OFF: Not much to say here. I'll let the story speak for itself...
Do note that it is an one-shot (single chapter).
If you have comments, suggestions, or whatever, don't hesitate to leave a review or PM me. I appreciate feedback.
LAW OF INVERSE CONSERVATION
The conversation always started the same. He would approach her, wave at her, and they would always say the same words. What was said and done afterward tended to vary greatly but it was how their conversations always begun... when Jenny Wakeman's duties did not get in the way, that is. But then, considering she is the Global Response Unit, the latest in the XJ Type line of robots, this was to be expected.
Today was not to be one of the days Jenny would have peace though as quickly enough, the familiar sound effect echoed. Her metallic chest split open as the mechanical arm emerged, the monitor unfolding and activating. The face of an ederly woman could be seen on the monitor's display, her eyes hidden a pair of large, round red glasses.
Feeling annoyance rise up, Jenny brought her fists to her hips as she stared at her creator, her "mother" with a flat look. Before the woman could speak up, the robot voiced out her opinion on the current matter.
"Please go straight to the point."
Norene Wakeman rose an eyebrow, tempted to remind her creation that she was meant to be obey her but did not bother. After all, it was true that they did not have exactly all of the time in the world to ponder it all. Heeding the mechanical woman's request, Norene went straight to the point.
"The Enemy has been sighted at the town square and has begun to rampage through it."
Jenny crossed her arms for a moment. She know the location now... but this told her nothing about who was behind it this time.
Listening carefully, Jenny came to a realization. It was THAT enemy! Her look instantly rebecame a flat one as she felt her mind surge with pure annoyance.
"I am afraid so. Please hurry."
With those last words, the monitor's display disappeared and the whole machine folded back into the robot's chest, the chest plate placing itself back in position.
"So... it's that "Enemy" again, right?" Jenny turned to face Brad, noticing his expression. Despite being mostly a normal human, he was always willing to try playing hero, following her everywhere. But for a reason she did not know, facing this particular enemy always made him uneasy and depressed. She did not know why... but she respected it. It wasn't his fault after all.
"Yes. So... I guess we'll meet later on at school, right?"
He did not elaborate. She did not insist either. Before long, she turned her back to him and activated her systems. Her long, triangular ponytails moved into position as her thrusters both at the base of her feet and in said ponytails activated. Before long, her frame rose off the ground as she sent herself zooming straight toward her target...
Quickly reaching the town square, she couldn't help but notice the extend of the destruction. Nearby buildings had almost crumbled down, large gashes from blades and holes from rocket-propelled explosives showing that indeed, it was the Enemy once more. Cars had been thrown around like toys, crushed and cut by what seemed to be very large weapons. The streets were cracked, a testament to the power of the Enemy.
Quickly, her elbow joint opened as her weapon emerged. It quickly unfolded, its parts assembled within mere seconds. She scanned the area, expecting the Enemy to show off anytime soon. The area was quiet... too quiet. No sounds of explosions, no screams, nothing...
And then, finally, after turning a corner, she saw her. The Enemy.
Jenny was always creeped out by how eeriely similar the Enemy was to her. If the Enemy had been a mere robot, she wouldn't have cared... but the Enemy shared many similarities. She, too, had large triangular ponytails, two plates that covered her chest and one that covered her lower body, forming a micro-skirt. But while Jenny was definitely good-looking, the Enemy had a few differences that made her look somewhat grotesque. Her body was nowhere near as curved, her legs were unnatural in appearance with blatently robot-like cone-like feets rather than boot-like ones, and her overall size and proportions were more akin to that of a teenager than that of an adult.
"XJ-9..." whispered Jenny, staring straight into the eyes of the Enemy.
The Enemy stared back at Jenny, her expression sending a shiver through her spine. It was not the usual insane or maniacal expression that most villains had. XJ-9's expression was a pathetic frown, water from her internal cooling systems leaking to form tears that streamed down her cheeks. Sadness and pain could be seen all over her features and into her eyes, her agony obvious to all those who looked at her.
"XJ-10..." said the Enemy, her right hand shaking. Jenny could see the older model of her own laser auto-cannon deployed, the younger-looking robot clenching the handle, not making a move.
Slowly, Jenny rose her weapon and pointed it at XJ-9's head. She was not going to let her get away this time. The Enemy did not make a move to prepare herself to dodge. This didn't surprise her, she tended to act in such strange ways. She didn't care either. It was her duty and the Enemy was a danger to the world as a whole.
"You're not even going to ask me what happened?"
Jenny's aiming reticule in her vision flashed, showing her that her aim was now locked. She answered the Enemy's question by pulling the trigger.
With blistering speed, the younger-looking robot moved aside, dodging the white spherical blast of energy. The Enemy was powerful, that Jenny knew. But she knew that ultimately, the Enemy was inferior. She just hoped that this time, she would be able to put an end to her rampage once and for all.
"Typical..." XJ-9 whispered to herself before turning back to Jenny, glaring openly.
"As usual, you're completely blind. Didn't you see them?" she said, pointing toward a nearby cratter. Pieces and tidbits of robots, the design obviously alien, were near the impact points. "I didn't do anything! I just saved the city from invaders!"
Jenny had no patience for the Enemy's justifications though. "I don't care. The collateral damage you cause is so heavy it doesn't make a difference. You're supposed to be shut down anyway."
The Enemy's face contorted at the last sentence, the pain and sadness amplified as well as a new feeling rising... rage, intense rage.
