July the forth 2025 was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was also my first day with my new partner. It was even a historic day. I was the first human street cop to work with an android partner. The irony of me being the first would have been lost on anyone who simply saw us together.

First of all my partner Annie, AKA Android Annie, looked human. Just to see her you would never know. When she opened her mouth it became obvious that something was different about her. She spoke classical english like someone from another country would learn in school. That was part of her being assigned to the streets rather than going right into the detective squad.

According to the lab rats, she was supposed to have more insight than Sherlock Holmes. All that remained to be seen of course. I was supposed to teach her how to act like a cop not a scientist. Annie had the ability to learn, so they said.

The true Irony is that I am an antique nut. To me Annie is a horrible, horrible example of what we have become. No longer will the Chinese be making everything, soon it will be androids working around the clock. Humans may well become obsolete. Hopefully not in my lifetime, but my grandfather probably said that about horses. I know my dad said it about gasoline cars, which can no longer be legally produced. When the ones operating now die, they will be gone forever.

I own and ride a gasoline powered bicycle circa 2006. Production of the bike and the kit have long been outlawed. It's that Antique thing again showing its evil head. These days all the rage is the electric car and bike. Batteries have come a long way so the e-bike and e-car are practical but no damn fun. An e-car can do 40mph and go for about a hundred miles without a battery exchange. What were once gasoline dispensing points are now battery exchange stations. Cars have ten packs the motorcycles have two and the motorized bikes one, so everyone has an option.

I buy my gasoline for the antique bike in a prepackaged plastic bottle. The bottles are expensive and the package has about a hundred warning labels on it. Needless to say, I also have an e-bike. But back to my first day with Annie the Android.

I had met her the week before, I had also been sworn to secrecy. The Captain wanted to wait until her first official day to make the announcement. The news whores would be around for the event no doubt. As he said a little good press for the cops would be a real change.

Since the great depression of 09, Copland was full of super intelligent computers that worked on white collar crime. They had evolved into androids, since a study found that humans learned more easily from androids than from the same programs in boxes. Annie would be the first street android.

It seems that I was the ideal partner for an android. I think it would be a lot like playing straight man to Jerry Lewis. I probably was the only working cop who would understand that reference. Regardless I stood on the steps of Copland listening to the mayor and chief talk about what a great step forward Annie would be. It rang hollow to me but then I'm an antique nut.

When the ceremony ended the chief put his arm on my shoulder and said, "You better not screw this up Edgar. If you do, I will personally see that your life becomes a living hell."

"It already is," I said turning away. Anyone who knew me, knew that I had spoken the truth. Since the chief had no idea who or what I was, he just looked worried.

"It is nice to see you again officer Freeman," Annie said it extending her hand to me.

"Annie, we don't shake hands every time we meet someone. Sometimes we don't want to shake the mooch's hand and sometimes we have already made the formal greeting, so we just say good morning."

"So you never shake the same person's hand twice?"

"Generally speaking no, just follow my lead, for now. You just shake hands only when I do." I looked at Annie to appraise her. Yes I had done it when I first met her but she looked different in her cop suit.

She was tall for a woman, since there were few real androids around I had no idea if she was tall for one of those or not. She had a blonde wig that wouldn't come off. It was a good quality one I have to admit. She had a pleasant farm girl face. I suppose you wouldn't want a glamorous street cop. Her body was more functional than what we would think of as feminine. Just a bit thick for my taste but then in a dark bar at 1am I had picked a lot worse.

It had been explained to me that the android could fake being a woman easier than being a man. I had my doubts about that. But her designers had all been women so maybe she could pull it off. Of course she had the mind of a lab rat. I was supposed to change that somehow while still doing my job. I could only hope the brass would make my life easier by cherry picking the calls for us. It would be nice to do nothing but write reports for the rest of my time on the thin blue line.

Of course that wasn't likely to happen. I was what the others called a bull cop. I would go hands on with the bad guys in a flash. Getting physical got me in a lot of trouble, but it also got me left alone by the sissy cops. Being a cop had become two different jobs. One job was hunting down white collar criminals. They came in all shapes and sizes from the 711 clerk who tapped the till, to the stock broker who stole the life savings of little old ladies. Then there were the guys with guns and dope.

During my fifteen years on the line, I had managed to go hands on enough times to wind up in the enforcement division. The ones who dealt with the old style crimes. There was no shortage of murders, rapes, robbery, and dope deals.

Since the great depression, life was hard and it was going to get worse. Hard times created hard men. Hard men were not going to go hungry. They could and would just take whatever it was that they needed. It had always been my job to take it back and bring them before a judge. So I hoped that I would get a break from it with Annie the Android to baby sit.

Most of her first day was spent between ceremonies and drawing her equipment. Cops still carried pistols but god help the cop who used one. He was likely to find himself in jail with the guys he put there. Not the place I wanted to be.

I was more likely to use my hands, my tazer or a gas grenade than to actually shoot anyone. I was not above using my pistol on a mooch but it was truly a last resort. Annie drew all that. She did not get body armor since hers was built in.

Our only call that day was a domestic disturbance. Hubby came home drunk. One look at his wife and kids and I understood why. "I want you to arrest that no good son of a bitch," she screeched.

"Is there a charge, other than you just don't like him any more?" I asked it with open sarcasm.

"He hit me," she screamed.

"Lady I'm want you to stay where with officers Andrews. I am going to go talk to your husband." I turned my attention to Annie. "Keep her away from me and the husband please."

"How should I go about completing my assignment."

I shook my head and walked away, "Well don't shoot her. I guess anything else you need to do:" Annie was supposed to have common sense built into her circuits."

"Did you punch your wife?" I asked the man who had a couple of inches and about twenty pounds on me.

"Yeah and I'll do it again if she don't shut the fuck up.".

"Wrong answer, you are under arrest for domestic assault. Turn around and put your hands behind you."

Instead of doing what I told him, he drew back to deliver a round house right hand. Now maybe his wife stood there waiting for it, but I sure as hell didn't. I deliver a short quick jab to his Adam's apple. He went down like a tree. He was gasping for breath while I turned to defend myself from what I knew was coming. Mama just saw me drop her rice bowl. She would not be happy about that I was pretty sure.

Instead of Mama charging me I saw here standing quietly. She had an evil look but nothing more. I hustled the hubby out to our car while Annie slipped from the house all the while keeping an eye on the woman.

"How the hell did you keep Mama quiet?" I asked in the car.

"I just explained in great detail what the penalty was for interfering with an officer in the performance of his duty. Then I explained how I planned to dislocate her shoulder if I had to place her under arrest.

the end