DISCLAIMER: Samurai Jack and My Life as a Teenage Robot belong to Genndy Tartakovsky and Rob Renzetti respectively along with any other proprietors. I do not own names that are not obviously mine.
The clack of sandals dissolved the moment he stepped into the bar. Peering from under his straw hat, he walked to the bar's counter top. But before he could place his order, the octopod bartender stared back at him as he cleaned a cup in his tentacles and a dishcloth.
"Hot water, please."
"…All right, then." The cashier slithered off to the back with his green tentacles barely making a sound.
The music grew louder. The conversations grew intense. "I'm tellin' you, man. Ain't no way the Jets are gonna beat the Rockets. …and don't tell anybody I said this, but… Haha! You've got one in you now, mate! …Raise you twenty."
The scene was casual. Familiar to the Japanese man. He'd been to several bars before. All of which had aliens and robots of different sizes. The level of diversity in the future, he hoped, would be as promising once he set things right.
The cashier placed his water on the table.
Jeers and wolf whistles filled the room. A rhythmic, metallic clanking got closer. The robot was a female. All her angles and curves where in the right places. Her voice was tinny, but that was expected. It was still low enough to make you think about her once you saw her blue paint job, skirt, and leather black boots as she sat next to the samurai. She didn't lift her eyes once.
Jack sipped his water. The warmth slid down the rocks in his throat that made it hard to speak. There was little conversation to be had with strangers, and he certainly didn't want trouble.
"Hmm… Don't think I've seen you here before," said the bartender.
"I get that a lot," she replied.
"What'll it be, miss?"
"High octane. The real stuff."
"Ah, somebody likes danger." The bartender turned a diesel valve in the floor and sprayed the oil in the cup. He placed it on the counter. "I don't usually get many orders for that. Some robots say it messes up their gears."
"Not for me. I can tolerate it pretty well now." The robot girl tasted the drink, wiping some off with the back of her metal hand. She moved slowly as not to scrape too loudly. "Thanks."
"No prob. Mind tellin' me where you're from?"
Jack listened without moving an inch.
"A peaceful time. A time when Aku wouldn't always get his way."
The bartender laughed. "You must be a pretty old robot, then, 'cause Aku's been around for as long as I can remember. No offense, though. Whoever fixed up your parts made you look gorgeous."
The robot girl didn't smile. "I'd rather you not say that. My looks have gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past, and I don't want any."
"Well, if you don't want any trouble, don't make trouble. Elsewise, I'll have to kick you out." The bartender walked to the other part of the counter.
The robot girl took another gulp. Jack continued to sip his water, listening to all of the sounds around him. The sound of uneven clanking footsteps stopped behind him and the robot girl. The samurai clenched his sword yet again, ready to strike, but was surprised to find that this would not be his adversary.
"Hey there, pretty," the robot said.
The robot girl put down her drink.
"Mind if I loosen some of those screws under your skirt?" said the hunk of junk staring at the robot girl.
Jack sat quietly, inhaling deeply at the insult towards the her.
"Back off, if you know what's good for you, scrap heap," she replied.
"Oh, don't worry, sweetheart. I know what's good for me, and it's your lovely nuts and bolts."
The robot girl turned around. Her right hand clinged and clanged into a laser gun. "I said backoff."
"Hey, hey, hey! Wait a minute, doll! Let's not get too hasty!"
Shoo! The unwanted male robot was blasted with a blue plasma ball back to the pool table where he came from. Green fabric and pools balls flew everywhere, knocking poker players out of their bluffs and ruining their games.
The music stopped. Tension filled the air.
A five-foot yellow gecko stood on its hind legs. "Hey! Who do you think you are, doll? Nobody messes with Vinny!"
"'Sides, what's a pretty robot like you doin' with a weapon like that?" beeped another robot.
"I am so sick and tired of all you dogs coming after me like I'm some sort of a bone you can chew up and spit out. If you want me, though, by all means — come and get me." With more fastening gears and pops, her left arm became her second laser shooter. "I guarantee you won't make it past me."
"Wait a minute…" muttered one of the robots. "I know that girl! I've seen her on one of those wanted posters! She's got a bounty of nine million!"
The murmurs spread around the bar like an uncontrollable fire. Every alien, reptile, and robot humanoid got their gun or something sharp. The situation was about to get rough.
Remembering the bartender's request for no scuffles, Jack turned to the girl. "Madam, I wouldn't do that if I — "
"Well, whatever you are, doll, nobody messes with my pal Vinny. And if you want a fight, you're about to get one. C'mon, boys!"
With the speed of a cheetah, the robot girl flew into action, blazing the place like a hailstorm. A volley of laser shots here, a round of kicks to the side. All with the strength of a million and seventy men and the reflexes of 1000 watts an hour.
The bartender rushed over to the scene. "Hey! What's goin'—!"
