One: He is back
Two months has passed since the large incident at the white house. All occupants of the S.S. J (Super Sonic Jet) were curious about the semi-urgent call from Hall Industries. Since the fall of the Omega Defiance and the subsequent destruction of Damage things have become a form of normal. They had a part time addition to their team, Jason Landers, brother of Charlie Landers also known as Aaron Stone. The two boys debated with the subject of Jason tagging along. After the fall the two greatest evils it seemed almost silly to argue. They stood within the meeting room of one T. Abner Hall awaiting the latest in the hero rising sector of Aaron's and Charlie's life.
"I know you all must be wondering why I have gathered you all here," Hall stated casually at his table no longer hiding his face.
No longer hiding was new thing for Hall. It seemed months ago the man had been within the shadows a constant reminder that mystery surrounded his life. On his right was his daughter Tatiana. Charlie gave her a wink and she rolled her eyes as a result.
"Oh don't pretend that you don't miss me," he statedflirtatiously.
"As I was saying," Hall commented interrupting what was about to occur before his eyes. "I have a announcement. Now we may be in a season of peace now…"
"Now?" Jason piped up reminding others that he indeed was a member of the team. "We totally kicked mask guy's butt!"
"Nice to have you back Jason Landers."
"Glad to be back sir," he saluted. "So do we have a mission? Is that what this is about?"
Charlie rolled his eyes as he stood professionally."Jason Mr. Hall is getting to that."
"Right," he stated nodding. "Right I knew that. Go ahead."
"I present to you our newest member again," he announced pressing a button under his table.
The others vaguely remembered the gesture while Jason seemed clueless. He looked around suspiciously before the wall on the left slid to the right. From the secret pathway stepped out a shorter male sporting the trendiest attire from American Eagle, Abercrombie and fitch, possibly Hollister or simply Target. All Charlie knew was he known that face anywhere. The male plastered a large grin on his face.
"Mr. Hall?" Charlie frowned. "Are you serious? Him again?"
Emma seemed just as shocked at Charlie but she remained speechless. Stan looked over the shorter and younger figure cryptically.
"With all respect Mr. Hall, I remember these events clearly unfolding in the same manner…"
"You all have a right to be weary," Mr. Hall remarked.
All the while the figure stood hands folded before him. He eyed the occupants of the room.
"Hunter?" Jason pieced the info together in his memory. "Was everyone in on this beside me?"
Charlie shook his head. "No, Jason. That is Hunter….he is an android like Stan."
"Hardly," Stan quipped.
Jason casually waltzed up to the male who patiently waited. Charlie tried to reach out for him but failed. He circled the figure before stopping to the other's right.
"Wait," Jason chuckled. "I get it. It is pull one over on the new guy. No, that is cool. I'll totally play on long. Wow…Hunter…a robot?"
"Actually bro," Hunter smiled. "It is android."
He eyed the teen before returning to his brother's side. "I don't believe you."
Hunter frowned. "Maybe a demonstration is in order."
"That will not be necessary or appropriate Hunter," Hall stated stopping the male.
Charlie crossed his arms before his chest. "What is he doing here again?"
"Like I stated earlier, I am reintroducing him to our team. Though it is peaceful right now…"
"What? But I have Stan," Charlie pointed out. "And he has awesome upgrades. We don't really need…Hunter."
Hunter frowned. "Nice to see I was missed."
"We were wrong to rush him into production," he explained. "We have revisited this and reprogrammed and rewired and made sure such a mistake would not reoccur."
"Plus, I got mad moves too," Hunter stated a cocky grin on.
"Oh I know all about those moves," Charlie remarked. "There the same moves that turned on me and tried to annihilate me like some strange Terminator scene. I don't think we have any need for those moves Mr. Hall. Stan will and always will be the only bot for our team. Why don't you put Hunter to work somewhere else…I don't know….Disney still needs robots for It's a small world after all."
Hunter tilted his head to the side. "Why are you burning me bro?"
"And quit it with the lingo," Charlie responded. "You may have an personality chip that is out of this world…but obviously that is all you have."
Emma sighed. "That is a little harsh, Aaron."
Charlie shrugged. "I don't forget when an android attacks me, Emma."
"And obviously Hunter doesn't forget either."
