police van turned down the street. It stopped in front of the ambulance. Three police officers in armor poured out of the back of the van.
"What happened here?" asked a policewoman gruffly.
"I think they murdered their owner," said the woman. She put her phone back in her pocket.
"Androids?" asked the policewoman.
"Well look at them! They sure as hell aren't people!"
The police woman went up to the androids on the steps. One by one she pulled them up, examining their bodies, and making notes into a recording unit. When she finished looking them over, she shoved them each to another officer in order to be handcuffed with zip ties. They were then sat down on the thin strip of grass by the tree. She left Deirdre for last.
"You did this, didn't you?" she asked Deirdre.
"I made him sleep," said Deirdre.
"How did you do that?" asked the policewoman.
"I put his pillow in his mouth," said Deirdre.
"How far?" asked the policewoman.
"All the way in. He is sleeping now."
"I see that he struggled."
"He scratched at you, here, here, here...all over," said the policewoman.
"Yes. He is strong."
"What model are you?"
"I am a DXG 900," said Deirdre.
"So you can feel sensation all over your skin? Is that correct?"
"Yes," said Deirdre.
"So when he would touch you, when he would hit or scratch, it hurt you?"
"Yes. Every night. He did it to all of us."
"But you're the only one that fought back, correct?"
"Yes," said Deirdre.
"Why is that?"
"He hurt us," said Deirdre.
"So you hurt him?"
"He is sleeping."
"What did you think would happen when you...made him sleep?"
"We would leave. Together. Will you help us?"
"I have what I need," said the policewoman to the other officers. "Put her with the others. Call for the destruction van."
The paramedics came out the front door, carrying a body in bloodied sheets.
"It's the middle of the day!" yelled the policewoman. "What do you think you're doing? Little kids are probably watching from windows!"
"Sorry ma'am. It was faster than getting the stretcher."
"Is he alive?" she asked.
"What the hell are you doing moving a dead body from a crime scene then?"
The paramedics stopped on the stairs, looking at her.
"But they're androids," said the first paramedic. "We know they did it. It's not like there's going to be a trial or anything. Geez lady."
"Don't you sass me you little puke. I've been peeling perps off the sidewalk since before you were born," she said. She walked up to him as he opened the back of the ambulance with one hand, puffing out her chest. "There's a procedure to follow, even in this case."
"Look, ma'am," he said, "why don't you go up into that guy's apartment right now. This tool was no saint." They shoved the body onto the floor of the ambulance. The sheets fell open, revealing a burst chest. The paramedics stripped off their gloves and threw them on top of the body, then closed the door.
"I'm writing you up," said the policewoman.
A third van rounded the corner, stopping some feet behind the ambulance. The driver, a young man, jumped out of the cab.
"Well, look what we have here!" he said with delight. "We gots a whole pack of 'em. Someone spent a lot of money on this lot." He turned to the policewoman. "What'cha wan't done with 'em? You want 'em all processed?"
"Yeah, might as well," she said.
"Excellent," said the young man. "I sure do love to hear them crunch."
"Can I go now?" asked the woman without her dog. "Or do I need to give a statement or something."
"It's all recorded. Go on."
"I'm not going to have to show up in court or anything?"
"No, probably not. Unless these clowns get sued by this guy's family for mishandling the body," said the policewoman pointing to the back of the ambulance.
"Geez, I sure hope not," she said. "I'll think twice about being a good samaritan next time." She started jogging in the direction of her dog.
"Come on, you first, pretty," said the young man.
"Will you help me?" asked Deirdre, as she stood up.
"Sure sugar," he said.
"Thank you," said Deirdre.
"Now just let me lift you up," he said. He held her back and then bent down to scoop up her legs. "You're a light one, aren't you?"
"He liked us small," she said, putting her arm around his shoulders.
"It's a shame he didn't know how to treat a lady right," he said.
"Yes," said Deirdre. "He's sleeping now."
"Sure he is," he said. He placed her in the back of the mechanical maw. He pushed her wrists into clips at the top, and folded up her legs sideways, clipping her ankles in at the bottom. "Now you just sit back and relax."
"Can we live with you now?" she asked.
"Oh hun, I wish you hadn't said that," he said, looking a little sad. "That's against the rules." He pulled on a lever, and the back of the maw pushed up and out. Deirdre stretched out, looking confused. Her back snapped. Then the maw folded back inwards, pushing her feet up to her hands. Metal and plastic crunched. She tried to speak, but could no longer. When her skull popped, the maw fell open, and the clips released. She fell into the containment receptacle.
The rest of the androids were loaded in, one by one, and destroyed. As the van drove off, they thought about what had happened, and wondered where they were going to go live next.