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Rachael: “It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public.”
Deckard: “Replicants are like any other machine. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.”
Rachael: “May I ask you a personal question?”
Rachael: “Have you ever retired a human by mistake?”
Rachael: “But in your position, that is a risk.”
Rick Deckard is a Blade Runner, one of an elite class within the Los Angeles Police Department of 2019, trained to hunt down and destroy (‘retire’) replicants. Replicants were androids, designed—especially in the case of the Nexus-6 series—to be ‘More human than human.’ But what they possess in human-like qualities, they sometimes lack in emotional stability.
Following a disastrous mutiny that ended with the death of nearly a hundred humans, replicants were banned from planet Earth, a steadfast law enforced by the Blade Runners. The most reliable way to detect a replicant is to give a suspect a Voigt-Kampff test, something Deckard has done countless times, but the greater part of his job in spent in age-old methods of investigation.
Rick Deckard is one of the very best at his job, but he hates the work. Retiring beings almost indistinguishable from ‘real people’, one after another, is starting to make him feel empty, if not something of a monster. He knows, sooner or later, he’s going to want out, but he’s not sure if that’s ever going to happen. The America of his day—such as it is—isn’t known for having generous programs for retirement (in any sense of the word). Most people work until they drop, and Deckard glumly expects to have to do the same, no matter what that might cost him.
His arrival in Milliways will happen a few years before canon. He is still very much a Blade Runner, and not quite as mired in the melancholy that will overtake him later. But the signs are there, nonetheless.
So far as Milliways and its patrons are concerned, however, Deckard is first and foremost a cop (badge # BR 2-63-54), though a rather unusual one. He’s a crack shot and a good investigator, and if the work itself is hard on his soul, he’s still determined to do it well. It helps that he gets along pretty well with other skilled Blade Runners like Dave Holden. And while he doesn’t really like his CO, Captain Harry Bryant, he knows the man respects his skills.
Spoiler warning, for those who haven’t seen the film
While there have been doubts about this, there is really no question that Deckard is himself a replicant. He may possibly be one—maybe even the first—of an experimental Nexus-7 series. Replicants of this series do not share the four-year lifespan of the Nexus-6 series, and are known for developing rich emotional lives after their first years.
Replicants are not mechanical. They are the product of highly advanced genetic design, each body part crafted by an expert in the field, with the results as much high art as they are science. Only the very best doctors and psychiatrists (though Milliways has several of these) wills sense something subtly ‘off’ about Deckard should he ever be seriously hurt enough to require their aid. Magic, of course, will almost certainly detect something about him, though what that might be is hard to say.
Rick Deckard is from the movie “Blade Runner” and is the property of Warner Brothers. He appears here solely for the purpose of role-playing in milliways_bar, from which no profit whatsoever is being made.