Two: No-Horse Play
The incident with Aaron Stone was not unknown to him. His creators reprogrammed the event into his memory chip. The incident was officially part of his hardware. Ever since Aaron's initial rejection he searched his memory archive and began to relive the clip as a physical replay within his computer brain. Overall what had occurred was fully inconceivable. How could one android's mission be altered by a single blast to the chest? The error itself was inexcusable. Had his manufacturing been lax to the extent of allowing such extreme of an outcome? He could blame the creators of his system with all his might but in the end Aaron had been correct. His self-diagnosis of his damage had been inaccurate and resulted in the hero's almost demise. He almost realized the ultimate importance of Asmelov's Laws. With these laws in place the human charge could ensure his own safety in case of a rogue android as Hunter himself had been. Although the laws were sound the idea that his hardware could harbor these rules seemed illogical as well as discomforting, which brought him back to the condition of his personality chip. Was it possible that they implemented emotions into his system? The thought it self was preposterous and was immediately erased from his computer brain.
Aaron required training. He gave a nod to the walls around him. The hero needed to be reminded that evil didn't sleep for long. And he wondered if the old man, Stan knew this? There was now goal for his existence. He would protect Aaron Stone by building the hero's combat ability. He was still the most advanced Combat weapon.
As Aaron Stone Charlie had mad skills which he gladly reminded anyone who dare opposed. He tilted his controller to the left as his avatar dashed across the screen. His usual partner Termanus Mag was nowhere in sight due to Jason's strange boycott of his room. The younger male had simply stated 'anyone rude to a robot was obviously not someone who deserved to play hero rising with him.' Charlie had simply replied that the notion itself was stupid and that the younger would be back asking to play in no time. Well, no time... never came.
"Aaron Stone," the familiar voice of Stan came through the door.
"Hey man," he chuckled. "Stan you know you are welcome. The door is opened."
Charlie rolled his eyes at the sight of the still firmly closed door. Quickly he arose and opened and frowned at the sight of Hunter staring with unblinking eyes at him. The lack of movement reminded him of the teen's robotic nature. He snorted.
"In my house I'm Charlie."
He laughed softly. "Right…my bad bro."
"And don't think I didn't notice you use Stan's voice?"
Hunter simply nodded as a reply. "Charlie I believe it would be appropriate if I fight you."
"Fight me?" he eyed him and then got into a stance. "Wow. I figured you were too good to be true. Didn't think it would be this short amount of time before I had to kick that can again…maybe they need a code 10 on you."
Hunter paused at such a remark. The smirk upon Charlie's face expressed the youth's knowledge on such a procedure.
"I see you know of the code 10," Hunter remarked.
If the youth knew that he had been the one to issue a code 10 on Stan he was certain the other would surely kick him out the doors. After all, the code 10 had been issued free from the effects of the short circuiting. From the deepness of his hard drive he had issued the procedure on Stan believing he was in fact the better android and Stan was mere scrap metal. How cocky had he been? Even as an android, maybe his personality chip required tweaking…maybe it had been tweaked. He still was uncertain about his capability to feel? There were times he was sure he wished to…express and emotion of unsettledness.
"I am not here because I'm broken," he stated seriously. "You need to train."
"Why?" he raised his brows realizing his stance was useless without a fighting opponent.
"Stone, listen," he remarked. "Evil doesn't sleep, doesn't take vacation, and surely doesn't take sick days. Evil is around us. If you forget that then you already lose."
"Who told you that?"
"I came up with it, duh," Hunter remarked. "But really."
"You are serious? Does Stan know you are issuing such an impromptu training session? I learned my best from Stan you know."
Hunter nodded. "I'm aware."
"No I don't think you are," he smirked. "Stan is the best. What makes you better?"
He glanced at the youth with a relaxed confidence. "I am an advanced combat android."
"Fine," he stated. "I still owe you for my room you trashed."
