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Broken is a 2017 short story written by Rachel Caine, published by Titan Books as part of the anthology novel Aliens: Bug Hunt. It follows Bishop on an early mission with the Colonial Marines and through his realization that he is not as bound by his programming as his creators intended.

Plot

Immediately after his activation, Bishop is quizzed by a technician named Dr. Sasaki to ensure he does not suffer from any potentially dangerous faults in his character programming. Sasaki releases Bishop into a room containing other similar androids, although she privately voices her concern that he may be flawed, possessing emotional capabilities exceeding his intended capacity. Noting the reactions of people around him to his unorthodox responses, Bishop decides that his is simply different.

Some time later, Bishop is attached to a Colonial Marine unit led by Lieutenant Lew "Lucky" Larsen, currently attempting to free a group of hostages on Haarsa Colony. Following a firefight with the hostage-takers, a group of predominantly ex-military criminals known as Company F, Larsen orders Bishop to check the wounded and tag those able to be evacuated, explaining that their orders are to destroy the colony's air converters and abandon the remaining hostages. Realizing the destruction of the converters will flood the facility with deadly Pervox gas, Bishop questions his orders, but is overruled.

After tagging the wounded, Bishop elects to take gas masks to the hostages, ignoring Larsen's attempts to stop him. Upon reaching the rest of the Company F mercenaries, Bishop discovers they are equipped with another Bishop-model synthetic named Rook. As Bishop attempts to reason with the hostage-takers from cover, Rook ambushes him; Bishop easily beats him in hand-to-hand combat and destroys Rook's central processor with his own knife. Then, posing as Rook, he returns to the surviving Company F soldiers. At that moment the Marines destroy the converters with explosives, and poisonous gas spreads throughout the colony. As the mercenaries and hostages are overcome, Bishop places the gas masks he has brought along on the hostages, saving their lives.

Bishop begins ferrying the hostages to the dropship left for him on the landing pad, but when he returns for the final two he is shot by a two Company F mercs, who survived in an air pocket long enough to steal gas masks from two of the hostages. As the two mercenaries mock the now partially-paralyzed Bishop, and knowing they will slaughter the other hostages before leaving, Bishop overcomes his programming that safeguards human life, remotely deactivates the men's gas masks, and exposes them to the Pervox, killing them. As his last act, Bishop remotely pilots the dropship into orbit, saving the hostages, before shutting down.

When Bishop reactivates, he finds himself in a med bay being tended to by Private Hudson, under the watchful eye of Sergeant Apone. He learns from the Marines they recovered him from Haarsa Colony to replace their own synthetic, lost in action several missions previously. As they acquaint themselves with their new team member, Hudson teaches Bishop the knife game.

Trivia