His first mission had been to play the perfect son to a woman with sad, sorrowful eyes and a man that faked happiness better than anyone Connor had ever seen. He was pretty sure he even knew why. His father. His real
father would be dropping by to make sure he was okay. Angel might have sacrificed their relationship, meager though it had been, on the altar of good but he’d have made sure that Connor was okay. Angel was, after all, one of the good guys and not exactly stupid. He’d have wanted proof.
They gave him proof. They set him up with a family, the Reillys, made them his family for nearly a week. Connor was glad that had been his first mission. He’d spent an entire week without killing anyone. It’d been a first for him.
He can still remember the feeling of someone watching him. His instincts had been buried under the naivety of a teenage boy but he’d still felt the eyes of a predator on him. That was the last day he spent with the Reillys.
After that, every mission he was signed up for ended in blood. He looked like a teenager, so he couldn’t do the romantic missions because, he’d overheard his handler say, “That shit’s just creepy, when somebody wants to rent a kid for a romantic weekend. The big boss lady put a stop to that real quick.”
Connor wished she hadn’t. Anything would’ve been better than coming back covered in the blood of mortals.
When he’d freaked out, when the memories came back enough that he knew something was very wrong, that was what he’d been seeing. All those dead people, dead at his hand because someone had programmed
him to kill. It’d been blind panic that’d had him killing everyone around him.
He’d stopped before he finished Dr. Saunders because he’d gotten a flash, just a moment’s memory, of a woman with a soft Texas twang, a love of tacos, and a spine of steel covered in velvet. He’d wanted to weep because he’d messed her up, messed her up bad and she had Fred’s face. Then again, when he’d stopped, he’d thought she was
Fred and that had been worse because Fred was real to him in a way Dr. Saunders never could be.
When he’d gotten to ‘Echo’, he’d stopped completely because he remembered her, too. He’d run and he’d have taken her with him but she didn’t have her memories, was just a blank canvas. He swore, though, swore
that he’d go back for her one day. Because he remembered that Faith had worked so hard at redemption and they’d taken that away from her. It made him sick and he knew that when she came back to herself, Faith wasn’t going to be happy about it, either.
He’d already started, though. He’d already begun to sow the beginning of the end for the Dollhouse. The FBI guy, he was as good a place to start as any. And there were other ways. If he helped make enough ripples in the pond, people were going to start noticing. And the more ripples he created, the closer he got to being able to sneak in and steal their most prized Active. Connor slid unnoticed back into the shadows, watching the FBI guy sleep. He was just beginning.