At first the sessions started off with many attempted kicks to Hunter's actually face. The android had secretly questioned the maneuver. If he were an opponent of true threat then he would recommend such an aggressive round house. This was not the situation for such an act but it was a training session for a real fight in the future. How else would Aaron Stone react but how he did currently? He sent a kick at the youth's abdomen which earned a grunt as a response but was quickly met with retaliation.
"Give up Hunter, you are not wanted," Charlie whispered.
The youth then grabbed for his wrist but Hunter did a back flip bringing the youth's body with him…there was an odd protest from the limb but he didn't assess the situation further. Soon there was a shriek from his opponent and his eyes analyzed the situation carefully. He stood firmly above the now rolling and cursing teen to find him clutching his right arm.
"Charlie?" he asked carefully.
"Are you out of your robot mind? What did you think this was a real battle?"
He titled his head in confusion. "We were training."
"Precisely, what was with that move?"
The door behind him opened revealing Stan as well as Emma who he supposed had just arrived.
"Charlie?" Emma looked breathless.
Immediately Hunter analyzed the scene before him. It looked suspicious. Charlie was on the floor moaning with an imposing Hunter watching like a tower of evil. Both the newcomers turned to him immediately.
"Hunter what has happened to Charlie?" Stan asked.
"We were just training," Hunter commented. "The outcome doesn't compute."
"Freaking cirque du crazy here tore up my arm," Charlie gritted out. "He insisted we train. For what are we training for? Huh? And why did you have to destroy my arm?"
The eyes of the android older than him fell upon the younger android. His circuits were whirring wildly and he assumed if he were human it would be just as real as a heartbeat. Hunter opened his mouth to further describe the full situation with full analytical background. He could see the full report would be of no use. Once again, he had hurt Aaron Stone and this time…without short circuiting. Stan sent the report to Mr. Hall as if the situation hadn't been already bad. Once again they were in the S.S.J. instead he was certain he was the prisoner. He watched the clouds puff by and wondered strangely enough if a code 10 hurt.
Mr. Hall had been a little skeptical at first standing firmly by the new upgrades to Hunter's hardware. Charlie's nicely sling fitted arm was a dead giveaway to the truth. Hunter was then recalled to replay the event from his own archives. He obeyed as all well-built androids did. After ascertaining the situation Mr. Hall raised both brows in disbelief.
"What were you doing issuing a training session?" Mr. Hall questioned. "I do not remember ordering such a request of Aaron."
"I believed it was for the best," Hunter stated as if he were on trial. "Evil doesn't sleep chief."
Charlie snorted. "Apparently it is not sleeping in you either. If you ask me Mr. Hall, maybe he needs a code 10."
Emma whipped her head at Charlie who looked quite serious. She nudged him in the gut which caused him to jostle his arm.
"Ouch Em," he hissed. "My arm."
"Don't throw that around so carelessly. Code 10 isn't a carnival ride or a time out, Charlie," she whispered. "It is like the death sentence for robots."
"I prefer to think of it as the code 10," Hunter stated firmly looking not imposed. "Have to use the technical jargon you know. Scientists like to sound smart."
Mr. Hall shook his head. "It will not be necessary. Plenty of research has gone into Hunter."
"Look Mr. Hall," Charlie stated. "I understand Hunter was expensive…and you are afraid of what will become of the billions of dollars that went into the bot so here is a thought. You take him…fit him for a new occupation…maybe an assistant. I don't know. And we will go. Have a nice day…no robot gets hurt."
Mr. Hall crossed his fingers before his face. "A diagnostic check will be run immediately to be certain no wires were crossed…that all systems are running smoothly. After the reports are run repeatedly we will return him to your home."
"My arm," Charlie pointed at the sling. "What if there was an attack tomorrow? Huh? Now I'm down for the count. I can't fight with one arm."
"Regular rest and care must be taken Aaron Stone," Mr. Hall suggested. "A doctor must be seen as soon as possible. Healing process is a delicate one."
"Right," Charlie laughs. "My arm gets broken…and Hunter gets a little checkup. What are you going to give him a lolly next?"
