The squad car pulled into the station and the pair walked into the station. It had been a little over a month since Sebastian had been at the station, although life had continued there - as it had everywhere else - seemingly oblivious to his absence.
As Sebastian headed toward the front doors of the station, his babysitter quickly corrected him. "Incorrect building, Detective Ford. We'll be meeting in the auxiliary office building." He directed Sebastian to the smaller structure with a quick point.
Sebastian turned to head toward the auxiliary offices and wondered who he was meeting with. He had originally thought he'd be talking to the Captain, but Slater's offices were in the main building and there was little reason for him to ever leave it. The auxiliary offices were used for R&D, bureaucratic overflow, and...interrogations.
"Wait," interjected Sebastian as he grabbed his companion's arm. "What kind of meeting is this, exactly?"
"I'm uncertain what you mean, sir. It is a meeting in that you will be sitting down with a active member of the force and talking about the new assignment you've been given. It is the very definition of a meeting, but I cannot give you further details on the content of your assignment, if that is what you are looking to obtain."
"No, of course not," responded Sebastian. "Let's just go in and find out what this is all about."
The auxiliary offices were used for auxiliary purposes for a reason. As they stepped into the conference room of the building, Sebastian was reminded of how roomy and brightly lit the rooms in the other building were. No wonder they conducted interrogations here. One could get depressed being left alone in this room for too long, let alone working here day after day.
A few minutes passed and Sebastian noticed that the messenger was still sitting beside him with a blank expression. Sebastian turned to him with a friendly smile. "You don't have to keep me company, you know. I'm sure you have other business you need to get to. I'm not going to run away."
"No, there is no reason for you to run, Detective Ford. But my instructions were to be present at the meeting with you should you choose to accept the assignment." The man returned Sebastian's smile, ever so briefly. "For the time being, it appears, " he continued, "you are my business."
Sebastian's brow crinkled. He was about to figure out exactly what that might mean when a thin pale man walked into the room.
"Ah! Detective Ford! So glad to see you." The man took his place across the table, extending his hand. Sebastian shook it slowly, attempting to find that place in his brain where he had stored this man's identity. His face looked familiar and Sebastian was certain he had seen him around the station before.
"I'm Andrew Sullivan, the chief scientific officer here. I'm sure we've seen each other around the station before but I didn't really know your name either before the suspension. No offense." Sullivan blurted out the last sentence as he realized how callous he had sounded.
Sebastion shook his head dismissively. He was sure everyone at the station knew about his outburst and suspension. It was hardly news that it had even reached the ears of the lab geeks.
Sullivan continued. "I'm glad you decided to come in. We have an exciting assignment for both you and our Messenger Unit here."
Sebastian held up his hand. "Wait...Messenger Unit?"
Sullivan gestured toward the man sitting beside Sebastian. "The man we sent to pick you up. He's a robot - one of the newest prototypes based on human appearance, behavior, and social patterns." The scientist smiled broadly. "Didn't you notice?"