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The animals of the forest were calm, despite the one who had entered the glade who was as out of place in between the trees as a polar bear would be in the Sahara. The reason for that was the simple fact that they had been there before, and the animals were used to their presence.

It certainly helped that, instead of a human, the visitor to their abode was instead a being of metal, life contained in circuitry and steel instead of flesh and bone, and as such warranted more of a cautious curiosity than fear. They, no, she, was Tria Wakeman, AKA the rebuilt and upgraded XJ-3. But both she and the animals were unaware that they were being spied upon...

Earlier that same day...

"Jenny, do you know where Tria is?"

"No mom, I haven't seen her today " Jenny Wakeman replied to her mother's question. She's probably out in the woods again."

"Why are you asking about her when I'm here," Jane asked, not even looking up from whatever game she was playing on her phone, since no one in their right mind, save her sisters, who were stuck with her whether they liked it or not, in town would put up with her, even while texting, since she didn't do anything buy boa. She was a total jerk to everyone, and cared more about extolling herself than communicating with friends.

As everyone else in the room rolled their eyes, or optics, as the case was for, well, all but one of them, Jenny turned back to said one, ignoring her egomaniac of a sister. "Yeah mom, is everything okay."

"No, no, everything's fine," Nora waved reassuringly. "Better than fine even. Some Stingray Security Services agents are coming to town looking for a missing shipment, and they'd like our help tracking it down!"

"Ugh, finally!" Jane exclaimed as she threw up her hands, her phone only narrowly avoiding slipping out of her hands and going flying out the window, where it would have hit a poor jogger in the face. But it thankfully didn't, though Jane and everyone else in the room was oblivious to how close it had came to doing so. "After those CHIMERA jerks and their cyber-attack, we've barely been allowed to do anything because of those paranoid butt-faces that call themselves elected officials passing those stupid restrictions!"

"Jane's right," Jenny said, everyone but Jane herself, who was too busy flipping between grumbling about the lack of any chances to show off her her "adoring fans" and basking in someone saying that she was right, mentally noting how they'd never thought those words would willingly come out of Jenny's mouth. "Even with our weaponry limited after what happened with CHIMERA, there's been surprisingly few incidents lately besides the odd accident. It'll be good to be fighting serious bad-guys again."

"Yes, I agree," Nora said with a nod. "Anyways, they were hoping that Tria could help expand their search with her drone network tactic bef, but I can't get a signal on her communicator, and she left her cell phone in the charger again. Jenny dear, when the agent arrives, could you please join them and help look for Tria?" Notably ignored was Jane, who was wordlessly debating with herself whether she should protest Jenny being the first to, in her mind, "suck up to the Stingray Agent guy or whatever his name is", or just enjoy that Jenny was the one going out to fetch their sister and not her, and take the chance to get a new high score on her game (which would be especially sweet if it ended up being higher than Jenny's own score).

Luckily, she decided on the later, which made things much, much easier when, fifteen minutes later, there was a knock on the front door. Calling out that she had it, Jenny walked quickly over to the door and opened it to reveal the Stingray Security Services agent, who, frankly, was not quite what Jenny had expected. For one thing, unlike the vaguely James Bond esque figure (with maybe a little "government spook" thrown in for good measure) she had pictured when hearing the word "agent", the figure before her was wearing more casual clothes in the form in jeans, a plain green shirt under a brown jacket, a pair of sheathed blades obvious below said jacket to Jenny's robotic senses, and a white baseball cap with a blue reflective patch in the middle, the figure was also noticeably female.

"Hi, I'm Aurora," she said, extending her hand, which Jenny shook once she shook of her surprise, which, to her credit, only took a second. "Your mother said that you can take me to your sister so we can all get together for the briefing?"

"Yeah, she likes to hang out in a clearing in the forest," Jenny answered, pointing her finger in the general direction she was referring too. "I'd fly you over, but mom took out my boosters the other day for repairs, and she still isn't done. How fast can you walk?"

The woman's only response was a large grin and a quick dash from the porch to the sidewalk and back again. Grinning herself, Jenny closed the door to the house, made a "come hither" motion with her hand, as you do, and started dashing off at a speed that, while significantly faster than what most humans could do, was still below the recorded maximum speed for humanity.

Turning, she saw the Aurora was following her, and showing no signs of slowing down. Before long, they lad to slow down in order to avoid taking a nasty stumble as they entered the woods, since Tria's little oasis from the troubles of the world was, for obvious reasons, more than a little bit off the beaten path.

But even as they approached the other XJ series robot, they were unaware that the communications failure that had prevented Nora from calling Tria had not been equipment failure, but intentional signal jamming, and that they were about to spring a dangerous trap earlier that its creator had planned...
Ugh, I just now got my computer working enough to post this, gotta remember to use drive for this kind of thing.
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January 27


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