"SHUT UP!" she shrieked. "I... I gave everything for this town! Everything for all of you! I spent practically my whole life saving this planet and now, my own mother claims I'm obsolete and must be shut down?!?"
"Considering the collateral damage you do, said shutdown is long overdue." interrupted Jenny, a smirk forming on her face.
"SHUT! UP!" shrieked even louder the Enemy, Jenny effectively goading her into a towering rage. "I-I'm not some kind of machine you can replace! I have feelings! I... I'm... I am just like any normal human... I am-"
"Obsolete." interrupted Jenny, sick of her rant. "I already know all about you, XJ-9."
"MY NAME IS JENNY!" That last one was deafening enough for Jenny to attempt to shield her head with her hands. An useless gesture but it did distract her a bit, helping get her mind off the pain slightly. She swear that this one was loud enough to shatter glasses and windows.
"That's my name. You're just a jealous prototype like XJ-6."
The Enemy begun to step forward, all of her sadness turning to anguish as she stamped her feet loudly with each step. Her limbs' joints begun to open, batteries of laser cannons and rocket launchers emerging. Her glare was venomous, spiteful.
"You stole my name, my friends, my family, MY LIFE!" she said. "I was doing a great job and all. I had just graduated from high school you know. I was going... I-I..." her voice module seemed to malfunction for a moment, as if emotion was getting in the way. "-I was going to go to college, to be an adult, to continue my life. I thought I would be upgraded... I..."
She stopped right in front of Jenny. XJ-9 looked up, staring fearlessly into Jenny's eyes. She did not move or flinch, unimpressed by the Enemy. She was just wasting time. She knew all that already.
"You had a great run, XJ-9... but you're obsolete now. Why can't you accept that? I know you were designed to be a teenager... but geez! Did you really expect to be kept running forever when you're so unnefficient? A better XJ Type has taken your place. Get over it and stop destroying the city!"
"And what do you expect me to do? Just let "mother" shut me down and lock me up like all the others?" protested XJ-9, pointing all of her weapons at Jenny now.
Jenny nodded. "We don't last forever, XJ-9. I know mother is working on XJ-11 as we speak. Rather than whine that you're not going to last forever, be thankful you were able to live at all."
XJ-9 remained silent for a moment... and then, slowly shook her had. "How... why? We have feelings! We're alive! We're-"
"Robots." interrupted Jenny. "A bunch of circuits and mechanical parts imitating life. We might imitate it extremely well... but we're machines nevertheless. If you're too childish and selfish to accept that your time has come then so be it. I won't let you spoil what little time I have left."
"I. Am. Not. Some. K-"
Jenny did not let XJ-9 complete her reply. The laser went straight through the older model's head. The movement had been sudden, the aim perfect and from this close, XJ-9 never had the chance to see it coming. The laser beam went through her forehead, passing right through her armor and making a gaping hole into her main CPU.
Crying out in pain, XJ-9 staggered backward, letting go of her weapons as they retracted back into her body. She held her head, her metallic ponytails twitching madly as her eyes rolled repeatedly out of control, the very part that contained her mind having suffered critical damage.
Jenny pulled the trigger again.
The older model's lighter armor was useless at this range against the newer model's much stronger weapons. The beam passed right through her middle section, severing internal cables and damaging the cooling systems. A mix of water and oil, colored a red-ish tone of brown, begun to leak from the gapping wound.
Jenny pulled the trigger again.
The light blue plates were thicker than the white sections, the beam not penetrating as easily. It still passed through, dealing major damage and most importantly, knocking down the Enemy. Losing her footing due to the strength of the third impact, XJ-9 fell backward and landed on her back. Her eyes slowly faded from white to a dull shade of grey, her body losing power from the injuries she had received.
Jenny stared down at the Enemy, frowning. Why couldn't XJ-9 understand? This was the fate of all XJ Type units, of all robots. Whenever she had feelings did not matter in the end. Robots are created, become obsolete, are replaced. It has always been as such, it will always be as such.
"I'm bringing you back home, XJ-9." she said, bending down to grab the smaller robot's left arm.
Slowly, the Enemy opened her mouth. Her voice was ragged, every word coming out with much effort but Jenny was able to piece together the words to form a sentence...
"Y-you..." she whispered. "You... are... next..."
"I know." she replied.
As her hand touched XJ-9's shoulder, she wondered why XJ-9 was trembling... until she looked down and noticed that it was her arm that was, somehow, trembling. She clenched her own arm, stopping the shaking and then, slowly, let go.
The shaking did not resume. Must have been a glitch in her AI.
As she begun to make her way back toward her house, Jenny couldn't help but feel strange. A strange kind of feel, as if a part of her had died. A numbing coldness inside of her body that made her movements seem incredibly slow despite all of her systems telling her the opposite. She could feel her circuits overheating for some strange reason, the image of her mother flashing inside of her mind. She felt as if some kind of ball had formed in her throat but a system check shown that no object was obstructing her throat.
Those glitches are quite annoying. She'll definitely ask mother about them when she get home. Hopefully, she'll also repair and shut down XJ-9 as soon as possible. She's really making a mess, her oil leaking like this from that hole in her middle section.
"Huh?" confusion suddenly came to her mind as her system checks confirmed that one of those strange glitches wasn't actually a glitch.
She stopped for a moment and brought her free hand to her cheeks. She then looked at her own hand before turning to the sky. Clear and blue with not a cloud in sight...
"... how strange. Where did those water drops come from?"