Zap! Bam! Crrk! A laser blast nearly singe the bartender's lips. Everyone wanted a piece of the newcomer robot girl now. There was no holding back. Yet he continued to stop them with a twist of her arm, varied weaponry, or brute strength.
Jack could barely sit still as the violence continued in his wake. "I think it's best if you hide under the counter for awhile," he said to the bartender.
The octopod did as he was told. The samurai placed his cup of water down and drew a hand to his sword.
The fighting raged on for ten more minutes. The girl wasn't tired at all. The lizards were, but the other robots weren't thanks to their artificial humanoid chips. Yet the more the robot girl fought, the more Jack could see in her eyes that she was as tired as she said. Her moves became harried; she left more cuts that oozed instead of bruises that bled on the inside. She was beginning to long for their ends as much as she wanted the fighting the stop — as much as she wanted the flirting and pain to stop.
All the patrons except Jack were steaming or groaning the floor. A few tried to crawl away from the metal storm this robot girl was, yet they did not succeed. She found them and issued more blasts from her laser to their backs. She also found Vinny, trembling before her. She took the collar of his greasy black leather jacket and drew him up the wall.
"All right, all right! Look, I'm sorry! Okay? I didn't mean it! The boys just put me up to it, that's all!" he chuckled.
The robot girl's hand transformed once more. This time, it became a chain saw. "Sorry's not good enough."
"Ah, no! Come on, please! Have mercy!"
"Have mercy? Have mercy? What do you take me for, huh? An idiot? That's what you and your pals took me for! That's what Aku and Vexus take me for! Aku can put all the bounties on me he wants! I'll take on whoever wants me!"
At the name of Aku, Jack stood from his seat. The real reason for her rage had been revealed.
"Look, doll! I said I was sorry! I really didn't mean it!"
"Then stop calling me DOLL!" The robot girl thrust the chain saw into Vinny's inner engine. His screams were shrill, growing spasmodic from the electricity that randomly escaped. "Stop it! Stop it! Stop it, stop it, stop it!"
Critically wounded, Vinny slumped to the ground along with his friends.
Stepping back, oil covering her chainsaw hand, she quieted down. Then she yelled to the rest of the now empty bar. "WHO ELSE WANTS TO SCREW WITH ME? I'D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY IT!"
The samurai stepped forward with no hand holding his sword.
The robot girl faced him and raised her chainsaw. "You next?"
"There is no need for your weapon. I do not intend to fight you."
"Then what do you want with me?"
The octopus bartender lifted his eyes over the counter, careful not to be seen.
"I'm listening," said the girl.
Jack, still uneasy at the sight of a massive chainsaw as the arm of a pretty robot girl, cleared his throat. "Once, in an establishment much like this one, I was pursued by those who wished to capture me for profit, and acted unknowingly as Aku's way of breaking my spirit. The amount of enemies I faced were relentless, and at that point, even my sandal breaking felt like a blow to me."
The girl narrowed her eyes. "Why are you telling me all this?"
"I, too, yelled back just as you did to see if anyone else wished to challenge me. But without warning, Aku took my anger and used it against me, forming a demonic entity that matched me in skill. Yet once I realized that this demon's source of power was my own relentless hatred, I opened my heart and restored the purity that was buried there."
"You still didn't answer me. Why are you telling me all of this — to teach me something?"
"You wish to defeat Aku, do you not? That is why he has set a price on you for others to receive once they capture you. Am I right?"
The girl lowered her chainsaw. "Yes, but… How would you know?"
"Aku has also sent others to capture me, for I wish to pursue him as well. I am surprised that I have not encountered anyone of the sort that wishes to capture me here, but at the same time, I cannot be relaxed. Yet I have learned from past experience that anger and passion, left uncontrolled, leads me no step closer to defeating him. I advise you to think the same."
"Who are you?"
"They call me Jack. May I ask who you are as well?"
The robot girl's hand de-figured and popped back into a hand. She stared at it for a long time before answering the stranger.
"Jenny. Jenny Wakeman. …Or at least, that who I think I am."
Jack narrowed his eyes. A tinge of sadness in her voice made him curious.
Another groan from the corner. The robot girl grew uneasy. "Do you…mind if I talk to you outside, Jack? I think we might be able to…help each other."
"I do not mind at all."
The pair of them walked out front. The bartender reached behind him with one of his tentacles and pulled out his cell phone, punching a few numbers.
"Yeah, can I speak to the police? …Yeah, tell Aku I found Samurai Jack and XJ9. They're walkin' out of my bar as we speak. Caused me damages in property, and I want a party of the bounty to pay for it. …Thanks." He hung up.
Told her not to make a mess, he thought. Oh, well. At least the samurai and her are getting along. I had a feeling they would.
I mean, why else do strangers sit next to each other?