"That will be all," Mr. Hall commented. "Hunter?"
Hunter looked at the others before nodding to Hall and stepping behind the sliding door once more.
"You must have provoked him."
"What?" Charlie protested a week into his cast wielding. "Me? He did a backflip and nearly twisted my arm off. He is evil."
Jason sighed licking off the spoon from his pudding cup. "You messed with his delicate robot brain….or chip. Do robots have real brains? They don't right?"
Charlie rolled his eyes. "I see you don't have favorites."
"What? I found him in a closet one day trying to shut down….I say that is the signs of a sad robot. And now you sent him off to Halls. He must be majorly devastated. I would have felt betrayed."
"Good thing you aren't a robot."
Jason shrugged. "I don't know. I think I could rock at it."
When Hunter came back a week later everyone was welcoming except for a still disgruntled Charlie. The young android shrugged the diagnostic check off like a doctor's checkup saying things like 'no worries bros' and 'gave me time to relax'. When in honesty it replicated a time when he had been shot. He could feel his circuits frying and his computer shutting down and then finding himself awake a year later. If he were human he probably would have been concerned, but being an android he assured himself he had no emotions or believed he had no emotions.
Jason had been the most enthusiastic of the bunch. He thanked the youth for that. It made him feel important in the brunette's life. He even insisted they needed to head over to Never Ending Comics and go through all the comics available.
"Pick out something nice," Jason stated smiling proudly with money in hand.
The youth hadn't been awarded the coveted job at never ending comics because he was still a bit on the young side but grocery bag boy didn't seem too embarrassing anymore, not when he could buy comics ever once in a while. Of course he saved his money, but only because his mom would lead him to the bank and force him to at least deposit over 50 %.
"This isn't necessary," Hunter stated. "You should buy something yourself. I didn't do anything great to deserve this. I only administered an ill-advised training session with your brother."
The youth's eyes were led astray from their conversation. He watched a pretty blonde in a summer dress walk by with a friend.
"How good are you at being a wing man?"
Hunter gave the youth a blank look. "Oh. You were…still talking…right never mind. I'm here for you."
"I was just saying I didn't earn a comic."
"I get, it must stink, being this teen bot," he stated. "I would think it was cool…but knowing you may have no real father and how even with this teenage body, you'll never grow old or experience life. I mean I get it the father thing and I don't get the bot thing. But I'm here you know."
"Never thought about that," Hunter stated seriously. "I've been too busy being the most advanced bro."
"High five!" Jason hollered out.
"You know it!" he slapped his hand and they continued on.
He guessed whoever created him was his father and the head of the department was Hall so he guessed Hall was his dad, but then again they created Stan too so did that make him his brother? He decided he wouldn't spend too much time thinking on that line of reasoning. He had to be constantly vigilant.
When Charlie's cast finally came off Hunter decided to approach him face to face. Jason stated it was time and he realized he was acting ridiculous to begin with. He knocked upon the closed door loudly. At the door was a cast free Aaron Stone, though he went by Charlie in his house.
"Hey Stone," he waved and then realized his socializing processor beeped at the gesture.
Waving pathetically was lame.
"What?" he asked as he suspiciously eyed Hunter.
"I broke your arm. I apologize."
"Wow, maybe you are more human than you realize."
Hunter titled his head to the side. "Or not because it took a month to do that. What did it not compute?"
"Whoa bro," Hunter frowned. "I apologized…now we have to be on the same level…evil can strike at any time."
"Oh, evil already struck," he commented softly. "Broke my arm…and got a little checkup as a result. If it was Stan and I complained even a little everything would fall apart…but apparently Hall believes you are the best."
"It was a delicate situation then," Hunter remarked.
"So you apologized late, what do you want now?"
Hunter shrugged. "Hero: Rising?"
And he closed the door in Hunter's face. For a few seconds he stood there just in time for Jason to walk up to him wearing his work uniform. He looked to do the door and then to Hunter.
"Did he shut the door on you?" he questioned.