"That is right Emma," Hall remarked. "We at first wondered if it was right to include this piece of memory in his memory chip, but some lessons need only be learned by making mistakes. Hunter needed the learning experience."
"Yeah," he stated a bit more self cautiously. "Next time I get a synthetic flesh wound I go get it fixed…and not wait to short circuit."
Charlie humped as a reply but Hall ignored the childish gesture and instead turned to Stan.
"Stan as part of Hunter's reentry into this team I require your assistance," he stated. "He was going to stay here at Hall Industries but I have now decided the team needs better connections. He will be residing in your room."
"Mr. Hall," Stan stated. "I understand your intentions but I must agree with Aaron on this one. There should be a period of probahtion before any decisions are underway."
"Excellent," Hall nodded. "This is the reason he shall be in your room. One week."
Hunter grunted. "Great my new roommate is the old man."
"This is not up for discussion."
"Then why did you call us down here?" Charlie asked. "Why not just send him in a box."
"I am not an object," Hunter remarked.
Charlie looked carefully at Hall. "No longer up for discussion."
"Am I the only one who still thinks this is some kind of joke?" Jason asked out loud.
It had been a lot easier to make up a story about Hunter's return and the need for shelter. Charlie hoped his mom would say no but he guessed all the teen bot's lies had stuck. Around the evening there was a knock upon his door. Expecting either Stan or Jason, he called for the visitor to enter. What he wasn't expecting was a short android wearing Abercrombie shorts and a Hollister tee-shirt.
"I see you are playing Hero rising."
"I see you are in my room."
Hunter paused as if to analyze the statement. "Oh…heh burn. Good one up top!"
"Look, I know we have some bad memories…"
"Bad memories?" he asked. "You tried to kill me?"
"It wasn't entirely up to me whether or not I killed," he stated. "My circuit was fried."
"And if your number one priority was to protect me you would have gotten the hole in your shoulder checked out. I can't believe they let you back in our team…and now in my house."
"I predict that you don't want to play hero:rising with me."
"Wow ESP too now?" Charlie asked as he returned back to the tv screen.
The teenage android nodded a good-bye and slipped out of Charlie's room. He turned toward the hall just to see Jason stepping out of his room.
"Hey buddy!" Jason called out to Hunter patting him on the back.
"Hey," he replied.
"Everything alright?" he questioned carefully. "You seem sad?"
"Androids do not feel emotion, but…I suppose I'm a different model from the others than aren't I?" he remarked. "Just a defect trying to make his way in the world."
"Okay, between you and me, you don't have to lie about the bot thing," Jason grinned. "I mean I know Stan is awesome but no need to try and be like him to be accepted. Stan is real cool so I can see why you would."
"Yeah, Stan," Hunter stated softly.
"Anyway, I think my mom has some left over fish sticks we can totally eat. Come on."
"I am not human," Hunter replied but the youth was already down the stairs.
He followed after if only for a few minutes of company.
Summer vacation meant more Hero: rising, a little work at Never Ending Comics, and a lot of much needed sleep. With less Hero: rising related evil in the world Charlie almost felt like a normal teen, except for the two robots now in his life. One in particular was getting on his last nerve.
"Are you even supposed to be out in day light?" Charlies questioned from behind the counter as he handed a comic to the male.
"Lay off Charles," Jason remarked stepping in from nowhere and wrapping a companionable arm around the android. "You have been grilling him ever since he returned. What is the deal? Did he date a girl you liked or something? I thought you were friends?"
"Jason," Charlie whispered over the counter. "He isn't human. Stop pretending you don't understand me."
"Oh look," Jason pointed out ignoring Charlie.
Charlie shook his head before eying Hunter suspiciously. Hunter silently continued over to where Jason was now seated. He watched the younger hand him a controller.
"So, I'm gonna need a tag team on this one," he offered the controller.
"Alright," Jason pumped a fist. "Watch out world here comes a kick butt duo."
"I don't know Charlie," Emma stated after going through a magazine and not finding anything interesting."Hunter looks and seems functional…maybe this strange grudge should dissolve. You have been quite…harsh with him lately. Jason keeps complaining to me over the phone about it…which is strange…not the complaining the him having my number still."