"Ya," he stated but waved his arms in a carefree manner. "Bro was afraid to go up against this guy. Off to work?"
"Yeah, total bore" Jason frowned. "But pays the bills."
Hunter laughed. "Good one. I'll see you later then."
Jason paused at the top of the stairs. "You aren't going to stand there are you? It is kind of breaking my heart."
"Oh no," he laughed. "Was thinking…actually going to watch some television."
"Cool, when I come back we can totally hang out."
Hunter eyed the youth as they headed down the stairs. "I'm not hopelessly lonely or anything. Just so we are clear."
"Duh, never said you were," Jason chuckled patting the android on the back.
Hunter smiled. "Have fun bagging!"
"Shut up!" he called and then closed the door.
Hunter watched television for a solid one hour. He found the program to be interesting and beneficial to his current situation. It was the average run of the mill drama for teens but he hadn't known it could teach so much about the teenage psyche. His socializing processor needed an update, so he watched a marathon of Simon Says and other famous and influential teen dramas.
The teen bot turned to the owner of the voice knowing full well it was Jason. He smiled brightly at the youth. Jason grinned back.
"Why do I feel like I'm supposed to throw you a bone?"
Hunter narrowed his eyes. "I'm not a pet."
"Of course not," Jason remarked joining him on the couch. "You don't drink from the toilet."
"And that is the only distinction?" he asked the youth.
"Hey," Jason chuckled. "You waited around for me didn't you?"
"No, my socializing processor needed an update, so I watched television."
Jason looked at the program currently playing on screen. "I know that is a lie. Simon Says is the worst show to hit the screen."
Hunter sighed. "Even though you are right…I like to think I learned something."
"Jason?" a voice called from the foyer.
"In here Charlie."
Charlie appeared in the den a smile upon his face. He regarded his younger brother softly. Unfortunately, the android was sitting beside him but he ignored Hunter as usual.
"How was work?"
"Terrible," he sighed heavily. "Budnick showed up at the grocery store. Brought over a million items and bought nothing. Made me scan it too and then decided he only wanted a measly pack of gum."
Charlie shook his head as he laughed. "Right, well I am sorry it wasn't everything you dreamed."
Jason eyed his older brother. "Why do I have the feeling that you are being sarcastic?"
Charlie snickered as he poked the youth. "Because I am. Mom is going to be late tonight…want to order a pizza?"
Jason eyed the elder with a look. "Do you have to ask?"
The older laughed softly. "Guess not."
Soon he disappeared into the kitchen while Jason and Hunter remained in the den. Jason turned back to the screen showcasing a marathon of some terrible teenage drama. Hunter tilted his head to the side in question when Jason turned to him.
"Charlie will come around," Jason began smiling.
Hunter looked at him slightly confused.
"I can read people…or androids," he stated. "And yes I know he didn't say a word to you."
Hunter nodded firmly. "This is acceptable. If I've learned anything…grudges are likelier depending on the intensity of the crime. Gotta give the bro some space."
Jason patted Hunter on the back. "Excellent thinking…while you are at it…you can help me."
"What might you need help with?" Hunter grinned.
"There is this girl at Never Ending Comics…"
"And you want to learn my mad communicating skills," he beamed. "I will help you Jason Landers."
"I know how to talk to girls," he flushed. "That isn't at all what I meant."
Hunter arose smirking. "It was implied."
Jason rolled his eyes. They headed out the door with a plan to casually run into the girl Jason described.
An: Phew! Long time no update! I know…hopefully my viewers are still interested. This fic has been a little tough to roll along with but I've had this idea for a while. I promise there is more to come! Ask for Charlie/Aaron's attitude…it is expected. If some robot broke my arm I would be upset. And also he already had a problem with Hunter to begin with. Gosh, poor Hunter…but Jason is there to the rescue. I always felt that Jason would have tolerable of Hunter if he knew the full story…though Stan was always his favorite. Feel free to leave a review! I appreciate all my readers! Have a nice day.