Charlie chuckled at that little bit of information. "You may be right but who is to say he is even completely ready for combat. Not to say that is happening anytime soon…but one shot fried him…and he flipped. Stan is a lot more fit for battle now…and I think probably has an emotional attachment so there is no reason to attack me. What does Hunter have? Hip lingo…the coolest clothes? Fake stories?"
"My first priority is always protecting Aaron Stone," Stan shared.
Charlie smiled as he looked up at the android. Lately they had evening meetings in the dining hall where they discussed old missions or socialized. It was something they loved to do over a pack of Cheetos, of course for Charlie and Emma not Stan. The elder android took a seat beside Emma before turning to them.
"And I agree with Emma," he stated. "The probation is reaching its end. We should now focus on reconnecting what has once been disconnected. Hunter requires feedback. Like any android…"
"I know you need attention," Charlie remarked.
"We are not pets," Stan repliedsternly. "We are programmed to fulfill our purpose. You are not allowing Hunter to fulfill his."
"Which is getting back on your goodside Charlie," Emma stated softly. "I am certain you have…hurt his feelings."
"Feelings?" Stan sounded outraged but remained as professional as he usually was. "We do not have feelings."
"He needs to know he is needed," she smiled warmly. "You can't ignore him."
Charlie sighed. "I've been doing a good job of ignoring so far."
Emma narrowed her eyes. "Are you trying to be a jerk, Charlie? OR is this a game for you?"
He shrugged. "Excuse me for not trusting the bot fresh off the press."
Hunter stepped away from the dining hall. He had been about to enter underneath the archwaytowards the occupants in the other room but Charlie once again had proven his worth. He pulled back and headed toward another part of the house. He found a closet and slowly opened it. After analyzing his decision he realized it would be better if he simply shut down and hid away, like the vacuum or broom. He had only been in five minutes before the sounds of Jason's voice alerted him.
"Alright yeah I'll clean my room," he called out to his mom before whispering. "Which im' sure Stan could totally help me with…ah Hunter what are you doing…in our closet?"
Hunter gave him a stern look. "I am preparing for a shut down."
"Uh huh," Jason smirked arms crossed. "If you are playing hide and seek no need to be embarrassed. I still watch cartoons Saturday mornings."
"You do not believe I am an android do you?"
"Well…maybe I still may get a kick out of your confusion, but nah, I kind of figured it out," he smiled. "I mean after all you kind of left a puddle of oil in our bathroom…which is kind of gross and cool at the same time."
Hunter simply nodded as a response.
"So what did Charlie put you up to this?"
"You could say something like that," he remarked.
"Ah…always knew Charlie was a big baby," he chuckled. "Come on."
Hunter frowned. "I am confused. Do you not know about what I did?"
"Oh you mean almost annihilating Charlie?" he asked. "Yeah he kind of reminds me everyday and now that I know you really are a robot like Stan…it is pretty freaky….its like I, Robot and Terminator…and all the other robot take over movies…but you seem better now. So I don't see why I have to hate you. Don't worry about Charlie…he will come around. He is a Hero…and I think heroes aren't really allowed to hold grudges…or is that…someone else…huh. Besides you couldn't help it. It is like if I was brainwashed…and I slapped you. Would you be angry?"
"Androids do not feel bro."
"Well, maybe they secretly do. I mean you all are around us humans all day. You have to feel something. We are irrational beings…and we tend to confuse something as complex as a robot…well at least that is what I think."
"Wow," Hunter grinned. "Maybe there is an emotion in us."
"There you go," he grinned. "So since it is proven that you are an android…do you drink oil then?"
"Only the good stuff," he remarks. "Anything that Lexus or a BMW would like."
Hunter shook his head. "It is a blend."
"Like an oil smoothie, eh, bad taste in my mouth."
Hunter grinned as they headed up the stairs. Jason was right and all he could do was wait for Aaron/Charlie to see that. And if not…he'd fulfill his mission as supposed, Protect Aaron Stone.
AN: Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out the first chapter. I always thought Hunter could come back in another episode, so i was inspired. Sorry if Charlie is all apprehensive, but you have to see it from his perspective. Hunter wanted to terminate him. I'd feel hesitant too. If you like review and leave feed back. This is my first Aaron Stone story. Thanks for viewing! Have a nice day:)